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Displaying items by tag: Lough Neagh

#LoughNeagh - Drone footage of the dramatic flooding around Lough Neagh has garnered over 7,000 views on YouTube.

According to the News Letter, hundreds have been flocking to the region to see the effects of flood waters as the lough's level reached a 30-year high.

However, any potential benefits in visitor numbers are far outweighed by the severe cost to local businesses, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

And flooding around the lough will continue to be a problem for the foreseeable future due to a combination of poor water flow control and unreliable long-range weather forecasts.

That was the stark warning from Rivers Agency chief David Potter speaking to a Storming committee earlier this week, as the Belfast Telegraph reports.

"In order to reduce the lough by a foot, we need between 25 and 38 days' notice, and after about five days our level of confidence in the weather forecast is pretty shaky," he said.

"Hopefully that describes the dilemma that we are in. We can't anticipate to the extent that people believe we can."

Meanwhile, a meeting in Brussels this week has dismissed as a myth the notion that EU regulations have prevented flood relief in Co Galway, which is still suffering the effect of December's winter storms.

As Galway Bay FM reports, MEP Marian Harkin revealed that Ireland has made only one application for works of overriding public interest in the last 20 years, as the vast majority of decisions are taken at member state level.

Published in Inland Waterways

#Flooding - Water levels on Lough Neagh are at a 30-year high, and business owners in the region are counting the cost of flooding on their livelihoods, as Belfast Live reports.

A number of traders are battling to stay open despite the deluge, which came after the wettest December on record.

And the rainy trend shows no sign of letting up, with showers forecast every day till early next week.

"We're still open but nobody can get in to us," said David Cochrane of Custom Covers NI, who is keeping his new Kinnego Marina unit open despite five inches of flood waters.

"It's a bit of a mess to say the least. The financial side of it has cost me a lot."

Yesterday BBC NI weatherman Barra Best posted video of the damaging flooding at the marina on the southern end of Ireland's largest lake.

Published in Inland Waterways

#Flooding - BBC NI weatherman Barra Best has posted video to Twitter showing some of the damaging flooding at Kinnego Marina – home of Lough Neagh Sailing Club – on the southern shores of Lough Neagh near Lurgan.

And local business are braced for worse to come with further heavy rains forecast for later this evening (Wednesday 6 January), persisting overnight across Leinster and Ulster according to the latest Met Éireann forecast.

Published in Weather

#LoughNeagh - Families who have worked for generations in eel farming on Lough Neagh - putting the region on the map for its world-renowned eels – fear they are being pushed out of the industry by "unfair" policies, say campaigners.

And as Belfast Live reports, the authorities in charge of eel permits have also been accused of refusing to renew existing licences.

The Lough Neagh United Fishermen, or LNUF, says many long-time eel fishing families "grew up with the assurance that [they] would be 'looked after'".

Spokesperson Brian Wylie says his group's members also hold shares in the Lough Neagh Fishermen's Co-operative Society Ltd, which is authorised to issue permits for eel fishing.

"Our members are being ignored [by the co-operative] on a yearly basis, and can clearly see permits being handed out to people and their families never were involved in the ethos or concept," he adds.

Belfast Live has more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing

#Angling - Derry chef Emmett McCourt looks forward to giving visitors to the Northern Ireland Angling Show a taste of Lough Neagh's world-renowned eels this coming June.

As the top cook tells the Londonderry Sentinel: “Lough Neagh eels are revered around the world as the best there are - but people here [in Ireland] don’t generally eat them.”

McCourt wants to make them the star of the show at the angling expo, which was first held last summer alongside the popular Irish Game Fair on the shores of Ireland's biggest lake.

The joint events are expected to highlight the wealth of local produce and artisan food, not to mention recipes reflecting the traditions of the region.

The 2015 Irish Game Fair and Northern Ireland Angling Show take place over the weekend on 27 and 28 June at Shane’s Castle in Antrim.

Published in Angling

#Seafood - Lough Neagh eels may no longer be protected by Brussels regional designation rules if a proposed free trade deal with North America goes through.

As the Belfast Telegraph reports, the lough's eels are among a number of foodstuffs in Northern Ireland that come under EU Protected Geographical Indication, which means that only products produced in a particular area – like Cornish pasties or parmesan cheese – can be named and marketed as such.

But German agriculture minister Christian Schmidt has said that such protections, which are not recognised in the United States, may have to be abandoned "if we want to take advantage of the opportunities of free trade with the huge American market".

