Displaying items by tag: Bangor
#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.
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.”
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.”
#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.”
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."
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.
#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.
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.
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:
#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.”
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."
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.
#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."