Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Displaying items by tag: Strangford Lough

#RNLI - The volunteer lifeboat crew at Portaferry RNLI responded to a launch request from the coastguard yesterday morning (Saturday 30 April 2016) to assist two men on board a yacht stranded on rocks in Strangford Lough, Co Down.

Portaferry's inshore Atlantic 85 launched at 9.22am and the volunteer crew were quickly on scene at Long Rock, just off East Down Yacht Club, 10 minutes later.

Weather conditions at the time was cloudy with good visibility, a Force 3 north westerly wind and calm sea.

When the RNLI crew arrived, they fixed a line to the 28ft yacht and towed it off the rocks.

Once their yacht was free, the two men on board proceeded to East Down Yacht Club accompanied by the Portaferry lifeboat crew, who remained with the yacht until it was safely returned to the pontoons at the yacht club.

After the callout, Portaferry RNLI lifeboat operations manager Brian Bailie said: "It has been a busy few months for the crew in Portaferry and we were delighted to have been able to assist these two men who had run into some difficulty.

"We are now entering our most busy time of year and we would urge everyone taking to the water to make sure that they prepare properly and check that all equipment is tested and in good working order."

The RNLI offers sea safety advice online at RNLI.org/RespectTheWater

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#Diving - The UK Coastguard received a call just after 4.10pm yesterday afternoon (9 April) from a member of public reporting that a diver had not surfaced as expected in Strangford Lough near Ringhaddy, Co Down

Coastguard rescue teams from Portaferry and Bangor, the Portaferry RNLI lifeboat, the PSNI helicopter and the Irish Coast Guard's Rescue 116 helicopter based at Dublin were all sent to the area for the search.

Luckily the diver was found on the shore by local residents shortly after the coastguard were altered.

The Irish Coast Guard helicopter landed, with assistance from the UK Coastguard rescue teams. The diver was checked over by the on-board paramedic and after advice from a specialist doctor the diver was given the all-clear and allowed to make his own way home.

Graham Edgar, senior maritime operations officer with Belfast Coastguard, said: “This is a great outcome for all involved, the other diver’s in the group did exactly the right thing, they called us as soon as they realised he was missing.

"Fortunately the diver was found safe and well. We would urge all divers, as this diver did, to let someone know where they are planning to dive, when they are planning to come back and if possible dive within a group.

"Also keep a close eye on the weather and sea conditions and always dive within your limits."

Published in Diving

The revival of Portaferry in Strangford Narrows as a mid-summer focal point for classic and traditional sail afloat, combined with traditional music and festivities ashore, is set to take place from Thursday June 16th to Sunday June 19th this year with the newly branded and re-vamped Portaferry Sails & Sounds Festival 2016 writes W M Nixon

Time was when the highlight for traditional sailors at Portaferry, where the tides sluice with some strength in and out of Northern Ireland’s saltwater lake of Strangford Lough, was racing by restored Galway hookers - they came north in substantial numbers in late June from their home ports in the greater Dublin area. But it is the new Dublin-Galway motorway – of all things - which has seen numbers of traditional craft around Dublin Bay decline as they migrated back to their newly-accessible true heartlands around Galway Bay, such that now if you want to be sure to see hookers - including many Dublin-owned ones - racing in strength, you need to go Macdara’s Island off Connemara for St MacDara’s Day – July 16th – or to Kinvara at the head of Galway Bay for Cruinniu na mBad, which in 2016 is August 19th to 21st.

Golden Nomad Master Frank2
Alan and Irene Aston’s Cornish Crabber Golden Nomad in Portaferry Marina, while beyond with bowsprit housed is Joe Pennington’s famous Manx Longliner Master Frank

But there are other places in the Irish Sea where traditional craft and interesting old gaffers are to be found, notably in North Wales and particularly in the Isle of Man, where Joe Pennington has restored the last Ramsey Longliner – Master Frank – into superb sailing conditions, while Mike Clark continues to maintain the Manx nobby White Heather under her classic labour-intensive lugger rig.

Naomh Cronan3
Naomh Cronan in Portaferry Marina

As well of course, the big Clondalkin-originated Galway Hooker Naomh Cronan continues to make the Irish Sea her home base, sailing from Poolbeg in Dublin, and there’s an increasing number of classic restored gaff yachts at many centres all round the Irish Sea and the Firth of Clyde, which link together through the Old Gaffers Association. This will provide a real increase in the fleet which this year will make Portaferry a major happening again, the interest further heightened by the presence of Strangford Lough’s fleet of nine-plus Iain Oughtred-designed four-oared skiffs, which have a regular racing programme in the lough.

Strangford skiff4
The Strangford Village Rowing Club’s skiff in action at their home port, with Portaferry just across the narrows. Photo: W M Nixon

Ocean Dove5
Gary Lyons’ ketch Ocean Dove in party mode in Portaferry Marina

Stu Spence6
Adrian “Stu” Spence, one of the main movers and shakers behind the new-look Portaferry Sail & Sounds 2016 in June.

