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Displaying items by tag: Bangor

#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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#RNLI - At the end of a busy week for Bangor RNLI, the Belfast Lough volunteer crew launched to the rescue of two young paddleboarders who had got into difficulty just outside Ballyholme Bay yesterday (Saturday 8 April).

Launching just after 5pm following a call from the public, the Bangor lifeboat Jessie Hillyard launched to aid two girls who had been caught out by an offshore wind that was causing them to drift further out to sea.

Although it was a beautiful afternoon weather-wise, the girls hadn’t factored in the offshore wind, and this led to them getting more tired as they tried to return to base at Ballyholme Yacht Club.

The Bangor lifeboat, helmed by Peter Semple, made light work of picking up the girls and their boards and returning them to the slipway at the yacht club, where they were passed into the care of HM Coastguard.

After the rescue, Semple said: “We are delighted to have been able to return the two girls to safety. On arrival at the scene we were pleased to see that they were both wearing wetsuits and buoyancy aids, and had just misjudged the offshore wind.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - Following yesterday’s hoax calls, Bangor RNLI’s lifeboat volunteers rescued a man clinging to a capsized dinghy in Ballyholme Bay this afternoon (Monday 3 April).

The casualty, a 26-year old man, had quickly got into difficulty and capsized after launching from the Belfast Lough beach in a strong offshore wind gusting up to 30 knots.

This was seen by a member of the public who called 999, and CGOC Belfast Coastguard requested Bangor RNLI to respond.

Arriving on scene within minutes, the crew were delighted to see that the man had stayed with his boat and not tried to make it to shore. They were also happy to report that he was wearing appropriate safety gear: a wetsuit with a buoyancy aid.

After taking the casualty on board and assessing that he was uninjured, they returned him and his boat to the beach where the coastguard were waiting to assist.

Bangor lifeboat helm James Gillespie said: “This man clearly made the wrong decision to attempt to sail in a new boat in such conditions, but by wearing appropriate wet weather gear and staying with his boat he made our rescue much easier.

“The body tires quickly is cold water and he made the right decision to stay with his boat, knowing that his plight had been seen from the shore.”

Bangor RNLI’s deputy launching authority, Bryan Lawther added: “We are delighted to have been to help this man and bring him to safety. He has been advised to further his sailing knowledge with the assistance of a yacht club where rescue services are always on hand for learners.

“After yesterday’s hoax calls, this rescue highlights the importance of our service and our willingness to attend any genuine call.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - At 8.10am this morning (Wednesday 28 December), Bangor RNLI’s volunteer crew responded to a request from HM Coastguard to rescue a young man reported to be in difficulty while swimming 200 metres off the shore in Ballyholme Bay.

The alarm was raised by Ards and North Down council employee Mark Pollock as he was working in Banks Car Park. Hearing faint shouts, he initially thought it was someone calling for their dog, but persevered looking in the sea until he became aware that there was someone in the water.

Bangor RNLI’s volunteer crew responded within minutes and made their way to Ballyholme Bay.

Helmsman James Gillespie said later: “On arrival, the early morning light made it difficult to see, but fortunately the water was flat calm, and on scanning the area I saw a slight movement as the casualty raised his hand.”

Heading quickly to the scene, crew member Johnny Gedge entered the water to support the casualty, who was only just conscious, until he could be lifted on board the lifeboat, where crew members Joanne Heasley and Jack Irwin put their casualty care training to good use.

Gillespie added: “Our extensive training in casualty care is invaluable at a time like this. Because of this, we know the importance of not trying to warm the patient too quickly as this can cause cardiac arrest.

“Instead, we made the patient safe, and prevented further cooling, and returned as quickly and safely as we could to the lifeboat station where an ambulance and paramedics were waiting to take over.”

The patient, who is thought to be in his late 20s, was wearing only tracksuit bottoms, a T-shirt and socks, and it is unknown why he was in the water.

A shocked Pollock said: “I am just delighted that I heard his calls, and hope he makes a full recovery.”

Speaking after the ambulance left to take the patient to hospital, Bangor’s lifeboat operations manager Kevin Byers said: “I understand from talking to medical personnel at the scene, that only five minutes more in the water would have been fatal, and that the crew took exactly the right actions to give this young man the best chance of a full recovery.

