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Displaying items by tag: Bangor

#RNLI - Bangor RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew were called out yesterday afternoon (Tuesday 7 June) to assist in the rescue a woman who had fallen from the coastal path at Ballyholme Esplanade onto the rocky beach below.

The woman is believed to have fallen after the dog she was walking pulled on its lead and she over-balanced and slipped more than two metres to the rocky beach below.

Bangor RNLI relief lifeboat Tabby Cat was launched at 2:20pm and arrived on scene in Ballyholme Bay where NI Ambulance Service paramedics were treating the woman. They were later joined by the fire service and coastguard, who waited on standby in case their services were needed.



After the paramedics had stabilised the woman on the beach and were happy that she could be lifted, the decision was made to move her on a stretcher onto the lifeboat and take her to the jetty at Ballyholme Yacht Club, as this was considered safer than attempting the steps at the esplanade.

At the yacht club, the casualty was lifted up the jetty to the waiting ambulance and taken to Ulster Hospital.

Bangor RNLI helm Micky McKenna said: “The crew and I are delighted to have been able to assist this woman, and we wish her well with her recovery.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - Lifeboats from Arklow and Bangor were out on the water for separate callouts on May Day yesterday in what made for a busy weekend for the RNLI crews.

In Arklow, RNLI lifeboat volunteers were alerted by pager around 7pm on a fine Sunday evening (1 May) to a call for help from a vintage sailing vessel.

The lifeboat Ger Tigchleaar was launched within minutes to the classic boat, which has suffered engine failure and was stranded just east of Arklow Harbour.

The Arklow RNLI volunteer crew established a tow line and proceeded to tow the vessel safely back into Arklow. The five experienced crew members on the casualty vessel remained aboard during the tow home and all hands came ashore safely at Arklow.

Speaking after the incident, volunteer lifeboat press officer and community safety officer Mark Corcoran said: "On this, the RNLI’s Mayday fundraising weekend, our fundraising team and boats crew have been busy with all kinds of fundraising events.

"Even after a long day of fundraising our dedicated volunteers turned up this evening en masse to go to the aid of the crew of this stricken vessel.

"We’re all very proud to be involved with the RNLI, so please give generously to the Mayday campaign to help keep us doing what we do, which is saving lives at sea."

Elsewhere on the same evening, Bangor RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew launched to the aid of a RIB with engine failure just off Royal North Yacht Club in Belfast Lough.

Although not in immediate danger, a strong breeze was blowing the vessel, with one person on board, offshore. Thankfully the Bangor inshore lifeboat was able to tow the RIB in to Royal North without incident.

Bangor RNLI volunteer helmsman Gareth Whan said: “The crew and I are delighted to have been able to return this vessel safely to shore. Engine failure can happen in the best-maintained boat, and we are pleased to have been able to help.”

This was Bangor RNLI’s second callout of the weekend. On Friday evening (29 April) they were asked by Belfast Coastguard to assist Lagan Search and Rescue and other emergency services in a detailed search of Belfast Harbour for a person in the water.

Sadly, this callout did not have a happy ending. The search was called off after three hours, and resumed on Saturday morning. However, it was only yesterday (Sunday 1 May) when a body was found by police divers.

Bangor RNLI extended its sympathies to the family of the man and all involved in the attempted rescue.

“It is sadly appropriate that both of these launches happened during the May Day weekend, a key fundraising time for the RNLI, and highlight the importance of the work our volunteers do,” said Bangor's deputy launching authority Bryan Lawther.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Bangor RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew launched at 7pm on Tuesday evening (5 April) to help in the rescue of a yacht whose engine had failed on passage from Stranraer to Bangor on Belfast Lough.

Bangor RNLI’s lifeboat operations manager Kevin Byers was first made aware of the situation by Belfast Coastguard at 5pm when the yacht was 15 miles northeast of Bangor, and knew that it had been taken in tow by the inbound fishing trawler Aurelia.

As the Aurelia was too large to bring the yacht all the way in to Bangor Marina, the Bangor lifeboat was launched just after 7pm to complete the rescue.

The yacht, with two adults and two children on board, was under power as there was little wind and the sea was calm. Unfortunately, the engine stopped and they were being carried by the tide.

Bangor RNLI's volunteer helm Gareth Whan said later: “This was a great example of good teamwork. Luckily, the Aurelia was able to bring the yacht most of the way, and we were able to complete the job, bringing it safely into Bangor Marina.

“Unfortunately, regardless of your preparation, engines can break down, and the lifeboat crew were all delighted to bring this group of people safely ashore."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - Bangor RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew were requested by Belfast Coastguard to help two fishermen on a 17ft motorboat with engine failure.

Although conditions were calm and the crew were in no immediate danger, the westerly wind was extremely cold and blowing the fishing boat offshore.

