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Displaying items by tag: Lough Swilly

Newest Naval Service vessel, LÉ George Bernard Shaw is to open to the public for guided tours this weekend (7th-8th December) at Rathmullan Pier in Lough Swilly, Co. Donegal.

Navy personnel of the latest offshore patrol vessel (OPV90) P60 class will be on hand during the tours held on Saturday between 1300-1600 and the following Sunday 1400-1600.

The crew will also be looking forward to taking part in the PolarPlunge Charity Event in aid of Special Olympics Ireland.

As Afloat previously reported the €67m newbuild took part in PASSEX training exercises with a Belgian Navy frigate in the the Irish Sea prior to a visit to Dublin Port in October.

It is more than a year ago when the fourth and final P60 class made a delivery voyage to Cork Harbour from UK shipyard, Babcock Marine & Technology's facility  located in Appledore.

The shipyard in north Devon has since closed though there have been attempts to reopen. 

Published in Navy

The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) advises that TechWorks Marine has deployed four trawl-resistant, bottom-mounted Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (ADCPs) frames throughout Lough Swilly.

The frames deployed on Wednesday 20 February will be on the seafloor for a minimum period of one calendar month and a maximum period of two months (weather permitting).

Water sampling surveys are required to be carried out at the same time as the deployments and these are tide and weather dependent, and may cause a slight delay in recovery, hence the two-month deployment period.

The ADCPs will be measuring currents through the water column at each location over the month-long deployment. This data will be used to validate a hydrodynamic model of the area being developed for Irish Water.

The deployment locations as noted in Marine Notice No 5 of 2019 are (degrees, minutes, seconds) WGS84 as follows:

  • ADCP 1: 55° 12' 59.5" N, 7° 34' 37.2" W
  • ADCP 2: 55° 06' 51.9" N, 7° 29' 02.7" W
  • ADCP 3: 55° 03' 52.4" N, 7° 32' 11.3" W
  • ADCP 4: 55° 01' 17.5" N, 7° 32' 55.4" W

Each frame will have an ADCP sensor (for waves and currents), acoustic release, rigid recovery buoy, acoustic pinger and grapple line. The frames are approximately 1m2 and will remain on the seafloor for a period of up to 30 days, after which the frame will be retrieved by the acoustic release by the retrieval team of a pop-up buoy allowing for its recovery or by a grapple line recovery method.

During the extent of the deployment, ADCP frames 1, 2 and 3 will have a surface marker. The ADCP 1 and 2 will have a red in colour surface buoy and ADCP 3 will have a yellow in colour surface buoy. There will be no surface marker for ADCP 4 so vessel traffic will not need to avoid its location but should be aware of its presence.

Published in Marine Warning

#Buncrana - An inquest into the Buncrana slipway tragedy of March 2016 has found that the driver of the car that slipped into Lough Swilly was more than three times over the drink-driving limit.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, five people died after their car slipped into the water from a pier in Buncrana, Co Donegal on Sunday 20 March.

Sean McGrotty (49) was driving the car with his sons Mark (12) and Evan (8), his baby daughter Rioghnach-Ann, the children’s grandmother Ruth Daniels (59) and her daughter Jodi-Lee (14), according to The Irish Times.

Only Rioghnach-Ann was rescued from the car, thanks to the quick actions of local GAA player Davitt Walsh — who received a silver medal in the 2016 National Bravery Awards for his efforts.

Walsh told the inquest of his difficulties in getting back up the slipway from the water due to its coating of algae, noting that its slipperiness might not be obvious to people unfamiliar with the area.

Local man Francis Crawford also spoke at the inquest, recounting how he called to McGrotty has he saw the car slowly entering into the water at the bottom of the slipway, which was “slippery as ice” with algae.

“I was hoping that the emergency services would arrive and the car would not go down,” he said, adding that he believed it had been in the water for around 12 minutes before it sank.

McGrotty’s partner Louise James, who was away at the time of the incident, said through her solicitor: “I firmly believe the slipway should have been closed to the public or else proper warning signs displayed. It was an accident waiting to happen.”

The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update

#Laurentic - History lovers on Thursday 6 April will get a closer view of some of the fascinating artefacts recovered from the tragic sinking of SS Laurentic in Lough Swilly as part of a unique workshop. The artefacts from the liner are to be held in the Tower Museum, Derry. 

The workshop will give participants the chance to view a range of items recovered from the wreck site, some of which will be unveiled to the public for the first time.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane, Alderman Hilary McClintock, said the workshops offered a unique experience for anyone who is interested in maritime history.

