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Displaying items by tag: Lough Derg

#lifeboat – Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat launched to assist a person on board a 30ft–cruiser with engine failure by Terryglass Harbour, at the northern end of Lough Derg last night.

At 11.55pm Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat launched to assist a lone boatman, whose 30ft–cruiser had suffered engine failure and drifted into reeds by Terryglass Harbour, at the northern end of Lough Derg. Winds were northerly backing westerly, Force 4, visibility was good.

The lifeboat with helm Eleanor Hooker, Keith Brennan and Lorna Walsh on board, was alongside the casualty vessel at 12.20pm. The elderly person on board was safe, unharmed and wearing his lifejacket, but agitated about his predicament.

An RNLI volunteer crossed over to the casualty vessel and reassured the person before checking the boat for damage. The Lifeboat took the cruiser under tow to one of the floating pontoons in Terryglass harbour.

Lifeboat crewman Jason Freeman, who was in Terryglass at the time, took lines and helped secure the casualty vessel.

Brendan O'Brien, Deputy Launching Authority advises skippers to 'ensure their boat has fresh fuel and is well serviced before going afloat'.

The Lifeboat returned to station and was ready for service again at 2.45pm.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat launched to assist 4 people on board a 24ft yacht, aground in Sandy Bottom in Dromineer Bay last night.

At 8.03pm, Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat to launch to assist four people on board a 24ft yacht, aground in Sandy Bottom, in Dromineer Bay.

The lifeboat launched at 8.12pm with helm Eleanor Hooker, Owen Cavanagh and Dean O'Sullivan on board. Winds were south westerly, Force 3, visibility was good.

The lifeboat located the cruiser at 8.13pm. Local boat owners had attempted to offer assistance, but found themselves in danger of grounding.

An RNLI volunteer waded in to the yacht, aground in two foot of water. He found that the four people on board were safe and unharmed. Once he established that vessel was not taking on water, he set up a bridle, and the lifeboat took the yacht under tow to Dromineer Harbour.

Brendan O'Brien, Deputy Launching Authority, advises all boat users to note that 'water levels on the lake are particularly low at the moment and to bear this in mind when passage planning'. He also suggests asking locals for advice if uncertain.

The Lifeboat returned to station and was ready for service again at 9.20pm.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#lifeboat – At 1.20pm, Thursday afternoon, June 11, Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat to launch to assist five people on board a 49ft (15m) yacht reported aground by Castletown Harbour on the County Clare shore.

The lifeboat launched at 1.30pm with helm Eleanor Hooker, Keith Brennan and Lorna Walsh on board. Winds were northeasterly, Force 2/3, visibility was very good.

After a thorough search, the lifeboat informed Valentia Coast Guard they did not locate a vessel matching the description given, in either Castletown Harbour or Dromane Harbour, close by. The lifeboat was requested to travel south and check another location at Church Bay, on the Clare shore. The lifeboat located the cruiser at Parkers Point, on the Tipperary Shore, it had suffered engine failure, the water depth at their location was 14.9ft.

All five people were safe and unharmed, they were requested to put on their lifejackets. An RNLI volunteer was transferred across to the casualty vessel, where he reassured everyone. He established that in addition to engine failure, the boat had no steering.

The cruiser was taken under tow to the closest harbour, Garrykennedy, where it was safely tied alongside.

Deputy Launching Authority, Peter Kennedy praised the lifeboat volunteers saying, 'the dealt with the challenge very efficiently, considering the size of the boat, and given its total loss of power and steering'.

The Lifeboat returned to station and was ready for service again at 3.20pm.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#rnli – Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat launched to assist two people on board a 26ft–yacht, aground east of Mountshannon Harbour last night.

At 7.57pm on Friday evening, June 6, Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat to launch to assist two people on board a 23ft yacht, aground east of Mountshannon Harbour.

The lifeboat launched at 8.08pm with helm Eleanor Hooker, Ger Egan and Dean O'Sullivan on board. Winds were south westerly, Force 6, gusting 7, visibility was good.

