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Displaying items by tag: Lough Erne

Carrybridge RNLI’s inshore lifeboat Douglas Euan & Kay Richards was launched at the request of Belfast Coastguard shortly after 6.33pm on Friday evening (12 August) to a vessel which had got into difficulties in shallow water close to Naan Island.

It proved to be the start of a busy evening for the Lough Erne lifeboat volunteers in Northern Ireland who assisted 11 people in total across four boats.

Once on scene, the volunteer crew located two vessels in close proximity, both of which had got into difficulties in shallow water.

The first vessel, with one person onboard, was assessed and the decision made with the owner’s permission to safely tow it into deeper water.

With the first vessel in safe water, attention turned to the second boat, with five people and a dog on board, which was further aground.

The crew transferred four people from this vessel to the first vessel as they were travelling together. A safe route was established for the lifeboat crew to tow the casualty into deeper water with the owner’s permission. Both vessels then proceeded on their onward journey.

Meanwhile, a third vessel was spotted by the lifeboat crew entering the same very shallow area of water. The lifeboat approached this vessel, which had two people onboard, and then after speaking with the owner was safely escorted back to deeper water where they were able to continue their journey.

As the lifeboat crew were making their way back to the station, they observed a fourth vessel with four people onboard which had encountered engine difficulties after getting caught in weeds around one mile North West of Knockninny. The lifeboat crew, with the owner’s permission, set up a tow and brought the vessel back to its private berth.

Speaking later, Stephen Scott, lifeboat operations manager at Carrybridge RNLI said: “Now we are in the summer season we would urge all boat owners to make sure you have the relevant charts required before starting your journey, lifejackets for all on board and a means of calling for assistance if you find yourself in trouble.

“If you see someone in trouble on the water or are in difficulties yourself the number to dial is: 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Waterways Ireland has issued advisories for masters on Lough Erne in Northern Ireland over two angling events in the area taking place next weekend.

On Lower Lough Erne, the Ulster Trout Angling Championship will take place on Saturday 9 April.

Fishing boats will launch from Rossigh slipway for the competition which runs from 9am to 7pm.

Meanwhile, on Upper Lough Erne the Predator Fishing Challenge will take place on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 April.

Boats in this event will launch from the private slipway at Watermill Lodge, with fishing to take place from 9.30am to 5pm.

For both events, all masters of vessels on these inland waterways are asked to keep wash/wake to a minimum when passing vessels in the respective areas.

Published in Inland Waterways

A volunteer crew member from Carrybridge Lifeboat Station successfully completed the rigorous RNLI helm assessment this past Wednesday 9 March.

Twenty-nine-year-old Kyle Boyd works for Openreach and has spent a lifetime on Upper and Lower Lough Erne in Co Fermanagh, Northern Ireland.

Kyle started his RNLI voluntary service at Carrybridge on 8 October 2015, commencing his trainee crew member training, which he completed successfully.

He then continued his journey towards the successful helm qualification which he obtained after various assessments, with his final assessment being completed yesterday by trainer assessor Stephen McNulty.

Kyle is now qualified and able to take command of the station’s Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat, Douglas Euan and Kay Richards.

Following his final assessment, when responding to a callout Kyle will be responsible for taking charge of the lifeboat when on the inland waterways of Lough Erne.

The RNLI describes the duty of a helmsman as being “to use utmost endeavours to safeguard and rescue the lives of those in danger, whilst having regard for the safety of their crew”.

Following the trainer assessor’s visit, helm Kyle Boyd said: “It feels amazing to pass out and take the next step in my lifeboat volunteer career. I’m really looking forward to taking the helm on training and shouts alike.”

Stephen Scott, lifeboat operations manager at Carrybridge RNLI, added: “I am very pleased that after all Kyle’s hard work and commitment to training, involving many long cold nights afloat on Upper Lough Erne, Kyle has achieved the status of RNLI helm for our Atlantic inshore lifeboat.

“He will be a great asset to the existing helms and will further enhance our ability to respond to the call to save lives on the inland waterways of Lough Erne.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
3rd March 2022

Fred Ternan of Lough Erne

The boating community and those who treasured the maritime heritage of County Fermanagh’s Lough Erne learned with shock last weekend of the sudden death of Fred Ternan.

Fred was a true son of Fermanagh. He was born on Inniscoonra Island on Lower Lough Erne and it was there he learned to row, swim, waterski and sail and it was there also that he became familiar with the art of wooden boat building and repairs. He lived on the island until he was eighteen and then left to join the Civil Service.