The two powers in the land who are making sure it all takes off are Garry Lyons of the Northern Ireland Old Gaffers Association, skipper of the vintage ketch Ocean Dove, and another northern sailor, the legendary Adrian “Stu” Spence, who in 2014 finally parted from his incredibly old Pilot Cutter Madcap (she may have dated back as far as 1873), which over many seasons he’d cruised to places as distant and different as Greenland and Spain.

In the Autumn of last year he came into Poolbeg with his new Mediterranean-acquired vessel, a rakishly clipper-bowed Vagabond 47 ketch which Skipper Spence currently refers to as “The Love Boat” – we look forward to learning of the official name in due course. The new ship was in Poolbeg in order to access the specialist talents whom Stu Spence has got to know during his long years with the Old Gaffers, in order to make the big ketch fit for anything before she finally goes on to her home mooring at Ringhaddy in Strangford Lough, and she’ll admirably fulfill the role of one of the flagships for Portaferry Sails and Sounds in June.

love boat7
Stu Spence currently refers to his newly-acquired Vagabond 47 ketch – seen here in Poolbeg Marina – as “The Love Boat”. Photo: W M Nixon

Run jointly by the Northern Ireland Old Gaffers Association and Portaferry Sailing Club, Portaferry Sails & Sounds 2016 promises the perfect mixture of sport and spectacle, sailing and singing, and dancing and divilment to make the Midsummer Weekend pass merrily in the classic and traditional style.

White Heather8
Mike Clark’s traditionally-rigged Manxy Nobby White Heather from Peel is expected in Portaferry in June

Published in Historic Boats

#TurbineToGo - A tidal energy turbine is to be removed from Strangford Lough, Co. Down, reports BBC News.

The SeaGen turbine was lowered into place in 2008 (see report photo) and generates electricity from tidal currents.

Two horizontal axis turbines are anchored to the seabed and are driven by the powerful currents resulting from the tide moving in and out.

Its owners Atlantis Resources (only since July, 2015) said it will be decommissioned later this year.

The company said it had been "an essential research and design platform".

Stephen Ward, the firm's director of power generation, said: "This year, we will embark on the next stage of the R&D (research and development) process and focus on decommissioning the SeaGen device.

"This operation will be the first commercial scale turbine development to be decommissioned and will help us to understand the complete life-cycle of a tidal stream development."

Published in Power From the Sea

Strangford Lough will stage the coastal rowing Skiffie World Championships  2016 this July.

Canada, England, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Tasmania, USA, Wales will bring a truly international flavour to the six day rowing event featuring 22ft, traditionally styled, wooden St Ayles skiffs, rowed by teams of four people plus cox.

Strangford Lough and Lecale Partnership, Scottish Coastal Rowing Association, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council and Ards and North Down Borough Council will welcome the coastal rowers to Strangford Lough from 24 -30 July 2016

All of the St Ayles’ skiffs have been built within their communities, thanks to a system that allows even non specialist boat builders to produce a high specification, traditionally styled wooden, racing boat.

Each boat has its own colours and names that are evocative of their home-places. The building of them brought people together from all walks of life and of all ages. They symbolise the bonds that have been forged between people within communities and now through competition the shared maritime heritage that binds coastal people the world over.

County Down has become a centre for coastal rowing with seven clubs already established long the coast, from Donaghadee to Dundrum, and others being set up. 

Published in Coastal Rowing

#BusCrash - HM Coastguard teams from Bangor and Portaferry were on the scene at Strangford Lough this morning (Wednesday 9 December) after a bus crashed from Portaferry Road onto the beach below.

No passengers were on board when the Ulsterbus crashed through a wall on the road outside Newtownards in Co Down just before 6.55am.

The driver was taken to hospital as workers cleared debris from the road and raced to recover the bus from the beach before high tide, as the Belfast Telegraph reports.

The Northern Ireland Environment Agency also sent officers to the scene to check for any pollution that may have occurred. The PSNI and ambulance service were also in attendance.

Published in News Update

#FerryNews - Proposals to adjust the Strangford Lough ferry timetable are now under public consultation, as the News Letter reports.

The new schedule for October to April would see the cancellation of the last sailings from Strangford (at 10.30pm) and Portaferry (10.45pm), meaning both directions would see the last boat leave 30 minutes earlier on weekdays and Sundays.

However, the plans also see an additional year-round morning sailing from Portaferry to Strangford on weekdays at 7.20am.

The News Letter has more on the story HERE.

Published in Ferry

#DiamondOnStrangford - 'Diamonds' the title to a track that would be familiar to worldwide fans of singer Rihanna, though less known was yesterday's visit of Ocean Diamond to Strangford Lough,Co. Down, writes Jehan Ashmore.

This was understood to be Ocean Diamond's maiden visit to the north under the operation of Quark Expeditions, whose fleet of small ships specialise in Arctic and Antarctic adventure style cruising.

