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27th February 2016

Trinity Clear at Lagan Head

#Rowing: Trinity’s men’s novice eight were the fastest crew in Race One of the Lagan Head of the River in Belfast today. They had more than three-quarters of a minute to spare over the Queen's University novice eight. Single sculler Christ Beck of Queen’s placed 11th overall.


Lagan Head of the River 2016 - Race 1 2700m at 10:30hrs
RESULTS by Time - Masters handicap not applied
NUMBER Club Class Cox/Steerer Time % of winning
1 129 DUBC C Mens Novice 8+ A McCormack 09:45.4 100.00
2 132 QUBBC A Mens Novice 8+ J Stitt 10:32.9 108.11
3 101 RBAI Mens J18A 4X- N Reid 10:40.0 109.32
4 103 DUBC Mens Intermediate 4+ H Mulvany 10:47.0 110.53
5 105 St Josephs A Mens Intermediate 4+ C R Wanjau 10:49.4 110.94
6 113 Portora Mens J18A 4- C Ross 10:50.2 111.07
7 203 Portora Mens Club 1 2X B Rix 10:59.0 112.57
8 130 DUBC A Mens Novice 8+ C Keogh 11:03.9 113.40
9 102 St Josephs Mens J18A 4X- F Vickers 11:08.4 114.18
10 136 Portora Mens J15 8+ R Farragher 11:08.9 114.26
11 120 QUBBC Mens Senior 1X C Beck 11:15.1 115.32
12 138 Commercial (d ) Mens Masters 4+ J Briscoe 11:25.4 117.08
13 150 St Josephs Mens J16 4+ E Finnegan 11:26.3 117.23
14 116 Commercial Mens J18A 4X+ B McGuinness 11:26.3 117.24
15 202 QUBBC B Mens Club 1 2X M Taylor 11:27.4 117.43
16 133 QUBBC B Mens Novice 8+ A Sloan 11:33.1 118.40
17 131 DUBC B Mens Novice 8+ J Davis 11:33.5 118.46
18 112 Bann Mens J18A 4- A Cochrane 11:33.8 118.52
19 118 Methodist Mens Club 1 4+ A Mawhinney 11:34.1 118.57
20 106 QUBBC Mens Senior 2- D Roy 11:36.6 119.00
21 139 Belfast BC / Commercial / OCBC (e ) Mens Masters 4+ J Malloy 11:38.3 119.28
22 109 Commercial B Mens Senior 2- J Healy 11:44.1 120.28
23 107 Commercial D Mens Senior 2- J A Cash 11:46.0 120.61
24 156 Commercial Womens Intermediate 4+ K Curran 11:47.3 120.82
25 117 Commercial Mens Club 1 4+ S Eustace 11:48.7 121.05
26 176 Broxbourne RC (c) Mens Masters 1X R Shirley 11:52.2 121.67
27 124 Portora Mens Intermediate 1X M Monteith 11:54.5 122.05
28 171 Neptune Mens Novice 4X+ E Power 11:57.5 122.56
29 184 Commercial Womens J18A 4X- G MacNamara 11:57.5 122.57
30 149 Portora Mens J16 2X N Timoney 11:58.9 122.80
31 173 DULBC B Womens Senior 2X A Leahy 12:03.4 123.58
32 143 Commercial Mens J18A 1X E Meehan 12:06.6 124.13
33 126 Bann Mens J18A 2X B McNeill 12:07.0 124.19
34 205 DUBC A Mens Club 1 2X A Merle 12:08.8 124.49
35 110 Commercial A Mens Senior 2- J Forbes 12:09.6 124.63
36 162 Portora Mens Club 1 1X R Ballantine 12:10.0 124.70
37 144 Commercial Mens J18A 1X M Lynch 12:12.0 125.04
38 134 Commercial Mens J18A 2- R Brown 12:12.5 125.12