Fred was known to many through his lifelong interest in sailing. He successfully raced a GP14, and later a J24. He rebuilt an early 1900s Fairy class yacht and raced it with his brother George and son Michael. Fred was Commodore of Lough Erne Yacht Club in 1985 and remained as Secretary and Treasurer throughout the period 1996 to 2011 during which time he set up RYA sail training and later RYA youth race training at the club. Fred had been a Race Officer for many years. One of the honours of his sailing career was an award by the Royal Yachting Association for services to sailing, reflecting his inspiration to many people to take up the sport.

With Ken Wilson and John Taylor, Fred founded Lough Erne Heritage, a community project to encourage and impart research about the Lough’s traditional boats and those who built and used them. And in this aim he succeeded admirably, being the source of extensive knowledge of the maritime history of Lough Erne. He tirelessly promoted the history and heritage of boating and island life and was fastidious in his quest to achieve a goal. Fred was passionate about Lough Erne Cots, Snipe sailing dinghies and his Fairy yacht.

Last year Fred proudly launched a restored Snipe dinghy at Crom on Lower Lough Erne and at the time of his passing, he was involved in the building of four Lough Erne Cots and excited about the launch at the end of May. With his friend Brian Osborne he was looking forward to fitting a Spritsail on one of the cots this summer, having read that in 1842 there were sailing Cots on Lough Erne. Fred thought it would be great to try it out for the 180th anniversary.

A proud family man, he will be sorely missed. Our deepest condolences to his wife Florence, son Michael, daughter Edwina, brother George and his wider family circle.

BA

Published in Historic Boats
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The volunteer lifeboat crews of Carrybridge and Enniskillen RNLI were recently delighted to receive a donation of £1,600 raised at a special event that crossed swimming with mindfulness.

‘Wild and Free at the Sea’ was held by Dips N Hips in Rossnowlagh, Co Donegal last September, welcoming 50 people for a day of open water swimming, yoga and mindfulness on the beach.

It also marked the beginning of a ‘dip a day’ challenge for the month of October, where organiser Coná Gallagher braved the waters of Lough Erne every single day.

On behalf of Dips N Hips, Coná handed over a cheque to Ivan Kee from the Lough Erne Fundraising Branch for the Carrybridge and Enniskillen RNLI stations.

Stephen Scott, lifeboat operations manager at Carrybridge RNLI, praised all those who took part in the challenge and in particular Coná for all their hard work and dedication raising money for both lifeboat stations on Lough Erne.

“The funds raised will have a significant impact for the crews at both Carrybridge and Enniskillen and will assist with future lifesaving operations,” he said.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

There’s a great buzz of woodworking activity in the Belleek Men’s Shed and on West Island in County Fermanagh. But this is no ordinary woodworking – this is the building of traditional Lough Erne Cots.

The Cot was originally a burnt-out log or a hollowed-out tree. It was later concluded that all watercraft referred to as cots had their origins as log boats. These dugout canoes only ceased to be used as transport when the great oaks ran out as the forests were cleared.

They have left their name to their successors, the flat-bottomed Lough Erne Cot with ‘rising ends’ which was used by the people of the river Erne system for about one thousand years. It could be pushed ashore meaning people and animals could walk on and off easily. This was the original landing craft, a simple design still used by armies all over the world. They are known as Lough Erne Cots as they are different from any of the other cots in Ireland.

A Cot ferry from the1800s Photo courtesy Fred TernanA Cot ferry from the1800s Photo courtesy Fred Ternan

Lough Erne Landscape Partnership (LELP) was keen to save heritage skills such as boatbuilding and Fred Ternan of Lough Erne Heritage suggested that they support cot building. (Cots are easier to build than clinker-built boats). So, two groups were set up to build four new cots; the West Island Cot Heritage Group on Belle Isle estate on the northern tip of Upper Lough Erne headed up by Andrew Cathcart whose father was a boat builder. There Fred Ternan guides the work, overseen by Liam Boyle who a few years ago was the first man in 50 years to build a Lough Erne Cot, and in Belleek on the River Erne on the Fermanagh-Donegal border where Leo Slevin leads the Belleek Men’s Shed in the construction.

The last working cot, built in 1958 by Fred Ternan's cousin, that carried cattle, turf and hay on Lough ErneThe last working Cot, built in 1958 by Fred Ternan's cousin, that carried cattle, turf and hay on Lough Erne

Both groups are using a Lough Erne Heritage design drawn up by Fred Ternan based on a 1950s sketch by a teacher, Miss Beggan of Wattle Bridge primary school for her family cot. Fred arranged for the two groups to take part, sourced the wood and provided technical advice for Belleek and arranged for Liam Boyle to support the builders on West Island.