The call to lifeboat operations manager Kevin Byers came in at 5.06pm yesterday evening (29 March) and the lifeboat launched at 5.15pm.

The lifeboat made its way to the reported position to the south of the Gobbins outside Belfast Lough, only to find the boat wasn’t there, and they were only able to locate it by radioing the boat for a position update.

On arrival, the volunteer lifeboat crew made sure the boat and crew were sound, and towed the boat to Carrickfergus Harbour, where they were thanked by an extremely grateful skipper.

Helming Tabby Cat, the temporary replacement for Bangor's regular lifeboat Jessie Hillyard, Bangor RNLI crewmember Gareth Whan said: “An incident like this emphasises the importance of good engine maintenance, particularly as many boats have been unused over the winter months.

“It also demonstrates the importance of warm clothing, as the crew of the rescued boat were extremely cold by the time we reached them – it is always much cooler on the water than it is on dry land.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Lifeboats from Bangor, Donaghadee and Larne were launched last night (Tuesday 27 October) as part of a major operation after a flight out of Belfast declared an emergency.

Police, fire and ambulance crews were also involved in the cross-agency response to the British Airways flight from Belfast City Airport to Heathrow, with 108 passengers aboard, which diverted to Belfast International Airport shortly after take-off as the pilot declared an emergency.

The RNLI lifeboats were on the water within 10 minutes of receiving a request from HM Coastguard and proceeded to positions which are part of a practiced air emergency plan.

Thankfully the services of the volunteer crews were not required and the lifeboats returned to station within the hour.

Alan Whiteside, operations director at Belfast International Airport, said: "Everything went smoothly, our own police and fire service on site here responded, the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, the PSNI, the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service all attended as a routine.

"But nobody was required to take any other action - the aircraft landed safely, thankfully."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - On Friday 5 June, Bangor RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew, fundraisers and supporters gathered at the Marine Court Hotel to celebrate 50 years of saving lives at sea.

Records held in the archives of Bangor lifeboat station indicate that a lifeboat in Belfast Lough was first established at Groomsport in 1858, following the wrecking of a vessel near Bangor, with the loss of all the crew and in full view of local people standing on the shore.

Groomsport lifeboats launched 55 times and saved 87 lives over a period of 62 years from 1858 to 1920, when the station was closed.

It was reported that the number of lifeboat services were not more numerous due to the great number of fisherman and pilots in the area "of a fine and hardy type, who are not slow to risk their lives in their own boats, in which they have great confidence."

Some 45 years after the closure of Groomsport Lifeboat Station, an ever-increasing demand for lifesaving services along the coast led to considerations of re-establishing a lifeboat service in the Belfast Lough area.

Under the guidance of Ernie Hay, the first honorary secretary and North Down Borough Council officer, the RNLI chose to place a D-Class inflatable lifeboat at Bangor Harbour, opening for business on 15 May 1965.

With the co-operation of North Down Borough Council, the lifeboat was stored in the Tower House yard and was launched on a trolley at the slipway beside the old Harbour Masters Office. The co-operation between North Down Borough Council and the RNLI has continued without a break since those times.

The service of the lifeboat continued under the care of local volunteers and the demands put upon her volunteer crew increased year on year. Successive honorary secretaries managed the operational demands and the branch fundraising committee and ladies’ guild worked hard behind the scenes, raising the funds to cover operational costs. Over 40 local businesses also contributed to the funds by maintaining collecting boxes on their premises.

In 1984, following the construction of the Eisenhower Pier, North Down Borough Council built a new boathouse and slipway, which allowed for the subsequent upgrading of the boat to an Atlantic 21 class lifeboat, the then ‘Rolls Royce’ of fast inshore lifeboats.

The Youth of Ulster, a new boat funded by local donations, was put on station in 1990 and was formally named by HRH Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex in 1991.

In 2002 the RNLI invested £250,000 in building a new boathouse and crew facilities on a site kindly granted by North Down Borough Council. This boathouse was designed to accommodate the latest class of fast response inshore lifeboat.

Bangor RNLI celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2005 and, as a reflection of its fine service record since its foundation, in 2006 Bangor took delivery of the first Atlantic 85 class lifeboat in Ireland, the Jessie Hillyard. The new class of fast response inshore lifeboat costing over £120,000 was made possible through a legacy from Eileen Freeman in memory of her late mother Jessie Hillyard.



That same year, Bangor RNLI was the busiest lifeboat station out of all the 43 stations in Ireland, launching 53 times. From 2007 RNLI Bangor Lifeboat has been the busiest lifeboat out of the eight coastal stations in Northern Ireland.

Since the foundation of the station 50 years ago, over 110 local people have served as crew members. To date, over the years, Bangor lifeboats have launched 1,252 times, rescued over 1,000 people and saved 191 lives.

