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Displaying items by tag: Bundoran

As the summer months approach, Bundoran RNLI is calling on everyone looking forward to a boat trip at sea to plan ahead so they can enjoy their day safely.

The plea comes after a group of people whose boat had been tied up but damaged overnight by southerly winds and tidal conditions, became stranded and were brought ashore by the volunteer lifeboat crew.

Killian O’Kelly, volunteer helm at Bundoran RNLI, said: “It is great to see more people out on the water and enjoying themselves.

“As the summer approaches we want to remind people ahead of their trip to sea to plan ahead with safety in mind. Making simple safety measures means people can make the most of their activities with peace of mind.

“We would encourage people to get the right training for their craft. It is important to know how to handle your boat and its capabilities. Ensure your boat is prepared for the season and that your engine is well maintained. Always carry adequate tools and spares to fix any problems you may encounter and ensure you have enough fuel for your journey.

“Always check the weather and tide times. If you’re in an area that you are unfamiliar with, seek local advice on tides, conditions and potential obstacles or challenges.

“Always carry a means of calling or signalling for help — a mobile phone or a VHF radio tuned to Channel 16 to talk to the coastguard. Let them, and someone else on the shore know where you’re going and who to call if you don’t return on time, and always wear a lifejacket.”

More safety advice for boating and other activities is available at rnli.org/safety

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Bundoran RNLI in Co Donegal were requested to launch on Tuesday evening (8 June) to reports of two paddle boarders being blown out to sea off Mermaid’s Cove in north Co Sligo.

The emergency call was made just after 6pm to Malin Head Coast Guard who immediately paged the Bundoran lifeboat volunteers. Within minutes the inshore lifeboat William Henry Liddington set off with four crew on board.

The Sligo-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 118 was also tasked to the scene, where the lifeboat crew assisted the two paddle boarders back to shore and assessed their wellbeing.

Lifeboat helm Brian Gillespie said later: “We were glad to be able to bring the paddle boarders back to safety and the person on the shore called 999 when they did.

“We would always remind people that if they see anyone in trouble on the coast to call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard, and for paddle boarders to be mindful of offshore winds which can catch people out very easily.”

Elsewhere in Donegal, Arranmore RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat was called on Sunday afternoon (6 June) to assist a RIB which got into difficulty on rocks off Kincasslagh.

Arranmore RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat | Credit: RNLI/ArranmoreArranmore RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat | Credit: RNLI/Arranmore

When the lifeboat arrived on scene, the Bunbeg Coast Guard boat had secured the casualty boat and brought it to safety.

Arranmore volunteer’s busy weekend also saw a callout on Saturday (5 June) for a medevac from the island. The patient was transferred to a waiting ambulance at Burtonport.

Frankie Bonner, second coxswain, said: “We are a 24-hour on-call service and prepared at a minute’s notice to answer any call for assistance.

“Our callouts are many and varied, from providing medical assistance in transferring patients from the island to assisting boats and people in trouble within a 50-mile radius of our base in Arranmore.”

Frankie is the son of Francis Bonner, who served as coxswain on the lifeboat for many years along with his three sons Frankie, Seamus and Michael, who are part of the volunteer crew at Arranmore RNLI.

There is still a strong family tradition of voluntary service at Arranmore RNLI since the first lifeboat came to the island in 1883.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Bundoran RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew were requested to launch yesterday afternoon (Tuesday 22 December) to reports of a 19ft vessel that had sunk off Killybegs.

Also tasked to the scene were the Sligo-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 118 as well as the Killybegs Coast Guard RIB, while help was sought from other vessels in the area.

On arrival, the lifeboat crew found that two people who had been on the sunken vessel had already made their way to safety and were treated by an ambulance at the Killybegs slipway.

The lifeboat then assisted the coastguard RIB in securing the vessel.

Lifeboat helm Rory O’Connor said: “Thanks to quick actions of all involved, this was another successful outcome and the two people will get to spend Christmas with their loved ones.

“It’s another example of inter-agency cooperation and we were glad to be able to assist our Irish Coast Guard colleagues.”

The incident came just two days after another inter-agency operation to rescue a man whose small boat ran aground on rocks in Ballyshannon, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Arklow RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat Ger Tigchlearr taking a stricken fishing vessel under tow | Photo: RNLI/ArklowArklow RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat Ger Tigchlearr taking a stricken fishing vessel under tow (Photo: RNLI/Arklow)

In other lifeboat news, Arklow RNLI launched to the aid of two fishermen on a vessel in distress last Thursday 17 December.

As the volunteer crew of six were en route, further reports came in that the fishing vessel had freed the foul but was adrift and dragging its anchor — and in danger of being driven up onto the rocks at Kilmichael Point.