39 151 Portora Womens J18A 4- L Mulligan 12:15.0 125.55
40 121 QUBBC Mens Intermediate 1X P Martin 12:15.2 125.58
41 155 QUBLBC A Womens Intermediate 4+ G Canham 12:16.0 125.73
42 172 DULBC A Womens Senior 2X G Crowe 12:18.6 126.17
43 227 Portora Womens J15 8+ S Dolan 12:26.2 127.47
44 158 Bann Mens J15 4X+ D Clyde 12:26.6 127.54
45 153 DULBC Womens Intermediate 4+ A Reid 12:27.9 127.76
46 152 Methodist Womens J18A 4- L McIntyre 12:29.7 128.07
47 115 RBAI Mens J18A 4X+ M Honan 12:30.1 128.13
48 125 Portora Mens J18A 2X S O'Hare Smith 12:30.8 128.25
49 204 RBAI Mens Club 1 2X M Gaston 12:43.6 130.45
50 141 Commercial Mens J18A 1X O O'Toole 12:44.7 130.62
51 186 Belfast RC Womens J18A 4X- E Hobson 12:45.9 130.83
52 170 RBAI Mens Club 1 4X+ C Harley 12:51.0 131.71
53 167 Yarm School B Womens Club 1 4+ J Dodds 12:51.4 131.77
54 128 Belfast RC Mens J18A 2X J Moran 12:51.8 131.85
55 108 Commercial C Mens Senior 2- C Kinsella 12:52.2 131.91
56 127 Portadown Mens J18A 2X N Hull 12:56.3 132.61
57 183 Portora (e) Mens Masters 1X G Murphy 12:56.3 132.61
58 200 DUBC B Mens Club 1 2X D Hough 12:56.6 132.67
59 189 Commercial Womens J18A 4X+ S Carpenter 12:56.9 132.71
60 206 QUBBC A Mens Club 1 2X D Beirne 13:01.1 133.43
61 218 Methodist Womens Club 1 4X+ A Lane 13:01.8 133.55
62 178 QUBLBC A Womens Senior 2- R Davidson 13:04.7 134.05
63 212 Portora Womens J16 4X+ J Lunny 13:05.7 134.22
64 146 St Josephs B Mens J16 2X A Daly 13:06.5 134.36
65 164 Portadown Mens Club 1 1X A Laivins 13:07.2 134.48
66 193 Bann Womens J18A 1X H Scott 13:09.4 134.84
67 180 C of Derry (e) Mens Masters 1X G D'Urso 13:10.4 135.01
68 222 QUBLBC B Womens Club 1 2X A Buck 13:10.7 135.07
69 195 Bann Womens J18A 1X F Chestnutt 13:12.3 135.34
70 224 QUBLBC A Womens Novice 8+ A Ellis-Saunders 13:13.4 135.54
71 160 DUBC Mens Club 1 1X S Canning 13:16.9 136.13
72 201 Sligo Mens Club 1 2X M Donohoe 13:21.6 136.93
73 181 Lagan (e) Mens Masters 1X J Phelan 13:21.9 136.99
74 157 Lagan / Belfast BC (c ) Womens Masters 4X- L Venkatraman 13:23.2 137.20
75 226 DULBC B Womens Novice 8+ S Osters 13:24.2 137.38
76 208 LVBC (e ) Mens Masters 2X D O'Hara 13:29.3 138.25
77 225 DULBC A Womens Novice 8+ B Murphy 13:31.9 138.70
78 192 DULBC Womens Intermediate 1X G Foley 13:34.0 139.04
79 191 Yarm School Womens Intermediate 1X E Grant 13:35.6 139.33
80 223 QUBLBC B Womens Novice 8+ A Murdoch 13:38.6 139.83
81 196 Belfast RC Womens J18A 1X L Taylor 13:40.7 140.20
82 190 Bann Womens Intermediate 1X K Shirlow 13:42.1 140.43
83 174 Commercial (c) Mens Masters 1X L Gleeson 13:45.4 141.00
84 232 Bann Womens Club 1 1X A Odonovan 13:45.4 141.00
85 228 Commercial Womens J15 8+ E Walsh 13:45.7 141.05
