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Displaying items by tag: Lough Ree

Lough Ree RNLI volunteer crew has had a busy five days coming to the rescue of 24 people and a dog on five boats that ran aground on the lake in the past week.

After 9 pm last evening (Monday 19 July) the charity was tasked by the Coast Guard to go to the assistance of a 20ft sports cruiser with five people on board which had run aground northeast of Hare Island. In calm waters and fair conditions, Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat crew towed the boat to safe water from where it continued under its own power to Coosan Point.

Over the weekend, on Sunday morning (18 July) responding to a Coast Guard call-out the Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat crew launched under helm Emmet Devereux to assist a small cruiser with six people on board which had broken down near Yellow Island. The craft was taken under tow to Hodson Bay marina. Later on Sunday afternoon under helm Tom Bradbury the Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat ‘Tara Scougall’ was back on the water to assist a cruiser with three people on board who had run aground near Quaker Island. Following inspection to boat was towed off the rocks and continued under its own power to Lanesboro.

Seven people and a dog were rescued on Saturday (17 July) following a call-out to a cruiser that had run aground on the Hexagon Shoal near Hare Island. In this incident, just as the Lough Ree RNLI crew had launched they were informed that the people (and the dog) were taken on board a passing cruiser. All were delivered safely to Coosan Point.

In mid-week (Wednesday 14 July) the Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat and volunteer crew responded to a call just before 6 pm to assist a 23ft cruiser that had run aground at Kings Island. Following safety checks, the vessel was towed off the rocks and headed towards Portrunny.

During the present warm weather, Lough Ree RNLI Operations Manager Jude Kilmartin advised lake users to ‘pay particular attention to navigational maps and err on the side of caution due to falling water levels exposing shoals and rocks that would not normally constitute a hazard.’

One local sage, noting the apparent increase in the number of boats grounded on islands in the lake this season was tempted to paraphrase W.B. Yeats poem ‘Lake Isle of Inishfree’ and offer this advice to skippers ‘stay off the lake isles and finish free!’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The Inland Waterways Association of Ireland has alerted members over reports of the invasive quagga mussel in the River Shannon.

The bivalve is said to be “abundant in Lough Ree over a wide range of depths” and has also been found in Lough Derg and the stretch of the Shannon between the loughs.

Similar in appearance to another invasive species, the zebra mussel, the quagga mussel (Dreissena rostriformis bugensis) has spread over a number of decades from its native waters in Ukraine as far as Mexico. It was first recorded in the UK in 2014.

According to Dr Jan-Robert Baars of UCD’s Invasive Ecology (InEco) laboratory and Dr Dan Minchin of the Lough Derg Science Group, the quagga mussel “behaves in a similar way [to the zebra mussel] and is also a filter feeder removing planktonic organisms from the water column. It has a high filtration rate likely to result in further changes to water quality and nutrient dynamics of, in particular, lakes.

“The quagga mussel is likely to compete with the zebra mussel and native species. Having a wide ecological tolerance and suited to Irish climatic conditions, it is expected to become widely distributed in time.

“It appears to have a preference for cooler water and can settle on finer sediments than the zebra mussel explaining its greater abundance at depth in some colonised lakes elsewhere.”

The scientists warn that the species “is likely to be spread by boats to the upper Shannon, and through the Shannon-Erne Waterway to the Erne. It is also likely to be spread overland by trailered craft. Owners of boats should be made aware they could spread this species from the Shannon.”

In addition, the presence of the quagga mussel “is likely to lead to a further surge in fouling and may have additional impacts on water quality and the ecological integrity of Irish aquatic ecosystems.”

The species is currently under a rapid assessment field study by the InEco lab.

Published in Inland Waterways

Lough Ree RNLI’s volunteer crew launched this afternoon (Monday 12 July) to assist a lake cruiser with six people onboard which had run aground west of Beam Island, close to the Co Roscommon shoreline.

Under helm Kieran Sloyan and with crew Liam Sheringham and Donal Herraghty on board, Lough Ree’s inshore lifeboat Tara Scougall launched shortly after midday and quickly reached the scene east of Hodson Bay.

The 46ft cruiser had become grounded on rocks west of Beam Island. Following an initial assessment, the lifeboat crew towed the vessel off the rocks and, once safety checks gave the call year, the cruiser continued under its own power.

This brings to 14 the number of people rescued by Lough Ree RNLI in the past five days. Late last week (Friday 9 July) a cruiser with five people on board was towed off the Hexagon Shoal, north of Hare Island.

On the way back from this callout, the volunteer lifeboat crew were diverted to assist a cruiser with two people on board which had suffered engine failure. It was taken under tow to a berth at Portrunny.

On the previous evening (Thursday 8 July), Lough Ree RNLI was called to assist a 17ft fishing boat with one person on board which had broken down near Lough Ree Yacht Club. The boat was safely towed to Coosan Point.