The lifeboat located the cruiser at 8.27pm. The two people were safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets. Killaloe Coast Guard were on scene and had arranged for their D-class lifeboat to take the yacht off the rocks. Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg Lifeboat to remain on standby on scene, until the vessel was off the rocks and safely tied alongside at Mountshannon.

Deputy Launching Authority, Pat Garland, advises all boat users to note that 'water levels on the lake are particularly low at the moment and to bear this in mind when passage planning'.

The Lifeboat returned to station and was ready for service again at 10.50pm.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#rnli – Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat launched to assist two people on board a 30ft–cruiser, aground on the west side of the Corakeen Islands, near Dromineer Bay last night.

At 5.51pm on Sunday evening, May 17, Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat to launch to assist two people on board a cruiser aground on the west side of the Corakeen Islands, near Dromineer Bay.

The lifeboat launched at 6pm with helm Eleanor Hooker, Ger Egan and Keith Brennan on board. Winds were south westerly, Force 5, visibility was good.

The lifeboat located the cruiser at 6.05pm, and using local knowledge navigated through safe water to the casualty vessel. A local fisherman, who had raised the alarm, was alongside the cruiser and reassuring the two people on board, neither of whom spoke any English. He departed once the lifeboat was on scene. The water was shallow enough for a crew member to wade across to the boat. RNLI crew Ger Egan communicated that they should turn their engines fully off before he could approach the stern.

After a thorough inspection that showed that the boat was not taking on water, the cruiser was taken off the rocks and towed out into safe water. There the engine and props were confirmed in good working order. With an RNLI crew member remaining on board, the cruiser made way to Dromineer Harbour, where it was tied up alongside safely 6.50pm

Deputy Launching authority, Peter Kennedy advises all boat users to 'study your charts and plan your passage before setting out from port, and to know the navigation buoys on the lake.'

The Lifeboat returned to station and was ready for service again at 7.25pm.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#holyisland – Clare County Council has announced an additional €1.1m investment in service delivery and tourism, business and community development projects around the county during 2015.

The announcement follows the publication of the Local Authority's unaudited Annual Financial Statement (AFS) for 2014 which shows that the Council ended the year with a €611k surplus on a total revenue expenditure of circa €105m.

Clare County Council billed a total of €42.4m in commercial rates in 2014, which represents approximately 40.4% of Clare County Council's revenue expenditure in the year. The council collected €40.9m in rates in the year.

Announcing the unaudited AFS for 2014 at its May Monthly Meeting last evening (Monday), Clare County Council also confirmed additional allocations in 2014 to the Municipal Districts (€400,000), Shannon Area (€100,000), proposed acquisition by the Council of Holy Island on Lough Derg (€100,000), a Visitor Services facility at Doolin Pier (€100,000), Library and Museum Development (€100,000), and Kilrush's participation in the 2015 International Entente Florale competition (€50,000).

Provision has also been made for Public Light improvements (€100,000), Public Area enhancements (€100,000) and playgrounds throughout the County (€50,000).

Cllr. John Crowe, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council has welcomed the overall positive result being reported in this unaudited AFS for 2014.

"Taking into consideration the fiscal challenges faced by the Council in the years since the economic downturn, this result has arisen from effective budget management of both expenditure and income throughout the organisation. I particularly welcome the significant progress being made in relation to the collection of billed commercial rates which bodes well for the future financial operation of the Council, while it also demonstrates the recovering that is ongoing in the local economy," he stated.

Tom Coughlan, Chief Executive of Clare County Council commented: "During the past five years, the Council's cumulative operating debit balance, which stood at €1.77m at the start of 2009, has been reduced to €800,000 at the end of 2014. This reduction in the cumulative deficit in a period of reduced funding and uncertain economic circumstances is a positive development and will have lasting implications for the delivery of services and investment in business and community development projects throughout Clare."

He continued: "The achievement of a positive result last year took place in the context of a number of significant changes brought about as a result of the Local Government Reform Act 2014. They include the abolition of Town Councils, changes to the budgeting process, the creation of new structures such as the Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) and Municipal Districts, the commencement of operations of the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) and the commencement of the operation of water services on behalf of Irish Water under a Service Level Agreement."

