Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Lough Ree

The age-old issue of what boat to progress into after Optimists is often answered by opting for another single-handed boat, writes John McGonigle of Lough Ree. And why not? The skills learned in an Optimist dinghy can be easily carried over to another single-hander. This option suits many sailors, but not everyone.

Double-handed sailing can offer the challenge of learning new skills; rigging, managing multiple sails, coordinating with another sailor, along with the sociable aspect of sailing with a friend. And not every good sailor is necessarily a good helm. For those sailors, a double-handed boat is the perfect choice. Double-handers can be essential for keeping young people in sailing.


In Lough Ree Yacht Club, we recognised these qualities of double-handed boats. We also noticed that there were only our proper racing fleets of youth double-handers in the country (Mirrors, Fevas, 420s and 29ers). So, it occurred to us to organise a single event where each of these fleets could run one of their regional championships.

All of the racing would be in the same race area, while ashore the sailors and their families could enjoy Lough Ree Yacht Clubs’ relaxed camping facilities and lively social activities. And so, in 2018 the first Double Ree, a festival of youth Double-handed sailing, was born.


The Fourth Edition of Double Ree will take place on the weekend of the 20th and 21st of July. The Mirror fleet will hold its National Championship. Their event will run from the 19th to the 21st, with the other classes making their appearance on July 20th. Some of the fleets have seen strong growth over the past year, so we are expecting the biggest Double Ree yet.

The date of the event has been specifically selected to make it as accessible as possible for sailors who have just finished their sailing course, and may be trying a regional event for the first time. While the usual hardened campaigners will be battling it out, a few single-handed
sailors may like to pair up and try their hand at double-handed sailing - it may be they'll create some surprises, even for themselves

Registration will open shortly on this link

Double Ree Regatta at Lough Ree Yacht ClubDouble Ree Regatta at Lough Ree Yacht Club 

Published in Inland Waterways

As one of the youngest members of the RNLI family, Lough Ree RNLI and its volunteer crew are already looking forward to a special year in 2024 when the charity celebrates its 200th birthday.

With the theme of ‘Commemorate, Celebrate, inspire’, a full calendar of activities is planned throughout the year in Ireland and the UK.

On 4 March 2024, the actual birthday, a number of large public events are planned including a Thanksgiving Service at Westminster Cathedral. On 1 August 2024 ‘One Moment, One Crew’ will see volunteers gather at 18.24 to mark the year and the importance of every volunteer to the charity.

Many local events will also take place including a ‘Connecting Communities’ initiative which will see a commemorative scroll travel to RNLI facilities and be signed on behalf of the crew by one of the volunteers. Lough Ree RNLI expects to welcome the scroll in late summer 2024.

In preparation for the celebrations, Lough Ree’s volunteer crew are ready to welcome the public to the lifeboat station at Coosan Point in the next few weeks.

The lifeboat station at Coosan will host a pop-up shop on Saturdays 18 and 25 November | Credit: RNLI/Tom McGuireThe lifeboat station at Coosan will host a pop-up shop on Saturdays 18 and 25 November | Credit: RNLI/Tom McGuire

On the next two Saturdays, 18 and 25 November, the charity will host a pop-up shop at the lifeboat station. This will be the first opportunity for supporters and patrons of the charity to locally acquire specially designed merchandise marking RNLI 200.

The shop will also carry the full range of RNLI Christmas cards along with many new products and a wide selection of stocking fillers.

The RNLI shop at the lifeboat station at Coosan Point will be open from 12.30 to 3pm on 18 and 25 November and will have the facility to take card payments.

Next month, on 16 December the volunteer crew at Lough Ree RNLI will host a special Open Day at the lifeboat station with a ‘family festive’ theme. Activities planned include face painting, a kids’ DJ and a visit from Santa in the afternoon.

Lough Ree station visits officer Paul Kelly said: “We have had a very special year welcoming visitors to our new facility. Among the most enthusiastic are our younger supporters and we look forward to seeing them again on one of these days at lifeboat station.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Lough Ree RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew helped six people on board two cruisers that ran aground on the lake.

On Saturday morning, September 16th, the Lough Ree RNLI crew rescued two people on board a 40ft cruiser that had stranded on rocks near Nun’s Island. The charity’s lifeboat ‘Tara Scougall’ and its volunteer crew responded to a call for assistance just after 9 am under helm Kieran Sloyan. The two people were taken from the stranded boat and transferred to the Lakeside Marina on the Westmeath shore.

