Displaying items by tag: Northern Ireland
Senior RNLI lifeguard Gordon Clark was patrolling busy Castlerock beach when at he noticed a person in the water waving for help a short distance to the right of the flagged zone on the beach around 5.30pm.
The family of six – including a man, woman and four children – were all on bodyboards when they got caught in what appeared to be a flash rip, a strong current running out to sea.
After radioing for assistance, Clark swiftly entered the sea with a rescue tube. He was quickly joined in the rescue operation by his RNLI lifeguard colleagues Jenny Thompson and Ray Cunningham.
Clark and Thompson proceeded to safely ferry the children, followed by their parents, to the shore, where they were checked over to ensure they hadn’t taken on any water. All were safe and well.
Speaking following the rescue, Mike Grocott, RNLI lifeguard manager for Northern Ireland, said: "Rip currents often catch people out because they can be difficult to spot, and research shows that most people don’t know how to identify one. They are a major cause of incidents that the RNLI’s lifeguards deal with each season.
"Anyone who gets caught in a rip should try to remain calm, raise their arm in the air to signal for help like the family member did today. If they feel they can swim, they should swim parallel to the beach until free of the current, and then head for shore."
With temperatures expected to soar this week, Grocott reminded people to be mindful of the RNLI’s key safety recommendations – choose a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags, which mark the safest area to swim and are an indicator that lifeguards are on duty.
As The Irish Times reports, remarkable finds such as two-century-old clams and oysters, an endangered sailfin roughshark, a massive sponge and a giant hydroid - a rare relation to jellyfish and coral - were among the marine wildlife recorded by researchers on the RV Celtic Explorer in the Whittard Canyon on the Irish Atlantic margin.
Dr Louise Allcock of NUI Galway, who led the Marine Institute team on the ocean survey, said it was "part of an ongoing effort to understand Ireland's deep-sea biodiversity".
In a similar process to that used by the group who made new marine discoveries at Rockall recently, the Marine Institute team used a submersible remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to collect images and samples from the ocean chasm that's twice as deep as the Grand Canyon.
Some of those samples may aid in antibacterial and pharmaceutical research, the team explained.
The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.
In other marine wildlife news, the Belfast Telegraph fears that "chilly seas" could be keeping basking sharks at bay from Northern Ireland's waters, as the first sighting of the year was recorded last month.
Reports from various sources indicate that water temperatures are 2 to 3 degrees lower than normal for this time of year, inhibiting the blooming of plankton that are the main source of food for the second-largest fish in the sea.
And the numbers say it all, with the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) confirming only 19 sightings of basking sharks around the island of Ireland as of the end of May this year, compared to 84 in the same period in 2012 - although more were spotted earlier this month off Malin Head, as the video below shows:
As the Irish Examiner reports, Minister Pat Rabbitte revealed the significant figure in a written response to a Dáil question by Tommy Broughan TD, who requested a breakdown of the number of people participating in all forms of angling in the State.
The minister went on to confirm that the angling industry "sustainably supports more than 10,000 jobs... particularly in the West of Ireland".
Minister Rabbitte's announcement comes ahead of the pending publication of an Inland Fisheries Ireland study on Ireland's angling sector. Afloat.ie will have the latest on that when it appears.
Elsewhere in Ireland, the Belfast Telegraph reports that a man has been found guilty of a number of fisheries offences at Belfast Magistrates' Court.
Derek Ferguson of Larne was fined a total of £225 (€265) for unlicensed angling, unauthorised entry to fisheries and using unlawful angling methods.
The volunteer crew launched their inshore lifeboat Hannahbella Ferguson following a request by Belfast Coastguard at 10.35pm to go to the assistance of a person who was spotted lying face down in the sea within 200 metres from the shore in Larne Lough.
Weather conditions at the time were good with a flat calm sea but light was fading.
The lifeboat - helmed by Willie Evans and with crew members Dave Somerville and Pamela Dorman onboard - arrived on scene at 10.41pm and pulled the casualty on to the lifeboat. With the man not breathing, two crew members proceeded to perform CPR and resuscitated the casualty.
The helm brought the lifeboat into a small slipway along the promenade which was accessible due to a high tide. The casualty was subsequently handed over to the waiting paramedics and ambulance.
Speaking after the call-out, Larne RNLI helm Willie Evans praised the crew who he said had worked together to resuscitate the casualty and bring him to shore.
The volunteer lifeboat crew was alerted at 1.10pm following a call that there was a 5m Dory drifting after its engine had failed.
The lifeboat - helmed by Simon Rogers and with crew members George Toma, Brendan Byers and Ryan Kelly onboard - was launched at 1.20pm and was alongside the stricken vessel just off Gransha Point at 1.34pm.
The weather at the time was a slight swell, light winds and good visibility.
Once alongside, the lifeboat crew found that the Dory was taking on water. The two men were taken onboard the lifeboat and the Dory was towed into Strangford Lough Yacht Club where the men were also left off.
# ROWING: Rowing Ireland has announced the appointment of Gordon Reid as a full time Belfast-based Club and Coach Development Officer.
Reid will be responsible for leading the development and improvement of the Rowing Ireland club development system within Northern Ireland, including delivery of a range of services to support clubs and coaches.
