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Displaying items by tag: Lough Derg

With the publication today of the Notice of Race (downloadable below) and the opening of the online entry system it’s all systems go for the Fireball World Championship in Lough Derg Yacht Club, Dromineer in August. This will be the first Fireball World Championship since Montreal in 2019 so there is significant interest around the globe with international teams already booking their accommodation and making travel arrangements. At the time of writing, teams are expected from Australia, Canada, the US, France, Switzerland, Italy, the Czech Republic and South Africa, along with a large contingent from the UK and a rapidly growing local fleet. With special Irish Ferries rates for competitors the ‘Trip to Tipp’, is an attractive option for sailors from mainland Europe and the UK. Another great attraction at LDYC is the amount of space available for camping and for camper vans so much of the Worlds fleet is expected to live on-site for the event helping to keep the event both affordable and extremely social. With Carrickcraft cruiser hire as one of the sponsors discounted cruiser hire is available to competitors and their families, providing an attractive accommodation alternative which would allow families to view the racing from their floating holiday homes based on the marina beside the sailing club. The booking system for campsite space is also live from today.

International race officer Con Murphy will be PRO for the event. The World Championships take place from August 21st-26th with a warm-up event on 18th & 19th August which doubles as the Irish National Championship. Measurement checking is expected to take place mainly on Saturday 20th August with the racing programme of two races per day running from Sunday through Friday and Wednesday as the lay day. With Omicron hopefully a distant memory by summer, sailors are anxious to get stuck back into high level international competition and a fleet of between 50 and 80 boats is expected to assemble at Lough Derg. With some fifty square miles of open lake the venue is likely to challenge sailors with a good mixture of conditions over the week. While not at all as shifty or light as smaller lakes it will be interesting to see if the venue suits the Swiss and Czech competitors who predominantly sail on lakes.

"More than 25 Irish boats have committed to the event, the first on local waters in 11 years"

The stunning lakelands area, a lesser-known gem of the Irish tourism offering, is likely to surprise domestic and international sailors alike with its beauty. The event will include an activity programme for families and non-sailors with many and diverse regional attractions. The lead-up to the event, with the delay caused by the pandemic, has given the domestic Fireball fleet a great boost and the last couple of years have seen a big increase in local numbers. More than 25 Irish boats have committed to the event, the first on local waters in 11 years and this number is expected to grow as the date nears. Sailors are asked to register now via the club website at ldyc.ie and for those who register early and pay the remainder of the entry fee by the due date a raffle is being held for free entry. Youth sailors are welcome and can enter at a discount of 20% and the class is encouraging sailors from other classes to get hold of a Fireball and to join the fray. The last couple of years has seen an increase in interest in Fireballs in Ireland and sailors have joined from the 420s and from the 49er amongst other classes.

Welcoming the event LDYC commodore Joe Gilmartin said “We at LDYC are really looking forward to hosting the International Fireball community at this major event. It is definitely lining up to be one of the highlights of our 2022 season. You are assured of an excellent event with some great sailing, lots of fun and generous hospitality”. Speaking from her home in Switzerland Fireball International Commodore Christina Haerdi commented – “It feels like a first breath after a long stay underwater! We will celebrate the Fireball Worlds in Ireland. The organisers did not give up after the frustrating cancellation of the 2020 Worlds but restarted with full energy to make it happen in Dromineer, in the heart of the Green Island. Let’s make the dream come true and register now!” Irish Fireball Association Chairman Neil Cramer chairman said “We are super-excited to finally get to show off Ireland & Tipperary to the International Fleet after such a long hiatus due to Covid. We hope to attract not only individual competitors but their entire families as well, promising to provide attractive off-the-water activities and some excellent lay-day options”.

Notice of Race is downloadable below. Online registration and registration for event camping are now live and can be found at ldyc.ie

Published in Fireball
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A Lough Derg “Lap the lake” 130 km cycle is raising funds for RNLI Lough Derg this May 

Starting and finishing at the well-known harbour of Dromineer, parking and showers will be available at nearby Lough Derg Yacht Club. 

