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rnli – Two men had a very narrow escape yesterday evening ( Saturday 6 Sept ) when their Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) collided with a navigation buoy near the Spit lighthouse and threw them from the boat into the water.

Crosshaven Lifeboat was paged at 10.40pm along with Rescue helicopter 117, Gyleen & Crosshaven Coast Guard, the Cork harbour Pilot launch and the ambulance service after a report of a RIB aground with the engine running near the Titanic Bar in Cobh and with no occupants onboard.

Crosshaven lifeboat under Helm Alan Venner with James Fagan and Harry O'Rourke commenced a creeping search from Spike Island. Further information then revealed the Gardai had located the two occupants ashore, shocked and suffering the effects of mild hypothermia. The two persons were handed into the care of the ambulance service

Crosshaven lifeboat along with the Crosshaven Coast Guard boat recovered the damaged Rib and towed it back to the lifeboat station.

Commenting on the incident, Patsy Fagen, Deputy Launch Authority at Crosshaven said "Thankfully, this service ended with a good result, but could quite easily have resulted in fatalities. We urge all leisure boat users to get trained and always use a kill cord when driving powered vessels".

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#ribs – At 20:48 last night Baltimore's RNLI all weather lifeboat was alerted to a Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) adrift four miles south of Glandore in West Cork. The lifeboat proceeded to rendezvous with the two young men who had been en route from Cork to Baltimore when their engine failed.

Crew member Diarmuid Collins went aboard the RIB to establish a tow. The lifeboat then towed them to the safety of Baltimore Harbour.

On board the 'Alan Massey; lifeboat were Coxswain Kieran Collins, mechanic Brian McSweeney, Pat Collins, Diarmuid Colllins, Tadhg Collins, Jim Baker, John O'Flynn.

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#ribs – Dublin boat firm Western Marine has added a Sportis 4.9m RIB for sale to Afloat Boats for Sale. This 2007 boat has only been used on freshwater and comes complete with a Yamaha F60 Outboard and Coaster Swing Trailer. The boat has large diameter tubes for stability and a top speed of 37mph. More details here.

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Over the course of 12 days this July, a flotilla of powerboats will set off from MDL's Queen Anne's Battery Marina in Plymouth on a 1500 mile voyage around the British/UK coastline that includes a stop-over on Belfast lough writes Hugo Montgomery–Swan. Navigating the course as one flotilla, the Challenge teams will take on all that the elements can throw at them as they seek to complete anything between 120 miles 175 miles a day.

The 2014 Suzuki Powerboat & RIB Round Britain Challenge will be the most significant event of its kind taking place in the UK this year and represents a unique adventure involving people from all walks of life. By its nature, the 12 day circumnavigation possesses human endeavour, man and machine, extreme elements, plus of course, the opportunity to see our native coastline and ecology from an unrivalled vantage point.

The 2014 Suzuki Powerboat & RIB Round Britain Challenge will run from the 25th July to the 5th August 2014 and will take in the Scilly Isles in the south and Loch Ness in the north. Overnight stops in specially selected ports en-route and the opportunity for teams to witness England's coastline in close proximity will provide the experience of a lifetime for all those taking part. This open styled offshore endurance challenge is attracting adventurers from all over the UK including teenagers, private boat owners, lifeboatman and even maritime professionals.

Event Organiser, Hugo Montgomery-Swan of Powerboat & RIB Magazine states, "the 12 day challenge guarantees a rare and unforgettable experience and we are very grateful to have the support of Suzuki. Though the teams have to complete the course in the allotted time, the event is not a race, which means all those taking part will be encouraged to record their findings and experiences as well as sightings of all the wildlife they encounter along the way. In fact, we hope that the 12 day experience will generate valuable environmental data as to the numbers and movements of our native sea birds as well as precious creatures such as dolphins, basking sharks and even whales."

George Cheeseman, Sales & Marketing Manager for Suzuki ATV & Marine said, "The 2013 Suzuki Round Ireland Powerboat & RIB Challenge was a fantastic experience for the teams that took part and gave us great opportunities for product exposure. Therefore we are delighted to come on board for a second year running and be the title sponsor for this new challenge."

Overnight ports of call, where members of the public are welcomed to come and meet the teams and see the boats, include:

Day One: Plymouth (11am start) to Hugh Town, St Marys, Isles of Scilly - 100NM

Day Two: Isles of Scilly to Neyland Marina, Milford Haven, via Lundy Island – 150NM

Day Three: Neyland Marina to Holyhead – 140NM

Day Four: Holyhead to Bangor, Northern Ireland, (via possible midway stop at Castletown IOM) – 110NM

Day Five: Bangor to Oban - 160NM

Day Six: Depart Oban early for Corpach/Fort William – 30 miles. Then Corpach/Fort William to Inverness via Caledonian Canal & Loch Ness – 55NM

Day Seven: Inverness to Arbroath – 160NM

Day Eight: Arbroath to Whitby – 150NM

Day Nine: Whitby to Lowestoft – 160NM

Day Ten: Lowestoft to Ramsgate – 80NM

Day Eleven: Ramsgate to Southampton – 130NM

Day Twelve: Southampton to Plymouth – 150NM


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#RNLI - Bangor RNLI received a request from Belfast Coastguard yesterday evening (1 March) to launch their lifeboat and assist four people onboard a 23ft rigid inflatable boat, or RIB, that experienced engine failure north of Ballyholme Bay on the southern shores of Belfast Lough.

