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Displaying items by tag: Northern Ireland

#CoastalNotes - Professional snowboarder Aimee Fuller tells the Guardian about her favourite attractions around the coast of Northern Ireland.

From the new Titanic Belfast centre to the city's renowned St George's Market, the spectacular views of Belfast Lough from the top of Cave Hill, peaceful lough-side walks in Holywood and surfing in Portrush, the English pro - who moved to NI in her teens - shows there's a lot to love about her adopted home.

Meanwhile, at the opposite end of the island of Ireland, West Cork is hailed as "a perfect place to sea-kayak, relax and drink in nature", according to the Wall Street Journal - whose writer Javier Espinoza paddles out on a coastal tour with Atlantic Sea Kayaking.

Though the area is tinged with tragedy - after last year's loss of five fishermen with the sinking of the Tit Bonhomme - there is respect and admiration for the sea, especially on a calm day when kayakers can glide from shipwrecks to forests to bird sanctuaries in a single excursion.

Published in Coastal Notes

#LoughNeagh - Northern Ireland's Agriculture Minister has rejected claims that she has ignored the findings of a working group on the future of Lough Neagh that were submitted a year ago.

As previously covered on Afloat.ie, the report considering the future of the largest of Ireland's inland waterways has sat on minister's shelves in Stormont for almost 12 months, with fears mounting that its recommendations will never be made public.

But the Belfast Telegraph reports that Minister Michelle O'Neill has hit back at criticism from DUP members of the NI Assembly who accused her of having "buried" the report because it did not gel with her department's plans to take the lough into public hands.

"I think that there is a certain wee bit of paranoia there," said the minister regarding the DUP's comments.

She also said that her "sole focus throughout all this work has been on unlocking the potential of Lough Neagh", adding that she had only recently been presented with new research commissioned by Culture and Leisure Minister Caral Ni Chuilin that would add context to last year's working group findings.

The Belfast Telegraph has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways

#RNLI - Enniskillen RNLI will host the revived Castle Island charity swim and family fun morning in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh on Sunday 11 August.

The swim traditionally took place each year with the support of the Blake family.

And Enniskillen RNLI have hailed as a "great honour" the opportunity for its local volunteer crew to revive the swim in association with sponsors Blakes the Hollow, Western Cars and The Print Factory.



The 750m swim on Lough Erne is open to swimmers of all ages either individually or in small groups such as youth clubs, sports clubs or simply groups of friends.

Enniskillen RNLI says the emphasis for this swim is for everyone to have fun and for that reason, if required, novice swimmers may complete the swim in a well-fitted lifejacket or buoyancy aid but must be confident that they can complete the distance. 



Lifeboat crew not swimming themselves will also be present on the day to provide safety cover for the event.



Registration for the swim will take place at 12 noon on the day, followed by a short safety briefing. Sponsorship forms are available by email or can be collected at The Wig & Crown, Blakes the Hollow and Western Cars. For further information contact Adrian at 07974 730456.

In other news, RTÉ Radio 1’s The Business will broadcast live from Bundoran RNLI lifeboat station this Saturday morning 3 August.

The focus of the show will be on the business of Bundoran being a seaside resort - a reputation the Donegal town has enjoyed for more than two centuries. 

Speaking ahead of his visit, programme host George Lee said: "I'm really looking forward to broadcasting from Bundoran, particularly on a bank holiday weekend. I'm hoping to experience lots of surfing, slots machines and ice-creams.

"On the show we'll be looking back at the heyday of the dancehalls, we'll be joined by Bundoran regular Ramona Nicholas from Dragon's Den, we'll be speaking to two men making money from oil exploration and lots, lots more."


The Business is broadcast Saturday morning at 10am on RTÉ Radio 1.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#Fishing - "Absolutely hammered" is how a Carlingford Lough oyster farmer describes the state of his business after £350,000 (€404,000) worth of his stock was destroyed by a virus in the recent heatwave.

And as the Belfast Telegraph reports, Darren Cunningham now fears financial ruin after at least 80% of his juvenile oysters were wiped out by the ostreid herpes virus, which kills the shellfish when the water temperature rises above 16 degrees.

Unfortunately for Cunningham and fellow oysterman Harold Henning, who fears a total loss of his young oysters, Stormont has no compensation scheme in place for lost stocks in Northern Ireland.

The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing

#Angling - Almost one in every 10 people in Northern Ireland went fishing in the last 12 months - but 70% of NI residents said they had no interest in the sport.

These statistics were among the key findings in a new report on attitudes to angling by adults in Northern Ireland, using data from the Northern Ireland Omnibus Survey conducted this past April.