Lough Derg is the third-biggest on the island of Ireland. It is a long, narrow lake, with shore roads in counties Clare, Galway, and Tipperary for the cyclists to navigate.

Event tickets are €65 per person and will include a t-shirt and goody bag. We would love participants to raise another €65 or more and donate a total of €130 for 130km. All funds raised go to Lough Derg RNLI. 

Bookings are now open for places here and download the poster below.

Lap the Lake” Cycle Will Raise Funds for RNLI

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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A busy mother of one is among five new volunteer crew members who will be on call for the first time this Christmas at Lough Derg RNLI.

Polish native Ania Skrzypczynska is preparing to swap traditional festivities for the cold waters of the December lake, should the call for help come in.

And as the RNLI continues its Christmas Appeal, Ania is urging the public to help her crew, and the thousands of other volunteer crews on call over the Christmas period, to continue their lifesaving work.

Ania says she joined the RNLI “because I wanted to become part of the community after moving to Dromineer. After the first few training sessions on the lifeboat, I had got to meet really nice, friendly people and found it to be a great experience.

“Then after passing my first assessment and being allowed to go on the lifeboat, it was like the beginning of an adventure for me.

“Being a mum of a small and very busy boy, I am restricted with the amount of time I have to spare between my full-time job and family life. However, I know that in the future I will be able to get more involved in the life of the station.

“I am looking forward to becoming a fully qualified crew member. I like new challenges and I want to channel it towards learning how to help others. And by living so close to Lough Derg, I want to learn more about the lake, its beauty and, its dangers.”

Among the other new crew members at Lough Derg RNLI are Richard Nolan, Ciara Lynch, Eimear Kelly and Ciara Moylan.

For Richard, his knowledge from youth of the work the RNLI did on the lake was a major influence in his decision to join the crew, but he also found that having lived away from home in London for almost 10 years, it was a good opportunity to reintegrate into his community.

Richard says: ‘This is my first Christmas on call, and I know even over the festive period, our lifesavers are ready to drop everything at a moment’s notice and rush to the aid of someone in trouble on the water.”

From left: Paul Sillery, Graham Fitzgerald and John Stapleton have taken up new roles at Wicklow RNLIFrom left: Paul Sillery, Graham Fitzgerald and John Stapleton have taken up new roles at Wicklow RNLI

Elsewhere, Wicklow RNLI have passed out three volunteer lifeboat crew into new lifesaving roles at the station.

Graham Fitzgerald is a new station coxswain, Paul Sillery is a new helm on the station’s inshore lifeboat and John Stapleton is a new mechanic on the all-weather Shannon class lifeboat.

Graham has been a volunteer lifeboat crewmember since 2009, becoming a helm on the inshore lifeboat back in 2013. He has a strong family connection to the station, with his grandfather Billy Kilbride a former lifeboat volunteer.

From a strong seafaring background and working in Dublin Port, the sea is in his veins, and he was involved in the rescue of two children who were blown out to sea on an inflatable earlier this year.

“I like the challenge of going out on a rescue and not knowing what we may face; I’ve been on a few challenging ones and it’s so rewarding to bring people home safe, something that sadly not every family have experienced,” he says.

“As a helm and now a coxswain, I feel a huge responsibility to the crew and the station, thanks to the support of the public we have the kit and the equipment to ensure we can save lives at sea whenever and wherever we are needed.”

Paul Sillery joined the lifeboat crew back in 2009 and has recently passed out as a helm on the station’s D class lifeboat. Like Graham, Paul has a strong lifeboating tradition in his family: his great uncle Parker Keogh was coxswain and his uncle David Sillery was a crew member.

“I knew I was always going to join the lifeboat crew and the minute I turned 17 I was at the door of the station,” Paul says. “People recognise the crew in the street as they see us going out to train and see us leaving for a shout. It’s so humbling to have that kind of community support behind us.

John Stapleton has been recently passed out as a mechanic on the all-weather lifeboat. Born and raised in Dublin, John moved to Wicklow 11 years ago and joined the lifeboat crew in 2015.

