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Displaying items by tag: Lough Erne

At 10.55pm on Friday evening (7 June), Enniskillen RNLI’s inshore lifeboat John and Jean Lewis was launched at the request of Belfast Coastguard to assess a boat with six people onboard, which had encountered difficulties while making its way from Enniskillen in the direction of Castle Archdale.

Weather conditions at the time on Lough Erne in Northern Ireland were blowing a westerly Force 3 wind and visibility was poor.

The volunteer crew located the casualty vessel which had run aground on rocks close to Marker 58R1. The crew assessed those onboard and found them to be safe and well and wearing lifejackets.

The crew then made the decision to tow the vessel to the nearest safe jetty as the casualty vessel could not make good progress without assistance.

Speaking following the call-out, Enniskillen RNLI helm Paul Keown said: “Now that we are in the summer season, we would urge all boat owners to carry out regular maintenance checks on your vessel, make sure you have the relevant charts required before starting your journey, lifejackets for all on board and a means of calling for assistance if you find yourself in trouble.

“If you see someone in trouble on the water or are in difficulties yourself the number to dial is 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels and waterways users on the Erne System in Northern Ireland that Fermanagh’s annual Classic Fishing Festival will take place on Lough Erne from this Sunday 28 April to Friday 3 May.

Inland waterways users are advised that the Castle/Museums and Henry Street jetties in Enniskillen and the Tom’s Island jetty on Lower Lough Erne will be closed during the angling competition.

Published in Inland Waterways

Celebrity chef Glen Wheeler from 28 At The Hollow will cook up a delicious menu at Enniskillen RNLI’s lifeboat station at 7pm on Monday 29 April.

The culinary masterclass is in aid of the Enniskillen lifeboat and tickets for the event are £15. Get yours via the evening’s Eventbrite page or via the Northern Ireland phone contacts in the event poster above.

Enniskillen RNLI is also calling on members of the public to support the RNLI’s Mayday fundraising campaign, after revealing they launched 17 times last year on Lough Erne — as did their neighbours at Carrybridge RNLI.

The RNLI’s Mayday fundraiser begins on Monday 1 May and will run for the whole month across Ireland and the UK. Afloat.ie has more on the initiative HERE.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

At 2.09pm on Saturday, 13 May, Carrybridge RNLI’s inshore relief lifeboat, Roy Snewin was launched at the request of Belfast Coastguard, to assess a vessel with six people on board, which had run broken down close to Corradillar jetty at Lady Craigavon bridge with a steering failure.

Winds were South Westerly, Force 2. Visibility was good.

The volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat located the casualty vessel, which had been able to set its anchor to stop the boat from drifting. The crew assessed the casualties and found them to be well.

The crew then assessed the casualty vessel and were able to aid with a temporary repair. This enabled the crew of the casualty boat to continue with their trip. A lifeboat crew member stayed on board to ensure this repair was successful for the first part of the onward journey, with the lifeboat following behind before transferring the crew member back to the lifeboat.

The following day, Sunday 14 May, Carrybridge RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was requested to launch at 12.54 pm at the request of Belfast Coastguard following a report of a boat explosion on Upper Lough Erne at Crom. One person was understood to be injured.

The lifeboat launched immediately and made its way to the scene. The Northern Ireland Air Ambulance, Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service, Northern Ireland Ambulance Service and the PSNI were also tasked. Once on scene the crew observed that the casualty was in care of the ambulance service. The lifeboat stood by during the incident to ensure other vessels on the water were kept back. The lifeboat was stood down at 3.15 pm.

Speaking following the call outs, Stephen Scott, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Carrybridge RNLI advised all boat users: ‘‘Before setting out on your journey please plan your route using the relevant charts and carry out regular checks of your position whilst you proceed. Have a means of calling for assistance if you find yourself in trouble and have lifejackets for all on board. If you see someone or something in trouble on the water or are in difficulties yourself the number to dial is: 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.’’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Carrybridge RNLI in Northern Ireland were delighted to receive a generous donation of £1,500 from the Erne Boat Rally committee at the lifeboat station this past Thursday evening (4 May).

The money was raised following the annual boat rally gathering which took place on Lough Erne over the June Bank Holiday weekend in 2022.

Over 50 cruisers attended the Erne Boat Rally weekend, with some 140 people having a very enjoyable cruising experience on both Upper and Lower Lough Erne.

Stephen Scott, lifeboat operations manager at Carrybridge RNLI said: “The funds raised are vital to the continuing work of the Carrybridge RNLI on Lough Erne, and will assist with future lifesaving operations.