“In recent months following the Centenary of the sinking of the Laurentic we have become more aware of this significant chapter in our local story. There is currently a treasure trove of artefacts on display at the museum, and this is an exciting chance for anyone who wants to explore the story further to learn more about the archive.

“It’s fantastic that so many local people have contributed objects to the exhibition, which will reveal more about those who served on board on that fateful day, as well as the beautiful vessel itself.”

The event is part of the wider programme of activities surrounding the Laurentic exhibition, which is now in its third month at the museum and running until the end of June.

Education Officer with the Tower Museum, Ronan McConnell, said that participants will also have the opportunity to hear some of the unique stories behind the objects and their recovery.

“We are delighted to be unveiling a whole series of new objects not seen before which have been loaned to us recently, including some mystery objects which we are still trying to identify,” he revealed.

“We are very excited about sharing these objects with the public in the hope that they can help us to identify them. The generosity of local divers and history enthusiasts - including relatives of those who sailed on the Laurentic - has been absolutely fantastic and we are looking forward to revealing more about the artefacts during the workshop.

“The strengths of this exhibition lie in two major elements - the story and the artefacts. The sinking of the Laurentic off Lough Swilly, its connection with this city and the search for the gold which still lies at the bottom of the lough, has great resonance among local people and indeed visitors to the city. The exhibition has proven extremely popular since it opened. Some of the artefacts loaned to the museum for the exhibition have incredible stories and this is a great opportunity to relate these stories to participants during the workshop.”

The workshop begins at 10am, admission is free and tea and coffee will be provided. If you would like to attend, please RSVP with [email protected] or phone 028 71 372411

Published in Historic Boats

#Laurentic - Last Wednesday (25 January) saw Donegal commemorate the centenary of the sinking of the SS Laurentic off Lough Swilly by German mines during the First World War.

Just 121 of the 475 people on board survived the tragedy, as TheJournal.ie reports — the second to befall the White Star Line that decade after the Titanic in 1912.

Descendants of those who lost their lives at sea that day in 1917 paid tribute to their bravery in an incident that still holds some mystery, as a cache of gold ingots from the armed merchant ship is thought to still lie on the sea floor.

TheJournal.ie has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Historic Boats
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#RNLI - Buncrana man Francy Burns wed his sweetheart, Carndonagh woman Helen McFarland, last Saturday 8 October in a wedding attended by their family, friends and the volunteers with Lough Swilly RNLI.

But it wasn’t all plain sailing, as after the vows were exchanged and Francy took the microphone to make his wedding speech, the lifeboat pagers went off and the volunteer lifeboat crew jumped to their feet and raced out of the room to the callout.

The incident was a reminder to Helen of what she can expect married to a lifeboat volunteer.

However, as Francy was preparing to follow his lifeboat colleagues and head out the door to the callout, the coxswain assured him they had enough crew and he could stay where he was and enjoy the day.

The callout was to a vessel with one person on board which had lost engine power and had been drifting for three hours.

Lough Swilly RNLI launched their new Shannon-class lifeboat and brought the vessel to safety, with the lifeboat crew returning to the wedding reception some hours later.

As the wedding reception was held in the Gateway Hotel, Francy had the perfect view out the window down on the berth from where the lifeboat is launched.

“It was certainly a day of mixed emotions,” said Francy. “I married the most beautiful and amazing woman but when I saw the crew stand up to head out for the lifeboat shout during my speech my first thoughts were to follow them.

“You never know what you are launching to but thankfully it was fairly straightforward. Helen understands how I feel about the lifeboat and she is fully supportive. You never know, I might even persuade her to sign up too.”

Lough Swilly lifeboat volunteer crew member and press officer Joe Joyce added: “The launch sort of added to the whole day. You couldn’t have planned it better.

“Everyone with Lough Swilly RNLI wish Francy and Helen every happiness on their marriage and we will see Francy down at the station for our next shout.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Lough Swilly RNLI lifeboat rescued a sheep this afternoon after it fell approximately 200 feet from a cliff in County Donegal.

The alarm was raised at 4.30pm today when three local fishermen spotted the animal stranded on a ledge in a ravine at Leenan Head with no means of escape.

The fishermen contacted Malin Head Coast Guard and Lough Swilly’s inshore Atlantic 85 lifeboat was requested to launch.

Weather conditions at the time were described as good with a flat calm sea.

Once on scene, the volunteer lifeboat crew were met by the fishermen who pointed to where the distressed sheep was located. A kayaker who had also arrived on scene, first paddled in close to the cliff in an attempt to encourage the animal back up the hill.