“There is a role for everyone in the RNLI and if you have an interest in something you can develop it and train up,” John says. “We have navigators, launching authorities and shore crew — everyone does the role that suits them, and it all works together. The resources the RNLI puts into the training and the kit is incredible.:

John adds: “Through people supporting this year’s Christmas appeal, with their help we can get so much closer to our goal of saving every one.”

To make a donation to the RNLI’s Christmas Appeal, visit RNLI.org/Xmas

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

A fundraising volunteer for Lough Derg RNLI has received an award for her services to the Co Tipperary lifeboat station.

Laura Clarke was presented with the Excellence in Volunteering Award by RNLI community manager Jennifer Grey during the annual Christmas card and gift sale at Lough Derg Yacht Club in Dromineer yesterday (Tuesday 9 November).

Laura has been a volunteer on the Lough Derg RNLI Fundraising Committee for 11 years. She says she became a volunteer because the charity “was one my late father loved and always supported, and it was something I wished to continue”.

She recalled that her father Mr Crawford had donated to Portrush lifeboat station in Northern Ireland for the build of their new lifeboat. In 2019, Laura organised a fundraising swim in memory of her father that raised significant funds for the RNLI.

As well as a long family association with the lifeboats, Laura’s husband Caleb is honorary treasurer for both Lough Derg RNLI’s lifeboat station and fundraising committee, while her brother-in-law Peter Clarke was a volunteer helm with the station for 14 years.

In commending Laura for the award, RNLI director of fundraising Jayne George wrote: “Your productive, innovative and reliable attitude has not only optimised our fundraising opportunities at local events but throughout the pandemic has raised more than £2,000 in Christmas card and gift sales alone.”

Of the volunteer’s hard work throughout these difficult past two years, Jayne added that Laura’s enthusiasm and dedication “embodies the RNLI core values of being courageous, trustworthy, selfless and dependable”.

Laura said it is a “great honour to be a part of an organisation that is such a force for good in the world. I’m thrilled to receive this award.”

Niamh McCutcheon, chair of the Lough Derg RNLI fundraising branch and member of the Irish Council of the RNLI. added that she is “delighted to see Laura’s commitment, dedication and significant efforts acknowledged with this award”.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Lough Derg RNLI were tasked last night (Tuesday 26 October) to assist five people on a 48ft cruiser at anchor near the Benjamin Rocks on the Co Clare shore.

At 11.10pm the inshore lifeboat Jean Spier launched with helm Ger Egan, crew Steve Smyth, Joe O’Donoghue and Doireann Kennedy on board.

Conditions on the lake were very rough with Force 6 southwesterly winds with severe gusts. As it was night, visibility was aided by searchlights, radar and other lifeboat electronic aids.

At 11.24pm the lifeboat had the casualty vessel in sight, it was at anchor just off red marker 1168 which identifies the Benjamin Rocks. The RNLI crew found all five people to be safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets.

The skipper explained that the strong winds kept them from making headway, and so at 5.30pm with strengthening winds and failing light, they felt they wouldn’t make harbour and decided to drop anchor and wait out the storm.

However, the cruiser’s location was subjected to the full force of the wind which caused the anchor to drag, taking the vessel close to the rocky shoal.

Given the worsening conditions, the lifeboat helm put a cree member on board the casualty vessel and instructed them to cut the anchor line. But as the anchor warp was all chain and shackled to the cruiser, this was not possible.

With effort, the volunteer weighed anchor and the lifeboat guided the casualty vessel to the shelter and calm of the public harbour at Dromineer. At 12:54am the cruiser was safely secured alongside at Dromineer Harbour and the lifeboat returned to base shortly after 1am.

Liam Maloney, lifeboat operations manager at Lough Derg RNLI, advises water users unfamiliar with Lough Derg to “check the weather for the lakes and plan your course to arrive at safe harbour before nightfall”.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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At their recent ‘Family Day’ on Sunday 3 October, Lough Derg RNLI volunteers took the opportunity to acknowledge the years of dedication of former helm Peter Clarke and lifeboat operations manager Liam Maloney.