86 114 Neptune Mens J18A 4X+ J Stapleton 13:48.4 141.51
87 217 Bann A Womens J15 4X+ C Yarnold 13:53.4 142.36
88 161 RBAI Mens Club 1 1X T Lyons 13:54.7 142.59
89 175 Belfast RC (c) Mens Masters 1X J Boomer 13:55.5 142.72
90 123 QUBBC Mens Intermediate 1X R Taylor 13:57.3 143.02
91 211 Commercial Womens J16 4X+ S Pierce 13:57.3 143.03
92 169 Yarm School A Womens Club 1 4+ A Arad 14:02.1 143.85
93 199 Belfast BC (f) Mens Masters 1X S Lockwood 14:06.9 144.67
94 182 Lagan (e) Mens Masters 1X G Reid 14:07.5 144.77
95 147 C of Derry Mens J16 2X A Simpson 14:07.8 144.83
96 215 Bann B Womens J15 4X+ D Whoriskey 14:15.2 146.08
97 188 Portora Womens J18A 2X A McCreesh 14:15.2 146.09
98 194 Belfast RC Womens J18A 1X C Coulter 14:18.0 146.57
99 148 St Josephs A Mens J16 2X Y Xie 14:26.6 148.04
100 221 Portadown Womens Club 1 2X A Martin 14:27.3 148.16
101 185 Portadown Womens J18A 4X- K McCann 14:44.7 151.12
102 159 Methodist Mens J15 4X+ H Adams 14:44.7 151.13
103 166 Belfast RC Womens Club 1 4+ M Cheung 14:46.8 151.48
104 165 Yarm School Mens Club 1 1X A McAllister 14:52.4 152.45
105 142 C of Derry Mens J18A 1X C Baldwin 14:54.8 152.86
106 216 Portadown Womens J15 4X+ R Pinkerton 14:57.3 153.27
107 213 Methodist Womens J16 4X+ M Cawley 15:01.4 153.99
108 210 C of Derry (g ) Mens Masters 2X D Doherty 15:01.7 154.03
109 179 Yarm School Mens J14 4X+ S Graham 15:16.9 156.62
110 214 Belfast RC Womens J16 4X+ S Smith 15:22.1 157.52
111 154 QUBLBC B Womens Intermediate 4+ V Wallace 15:31.3 159.09
112 140 Portadown Mens J18A 1X D Murtagh 15:38.4 160.30
113 231 Portora A Womens J14 4X+ D Duffy 15:46.3 161.65
114 198 C of Derry (d ) Womens Masters 2X N-W Loughlin 15:49.1 162.14
115 219 QUBLBC A Womens Club 1 2X A Foster 16:05.0 164.85
116 230 Portora B Womens J14 4X+ L Bothwell 16:27.9 168.75
117 207 Belfast BC (c ) Mens Masters 2X M Wreathall 16:55.0 173.39
118 234 C of Derry Mens Senior 1X K Doherty 17:18.9 177.46
104 St Josephs B Mens Intermediate 4+ C Finnegan
111 Neptune Mens Senior 2X K Coughlan
119 Belfast RC Mens J16 4X+ B McCaughtry
122 Commercial Mens Intermediate 1X S Connolly
135 DUBC Mens Novice 4+ L Arnold
137 St Josephs Mens J15 8+ B Holland
145 Galway (d ) Mens Masters 4X+ C Moloney
163 DUBC Mens Club 1 1X N Rawlinson
168 DULBC Womens Club 1 4+ C O'Donnell
177 QUBLBC B Womens Senior 2- E Holmes
187 Neptune Womens J18A 2X A Clark
197 Portadown (c) Womens Masters 1X S Laivina
209 Belfast BC (h) Mens Masters 1X H Coppinger
220 Yarm School Womens Club 1 2X E Atherton
229 Yarm School Womens J14 4X+ F Wilmot
233 Portora Womens Club 1 1X A Beacom
Lagan Head of the River 2016 by Belfast Rowing Club
Published in Rowing

