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Displaying items by tag: Bangor Marina

For those boat owners in Bangor Marina on Belfast Lough itching to have access to their boats and get afloat again, the latest communication from Dean & Reddyhoff and Quay Marinas will give some hope. They say that “we’re starting to hear whispers of positive news coming from the UK government. This means we can start firmly looking towards the future”.

Since closure on Tuesday 24th March, staff have been busy looking after the boats and working hard to keep the facilities and equipment in peak condition so that things are shipshape for the return to boating.

As soon as the lockdown is lifted, there will obviously be a huge demand for boat owners to undertake maintenance and repairs.  The team at Bangor Marina understand the concerns of berth holders and have put in place a number of additional safety protocols that will allow authorised contractors to work on boats from Monday 4th May 2020.

Dean & Reddyhoff and Quay Marinas have said “ We’re acutely aware of how frustrating the current position is, with boat owners desperately wanting to gain access to their pride and joy. Please rest assured that we will be monitoring government directives on leisure boat owners closely so that we can reunite you with your boats just as soon as is safe to do so. In the meantime, we are continually checking and making sure everything is okay with all boats at our marinas, and we will continue to keep you updated”.

Published in Belfast Lough

The yacht Aries has been sheltering in Ballyholme Bay from the strong southerly and while Bangor Marina is closed due to COVID-19.

Aries is a one-off 43 ft steel ketch owned by Simon Layton, a former UKSA instructor and friend of David Bridges whose project this is, a fundraising effort for Veterans Outreach Support. VOS is a drop-in service for ex-members of the British Armed Forces, the Merchant Navy and their partners.

The original aim was to sail around the UK in an anti-clockwise direction hoping that before stopovers they would radio ahead and see if anyone from VOS who would like to join them on the next leg. They had hoped to do some speaking at clubs along the way. But by the time they passed Cape Wrath the lockdown had started so unfortunately for the fund-raising effort, there would be no interaction ashore or additional crew.

David Bridges and Simon Layton with yacht AriesDavid Bridges (left) and Simon Layton with yacht Aries

David from the Isle of Wight is a former member of the Armed Forces who suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. He served several tours in Northern Ireland and Bosnia and after military service was a finance director of a bank in Jersey but took early retirement after the onset of PTSD and moving to the Island.

He said: "PTSD is a mental condition which affects the brain. It makes me hyper-observant and I'm always looking around to see if I am going to be affected by any trouble around me. It's caused through combat, or what I have seen doing my duty. It gradually hit me ten years after leaving the army and I slipped into depression. I see a psychiatrist who thinks this challenge will give me an objective and will be a calming influence on me."

The pair set off from Yarmouth (IOW) and having picked up a crew member in Portsmouth, continued along the English Channel and then north via Scarborough and Wick, round the north of Scotland followed by Cape Wrath and southwards taking in Kinlochbervie, Skye and Tobermory before entering Belfast Lough.

David's sponsors include the car dealership Esplanade, and IT Specialists, RDS Global. The fundraising page for VOS is here

Published in Belfast Lough

Last week the Quay Marinas/Dean & Reddyhoff Bangor marina closed, a victim of the COVID-19 Government restrictions in Northern Ireland.

As Afloat reported previously, the Five Anchor Marina on Belfast Lough announced that from this Spring it would become part of a single marina group, boatfolk.

With access to the pontoons and the marina building forbidden when strict social distancing measures were introduced a week ago, the company is introducing a new loyalty scheme for all customers who have signed up for an annual berthing licence from 1st April 2020 to March 2021. They will receive an automatic credit on their account, equivalent to 50% of their April berthing fees. So this month’s berthing will be half price. In a few weeks’ time, the scheme will be reviewed and if it is thought the right thing to do, there will be “top up” again in May if the lockdown continues.

This latest communication says “As a business, we believe our responsibility to our berth holders and our customers comes before anything else and we are passionate about operating ethically. When strict social distancing measures were introduced a week ago, the government guidance meant we had to close our marinas to our customers; something we thought we would never have to do. We quickly made the decision to pay our staff 100% of their wages in April (even if they are not working), and we are continuing to pay our suppliers and our landlords in full and on time. This is the right thing to do as we must all support each other to come through this period united”.

For those who have not yet confirmed a berth for the year, but do so by Friday 10th April, they can either take the credit as a discount off the annual berth this year, or “bank it” to use over the next 12 months on a range of services, including boatyard lifting and storage, boatcare services, or to put towards next year’s berthing fees. 

The marina teams are checking lines and fenders each day and keep the marinas shipshape.

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Following last night’s announcement by Prime Minister Boris Johnson of a full lockdown in the UK over the next three weeks, Bangor Marina in Northern Ireland has closed and is asking customers to stay away for the duration of the lockdown period to help reduce the spread of Covid-19.

