Displaying items by tag: Lough Swilly
Volunteer crew members from Lough Swilly had been attending a commemoration in Portsalon when they were requested to launch to the boat that had broken down some 10 miles further on, a mile-and-a -half from Fannad Lighthouse.
The all-weather Tyne class lifeboat arrived on scene at 3.15pm where the crew observed a steel crabber with five men onboard. The fishing boat was carrying a load of crab.
Weather conditions at the time were described as blowing gusts of between gale force 5 and 6 up the lough.
The crew pursued to establish a towline and commence the return journey to shore. After towing the vessel for a couple of hours into the dark, the tide began to turn, making the pull more difficult. A relief lifeboat from Lough Swilly and Portrush RNLI were requested to launch to assist.
Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 118 was also on scene in the event that the stricken vessel’s crew would need to be evacuated.
As the boat was being towed up the lough it lost all power and VHF was transferred from the lifeboat for communication.
When Portrush RNLI arrived on scene, the crew assisted with the tow while the Lough Swilly relief lifeboat stood by.
The stricken vessel’s mechanic managed to restart the engine during the tow and the vessel made its way into Rathmullan while the Lough Swilly lifeboat stood by in case it required further assistance.
John McCarter, Lough Swilly RNLI lifeboat operations manager, paid tribute to the lifeboat crew who arrived back at the station in the early hours of Monday morning.
"This was a long callout in difficult weather conditions and we are glad that we were able to assist this vessel and her crew in making it to shore safely,: he said.
"This was a testament of the commitment, skill and selfless nature of our volunteers who are always willing to give their time and readily leave the comfort of their homes to face challenging conditions to help people who find themselves in difficulty at sea."
Joe Joyce from the lifeboat crew told BBC News that the nine-hour operation was "an unpleasant experience" but reported that "everybody was safe and well".
Sophie Linehan visited the Donegal village on the shores of Lough Swilly ahead of last weekend's second annual SeaFest, which introduced novices to the delights of various aquatic sports.
And it wasn't hard for her to find a whole host of activities for all levels of experience.
Many of these are available at the not-for-profit Rathmullan Sailing and Watersports School, set up by American transplant Rick Le Vert - who 10 years ago had never been sailing himself!
Linehan and her companion were shown the ropes in an afternoon sailing taster session on the lough, which she describes as "the perfect place to learn to sail".
Lessons in surfing and stand-up paddle boarding are also easily availed of - the latter being a great introduction to those who might be a bit scared of the surf.
The Sunday Independent has much more on the story HERE.
#MARITIME FESTIVALS - The second SeaFest Lough Swilly is set to take place next weekend from 22-24 June, as the Donegal Democrat reports.
“SeaFest Lough Swilly is an event for everyone,” said Mark Wheeler of Rathmullan House, one of the weekend's organisers.
“For sailors and watersports enthusiasts, be they experienced or novice; for families in search of something active to do with the kids; for people who simply take pleasure in being at the seaside; and of course for everyone who enjoys good local food.”
For landlubbers, meanwhile, there will be traditional vintage fairground games, local produce from the Donegal Country Markets, crafts from Donegal Designer Makers and musical acts performing all weekend.
Food is also a big aspect, with Mulroy Bay oysters, spit-roasted Donegal organic pork, Lough Swilly mackerel and Irish craft beers all on the menu.
What's more, Saturday 23 June will see the second annual running of the Saldanha Cup, a traditional cruiser-racer sailing regatta that commemorates the 200th anniversary of the sinking of the frigate HMS Saldanha.
And you never know - the SeaFest might even have some killer visitors, if last week's orca encounter is anything to go by!
The Donegal Democrat has more on the story HERE.
Sea angler Kevin Doherty, whose boat was treated to the spectacle, told UTV News: "We knew ourselves at that moment we were going to witness something special."
Local wildlife experts say the orca family came from the Scottish Hebrides and as well known - but this is the first time the whole family group has been recorded together on Ireland's North coast.
The cross-border service is funded by Donegal County Council and Limavady Borough Council. The route in recent years has experienced an unfavourable exchange rate, increased cost of fuel, poor weather, a depressed tourism market sector and notably reduced construction traffic, contributing to a sharp decline in demand. In the current climate the local authorities may find it difficult to provide funding as they scale back on budgets.
Record levels in 2005/2006 saw traffic reach 106,179 vehicles and 302,740 passengers. Such was the success of the service annual subsidies for 2008 and 2009 were not required. According to the latest 12-monthly traffic figures for June 2009-June 2010, vehicle volumes dropped to 52,669 and passengers levels have decreased more than halve to 149,455.
The 10-minute route is operated by the 44-vehicle capacity Foyle Venture which served the Kilimer-Tarbert route for the Shannon Ferry Co. The mid-west estuary ferry was replaced by newbuild Shannon Breeze in 2000 and later sold to Lough Foyle Ferry Co.
When the Lough Foyle route began operations in 2002, the service received a subvention of €108,000 each from the local councils. Over that timeframe, the route has received a total funding of €500,000 from Donegal County Council.
In 2009, the two local authorities agreed to provide a €200,000 subvention, but this runs out in March 2011. An application has also been submitted to the Special EU Programmes Body for funding.
On the west side of the Inishowen Peninsula is the Bunbcrana-Rathmullan service, which is also in doubt if a subsidy from Donegal County Council cannot be maintained. The Lough Swilly route started in 2004 and is served by the 20-vehicle capacity Foyle Rambler, a former German river-ferry. The north-west ferry route takes 25-minutes and recorded 15,000 passengers at its peak.
In busier times, tourists from the North, instead of passing through Derry city, used the 'land-bridge' routes across the Inishowen Peninsula to reach holiday-homes and popular seaside resorts throughout Co. Donegal.