The remains of the last cot which worked on Lower Lough Erne. Owned by Eddy Armstrong for the transport of cattle (it could carry 12 or 14 cows) into the 1980s and possibly 90sThe remains of the last Cot which worked on Lower Lough Erne. Owned by Eddy Armstrong for the transport of cattle (it could carry 12 or 14 cows) into the 1980s and possibly 90s

The idea is to recreate the famous Cot Race which took place at Crom on Upper Lough Erne, in 1850s.

In his history of the Lough Erne Cot or coite in Irish, George Morrissey tells a fascinating tale of this craft developed as the mode of transport best suited to carry man, beast, machines, and goods between the shores and islands of Upper and Lower Lough Erne in County Fermanagh of which a map will show has vast amounts of lakes and rivers. The Erne system is the third-largest in Ireland. Morrisey tells that it has been travelled from as far back as the Stone Age, through the times of the O’Reilly‟s of Breifne, the great medieval chieftains O’Neill, O’Donnell and Maguire, the incoming Scots and English of the plantation and the Irish fleeing the Great Famine.

Cots were involved in the building on Upper Lough Erne of the Lady Craigavon and the Lady Brookeborough bridges in 1933 which ironically turned out to spell the end of Ferry Cots. However, large cots were and still are needed. One activity during World War 11 which the Five Ton Cot was used for was smuggling across the border into the Republic of Ireland. Sulphate of ammonia for sugar beet fertilizer was taken across and on the return the cot was loaded with piglets sedated with Guinness to keep them quiet!

Before the roads and rail system the River Erne was the transport highway for all goods travelling the length and breadth of Lough Erne. Ballyshannon at the mouth of the River Erne in Co. Donegal, was the local port, so goods including fish, coal, stone, timber, various building products, etc, had to be transported via Belleek. That, along with the movement of people, goods, and animals over and back to the islands on Upper and Lower Lough Erne, the Cot would have been the vehicle of choice.

The Belleek cot build story began in 2017 when the village was approached by Fred Ternan to see if they would be interested in running a regatta for Lough Erne Cots there as part of a heat, with the winners going on to take part in a final later in the year in Enniskillen. The Belleek regattas in 2018 and 2019 were also heats with the winners going on to the final in Enniskillen. Lough Erne Heritage’s regatta at Crom on Upper Lough Erne in 2016 was the start of its Cot racing events and there were other heat winners throughout Fermanagh. Knockninny, at the southwestern end of Upper Lough Erne hosted a regatta in June 2019 (also a heat with the winners going on to the finals in Enniskillen) which coincided with the 150 years from the last race that took place there. In 1891 at the Knockninny Regatta it was written “20,000 or 30,000 people on occasions of this kind come to see the Boat and Cot racing”.

The original sketch on which Fred based the design of the cots now being builtThe original sketch on which Fred based the design of the Cots now being built

Leo Slevin is delighted with the Belleek Men’s Shed progress; “The Lough Erne Landscape Partnership were very impressed with the events and building a traditional Cot boat in Belleek was mentioned. This led to a conversation about setting up a ‘Men’s Shed’ which came to fruition in the Craft Village. The next task was to secure funding to run the Men’s shed. We were successful in obtaining grants from the Policing & Community Safety Partnership Community Cash. With valuable assistance from Fermanagh Trust we also got a grant from Callagheen Wind Farm”. He continued; ”We were now in a position to re-open the conversation with LELP with the intention of building indigenous Lough Erne Cots. Along with another group in West Island (Belle Isle), we secured funding for the necessary materials and tooling for the project through the LELP Community Engagement and Farming Fund funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Fermanagh and Omagh District Council. The aim of our build is to re-develop the Fermanagh Cot”.

Lough Erne Regatta notices from 1883 and 1888Lough Erne Regatta notices from 1883 and 1888

Belleek Men’s Shed started Cot building in late October 2021. They will be used in all future Belleek Regatta beginning in summer 2022. The community will be involved in the story of the Cots by visits to the local schools, taking groups out for trips on the river and attending information events. The National Lottery gave funding for securing the premises and buying tools. This also included the purchase of a Kiln to preserve the skills in the locality of the pottery making that ‘exists in the DNA’ of the people of Belleek.

