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Dublin Bay Boating News and Information

Displaying items by tag: Carrybridge

An Omagh man who was rescued by the Irish Coast Guard after he was caught in a rip current off a Donegal beach in July has completed the Dublin Marathon in his bare feet to raise awareness of water safety and to raise funds for the RNLI.

A seasoned open water swimmer, Chris Gallagher was visiting Murder Hole Beach when he got caught in a rip current.

“I am an experienced swimmer, having previously been a lifeguard and a world record swimmer as well as swimming all over the world including in Australia but I have never been caught like this before,” he said of his ordeal.

“I wasn’t even 10 metres out into the water when the ferocious rip caught me and threw me about like what I can only describe as being in an industrial washing machine and a racing car at the same time, it was powerful, and I had absolutely no control.

“I felt calm initially as I know how to work my way out of a rip curl as I was caught in Australian waters 22 years ago but nothing I tried worked.

“By the grace of God, a rock was in my grasp as I was being pulled into the rip roaring waters and I managed to get my body out of the water onto that wee rock but I was fighting the waves to stay on as they threw me on and off like a rag doll. I was clinging to the rock for dear life for two hours.”

Given the conditions, the Sligo-based coastguard helicopter Rescue 118 was tasked to the scene and rescued Gallagher from the water.

‘I am an experienced swimmer…but I have never been caught like this before’

Since he was rescued, Gallagher has signed up to be a water safety volunteer with the RNLI with a particular interest in highlighting the dangers of open water swimming.

He has also taken part in a series of inspiring fundraising events with his most recent venture to not only undertake the Dublin Marathon but to do it in his bare feet, which he completed successfully last Sunday (30 October). He also completed the Kerry Hardman Ironman triathlon on his birthday in August and in September a 5k swim of Glencar Lough in Sligo.

To round off his series of events, he is running an Eighties-themed night this Saturday 5 November in the Village Inn in Killyclogher. Proceeds from all events will go to Bundoran RNLI and Lough Erne’s two RNLI lifeboat stations, at Enniskillen and Carrybridge in Northern Ireland.

Speaking of Gallagher’s efforts to raise both funds and water safety awareness, RNLI community manager Nuala Muldoon said: “Chris really is an inspiration and his own rescue story highlights how even the most experienced water users can still find themselves in difficulty.

“We are delighted that he is now promoting water safety and are in awe at how adventurous he has been in setting himself courageous challenges in his pursuit to raise funds.

“Thanks to Chris, the proceeds raised will now power our lifesaving volunteer crews to continue their good work in saving lives both at sea and on inland waters.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels and waterway users on the Erne System in Northern Ireland that the power bollards at the Round ‘O’ jetty and at Carrybridge will be isolated on Friday 4 November for the winter period.

Power will be reconnected at the start of the 2023 boating season, the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways adds.

Published in Inland Waterways

Carrybridge RNLI helms Chris Cathcart and David Reid have served 20 years rescuing those on trouble on Lough Erne in Northern Ireland.

During a recent visit to the station by the RNLI chief executive Mark Dowie, they were presented with medals to thank them for their volunteering service.

Over the past 20 years since the lifeboat station was formed on Upper Lough Erne, Chris and David have been involved in hundreds of rescues involving a wide variety of callouts.

Between the two volunteers, they have attended all manner of shouts on Lough Erne including to people, boats and also stranded animals in distress.

In addition to the helm role, Chris is the lifeboat training coordinator and press officer while David is the inshore lifeboat/launch and recovery plant mechanic. Both are also casualty carers and shore crew.

At a presentation held at the end of the summer, Lord Erne presented 17 of the Carrybridge volunteers with the late Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal. The commemorative medal was created to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and awarded to those crew who had served more than five years with the charity.

Stephen Scott, lifeboat operations manager at Carrybridge RNLI praised Chris and David on their fantastic achievement.

“Chris and David carry a pager at all times and when the alarm goes off whether it be day or night, summer or winter both can be relied upon to respond to go to those in need,” he said. “It was a privilege for the volunteers to also be presented with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal by Lord Erne and his wife.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Carrybridge RNLI’s inshore lifeboat Douglas Euan & Kay Richards was launched on Sunday evening (28 August) at the request of Belfast Coastguard to assess a vessel with two people and a small dog on board, which had run aground on Upper Lough Erne in Northern Ireland.

The volunteer crew launched at 9.40pm headed for the reported location around a mile south of Belle Isle Estate and quickly located the casualty vessel, which had been refloated and taken under tow by a smaller RIB.

As the lifeboat approached both vessels, the tow was stopped to allow the helm and crew to come alongside the casualty vessel. They assessed the situation and the wellbeing of the two people and small dog on board and found they were all OK.

A full check of the casualty vessel was carried out to make sure that there was no water ingress after the earlier grounding, and none was found.