Following a busy weekend, Lough Ree RNLI treasurer Vincent Rafter thanked “all members of the public, businesses around the lake and the lake community for the ongoing support of the charity as work nears completion on a new €1.2m boathouse at Coosan Point which will greatly enhance the service which Lough Ree RNLI currently provides.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Lough Ree RNLI’s volunteer crew were the recipients of a number of personalised gifts from a keen lifeboat supporter at a presentation yesterday afternoon (Sunday 4 July).

Limerick man Mark Conway (43) visited Coosan Point Athlone with his friend Tommy Corbett and key worker Ivana Kottesova, bringing with him a self-crafted model of an all-weather lifeboat.

The creative artist, who has honed his skills with the Brothers of Charity in the Treaty City, had earlier this year contacted then lifeboat operations manager Tony McCarth to offer the replica as a gift to the station.

At a special ceremony at the Lough Ree RNLI boathouse at Coosan Point, Conway met McCarth, current lifeboat operations manager Jude Kilmartin, treasurer Vincent Rafter and members of the crew and their families and presented his metre long model of an RNLI lifeboat.

During the visit Conway had another surprise in store when he also presented a painting of a lifeboat which was also his own work.

Kottesova said: “Mark has already made presentations to the RNLI at Lough Derg, Kilrush, Courtmacsherry and Kinsale and hopes eventually to visit all RNLI lifeboat stations on the island.”

Kilmartin expressed the charity’s gratitude for the presentation and said he looked forward to displaying the art in a place of prominence in the new boathouse, which is on schedule for completion later this year.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Lough Ree RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew this morning (Friday 2 July) responded to a call-out to a cruiser with eleven people on board which had run aground north of Inch Turk island.

This brings to 25 the number of people the charity has rescued since last Sunday.

This morning’s call came from the Irish Coast Guard at 8.30 am. Under helm Emmet Devereux the volunteer crew launched in calm conditions quickly reached the stricken vessel with all eleven people on board wearing life jackets. Following an inspection, the cruiser was towed off the rocks into safe water.

Last Sunday afternoon (27 June) the Lough Ree RNLI volunteer crew rescued four people on board a cruiser stranded on the Hexagon Shoal near Hare Island.

On Tuesday last (29 June) the Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat ‘Tara Scougall’ and her volunteer crew were back in the same waters when a cruiser with nine people on board ran aground off Hare Island. Minutes after returning to base the lifeboat was back on the water, this time coming to the assistance of a 34ft cruiser with one person on board which had lost power off Carberry island.

Reflecting on a busy summer season, with eighteen call-outs so far this year Lough Ree RNLI Operations Manager Jude Kilmartin advised boat users to ‘be aware of the falling water levels on the lake which has made rock shoals on the lake more dangerous. The best advice is to always remain within the navigation markers.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Lough Ree RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew this afternoon (Thursday 24 June) brought six people to safety after it responded to a call out to a cruiser that was taking on water and listing badly north of Hare Island.

Tasked by the Irish Coast Guard, the Lough Ree RNLI crew launched just after 4 pm and reached the 34ft cruiser shortly afterwards. On arrival at the scene, the craft was discovered on the Hexagon Shoal, a rock formation near Hare Island. Crew members boarded the stricken vessel and on inspection found that it had been holed, was taking on water and listing badly on the starboard side.

Under helm Stan Bradbury and fellow volunteer crew members Emmet Devereux, Liam Sheringham and Donal Herraghty the six casualties were transferred to the safety of the Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat ‘Tara Scougall.’

In relatively calm lake conditions the six people were taken to the jetty at Coosan Point. This evening (Thursday 24 June) the grounded vessel remains on the rocks pending safe recovery.

Jude Kilmartin, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Lough Ree RNLI advises boat users to ‘plan your passage, study your charts and don’t stray off the charted navigation routes.’

Today’s rescue brings to 30 the number of casualties the charity has assisted this month. Last week (Friday 18 June) the volunteer lifeboat crew rescued two adults and a child in a boat stranded on rocks adjacent to today’s event.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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This weekend saw the much-anticipated return to racing for two youth sailing fleets; the Mirror & 420 fleets. This joint event held at Lough Ree Yacht Club, was a Mirror Regional Championship and a 420 "Warm Up" Regatta.

The first 420 Regional is scheduled for the 26th & 27th of this month at Waterford Harbour Sailing Club, giving time for the Leaving Cert Sailors.

Nineteen boats competed, ten Mirrors and nine 420's and the conditions were sublime! Breeze on Saturday was fresh at times, enabling the 420's planing upwind. Lake sailing without sea swell offers dinghy Sailors a different experience however, when light conditions prevail, local knowledge can be useful! Race Officer Garrett Leech got 6 races in over the course of the weekend.