The COVID guidelines-compliant luncheon at Larkins Restaurant in Garrykennedy was hosted to thank the lifeboat crew’s families for their unflagging support and understanding of the demands involved in being a lifeboat volunteer.

The team invited former helm Peter Clarke and his family to join the party. After the lunch, and on behalf of all the volunteers, helms Owen Cavanagh and Eleanor Hooker presented Peter with an Kimmeridge RNLI Special Edition watch, in appreciation of his 14 years’ service as helm.

Crew member Chris Parker also presented Peter with a framed Certificate of Service on behalf of the RNLI.

Peter is a busy dairy farmer with a young family. Eleanor spoke of Peter’s dedication, good humour and positive attitude especially on some of the most challenging shouts on Lough Derg. She said the station would love to see him return to the crew when he has more time.

Owen and Eleanor also presented Liam Maloney with a Kimmeridge RNLI Special Edition watch and a Lough Derg RNLI Helly Hansen jacket as a thank-you for the six years he served as the station’s lifeboat operations manager and 19 years volunteering for the RNLI.

A former headmaster at Carrig Primary School, Liam is also a skilled boat builder and one of the most formidable competitive dinghy sailors at Lough Derg Yacht Club.

Liam has been a volunteer with Lough Derg RNLI since preparations for the station began in 2002-03, when he made the assembly hall at his school available for meetings and classroom training for crew.

He says that as he was outside the age to volunteer as crew, he became a deputy launching authority when the station went live for service in 2004.

Christine O’Malley, who took over as lifeboat operations manager on 8 January this year, praised Liam for his hard work in maintaining a high standard of operations at the station, and for his success in involving the local community in the crew and operations team. Liam remains with the station as a deputy launching authority.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Lough Derg RNLI had back-to-back callouts yesterday afternoon (Sunday 19 September) to vessels that had run aground near navigation marks.

At 1.35pm the Lough Derg lifeboat launched to assist seven people on a 45ft cruiser aground at Navigation Mark G.

While en route, Valentia Coast Guard reported a further three people in need of assistance on a 30ft cruiser aground at Navigation Mark E.

At the time the lake had a moderate chop with Force 3-4 variable south-westerly winds and frequent squalls.

At 2.08pm the lifeboat had the first casualty vessel in sight, aground on a shoal near Navigation Mark G on the Tipperary shore.

Marine engineers from the cruise hire company arrived on scene at the same time, and the lifeboat remained on standby until the engineers had the cruiser off the shoal and the scene was safe.

At 2.30pm the lifeboat departed to assist the three people on the second vessel aground, reaching them 15 minutes later.

This 30ft vessel was aground off the Goat Road, a raised shoal for migrating birds. The lifeboat found all three people to be safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets.

The lifeboat transferred two RNLI volunteers across to the casualty vessel, which was found to be not holed.

Given the weather conditions, the RNLI helm decided that the safest course of action was to take the cruiser off the rocks and out into safe water.

Once back afloat, the cruiser’s drives and rudder were found to be in good working order and it was able to continue its passage under its own power.

Lifeboat operations manager Christine O’Malley advises water users unfamiliar with Lough Derg to “plan your passage and keep a lookout for the next navigation mark on your route. Plan your course to arrive at safe harbour before nightfall.”

The Lough Derg crew on these callouts was helm Owen Cavanagh, Steve Smyth, Tom Hayes and Michael O’Sullivan.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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A volunteer crew member at Lough Derg RNLI has become a trauma risk management practitioner for the Dromineer station.

Chris Parker graduated from the RNLI’s Trauma Risk Management Programme (TRiM) this past April.

The TRiM programme aims to provide confidential support and assistance for volunteers who may be dealing with the psychological effects of attending traumatic or distressing callouts.

Currently there are 60 TRiM practitioners within the RNLI across the UK and Ireland — including Parker, who joined the Co Tipperary lifeboat crew two-and-a-half years ago, shortly after moving to the area with his family.