Once on scene, the lifeboat crew worked quickly with the casualty vessel’s crew of two to establish a tow line, before the vessel was towed safely back to Arklow.

Following the incident, Arklow RNLI community safety officer Mark Corcoran gave a special shoutout to coxswain Eddie McElheron on his first callout in command of the all-weather lifeboat Ger Tigchlearr.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Volunteers from Bundoran RNLI were part of a multi-agency operation to rescue a man whose small boat ran aground on rocks in Ballyshannon yesterday afternoon (Sunday 20 December).

The man raised the alarm from his boat which had run aground off the island of Inis Saimer just before 1pm, and Malin Head Coast Guard requested the launch of Bundoran’s lifeboat as well as the Sligo-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 118.

However, it was determined that sea conditions would render it unsafe for the inshore lifeboat to get across the bar at the end of the Erne Estuary.

Instead, four lifeboat crew travelled by road to Ballyshannon where an Inland Fisheries Ireland patrol boat was already close to the casualty vessel.

Together the fisheries officers and lifeboat volunteers evacuated the man from his boat and brought him safely to shore and the into the care of paramedics.

In the meantime, the Bundoran lifeboat was transported by road under Garda escort to Ballyshannon, where it was launched and towed the casualty boat away from the rocks.

Bundoran lifeboat helm Michael Patton said: “This was another good outcome with the cooperation of our colleagues at Rescue 118, Inland Fisheries [Ireland], the National Ambulance Service and the Garda Siochana.

“We were glad to be able to get the man safely off the boat and return his boat to him.

“He was also wearing a lifejacket, and we would remind anyone taking to the water that this is an essential piece of equipment anytime you set sail.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

A woman rescued after falling from a cliff at Mullaghmore Head yesterday afternoon (Thursday 13 August) was “very lucky that she was spotted”.

The casualty was found unconscious at the bottom of the cliff on the Co Sligo headland by concerned passers-by who alerted the Irish Coast Guard.

Bundoran’s RNLI lifeboat volunteers and the Sligo-based coastguard helicopter Rescue 118 were both called out to the scene.

And the woman was treated by helicopter and ambulance crew before being airlifted to Sligo University Hospital.

Bundoran lifeboat crew member Rory O’Connor commented: “The casualty was very lucky that she was spotted and that the alert was raised so quickly.

“We would remind anyone that if they see anyone in trouble on the coast to ring 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in Rescue

The volunteer crew of Bundoran RNLI was called out on Sunday afternoon to reports of bodyboarders in trouble at Rossnowlagh Beach.

Just after 2:05pm, the crew was alerted to the situation by Malin Head Coast Guard who had received an emergency call. Within minutes the crew had assembled at the lifeboat station and launched the “William Henry Liddington” Atlantic 85 lifeboat heading for Rossnowlagh,

In good weather conditions, the lifeboat arrived on scene around 2:25 pm and was informed by a lifeguard on duty that the two bodyboarders had made it safely ashore.

Commenting on their return to Bundoran, volunteer crew member Michael Patton said ‘during this period of good weather we would always advise people to visit a lifeguarded beach and to obey the instructions of the lifeguards. We would also remind people that if they see someone in trouble on the coast do not hesitate to ring 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat was requested to launch on Monday afternoon to a horse that had bolted into the water off Murvagh beach in County Donegal.

The call was made by lifeguards on duty at the beach to Malin Head Coast Guard just after 5:40 pm on Monday (29th June) and the lifeboat was requested to launch.

On arrival at Murvagh, the lifeboat crew came across the horse over one mile from the shore and gradually coaxed it back to the shore where its owner was waiting.

After almost one hour the horse was eventually reunited with its owner.

Helm Killian O’Kelly speaking on return to the station said “this was another callout with a good outcome. Animals are as prone as people to get in trouble in the water and we were glad to be able to help out on this occasion. Remember if you see someone in difficulty on the coast call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Bundoran RNLI’s lifeboat was called to an incident at Rossnowlagh Beach yesterday morning (Sunday 17 May) after a man reportedly collapsed near the water.

Shore crew were also dispatched by road to offer assistance to the ambulance crew on the beach.

They cleared a landing site for the Sligo-based coastguard helicopter Rescue 118, which airlifted the casualty to Sligo University Hospital.

Lifeboat helm Brian Gillespie said later: “This was a great example of inter-agency co-operation between the RNLI, Irish Coast Guard and National Ambulance Service.

“We would like to thank the passer-by who initially raised the alarm and we wish the gentleman a speedy recovery.”

The RNLI remind the public that if you see anyone in trouble on the coast, ring 999 or 112 immediately and ask for the coastguard.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Country music stars Robert Mizzell and Kieran McAree are set to perform at the annual Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat Dance next Friday 31 January.