Within minutes of their rescue pagers being activated, the crew had assembled and had launched their inshore lifeboat, which proceeded at full speed towards the stricken vessel.

Upon arrival, the crew found that the four on board the RIB, who were experienced mariners, had followed procedure and made the correct decision to call for assistance at the first sign of trouble.

Calm on scene, weather conditions allowed for a tow line to be quickly rigged, and the vessel was then taken under tow to the safety of Bangor Marina.

Following the rescue, RNLI volunteer helmsman Iain Dobie took the opportunity to underline an important safety message.

"We always urge everyone going afloat to make sure their engine and fuel systems and are well maintained and in good working order," he said. "Engine failure close to shore and commercial shipping routes could lead to a life threatening situation."

Dobie added: "We're happy that everyone is now safely ashore."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#KillCord - An "exceptionally unusual" tight turn at high speed led to the death of a father and daughter and the serious injury of other family members in a tragic speedboat accident off Cornwall last year.

The Guardian reports on the conclusions of the official investigation into the incident on 5 May in which BSkyB executive Nick Milligan and his eight-year-old daughter Emily were struck and killed by the family's runaway RIB after being thrown overboard in the waters between Rock and Padstow.

It was previously found that the driver of the speedboat was not attached to the 'kill cord' that would have automatically shut off the engine. Instead, the boat continued to circle with its engine running, striking the family as they floated in the water.

Milligan's wife Victoria and four-year-old son Kit both sustained what were described by police as "life-changing injuries".

It has since emerged via the findings of the Maritime Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) report that Victoria had been driving the boat in a slow wide turn when her husband reached across her to steer the boat hard to starboard at full speed.

The report added that "the manner in which Mr Milligan took the helm appears to have been out of character as he was known to be a safety conscious and prudent individual."

However, it was also found that the Milligans did not have a "good understanding" of how the speedboat would handle high-speed turns, nor were they aware of the hazards of their children being at the unstable front of the RIB.

The Guardian has much more on the story HERE.

Published in RIBs
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#TradeNews - first reported in March last year on Inland Inflatables Services' planned relocation to larger premises in Collooney, Co Sligo.

And now the move is finally going ahead, as the RIB service business - one of the largest in Ireland - gets ready to set up in an impressive 8,000 square foot space as it celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2014.

As company head Ronan Keys told the Sunday Business Post recently: "Some people thought I was a bit crazy to make the move out of Sligo town to Collooney as such a time in the economy."

But as Keys adds, the numbers made sense, as the fall in property prices made purchasing the larger out-of-town space a much better deal, and in turn will allow the company to take on more business - and more staff.

Published in Marine Trade
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#RIB – Mazda UK and partner Linley Swan GP have scored a class victory in the arduous Powerboat and RIB Round Ireland Challenge 2013. Winning skipper, Tom Montgomery-Swan led the 13 remaining boats into Kilmore Quay at 2pm on August 4th, concluding ten days at sea through huge seas and high winds.

Tom Montgomery-Swan, 24 from Exeter, Devon, has been racing boats almost all of his life and said; "The Powerboat and RIB Round Ireland Challenge was one of the toughest ocean challenges in this part of the world, so to finish, let alone lead the fleet with Mazda was a truly incredible experience. With our newly Linley Swan designed boat, and capable Mazda CX-5 support car, we proved Mazda's SKYACTIV principals worked on water, and on land."

To contest the Round Ireland Challenge, Linley Swan produced a brand new boat using a proven Ribeye A Series hull design. The starting point for the project was Mazda SKYACTIV philosophy of lightweight, environmentally sound design without compromise on performance or handling.

Designed to defy convention, the boat introduced new technologies, and a new way of thinking about design for Linley Swan.

The six metre vessel features race specification materials, advanced electronics packages, fuel efficient engine technology, and custom suspension - a shock mitigating console and seat designed by a NASCAR firm in Canada.

Mazda UK supported Linley Swan with the popular CX-5 sports utility vehicle (SUV), which saw action as the exclusive land vehicle for the Linley Swan GP race team. The car covered almost 2,500 miles, delivering food, supplies, mechanical parts and much more to the boat throughout the event.

The Mazda CX-5 proved to be the ideal event support vehicle for Linley Swan. As well as being a welcome sight dockside at the end of each leg, the car's practical, capable nature ensured it offered indispensable support, whilst maintaining an average fuel consumption of over 45mpg and a reliable service.