“It was very much appreciated that the Erne Boat Rally committee continued with raising vital funds for their local RNLI lifeboat station.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council has established a new tourism partnership which will work to enhance and strengthen local tourism through the delivery of the Visitor Experience Development Plan (VEDP) for Fermanagh Lakelands, Omagh and the Sperrins.

The partnership met in Enniskillen for the first time last Tuesday 21 March to commit to realising the ambition set out within the VEDP for a regenerative, year-round tourism destination.

It includes members from Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Tourism NI, Waterways Ireland, Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland, DAERA, Cuilcagh Lakelands Geopark, Department for Communities, Fermanagh Lakeland Tourism, Loughs Agency, National Trust, South West College, Sperrins Partnership Project, National Museums NI and Invest NI.

The inaugural meeting of the VEDP Delivery Partnership is a key milestone in the delivery of the development plan and, alongside the core membership, the partnership is working on plans to establish inclusive industry and community engagement models.

The VEDP is a 10-year destination roadmap that will focus on regenerative tourism, delivering authentic visitor experiences, while benefitting local communities, businesses and the environment.

Funded and developed by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Tourism NI and Waterways Ireland, the VEDP will create greater alignment locally across the tourism sector through stronger collaboration from key delivery organisations and a more joined-up approach to tourism development.

Councillor Barry McElduff, chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council said: “The Fermanagh Lakelands and Omagh and the Sperrins is a truly beautiful part of the world in which to live, work and visit. We are keen to share this with visitors locally, nationally, and internationally.

“A key part of the vision set out in the VEDP is that our visitors become temporary locals when they are here. Through delivery of memorable moments, we will inspire our visitors to share their experience and encourage them to return.”

Published in Aquatic Tourism

For less than the price of a modest Dublin home, you might get to own your very own private island on Lough Erne, as BelfastLive reports.

Long Island — which lies just minutes by boat from Lough Erne Yacht Club and Enniskillen town in Northern Ireland — is being touted as a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” by estate agents Montgomery Finlay & Co.

Twelve acres of woodland surround the two/three-bed waterfront property which comes with a private marina and jetty.

It could well be the perfect staging post for exploring the Fermanagh Lakelands and the inland waterways beyond, or simply an “off-grid” island idyll to get away from the hustle and bustle.

BelfastLive has more on the story HERE.

Published in Island News
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County Fermanagh in the west of Northern Ireland is home to a myriad of loughs and lakes, the largest of which is the well-known Upper and Lower Lough Erne, but one you don’t hear much about is Lough Head near Lisnaskea, the second biggest settlement in the County.

Now the publication of Lough Head Revealed by the Lisnaskea Historical Society serves to tell about the Lough Head in some detail, and it is indeed a revelation. The work is the culmination of much research by several contributors and brings the history of this interesting site to life in a most colourful book. The 164 pages are crammed with fascinating accounts by over 20 authors and is the result of many years of research.

Lough Head Revealed by the Lisnaskea Historical SocietyLough Head Revealed, a new book by the Lisnaskea Historical Society

The first chapter is written by Archaeologist Dr Paul Logue and called Lough Head, Co. Fermanagh, and its Landscape of Gaelic Lordship sets the scene. The area around Lough Head is often linked with the Chief of the Name of the Irish clan Maguire, the anglicised version of Aodh Mag Uidhir, who was Lord of Fermanagh during the reign of Elizabeth 1. Maguire was targeted during the English conquest of Ireland, and most of the Maguire lands were confiscated and then largely colonised by English settlers and lowland Scots.

Lough Head near Lisnaskea in County Fermanagh Courtesy Google EarthLough Head near Lisnaskea in County Fermanagh Courtesy Google Earth

Well before the coming of roads and railways, personal and commercial transport was by water, and the Erne was always known as The Highway of the West. The Lough Head quay, built in 1842 served as a station for trade boats of the Ulster Canal which connected Lough Erne with Lough Neagh and the Lagan and Newry Canals in the eastern counties of Ulster. Before the arrival of the railways, practically everything was shipped to and from Fermanagh by the Ulster Canal. The small river that flows out of the Lough Head is called Creeve River - it connects Lough Head to Kilmore Lough, which flows into the Colebrooke River and on into Upper Lough Erne. It's approximately two miles from Lough Head Quay to the Upper Lough. The Creeve is now only navigable in winter when the water level is high.