The boat had been the focus of a call-out the previous evening when Lough Ree RNLI was tasked by the Irish Coast Guard to go to the aid of the stricken boat with two people on board near Nun’s Island. The Lough Ree RNLI volunteer crew under helm Stuart McMicken reached the scene at 7.40 pm near Marker Three. On inspection, the crew found the 40ft cruiser hard aground on rocks near Nun’s Island. The volunteer crew spent more than 90 minutes in vain trying to remove the craft from where it came to rest. The two people on board, who were healthy and had enough provisions and fully charged communications equipment, decided to remain on board for the night.

With no improvement in the situation overnight, the two people requested Lough Ree RNLI on Saturday morning to be taken off the cruiser. The transfer was successfully completed by 10 am.

Last week, on Thursday, September 14th, Lough Ree RNLI was asked by the Irish Coast Guard to help a cruiser with four people on board that had run aground on the Hexagon Shoal in the south of the lake. Launched under helm Liam Sheringham, the charity’s lifeboat ‘Tara Scougall’ with a volunteer crew reached the stricken boat at 1.40 pm. After an initial inspection, the crew found all four people on board wearing life jackets and uninjured. The boat was towed from the rocks to safe water and continued north under its own power.

Kevin Ganly, volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager at Lough Ree RNLI, said: "Lake users need to be extra vigilant because of falling water levels on the lake this month. More than 20 of the charity’s volunteers responded to call-outs last week, and I commend them for their commitment and dedication to keeping people safe on the water."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Lough Ree’s former Pike Classic has a new name and had expanded to the whole of the lake for the first time, as Shannonside News reports.

The Lough Ree International King of the Lake Festival will be fished over the weekend of 9-10 September and also promises to be one of the biggest angling events in Europe in terms of its prize pot.

It’s hoped that as many as 160 anglers from across Ireland and overseas will be attracted to Lough Ree and help revitalise tourism in the region.

Fishing will take place between the Bypass Bridge in Athlone and the lock at Tarmonbarry in Roscommon.

And the two days of competition will be preceded by an exhibition and angling show in Ballyleague on Friday 8 September.

Shannonside News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Angling
Tagged under

A group of 26 people were rescued by Lough Ree RNLI on Monday, 31 July, after three boats ran aground north of the Black Islands.

The emergency call was made to the Irish Coast Guard, who requested the aid of the volunteer crew to launch their inshore lifeboat.

The Athlone Sub Aqua Club was also on hand to assist. The Tara Scougall lifeboat was launched from its base at Coosan Point and arrived on the scene within 10 minutes of the call.

The lifeboat found two 52ft cruisers and one 37ft cruiser hard aground on a shoal.

All 26 people on board were found to be safe and well, and the lifeboat crew set about re-floating the three vessels.

A crew member inspected each of the casualty vessels for damage or water ingress before they were successfully re-floated and continued their journey.

Pat Coffey, Lough Ree RNLI Deputy Launching Authority, said: ‘We were delighted to help this evening, and we were glad to find all onboard the vessels were safe and well.

We would like to commend our colleagues from the Athlone Sub Aqua Club, who also responded to this call.' Additionally, Coffey reminded the public to prioritize safety when enjoying water activities, emphasizing the importance of carrying a means of communication, wearing a lifejacket or floatation device, and ensuring boats are well-maintained and have sufficient fuel.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Local school groups, community associations, supporters of the charity and many donors have made the new boathouse at Lough Ree RNLI one of the emerging visitor attractions in the Midlands with last month been one of the busiest periods to date.

More than 200 people visited the station for the Lough Ree RNLI Open Day on Saturday 10 June. It was an event that proved particularly successful with visitors delighted to have the opportunity to walk through the new facility and get a close-up look at the charity’s lifeboat, the Tara Scougall.

Volunteer crew were on hand to give the guided tours with face-painting a great hit for younger visitors and the RNLI Shop a great attraction for adults.

A guest from St Hilda’s Special School in Athlone enjoying a boat trip during Lough Ree RNLI’s joint initiative with Lough Ree Access for All on Friday 16 JuneA guest from St Hilda’s Special School in Athlone enjoying a boat trip during Lough Ree RNLI’s joint initiative with Lough Ree Access for All on Friday 16 June

In a special collaboration with Lough Ree Access for All, volunteers hosted a wonderful group from St Hilda’s Special School in Athlone on Friday 16 June. The day-long event allowed the visitors to experience the Lough Ree RNLI facility followed by a trip on the access boat which had come south from Lanesboro for the occasion.

Paul Kelly, Lough Ree RNLI station visits officer said: “It is always great to welcome the public to the station. They get to see the environment where we train and operate and RNLI volunteers are delighted to have the opportunity to share life saving tips and advice with our guests.”

