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Displaying items by tag: Bangor

#RNLI - Last Wednesday evening (8 August), two men enjoying an evening’s fishing on their speedboat near Groomsport in Co Down hit rocks and lost their propeller.

Bangor RNLI were quickly called to the scene for what was described as “a textbook tow-in” on the part of the volunteer lifeboat crew helmed by John Bell.

Thanks to their skill, it wasn’t long until they were able to hand the rescued vessel over to the Bangor Coastguard Rescue Team and make their way back to Bangor to enjoy what remained of their evening.

More recently, volunteer crew from Bangor launched to a report of a person in the water on the Carrickfergus side of Belfast Lough yesterday, Monday 13 August.

On arrival, however, the crew determined that it was just a cluster of helium-filled balloons, and returned to base.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Bangor RNLI’s volunteer crew headed to the shore in front of Royal Belfast Golf Club early yesterday afternoon (Saturday 7 July) to assist in the rescue of a young woman who had fallen to the rocks below.

Members of the coastguard rescue teams from Bangor and Portaferry and a paramedic from the NI Ambulance Service were already in attendance.

However, due to the inaccessibility of the site for vehicles, the inshore lifeboat was requested to move the casualty, a South African national, to a place where she could be evacuated safely.

Arriving at the scene, due to the shallow waters, members of the crew jumped into the water to walk the boat closer to shore.

Coastguard rescue team members then carried the stretcher with the woman out to the boat, where it was laid across the bow of the boat.

The lifeboat then made its way safely to the slipway at Royal North Yacht Club, where the casualty was transferred to an ambulance and onward to hospital.

Bangor RNLI helmsman James Gillespie thanked his volunteer crew of Russel McKeague, Johnny Gedge and Ian Browne, and said: “This was an excellent example of the RNLI, the coastguard rescue team and the ambulance service working together, and we all wish this young woman a speedy recovery.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - Both Larne and Bangor RNLI were requested to launch last night (Monday 16 October) by Belfast Coastguard during Storm Ophelia.

The volunteer lifeboat crew pagers sounded at 9.25pm following reports of a person in the water at Whitehead off the Antrim coast.

Sea conditions at the time were very rough with winds gusting up to 60mph (97kmh).

As the Larne RNLI crew assembled and made preparations to leave the Port of Larne, Belfast Coastguard cancelled the launch following confirmation from the PSNI that two women were ashore safe and well.

Larne Coastguard, Portmuck Coastguard and the PSNI were also tasked to the incident.

Speaking later, Larne RNLI Coxswain Frank Healy said: “During what is extremely challenging weather conditions, I am proud to say 18 volunteers answered the call immediately. This demonstrates our crew dedication to help those in distress at sea.

“Our volunteer lifeboat crews will always launch to rescue those in danger at sea, but to launch into conditions like these could also put their lives at risk.

“I strongly urge people to respect the water and stay away from the coastline during the storm. If you do see someone else in trouble in the water, call 999 and ask for the coastguard. Don’t enter the water yourself as you could also end up in serious danger.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Lifeboat crews from Ireland will feature in a new 12-part Last year alone, RNLI lifeboats in Ireland documentary for the BBC.

Saving Lives at Sea, showcasing the lifesaving work of the RNLI, starts next Wednesday 16 August at 8pm on BBC Two.

And the first episode will include the dramatic rescue of three fishermen from a sinking trawler and the rescue of 30 people from the Astrid tall ship in Kinsale.

The 12-part series features real rescues carried out by the charity’s lifeboat crews around Ireland and the UK, and gives a unique insight into the lives of the charity’s volunteer lifeboat crew members, who rescue thousands of people and save hundreds of lives around our coastline every year.

From Ireland, the series will feature lifeboat crews from Castletownbere and Kinsale in Cork, Skerries in Dublin and Bangor on Belfast Lough.

Castletownbere will be in episode three, as the crew rescue a lone sailor in storm conditions and rescue two fishermen from a boat that sinks.

Saving Lives at Sea features real-life rescue footage accompanied by heart-warming and emotive testimonials from the crew and the people they rescue.

The series has been filmed over the past year, with lifeboat crews using RNLI and special cameras and welcoming filmmakers into their day-to-day life. Rescues from the RNLI’s archives are also revisited.

Last year alone, RNLI lifeboats in Ireland launched 1,136 times rescuing 1,649 people.

Saving Lives at Sea will be broadcast weekly from Wednesday 16 August to Wednesday 1 November on BBC Two at 8pm. The series is made for the BBC by Blast! Films.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Volunteers from Donaghadee and Bangor RNLI were requested to launch their lifeboats this evening (Thursday 3 August) after a group of dinghy sailors got into difficulty off the County Down coast.

The inshore lifeboat from Bangor and the all-weather lifeboat from Donaghadee launched shortly after 5pm following a report from Belfast Coastguard that two dinghies with 10 people onboard were in difficulty in an area off South Briggs.

Weather conditions at the time were dry and sunny with a north west Force 4 wind blowing.

The sailors had got caught out by an offshore wind which made it difficult for them to make any headway back to land.