"I wish to acknowledge the commitment of Council staff and the support of the Council Members for achieving this positive result," added Mr. Coughlan.

Published in Island News
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#seaeagles – The popular White Tailed Sea Eagle Viewing & Information Point at Mountshannon Pier in Co. Clare has reopened to the public following a hugely successful pilot opening period last summer.

More than 10,000 people flocked to the shores of Lough Derg between mid-July and September 2014 to catch a glimpse of the first successful breeding pair of White Tailed Sea Eagles in Ireland in 110 years.

The Viewing & Information Point is operated by the Mountshannon Eagle Group, in conjunction with the Golden Eagle Trust and Mountshannon Community Council. It features telescopes and information and displays about the White Tailed Sea Eagles, regarded as Ireland's largest and most spectacular breeding birds.

Clare County Council, which funds the facility, says the facility generated more than half a million euro for the local economy in 2014. A visitor survey conducted last year found that 43% of people said the attraction was the primary factor influencing their decision to visit Mountshannon.

The Mountshannon breeding pair of eagles, a seven-year-old male and six-year-old female, were originally collected as chicks on the island of Frøya off the west coast of Norway by the Golden Eagle Trust. The birds were released in Killarney National Park before relocating to Lough Derg in 2011. The pair, named Saoirse and Caimin, created history in 2013 when they reared the first chicks to fly from a nest in Ireland in 110 years. The pair successfully hatched another chick in 2014 with the local community in Mountshannon expressing hope of another successful hatching this summer.

"Our trial opening in 2014 shows there is significant and genuine interest amongst the general public in these wonderful birds. People are especially fascinated by how and why the birds have settled and began to breed in Lough Derg. This project also demonstrates the potential in terms of tourism product development at this location," said Congella McGuire, Clare Heritage Officer.

Ms. McGuire noted that the visitor figures compare well to the Island of Mull in Scotland where White-tailed Sea Eagles watching has been popular for more than 10 years. A greater percentage of people came to Mountshannon (43%) specifically to see the Eagle pair than to the Island of Mull (23%) where eagle tourism brings in an estimated £5 million annually.

"Clare County Council is delighted to have played a leading role in increasing public interest in the local White Tailed Sea Eagle population without disturbing them in their natural habitat. By doing so, the Council is playing a key role in safeguarding these protected birds and their nesting activities as well as providing an excellent addition to the local tourism infrastructure," Ms. McGuire added.

Published in Inland Waterways
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#loughderg – A new trail showcasing the rich natural heritage of Lough Derg has been developed in time for the 2015 summer season.

Lough Derg (on the Shannon) Nature Trail is produced by the County Councils in Clare, Galway and Tipperary, and co-funded by The Heritage Council and Lakelands & Inland Waterways.

The 130-kilometre trail takes visitors from Portumna in Galway down the western shore of the lake, to Killaloe in Clare, and back up on the eastern side to Terryglass in Tipperary. The stops along the route, which can be travelled in any direction, include walking routes, lakeshore access, great bird watching locations, woodland parks for adventuring, and quiet spots to enjoy the beautiful vistas of Ireland's third largest lake and the largest lake in the River Shannon system.

Among the 24 discovery points featured is the monastic site at Inis Cealtra - known as the "Jewel of the Lough' - as well as the ancient woodlands of Portumna Forest Park, Derrycrag Wood, Raheen Wood and Cominchas Forest, the sheltered bays and harbours at Rosmore, Mountshannon and Garrykennedy, and the twin heritage towns of Killaloe-Ballina.

Speaking ahead of the trail launch in Portumna this Thursday, Cllr. Mary Hoade, Cathaoirleach of Galway County Council, who said "the outstanding natural heritage of Lough Derg enhances the visitor experience by providing a range of vistas, sights, sounds and places to explore and opportunities to experience, many of which are featured in this wonderful new trail."

"The high level of involvement from communities around Lough Derg in the design and content of this trail has been instrumental in its development, and is reflective of the community-centred approach to protecting the environment and promoting tourism around the Lough Derg region. I am confident this new trail will deliver additional visitors to Lough Derg, as well as economic benefits for the wider local community and tourism sector here in the Lough Derg Region," added the Cathaoirleach.

