Displaying items by tag: Bangor
#RNLI - Portaferry RNLI launched its inshore lifeboat yesterday afternoon (14 July) to the aid of a man who had suffered a head injury in one of the races during Portaferry Sailing Club’s annual regatta.
The lifeboat launched at 2.36pm and met up with the injured man a few minutes later on board his 12m yacht just off Marfield Bay in Strangford Lough, Co Down.
Weather conditions at the time were cloudy with good visibility, with a Force 2 to 3 southerly wind and calm seas.
After assessing the injured man’s condition, the volunteer crew transferred him into the lifeboat before taking him to Strangford Harbour, where he was then passed into the care of the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service.
Around the same time, RNLI Bangor was launching to investigate reports that children could have been on board an abandoned homemade raft spotted adrift off Ballymacormick Point on the edge of Belfast Lough.
Calm seas and fine weather allowed the lifeboat to proceed at full speed to the search area between Ballymacormick Point and Orlock Point.
The search was later terminated when enquiries found that there was a high probability that the raft had drifted from shore during high water.
Michael McKenna, volunteer RNLI helmsman who was involved in the search, took the opportunity to remind all children playing along the coast of the SAFE code: S for spot the dangers, A for always go with a friend, F for find and follow the safety signs and flags and E for Emergency - put up your hand and shout or ring 999/112 and ask for the coastguard.
It was the third callout for Bangor RNLI in three days, after a busy Saturday 12 July that began with a morning request from Belfast Coastguard to assist in the search for an inflatable dinghy.
The dinghy had been spotted by a concerned member of the public at the mouth of Larne Lough. The Bangor volunteer crew joined the Larne RNLI lifeboat in the search for the dinghy and its occupants. The former were quickly on scene and found the dinghy deserted with its engine down and a rope around the propeller.
The name painted on the dinghy hull was passed to Belfast Coastguard who were able to contact the owners. Thankfully, the owners reported that the dinghy had broken free from their vessel and that no one was on board.
The second call of the day came at 11:55am when the Bangor lifeboat launched to rescue four people from a motor boat that had broken down off the oil jetty at Cloghan Point, on the northern shores of Belfast Lough.
On scene, the RNLI crew quickly evaluated the situation and manoeuvred the lifeboat close to the broken-down vessel.
"Engine failure close to shore could lead to a life-threatening situation," said Bangor RNLI volunteer helmsman Iain Dobie.
"We always urge everyone going to sea to make sure their electrical systems and engine are well maintained and in good working order. A good anchor and chain should always be carried as part of essential safety equipment.
"We are glad the family on board this vessel are now safely ashore," he added.
The Donaghadee lifeboat launched at 3.20pm yesterday (Friday 9 May) after a request from Belfast Coastguard.
At the scene, six miles north-east of Orlock Point, a secure tow-line was established to the stricken trawler, which had a crew of six.
The vessel was towed to Bangor Harbour where the crew of Bangor’s Atlantic class lifeboat Jessie Hillyard assisted, safely guiding the trawler to a berth at the Eisenhower Pier. The Donaghdee lifeboat stood down at 5.40pm.
Donaghadee RNLI’s lifeboat operations manager Alan Couser said: “This rescue was a fine example of swift action and good teamwork by two lifeboat crews. Another potential tragedy has been averted.”
Elsewhere, a 75-foot fishing boat St Claire was finally towed to safety in Cork Harbour by the Courtmacsherry lifeboat last night after a marathon 11-hour operation.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the vessel had got into difficulties earlier in the day some 35 miles off the West Cork coast.
Poor sea conditions with strong winds resulted in a slowed return journey to shore.
Courtmacsherry RNLI deputy launching authority Dermot O'Mahony said: "All aboard the trawler were mighty pleased to be in safe harbour tonight.
"I would like to commend the volunteer lifeboat crew on their quick response for what has turned out to be a lengthy call-out."
The lifeboat crew on yesterday's call-out were coxswain Sean O 'arrell, mechanic Stewart Russell and crew Dara Gannon, Ken Cashman, Gary Barrett, Ciaran Hurley and Dave Philips.
#RNLI - Bangor RNLI received a request from Belfast Coastguard yesterday evening (1 March) to launch their lifeboat and assist four people onboard a 23ft rigid inflatable boat, or RIB, that experienced engine failure north of Ballyholme Bay on the southern shores of Belfast Lough.
Within minutes of their rescue pagers being activated, the crew had assembled and had launched their inshore lifeboat, which proceeded at full speed towards the stricken vessel.
Upon arrival, the crew found that the four on board the RIB, who were experienced mariners, had followed procedure and made the correct decision to call for assistance at the first sign of trouble.
Following the rescue, RNLI volunteer helmsman Iain Dobie took the opportunity to underline an important safety message.
