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Technical clothing brand, Helly Hansen, is continuing to strengthen its ongoing relationship with the RNLI as it announces the renewal of its contract as Official Clothing Supplier to the RNLI's lifeguards, and introduces new kit to keep the charity's professionals protected from the elements.

No stranger to protecting the globe's outdoor professionals from some of the world's harshest environments, Helly Hansen has worked in conjunction with the RNLI, to design and develop a range of products guaranteed to keep the lifeguards comfortable, dry and warm when facing the unpredictable conditions seen throughout the year on Britain's beaches.

lifeguards_hellyhansen

From LIFA patrol shirts and Polartec fleeces to waterproof, breathable jackets and smocks, Helly Hansen is passionate about producing technical clothing to protect the RNLI lifeguards - dedicated to risking their lives to save others.

New kit supplied to the RNLI lifeguards include

The RNLI Poncho is an overhead protection garment inspired by Helly Hansen's renowned workwear collection. The Poncho is quick and easy to remove in times of emergency, and features a 2 layer HellyTech construction, making it the perfect waterproof, breathable outer layer. It covers the knee and seat area, for full body protection, ensuring the lifeguards remain dry in all weather conditions.

The Track Pant is ideal for providing additional warmth on colder days. Made from Polyester, these red pants are quick drying to prevent the lifeguards from feeling the cold and wet.

The RNLI has over 800 lifeguards patrolling over 150 of the UK's beaches throughout the year. In 2009 the beach lifeguards saved more than 120 lives and assisted over 15,000 people. It is believed that two out of three people in the UK will visit a UK beach at least once during 2010, but every year over 7,000 people find themselves in serious difficulty either in the water or on the beaches

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Last year RNLI lifeboats rescued 1,094 people in Ireland, launching 1,002 times. Figures released today (Tuesday 25 January 2010) by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) show an increase of 8 per cent in the number of people brought to safety by Irish lifeboat crews compared to 2009 figures.

The busiest RNLI lifeboat station in Ireland last year was Enniskillen, where the crews on Lough Erne launched 64 times and rescued 82 people last year. The next busiest station was Crosshaven in Cork where volunteer lifeboat crew launched 54 times and brought 67 people to safety. RNLI Dun Laoghaire's lifeboats launched 50 times and the Aran Islands all-weather lifeboat launched 49 times bringing between them 107 people to safety. Kilmore Quay lifeboat station in Wexford, which last year received a new Tamar class lifeboat worth €3 million, rescued 85 people during 43 callouts.

In a breakdown of the causes of services for the RNLI last year 130 callouts were to persons in the sea, 329 launches were to power pleasure craft and 109 were to fishing vessels.

RNLI Divisional Inspector for Ireland Martyn Smith said: 'It's been another busy year for Ireland's 55 RNLI lifeboats with lifeboat launches topping one thousand for the first time last year.  Every one of the rescues carried out by the RNLI in 2010 was only made possible due to the incredible generosity of the public, even in these difficult times.

'We are absolutely determined to make the best possible use of the funds that the public entrust to us – and we regularly re-examine everything we do. This ensures that we give the best possible support to our volunteers who may face the worst the sea can throw at them. These new figures show just how much time our crews sacrifice to help those in trouble at sea – but in addition, they spend even more time training, which is a further measure of their dedication and commitment.'

The RNLI, a charity that is independent of Government and reliant on donations, is urging the public to respond to its own call for help by supporting RNLI SOS Day this year on Friday, 28 January.  To find out more log on to www.rnli.ie or call 1800 789 589

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Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Bangor Lifeboat launched at 11:40 am on Monday 24th January to rescue two canoeists from a stretch of water lying between the Copeland Island and Donaghadee known locally as the Donaghadee Sound. One of the canoeists had apparently entered the water and was in difficulty.

Belfast Coastguard requested RNLI Bangor Lifeboat to launch.

Within minutes of the rescue pagers being activated, Bangor volunteer crew had assembled and had launched the RNLI's fast response Atlantic 85 type lifeboat the 'Jessie Hillyard '.

With a top speed of 35 knots Bangor Lifeboat quickly arrived on scene.

The Fishery Protection vessel also received the rescue alert and was by minutes the first vessel on the scene. With the Fishery Protection vessel providing a weather lee, crew from Bangor Lifeboat quickly plucked the exhausted canoeist from the water. The second canoeist was then brought aboard Bangor Lifeboat along with both canoes.