Everyone connected with Bangor RNLI – the crew, station management, fundraisers and helpers – are all volunteers, giving freely of their time, braving all weathers, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help save life at sea.

Currently there are 20 crew members, male and female, from all walks of life including, among others, a council officer, a restaurateur, a plumber, a solicitor, a care worker, a satellite television engineer, a lorry driver and an orthopaedic surgeon.

RNLI volunteers continue to support annual seafront events, raise funds for other RNLI lifeboats and local organisations and, for 50 years, have played a vital part in Bangor’s maritime and community affairs.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - RNLI Bangor's lifeboat launched at 7.55pm last night (Saturday 14 March) to search for a missing 12ft RIB with two persons on board after the alarm was raised by Belfast Coastguard.

Within minutes of the rescue pagers being activated, volunteer crew had launched the lifeboat and located the missing boat close to the slipway at Ballyholme Bay.

The vessel had experienced engine failure and had been rowed closer to the shore by the owner.

Calm on-scene sea and weather conditions allowed for a tow line to be quickly rigged and passed to the stricken vessel. The boat was then towed to the safety of Bangor Harbour.

"Engine failure even close to shore could lead to a life threatening situation," said RNLI volunteer helmsman John Bell, who was involved in this rescue.

"We’re glad that the two people on board this boat are now safely ashore."

Bell went on to emphasise the RNLI’s five sea safety tips for anyone going afloat this summer.

"Always wear a lifejacket, secondly check your engine and fuel, thirdly tell others where you are going, fourthly carry some means of calling for help and final always check the weather and tides."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#Following Friday's Afloat.ie story on the scrapping of a Clasic Irish yacht, owner Eanan O'Doherty has received 'lots of emails' about the Bangor S27 Sorona due for breaking up.

Among the offers of assistance are emails from the Secretary of Co Down Heritage committee plus two boat preservation activists in Northern Ireland.

O'Doherty says he is delighted the boat does not need to be scrapped as he feared and instead is now hopeful Sorona will go to a new owner in a matter of weeks. 

The 1963–built Sorona is in a yard at Monsterboice near Drogheda and has to be removed.

O'Doherty might even recover some of his losses on her, but at  the very least, he says, she will now be saved.

He also says that if any club or group take her he will insist she when restored be used for sail training. 

Published in Historic Boats
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#yachttobescrapped – Round–the–world–yachtsman and Asgard restorer Pat Murphy has alerted classic boat fans to the fate of an Irish built Bangor S class 27' footer set to be scrapped next week. See more photos in the gallery below.

The 1963–built Sorona is in a yard at Monsterboice near Drogheda and has to be removed. According to Murphy and Dundalk classic boat colleague Charlie McCarthy, the owner is 'willing to let her go for the taking'.

The 27-foot S-Class boats are modest classics of their time representing a blend of styles and types. They were designed by Robert Slater in 1945, and all 22 of them were built at his boatyard the Shipyard Company in Bangor, Northern Ireland. (Sorona, the twentieth boat, was actually started by Robert Slater but completed by Bruce Cowley who bought the Shipyard Company from Robert Slater in the early 1960s, Bruce Cowley building the final two boats, Shejenka and Quinsibar, with their raised cabins). They manage to combine a little of the gentleman's yacht, a lot of the everyday cruiser built for an era of austerity, and just a touch of the tough working boat. More on the class history here.

Bought as a restoration project about seven years ago Sorona, the 20th boat of its type to be builtwas partly stripped and covered untill last summer. 'It is very sad to see a basically sound boat about to be smashed up' says McCarthy. 

For more informaton on Sorona contact [email protected]

 

Published in Historic Boats

#RNLI - At 5.25pm yesterday evening (Tuesday 30 September) the Bangor RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew received a request from Belfast Coastguard to assist two people onboard a 28ft trimaran-type yacht.

The multihull vessel, consisting of a main hull and two out-rigging hulls, had experienced engine failure two nautical miles north of Black Head on northern shores of Belfast Lough.

Within minutes of the rescue pagers being activated, the volunteer crew had launched the lifeboat, which proceeded at full speed towards the stricken vessel.

Upon arrival, the crew found that the two people on board the yacht were experienced yachtsmen. They had followed procedure and made the correct decision to call for assistance at the first sign of trouble.

With weather conditions on scene deteriorating, and a moderate to rough sea state, one of the lifeboat crew was transferred to the yacht to assist in rigging a tow line.

The vessel was then taken under tow and after two-and-a-half hours arrived safely at Bangor Marina.

RNLI volunteer helmsman Connor Lawson used this rescue to highlight a RNLI safety message when he said: "We always urge everyone going afloat to make sure their engine and fuel systems and are well maintained and in good working order.

"Engine failure close to shore and commercial shipping routes could lead to a life threatening situation."

He added: "We're happy that everyone is now safely ashore."

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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