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Displaying items by tag: Lough Ree

As the festive season draws near, the volunteers at Lough Ree RNLI are throwing open the doors of the lifeboat station at Coosan Point for a special Christmas sale next Saturday afternoon (26 November).

RNLI Christmas cards are central to the charity’s fundraising drive at this time of year. Always high on the shopping list of supporters, the Christmas cards and other RNLI merchandise will be on sale at the new lifeboat station on Saturday afternoon next from 1pm.

Lough Ree RNLI treasurer Vincent Rafter said: “The public support of the charity and its volunteers are crucial for the organisation. So far this year Lough Ree RNLI volunteer crew has responded to 47 call outs on the lake.

“Over the past two years RNLI fundraising in the Midlands has been focussed on the provision of the new lifeboat station which opened in June. The facility itself is fast becoming a major attraction in the area with volunteers hosting planned visits every month.”

Recently the volunteer crew were pleased to receive an encouraging note of thanks, following a visit from a young girl in Athlone.

Eliza Crosbie (9) from Retreat Heights was part of a group from St Ciaran’s NS, Baylin who visited the lifeboat station recently. In her letter she expressed an interest in helping the charity in any way and perhaps making use of her life saving skills. The letter was accompanied by a colourful drawing of the lifeboat on the water.

Station visits officer at Lough Ree RNLI, Paul Kelly said: “The visits are a new initiative for us and this is one of the first responses we have received. The future of the RNLI is assured with the enthusiasm Eliza and her friends have expressed for the organisation.“”

So impressed were the Lough Ree RNLI volunteer crew with the letter that they invited Eliza to the station this week for a personal tour. Paul and Lough Ree RNLI operations manager Kevin Ganly made a small presentation to Eliza to mark the occasion.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels and waterway users on the Shannon Navigation that jetty upgrade works at Coosan Point on Lough Ree are under way as of Tuesday 25 October.

Originally set to continue to next Wednesday 2 November, the works were completed ahead of schedule on Friday 28 October.

The jetty lights that were turned off to facilitate these works have now operating again, the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways confirmed.

Elsewhere, re-decking of the floating jetties in Dromineer on Lough Derg will commence on Tuesday 1 November.

Security fencing will be erected around the front of the gangway to restrict access onto the floating jetties for the duration of the works, which are expected to take around six weeks to complete.

This story was updated on Friday 28 October to note the early completion of works at Coosan Point.

Published in Inland Waterways

Lough Ree RNLI marked a significant milestone on Monday (17 October) when a cheque for €100,000 was presented as the local community contribution to the overall €1.2m cost of the new lifeboat station on a site donated by the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland.

The presentation was made by Michael Ganly, chairman of the Lough Ree RNLI Appeal Committee to Anna Classon, the RNLI’s regional head for Ireland.

On her first visit to the new lifeboat station, which was opened this past June, Classon said she was “really impressed by the partnership between the RNLI and the IWAI and to see two great organisations sharing resources for the benefit of the community”.

The community contribution was the result of a fundraising campaign which ran for more than 12 months and was supported by community groups, the corporate sector and a host of individuals for the lakeside community and beyond.

Presenting the cheque, Ganly said: “The work of people like committee secretary Pauline Irwin and all others involved was crucial to the success of the venture.”

The new lifeboat station has been very active this year and has been a particular asset to the 46 volunteer crew as the charity and its lifeboat Tara Scougall have responded to 46 callouts in the year to date.

Reflecting on the successful fundraising campaign, Lough Ree RNLI treasurer Vincent Rafter thanked “all the GoFundMe campaigns, tests of endurance and anonymous donors who contributed amounts large and small to this special community initiative”.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Waterways Ireland advises all masters of vessels and users on the Shannon Navigation that the Coosan Point jetties on Lough Ree will be closed from Monday 3 to Thursday 6 October for improvement works.

Published in Inland Waterways

The volunteer crew of Lough Ree RNLI were involved in the rescue of 133 people in 42 different incidents on the lake and River Shannon so far this year.

The charity’s volunteers embarked on their first callout of 2022 on the afternoon of St Patrick’s Day and have since gone to the assistance of 40 boats in difficulty on the inland waterways.

Fortunately, all 133 people who needed the charity’s assistance were rescued safely and no injuries were reported.

In the most significant incident, 10 people were escorted to safety when a small boat capsized near the N6 motorway bridge in August, while nine people were on board a cruiser which ran aground on the Hexagon Shoal in June.

Groundings of boats on the Hexagon Shoal accounted for a quarter of all callouts this year.

Speaking at the charity’s headquarters at Coosan Point this week, Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat operations manager Kevin Ganly said: “It appears that the provision of additional markers around the Hexagon Shoal in recently by Waterways Ireland has improved safety in that area of the lake. Nonetheless the charity and its volunteers remain always ‘on call’ to respond to any emergencies.”

The new lifeboat station, which was operational for the first time this summer, has proven to be a particular asset, Lough Ree RNLI says.

In recent weeks volunteer crew from across the Midlands and West have used the facility for casualty care training. The station’s designated slipway at Coosan Point has also contributed to more efficient launches of the charity’s lifeboat Tara Scougall.

The lifeboat station is base for more than 40 volunteers who along with their families generously give of their time and expertise to assist the local community.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

At 9.44 pm (Saturday 13 August) Lough Ree RNLI was tasked by the Irish Coast Guard to assist 10 people on board a speedboat in danger of sinking on the River Shannon near the M6 Bridge in Athlone, Co. Westmeath.