"We always urge everyone going afloat to make sure their engine and fuel systems and are well maintained and in good working order," he said. "Engine failure close to shore and commercial shipping routes could lead to a life threatening situation."
Dobie added: "We're happy that everyone is now safely ashore."
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."
The volunteer crew launched their inshore lifeboat before 5pm yesterday evening to go the aid of the injured windsurfer reported to be in the area of Pig Island, a small island in Strangford Lough close to Newtownards Sailing Club.
The weather at the time was described as blowing slight to moderate winds with good visibility.
The crew was on scene at 5.15pm where they found the man on Pig Island accompanied by two other men. The windsurfer, who was suffering from a shoulder injury, was transferred to the lifeboat and made comfortable before being taken to the sailing club, where he was then transferred into the care of the coastguard and passed to the ambulance service to be taken to hospital.
Speaking after the rescue, Portaferry RNLI lifeboat operations manager Brian Bailie said: "As the charity that saves lives at sea, we will always respond to any call for help where someone is in danger.
"Strangford Lough is a popular destination for a wide range of water sport enthusiasts and it is important that they take all necessary precautions when using the lough.
"As we are all aware, accidents can and do happen and it is at such times that the work carried out by the volunteer crews of the RNLI is so important."
Elsewhere in Co Down yesterday, Bangor and Donaghadee RNLI assisted a fisherman whose 28ft commercial fishing boat experienced engine failure.
The crew quickly located the disabled boat one mile west of the Copeland Islands at the mouth of Belfast Lough yesterday morning after 11.15am.
With the vessel drifting closer to the island shores and the wind gusting gale force eight, a tow line was quickly rigged and passed to the fishing boat. Bangor RNLI was escorted by Donaghadee RNLI's all-weather lifeboat as it towed the fishing vessel to the safety of Bangor Harbour.
Bangor RNLI volunteer helm Peter Scott, who was involved in this rescue, said: "Engine failure close to shore could lead to a life threatening situation. We always urge everyone going to sea to make sure their electrical systems and engine are well maintained and in good working order. A good anchor and chain should always be carried as part of essential safety equipment.
"We are glad the skipper of this vessel is now safely ashore," he added.
#kayak – Bangor town is steeped in maritime history and the local yacht club at Ballyholme Yacht Club hope this 'invasion' of kayaks will add a bit of colour to the annual festivities.
What's it all About?
Come along and have some fun. The race is planned to be a challenging and fun event for everyone. Sea kayaks, sit on tops and river kayaks are all welcome.
Will take place on the coastline between Bangor and Groomsport, starting and finishing at Ballyholme Yacht Club.
Classes & Prizes
Boats will be classed according to their overall hull length so large or small, there's a chance of winning. There'll be prizes for juniors and adults and it's hoped everyone will go away with something (even if it's just a warm glow!).
The Fun Side
Whilst we hope the race is competitive, we'd like to have a light hearted and fun day and so there'll also be prizes for the best dressed 'Pirate' paddlers in the race. So bring your bandanas, eye patches and jolly rodgers for a bit of craic.
Plan for the day
Registration will be at 12.30pm, followed by the race and then a BBQ & drinks at Ballyholme Yacht Club. More details are given when you sign up or have a look at the Course section on this site.
What do I need to do?
Sign up and pay the entry fee, enjoy the day and have a bit of craic! Read the race rules and click on the Enter Now link above or below.
Supporting the RNLI
The Bangor Bay Sea Kayak Race will raise funds for the RNLI and we would encourage paddlers to donate to the charity either on the day or through the donation facility on the booking form. You'd like them to be there when you need them so please give generously!
The entry fee is only £25 per kayak and includes a T-Shirt and the BBQ after the race.
All entrants will receive an email confirmation with a link to further details but if you have any questions about the race please email [email protected]
The RNLI volunteers were busily soaping and rinsing cars for their annual Easter fundraiser on Saturday when they were alerted to a woman in trouble in the freezing water a few yards from one of the piers.
The car wash was immediately abandoned and within minutes the inshore lifeboat Aldergrove II was launched and rushed to the woman’s aid.
At the same time, crew member Shane Rice grabbed a lifebelt from the pier and jumped into the water to assist the woman. He kept her afloat while the Aldergrove II came alongside.
The woman was helped into the rescue inflatable, wrapped in blankets to prevent hypothermia, and taken back to shore where an ambulance was waiting to take her to hospital.
Newcastle RNLI’s deputy launching authority Clifford Moorehead said afterwards: "The lifeboat crew are always ready to respond in an instant to any emergency. It is fortunate that the car wash was in progress at the time and the crew members were on hand to swiftly deal with this case.
"After the rescue the crew members came back to the harbour and resumed their car wash. It’s just all in a day’s work for the RNLI."
