Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Displaying items by tag: Lough Neagh

Local authorities are investigating after two dogs died following contact with the water at Lough Neagh in Northern Ireland, as BelfastLive reports.

In the separate incidents on Thursday (5 May), a five-month old golden retriever and a 15-month-old cocker spaniel suffered seizures and died within an hour of taking ill after walks by the shore at Rea’s Wood, close to Antrim town.

Following appeals by their devastated owners, a spokesperson for Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council said they are working with them as well as “local vets and our colleagues in DAERA to best establish the full circumstances”.

BelfastLive has more on the story HERE.

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Lough Neagh Sailing Club at Kinnego Marina, Northern Ireland hosted the first 2022 event for the Flying Fifteen class which was designed to support personal development of crews through practise starts followed by a series of races.

Participants were welcomed from Strangford clubs, Belfast Lough and Dublin and Dun Laoghaire. The event took place on Saturday 9 April 2022.

With most crews at Kinnego by 1100 hours boats were set up and tea and scones were consumed while the race organisers monitored the wind and set a beautiful course with a wind axis of 300 degrees and a nice gentle breeze of 4.2knots gusting 7knots. All was well with the world as the crews briefed at 1200 hours.

Upon arrival at the race area however, the beautiful course was found in disarray. The wind which had been at 300 degrees had veered by a full 90 degrees to 060. Mark layers began the process of moving everything from West to East.

By 1317 hours all was in order and the practice starts commenced with crews jostling for starting positions while timing their arrival at the line to coincide with the removal of the starting flag. Crews completed 3 starts with only a little bit of misbehaviour which necessitated the preparatory flag being switched from Papa to black to keep the unruly bunch of sailors in line.

The plan was to run 6 practice starts before the racing began, but the wind had different ideas. It would appear that Brexit or COVID or fuel prices meant that while the order for sun had been delivered in abundance the order for wind was still stuck at a port somewhere, or maybe someone didn’t put enough money in the meter. Either way, after the third practice start the wind dropped to 0 knots gusting 0 knots from a direction of nowhere. And so it began…the Flying Fifteen drifting event in basking April sunshine on the millpond of Lough Neagh.

The patience and the resilience of the sailors was eventually rewarded about 45 minutes later when the wind filled in to the grand sum of 1.7 knots gusting 2.1 and a short course was hastily set with a constantly shifting wind axis causing havoc for mark layers. After 2 laps the course was reset again and a second starting sequence was hastily commenced. Crews headed out for a second race and again completed 2 laps before another wind shift necessitated another course lay to be arranged. The money in the meter clearly ran out again and the guy with his wind machine in Antrim obviously heard the Grand National was on so packed up and headed home. The wind on the course fell again to 0 knots and it was time to call it a day and drift or grab a tow back down Kinnego bay to the slipway and the awaiting BBQ in the club house.

Thanks to all the participants and to the crews afloat and the crews ashore, those who organised and served food and provided so warm a welcome and hospitality for all.

Lough Neagh Commodore (left) presents the prize to David MulvinLough Neagh Commodore (left) presents the prize to David Mulvin

The event was won by the crew of “Ignis Caput” David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne NYC who donated their winning voucher from Sands Marine Chandlery and Boat Supplies to The Lough Neagh Rescue at Kinnego.

Results were as follows

Race 1 – 030 degrees 1.7 knots – 2.2 knots
Boat Name Time Place
Stiflers Mom Sail No 3892 12.35 1
Ignis Caput Sail No 4068 13.46 2
Simply Gold Sail No 4074 14.12 3
Taking it easy Sail No 3963 14.34 4
Phoenix Sail No 4083 15.36 5
Freyja Sail No 3454 17.04 6
Freya Sail No 2290 18.33 7

Race 2 – 000 degrees 2.1 knots – 2.3 knots
Boat Name Time Place
Taking it easy Sail No 3963 12.43 1
Ignis Caput Sail No 4068 12.49 2
Phoenix Sail No 4083 13.16 3
Simply Gold Sail No 4074 13.30 4
Stiflers Mom Sail No 3892 14.17 5
Freya Sail No 2290 16.28 6
Freyja Sail No 3454 17.37 7

Boat Name Points Place
Ignis Caput Sail No 4068 4 1
Taking it easy Sail No 3963 5 2
Stiflers Mom Sail No 3892 6 3
Simply Gold Sail No 4074 7 4
Phoenix Sail No 4083 8 5
Freya Sail No 2290 &
Freyja Sail No 3454 13 6

Published in Flying Fifteen

Fishing crews and sand barges on Lough Neagh were stranded for a number of days recently after faulty sensors caused water levels to drop below the statutory minimum, as BelfastLive reports.