The start of a Lough Ree Yacht Club Mirror dinghy raceThe start of a Lough Ree Yacht Club Mirror dinghy race

In the Mirror Fleet, the Championship was dominated by Sligo Sister & Brother team, Jessica & Mark Greer who got bullets in 5 out of the 6 races. Second place overall again went to Sligo Sailors, Mia Canham & William Draper, and third overall went to Blessington Sailors; Jack McNaughton & Saoirse Lawley. A big shout out to local sailors (and first time racing!); Mathew Turner & Donnacha Dullea, who finished fourth overall and first in Bronze Fleet.

In the 420s, the "Warm Up" regatta was dominated by Jack McDowell (Malahide Yacht Club) & Harry Thompson (Wexford Harbour Boat & Tennis Club), who like their Mirror counterparts, won 5 bullets out of the 6 races. Second & third places overall went to local duo's; Eoghan Duffy & Luke Johnston and Alex Leech & Conor Paul, respectively.

Two of the competing 420 Teams will be travelling to Yacht Club San Remo in Italy for the 420 World Championship, which starts at the beginning of July and runs for almost two weeks. These teams are McDowell/Thompson & Hauer/Micka.

Mirror and 420 results from Lough Ree Yacht Club

Published in Youth Sailing
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Lough Ree RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew went to the aid of thirteen people as it responded to three separate call-outs on the northern waters of the lake over the past weekend.

The most significant event was on Saturday (12 June) when at 7.20 pm the charity’s volunteer lifeboat crew launched under helm Emmet Devereaux to go to the aid of a speedboat with nine people on board which was drifting in Bantry Bay. On reaching the scene it was found that the boat had run aground and damaged a propeller. The craft with nine people on board was taken under tow to a safe berth at Ballyleague.

Late on Friday evening, the Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat volunteer crew went to the assistance of a 23ft steel cruiser with two people on board which had run aground in Barley Harbour. The cruiser was towed off the rocks and following inspection towed to Barley Harbour. The RNLI volunteer lifeboat the ‘Tara Scougall’ returned to its base just before midnight.

On Sunday morning (13 June) the Lough Ree RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew returned to Bantry Bay on the Longford lakeshore where a 37ft cruiser with two people on board had run aground and was listing. Following the inspection, the boat was taken under tow to a safe berth in Lanesboro.

Reflecting on a busy weekend for the charity, Lough Ree RNLI volunteer operations manager Jude Kilmartin said: ‘this is the start of the busy season on the lake when all users of the waterway should in time of need make the emergency call to 999 or 112 at the earliest opportunity. It is a tribute to our volunteer crews that responses this weekend were successful and timely.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Lough Ree RNLI’s inshore lifeboat launched came to the assistance of two cruisers on the lake over the bank holiday weekend, taking seven people to safety.

Just after lunchtime on Saturday (5 June), the volunteer crew responded to a call from a cruiser with five people on board which was grounded on Kids Island near Lough Ree Yacht Club.

On reaching the scene, a line was attached to the grounded cruiser and it was taken on tow off the rocks and escorted to Coosan Point.

In the second incident, on Sunday evening (6 June), a member of the public raised the alarm when a cruiser was seen to be in difficulties in Portrunny Bay.

Under helm Tom Bradbury and with a volunteer crew on board, the Lough Ree lifeboat Tara Scougall reached the scene at 6.35pm. Following assessment, the boat was towed off the rocks and escorted to Portrunny on the Roscommon shore.

The two callouts bring to 11 the total of people the lifesaving charity has assisted on Lough Ree this June.

And as the summer season gains momentum, volunteer lifeboat operations manager Jude Kilmartin has reminded all of those who use the lake to “equip themselves fully and ensure that they are familiar with navigation maps and guidance for Lough Ree”.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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In two separate incidents, the Lough Ree RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew came to the assistance of six people at Gailey Bay and Nuns Island over the weekend.

At 6 pm on Saturday (29 May) the Lough Ree RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew under helm Kieran Sloyan responded to a call for assistance from a private cruiser with two people on board who had run aground in Gailey Bay near Portrunny. On arrival at the scene, the grounded cruiser was inspected and then taken under tow to safe water.

Yesterday evening (Sunday 30 May) a call was received from a rib with four people and a family pet on board who had experienced engine failure near Nuns Island. Under helm Shane McCormack the Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat ‘Tara Scougall’ with a volunteer crew launched just before 6 pm. On reaching the scene everyone was found to be safe and the stricken vessel was taken under tow to safe berthing in the Inner Lakes.

As the summer season begins and ahead of the June Bank Holiday weekend the Lough Ree RNLI volunteer Operations Manager Jude Kilmartin said: ‘It is so important for all who are planning trips on the lake or river to examine their equipment, prepare thoroughly, have a contact ashore and in the event of an emergency call 999 or 112 at the earliest opportunity.’

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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