As the Belfast Telegraph reports, among the other findings were that almost a fifth of the population used to go fishing but no longer so do, while some 4% of the populace have never fished before and would like to try.

Most respondents cited their lack of interest in putting them off angling as a pastime, while 19% said they did not have enough free time.

But 12% said better information on how to fish would encourage them to take out a rod and reel.

The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.

Published in Angling

#WaterSafety - Four more people have drowned in separate incidents around Ireland as the heatwave continues.

As RTÉ News reports, a 24-year-old man died while swimming in the sea near Ardara in Co Donegal yesterday afternoon (20 July).

Later, the body of a second victim was recovered from the Shrule River in Newtownstewart, Co Tyrone after getting into difficulty.

A third man in his 60s is was drowned after failing to return from a swim in a quarry near Carrick-on-Suir. His body was recovered earlier today.

The tragedies follow news of a 19-year-old who drowned while swimming with friends in Lough Leane in Killarney on Friday evening (19 July).

And a woman in her 30s was lucky to be rescued after getting into difficulty swimming in the River Nore near Kilkenny. She is currently in a serious but stable condition in hospital.

Irish Water Safety have renewed their appeal for the public to take extra care when taking to the water during this extraordinary hot weather that had already claimed seven lives as of Thursday last.

Published in Water Safety

#WaterSafety - Water safety chiefs have yet again underscored the dangers of swimming in unsupervised areas after a teenager drowned in Co Derry yesterday afternoon.

The Irish Times reports that the 15-year-old boy was airlifted to hospital by police helicopter after getting into difficulty when he fell into the River Roe.

The as yet unnamed teen is the seventh drowning victim on the island of Ireland during the current heatwave.

Last week alone saw five drownings of young people, prompting Irish Water Safety CEO John Leech to make a public appeal for awareness of the dangers of swimming in areas without lifeguards, especially in open water.

“One of the reasons we’re losing all these youngish people is because a whole generation haven’t learned to swim in open water,” said Leech, who added that 32 per cent of victims have consumed alcohol.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Water Safety

#BelfastLough - A 31-year-old man from Newtownabbey has been fined a total of £600 (€697) for assaulting a police officer and exposing himself at a beach on the shores of Belfast Lough.

As UTV News reports, Belfast Magistrates Court heard that Robert John Stewart was "stoned out of his head" during the incident at Hazelbank Park in which he winded one PSNI officer and dropped his shorts to others when he ran away to the nearby beach.

His defence lawyer told the judge that he "unreservedly apologises" for his behaviour in what was "a drunken episode".

UTV News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Belfast Lough

#RNLI - RNLI Bangor's lifeboat launched at 4pm on Friday (12 July) to assist with the medical evacuation of an unconscious sailor from a 26ft yacht.

Within minutes of the rescue pagers being activated, volunteer crew had the lifeboat launched and quickly located the yacht in Ballyholme Bay, on the southern shores of Belfast Lough.

Crews from other vessels in the vicinity also quickly responded to the Mayday call; they had been able to come alongside the yacht and had administered first aid to the injured sailor. Once medically stabilised, the sailor was taken onboard the Bangor lifeboat.

Fine weather conditions allowed the lifeboat to proceed at full speed back to Bangor, were the injured sailor was transferred into the care of waiting paramedics.

Dr Iain Dobie, a volunteer crewman with RNLI Bangor, praised the actions of all crews involved.

"When the call for help went out we are pleased that crews from other vessels close by had quickly responded and provided vital medical assistance. They did a fantastic job, by the time we arrived the gentleman was conscious."

He added: "We all wish him a full and speedy recovery."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#Angling - The use of prawns and shrimp as bait in salmon angling could be banned in Northern Ireland under proposed restrictions on salmon and sea trout fishing, as Farming Life reports.

Aside from the bait regulations, Stormont is also putting forward a ban on commercial salmon netting and the introduction of a catch-and-release scheme for sport anglers in an effort to reverse dwindling salmon numbers in Ulster's inland waterways.

The moves come following an earlier voluntary ban on offshore salmon fishing in an effort to bolster wild salmon stocks which were last year feared to be "around dodo levels".

Similar restrictions were proposed this year for the River Suir - although anglers in Enniscorthy won support from Inland Fisheries Ireland last year in their call to lift a shrimp bait ban on their downstream fishery on the River Slaney.

Ulster Angling Federation chair Jim Haughey has urged angling club officials across Northern Ireland to study the consultation document published by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure with a view to making informed submissions on the proposed changes.

Farming Life has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Angling
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