Offering good towing capabilities, ample space for kit, and frugal fuel consumption, the Mazda CX-5 is an environmentally friendly SUV with excellent driving credentials to deliver the support crew to each rendezvous dry and in comfort.

"Mazda proved to be the ideal partner for this event," commented Linley Swan GP Skipper Tom Montgomery-Swan. "We needed a stylish, economical car capable of towing our RIB whilst delivering on comfort for the crew and practicality for lugging the expanse of kit - all assets we need to address the logistical challenge of moving the RIB safely and at a greatly reduced cost to more traditional towing vehicles.

Montgomery-Swan concludes: "We wanted a vehicle partner which delivered on our brand values of performance and reliability whilst being environmentally friendly, and Mazda has proved its commitment to the environment with its SKYACTIV technology which enables them to produce cars with reduced CO2 emissions whilst using less fuel. This fitted well with our environmental values to preserve the marine landscape by using biodegradable oil and fuel in the boat."

Published in RIBs
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#ribchallenge – 10000hrs Sunday – just received news from ribber Derek Shaw on Nyzod, a Zodia Pro Open 650, on the RIB Challenge that the fleet is en route to Royal Cork Yacht Club and has just passed the Mizen and estimate possible arrival somewhere between 1pm and 3pm.

Nyzod is the only Irish entry in the challenge and has on board John Garvey an RNLI Cox, Walker Shaw, Richie Cunningham, Donal O'Connor and Paul Lydon.

The Challenge started out with twenty five RIBS and one motor cruiser ranging in size from 4.7m up to 11.5m, a week ago. The fleet met bad weather coming down the west coast and have been stormbound in Dingle, Co. Kerry for the past two days.

RIBs ran into difficulty last Thursday in County Kerry prompting Fenit lifeboat to issue a reminder about how important it is to get an up to date forecast and plan your journey carefully and stay in regular contact with the Coastguard. Fenit ALB  launched to assist three ribs which got into difficulty in Brandon bay. Fenit lifeboat took one vessel in tow, and escorted the other two ribs to Fenit harbour. 

Organiser of the event Hugo Montgomery-Swan, gave a most graphic description of the conditions encountered by some of the boats approaching Brandon Bay. Seas of ferocious ferocity were encountered with winds whipping and twisting enormous sheets of white water some 300 to 400 feet long and with twisters clearly seen.

The Irish Coastguard were advising and Fenit life boat was tasked and took a RIB that had lost power and was being towed by a fellow challenger, under tow back to Fenit marina. Three boats spent the night there and the second three boats of this party were advised by the Coastguard to make for the safety of a beach inside Brandon where they spent the night on the beach, according to local reports.

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#RIB – An air sea rescue for a solo Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boat (RIB) skipper in the Irish Sea got the 2013 Round Ireland RIB Challenge off to a dramatic start at the weekend.

The 24–boat circumnavigation RIB fleet arrived in Dun Laoghaire marina on schedule yesterday afternoon, but one of their number was lucky to be alive after a Search and Rescue operation on Friday plucked a solo skipper from the sea, some nine miles offshore from Milford Haven.

The RIB driver was thrown out of his craft, and a signal from his personal locator beacon was picked up. The incident happened during a crossing from Milford Haven in Wales to the start of the RIB Challenge at Kilmore Quay in County Wexford on Friday afternoon, according to HM Coastguard.

The RIB named Merlin is a Gemini Waverider 4.95m RIB, according to details on the Round Ireland Challenge website. 

As reported on Friday, Falmouth Coastguard contacted Milford Haven Coastguard about a signal from a PLB, (personal locator beacon) located nine miles offshore from St David's Head on Friday afternoon. Coastguard officers checked vessel and contact details on the UK Beacon Registry database and identified that this PLB was registered to Merlin.

Milford Haven Coastguard requested the launch of St Davids RNLI Lifeboat and the rescue helicopter from RAF Chivenor.

The rescue helicopter located the man in the water using the signal from the beacon and winched him into the aircraft. The man was checked by the crew in the helicopter and in agreement with Milford Haven Coastguard returned to his vessel and has made the return voyage to Milford Haven.

He was thrown into the water but was wearing a survival suit, lifejacket and had a PLB with him. The man spent approximately three hours in the water.

Milford Haven Coastguard Watch Manager Rob James says:
"Fortunately this skipper was prepared for a single handed voyage offshore and having the right gear has saved his life. The kill cord on the vessel did work and cut the engine when he was thrown from the boat.

Wearing a survival suit and lifejacket enabled him to survive the three hours in the sea while awaiting rescue and the PLB which was activated sent the exact location of the casualty to the Coastguard."

A tweet from the Challenge organisers on Saturday said Merlin had been 'delayed' and would join the fleet in Dun Laoghaire marina. The fleet, drawn largely from the UK but with Irish, German and Luxembourg entries too, enjoyed an evening at Dun Laoghaire last night and headed north for Bangor marina on Belfast Lough at 9am this morning.

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