“I am always proud of my team, but their response this morning was magnificent. Not just the four crew members on the boat, but the many others who responded to their pagers and were prepared to do whatever they could to help.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Geraldine Donnelly paid a visit to Bangor RNLI earlier today (Thursday 25 August) just weeks after her rescue following a serious fall on Ballyholme beach.

On 7 June last, Donnelly fell more than two metres onto rocks and shingle from Ballyholme Esplanade after one of her two dogs pulled its leash and over-balanced her, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

After five weeks in the Ulster Hospital and another four receiving physiotherapy, Donnelly is now back on her feet, although full recovery could be a year away.

Today she met three of the lifeboat crew involved in her rescue – helm Mickey McKenna, John Bell and Richard McClinton. A fourth crew member, Ian Browne, sent his regards as he is currently working overseas.

"As soon as I fell, I knew it was serious, and if it wasn’t for the RNLI, I really don’t think I’d be alive today," she said today as she praised the Bangor RNLI crew for their actions, in particular "her angel" John Bell, who held her hand throughout her ordeal.

"Every day since the accident, I’ve wanted to thank you for your kind words and for holding my hand," she said. "It made such a difference, and kept me calm; something the doctors say prevented the injury being even worse."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - At 7:30am yesterday morning (Saturday 23 July), Bangor RNLI was requested by HM Coastguard to attend a boat off Carrickfergus in Belfast Lough, following the firing of a red distress flare.

On arrival at the scene, the volunteer crew were able to confirm that the boat, with two men on board, had fired the flare.

The men had left Carrickfergus early yesterday evening in calm conditions, but then suffered the loss of their main engine, followed by the failure of the auxiliary outboard.

After several hours trying to fix the problem without success, and with no working mobile phone or radio, they decided to wait until morning to fire a flare to attract attention.

The crew quickly rigged up a line between the stricken vessel and the Bangor lifeboat Jessie Hillyard, and towed them to Carrickfergus Marina. Just outside the marina they tied the motorboat alongside for better manoeuvrability in the close confines of the marina.



Bangor RNLI helm Gareth Whan said: “The crew and I are happy to have brought these men to safety, after what must have been a fairly miserable night for them on board a boat with no power in Belfast Lough.

“Incidents like this highlight the importance of ensuring your engines are in good working order, and the need to have a reliable way of calling for help if things go wrong.

"Luckily for them, the weather stayed good overnight, and the flare was spotted this morning.”

Previously the Bangor lifeboat was called out to rescue boys trapped on rocks while fishing last weekend, as reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - It was just a routine exercise for Bangor RNLI's volunteer lifeboat crew on Sunday night (17 July) until they got the call to rescue two young boys who were cut off by a rising tide while fishing at The Long Hole on Belfast Lough.

With assistance from HM Coastguard, the lifeboat was able to rescue the boys and return them safely to Bangor Marina.

Bangor RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer Peter Semple said: "The crew and I were delighted to be able to put their training to use, particularly in such a rocky part of the coast.

"Although the boys were in no immediate danger, and their only concern after we got them back to dry land was that they got their fishing rods back, it is important for parents to explain the risks of being caught by a rising tide."

Bangor's lifeboat crew on this callout were helm Peter Semple with Dave Beale, Kat Lindsay and Alison Stobie.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - Bangor RNLI assisted four people who got into difficulty on a broken-down motorboat on Belfast Lough on Monday evening (13 June).

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched at 10.25pm to rescue the 19ft motorboat just off the Cloghan Jetty.

The boat, with four people on board, had lost all power and was drifting in fog close to the shore.

Arriving at the scene, guided only by the light from a mobile phone, the crew of the relief Bangor lifeboat Tabby Cat took the motorboat under its control and returned it and its and crew safely to Carrickfergus Marina.

Speaking following the callout, Bangor RNLI helm Peter Semple said: :The crew and I are delighted that we were able to return these people to the safety of the marina. Although it was a calm night, it was dark, and Belfast Lough is not a great place to be if you can’t be seen.

"It is important to ensure that, if you lose all power you still have some way of being seen and making contact with the shore."

In other news from Bangor, the lifeboat station was recently visited by a man rescued a fortnight ago by one of its volunteers after he suffered a heart attack at sea.

Tim Bailie was on a weekend pleasure cruise between Carrickfergus and Bangor with his family at the end of May when he was taken ill.

But thanks to the quick action of helm Kyle Edwards and his crew, Bailie is still here to tell the tale in his own words, as per the video below:

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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