Now a qualified lifeboat crew member, Parker is also Lough Derg RNLI’s health, safety and environmental local liaison.

“I am proud to be able to help fellow volunteers,” he says.

“Sometimes we run towards the bad stuff, and it can take its toll. As a crew member, I want to be there for the members of the public when they are in difficulty, but as a practitioner, I want to be there for my fellow volunteer crew members in the RNLI who may be having their worst day, too.”

As the RNLI is a frontline volunteer emergency service, its crews encounter scenarios and casualty injuries they may never confront in their day jobs.

And in spite of rigorous training in casualty care, volunteers respond differently to the reality of what they’ve encountered.

In most instances following traumatic events, crew will resolve any negative feelings over time. “TRiM is there to support our staff and volunteers from an early stage, to offer peer support,” Parker says.

“To those that require professional help, the TRiM practitioners have the knowledge and training to signpost those services and support.”

All training for frontline staff or volunteers is provided by the RNLI through its partner March on Stress. Parker says that to retain practitioner status, he must meet professional standards through continuous training.

He explains that the initial two-day intensive course covered active listening skills, mentoring, education and risk assessment.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Lough Derg RNLI’s lifeboat volunteers were diverted from exercise in Dromineer Bay last night (Thursday 26 August) to assist two people on a 12ft fishing boat with engine failure just off the Goat Road, on the eastern shore of the lough.

The RNLI crew plotted a course to the Goat Road, and as the made their way under nightfall they monitored the fast moving vessels operating in the area on radar.

Arriving on scene within 20 minutes, the lifeboat was directed to the casualty vessel by the people on board using torches.

The fishing boat was floating close to a rocky shore south of the Goat Road, so the lifeboat made a cautious approach.

Once alongside, the lifeboat crew found both people on board safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets. The duo reported that their boat had glanced off a rock and suffered engine failure.

Given the hour and the drop in temperature, lifeboat helm Eleanor Hooker decided the safest option was to set up an alongside tow and take the vessel with her passengers to Dromineer, the safest close harbour.

Without sufficient warm clothing, the two people took shelter in the forward cabin of their boat until it was safety tied alongside in Dromineer before 11.20pm.

Peter Kennedy, deputy launching authority at Lough Derg RNLI, advises all water users to “study your charts and be prepared; anticipate a drop in temperature with nightfall”.

The lifeboat crew on this callout were Eleanor Hooker, Doireann Kennedy, Tom Hayes and Ciara Lynch.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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On Monday evening, 23 August, Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat to launch to assess a cruiser reported aground by a concerned member of the public. The cruiser was said to be in Scarriff Bay, north of the entrance to the Scarriff River.

At 6.51 pm the lifeboat Jean Spier launched with helm crew Owen Cavanagh, crew Eleanor Hooker, Joe O’Donoghue and Doireann Kennedy on board. The lake was calm. Visibility was good.

At 7:08 pm the lifeboat arrived on scene. The cruiser was aground on a rocky shore, north of the entrance to the Scarriff River. The lifeboat stood off to inspect the aspect of the cruiser, which appeared to be pivoting on the edge of the shoal.

Taking a transit off their stern, and with a volunteer RNLI crew taking soundings off the bow, and another using the onboard electronic charts, the lifeboat made a cautious approach to the casualty vessel. There was a family of three onboard, all safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets. An RNLI crew member transferred across to the casualty vessel and established that the vessel was not holed.

The crew took soundings around the casualty vessel, and given the isolated location, the helm decided that the safest option was to set up an astern tow and take the vessel of the rocks and out into safe water.

At 7.20 pm the lifeboat had the vessel off the rocks and out into safe water, where drives and rudder were found to be in good working order. The RNLI volunteer was transferred back to the lifeboat, and the cruiser and her passengers continued their onward journey to Scarriff Harbour.

The lifeboat departed the scene at 7.48 pm and was back at Station at 8.06 pm.

Jeremy Freeman, Deputy Launching Authority at Lough Derg RNLI, advises water users to ‘keep a lookout and anticipate each navigation mark on your route and always carry a means of communication’.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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