She made a transit through the scenic 'Narrows' as the name suggest is located between the stretch of water between the open sea and lough. Also along these shores is where the villages of Strangford and Portaferry face each other and are connected by car-ferry.

The expedition-polar cruiseship equipped with Zodiacs stowed at the stern then proceeded into Strangford Lough to anchor off the southern side of the scenic shoreline. The lough represents the largest inlet of either these Atlantic Isles, covering 150 km².

The blue hulled livery of Ocean Diamond had previously been an all-white affair commonplace with cruiseships when she was the La Diamant. Arguably she was better known in Irish waters when she held the name Song of Flower.

On Tuesday the 8,482 tonnes Ocean Diamond also made her maiden call to Waterford City where she berthed at the crystal city albeit on the north quays of the Suir. It is understood this was the second out of 18 callers due this season.

The Irish connection with the ship continues in the form of Quark Expeditions new loyalty program marketed as The Shackleton Club. The choice of the club's name is in honour of one of Antarctica's greatest explorers, and created to inspire guests to keep on cruising.

Ocean Diamond in exterior design terms is more that of robust looking super-yacht, and one of the largest of Quark's small expedition ships. She has a maximum of 189 passengers, and with two stabilizers and an ice-strengthened hull, the 1974 built vessel is suited for polar expeditions.

According to Quark, she is one of the newest, fastest, and most eco-friendly ships in Antarctica. There are 101 designed cabins and suites, all with exterior views, and expansive common spaces, a club lounge, and a spacious restaurant.

The ship offers numerous adventure options, plus on-board features such as interactions with photography instructors. After a full day of exploration, passengers can relax, browse books or DVDs in the polar library, or enjoy stunning polar scenery from the sun-lit, panoramic observation lounge.

The marketing publicity for the Ocean Diamond says her passengers travel to one of the world's most remote destinations will also do so in a "greener" fashion. That is to say that Ocean Diamond is the first ship in Antarctica, and in polar travel history, to offer certified CarbonNeutral® voyages.

Published in Cruise Liners

#MarineWildlife - Northern Ireland acted too slowly to protect endangered horse mussels in Strangford Lough, according to a new report.

The findings by the Northern Ireland Audit Office, as the News Letter reports, have damned Stormont's failure to ensure proper implementation of various plans to protect the mussel reefs since the 1980s.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, it's not the first time the NI government has been criticised for inaction over the protected shellfish species.

A study from Queen's University Belfast in 2011 revealed the extent of damage to their habitat by commercial fishing.

Since then, the lough has faced the additional threat of the invasive Japanese sea squirt.

A revised restoration plan was drawn up in 2012 between the Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (Dard) and the Department of the Environment (DoE), which share responsibility for Strangford Lough.

But the European Commission is taking seriously previous complaints made against Stormont by the Ulster Wildlife Trust, with the potential for millions in fines to be levied if any future complaint is upheld.

The News Letter has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#CoastalNotes - The history of Strangford Lough stretching back some 10,000 years is the subject of a 'spiritual motorcycle journey' by local writer Peter Moore, as the News Letter reports.

Moore, a motorbike enthusiast and archaeology graduate, hopes his new book, Valhalla and Fjörd, will inspire others to "further explore the area and enjoy the stories" relating to the "wonderful history in and around" the scenic lough.

“At the start of this journey I was unaware of just how much history there was to uncover around Strangford Lough and the fascinating stories of those that lived here over the past 10,000 years," he says of his project, which he hopes to be the first in a series of books.

Moore's journey took him on his restored Triumph motorcycle via old monastic sites, ruined abbeys and churches and other unmarked settlements around the shores of the Co Down inlet, which takes its name from the Norse for 'strong ford' after its powerful tidal currents.

The News Letter has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes
Page 4 of 8

Dublin Port Information

Dublin Port Company is currently investing about €277 million on its Alexandra Basin Redevelopment (ABR), which is due to be complete by 2021. The redevelopment will improve the port's capacity for large ships by deepening and lengthening 3km of its 7km of berths. The ABR is part of a €1bn capital programme up to 2028, which will also include initial work on the Dublin Port’s MP2 Project - a major capital development project proposal for works within the existing port lands in the northeastern part of the port.

Dublin Port has also recently secured planning approval for the development of the next phase of its inland port near Dublin Airport. The latest stage of the inland port will include a site with capacity to store more than 2,000 shipping containers and infrastructure such as an ESB substation, an office building and gantry crane.

Dublin Port Company recently submitted a planning application for a €320 million project that aims to provide significant additional capacity at the facility within the port in order to cope with increases in trade up to 2040. The scheme will see a new roll-on/roll-off jetty built to handle ferries of up to 240 metres in length, as well as the redevelopment of an oil berth into a deep-water container berth.

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Car Brands

subaru sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton dob
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

quantum sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating