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British Prime Minister has dismissed concerns over the potential loss of Northern Ireland's Coastguard centre.
The Belfast Telegraph reports that when questioned on the future of the Bangor control centre by DUP MP Jim Shannon, David Cameron replied that he understood "the need for good air sea rescue".
“I think what matters is not necessarily who is carrying it out, but are they fully qualified, is it a good service and is it value for money?” he added.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Bangor Coastguard control centre is facing closure under reforms to the service across the UK announced by Shipping Minister Mike Penning.

British Prime Minister has dismissed concerns over the potential loss of Northern Ireland's Coastguard centre.

The Belfast Telegraph reports that when questioned on the future of the Bangor control centre by DUP MP Jim Shannon, David Cameron replied that he understood "the need for good air sea rescue".

“I think what matters is not necessarily who is carrying it out, but are they fully qualified, is it a good service and is it value for money?” he added.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Bangor Coastguard control centre is facing closure under reforms to the service across the UK announced by Shipping Minister Mike Penning.

Published in Coastguard

In a further boost for the fledgling match racing scene here, top Irish international Umpire Bill O'Hara is looking to have the ISAF Grade one women's match racing event held on Belfast Lough from his home port of Bangor from August 17 - 20 2011, straight after the Weymouth pre-Olympic event.

Published in Match Racing
Belfast Coastguard spent two hours this evening trying to locate a missing RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) after it was reported leaving Rathlin in very poor weather conditions with four people on board, HM Coastguard report.

Concern for the occupants of the 8 metre RIB was initially raised when it was reported that it had left Rathlin harbour at 6.00pm in adverse weather conditions.  Belfast Coastguard attempted to contact the vessel on VHF radio and mobile telephone but were unsuccessful.

Further enquiries yielded that the RIB was suspected to be heading to Bangor Harbour, and so Belfast Coastguard sent the Bangor Coastguard Rescue Team out to see if they could sight the vessel.  In the meantime, Belfast Coastguard intercepted a communication from the RIB to Clyde Coastguard, whom they had contacted to inform them that they were just entering Bangor Harbour, in line with their passage plans.

In order to ensure they had safely arrived, Belfast Coastguard completed a radar search for the vessel and discovered that the occupants of the RIB were incorrect about their location, and had in fact just entered Belfast Lough, 13 miles from where they thought they were.

Belfast Coastguard finally managed to make communication with the RIB and ensured that they had sufficient fuel to complete their journey to Bangor.  When the RIB arrived in Bangor they were met by the Bangor Coastguard Rescue Team who ensured they were safe and well and offered some safety advice.

Belfast Coastguard Watch Manager Alan Pritchard said:

"We became immediately concerned for the safety of the occupants of the RIB when we were informed that they were heading out in such poor weather conditions, and our worries increased when it became apparent that they had no idea of their position and began heading into the wrong port.  The occupants of the RIB are now safely ashore and although were not in need of medical assistance they were quite badly shaken from the experience as it transpires that they had been trying to reach Bangor for several hours.

When we are informed of incidents such as these it allows the Coastguard to play a proactive role in preventing a situation from worsening by monitoring a vessel's passage.  However, this could have all been prevented by the crew preparing for their journey, advising the Coastguard of their intentions and being aware of their own capabilities and weather conditions."

Published in Rescue

A brand new RNLI inshore lifeboat was officially named 'Bradley and Sonya' during a moving ceremony on Saturday 25th September at Fenit which is located on north side of Tralee Bay on the far south west coast of Ireland. The new D class lifeboat was named in memory of a young couple, Bradley and Sonya Burns from Bangor who were lifeboat volunteers and who died within 10 months of each other in 2006.

Volunteer lifeboat crew with Bangor RNLI raised £34027.48 to fund the lifeboat as a tribute to the young couple.The lifeboat was named by Mrs Mary Connolly and Mrs Eileen Savage, the mothers of Sonya and Bradley, while Sonya's sister Judy Connolly and Bangor lifeboats Senior Helmsman Kyle Marshall delivered the lifeboat into the care of Fenit RNLI. Fourteen members of Bangor lifeboat crew attended the ceremony along with members of the couple's family and lifeboat volunteers from around the coast.

Speaking during the ceremony Judy Connolly said, "Whilst we will never forget Bradley and my sister Sonya it is some comfort to know their legacy lives on, doing what they did so well – working to save lives at sea. We are delighted that this modern new lifeboat will make a real difference to the search and rescue capability in the Kerry area. Tragedy is never far from the sea and I do hope that it will be the instrument to save many lives."

Lifeboat Operations Manager with Fenit RNLI Gerard O'Donnell added, "We are extremely grateful to the crew at Bangor lifeboat station for their generosity in funding the new lifeboat. On behalf of the lifeboat crew in Fenit I offer our sincere thanks. This improved lifeboat will allow our volunteer crews to respond more quickly in emergencies and may well make the difference between life and death for someone in trouble in the water. "

Kyle Marshall, Senior Helmsman on Bangor lifeboat commented "It is a truly fitting honour and legacy to the memory of our dear friends Bradley and Sonya; they gave so much to the RNLI." Kyle went on to say "The generosity and support from the people of Bangor, from others further afield and from within the RNLI family has been overwhelming. So many individual people, groups and companies have selflessly given of their time, effort and money to fund this new Fenit lifeboat. We at RNLI Bangor Lifeboat wish to express our heartfelt thanks to everyone who made the funding of this new lifeboat possible"

The Bradley and Sonya lifeboat will join Fenit's all weather Trent class lifeboat Robert Hywell Jones Williams.

RNLI_Lifeboat_naming3

Mrs. Mary Connolly (Sonya's mother) and Mrs. Eileen Savage (Bradley's mother) name RNLI Fenit lifeboat 'Bradley and Sonya'

RNLI_Lifeboat_naming1

Fenit Lifeboat in action. The RNLI D class lifeboat is 5 metres in length and has a maximum speed of 25 knots. Photos: Valerie O'Sullivan


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Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Bangor RNLI volunteers are to be awarded North Down Borough Councils highest honour for their heroic service. Bangor RNLI will be given the Freedom of the Borough on Saturday 18 September 2010 in tribute to its 45 years of sterling service off the shores of North Down.

The Atlantic 85 type lifeboat. the Jessie Hillyard. based in Bangor Harbour has two Yamaha 4-stroke engines giving a top speed of 35 knots. It features state of the art radar, chart plotter VHF radio and radio direction finding technology to enhance its lifesaving capabilities. Volunteer crew at Bangor take pride in a launch time of under four minutes from when their rescue pagers are activated.

Everyone connected with RNLI Bangor Lifeboat - 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.

Bangor's Lifeboat Operations Manager Kevin Byers also a volunteer is looking forward to receiving North Down Borough Councils highest award honouring the work of RNLI Bangor Lifeboat. He said

'We wish to publicly thank North Down Borough Council for their continued support and for honouring RNLI Bangor Lifeboat with this prestigious award' he added.

'It is a truly fitting tribute to the huge commitment and dedication of the Bangor volunteer crew and station personnel both past and present who have devoted so much of their time and effort to lifesaving at sea'

Related Safety posts

RNLI Lifeboats in Ireland


Safety News


Rescue News from RNLI Lifeboats in Ireland


Coast Guard News from Ireland


Water Safety News from Ireland

Marine Casualty Investigation Board News

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Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Page 8 of 8

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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