Anyone aged between 16 and 28 who would like to sail aboard a Tall Ship is being offered the opportunity by Belfast City Council and Sail Training Ireland. As previously reported, The Tall Ships, “Maybe” and “Morgenster” are the vessels on which voyages between Belfast, Scottish and Irish ports, will be available, as part of Belfast’s Maritime Festival. Applications are invited with a deadline of Friday, March 25.

Published in Tall Ships

#Rowing: Philip Doyle of Queen’s University won the battle of the senior single scullers at the Lagan Scullers’ Head of the River in Belfast. He had just over 17 seconds to spare over Portadown’s Sam McKeown. The fastest crew on the day was the Queen’s University senior men’s quadruple. The event was run in strong winds, but coming from the east, they did not prove to be seriously disruptive. The organisers were pleased that the Ireland under-23 women's group took part and that some junior scullers could compete, as their trials had been cancelled.

Lagan Scullers’ Head of the River, Belfast, Saturday (Selected Results):

Race One

Overall: 1 Queen’s Univ (P Doyle, senior single sculls) 11 minutes 56.2 seconds. 2 Portadown (S McKeown, senior single) 12:13.3, 3 Queen’s (T Oliver, senior single) 12:15.9.

Men – Sculling, Quadruple – Jun 15, coxed: Portora 12:40.5

Double – Jun 16: Portora 13:04. Masters: City of Derry 13:29.8. 

Single – Senior: Queen’s (Doyle) 11:56.2. Jun 18A: Methody (C Macrae) 12:47.2

Women – Sculling – Quadruple – Masters: Lagan Scullers/Belfast BC 15:01.8. 

Double – Jun 18A: Bann 12:55.8.

Single – Intermediate: Belfast BC (O Blundell) 14:09.3. Club Two:  Queen’s (R Brown) 15:01.1. Jun 16: Belfast RC (A Hall) 16:05.8.

Race Two

Overall: 1  Queen’s men’s senior quadruple (Roy) 10:43.6, 2 RBAI men’s sen quad 11:14.1, 3 Queen’s men’s sen quad (Evans) 11:31.0.

Men – Sculling, Quadruple – Senior: Queen’s (Roy) 10.43.6. Jun 16, coxed: Methody 11:56.5.

Double – Jun 18A: Bann 11:51.

Single – Intermediate: Portora (C Laughlin) 12:33.7. Club Two: Belfast RC (T McCaughtry) 12:51.4. Novice: RBAI (T Lyons) 14:57.3. Jun 15: Portora (O Donaghy) 13:59.4.

Women – Quadruple – Jun 16, coxed: Portora 13:44.4. Jun 15, coxed: Bann 14:10.8.

Double – Seniors: Fermoy/Belfast BC 12:53.7.

Single – Jun 18A: Bann (H Scott) 13:45.2. Masters: Belfast BC (U Purdy) 15:15.6.

Race Three

Overall: 1 Methody junior 18A quadruple 10:43.1, 2 Queen’s senior double 10:57.4, 3 Belfast BC, Portadown 11:18.4.

Men, Quadruple – Jun 18A: Methody 10:43.1. Jun 18B, coxed: Methody 12:18.5. 

Double – Senior: Queen’s 10:57.4.

Single – Jun 16: Portora (N Timoney) 13:40.1. Masters: Portora (D Murphy) 13:40.8. 

Women, Quadruple – Jun 18A: Methody 12:48.6

Double – Jun 16: Bann 14:50.9.

Mixed Quad – Portadown 13:40.2.

Published in Rowing

#Belfast - Fans of the recently knighted Sir Van Morrison are mounting a campaign to have a new river bridge in East Belfast named in his honour, as the Belfast Telegraph reports.

The musician grew up close to where a series of new bridge crossings are planned as part of a greenway development in Orangefield along the Connswater, Knock and Loop waterways.

And the first of these, a bridge between Victoria Park and the adjacent Harbour Estate, was already named by popular vote as the Sam Thompson Bridge after the late playwright.

That's prompted fans of 'Van the Man' to call on officials behind the Connswater Greenway scheme to honour the Belfast legend's contributions to music the world over with a bridge in his name, or named after one of his famous songs such as 'Astral Weeks' and 'Moondance'.

The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.

Published in Belfast Lough

#Rescue - Lagan Search and Rescue's RIB is set to return to action this weekend after a crowdfunding campaign helped fund repairs, according to BelfastLive.

As previously reported on, the rescue boat for the Belfast area was forced out of service after vandals pulled a hydraulic ram out of its steering system, causing damage that was "both labour intensive and costly".

But after a crowdfunding effort raised nearly £900 (€1,176) – including a single £500 (€653) contribution – the necessary repairs were made this week, with only stress tests remaining before the Atlantic 21 lifeboat can return to the water.

BelfastLive has more on the story HERE.

Published in Rescue

#Rescue - Lagan Search and Rescue's RIB has been forced out of service after its motor was vandalised, as BelfastLive reports.

Over the weekend team members found that a hydraulic ram had been pulled out of the steering system of the the Atlantic 21 lifeboat, which covers the Belfast area and was docked in a secure marina at the time.

What's more, with the vandals' additional damage to the boat, getting it ready to return to the water will be "both labour intensive and costly", according to a spokesperson for the rescue service.

BelfastLive has more on the story HERE.