Launched at 9.58 pm under helm Kieran Sloyan the charity’s lifeboat with volunteer crew of Kieran Scullion, Patrick Walsh and Stewart McMickan reached the scene in six minutes.

On arrival at the scene the crew found that the ten people on board had been transferred to another vessel while the speedboat had capsized and sunk.

Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat escorted the vessel with the ten casualties to Athlone Marina, where all were found to be well.

This was the second ‘shout’ of the weekend for Lough Ree RNLI. On Friday last (12 August), the volunteer crew responded to a ‘Mayday’ call from a 50ft. cruiser with three people on board which was experiencing engine difficulties on the northern end of the lake. On arrival at the scene, the stricken vessel was inspected and taken under tow to Lanesboro, Co. Longford.

The rescues this weekend brings to 29 the number of people assisted by Lough Ree RNLI this month.

Lough Ree RNLILough Ree RNLI return to base

Last weekend (Sunday 7 August) the volunteer crew responded to three separate incidents in the afternoon. Cruisers stranded on the Hexagon Shoal and Kings Island, with a total of five people on board, were towed to safe water. In a separate incident a boat with three people on board was towed to Lecarrow, Co. Roscommon having had engine difficulty.

Earlier this month the charity's volunteer crews went to the assistance of boats in difficulty at the Hexagon Shoal, Bantry Bay and Inchmore Island which were escorted to safety.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels on the Shannon Navigation that diving operations will be conducted on the floating breakwaters in four locations between Lough Ree and Limerick from Thursday 11 August until next Friday 19 August.

Masters of vessels are requested to proceed with additional caution in the vicinity of the diving operations taking place at Ballyleague on Lough Ree, Castle Harbour in Portumna and Garrykennedy on Lough Derg, and Limerick city.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels on the Shannon Navigation that eight small green navigation markers will be installed at the Hexagon Shoal in Lough Ree from Monday 1 August for a trial period.

Four of these markers will be installed on the north side of Marker 615, with the rest installed on the east side of that marker.

Waterways Ireland also advises boaters to always use an up-to-date navigation guide when boating on the Shannon Navigation.

Published in Inland Waterways

Just after 8am on Monday morning (18 July), Lough Ree RNLI was requested to go to the aid of four people on board a stranded cruiser near Clawinch Island.

It brought to 19 the total number of people assisted across six incidents this week for the Co Westmeath lifeboat station.

The lifeboat crew located the 32ft cruiser which had run aground on rocks south of the island. After confirming that all four people on board were well and following a hull inspection, the stricken vessel was towed to safe water and continued under its own power.

The rocks around the Hexagon Shoal claimed another casualty when on Sunday (17 July) the inshore lifeboat Tara Scougall with her volunteer crew was called to the assist five people on board a speedboat on the rocks.

Launched at 2.42pm under helm Kieran Sloyan, the lifeboat reached the scene in minutes and found that three people had been taken on board a passing vessel while the remaining two were rescued by the lifeboat crew.

The speedboat, which was holed and taking water, was towed to Coosan Point where it was beached.

While this callout was continuing, the lifeboat station was alerted to an incident at Coosan Point where a member of the public had been injured while jumping into the lake. The casualty was assisted by Shane McCormack, a volunteer helm and casualty care specialist.

In a double callout last Thursday (14 July), Lough Ree RNLI responded to a call for assistance at midday to five people on board a stranded cruiser on the Hexagon Shoal. The cruiser was towed to safe water and headed north towards Lanesboro.

While returning from this call, the volunteer crew were diverted to another incident near Inchclearaun where a 27ft cruiser with one person on board was stranded on rocks. Following inspection, the boat was towed off the rocks and continued north.

Last Monday (11 July) Lough Ree RNLI’s volunteer crew were called to assist a 40ft cruiser with five people on board which was stranded on rocks at Kids Island. After safety checks, the boat was towed to safe water.

Following this busy week and weekend on and off the water, Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat operations manager Kevin Ganly appealed for anyone using amenities around Coosan Point to “stay well away from the slipway and launch area for the charity’s lifeboat. At busy times congestion in the area can hamper the launch of the lifeboat responding to an emergency call.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Despite a quiet start to 2022 on Midlands waters, Lough Ree RNLI’s volunteer crews responded to their 20th callout of the year on Saturday evening (9 July) after a request to assist a boat with three on board in difficulty near Beam Island.

Launched just after 8pm, the inshore lifeboat Tara Scougall —under helm Stan Bradbury and volunteer crew Liam Sheringham and Paul Kelly — reached the stricken 28ft vessel in under 10 minutes.

The sailing boat was found to be run aground on rocks at Beam Island. All three people on board were found to be well and after an initial inspection, the boat was towed into safe waters and continued under its own power.

Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat operations manager Kevin Ganly said: “As we move into the busiest part of the holiday season, it is important that everybody who uses the lake is well prepared, has informed family and friends of their itinerary and follow the navigation guidance on the lake. As always the charity’s volunteer crew will be on standby to respond whenever necessary.”

So far this year Lough Ree RNLI has assisted more than 50 people on Lough Ree and the River Shannon. As it celebrates its 10th birthday, the lifeboat station has responded to almost 600 calls and assisted upwards of 1,300 people throughout the decade.

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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