Leo Slevin (4th left) left) with the cot builders of Belleek Leo Slevin (fourth from left) with the cot builders of Belleek Photo: John McVitty

The Cathcart family has been associated with Lough Erne and the surrounding islands for the past three centuries. The present Cathcart family now lives on West Island. Growing up and being reared on the shores of Lough Erne, it was only natural for the Cathcarts to be involved in boat building and commercial fishing, especially as they lived on various islands. One of the activities the family was involved in was when during WW II huge parts of the plantations were cut down for the war effort and they towed the tree rafts to Enniskillen.

Oak or Larch tree was used for boat building. The tree trunks were towed to Enniskillen, and then transported to the sawmills by horse and cart. After being planked the planks were loaded onto a boat and rowed back upstream (no engines then) to the West Island. One of the earliest records of Cot Racing was written in 1842. The Cathcart tradition of building Lough Erne Cots continues today with Eric’s son Andrew Cathcart building a 22-foot cot with the West Island Heritage Group.

Both groups have about 80% finished with the painting to follow and it is hoped that both will be launched at the end of May in Enniskillen.

Elmarie Swanepoel, Lough Erne Landscape Partnership Programme Manager, is pleased with the progress. "We are delighted to be supporting, through funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, this wonderful community-led project. This project provides members of the community the opportunity to learn new skills, work together as a community and ensure that the unique skill of cot building on Lough Erne is kept alive for future generations."

Lough Erne Cot racingLough Erne Cot racing Photo: LEH

And Fred Ternan of Lough Erne Heritage says “With all of this going on I am hopeful that other groups around the Lough might get involved. Lough Erne cots are distinct from all the other cost in Ireland. and may have a European heritage. Similar craft from Roman times have been unearthed on the continent and their earliest origins may be from when planks were first able to be sawn. With the publicity gained so far regarding these ancient craft and continued exposure regarding the current cot build and planned launch of the four new cots, the story of Lough Erne Cots will reach much further afield”. He continues; “The local Fermanagh and Omagh District Council recently built one of these cots under my guidance and it might possibly be on the water to accompany the new Lough Erne Cots. Maybe someday we will see a rebuild of one of the largest used in the past which were 55 feet long. There is the potential to have nine or ten Lough Erne Cots of varying sizes on the water on the day of the launch at Enniskillen Castle The launch is being organised by Lough Erne Landscape Partnership with the support and advice of Lough Erne Heritage who is one of the partners within LELP”.

Cot Builder Pat Keown of Belleek Photo: John McVittyCot Builder Pat Keown of Belleek Photo: John McVitty

Published in Historic Boats
Tagged under

Carrybridge RNLI’s inshore lifeboat Douglas Euan & Kay Richards was launched on Tuesday afternoon (26 October) to assess a fishing boat with three people on board, which had broken down around a mile northeast of Knockninny on Upper Lough Erne.

Once on scene, the lifeboat located the casualty vessel which had blown onto an exposed shoreline on an island amid Force 4-5 southwesterly gusts.

The volunteer helm and crew assessed the vessel and the wellbeing of the persons on board from a close but safe distance, and found they were all well.

It was established that the casualty vessel had suffered engine failure, and due to the strong winds had been blown onto the shoreline of the island.

After a full review of the situation, and due to the large waves landing on the island shoreline, the helm deemed the safest option was to put two volunteer crew from the lifeboat onto the other side of the island which was sheltered from the waves.

The crew then walked the three persons across the island to this safer location to get onboard the lifeboat. They were brought back to the nearest safe marina which was Knockninny public jetty.

The volunteer crew of the lifeboat then went back and refloated the fishing boat from the shoreline and brought it to the safety of Knockninny.

Speaking following the callout, Carrybridge lifeboat operations manager Stephen Scott had advice for all boat users in Northern Ireland and elsewhere.

“Before setting out on your journey, please check the weather forecast for the day ahead, have a means of calling for assistance if you find yourself in trouble and have lifejackets for all onboard,” he said.

“If you see someone in trouble on the water or are in difficulties yourself the number to dial is 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

One young Northern Ireland couple have eschewed the heated land-based property ladder and put their savings afloat with a narrowboat, as ArmaghI reports.

Sophie Durand and Josh Boyd, both from Co Armagh and in their early 20s, have now adopted “slow, sustainable and also happier way of living” afloat on the inland waterways at Lough Erne.

Between them they raised the £53,000 (€62,000) to purchase the narrowboat Qisma — Arabic for ‘destiny’ — which has a permanent mooring at a monthly cost of £170 (€200).