Published in Rescue

Work has been carried out at the UK Government–funded search and rescue coordination centre to upgrade the technology and introduce new systems. This means Belfast CGOC will be connected to the National Maritime Operations Centre (NMOC) in Hampshire and other Coastguard stations around the country, which will be able to offer mutual support during busy periods.

Published in Coastguard
Tagged under

#rowingworldmasters – Ireland had an impressive set of wins at the World Masters Regatta, the four-day event which finished today in Hazewinkel in Belgium. There was a notable win in the men’s eight in the E category (average age 55 or more) where the Irish crew beat one of Russia’s best clubs, Dynamo Moscow, by less than a canvas - .31 of a second. The strokeman of the Russian crew, Vitali Eliseev, stroked the World Championship-winning four in 1981. The Irish crew was a composite of Old Collegians, Belfast Boat Club, Neptune, Waterford and Commercial. Denis Crowley – who was in the eight – won single sculls races in three different age categories. 

World Masters 2015

The Irish composite which beat Dynamo Moscow at the World Masters Regatta

World Masters Rowing Regatta, Hazewinkel, Belgium (Ireland Wins):

Men – Eight, E (Average 55 yrs or more): Old Collegians, Belfast BC, Neptune, Waterford, Commercial (John Hudson, Denis Crowley, Gerard Murphy, Michael Heavey, Colin Dickson, Colin Hunter, Francis O’Toole, Donal McGuinness, Al Penkert) 3 min 11.13 (1,000m)

Four, coxed, E (Average 55 yrs or more): Commercial, Belfast, Old Collegians, Waterford. Pair, E: Belfast BC. Pair, D (Avg 50+): Commercial. Pair, F (Avg 60+): Cappoquin.

Sculling – Double, F (Avg 60+): Carlow, Athlone. Single: B (36+), C (43+) and D (50+): Commercial (D Crowley). C (43+): Galway RC (S Heaney). 

Women – Sculling, Single, A (27+): Three Castles (B Quinn).

Published in Rowing

#tallship – The visit of the Tall Ships to Belfast from July 2nd to 5th was anticipated with an enthusiasm which was fully justified by the numbers which became involved. Sixty vessels of all sizes assembled on both sides of the River Lagan in the rejuvenated docklands area and the Titanic Quarter, with a goodly sprinkling of the Class A full-rigged ships dominating the scene. And in a well-organised shoreside transport scheme involving Park & Ride centres in the suburbs, the people were able to get to the clean new quaysides in their thousands, in their tens of thousands, in their hundreds of thousands – indeed, it's reckoned that when those who clustered along the shores of Belfast Lough to watch yesterday's departing Parade of Sail are added in, well over half a million people were involved.

At the many events in Belfast Docks, organisers Sail Training International reported that the number of people making a point of personally going aboard one of the Tall Ships was unprecedented at any port since the international programme was launched way back in 1956, underlining the great interest there is in these ships, and what they do. In future discussions on, we'll be looking at how the success of this event will affect the re-development of a proper sail training programme in Ireland north and south. But for now, with the Sail Training Races 2015 started this afternoon off Portrush on the north coast after the fleet had sailed there from yesterday's departure from Belfast Lough, W M Nixon recalls some memories from the Parade of Sail.

It's something of a triumph of hope over experience expecting to see fleets of Tall Ships becoming veritable Cathedrals of Sail when they're proceeding seaward for their first race after several days of assembling and partying like crazy in some hospitable port. Even with the ten or so miles of open water which Belfast Lough provided before the boats headed into the North Channel yesterday afternoon to proceed to today's start of the Tall Ships first race of the 2015 programme to Alesund in Norway, there's little enough room for the biggest ships to start shaking out the canvas and engaging in anything approaching close quarters manoeuvring.

Then too, in some cases Belfast will have seen crew changes, and the ship's officers – who may themselves just be ever so slightly partied out – will be reluctant to put fresh untested crewmen through all their paces in the first day out, and all of it under observation from boats large and small tearing about the lough on spectator missions.

