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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Displaying items by tag: Portaferry

#MarineWildlife - Northern Ireland's Exploris aquarium will be saved - provided the local council receives a one-off capital grant from Stormont.

BBC News reports that a new business plan to preserve the Portaferry aquarium, which is one of the North's biggest tourist attractions, has been agreed.

But the plan's success is subject to funding of £900,000 (€1.09 million) from the NI Executive as part of a financial rescue package for the facility.

Ards Borough Council, which has run the Co Antrim aquarium since its opening in 1987, says it can no longer afford its annual operating costs of some £500,000 (€600,000).

And its closure could see more than 3,000 marine animals presently housed in the facility destroyed.

Should the new funding be confirmed, Ards Borough Council would keep Exploris open for this year's peak spring/summer period before closing for a six-month refurbishment in the autumn.

The business plan for Exploris would also preserve the aquarium's seal sanctuary, although its own future was confirmed by Environment Minister Mark Durkan in November.

BBC News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#RNLI - A fisherman whose boat sank in minutes has thanked several organisations who implemented and trained him on using a lifejacket for saving his life. 

Samuel Cully, a fisherman from Portavogie, was in the water for 45 minutes after his vessel sank on Wednesday 18 September, off the coast of Co Down.  Weather conditions at the time were rough seas with Force 5 to 6 winds blowing.

RNLI lifeboats from Portaferry and Donaghadee were launched within minutes of a May Day being received by the Belfast Coastguard, along with the Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116.

Recently Cully was reunited with the volunteer crew at Portaferry who rescued him.

Just weeks earlier, Cully had been provided with a personal flotation device in a grant-aided scheme run by the Fishermen’s Mission with funding and support from Seafish, the Department for Agriculture and Rural Development through the European Fisheries Fund, the Northern Ireland Fish Producers Organisation, RNLI, the Maritime Coastguard Agency and supermarket Asda.

The project aims to ensure that fishermen will receive a grant-aided PFD and the training required to ensure its proper use.

Frankie Horn, RNLI fishing safety manager for the UK and Ireland, said: "It’s great that Samuel is safe, and back with his family. We want fishermen to see the benefits of wearing a personal flotation device or lifejacket and for them to wear it voluntarily.

"This will be an ongoing process for us, talking to fishermen and working with the manufacturers to ensure that the PFDs provided are the best possible design for the fishing industry."

With the funding and logistics generously covered by other agencies, the RNLI was involved in leading the safety training session – an act that Cully is immensely grateful for. 

"I was only able to swim five or ten metres or so, and even then the wind and swell were washing me away from the shore," he recalled. "The boat went down so quickly, and I was so relieved to find the lifejacket doing exactly what I was told it would do. I cannot thank all those organisations involved enough."

In more recent news, Donaghadee and Portaferry RNLI launched yesterday (Tuesday 8 October) to go to the aid of a man fishing off rocks who became stranded by the tide.

Belfast Coastguard had received a call from a member of the general public just after 10.20am alerting them of the emergency.

On arriving on the scene, Donaghadee's all-weather lifeboat crew found their colleagues from Portaferry RNLI's inshore lifeboat were taking the man off the rocks and returning him safely into Portavogie harbour.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#capsize – A man has been taken to hospital after his fishing boat capsized near South Rock, Northern Ireland.

Belfast Coastguard received a Mayday call at around 12:30pm today from the man on board the boat, who reported it was rapidly taking on water and sinking.

Belfast Coastguard repeatedly tried to get in touch with the vessel, but had no response.

They then sent the Irish Coast Guard Helicopter, RNLI Donaghadee Lifdboat, Portaferry RNLI Inshore Lifeboat, along with Coastguard Rescue Teams from Portaferry and Bangor, to his last reported position.

The man was spotted in the water and recovered by Portaferry Inshore Lifeboat. He was then winched onto the Coast Guard Helicopter and taken to the Royal Hospital, Belfast.

Ian Graham, Watch Manager at Belfast Coastguard, said: "We had to act quickly, with limited information, when we couldn't make further contact with the boat.