Each of the discovery sites selected for inclusion in the Lough Derg Nature Trail featured in the Natural Heritage Audit of Lough Derg (on the Shannon) produced by Dr Allan Mee and Shane O'Neill and written by Dr. Janice Fuller. The trail project meanwhile, was directed by the three County Council Heritage Officers in the region, Marie Mannion (Galway), Congella McGuire (Clare) and Roisín O'Grady (Tipperary), and Nuala O'Connell (Senior Executive Planner, Tipperary County Council).

According to Marie Mannion: "Galway County Council, along with the Councils in Clare and Tipperary, are delighted to have played a central role in developing a trail around what is a largely undiscovered natural amenity in the heart of Ireland. This trail provides visitors and locals alike with a continuous guided tour around Lough Derg in the Lough Derg Region taking in some of the best scenery and natural sites that Ireland has to offer."

"Lough Derg is Ireland's premier inland navigation and water sports destination, and is also a paradise for anglers along with being a popular region for bird watching. The lake is fully navigable and has many beautiful harbours and piers for mooring. The diversity of landscapes in the Lough Derg lakelands, coupled with the many hundreds of heritage sites dotted in and around its shoreline make it a wonderfully diverse and enjoyable visitor destination. This trail, which complements the existing Lough Derg Heritage Trail, aims to inform and guide visitors to the region about the many places to experience and enjoy here," added Ms. Mannion.

The new trail will be officially launched at a seminar being held at The Workhouse Centre in Portumna, County Galway, next Thursday, 30th April.

The event will feature presentations by Dr. Alan Mee on the White Tailed Sea Eagles on Lough Derg, consultant ecologist and writer Dr. Janice Fuller on 'Going Wild on the Lough Derg Nature Trail', and Lorcán O'Toole of the Golden Eagle Trust on the effectiveness of existing tourism policies for rural communities.

A detailed guide to accompany the Nature Trail will also be launched on the day.

Sites featured in the Lough Derg (on the Shannon) Nature Trail include Portumna Water Recreation Park, Portumna Forest Park, Abbeyville Golden Mile, Derrycrag Wood, Rosmore Pier (Galway), Coos-East Clare Way, Clare/Galway), Dromaan Harbour at Williamstown, Church Bay, Mountshannon, Inis Cealtra, Woodpark, Raheen Wood, Aughinish Wood, Ballycuggaran Forest & Rinnaman Point (Clare) Killaloe-Ballina (Clare/Tipperary) Castletown (The Lookout), Castlelough Woods, Garrykennedy, Youghal Bay, Ryan's Point, Dromineer Bay, Luska Bay at Coolbaun, Cominchas Forest, and Terryglass (Tipperary).

Copies of the Lough Derg (on the Shannon) Nature Trail and accompany guide will be distributed to tourist offices and visitor attractions around Lough Derg. For more visit www. galwaycoco.ie.

Published in Inland Waterways
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#rnli – While out on exercise last night, Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat came to the assistance of five people whose boat had suffered engine failure, at the south western end of Lough Derg.

At 8.30pm the Lifeboat observed a boat close to shore at Two Mile Gate, flash a distress signal with a torch. Upon investigation the lifeboat found five people, four adults and one child on board a 20ft boat that had suffered engine failure. They had contacted two friends for assistance, but having attempted to tow them, the battery on their jet ski failed.

The lifeboat crew, with Helm Eleanor Hooker, Robbie Garland and Owen Cavanagh on board, contacted Valencia Coast Guard to make them aware of the situation and to let them know that they were going to assist. The wind was a cold northerly wind, Force 2-3. Visibility was fair with failing light.

The lifeboat secured the jet ski and took the boat with her passengers and an RNLI crew member on board, under tow to their mooring at Killaloe. Once the boat was safely tied alongside, the lifeboat took the two jet skiers plus their vessel upriver and under the bridge at Killaloe to their launching slip, where they could recover their jet sk

The Lifeboat returned to Station and was ready for service again at 10.33pm.