But even without sail set, the best-looking big ships really are astonishingly handsome. As two of the ports for this year's programme are in Norway, the Norwegians were putting on the style with the presence of three famous full-rigged ships – the Christian Radich, the Sorlandet, and the Statsraad Lehmkuhl. They'll have left Norway in pristine condition, and clearly their crews were determined to keep them that way for the return home, as their square sails remained resolutely neat, tightly furled as a stockbroker's umbrella, with the ships setting only two or three staysails as they proceeded primly down the laugh.

t2.jpgSuperbly presented....but setting no square sails – two of the Norwegian biggies, with Sorlandet in the foreground. Photo: W M Nixon

The elegant stern of the Statsraad Lehmkuhl was a joy to behold Photo: W M Nixon

Fortunately we'd the people's choice star of the show to brighten things, the Ecuadorian ship Guayas, game for anything with all sail eventually set, and the usual vast Latin American ensign flying from the mizzen. Guayas is on her first round the world cruise, and she must have been away from home for quite some time already. Let's put that another way. If any international marine paint manufacturer happens to be reading this, may we suggest that you could do yourself a lot of good in worldwide PR by donating many gallons of fresh white paint to the good ship Guayas. Nevertheless if there was an award for party spirit, Guayas would have won it easily.

In terms of square riggers setting the cloth, once again it was the Dutch who set the pace, this time the most enthusiastic being the Morgenster, which is a favourite among Irish trainees. She had her sails up and drawing while still in the Lagan, and looked the part at every stage.

The popular Morgenster had her square sails set before she cleared the river. Photo: W M Nixon

t5.jpgA Ballyholme Laser sailor takes on the French schooner Etoile – and he kept up with her too.....Photo: W M Nixon

Also quickening many an old salt's heart was the French tops'l schooner Etoile, which with her sister-ship Belle Poule has been sail training French naval cadets for longer than any of us can remember (it's 1932, as it happens) and she continues to be a tidy and manageable size which might be an inspiration for those who think Ireland doesn't absolutely have to have her own Class A vessel.

In terms of vessel numbers, it was of course the smaller fore-and-aft craft which made up the crowd, and observing from aboard the hospitable Peter & Carolyn Minnis's Mitchell 31 powercruiser Blue Echo, our group was particularly taken with the team spirit shown by the cheerful crew on the London-based Oyster 80 Rona II.

As for the presence of the eternal Jolie Brise, those of us who knew that this remarkable vessel was the winner of the first Fastnet Race ninety years ago still find it a wonder to behold the way such a hefty vessel can slip through the water, while those who were seeing the splendid old cutter for the first time were much taken with the Fastnet links.

The eternal Jolie Brise – this winner of the first Fastnet Race ninety years ago continues to impress with her stylish way through the water. Photo: W M Nixon

t7.jpgBack to life – the superbly restored Huff of Arklow revelling in the sailing on Belfast Lough. Photo: W M Nixon

Equally impressive in her way was the restored Huff of Arklow, the Flying Thirty first built by Jack Tyrrell of Arklow in 1951 to an Uffa Fox design, and now brought back to vigorous new life by Dominic Bridgeman and his group down Plymouth way. She's due back in her first home port of Dun Laoghaire on Wednesday to be an adornment of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2015 and we'll look at her in more detail in the near future, but meanwhile rest assured that she cut a real dash in Belfast Lough on Sunday.

And finally, with the fleet now on their way towards Norway from today's start area off Portrush, it was more than appropriate that the last little boat we diverted towards for have a looksee was the classic Greencastle yawl James Kelly, built by Robin Ruddock and his maritime heritage group in Portrush in honour of the great local boatbuilder who, between 1895 and 1910, built many notable craft including three Dublin Bay 21s and seven Howth 17s. The James Kelly is one jaunty little craft, and she was sailing like a witch.

Gallant little boat. The Greencastle yawl James Kelly was brought down from Portrush to salute the Tall Ships on Belfast Lough. Photo: W M Nixon

Published in Tall Ships

#RNLI - The RNLI will have a fully operational lifeboat station in Belfast City from 9am tomorrow 2 July right through to Sunday evening 5 July for the Tall Ships Races.

With up to 750,000 visitors expected in Belfast over the next four days, a number of volunteers from Bangor and Red Bay lifeboat stations will be on call to provide a 24-hour search and rescue service during the event.

The crew will operate from a temporary lifeboat station located in Belfast Harbour Marina and will respond to any emergency on Belfast Lough using an Atlantic 85 relief lifeboat.

During the Tall Ships Parade on Sunday, both the Atlantic 85 lifeboat and an all-weather Trent class lifeboat crewed by Donaghadee RNLI will be operational on Belfast Lough for search and rescue capabilities.