The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing
Tagged under

#LoughNeagh - The Belfast Telegraph has posted an incredible photo of a funnel cloud that appeared over Lough Neagh last week.

Barry McGuigan, a fisherman working on the largest lake in the island of Ireland, captured the stunning image of the unusual cloud formation - often the precursor to a tornado - as it hovered over the water close to another fishing vessel.

"It was like a twister but it stayed in one place for five to 10 minutes and then it just fizzled out," he said.

It's now believed to be the most photographed and videoed weather phenomenon in Northern Ireland, with this video posted to YouTube by John McCorry just one example.

Meanwhile, the Belfast Telegraph also reports that the aristocratic owner of Lough Neagh has vowed to work with the NI Legislative Assembly on its strategic management.

The 12th and present Earl of Shaftesbury, philanthropist and endurance athlete Nick Ashley-Cooper, said he welcomed the conclusion of a long-delayed report into the future of the lough and "wholeheartedly" agrees with its findings.

It comes some months after fears that the report by a special working group would remain shelved at Stormont, and its findings never made public.

"The report indicates clearly that the estate's ownership of the bed and soil is not a barrier to any potential development and that there is no compelling argument in favour of public ownership," said Lord Shaftesbury.

The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways
Tagged under

#canoe – Three canoeists have been pulled from the water after getting into difficulty in Lough Neagh.

Belfast Coastguard received a call on VHF channel 16 just after 1pm yesterday afternoon reporting that three canoeists had fallen into the water between Rams Island and Sandy Bay. Conditions on the water at the time were described as choppy, with a southerly wind of force 4 (13–17 mph).

The Kinnego Coastguard Rescue Team along with the Kinnego and Ardboe Independent Rescue Boats were sent to the scene. The three, who were all wearing lifejackets, were rescued from the water by a sand barge that was close by at the time. They were then transferred to the Ardboe rescue boat, and taken ashore where they were met by Coastguard Rescue Officers and passed into the care of the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service.

Liam Colquhoun, Watch Manager at Belfast Coastguard, said:

"These three canoeists all had lifejackets on, but unfortunately they weren't wearing wet suits or any type of gear that would help keep them warm. They were passed into the care of paramedics showing signs of hypothermia.

"We always recommend that canoeists and kayakers are well prepared before setting out. Check weather and tides, wear a buoyancy aid, suitable clothing and carry a VHF marine band radio with you. Where there is good network coverage then it is worth carrying a mobile phone in a waterproof bag.

"Call the Coastguard if you get into difficulty, preferably via channel 16 on your radio or if not by calling 999 on your mobile and asking for the Coastguard."

Published in Coastguard
Tagged under

#LoughNeagh - Northern Ireland's Agriculture Minister has rejected claims that she has ignored the findings of a working group on the future of Lough Neagh that were submitted a year ago.

As previously covered on Afloat.ie, the report considering the future of the largest of Ireland's inland waterways has sat on minister's shelves in Stormont for almost 12 months, with fears mounting that its recommendations will never be made public.

But the Belfast Telegraph reports that Minister Michelle O'Neill has hit back at criticism from DUP members of the NI Assembly who accused her of having "buried" the report because it did not gel with her department's plans to take the lough into public hands.

"I think that there is a certain wee bit of paranoia there," said the minister regarding the DUP's comments.

She also said that her "sole focus throughout all this work has been on unlocking the potential of Lough Neagh", adding that she had only recently been presented with new research commissioned by Culture and Leisure Minister Caral Ni Chuilin that would add context to last year's working group findings.

The Belfast Telegraph has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways

#LoughNeagh - The Belfast Telegraph reveals that a report by a special working group into the future of Lough Neagh has sat on the shelf at Stormont for almost 12 months - and it's feared that its recommendations will never be made public.

The report was commissioned as part of plans in early 2012 by the NI Legislative Assembly to take the largest inland lake in the island of Ireland - which supplies nearly half of Northern Ireland's drinking water - into full public ownership.

It's not commonly known that Lough Neagh is owned by the Earl of Shaftesbury, though the water within it is public property.

The 12th and present Earl of Shaftesbury, philanthropist and endurance athlete Nick Ashley-Cooper, recently met with MLAs to discuss the stalled progress on taking the lough public.

Responsibility for various aspects of the lough fall on different departments within Stormont, which may explain why one MLA believes the report "may never see the light of day".

The Belfast Telegraph has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways
Page 2 of 3

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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