Northern Ireland’s Department for Infrastructure blamed a software update “glitch” for two of the lough’s four measuring stations giving false readings that prompted the sluice gates at Toome to open in the last week of January.

As a result, fishermen in the region lost a week of work as levels fell to 100mm below the minimum, a situation described as “unprecedented”.

“Some of them couldn’t get out to fish and some, when they had been out, had a load on their boats and couldn’t get back into the quay,” said Patsy McGlone, SDLP MLA for Mid Ulster.

Meanwhile, the local fishermen’s cooperative claims the issue was exacerbated by problems getting quays dredged over the last number of years.

BelfastLive has more on the story HERE.

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For a relatively small club, Antrim Boat Club certainly achieved its aim of introducing to sailing and other water sports, many people who had never experienced the sport before – 150.

Antrim Boat Club lies on the northeast shore of Lough Neagh, the largest lake in the UK and Ireland. It is home to Atlantic Challenge NI, a youth organisation that welcomes people from all corners of Northern Ireland. The Club is keen to hold water sporting events and works collaboratively with any group, club, or association to promote water sports activities on Lough Neagh.

The Club's Open Day, says Treasurer and Social Convenor, Therese Toal, was a great success. "Our membership is 140 with applications awaiting approval. We had about 150 visitors and we expect more new members from among them".

The only item that had to be cancelled on the very windy day was the children's Bouncy Castle! But there were ample water activities to interest the many visitors. Attending were Lough Neagh Rescue, Outdoor N I, PGM Training, HM Coastguard, K9 Search and Rescue, Atlantic Challenge NI and the Drascombe Society and on offer was the opportunity to try sailing, kayaking, cruising and paddleboarding. Of particular interest was the Open Water swimming with the Antrim Chilli Dippers.

Various groups including search and rescue agencies attended the ABC Open DayVarious groups including search and rescue agencies attended the ABC Open Day

The success of this Open Day bodes well for the Club as they plan to hold another at the end of September. The dates will be posted on the club Facebook page here

Yesterday (23rd July) Lough Neagh lifeboats were paged in the mid-afternoon by Belfast Coastguard to reports of a Personal Locator Beacon being activated. Lifeboats launched quickly and a search area within the Antrim Bay at the north end of the Lough was identified.

After a short search together with PSNI Helicopter P44 and a local training vessel, a 20ft sailing boat was spotted capsized with two people on board.

The casualty vessel was retrieved and taken back to its mooring on Lough NeaghThe casualty vessel was retrieved and taken back to its mooring on Lough Neagh

Both individuals were pulled from the water into the lifeboats where they were given medical treatment. They were brought ashore for further treatment by the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service. Afterwards, the casualty vessel was retrieved and taken back to its mooring.

Ardboe Point south of Ballyronan on the west side of Lough Neagh was the Lough Neagh Rescue team's call on Friday (2nd July).

A speed boat had broken down about two miles off the Point with five people on board, but as the skipper was able to provide a Lat and Long position it was easier to locate the vessel as the visibility was very poor.

Lifeboats arrived alongside the boat and made sure there were no casualties before towing it to Kinnego Marina at Oxford Island on the south shore of the Lough.

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Shortly before 9 am yesterday, HM Coastguard received a call from a concerned member of the public who had seen a submerged speed boat with potential casualties in the water in Castor Bay in the south east corner of Lough Neagh.

Lifeboats from Lough Neagh Rescue – a voluntary search and rescue organisation based on the shores of Lough Neagh, the largest freshwater lake in the British Isles, quickly made way to the area and found the vessel close to the shore but it had taken on water. On initial search, no casualties appeared to be in the water. The crew moored the lifeboat at a nearby fishing quay and searched the shoreline, where they found parts of the boat with a few other items, including life jackets.

The speed boat was towed to the local fishing quayThe speed boat was towed to the local fishing quay

Further information came from the Coastguard that the occupants of the boat had run aground last night and notified the PSNI but did not contact the Coastguard.

The speed boat was towed to the local fishing quay. Lough Neagh Rescue advises, "If you are out on the water and something like this happens and you don't require emergency assistance make sure and notify the Coastguard".

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Come summer and Lough Neagh Rescue is busy on Northern Ireland waters.

The lifeboat was paged yesterday evening (Saturday 26th June) to a 30ft-cruiser with ten people aboard, six adults and four children, which had broken down near Rams Island.