Due to the darkness of the hour, the helm deemed the safest option would be for the lifeboat and its crew to take over the tow, and to bring the vessel back to its private marina some two miles from where it was currently positioned.

The tow was successfully transferred and the lifeboat proceeded in towing the vessel to its private marina. The crew of the RIB were thanked for their assistance and they returned to their own private mooring.

Speaking following the callout, Chris Cathcart, volunteer helm at Carrybridge RNLI advised all boat users: “Before setting out on your journey, please plan your route using the relevant charts and carry out regular checks of your position whilst you proceed.

“Also allow extra time for your journey, due to the evenings getting darker earlier as autumn approaches.

“Have a means of calling for assistance if you find yourself in trouble and have lifejackets for all on board. If you see someone or something 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

Carrybridge RNLI received an unusual request this past Wednesday afternoon (24 August) to assist a cow stranded in the waters of the Erne south of Enniskillen.

The animal was reported by a member of the public to be in the water distressed unable to get out in the area of Tamlaght Bay, between Upper and Lower Lough Erne in Northern Ireland.

Once on scene, the lifeboat crew located the cow which was close to the shoreline but seemed stuck and unable to make it ashore.

Moving closer with care so as not to spook the animal, the crew found that the cow was stick deep in mud with most of her body submerged in the water.

The local PSNI, who were also on Lough Erne that afternoon, arrived on scene to offer their assistance. Both the volunteer lifeboat crew and the PSNI attempted numerous times to assist the cow back to the shoreline but to no avail.

Due to the animal becoming very tired and weak, and starting to shiver, the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) were also requested to attend to offer further help using some of its specialist equipment.

Enquires to locate the owner were made, during which time the lifeboat crew spotted a local farmer feeding animals in another field and made approached him. This farmer was able to alert the cow’s owner.

The NIFRS arrived on scene at the same time as the owner of the cow. The farmer checked the wellbeing of the animal and then set up a halter to assist in the abstraction of the cow from the mud to the shoreline.

The cow was then successfully brought ashore, and after a couple of shaky attempts stood up and proceeded to feed on the grass.

Her owner noted that the cow seemed to be in good health after her ordeal, and with some rest should be back to normal again. He also passed on his thanks to all involved in the rescue.

Speaking following the callout, Stephen Scott, lifeboat operations manager at Carrybridge RNLI said: “I would like to thank the member of the public who raised the alarm, as no one likes to see animals of any kind in danger.

“The swift response by the multi agencies today meant that this callout had a successful outcome for both the cow and the farmer.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

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

The RNLI in Carrybridge and Enniskillen on Lough Erne received a donation of £1500 from Wild Blue Green Yonder following a charity swim around Castle Island in Enniskillen.

The swim was held in September as part of the Festival Lough Erne events and had approximately 30 people in attendance to take part in the 750 metre swim around the island. The group had previously attended an open water swimming course organised by the Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP).

The cheque was presented to Peter Scott from the Lough Erne Fundraising Branch for the Carrybridge and Enniskillen RNLI stations. Peter is also Water Safety Officer for both stations and part of that role is to provide education training around water safety.

Stephen Scott, Lifeboat Operations Manager, at Carrybridge RNLI praised all those who took part in the swim for all their hard work and dedication raising money for both lifeboat stations on Lough Erne. “The funds raised are vital to the continuing work of the RNLI on Lough Erne, both at our Carrybridge and Enniskillen stations, and will assist with future life saving operations. We are delighted to have strong links to the community here in Fermanagh and would wish to record our thanks to Wild Blue Yonder for the donation we have received.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

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

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

A father and son from Bellanaleck are among eight new lifeboat crew members who will carry pagers for the first time this Christmas at Carrybridge and Enniskillen RNLI in Northern Ireland.

As the RNLI continues its Christmas Appeal, Brian and John Sammon — who are ready to swap turkey and pudding for the December waters of Lough Erne — are urging people across Co Fermanagh to help their fellow crew, and the thousands of other volunteer crews carrying pagers over the festivities, to continue their lifesaving work.

It was when 19-year-old John became eligible to become a crew member two years ago that the family duo encouraged each other to join.

Brian says: “I had thought about joining the lifeboat crew at different times over the years because I was so aware of the work of the RNLI and I really wanted to give something back, but it wasn’t until John reached the eligible age at 17 and we saw a recruitment drive for new crew that we encouraged each other to get involved. We attended an open night and it just snowballed from there.”

Having received their pagers in November, Brian and John are now preparing to hear the beeping sound as the request for help comes in for the first time.

“We are excited but also nervous at the same time,” Brian says, “but we are here, and we want to help. That is why we joined; we want to support what is an invaluable service on Lough Erne.”

