Displaying items by tag: Belfast Lough
A campaigner on Twitter is encouraging supporters to sign an online petition against the closure of coastguard stations across the UK.
So far almost 7,000 signatures have been added to the petition started by Twitter user @Coastguard_SOS in protest at the UK government's plans to streamline the Maritime and Coastguard Agency's nationwide network of rescue centres from 19 to 11.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, campaigners in Scotland have made a desperate plea to save the Clyde station from closure in a public consultation.
Northern Ireland's rescue command centre at Bangor on Belfast Lough is among those saved from the chop following a review of reform proposals this past summer.
But concerns remain that resources will be stretched too thin if fewer stations are responsible for broader areas.
"The revised proposals are also unacceptable not least on the basis that vital local knowledge will continue be lost and therefore lives will continue to be out at risk on our coastlines," the petition warns.
Stormont's environment minister has called for a marine litter strategy in Northern Ireland.
UTV News reports that Alex Attwood joined thousands of volunteers taking part in a morning cleanup on the shores of Belfast Lough for the Marine Conservation Society's Beachwatch Big Weekend.
The minister said he has demanded that his department implement a marine litter strategy to deal waste washing in from the sea.
"Our coast is a great asset and we must keep it in good order," he said. "Marine litter is widespread and the problem can only be tackled at the source.
"I am amazed at the variety of plastic debris and packaging that we have found."
Beachwatch Big Weekend took place across the UK as part of the Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup.
In the RS Elite fleet defending Irish Champion John Patterson with crew David Kelso and Stephen Polly in Momentary Lapse will be up against some of the highest scoring boats from the recent National Championships at the Royal Forth Yacht Club, namely Simon Brien's Kin who finished third at that event and John McDowell's Sea Breezes who came fifth.
John Patterson, David Kelso and Stephen Polly who will be defending their Irish RS Elite title. Credit Thomas Anderson
In the SB3 Class local sailor Peter Kennedy and his crew in Ridgefence will be looking for revenge after Howth's Ben Duncan in Sharkbait beat them into second place at the Western Championships in Galway in June this year. Sharkbait is the boat in form, having won the Best Small Keelboat trophy at the recent Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta when she topped the 33 strong SB3 Class.
Royal Ulster Yacht Club is delighted to bring BT Infinity on board as event sponsor and with their help the event will be "bringing it all together" for two days of great racing.
"It is really a great opportunity for BT Infinity to support the major sailing championships this year at Royal Ulster", says Peter Morris, Consumer Director, BT in Northern Ireland. " Effective communication through the use of the latest technology is at the very heart of our business and as we rollout Superfast fibre optic broadband speeds, not just in Bangor, but across Northern Ireland, slow down, as in racing, just isn't a factor. The best of luck to all the crews and have a safe and successful competition".
Royal Ulster YC also acknowledges the support of North Down Borough Council and Quay Marinas, Bangor Marina in the running of this event.
Prior to her arrival on the North Channel, Norcape had been laid-up in Liverpool since February 2010 after the former B+I Line vessel (MV Tipperary) was replaced by European Endeavour on the central corridor route to Dublin. As of this week the ro-pax freight vessel which has been running in a freight-only mode will now carry motorists likewise to her route fleetmates Norbank and Norbay.
With the departure of European Mariner from the Irish Sea, she follows a trio of former Stena Line freight-ferry sisters which were made redundant since the closure of the Belfast-Heysham route late last year. It is believed the sisters Stena Seafarer, Stena Leader and Stena Pioneer have been sold to Russian interests to serve in the Black Sea in connection to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
The sisters were renamed, Stena Pioneer became Ant 1, Stena Seafarer is the Ant 2 and Stena Leader is the Anna Marine. They departed Belfast Lough in mid-June to Sevastopol in the Ukraine under the Moldovan flag and with a port of registry in Giurgiulesti.
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The principle driver in the ports performance came from the agri-food sector with a record 2m tonnes of grain and animal feed imports. The sector also recorded fertiliser imports alone leap by 32%, reflecting the major investment by the harbour in recent years in the dry-bulk cargo trade.
Roll-on roll-off (Ro-Ro) accounted for a 2% rise to 313,000 vehicles carried, partly due to the introduction of newer larger tonnage on the Belfast-Heysham route.
Belfast Harbour Chairman, Len O'Hagan, said: "Although trading conditions in the UK and Ireland remain weak, the increase in tonnages handled by Belfast Harbour suggests that business confidence is starting to return, albeit slowly.
"Belfast Harbour continues to operate in a highly competitive port sector, but I am pleased to note that the £160m which the Harbour invested in new facilities during the past decade has enabled it to emerge from the downturn with new customers and a presence in new sectors such as renewable energy.