The mile-long Ram's Island lies about one mile offshore from Lennymore Bay and Sandy Bay on the eastern shore of Lough Neagh, the largest freshwater lake by area in the British Isles at 392 square kilometres.

Lifeboats quickly launched and proceeded to the area where it came across the boat lying west of Rams Island.

Everyone was safe onboard, so a towline was set up and tow commenced to the 60 berth Sandy Bay marina, just opposite the island, where the boat was safely tied up along the jetty.

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In the early evening of last Sunday (20th June) Lough Neagh rescue was tasked to a broken down motorboat with two children, three adults and a dog on board. The vessel had been making its way from Battery Harbour on the west shore of the Lough to Gawley's Gate in the southeast corner.

Lough Neagh is the largest freshwater lake by area in the British Isles at 392 square kilometres.

The Lifeboats launched and searched the broken-down boat in rough conditions and large swells. It had drifted quite a few miles off course. Once located, a crew member went aboard to check on the casualties and transferred one adult onto the lifeboat to be brought to shore.

The other lifeboat rigged a tow and brought the vessel to Maghery in the southwest corner as this was the safest option due to the wind direction and large swells. It was handed over to the awaiting Coastguard team.

Lough Neagh Rescue is a voluntary search and rescue organisation based on the shores of Lough Neagh.

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Lough Neagh Rescue was paged on the 9th April to the aid of a lone yachtsman whose vessel had engine difficulties just outside Kinnego Bay on the southern shore of Lough Neagh in Northern Ireland.

On scene, the lifeboats found the solo sailor safe and well and he was able to continue in his boat for a short time under its own power. He was escorted into Kinnego Bay but a tow was needed when the vessel lost power again at the entrance of the Marina, the largest on the Lough.

The vessel was brought safely to the jetty and moored before the lifeboats were stood down and returned to base.

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Ferry & Car Ferry News The ferry industry on the Irish Sea, is just like any other sector of the shipping industry, in that it is made up of a myriad of ship operators, owners, managers, charterers all contributing to providing a network of routes carried out by a variety of ships designed for different albeit similar purposes.

All this ferry activity involves conventional ferry tonnage, 'ro-pax', where the vessel's primary design is to carry more freight capacity rather than passengers. This is in some cases though, is in complete variance to the fast ferry craft where they carry many more passengers and charging a premium.

In reporting the ferry scene, we examine the constantly changing trends of this sector, as rival ferry operators are competing in an intensive environment, battling out for market share following the fallout of the economic crisis. All this has consequences some immediately felt, while at times, the effects can be drawn out over time, leading to the expense of others, through reduced competition or takeover or even face complete removal from the marketplace, as witnessed in recent years.

Arising from these challenging times, there are of course winners and losers, as exemplified in the trend to run high-speed ferry craft only during the peak-season summer months and on shorter distance routes. In addition, where fastcraft had once dominated the ferry scene, during the heady days from the mid-90's onwards, they have been replaced by recent newcomers in the form of the 'fast ferry' and with increased levels of luxury, yet seeming to form as a cost-effective alternative.

Irish Sea Ferry Routes

Irrespective of the type of vessel deployed on Irish Sea routes (between 2-9 hours), it is the ferry companies that keep the wheels of industry moving as freight vehicles literally (roll-on and roll-off) ships coupled with motoring tourists and the humble 'foot' passenger transported 363 days a year.

As such the exclusive freight-only operators provide important trading routes between Ireland and the UK, where the freight haulage customer is 'king' to generating year-round revenue to the ferry operator. However, custom built tonnage entering service in recent years has exceeded the level of capacity of the Irish Sea in certain quarters of the freight market.

A prime example of the necessity for trade in which we consumers often expect daily, though arguably question how it reached our shores, is the delivery of just in time perishable products to fill our supermarket shelves.

A visual manifestation of this is the arrival every morning and evening into our main ports, where a combination of ferries, ro-pax vessels and fast-craft all descend at the same time. In essence this a marine version to our road-based rush hour traffic going in and out along the commuter belts.

Across the Celtic Sea, the ferry scene coverage is also about those overnight direct ferry routes from Ireland connecting the north-western French ports in Brittany and Normandy.

Due to the seasonality of these routes to Europe, the ferry scene may be in the majority running between February to November, however by no means does this lessen operator competition.

Noting there have been plans over the years to run a direct Irish –Iberian ferry service, which would open up existing and develop new freight markets. Should a direct service open, it would bring new opportunities also for holidaymakers, where Spain is the most visited country in the EU visited by Irish holidaymakers ... heading for the sun!

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