Speaking ahead of the Tall Ships Races, RNLI divisional operations manager Darren Byers said: "For the duration of the weekend and specifically to accommodate the large numbers expected to descend on Belfast to watch the Tall Ships spectacle, the RNLI will be fully operational at the heart of where all the activities will be taking place.

"Belfast RNLI will operate for four days only supported by its nearest lifeboat stations at Bangor and Larne. This means should there be an emergency during the event, we can reduce the time it takes to get on scene while maintaining a business as usual operation at our flank lifeboat stations."

The RNLI will have a significant presence on site throughout the weekend and has been honoured to be chosen by Tall Ships Belfast as one of five key maritime charities to benefit.

As well as a fully operational lifeboat station, the RNLI will have an all-weather Trent class lifeboat afloat which can be viewed from the quayside at Belfast Harbour Marina. Volunteer lifeboat crew will be on hand to answer any questions and to demonstrate how they use the lifeboat for search and rescue.

RNLI lifeguards who patrol 10 beaches in Northern Ireland during the summer season will also be displaying the rescue water craft and lifesaving kit they use.

Visitors to the RNLI areas can also take part in the ‘Get Your Kit on Challenge’. This is a timed challenge that pits members of the public against the clock to see how long it takes them to put on an inshore lifeboat crew member’s full kit: dry suit with yellow wellies, lifejacket with crotch straps and helmet. The lifeboat crew do this in seconds as they race to launch the lifeboat on a callout. 

RNLI community fundraising manager Nicola Kelly is looking forward to the event. "The RNLI is hosting a variety of engaging activities at Tall Ships Belfast and we are honoured to have been selected as one of the official charities to benefit," she said.

"We are looking forward to welcoming visitors to the RNLI areas and hope that in doing so we can provide an entertaining, informative and interesting aspect to the full programme being provided.

"As well as saving lives at sea and on inland waters, the RNLI also provides education along with sea safety advice and demonstrations and we hope spectators can sample a flavour of that this weekend."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Page 2 of 11

The Irish Navy Fleet

The Naval Service is the State's principal seagoing agency. The Naval Service operates jointly with the Army and Air Corps.

The fleet comprises one Helicopter Patrol Vessel (HPV), three Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV), two Large Patrol Vessel (LPV) and two Coastal Patrol Vessels (CPV). Each vessel is equipped with state of the art machinery, weapons, communications and navigation systems.


LE Eithne was built in Verlome Dockyard in Cork and was commissioned into service in 1984. She patrols the Irish EEZ and over the years she has completed numerous foreign deployments.

Type Helicopter Patrol Vessel
Length 80.0m
Beam 12m
Draught 4.3m
Main Engines 2 X Ruston 12RKC Diesels6, 800 HP2 Shafts
Speed 18 knots
Range 7000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 55 (6 Officers)
Commissioned 7 December 1984


L.É. Orla was formerly the HMS SWIFT a British Royal Navy patrol vessel stationed in the waters of Hong Kong. She was purchased by the Irish State in 1988. She scored a notable operational success in 1993 when she conducted the biggest drug seizure in the history of the state at the time, with her interception and boarding at sea of the 65ft ketch, Brime.

Type Coastal Patrol Vessel
Length 62.6m
Beam 10m
Draught 2.7m
Main Engines 2 X Crossley SEMT- Pielstick Diesels 14,400 HP 2 Shafts
Speed 25 + Knots
Range 2500 Nautical Miles @ 17 knots
Crew 39 (5 Officers)


L.É. Ciara was formerly the HMS SWALLOW a British Royal Navy patrol vessel stationed in the waters of Hong Kong. She was purchased by the Irish State in 1988. She scored a notable operational success in Nov 1999 when she conducted the second biggest drug seizure in the history of the state at that time, with her interception and boarding at sea of MV POSIDONIA of the south-west coast of Ireland.

Type Coastal Patrol Vessel
Length 62.6m
Beam 10m
Draught 2.7m
Main Engines 2 X Crossley SEMT- Pielstick Diesels 14,400 HP 2 Shafts
Speed 25 + Knots
Range 2500 Nautical Miles @ 17 knots
Crew 39 (5 Officers)


L.É. Roisin (the first of the Roisín class of vessel) was built in Appledore Shipyards in the UK for the Naval Service in 2001. She was built to a design that optimises her patrol performance in Irish waters (which are some of the roughest in the world), all year round. For that reason a greater length overall (78.8m) was chosen, giving her a long sleek appearance and allowing the opportunity to improve the conditions on board for her crew. 