This is a new position and will add to the Coach Education and Club Development work already being done by Pat McInerney, Coach Education Officer.
Reid has been a director of Rowing Ireland, and a board member of the Ulster Branch.
“I am delighted to accept this position with its focus on working with clubs and coaches, and I look forward to helping them to develop skills, systems and to achieve results,” he said.
Hamish Adams, the chief executive of Rowing Ireland, said: “We are delighted to appoint someone of Gordon’s calibre to this extremely important role. Gordon’s administration and practical experience will be an asset to not only the Northern Ireland Club’s but rowing in general.”
The SeaGen installation in Strangford Lough was accredited by Ofgen as Britain's first tidal power plant, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.
The inshore lifeboat Joseph and Mary Hiley and the Rescue Water Craft (RWC) were launched just before 10am at the request of Belfast Coastguard and made the 25-minute, six-mile journey to the casualty's last known position at Crunnish Island. The wind was coming from the south east, force five with good visibility.
On arrival at the scene, the crew noted the casualties had deployed their anchor and there were strong waves hitting the starboard side of the vessel.
The RWC crew member was transferred to the casualty vessel to reassure the crew and to check for any leakage. Another crew member from the lifeboat was transferred to assist with the tow and to lift the anchor.
The lifeboat established a tow and the vessel was refloated and brought to safety at Tudor Farm jetty, close to the initial location.
Less than three hours later, the inshore lifeboat Jason Logg was launched by request of Belfast Coastguard to rescue two people on a broken-down personal water craft on Upper Lough Erne.
The crew proceeded to the casualty's last known whereabouts at the mouth of Tamlagh Bay, four miles downstream from the station towards Enniskillen.
On arrival, the crew found the troubled vessel in the reeds with two people sitting on it. The crew transferred both passengers onto the lifeboat before setting up a tow and bringing the water craft back to Bellanaleck Marina.
Elsewhere in Northern Ireland, Portaferry RNLI brought three men and a teenage boy to safety yesterday afternoon after their yacht got into difficulty off Portaferry in Co Down.
The volunteer lifeboat crew was alerted just after noon following a mayday call that there was a demasted yacht in trouble on Strangford Lough.
The lifeboat was launched minutes later and was alongside the stricken vessel, a 37ft yacht located in the narrows of Strangford Lough, at 12.10pm. Weather at the time was good with clear visibility and a flat calm sea.
One of the four casualties, who had been thrown from the vessel, had been recovered by a fellow crew member and all four were on board the yacht when the lifeboat crew arrived on scene.
Alongside, there was difficulty recovering the vessel so the mast and sail were cut away. Once cut, the lifeboat proceeded to tow the yacht with it crew on board safely back to Strangford where it was tied to a mooring.
Two of the crew were conveyed to hospital while the other two were made comfortable on the shore.
Portaferry RNLI was requested to launch for a second time later this afternoon following a report that a swimmer had gone missing in Newtownards. The lifeboat having launched was subsequently stood down after the missing person was found safe and well.
The men had been travelling on the water scooter across the North Channel from Ballycastle in Northern Ireland to Campbeltown in Scotland and back - a round trip of some 130km - but ran out of fuel on the return leg, and drifted to Corsewall on the north point of the Rhins of Galloway.
The RNLI Stranraer lifeboat launched at 5.20pm from Lady Bay and 20 minutes later arrived on scene, where they discovered that two of the men were cold and one had an ankle injury - although a conflicting report via the Belfast Coastguard says only two men were found.
The men were transferred safely on to the lifeboat and taken to Dally Bay, from where they were taken by road to Stranraer Accident and Emergency Hospital.
But as BBC News reports, they were beset by further problems on their return trip to Northern Ireland later that evening, when the private vessel on which they were travelling also ran out of fuel and had to be towed to Red Bay in Co Antrim.
Belfast Coastguard confirmed to the BBC that the men had been travelling on their water scooter with "no navigational aids" and that "they could not get a signal from their mobile phone".
Weather conditions at the time were described as flat calm with no wind at all. However, a sea fog had come down in the evening, and the man on board - having left Girvan in Scotland en route to Glenarm Marina in an old gaffer to celebrate the Old Gaffers Association's Golden Jubilee - got into difficulty.
The casualty was located becalmed seven miles east of The Maidens Lighthouse. Lifeboat crew members Martin Agnew and Scott Leitch were put on board to assist after it was discovered that the casualty's outboard engine had failed and the gaffer was making no headway against the tide.
It was decided by Coxswain Frank Healy to tow the casualty to Glenarm, keeping the two crew members on board to assist. The vessels and crews arrived in Glenarm at 1.30am.
Two nights before, Larne RNLI assisted two men after their motor boat got into difficulty on Belfast Lough.
The volunteer crew launched their inshore lifeboat, the Hannahbella Ferguson, at 8.15pm following a request to assist the speed boat which had sustained engine failure off Muck Island.
Two men, both wearing lifejackets, were on board. Weather conditions at the time were described as good with a flat calm sea.
The casualty boat was subsequently towed safely to shore by the lifeboat to Portmuck Harbour.
Crew on this call out included helm Willie Evans, Martin Agnew and Jay Torbitt.