Donaghadee Lifeboat who also launched to this rescue stood close by to offer additional medical support if required.

Bangor Lifeboat accompanied by Donaghadee Lifeboat returned to Donaghadee Harbour and both canoeists were landed safely ashore.

Ewan Scott, helmsman onboard Bangor Lifeboat praised the actions of both volunteer crews. He said 'The dedication and commitment of both Bangor and Donaghadee volunteer crews is evident in the professional manner in which they undertook this rescue' He added 'We're happy that both canoeists are now safely ashore.'

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Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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At around 11.30 this morning Belfast Coastguard were alerted to two people in distress after one of them was pitched into the water from his capsized canoe and had been struggling, without success to get back into the craft. The call came from his colleague.

The emergency call stated that the two men, both in their early 50s, were off Copeland Sound between the coast and Donaghadee. Both men were wearing lifejackets. The man in difficulty was exhausted and needed assistance. The seas on scene were described as having a heavy swell.

Both the Bangor and Donaghadee RNLI inshore lifeboats were asked to launch and a fisheries patrol vessel, the 'Queen of Ulster' also offered assistance after hearing the radio exchanges.

During the incident, Belfast Coastguard kept in contact with the canoeist who had remained in his craft to ensure that both men were aware of the situation and that help was proceeding.

Louis McGookin, Duty Watch Manager at Belfast Coastguard said

"It was clear that the man in the water was absolutely exhausted and simply was unable to get back into his craft. Sea temperatures are at around 8 degrees Celsius at present and hypothermia is an ever present danger in prolonged immersion. Fortunately they were able to contact the Coastguard and using our knowledge of the tides in the area we were able to pinpoint his location. Both men were given a medical check when they arrived back at the shoreline and neither required any treatment."

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Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Clyde Coastguard are currently co-ordinating a search for a missing male passenger after they were reported missing by a coach driver when the ferry, the 'European Highlander', docked at Cairnryan in Scotland after travelling from Larne in Northern Ireland. The Coastguard were notified a little after 10.00 am this morning. The ferry is now being fully searched.

The vessel had departed from Larne at 07.24 this morning and arrived at Cairnryan two hours later at a speed of approximately 18 knots. The master of the vessel has confirmed that one person is missing from the ships manifest.

The sea conditions are currently calm with a slight swell and good visibility with south westerly winds of 5 knots between the two locations.

A rescue helicopter, R 177, has been scrambled from the Royal Naval Air Station at Prestwick.

Clyde Coastguard are now organising a search throughout the area taking into account tidal drift and winds. Coastguard Rescue Teams have now been turned out ready to search the shores of Loch Ryan.

The Portpatrick, Stranraer and Larne RNLI lifeboats have all been requested to launch. A search has also begun from Cairnryan to Finnarts Bay. The Police Service of Northern Ireland has also been informed.

A mayday signal has now also been broadcast into the area by the Coastguard to alert passing shipping to the unfolding incident.

Published in Coastguard

UPDATE: Ballycotton RNLI lifeboat has launched this morning to help search for a missing person off Ringabella Bay in Cork Harbour. The alarm was raised when one fisherman managed to swim ashore shortly before 11am and alert the emergency services that another man was still in the water. A major air and sea search is currently taking place in the area for the missing fisherman. Ballycotton RNLI lifeboat, Crosshaven RNLI lifeboat, Coastguard helicopter Rescue 117 and the naval service have gathered in the area and a coordinated search is taking place.

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Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Ballycotton RNLI lifeboat, Austin Lidbury, has launched to assist in a search for a missing person off Ringabella Bay, near Cork harbour. The alarm was raised when a companion swam ashore and alerted the emergency services. Ballycotton RNLI lifeboat's eta is 11:40.

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Published in RNLI Lifeboats

RNLI Bangor Lifeboat launched at 1:20 pm on Monday 17th January to assist 1 person aboard a 21ft crab fishing boat which had experienced gearbox mechanical failure close to shore.

Within minutes of the rescue pagers being activated, volunteer crew had launched RNLI Bangor Lifeboat and quickly located the crab fishing boat close to shore near Ballymacormick Point which is 1 ½ nautical miles north east of Bangor Harbour.

Calm weather conditions had allowed the skipper of the fishing vessel to make emergency repairs to the gearbox.

RNLI Bangor Lifeboat escorted the fishing vessel to the safety of Bangor Harbour and assisted the skipper with docking manoeuvres.

