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Displaying items by tag: Lough Neagh

An open water swimmer has hailed her crossing of Lough Neagh as a triumph — despite being whisked to hospital after breathing water into her lungs.

As BelfastLive reports, Lurgan woman Alison O’Hagan was 13km into her 14km endurance swim on Saturday morning (11 July) when she inadvertently took a lungful of water in a sudden swell.

A paramedic on the RIB accompanying O’Hagan throughout her challenge was swift to act, and got her ashore and into an ambulance within minutes.

O’Hagan — who had trained for 18 months for her long-distance swimming feat — underwent a series of tests in hospital and was discharged yesterday (Monday 13 July), being told “everything is great and I have a good strong heart”.

BelfastLive has more on the story HERE.

Published in Sea Swim
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#LoughNeagh - Ten thousand years after the Irish elk became extinct, the remains of one of its number have been fished out of Lough Neagh this week.

As BelfastLive reports, the remarkable find — comprising the whole skull and antlers of the giant deer — was caught in the net of Ardboe, Co Tyrone fisherman Raymond McElroy somewhere between Salterstown Castle and Ballyronan on Wednesday 5 September.

A jawbone taken from the lough in the same area four years ago has been dated to at least 14,000 years — and it’s possible the latest discovery could be from the same animal.

BelfastLive has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update
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#LoughNeagh - The UK’s National Trust is seeking a new warden — or wardens — to care for the historic Coney Island in Lough Neagh, as Belfast Live reports.

The island’s restored 19th-century cottage, which until last year was home to warden Peter McClelland for almost two decades, is now available for rent.

“If you’re into gaming and watching box-sets this probably is not the place for you,” says the trust’s Edward Mason on the house, which is powered by a generator and heated by a wood-burning stove.

There will also be plenty of chores to do throughout the seasons, not least being handy with an axe.

But the mainland, an hour from Belfast, is only a 10-minute boat trip away.

And for nature lovers, the nine-acre island — also an important Neolithic site — could make the perfect home away from it all.

Belfast Live has more on the story HERE.

Published in Island News
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#LoughNeagh - The PSNI is investigating an alleged attack on three men as they recovered a destroyed fishing patrol boat from Lough Neagh last week, according to BelfastLive.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the patrol vessel belonging to the Lough Neagh Fishermen’s Co-Operative was burnt out in an arson attack by masked men in the early hours of Saturday 27 January, just weeks after it was delivered.

It’s now emerged that three men from the co-operative who attempted to retrieve the sunken pilot boat from the lough at Anneter were reportedly assaulted as they did so last Wednesday (31 January).

BelfastLive has more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing
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#Fishing - “An attack on fishermen” is how the Lough Neagh Fishermen’s Co-operative described the the loss of their new fishing patrol boat by arson, as BelfastLive reports.

The pilot boat was delivered to the co-op only two weeks before the incident in the early hours of Saturday morning (27 January) at the Co Tyrone quay where it was moored.

The PSNI is appealing for information on the arson attack perpetrated by two masked men in the Anneter area of Cookstown shortly after midnight on Friday night.

BelfastLive has more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing
Tagged under

#LoughNeagh - After two decades as warden of Coney Island in Lough Neagh, Northern Ireland’s ‘Robinson Crusoe’ has sailed on, as the Belfast Telegraph reports.

Peter McClelland won out over 400 applicants in 1998 for the prize position of caretaker of the National Trust-owned island, which has a rich history dating back to Neolithic times.

The Co Antrim man, from nearby Aghagallon, says the last 19 years “were the best years of my life” as he spent his days contentedly alone and occupied by the tasks at hand.

Indeed, from his new home in Portadown, McClelland is planning to write a book about his remarkable experience as the island’s lone resident.

The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.

Published in Island News
Tagged under

#RNLI - Skerries RNLI launched yesterday evening (Sunday 22 October) after receiving reports of a medical emergency on Lambay Island.

Shortly after 8.30pm, the alarm was raised by a member of the crew when they received a call from Lambay Island, indicating that a person was unwell and requiring immediate medical assistance.

Skerries RNLI volunteers launched their Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson with David Knight at the helm and crewed by Steven Johnston, JP Tanner and Jack Keane.

The lifeboat proceeded to the island where they went ashore and began to administer first aid to the casualty — as well as prep a landing area for the Dublin-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116, who transferred the casualty to a waiting ambulance on the mainland for treatment at Beaumont Hospital.

“There were multiple rescue agencies involved in this rescue and it’s great to see everyone working so well together,” said Skerries RNLI lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning. “Our thoughts are with the casualty tonight and we wish them a speedy recovery.”

In other rescue news, PSNI officers have been praised for their “swift action” in saving a man whose car entered Lough Neagh in the early hours of yesterday morning.

As the Belfast Telegraph reports, four officers entered the water to free the man, who was unresponsive, from the partial submerged Volkswagen. He was later transferred to hospital with suspected hypothermia.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#LoughNeagh - Friends of the Earth (FoE) is appealing a ruling against its claims that Stormont is “turning a blind eye” to sand dredging in Lough Neagh, as the News Letter reports.

The environmental group brought the issue before the High Court last summer, when it described NI Environment Minister Mark Durkan’s 2015 decision to issue an enforcement notice against sand dredging, rather than an outright ban, as bringing “Northern Ireland into ridicule”.

As much as 1.5 million tonnes of sand is dredged from the lough each year, the charity has claimed, adding that dreading companies have continued the practice as their own challenge against the enforcement notice is pending with the Planning Appeals Commission.

Sand dredging has been carried out in Lough Neagh since the 1930s, and previously no planing permission was required, though the lough was designated as a Special Protection Area for wildlife in 1999.

In November, a judge rejected FoE’s High Court challenge, but the organisation has now appealed that decision.

“We believe the judge erred in law and didn’t take into account the significance of this major nature reserve,” said the charity’s NI director James Orr.

The News Letter has more on the story HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways

#Tourism - Lough Neagh joins an exclusive list of 100 ‘sustainable destinations’ after its success in a global tourism competition this week.

As the News Letter reports, the largest inland waterway in the island of Ireland was put forward for evaluation by the Green Destinations Top 100 team, which narrowed down 150 nominees around the world to those taking sustainability most seriously for locals and tourists alike.

Eimear Kearney of the Lough Neagh Partnership was on hand to accept the prestigious designation at the Global Sustainability Competition in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

“For Lough Neagh to be named among the 100 greenest of destinations worldwide is a real achievement,” she said.

The partnership has recently launched a new scheme to improve habitats for protected bird species around the lough, according to BBC News.

The good news for Lough Neagh comes in the same week that a number of maritime tourism operators were featured at the 2016 Irish Responsible Tourism Awards, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Aquatic Tourism

#LoughNeagh - Environmentalists have branded Northern Ireland a laughing stock for its failure to stop sand dredging in Lough Neagh, as the News Letter reports.

The issue is currently before the High Court after dredging firms appealed NI Environment Minister Mark Durkan's 2015 enforcement notice against the removal of as much as 1.8 million tonnes of sand from Ireland's largest lake.

And the practice has continued unabated, despite planning permission never being granted for sand dredging on the lough, a protected area for wildlife, said Gregory Jones QC on opening the application for judicial review by Friends of the Earth.

“This issue is bringing the planning system in Northern Ireland into ridicule," the charity's counsel told the court. “This is something one would not expect of the most primitive dictatorship.”

The News Letter has more on the story HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways
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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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