Lifeboat Operations Manager, Liam Maloney advises all boat users to 'fully service your boats and engines before going afloat'. He added 'if in difficulty on the lake, called 999 or 112, or use Channel 16 on VHF and ask for marine rescue'.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#rnli – Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat launched following a transmission on Channel 16 from a yachtsman reporting himself lost on Lough Derg.

At 8.15pm on Saturday evening, March 4, Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat launched following a request by Valentia Coast Guard to locate a yachtsman, after he transmitted on VHF Channel 16 that was lost on Lough Derg.

The lifeboat crew were given a description of the boat, sails and sail number. The yachtsman said he had left Garrykennedy Harbour and had made way for about 'ten miles' and was now uncertain of his position. Valentia Coast Guard reported that after receiving two poor transmissions, on Channel 16 and Channel 61, they were unable to contact the vessel again.

The lifeboat launched with Helm Ger Egan, Eleanor Hooker and Peter Clarke on board. The lake was calm with no wind, visibility was good and with nightfall, a full moon.

The Killaloe Coast Guard commenced a search from Killaloe at the southern end of the lake and the Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat searched north from Dromineer, including Kilgarvin, Terryglass, Castletown Harbours and up the Shannon to Portumna Bridge, making enquiries of the boats moored at each harbour.

When the lifeboat reported that no sighting of a vessel adrift, they were stood down.

The Lifeboat returned to station and was ready for service again at 22.10pm.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Page 9 of 17

Fastnet Yacht Race 

This race is both a blue riband international yachting fixture and a biennial offshore pilgrimage that attracts crews from all walks of life:- from aspiring sailors to professional crews; all ages and all professions. Some are racing for charity, others for a personal challenge. For the world's top professional sailors, it is a 'must-do' race. For some, it will be their first-ever race, and for others, something they have competed in for over 50 years! The race attracts the most diverse fleet of yachts, from beautiful classic yachts to some of the fastest racing machines on the planet – and everything in between. The testing course passes eight famous landmarks along the route: The Needles, Portland Bill, Start Point, the Lizard, Land’s End, the Fastnet Rock, Bishop’s Rock off the Scillies and Plymouth breakwater (now Cherbourg for 2021 and 2023). After the start in Cowes, the fleet heads westward down The Solent, before exiting into the English Channel at Hurst Castle. The finish is in Plymouth, Devon via the Fastnet Rock, off the southern tip of Ireland.

  • The leg across the Celtic Sea to (and from) the Fastnet Rock is known to be unpredictable and challenging. The competitors are exposed to fast-moving Atlantic weather systems and the fleet often encounter tough conditions
  • Flawless decision-making, determination and total commitment are the essential requirements. Crews have to manage and anticipate the changing tidal and meteorological conditions imposed by the complex course
  • The symbol of the race is the Fastnet Rock, located off the southern coast of Ireland. Also known as the Teardrop of Ireland, the Rock marks an evocative turning point in the challenging race
  • Once sailors reach the Fastnet Rock, they are well over halfway to the finish in Plymouth.
  • The lighthouse first shone its light on New Year’s Day in 1854
    Fastnet Rock originally had six keepers (now unmanned), with four on the rock at a time with the other two on leave. Each man did four weeks on, two weeks off

At A Glance – Fastnet Race

  • The world's largest offshore yacht race
  • The biennial race is 605 nautical miles - Cowes, Fastnet Rock, Plymouth
  • A fleet of over 400 yachts regularly will take part
  • The international fleet is made up of over 26 countries
  • Multihull course record: 1 day, 8 hours, 48 minutes (2011, Banque Populaire V)
  • Monohull course record: 1 day, 18 hours, 39 minutes (2011, Volvo 70, Abu Dhabi)
  • Largest IRC Rated boat is the 100ft (30.48m) Scallywag 100 (HKG)
  • Some of the Smallest boats in the fleet are 30 footers
  • Rolex SA has been a longstanding sponsor of the race since 2001
  • The first race was in 1925 with 7 boats. The Royal Ocean Racing Club was set up as a result

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