"Knowing the boat was taking on a lot of water, we sent several rescue units to make sure we could find the man as quickly as possible. Portaferry RNLI Inshore Lifeboat managed to pull the man out of the water, and he was then picked up by the Irish Coast Guard Helicopter who took him straight to hospital."

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency advises fishermen to make sure they're well prepared when heading out to sea, with as much life saving equipment on board as possible. This includes the necessary communications equipment, a liferaft, distress flares and personal flotation devices, which should be worn at all times whilst on deck.

The man was believed to be wearing a personal floatation device that was provided to him two weeks ago through a joint initiative by National Charity, the Fisherman's Mission, Seafish, the Department for Agriculture and Rural Development, through the European Fisheries Fund, and Asda.

Published in Coastguard
Tagged under

#RNLI - Portaferry RNLI had a busy start to the weekend with two call-outs last Friday (30 August).

The first call was received just before 3pm from a 5m Shetland open-top fishing vessel with two men and one child on board, who had lost power and run onto rocks near the entrance to Ardglass Harbour in Co Down.



The volunteer crew were on the water by 3.05pm and arrived on the scene 15 minutes later. Weather at the time was cloudy with good visibility and Force 4 northwest winds.



When the lifeboat crew arrived at the scene, the two men and the child had managed to climb onto the rocks to safety where they were met by a member of the coastguard.



The fishing vessel had lost power and by the time the crew could attempt to start the auxiliary engine the boat was washed onto the rocks. The lifeboat crew could do nothing to salvage the quickly sinking boat and remained at the scene until the two men and the child had been taken to safety.



The second call of the day was received at 9pm from a man and a teenager aboard a 27ft yacht that had lost engine power and was adrift close to the Fairway Buoy at the entrance to Strangford Lough in Co Down.



The volunteer crew launched at 9.07pm and were with the stricken yacht at 9.55pm after conducting a short search. The weather was fair with Force 4 to 5 northwest winds.



The lifeboat crew attached a line to the yacht and then proceeded to tow it nearly five miles to the safety of Portaferry Marina where they arrived at 11.20pm. The yacht was then securely moored in the marina and the two people on board safely put ashore.



Portaferry RNLI lifeboat operations manager Brian Bailie said: "It was certainly a busy start to the weekend for our volunteer crews and thankfully everyone was returned home safely.

"The skipper of the yacht which lost power at the mouth of Strangford Lough exercised good judgement calling for assistance when he did rather than attempting to sail back in what can be extremely tricky waters."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

#RNLI - Galway Bay FM reports that the Aran Islands RNLI lifeboat was tasked to assist a yacht that ran aground off Inis Mór in the Galway Bay island chain yesterday afternoon (23 August).

The yacht apparently got into difficulty in Killeany Bay while approaching Kilronan harbour, but the lifeboat crew soon helped it get on its way again, and all four people on board were safe and well.

Elsewhere, Portaferry RNLI was called out in the early hours of Thursday morning (22 August) to rescue two people stranded on an island at the north end of Strangford Lough.

The two adults, a man and a woman, had become stranded on Island Hill, a small island which lies just offshore in Strangford Lough between Newtownards and Comber in Co Down.



The island is accessible on foot at low tide via a concrete causeway connecting the mainland to the small island, but the couple had been cut off when the causeway became submerged due to the incoming tide.



Both were taken on board the lifeboat and taken to a nearby car park where they were they were passed into the care of the local coastguard.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Portaferry RNLI in Co Down had a busy weekend with four separate call-outs over the two days.

The first came on Saturday 6 July following a report that three children were drifting offshore on an inflatable toy.

The volunteer lifeboat crew was already afloat on exercise as part of the annual raft race in Kircubbin, Co Down, when they got a call to go to the aid of the three children aged 10, 11 and 14 who were drifting out to sea on the inflatable 18 miles away at Cloughey Bay.


Thankfully by the time they arrived on scene a local coastguard unit had already attended and brought the three children to safety on shore.