The Vikings probably ventured into it during the 9th and 10th centuries; following their raids of Devenish Island, they sailed to Clones, so they had to pass what is now known as the Colebrooke River, which connects to the Lough Head to the Erne.

There is evidence to suggest that the Lough Head area was used by even earlier travellers, as there was a log boat found in the nearby Colebrooke River that dates from the pre-Christian era. It is believed that the Lough Head was used as a "pagan passage" from Cornashee, where the Maguires were crowned as kings and chiefs of Fermanagh and  Knockninny, an ancient megalithic site. Both are within sight of each other.

The fascinating articles ranging from personal reflections on life in the area to poetry, the natural flora and fauna which existed before the Middle Ages -  sure to interest readers both local and further afield. Much of what is presented in this attractively bound and colourful book has never been seen in print before.

Brian Osborne of Lough Erne Heritage said “No words can express our gratitude towards Linda Swindle, the editor, who laboured tirelessly over these past couple of years to compile the varied articles contained within this book.  Lough Head Revealed truly is a revelation and I can assure you, will open many people's eyes as to the significance of this historic corner of Lisnaskea.”

The book costs £12 and is available from McBrien's newsagents in Lisnaskea. 

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The RNLI’s new inland lifeboat station on Lower Lough Erne is complete and fully operational.

The station team at Enniskillen RNLI are now looking for new volunteers to join the crew in several roles including lifeboat crew, shore crew, deputy launching authorities and fundraisers.

After being housed in temporary accommodation for 21 years, volunteers at Enniskillen were handed the keys to their new state-of-the-art building on the Killadeas Road at Gublusk earlier this month.

The modern purpose-built lifeboat station is located close to the lough to allow for an efficient launch of its inshore lifeboat.

And the station — which also houses the associated launching tractor and equipment, full crew changing facilities, a workshop, office and training room — will be officially opened at a special ceremony next year.

The build, which took little over a year to complete, was carried out by Omagh-based company Woodvale Construction and handed over to the RNLI on Friday 4 November.

A generous contribution towards the cost of the build was made by the daughter of the late Alfred Russell Wallace Weir from Bangor in Co Down, in his memory.

The building is designed with a heating system which allows the heat to be drawn from the ground, keeping the temperature at an ambient 16C inside. The excess is used to heat the water for showering, washing up and cleaning the vessels. The building is also fitted with solar panels on the roof to generate electricity.

In 2001, Enniskillen became home to the RNLI’s first inland lifeboat station based on Lower Lough Erne.

Due to the overall size and complexity of the lough and its high leisure usage, the decision was taken by the RNLI in 2002 to base a second lifeboat on the upper lough at Carrybridge that would work in conjunction with the original lifeboat station on the lower lough at Killadeas.

Last year Enniskillen RNLI launched 33 times, bringing 73 people to safety.

Enniskillen RNLI’s inshore lifeboat in its new boat shed | Credit: RNLI/Rogan WheeldonEnniskillen RNLI’s inshore lifeboat in its new boat shed | Credit: RNLI/Rogan Wheeldon

Speaking following the handover of the new building to the RNLI, area lifesaving manager Rogan Wheeldon said he was delighted that the station was now complete.

“From the outset, we wanted to build a modern station with full crew facilities with areas for the crew to change and train and space to keep their lifeboat and lifesaving kit safe,” he said. “We now have those facilities and are very happy to be in a position to take over the new lifeboat station and are delighted with both the design and quality of the building.”

Gary Jones, Enniskillen RNLI lifeboat operations manager said the new station was what the crew deserved and is “a testament of the RNLI’s commitment and dedication to the community here locally and a credit to the efforts of our crew in continuing to bring people to safety on Lough Erne”.

He added: “Our volunteers had an opportunity to be shown around their new station and they are overwhelmed with the structure and facilities that they now have when they come together for call outs and training. We would like to thank everyone who has helped us to get to this stage.

“Now that we have our new building, we are keen to have new volunteers join our team. If you are interested in becoming lifeboat crew, shore crew, deputy launching authority or helping in another officer capacity or with fundraising, please contact us to find out more about how you can be involved and help us to continue to save lives on Lough Erne.”

To find out more about how you can volunteer at Enniskillen RNLI, get in touch with Gary at [email protected].

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The RNLI’s new inland lifeboat station on Lower Lough Erne is complete and fully operational.

The station team is now looking for new volunteers to join the crew in several roles, including lifeboat crew, shore crew, deputy launching authorities and fundraisers.

After been housed in temporary accommodation for 21 years, volunteers at Enniskillen RNLI were handed the keys to their new state-of-the-art building on the Killadeas Road at Gublusk earlier this month.