Capital investment in the port worth almost £6m were undertaken during 2010, including the purchase of a new mobile crane, a 10,000 sq ft expansion in logistics space and preliminary works to support the proposed development of an offshore wind turbine terminal for DONG Energy (click HERE). The combined capital expenditure in these projects is in excess of £60m.
Within the ports real estate, projects at the Titanic Quarter progress at the Public Record Office, Belfast Metropolitan College and the core attraction of the 'Titanic Belfast' visitor centre.
Master planning for the 24-acre mixed-use City Quays site adjacent to the Harbour Office was secured. In addition planning permission was lodged for a 230,000 sq ft of space at Sydenham Business Park on the south-eastern fringes of the harbour.
Further upstream closer to the city-centre at the Abercorn Basin, initial work had been completed on a marina where there are more plans for the development of a 250-berth full-service leisure facility.
Next Monday the port's cruise business is to welcome a new cruiseship, the 66,000 tonnes Marina of Oceania Cruises. The 1,250-passenger /800 crew newbuild's arrival to Belfast comes in a year that marks the thirteenth anniversary since the first liner docked in the city. In 2011 over 30 such vessels are due to visit bringing some 50,000 passengers and crew.
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Laced with whiskey, wit and ballsy humour, Dockers is a very Northern Irish play with a universal message. Working class hero John Graham struggles to bring equality and integrity to the brutal working environment of the Belfast docks.
As one man's idealism confronts the tribal politics of the docks, a sobering and shocking turn of events brings the play to a climactic ending. Lynch's critically acclaimed and popular play was first produced by the Lyric in 1981. For further information click HERE
The 'cruise' onboard the ferry Stena Navigator (for virtual tour click HERE) is based on a return excursion on the North Channel route.
So what's included?...there's live music, disco / karaoke, face-painting, balloon modeling and party games for the children. For further family entertainment there's even a magician, Wii-games, free movies and free Wi-Fi.
In addition a 10% discount is available from the onboard shop, though exclusions apply.
Cruises are not catered for vehicles but apply to 'foot' passengers, for further details on terms and conditions, cruise itinerary and travel dates click HERE.
As we learned in 2001 when the Mirror Worlds were staged in Ireland, although Peter Bayly of Lough Derg may have won that time round, the strongest national challenge was by the Australians. They've developed what was originally envisaged as a useful general purpose family sailing dinghy into a very potent racing machine.
Thus it was quite an achievement for the 25-year-old Kearney to win in the Oz home waters. But for the Cultra sailor it was extra special, as he is the first Mirror helmsman to win the worlds twice, having taken the title back in 2005, racing in Sweden.
The Mirror being a small boat, an athlete like Ross Kearney has to select his crew from junior sailors. In 2005 it was young Adam McCullough, this time round it was Max Odell, and he and his skipper showed their serious intent towards the Worlds with a very clear win in the Mirror Europeans in Sligo last September.
On the strength of his proven record in the class, Kearney works as a sailmaker and designer with leading English firm Pinner & Bax. They're based in Northampton, about as far from the sea as it's possible to be in England, and a bit of a culture shock for a young sailor who is accustomed to getting his sea sailing just yards from home. But with a second world title now logged, we can expect to see more of Ross Kearney on the sea, and on bigger boats than a Mirror dinghy.
Kearney wins Mirror Title Story HERE.
Northern Ireland’s only coastguard base was not originally among a list of those earmarked for closure, the Belfast Telegraph reports.
However the Bangor facility was added to the list after a "personal intervention" from UK Shipping Minister Mike Penning.
The minister has confirmed to the House of Commons that the original draft list of closures for streamlining the UK's coastguard service originally named Liverpool as the centre to be shut down.
Now the Bangor control centre is being pitted against Liverpool in the service shake-up as previously reported on Afloat.ie that will leave just three full-time coastguard stations across the UK.
Belfast Harbour could potentially become one of the leading energy renewable hubs in the UK, when DONG Energy, a leading Danish energy firm, signed a letter of intent yesterday for an agreement to progress on a number of offshore wind farm projects in the Irish Sea.
In addition as part of the project, Belfast Harbour are to invest £40m in the development of a new 450-m long quay. The facility will be adjoined by a 50-acre logistics space on the southern shoreline of the port's docklands estate on Belfast Lough. The construction phase will create 150 jobs and up to 300 full time positions when the facility is completed, where the wind turbines and their foundations will be pre-assembled.
At that stage the large wind farm components will then be loaded onto specialist wind farm installation /construction vessels as depicted on the image by clicking here and to read further information on the overall project.
Attending the announcement which was held in Belfast Harbour Office, were representatives from the Northern Ireland Executive, Peter Gedbjerg, Vice President and UK Country Manager of DONG Energy, and Len O'Hagan, Chairman of Belfast Harbour. The energy hub scheme represents one of the harbour's largest ever capital investment projects.