And while their compact choice of home might not be to everyone’s taste, they’re now living mortgage-free after spending a fraction of the average deposit.

ArmaghI has more on the story HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways
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In late August, the Snipe dinghy Ranger, restored by Fred and George Ternan after sixty years lying abandoned on the Crom Estate, County Fermanagh, had her second outing on Upper Lough Erne at Crom.

Ranger was one of two Snipes found by Fred in the boathouse at Crom Castle and was restored over the last year. The other was Teal, and it is known that a third, Valkyria, is stored near Enniskillen.

Heading off in very calm conditions from the Visitor Centre slipway at Crom were Rob and Alice Armstrong from Bangor, later to be joined by Sarah Royle from County Cavan. Sarah confessed she hadn't sailed since she was ten; " Valkyria was owned by my father, Johnny Lucas -Clements, and when I was a young child, I used to sail with him at Crom on Sunday afternoons. That was back in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and we always sailed from the boathouse. I enjoyed sailing at Crom back then. I was very grateful to be asked by Johnny Madden to attend the relaunch of Ranger in early August and then by Fred to sail in Ranger last Sunday. It brought back many happy memories for me."

Ranger approaching Trial Bay on Upper Lough ErneRanger approaching Trial Bay on Upper Lough Erne

Both Ranger and Valkyria came from Belfast Lough, where they regularly sailed for years. They formed part of a fleet of Snipes acquired by Major Madden of Clones, who was instrumental in establishing the class in Lough Erne. He introduced Teal about 1953, and his son Johnny Madden has much detail about the Snipe class at his fingertips.

The whole story of Snipe sailing in Northern Ireland can be found here

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The fact that Royal St. George Olympic 470 helmsman Ger Owens has won the Ulsters, Leinsters and Skerries Regatta, which are the three GP14 events sailed so far this season, means he is a clear favourite to take the Championship of Ireland when it returns to lower Lough Erne for its 2021 edition next week.

Lough Erne Yacht Club stages the event from Friday 13th – Sun 15th August. 

Half a dozen local boats will be joined by up to 45 visiting boats from all over Ireland for the eight-race championships. 

Despite his current form, Owens, who is sailing with Brendan Brogan (with no less than 10 Irish GP14 titles between them), will not have things all their own way. 2016 Word Champion Shane McCarthy and 2019 Irish Champion along with World Championship runner up Ross Kearney are set to test the Beijing and London Olympian. 

Royal St. George helmsman Ger Owens has already won the Ulster and Leinster Championships Royal St. George helmsman Ger Owens has already won the Ulster and Leinster Championships

Derek Bothwell from Howth is the national race officer in charge of the event. 

The event also includes the Irish Masters and Junior Championships, which are always hotly contested.

The last time the fleet visited Lough Erne was for the Hot Toddy event in October 2019, and the planned 2020 Championship of Ireland was postponed to 2021 due to COVID.  

Published in GP14
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Marine Science Perhaps it is the work of the Irish research vessel RV Celtic Explorer out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of marine research, development and sustainable management, through which Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. From Wavebob Ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration these pages document the work of Irish marine science and how Irish scientists have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.

 

At A Glance – Ocean Facts

  • 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean
  • The ocean is responsible for the water cycle, which affects our weather
  • The ocean absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity
  • The real map of Ireland has a seabed territory ten times the size of its land area
  • The ocean is the support system of our planet.
  • Over half of the oxygen we breathe was produced in the ocean
  • The global market for seaweed is valued at approximately €5.4 billion
  • · Coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems in the world — at 230 million years
  • 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast in Ireland
  • Ocean waters hold nearly 20 million tons of gold. If we could mine all of the gold from the ocean, we would have enough to give every person on earth 9lbs of the precious metal!
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world – Ireland is ranked 7th largest aquaculture producer in the EU
  • The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world, covering 20% of the earth’s surface. Out of all the oceans, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest
  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world. It’s bigger than all the continents put together
  • Ireland is surrounded by some of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe, with Irish commercial fish landings worth around €200 million annually
  • 97% of the earth’s water is in the ocean
  • The ocean provides the greatest amount of the world’s protein consumed by humans
  • Plastic affects 700 species in the oceans from plankton to whales.
  • Only 10% of the oceans have been explored.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
  • 12 humans have walked on the moon but only 3 humans have been to the deepest part of the ocean.

(Ref: Marine Institute)

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