Among the other new crew members at Carrybridge are Simon Kidney, Matthew Nelson, Simon Carson, Paul McDaid and Cliff Walters, while Richard McFarland has joined the lifeboat crew at Enniskillen.

Richard, who lives in Lisbellaw, has always had a great love for the water but having worked away he couldn’t commit to joining the lifeboat crew until he returned home.

“This is my first Christmas on call,” Richard says, “and I know even over the festive period, our lifesavers are ready to drop everything at a moment’s notice and rush to the aid of someone in trouble on the water…We hope that this year’s Christmas appeal will show people just how tough it can be, but also that with their help we can get so much closer to our goal of saving every one.”

To make a donation to the RNLI’s Christmas Appeal, visit RNLI.org/Xmas

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Dublin Bay

Dublin Bay on the east coast of Ireland stretches over seven kilometres, from Howth Head on its northern tip to Dalkey Island in the south. It's a place most Dubliners simply take for granted, and one of the capital's least visited places. But there's more going on out there than you'd imagine.

The biggest boating centre is at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the Bay's south shore that is home to over 1,500 pleasure craft, four waterfront yacht clubs and Ireland's largest marina.

The bay is rather shallow with many sandbanks and rocky outcrops, and was notorious in the past for shipwrecks, especially when the wind was from the east. Until modern times, many ships and their passengers were lost along the treacherous coastline from Howth to Dun Laoghaire, less than a kilometre from shore.

The Bay is a C-shaped inlet of the Irish Sea and is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and 7 km in length to its apex at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south. North Bull Island is situated in the northwest part of the bay, where one of two major inshore sandbanks lie, and features a 5 km long sandy beach, Dollymount Strand, fronting an internationally recognised wildfowl reserve. Many of the rivers of Dublin reach the Irish Sea at Dublin Bay: the River Liffey, with the River Dodder flow received less than 1 km inland, River Tolka, and various smaller rivers and streams.

Dublin Bay FAQs

There are approximately ten beaches and bathing spots around Dublin Bay: Dollymount Strand; Forty Foot Bathing Place; Half Moon bathing spot; Merrion Strand; Bull Wall; Sandycove Beach; Sandymount Strand; Seapoint; Shelley Banks; Sutton, Burrow Beach

There are slipways on the north side of Dublin Bay at Clontarf, Sutton and on the southside at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, and in Dalkey at Coliemore and Bulloch Harbours.

Dublin Bay is administered by a number of Government Departments, three local authorities and several statutory agencies. Dublin Port Company is in charge of navigation on the Bay.

Dublin Bay is approximately 70 sq kilometres or 7,000 hectares. The Bay is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and seven km in length east-west to its peak at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the southside of the Bay has an East and West Pier, each one kilometre long; this is one of the largest human-made harbours in the world. There also piers or walls at the entrance to the River Liffey at Dublin city known as the Great North and South Walls. Other harbours on the Bay include Bulloch Harbour and Coliemore Harbours both at Dalkey.

There are two marinas on Dublin Bay. Ireland's largest marina with over 800 berths is on the southern shore at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. The other is at Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club on the River Liffey close to Dublin City.

Car and passenger Ferries operate from Dublin Port to the UK, Isle of Man and France. A passenger ferry operates from Dun Laoghaire Harbour to Howth as well as providing tourist voyages around the bay.

Dublin Bay has two Islands. Bull Island at Clontarf and Dalkey Island on the southern shore of the Bay.

The River Liffey flows through Dublin city and into the Bay. Its tributaries include the River Dodder, the River Poddle and the River Camac.

Dollymount, Burrow and Seapoint beaches

Approximately 1,500 boats from small dinghies to motorboats to ocean-going yachts. The vast majority, over 1,000, are moored at Dun Laoghaire Harbour which is Ireland's boating capital.

In 1981, UNESCO recognised the importance of Dublin Bay by designating North Bull Island as a Biosphere because of its rare and internationally important habitats and species of wildlife. To support sustainable development, UNESCO’s concept of a Biosphere has evolved to include not just areas of ecological value but also the areas around them and the communities that live and work within these areas. There have since been additional international and national designations, covering much of Dublin Bay, to ensure the protection of its water quality and biodiversity. To fulfil these broader management aims for the ecosystem, the Biosphere was expanded in 2015. The Biosphere now covers Dublin Bay, reflecting its significant environmental, economic, cultural and tourism importance, and extends to over 300km² to include the bay, the shore and nearby residential areas.

On the Southside at Dun Laoghaire, there is the National Yacht Club, Royal St. George Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club and Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club as well as Dublin Bay Sailing Club. In the city centre, there is Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club. On the Northside of Dublin, there is Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club and Sutton Dinghy Club. While not on Dublin Bay, Howth Yacht Club is the major north Dublin Sailing centre.

© Afloat 2020