Once on scene, the lifeboat crews observed that the five people onboard each dinghy had managed to regain control.

Both lifeboats then escorted the sailors safely back to Ballyholme.

Speaking following the call out, Peter Irwin, Donaghadee RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘Sailing is a popular activity on the County Down coastline especially at this time of year. Weather can change no matter how well you prepare for your trip and it was an offshore wind that caused problems this evening but thankfully all are safe and well. We would remind anyone going to sea this summer to respect the water. Always wear a lifejacket and always carry a means of calling or signalling for help. Should you get into difficulty dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - During the Sea Bangor Festival over the weekend, Bangor RNLI was delighted to welcome Jackie Patton of Ballyholme Yacht Club and Robert Montgomery from the Belfast Kayak Club to receive a cheque for £1,700 raised for the lifeboat station in the fifth annual Bangor Bay Sea Kayak Race last month.

Receiving the cheque was deputy launching authority Bryan Lawther, watched by crew members Kyle Marshall, Kat Lindsay, Joanne Heasley and Richard McClinton - and not forgetting Stormy Sam.

Thanking Patton and Montgomery, Lawther said: “As a charity, It is events like yours that raise the money we need to protect the waters around our coast.

“And the event itself gave us the opportunity to discuss sea safety with all participants.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#SeaKayaking - Belfast Lough escaped the rain as the fifth Bangor Bay Sea Kayak Race was held in great conditions yesterday afternoon (Saturday 27 May).

Organised by Jackie Patton of Ballyholme Yacht Club and members of Belfast Kayak Club, and with all proceeds going to the RNLI, more than 70 kayakers and paddle boarders took to the water in a wide variety of craft, and were seen on their way by a volunteer crew from Bangor RNLI.

Before taking to the water, each kayak was checked by organisers to make sure it met the required safety standard, and that every competitor was suitably attired.

Delighted by the turnout, Jackie Patton said afterwards: “This event gets better every year, with more boats taking part, and the pre-race checks give us a perfect opportunity to reinforce key safety messages with the kayakers.”

RNLI community safety officer Peter E Bullick was also on hand to offer safety advice to competitors.

Following the event, the prizegiving was held in Ballyholme Yacht Club, and Bangor RNLI lifeboat operations manager Kevin Byers thanked everyone for their generosity and said it was events like this that provided vital funds to the RNLI.

Unfortunately, the start of the race was delayed by an unrelated accident on one of the yacht club’s slipways, as safety boats were being launched.

The Bangor RNLI crew were among the first to attend, and were able to put their first aid training into practice by helping to lift the casualty into the ambulance.

Helmsman Gareth Whan said: “There are always danger points when launching boats, and this accident highlights the fact that accidents happen off the water as well as on.

“The crew and I were delighted to be able to offer some assistance to the casualty, and we wish him well for a full recovery.”

Published in Kayaking

#Missing - RNLI lifeboats from Bangor and Donaghadee have joined the search for a speedboat with two men missing off the Scottish coast, as BBC News reports.

Coastguard volunteers from Bangor are also part of the emergency operation launched last night (Saturday 6 May) when the two men failed to return to Port Logan in Dumfries and Galloway.

Searches for the missing vessel, thought to be an 18ft black Fletcher speedboat, are concentrated off the Mull of Galloway for the time being.

BBC News has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update

#RNLI - Bangor RNLI’s volunteers launched the inshore lifeboat Jessie Hillyard yesterday evening (Monday 24 April) to reports of a missing three-year-old in the vicinity of the Jamaica Inn.

Setting off in big breaking seas and a Force 8 gusting wind, helmsman Kyle Marshall and crew John Bell and Johnny Gedge made their way to Luke’s Point.

En route, the information was changed to a seven-year-old boy who had run off from his parents’ car.

With Donaghadee RNLI getting ready to launch, and the PSNI and HM Coastguard in attendance on land at Luke’s Point, Bangor RNLI were informed that the boy was found to have made his own way home and was safe.

Commenting on the callout, Marshall said: “The crew and I are delighted that this young lad has been found safe and is back with his family. Conditions were challenging this evening, but this is what we are trained to handle.

“There is no substitute for experience on a call like this, and keeping the crew safe is a top priority. In high seas and strong winds, ‘softly softly catchy monkey’ is the way to go.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - A volunteer crew from Bangor RNLI was tasked with helping a yacht with three people and a dog on passage from Girvan in Western Scotland to Bangor Marina yesterday (Monday 10 April).

The yacht had a fouled prop and was making slow headway into the wind. Without engine power, they were unable to make their way safely to the Belfast Lough marina.

The inshore lifeboat, led by helmsman Peter Semple, attended – and as they approached the yacht they were informed the fouled prop had freed itself.

The crew offered to escort the yacht to safety to avoid further risk, and this offer was gratefully received.

Once in the marina, the lifeboat ensured all was well and returned to station.

Semple said: "We are delighted to have helped this yacht into the safety of Bangor Marina. In the event, we were not needed to tow the vessel, but the crew were happy to see us.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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