This is the first rescue call for RNLI Bangor Lifeboat in 2011.

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Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Four fishermen have been rescued last night from a 58 foot wooden Fishing Vessel 'Karen', after hitting rocks near the entrance to Ardglass Harbour and taking on water. The crew of the Fishing vessel had prepared their liferaft, as the vessel was in danger of sinking.

Belfast Coastguard received a Mayday call at 5:54pm from the Newry registered vessel, which operates out of Ardglass, and immediately sent the Southdown and Portaferry Coastguard Rescue Teams to the scene. The launch was requested of the RNLI Portaferry inshore lifeboat.  The Irish Coastguard Rescue Helicopter was tasked but was later stood down.

Steve Carson, Watch Manager, Belfast Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, said:

"The crew aboard the fishing vessel were rescued by the inshore lifeboat and then taken to Ardglass Harbour where they received medical attention; one of the crew has since been taken to Downpatrick Hospital.

It is imperative to always ensure you are carrying the correct safety equipment and have it serviced regularly. Due to the prompt and appropriate action of the crew I am pleased to say they are all safe but shaken by their traumatic experience.

The rescue was successfully coordinated by Belfast Coastguard with assistance from their colleagues at Dublin, Liverpool and Holyhead Coastguard Stations.

The vessel has now been successfully refloated and is now alongside in Ardglass Harbour."

Published in Coastguard
Concern about an overdue small boat with two persons on board led to a call for Baltimore lifeboat to carry out a search and rescue operation in Dunmanus Bay, West Cork on December 30th.

Two men in a small dinghy had earlier put to sea in poor weather conditions on Wednesday 29 December. Visibility was restricted due to sea fog. When the dinghy did not return the Coast Guard were alerted. At 17:20, both the Baltimore lifeboat and the Castletownbere lifeboat were requested to provide support.

Coxswain Kieran Cotter was proceeding to Dunmanus Bay on the Tyne class all-weather lifeboat Hilda Jarrett, when the Coast Guard indicated that the two men had been observed coming ashore safe and well. The search and rescue operation was stood down.

This incident echoes a similar one earlier this year. On the 5th January 2010 almost certain tragedy was averted when the inshore lifeboat rescued two men in a 7ft dinghy, which was drifting out to open sea when their outboard failed.

Lifeboat crew on this service ; Kieran Cotter, Micheal Cottrell, Ronnie Carty, Brian McSweeney, Diarmuid Collins.

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Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Page 240 of 250

RORC Fastnet 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 for 2021 is in Cherbourg 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 Cherbourg.

Fastnet Race - FAQs

The 49th edition of the biennial Rolex Fastnet Race will start from the Royal Yacht Squadron line in Cowes, UK on Sunday 8th August 2021.

The next two editions of the race in 2021 and 2023 will finish in Cherbourg-en-Cotentin at the head of the Normandy peninsula, France

Over 300. A record fleet is once again anticipated for the world's largest offshore yacht race.

The international fleet attracts both enthusiastic amateur, the seasoned offshore racer, as well as out-and-out professionals from all corners of the world.

Boats of all shapes, sizes and age take part in this historic race, from 9m-34m (30-110ft) – and everything in between.

The Fastnet Race multihull course record is: 1 day 4 hours 2 minutes and 26 seconds (2019, Ultim Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, Franck Cammas / Charles Caudrelier)

The Fastnet Race monohull course record is: 1 day, 18 hours, 39 minutes (2011, Volvo 70, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing).

David and Peter Askew's American VO70 Wizard won the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race, claiming the Fastnet Challenge Cup for 1st in IRC Overall.

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.

The winner of the first Fastnet Race was the former pilot cutter Jolie Brise, a boat that is still sailing today.

Cork sailor Henry P F Donegan (1870-1940), who gave his total support for the Fastnet Race from its inception in 1925 and competed in the inaugural race in his 43ft cutter Gull from Cork.

Ireland has won the Fastnet Race twice. In 1987 the Dubois 40 Irish Independent won the Fastnet Race overall for the first time and then in 2007 – all of twenty years after Irish Independent’s win – Ireland secured the overall win again this time thanks to Ger O’Rourke’s Cookson 50 Chieftain from the Royal Western Yacht Club of Ireland in Kilrush.

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Fastnet Race 2023 Date

The 2023 50th Rolex Fastnet Race will start on Saturday, 22nd July 2023

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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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