It wasn't the only callout of the weekend for the RNLI in Co Down, as Bangor RNLI assisted a lone sailor who got into difficulty on a sailing dinghy Easter Sunday.
At 1.10pm the volunteer lifeboat crew received an urgent request from Belfast Coastguard to launch the lifeboat and rescue one person from a 17ft dinghy.
The sailing dinghy had reportedly gone aground on ‘Cockle Island’ off Groomsport Harbour on the southern shores of Belfast Lough.
Upon arrival at the scene, the volunteer crew found that the occupant onboard the dinghy had been assisted by another boat owner and the vessel had been safely tied to a mooring buoy.
Meanwhile, last Wednesday evening Portaferry RNLI was launched to reports that red flares has been sighted on Strangford Lough off Kircubbin in Co Down.
They were joined by a coastguard team that searched the shoreline and after some time recovered a spent flare casing. The inshore lifeboat and its volunteer crew were stood down after a number of hours with the callout proving to be a false alarm.
Portaferry RNLI lifeboat operations manager Brian Bailie said: "A member of the public acted in good faith ... alerting the emergency services to what they understood to be a distress flare on the lough."
He reiterated that flares "should only be used in emergency situations".
The news comes some weeks after the command base took on extra responsibility with the permanent closure of the Clyde coastguard station last month.
Britain's Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) confirmed to the website that Newell resigned from his position around two weeks ago - and that he has assured the agency that his decision has no connection with the streamlining plans being undertaken across Britain's coastguard network.
However, For Argyll alleges Newell had made it known locally that "if he considered the future [of the coastguard service] was becoming dangerous, then he would go".
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, campaigners for the Clyde coastguard station in western Scotland were taken aback by the early transfer of helicopter dispatches to Belfast and Stornoway in November, ahead of the base's permanent closure on 18 December last.
More than 30 jobs were lost with the scrapping of the Clyde control centre at Greenock, with much of its role now being taken up by the Belfast command centre at Bangor across the North Channel - a change to the original plan for Scottish stations to share the load till 2015.
The annual statistics released by the charity today (22 January) show that of the figures, 111 services took place in darkness while crews collectively spent 2,193 service hours at sea.
Bangor was the busiest lifeboat station in Northern Ireland last year, launching to 53 requests for help with the crew rescuing 53 people off the Co Down coast.
Enniskillen, which operates two bases on Upper and Lower Lough Erne in Co Fermanagh and which is the North’s only inland RNLI station, launched 46 times and brought 50 people to safety.
Meanwhile, Portrush RNLI in Co Antrim launched 33 times and rescued 33 people.
It was also a busy year for the 10 RNLI lifeguard units located on beaches in Co Down and along the Causeway Coast, where lifeguards responded to 158 incidents and assisted 176 people who found themselves in difficulty.
The Causeway Coast, where there are seven units located, was the busiest area, with Portrush East lifeguards responding to 31 incidents and assisting 35 people. The Benone unit attended 30 incidents and assisted 30 people while the Portrush West unit responded to 25 incidents and assisted 32 people.
Overall in Ireland, RNLI lifeboats launched 939 times with the volunteer crews across the 44 stations rescuing 1,041 people. Dun Laoghaire was the busiest lifeboat station in the Republic in 2012, responding to 46 call-outs throughout the year and rescuing 76 people.
Commenting on the 2012 statistics for Northern Ireland, RNLI operations manager Martyn Smith said: "The RNLI lifeguard service has expanded to 10 beaches in Northern Ireland and with the support of the local authorities they have an active and welcome presence on many beaches.
"They do not just saves lives and assist those in trouble in the sea, but also provide information, advice and first aid when needed, ensuring many potential incidents are prevented.
"I would like to say a huge thank-you to all those who support the RNLI, a charity dependent on the generosity of the public, whether by giving up their time or by making a donation."
BBC News reports on a document leaked to the Coastguard SOS Campaign, which outlines that while the Clyde station itself is scheduled to close on 18 December, control of aerials (ie helicopter dispatches) to the stations at Stornoway and Belfast was on schedule to be completed by yesterday evening (Friday 16 November).
Campaigner Dennis O'Connor said this move meant that "Clyde will cease to exist operationally" from last night.
He also described it as a "direct challenge" to concerns from the Transport Select Committee in Westminster that the closure programme had started early with the closure of Forth coastguard in September "despite assurances that the replacement system of operation would be fully tested before any closures took place".
However, a spokesperson for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said that the handover period "has been planned for some time. All the staff have been informed well in advance."
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the scrapping of the Clyde control centre at Greenock will see the loss of 31 jobs, with much of its role being taken up by the Belfast coastguard at Bangor across the North Channel - a change to the original plan for Scottish stations to share the load till 2015.