The dance, held this year at the Allingham Arms Hotel in Bundoran, is the flagship fundraising event of the volunteer crew and has been a staple of the annual event calendar for more than 40 years.

Award-winning country music singer Robert Mizzell, originally from Louisiana and now based in Ireland, will perform on the night and is looking forward to playing the event.

“Since I’ve moved to Ireland I’ve become very aware of the amazing work the volunteers of the RNLI do so selflessly,” he said. “It is my great pleasure to be invited back to play at their annual dance this year. I look forward to seeing many of the supporters of this great charity on the night.”

Event director Cormac McGurren is reminding supporters that not only is it a great night of music, but there are some great prizes in the monster raffle, too.

“Local businesses have once again been so generous in donating prizes for us for the raffle and we would like to thank traders in Bundoran and Ballyshannon for their great support. A special thanks to Mr Oilman who is donating €250 worth of oil for our door prize on the night, too.”

The dance will take place on Friday 31st January with Kieran McAree on stage from 9pm and Robert Mizzell on stage from 11pm.

Proceeds from the dance will fund ongoing training of the volunteer crew based at Bundoran Lifeboat Station, who are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, serving the entire Donegal Bay area for marine emergencies.

Tickets are just €15 and are on sale now from all crew members, the Allingham Arms, Bundoran Tourist Office, BMG Hardware Bundoran, O’Neill’s Next Door Off Licence Ballyshannon and on the door on the night.

More information on the lifeboat service in Bundoran can be found on the station’s Facebook page.

robert mizzell and kieran mcaree to play annual bundoran lifeboat dance2

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The community lifesaving team at Bundoran RNLI well remember Christmas back in 1998, when two surfers were rescued off the coast of Tullaghan, Co Leitrim.

The rescue was acknowledged by the RNLI with a written letter of commendation from the charity’s then chief of operations.

On 28 December 1998, a surfer raised the alarm that two others could not get ashore. Helm Daimon Fergus takes up the story:

“Tony McGowan, our lifeboat operations manager, contacted the Irish Coast Guard in Malin Head and had our volunteer crew paged. Tony Cummins was at the helm along with Damien McNamara and myself.

“Our lifeboat, an Atlantic 75, was launched and underway within seven minutes. There was a south easterly Force 5 offshore wind and a swell of 22ft at the time.

“The main challenge was the swell which was breaking over the breakwater and into the channel from the boathouse. I remember Tony had to time the swells and judge the right moment to clear the channel.”

Once clear, the lifeboat ran before a quartering sea and reached the casualties at 4.22pm.

“We had been guided to the exact location by a shore party sent from the lifeboat station,” Daimon says. “We swiftly managed to recover the two casualties and one surf board just to the north of the surf line.

“As we came back and approached the station, Tony once again had to time our return carefully because of the breaking swells in the approach channel. I won’t forget the fact that the first surfer squeezed my hand so tight that he bent the thick silver ring on my right hand into my finger and the ring had to be cut off when we got back to the station.”

In commending the crew, the RNLI’s letter to the station read: “Although this service was short in duration, all those involved are to be commended for the alacrity of the launch, the contribution of the shore party, as well as the seamanship exhibited by Tony Cummins.”

One of the rescued surfers was Mark Ponsonby from Letterkenny, who says he will be eternally grateful for the speedy launch of the lifeboat that day.

“It’s been over 20 years now since my brother and myself were rescued by the RNLI in the sea at Bundoran. I often wonder what would have happened to us or become of us if it wasn’t for the timely interaction and rescue by the RNLI services that day.

“In a matter of minutes, they had answered the emergency call and had launched the boat. The Irish Coast Guard helicopter was also tasked to come to our aid.

“The conditions we found ourselves in were extreme and treacherous and the timing was critical for that rescue as the light was fading fast, yet the RNLI volunteers didn’t hesitate to get to us as fast as possible. My family will forever be grateful to the RNLI on that day and will never forget what they did for my brother and me that day.”

Now, as the current volunteer lifeboat crew prepare for Christmas 2019, they too will be ready and willing to respond should their pagers go off.

For Daimon, who has been a volunteer for 25 years, Christmas is no different to any other time of year: “We’ll still be on call ready to save lives and delay our own Christmas celebrations. We couldn’t do what we do without the support of the public.

“The RNLI has experienced a shortfall in funds, but we are rescuing more people than ever before. We are facing the Perfect Storm and are calling on people to make a donation this Christmas to ensure we can continue saving lives at sea.”

To support the RNLI’s Perfect Storm appeal this Christmas, helping to ensure the charity’s brave volunteers can continue saving lives at sea, visit RNLI.org/ThePerfectStorm

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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