With this failing to work, the lifeboat crew and the kayaker proceeded to enter the water and make their way towards the sheep where they safely caught her and gently placed her in the kayak before transferring her into the lifeboat.

Once onboard the lifeboat, the sheep was comforted by the crew and safely brought back to more familiar surroundings on shore.

Speaking following the call out, Joe Joyce, Lough Swilly RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘We think the young sheep had fallen about 200 feet and with nowhere to go she was shaking from her ordeal by the time we took her onboard the lifeboat. The RNLI is often called upon to rescue animals and we are always happy to assist not only to bring them to safety but also to ensure the safety of pet owners or farmers who may risk their own life in attempting to bring their animal safely back to shore.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

The first Shannon class RNLI lifeboat to go on service in Ireland was officially named today in a special ceremony attended by crowds of people in Buncrana, county Donegal. The €2.4m life-saving vessel has already been on nineteen callouts since its arrival on the North-West Coast last year and today it was officially named the ‘Derek Bullivant’ by the man responsible for getting the RNLI’s latest class of lifeboat named after an Irish river.

Arklow man Jimmy Tyrrell was with the RNLI for 46 years, making him the charity’s longest serving lifeboat operations volunteer on his retirement. He campaigned to have the RNLI name a class of lifeboat after an Irish river, in recognition of the service and dedication of Irish lifeboat volunteers. His wish was finally realised with the design and manufacture of the Shannon class lifeboat. The first of the class went on service at Dungeness in Kent back in 2014 .Jimmy was asked by Lough Swilly RNLI to officially name the lifeboat and he did so through the time honoured tradition of pouring champagne over the bow of the lifeboat to cheers from the crowd.

It was an emotional day for Jimmy, whose family are well-known and respected boat builders, as it is the culmination of a 27-year campaign to name an Irish lifeboat class. Speaking at the ceremony he said, ‘During my lifeboat career I have seen many changes in lifeboats, from wood, to steel, to fibre-glass and to today’s composite construction. Lifeboat speeds varied from eight-knots going downhill with the wind up your transom to this wonderful new waterjet propulsion achieving 25-knots. However, one thing that has not changed in the RNLI and that is its people. The basic commitment of crews is the same. Generations of them have put their lives on the line and sometimes lost their lives trying to help those in peril on the seas.’

A small service of blessing followed led by Fr Francis Bradley, Parish Priest of Buncrana and Reverend Judi McGaffin, Church of Ireland Rector.
The Donegal lifeboat station was the first in Ireland to receive the new lifeboat, which is the most modern and technically advanced lifeboat in the RNLI fleet. The Shannon is first class of lifeboat to be propelled by waterjets instead of traditional propellers, making it the most agile and manoeuvrable all-weather lifeboat in the fleet. The lifeboat has a top speed of 25 knots and a range of 250 nautical miles. The lifeboat was developed to operate in the worst of sea conditions and is self-righting, automatically turning the right side up in the event of a capsize.

The Derek Bullivant lifeboat (ON 1315) was funded by legacies from Mr Derek Bullivant and Mrs Valerie Walker. Mr. Bullivant was born in Birmingham in 1922 and went on to establish one of the biggest aluminium recycling companies in the UK. He wanted his success to benefit lifesaving and humanitarian charities which led him to provide a generous legacy which helped to fund the Lough Swilly lifeboat. The second legacy was bequeathed from Mrs. Valerie Walker from Portsmouth. Mrs. Walker was a supporter of the RNLI and her legacy has been used to part fund the lifeboat. A plaque honouring her will be placed in the lifeboat station.

Accepting the lifeboat, Lough Swilly RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager John McCarter said, ‘While we are in celebratory mood today God knows we have seen and been closely involved in our share of tragedy around our community, and we remember all those who have suffered great loss at the mercy of the sea. However at Lough Swilly RNLI it also strengthens our resolve to work harder and keep our equipment state of the art to enable us to provide search and rescue service around our coast. The Derek Bullivant lifeboat is testament to that.’

‘There are thirty volunteers at Lough Swilly RNLI. A number of our crew have been here from the beginning as young boys and girls and matured with the station where they now have families and potential new volunteers coming on themselves. Today is a very proud day for all of us here at Lough Swilly RNLI and I am absolutely delighted on behalf of all at Lough Swilly to accept this new Shannon Class boat the RNLB Derek Bullivant into our care.’

In the 29 years since Lough Swilly RNLI was established they have launched 741 times, brought 568 people to safety and saved forty-nine lives.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

#RNLI - Arklow man and former lifeboat operations manager Jimmy Tyrrell will have the honour of naming the first class of RNLI lifeboat to be named after an Irish river this Saturday 25 June in Buncrana, Co Donegal.