The modern purpose-built lifeboat station is close to the lough to allow for an efficient launch of its inshore lifeboat. The station, which also houses the associated launching tractor and equipment, full crew changing facilities, a workshop, office, and training room, will officially open at a special ceremony next year.

The build, which took little over a year to complete, was carried out by the Omagh-based company, Woodvale Construction, and handed over to the RNLI on Friday, 4 November.

Inside Enniskillen RNLI's new lifeboat stationInside Enniskillen RNLI's new lifeboat station

In his memory, the daughter of the late Alfred Russell Wallace Weir from Bangor in county Down made a generous contribution towards the cost of the build.

The building is designed with a heating system which allows the heat to be drawn from the ground and produced inside keeping the temperature at an ambient 16 degrees Celsius. The excess is used to heat the water for showering, washing up and cleaning the vessels. The building is also fitted with solar panels on the roof to generate electricity.

In 2001, Enniskillen became home to the RNLI’s first inland lifeboat station based on Lower Lough Erne.

Due to the overall size and complexity of the lough and its high leisure usage, the decision was taken by the RNLI in 2002 to base a second lifeboat on the upper lough at Carrybridge that would work in conjunction with the original lifeboat station on the lower lough at Killadeas.

Last year, Enniskillen RNLI launched 33 times, bringing 73 people to safety.

Speaking following the handover of the new building to the RNLI, Rogan Wheeldon, RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager, said he was delighted that the station was now complete: ‘From the outset, we wanted to build a modern station with full crew facilities with areas for the crew to change and train and space to keep their lifeboat and lifesaving kit safe. We now have those facilities and are very happy to be in a position to take over the new lifeboat station and are delighted with both the design and quality of the building.’

Enniskillen RNLI's new lifeboat stationEnniskillen RNLI's new lifeboat station

Gary Jones, Enniskillen RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, said the new station was what the crew deserved: ‘The new station is a testament of the RNLI’s commitment and dedication to the community here locally and a credit to the efforts of our crew in continuing to bring people to safety on Lough Erne. Our volunteers had an opportunity to be shown around their new station, and they are overwhelmed with the structure and facilities they now have when they come together for call-outs and training. We would like to thank everyone who helped us get to this stage.

‘Now that we have our new building, we are keen to have new volunteers join our team. If you are interested in becoming lifeboat crew, shore crew, deputy launching authority or helping in another officer capacity or with fundraising, please contact us to learn more about how you can be involved and help us continue to save lives on Lough Erne.’

To find out more about how you can volunteer at Enniskillen RNLI, please email [email protected]

Published in Inland Waterways
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Beneteau 211 sailing in Ireland

A small, fast cruiser/racer – in style very much a miniature Open 60 or early Figaro, the Beneteau First 211 offers high sailing performance for her size, plus simple accommodation for up to four people.
The boat is very dinghy-style to sail, although the keel makes her self-righting, and foam buoyancy renders her unsinkable, according to the French manufacturer.

Designed by Groupe Finot and introduced in 1998 as a replacement model for the 1992 model First 210, the Beneteau First 211 is a small high-performance yacht designed to be simple to sail and take the ground or be trailed. The words' pocket rockets' tend to be used to describe these boats!
The design was revised to become the Beneteau First 21.7 in 2005. All three models, 210, 211 and 21.7, are very similar in style and concept and share many actual components.

The hull of the Beneteau First 211 is solid GRP, with sandwich construction for the deck moulding. There is foam buoyancy at the bow and stern, guaranteeing unsinkability. The ballasted drop keel is raised by a manual jack and allows easy transport of the boat and drying out if required, supported level by the twin rudders.
The sailplan has a non-overlapping jib to keep sheet loads down and a large spinnaker to achieve high speeds downwind. With almost six foot of draught with keel down and twin rudders for control, upwind performance is also excellent.

The design is popular in Ireland's boating capital at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, where up to a dozen race as part of a one-design class in regular Dublin Bay Sailing Club racing. The boats also race for national championship honours annually. The boats are kept on Dun Laoghaire Marina and look all the more impressive as the fleet of pocket rocket racers are all moored together on one pontoon.

At A Glance – Beneteau First 211 Specifications

LOA: 6.2m (20ft 4in)

Draught: 1.8m to 0.65m (5ft 11in to 2ft 2in)

Displacement: 1,100kg (2,200lb)

LWL: 6m (19ft 7in)

ARCHITECT
• Finot Conq et Associés

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