Portaferry RNLI was called out for a second time at 4.10pm to rescue a number of people on board a speedboat that had lost power in Strangford Lough just off Killyleagh.


The crew arrived at the scene at 4.15pm, by which time the 15ft speedboat had already been towed in and was moored at the pontoons at Killyleagh Yacht Club in Strangford Lough.

On both occasions the weather was fine with good visibility and calm seas.
 

Yesterday (7 July) the volunteer crew launched for the third time to assist an injured woman on Salt Island in Strangford Lough.

The crew arrived at the island at 10.10am and assessed the situation before transporting two paramedics from Killyleagh to the injured woman, who was subsequently airlifted by Irish Coast Guard helicopter to Musgrave Park Hospital in Belfast for treatment.


At 11:35am, while returning to the lifeboat station, the crew was alerted once again, this time to go to the aid of two men onboard a five metre Dory that had lost power and was drifting just off Ringhaddy Sound in Strangford Lough.


The crew arrived on the scene at 12.05pm and took the men onboard the lifeboat, towing the powerless boat into Strangford Lough Yacht Club, where the men were then put ashore and their boat tied up.

Elsewhere in Northern Ireland, Newcastle RNLI assisted two men after their motor cruiser ran aground off the Co Down coast last Thursday (4 July).

The volunteer crew launched their inshore lifeboat at 2.20pm following a report from Belfast Coastguard that a small vessel had ran aground off Dundrum Bar with two people on board.

Weather conditions at the time were described as blowing south westerly four to five winds with moderate to choppy seas. There was good visibility.



The lifeboat, helmed by Nathan Leneghan and with crew members Declan Barry and Charles McClelland on board, arrived on scene at 2.30pm, where they observed that one of the men had made it to shore while the other was still on the 5m boat.


Speaking following the call-out, Newcastle RNLI deputy launching authority Joe McClelland said: "Thankfully, no one was in immediate danger and we were happy to bring the vessel and the man who was still on board safely to shore."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Portaferry RNLI launched on Saturday afternoon 15 June to go to the rescue of a small craft which had lost power in Strangford Lough, Co Down.

The volunteer lifeboat crew was alerted at 1.10pm following a call that there was a 5m Dory drifting after its engine had failed.



The lifeboat - helmed by Simon Rogers and with crew members George Toma, Brendan Byers and Ryan Kelly onboard - was launched at 1.20pm and was alongside the stricken vessel just off Gransha Point at 1.34pm.



The weather at the time was a slight swell, light winds and good visibility.



Once alongside, the lifeboat crew found that the Dory was taking on water. The two men were taken onboard the lifeboat and the Dory was towed into Strangford Lough Yacht Club where the men were also left off.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - A collision with a tidal turbine was to blame for the incident that caused the dismasting of a yacht in Strangford Lough on Sunday 9 June.

As reported yesterday on Afloat.ie, Portaferry RNLI's lifeboat crew was dispatched to the stricken yacht in the narrows of Strangford Lough close to the SeaGen water turbine.

The local RNLI press office confirmed that three men and a teenage boy were on board the 37ft yacht at the time - though BBC News says that only three people were rescued, including a child.

The SeaGen installation in Strangford Lough was accredited by Ofgen as Britain's first tidal power plant, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Enniskillen RNLI today (10 June) brought four people to safety in two separate incidents on Lough Erne in Co Fermanagh.

In the first call-out of the day, the volunteer lifeboat crew retrieved a man and women from their stranded cruiser which had developed engine problems and run aground on Lower Lough Erne.

The inshore lifeboat Joseph and Mary Hiley and the Rescue Water Craft (RWC) were launched just before 10am at the request of Belfast Coastguard and made the 25-minute, six-mile journey to the casualty's last known position at Crunnish Island. The wind was coming from the south east, force five with good visibility.

On arrival at the scene, the crew noted the casualties had deployed their anchor and there were strong waves hitting the starboard side of the vessel.

The RWC crew member was transferred to the casualty vessel to reassure the crew and to check for any leakage. Another crew member from the lifeboat was transferred to assist with the tow and to lift the anchor.