Lough Swilly RNLI will hold the special naming ceremony and service of dedication from 11.30am to officially name the first Shannon-class lifeboat in Ireland, Derek Bullivant.

The Donegal lifeboat station was the first in Ireland to receive the new €2.4 million lifeboat, which is the most modern and technically advanced lifeboat in the RNLI fleet.

Shortly after its arrival on station, the lifeboat brought three local fishermen to safety after they had been reported missing when their vessel had lost power and drifted out to sea.

The lifeboat was funded by legacies from Derek Bullivant and Valerie Walker. Bullivant was born in Birmingham in 1922 and was a trained chemist before working as an industrial analyst for a company in the metal industry. He went on to start his own company which became one of the biggest aluminium recycling companies in the UK. He always wanted his success to benefit lifesaving and humanitarian charities which led him to provide a generous legacy which helped to fund the Lough Swilly lifeboat.

The second legacy was bequeathed from Valerie Walker from Portsmouth. Walker was a supporter of the RNLI and her legacy has been used to part fund the lifeboat. Her generosity will be remembered and acknowledged by a plaque which will be placed in the boathouse at Lough Swilly lifeboat station.

The Shannon is first class of lifeboat to be propelled by water jets instead of traditional propellers, making it the most agile and manoeuvrable all-weather lifeboat in the fleet.

Waterjets allow the vessel to operate in shallow waters and be intentionally beached. The lifeboat has a top speed of 25 knots and a range of 250 nautical miles, which makes it ideal for offshore searches and rescues in calm and rough seas.

The new lifeboat was developed to operate in the worst of sea conditions and is self-righting, automatically turning the right side up in the event of a capsize. Its unique hull is designed to minimise slamming of the boat in heavy seas and the shock-absorbing seats further protect the crew from impact when powering through the waves.

Commenting on the forthcoming occasion, Lough Swilly RNLI lifeboat operations manager John McCarter said: "Many people will know that we welcomed the lifeboat to Buncrana a little over a year ago but in grand RNLI tradition we officially name and dedicate the lifeboat after that and in doing so remember our generous benefactors who through their legacies have provided this incredible gift to our community.

"We are delighted that Jimmy Tyrrell will be officially naming our lifeboat. Our colleagues in the lifeboat community will know that Jimmy lobbied the RNLI for years to have a class of lifeboat named in recognition of the role Ireland and Irish lifeboat volunteers have played in the work of the charity for 192 years. All other lifeboat classes are named after UK rivers so the Shannon is truly an Irish lifeboat."

The Shannon lifeboat also has another strong Irish connection. Peter Eyre, an RNLI engineer from Derry who works at the charity’s headquarters in Poole, was instrumental in the development of the new lifeboat, designing the hull form at the age of 24.

The first all-weather lifeboat put on service in Lough Swilly was The Good Shepard in 2000.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#Buncrana - Five people, including three children, understood to be from the same family are dead after their car slipped into the water at Buncrana, Co Donegal last night (Sunday 20 March).

As the News Letter reports, a major emergency operation was launched after the Northern Ireland-registered estate car went off a pier into Lough Swilly after 7pm.

The bodies of two adults and three primary-aged children were recovered shortly after.

A baby who was also in the car is believed to have been thrown or handed out of the vehicle before it went into the water.

The cause of the tragedy is not yet known but it's understood that the surface of the pier slipway may have been slippery with algae.

The News Letter has more on the story HERE.

Sunset Buncrana Pier

Published in News Update
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About boot Düsseldorf: With almost 250,000 visitors, boot Düsseldorf is the world's largest boat and water sports fair and every year in January the “meeting place" for the entire industry. From 18 to 26 January 2020, around 2,000 exhibitors will be presenting their interesting new products, attractive further developments and maritime equipment. This means that the complete market will be on site in Düsseldorf and will be inviting visitors on nine days of the fair to an exciting journey through the entire world of water sports in 17 exhibition halls covering 220,000 square meters. With a focus on boats and yachts, engines and engine technology, equipment and accessories, services, canoes, kayaks, kitesurfing, rowing, diving, surfing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, SUP, fishing, maritime art, marinas, water sports facilities as well as beach resorts and charter, there is something for every water sports enthusiast.

At A Glance – Boot Dusseldorf 

Organiser
Messe Düsseldorf GmbH
Messeplatz
40474 Düsseldorf
Tel: +49 211 4560-01
Fax: +49 211 4560-668
Web: https://www.boot.com/

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