Organised group visits will begin again in the autumn and interested parties should make contact on the Lough Ree RNLI website or Facebook page.

Already this summer, many day trippers to Coosan Point have had the opportunity to visit when volunteers were at the lifeboat station. Among those were Hugh Hanlon and Kevin Power from Arklow, Co Wicklow — members of the aptly named ‘Iron Butt Association’, a community of long-distance motorcyclists.

Lough Ree RNLI operations manager Kevin GanlyLough Ree RNLI operations manager Kevin Ganly

The association hosts the annual Wolfhound Rally which this year has asks members to photograph themselves and their bikes outside 15 named lifeboat stations between May and September. The lads left Lough Ree heading for Achill Island.

On the water things, remain busy for Lough Ree RNLI with volunteers responding to 22 call-outs in the first half of the year.

Kevin Ganly, Lough Ree RNLI operations manager encourages everyone using the lake and river this summer to ‘“prepare before taking to the water, ensure that everyone has a floatation device and in the event of an emergency call 112 or 999 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Excellence in volunteering awards were recently presented to three volunteers at Lough Ree RNLI. Damien Delaney, Tony McCarth and Bernard Larkin were recognised for their generous and significant contributions to the community and the charity.

At a special ceremony, which was part of the Lough Ree RNLI Open day earlier this month (Saturday 10 June) Lough Ree RNLI Operations Manager Kevin Ganly made the presentations on behalf of the charity.

A letter from John Payne, Director of Lifesaving Operations at the RNLI commended Damien Delaney, a key player in the establishment of a lifeboat on the lake as ‘the epitome of an RNLI volunteer, leading with a strong moral compass and a depth of integrity whose professional approach to all aspects of the volunteer role has been an exemplar’.

Presenting the award to Tony McCarth, who first joined as a volunteer in 2014, Kevin Ganly commended his ‘leadership of Lough Ree RNLI at a time of transition and his stewardship as the charity moved into its new lifeboat station.’

The Excellence in Volunteer Award Citation for Station Mechanic Bernard Larkin described his ‘warmth of character, sense of humour and positive, yet robust attitude which resonates in all he does allowing him to be a wonderful voice for all the crew.’

The volunteers received a cut glass award specially commissioned by the RNLI and a framed copy of the citation.

Closing the ceremony, volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager Kevin Ganly said; ‘this is a very proud moment for everyone associated with Lough Ree RNLI and a fitting end to the charity’s volunteer month.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels and waterway users on Lough Ree on the Shannon Navigation that Red Conical No 616, north of Hare Island, has moved off station.

A temporary red navigation marker has been installed at this location. Masters of vessels are urged to proceed with additional caution in the area, the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways adds.

Published in Inland Waterways

Lough Ree RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew responded to a call for assistance to two fishermen in a lake boat who got into difficulties on the River Shannon in Athlone yesterday afternoon (Saturday 18 March). 

Responding to a request from the Irish Coast Guard, following an alarm raised by a member of the public, Lough Ree RNLI was tasked to assist two men on board a 19ft lake boat which was taking on water south of the Weir Wall on the River Shannon in Athlone town. 

Lough Ree RNLI inland lifeboat ‘Tara Scougall’ under volunteer helm Liam Sheringham, launched at 5.20 pm and reached the fishing boat in fifteen minutes. Following a rapid survey of the scene the lifeboat drew alongside the stricken fishing boat and volunteer crew Patrick Walsh, Paul Kelly and Billy Henshaw Jnr were rescued the two young men and took them on board the lifeboat. The two men were then transferred to the care of emergency services on the riverbank, and neither man suffered any ill effects from the ordeal.

Lough Ree RNLI volunteer helm Liam Sheringham thanked An Garda Siochana for their assistance in the rescue and reminded the general public that ‘the circular motion created in the water over the Weir Wall, especially when the river is in spate or flood creates a very difficult and dangerous environment for people and craft in the vicinity.’

Earlier on Saturday, Lough Ree RNLI had joined with Athlone Sub Aqua Club and Athlone River Safety Awareness just upstream of the weir wall to demonstrate emergency response procedures to the public.

This was the second call out of the year for Lough Ree RNLI; earlier this month (Friday, 3 March) the charity assisted two people on board a lake cruiser which had run aground after losing steerage near the N6 motorway bridge.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels and waterway users on Lough Ree on the Shannon Navigation that the port-hand lateral marker on the south side of Inchmore Island is now back on station.

The temporary red buoy installed in early January has now been removed, the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways says.

Published in Inland Waterways
Page 1 of 15