The lifeboat established a tow and the vessel was refloated and brought to safety at Tudor Farm jetty, close to the initial location.

Less than three hours later, the inshore lifeboat Jason Logg was launched by request of Belfast Coastguard to rescue two people on a broken-down personal water craft on Upper Lough Erne.

The crew proceeded to the casualty's last known whereabouts at the mouth of Tamlagh Bay, four miles downstream from the station towards Enniskillen.

On arrival, the crew found the troubled vessel in the reeds with two people sitting on it. The crew transferred both passengers onto the lifeboat before setting up a tow and bringing the water craft back to Bellanaleck Marina.

Elsewhere in Northern Ireland, Portaferry RNLI brought three men and a teenage boy to safety yesterday afternoon after their yacht got into difficulty off Portaferry in Co Down.

The volunteer lifeboat crew was alerted just after noon following a mayday call that there was a demasted yacht in trouble on Strangford Lough.

The lifeboat was launched minutes later and was alongside the stricken vessel, a 37ft yacht located in the narrows of Strangford Lough, at 12.10pm. Weather at the time was good with clear visibility and a flat calm sea.

One of the four casualties, who had been thrown from the vessel, had been recovered by a fellow crew member and all four were on board the yacht when the lifeboat crew arrived on scene.

Alongside, there was difficulty recovering the vessel so the mast and sail were cut away. Once cut, the lifeboat proceeded to tow the yacht with it crew on board safely back to Strangford where it was tied to a mooring.

Two of the crew were conveyed to hospital while the other two were made comfortable on the shore.

Portaferry RNLI was requested to launch for a second time later this afternoon following a report that a swimmer had gone missing in Newtownards. The lifeboat having launched was subsequently stood down after the missing person was found safe and well.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Portaferry RNLI is looking for new volunteer crew members to join its search and rescue service in Co Down.

The station currently has 17 lifeboat and two shore crew to cover its inshore service on Strangford Lough but is now calling on new volunteers to come forward and find out how they can get involved in helping the charity continue to save lives at sea.

To that end, the station will be hosting two open days early next month for all interested candidates to learn more.

"We are looking for anyone aged 17 years and over who is willing to offer some of their free time to join what I believe to be, one of the most exhilarating and rewarding voluntary services that is out there," said lifeboat operations manager Brian Bailie.

"Every volunteer receives first class training from the RNLI and learns new skills which can benefit them in many walks of life. Lifeboat crew members need to have a reasonable level of fitness, have good eyesight and not be colour-blind."

He added: "Anyone who would like to volunteer but feels they would not meet the requirements for lifeboat crew should in no way be put off, as shore crew also play an essential role in the launch and recovery of the lifeboat when it goes on service."

For anyone who feels they have the time and commitment to volunteer for the charity which is on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, is asked to email Brian at [email protected].

Alternatively, prospective volunteers can come along to the station’s open days from 7-9pm next Tuesday 7 May or from 2-4pm next Saturday 11 May.

Elsewhere in Northern Ireland, primary school children will have the opportunity to hit the surf with RNLI lifeguards over the next month.

The charity’s ‘Hit the Surf’ programme runs from 7 May to 7 June on the East Strand Beach in Portrush.

Aimed at primary five to seven pupils aged eight to 11, the programme - which is expanding to accommodate more schools this year - gives children a unique opportunity to gain practical lessons in lifesaving and beach safety. All equipment is provided free of charge.

Each session lasts two-and-a half-hours and includes a theory lesson on staying safe at the beach, the role of beach lifeguards and the RNLI, and detailed information on flags and rip currents.

There are practical lessons in lifesaving and surf based skills, while lifeguards aim to build pupils confidence in the sea. Children also learn about the local hazards and the beach environment.

Sessions are still available for schools who want to book pupils in. For more information contact Jessica on 0777 441 4208 or email [email protected]

Last year RNLI lifeguards located on beaches in Co Down and along the Causeway Coast responded to 158 incidents and assisted 176 people who found themselves in difficulty.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Page 6 of 7

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