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Castletownbere Lifeboat was launched this afternoon at 12.20pm to go to the assistance of a 43 ft fishing vessel taking on water 17 miles south west of Castletownbere in county Cork. To view the RNLI Video scroll down to the bottom of the post.

When the lifeboat crew arrived on scene they saw that the three crew had got into a liferaft as their fishing vessel was taking on a considerable amount of water and was in danger of sinking.  

Conditions were described as fair with a large 4 metre groundswell. The Coast Guard helicopter from Shannon winched two of the fishing crew off the liferaft but a third man was in the water.  Castletownbere lifeboat crew immediately recovered the man onto the lifeboat.   With the casualty safely on the lifeboat, two RNLI crewmembers brought a salvage pump on board and proceed to pump the water from the fishing vessel.  It was then taken under tow by the lifeboat and brought back to the harbour.  

The rescued man did not need any further medical attention. The Irish Navel vessel the LE Eithne was also on scene during the rescue.   Commenting on the callout Castletownbere RNLI crewmember Paul Stevens said, “ This callout thankfully resulted in a happy ending with three men being brought to safety.  We were also able to bring the fishing vessel ashore in one piece.  I am sure the three men are in shock but they had a lucky escape.”

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Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Castletownbere RNLI have been granted planning permission to build a permanent lifeboat station in the town which will significantly cut the launch times for lifeboat callouts and provide a safe and secure location for dealing with casualties.
 
The announcement was made during a visit of architect Gordon J. Philip and RNLI Divisional Inspector Martyn Smith to the proposed site of the new lifeboat station in Castletownbere, County Cork.  The station is being built on reclaimed land, which was given to the charity by the Irish Government.  The cost of building the station will be in the region of €600,000 and will include crew changing facilities, meeting and training rooms and a workshop.  There will also be a lifeboat shop where members of the public can purchase lifeboat souvenirs.
 
All materials to be used in the building are being sourced from Irish suppliers and the station has been designed to the highest standards.  Work is scheduled to begin in September 2010 and due to be completed in thirty weeks.
 
The station has been operating out of temporary facilities on Dinish Island and it has meant that the lifeboat crew, who are largely based in the town, have had to travel to there and then reach the lifeboat by boarding boat.  The new arrangement will see them assemble at the station on the quayside and board the lifeboat directly from a pontoon, which will cut launch times by up to five minutes.
 
Commenting on plans for the new lifeboat station Brian O’Driscoll, Coxswain with Castletownbere RNLI said, “This lifeboat station will make a huge difference to the crew.  We expect to be able to cut around five minutes off our lifeboat launching time, which will mean a faster response time to emergencies.  Paul Stevens, Deputy Second Coxswain added that “with the lifeboat being directly accessible from the pier we will be able to land casualties ashore, allowing us to handle serious situations with sensitivity and privacy.”

 
Scottish architect Gordon J. Philip has already designed seven RNLI lifeboat stations but Castletownbere will be his first in Ireland.   Gordon who is from a fishing family is a former RNLI volunteer with Macduff RNLI, having spent four decades involved as lifeboat crew and station management.  He is very aware of the need for the lifeboat crew to have proper facilities and for the station to be an important and aesthetically pleasing part of the community it is housed in.  Gordon said, “I want this lifeboat station to be a landmark in the town for all the right reasons.  We will be building on land that didn’t even exist last year and giving the lifeboat crew of the Annette Hutton a sheltered and secure home at the front of this beautiful town.”
 
At the formal opening of the RNLI lifeboat college in Poole in 2004 Queen Elizabeth and The Duke of Edinburgh met the Castletownbere crew members and departed the College on Castletownbere’s lifeboat Annette Hutton. 
Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Page 6 of 6

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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