Type Long Offshore Patrol Vessel
Length 78.84m
Beam 14m
Draught 3.8m
Main Engines 2 X Twin 16 cly V26 Wartsila 26 medium speed Diesels
5000 KW at 1,000 RPM 2 Shafts
Speed 23 knots
Range 6000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 44 (6 Officers)
Commissioned 18 September 2001


L.É. Niamh (the second of the Róisín class) was built in Appledore Shipyard in the UK for the Naval Service in 2001. She is an improved version of her sister ship, L.É.Roisin

Type Long Offshore Patrol Vessel
Length 78.84m
Beam 14m
Draught 3.8m
Main Engines 2 X Twin 16 cly V26 Wartsila 26 medium speed Diesels
5000 KW at 1,000 RPM 2 Shafts
Speed 23 knots
Range 6000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 44 (6 Officers)
Commissioned 18 September 2001


LÉ Samuel Beckett is an Offshore Patrol Vessel built and fitted out to the highest international standards in terms of safety, equipment fit, technological innovation and crew comfort. She is also designed to cope with the rigours of the North-East Atlantic.

Type Offshore Patrol Vessel
Length 90.0m
Beam 14m
Draught 3.8m
Main Engines 2 x Wärtsilä diesel engines and Power Take In, 2 x shafts, 10000kw
Speed 23 knots
Range 6000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 44 (6 Officers)


LÉ James Joyce is an Offshore Patrol Vessel and represents an updated and lengthened version of the original RÓISÍN Class OPVs which were also designed and built to the Irish Navy specifications by Babcock Marine Appledore and she is truly a state of the art ship. She was commissioned into the naval fleet in September 2015. Since then she has been constantly engaged in Maritime Security and Defence patrolling of the Irish coast. She has also deployed to the Defence Forces mission in the Mediterranean from July to end of September 2016, rescuing 2491 persons and recovering the bodies of 21 deceased

Type Offshore Patrol Vessel
Length 90.0m
Beam 14m
Draught 3.8m
Main Engines 2 x Wärtsilä diesel engines and Power Take In, 2 x shafts, 10000kw
Speed 23 knots
Range 6000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 44 (6 Officers)


L.É. William Butler Yeats was commissioned into the naval fleet in October 2016. Since then she has been constantly engaged in Maritime Security and Defence patrolling of the Irish coast. She has also deployed to the Defence Forces mission in the Mediterranean from July to October 2017, rescuing 704 persons and recovering the bodies of three deceased.

Type Offshore Patrol Vessel
Length 90.0m
Beam 14m
Draught 3.8m
Main Engines 2 x Wärtsilä diesel engines and Power Take In, 2 x shafts, 10000kw
Speed 23 knots
Range 6000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 44 (6 Officers)


LÉ George Bernard Shaw (pennant number P64) is the fourth and final ship of the P60 class vessels built for the Naval Service in Babcock Marine Appledore, Devon. The ship was accepted into State service in October 2018, and, following a military fit-out, commenced Maritime Defence and Security Operations at sea.

Type Offshore Patrol Vessel
Length 90.0m
Beam 14m
Draught 3.8m
Main Engines 2 x Wärtsilä diesel engines and Power Take In, 2 x shafts, 10000kw
Speed 23 knots
Range 6000 Nautical Miles @ 15 knots
Crew 44 (6 Officers)

Ship information courtesy of the Defence Forces

About the Irish Navy

The Navy maintains a constant presence 24 hours a day, 365 days a year throughout Ireland’s enormous and rich maritime jurisdiction, upholding Ireland’s sovereign rights. The Naval Service is tasked with a variety of roles including defending territorial seas, deterring intrusive or aggressive acts, conducting maritime surveillance, maintaining an armed naval presence, ensuring right of passage, protecting marine assets, countering port blockades; people or arms smuggling, illegal drugs interdiction, and providing the primary diving team in the State.

The Service supports Army operations in the littoral and by sea lift, has undertaken supply and reconnaissance missions to overseas peace support operations and participates in foreign visits all over the world in support of Irish Trade and Diplomacy.  The eight ships of the Naval Service are flexible and adaptable State assets. Although relatively small when compared to their international counterparts and the environment within which they operate, their patrol outputs have outperformed international norms.

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