In a statement on their Facebook page, the marina team said: “We wish to act responsibly, and in line with Government advice. So although it goes against everything we stand for, we have to ask our customers to keep away from Bangor Marina until the situation improves. Not easy, with bright and beautiful weather out there.

“We can only hope that by us all taking these restrictions seriously we can reduce the spread of this horrible disease, so that we can all get back on the water soon, in time to enjoy the summer boating season in July and August.”

As from today, Tuesday 24 March, Bangor Marina is taking the following steps:

  • Customers should not be visiting our Bangor Marina, but should be following UK Government advice and avoiding all non-essential travel, including visiting their boat.
  • The marina reception is closed. Most of the office-based team are now working remotely, so pick up the phone or email as you normally would. They will do their best to answer any questions or enquiries you may have about berthing or the operation of the marina. You can continue to make payments in all the usual ways, including through our online portal.
  • Customers are respectfully asked not to ‘quarantine’ or ‘isolate’ themselves on their boats. You should remain in your primary residence. The marina insists its staff are “still busy looking after your boat”.
  • If you haven’t yet confirmed your berthing plans for the next few months, please do so as soon as possible.

“We understand what a difficult time this is, but our whole team are firmly focused on riding out this storm with you, and we remain hopeful that the clouds will pass in time for us all to make the most of our summer boating season later in the year,” the statement added.

It’s expected that all marinas and sailing, boat and yacht clubs in Northern Ireland and Great Britain will be closed for the lockdown period, which will be reviewed by Easter Monday, 13 April.

Published in Irish Marinas

The Five Anchor Quay Marina in Bangor has announced that from Spring this year it will become part of a single marina group, boatfolk.

This development follows last year’s announcement from Quay Marinas that they would form, with Dean & Reddyhoff, a single marina group with a shared vision and shared name. So, in April the 11 marinas nationwide will be brought together under a new name and brand, boatfolk.

The name boatfolk, is explained by Quay Marinas Bangor to its berth holders.

“We’ve always tried to be a little different and have never underestimated the importance of our people and our customers in making every experience at our marinas great. We are unashamedly putting you at the heart of what we do and are celebrating the range of unique characters that make up our community of boaters. From racing sailors to motor cruisers, paddleboarders, anglers and divers, engineers and sailmakers. It’s our berth holders and visitors that make our marinas great. The new brand will be launched in the Spring with a new website, new look and feel and an extra special welcome pack to kick-off the 2020 season. You’ll begin to see more of the boatfolk name and brand from the beginning of April and we hope that you’ll help us celebrate the start of this first exciting chapter in the boatfolk”.

Bangor Marina has 530 berths and provides all the usual facilities, both afloat and shoreside, on a 24 hour service basis. It is conveniently situated as a stopover for passage north and south in the Irish Sea.

More here

The regeneration of the waterfront in Bangor as detailed on 25th November in Afloat.ie, reached another crucial stage in its progress when the developer Bangor Marine Ltd. submitted a comprehensive planning application for the site at Queen’s Parade and Marine Gardens overlooking the Marina.

Announcing this next step, the Department for Communities flagged it up as a significant milestone towards seeing the major £50 million regeneration project delivered in the town. Bangor Marine Ltd. is a consortium made up of several leading companies including the Karl Group and Farrans.

Bangor Regeneration1An artist's impression of the new Bangor Harbour area

The proposed scheme is made up of; Marine Gardens Public Realm combining external events space, cafes, sheltered promenade and kiosks, beach, seafront lawns, children’s play area and water feature, a hotel, a destination/cinema building, residential units, commercial/retail/restaurant space, office space, a play zone, refurbishment of existing commercial properties, basement car park, and marketplace & courtyard squares.

With several key shops quitting the town centre for outlying retail parks and the only shopping centre closing its doors some years ago, it is hoped that this project will go some way to restoring confidence in the town.

Welcoming the application, the Minister for Communities, Deirdre Hargey MLA, said: “This is a huge step in the right direction for the redevelopment of Bangor’s town centre. We are one step closer to the £50 million investment in Bangor, which will create much-needed jobs, shops, offices and homes, and will create an attractive place for people to visit”. She went on to say, “Now that the developer has submitted the Planning Application, I am encouraging everyone in Bangor to get involved, share their ideas, and make their voices heard in the consultation that follows”.

The Mayor of Ards and North Down, Alderman Bill Keery said: “The regeneration of Queen’s Parade is critical to the future of Bangor and working with Council’s plans to help regenerate the Bangor Waterfront will help to maximise the economic growth potential of the wider Borough of Ards and North Down”.

Aran Blackbourne, from Bangor Marine Ltd, said: “We are delighted to submit our exciting plans for the transformation of Queen’s Parade and Marine Gardens in Bangor. Submission of these plans follows a period of extensive and meaningful engagement with Ards and North Down Borough Council, the Department for Communities and, most importantly the people of Bangor.

If you go down the ramp to the pontoons in Bangor Marina you couldn’t miss the impressive vessel sitting to your right. She’s the Seabird, Northern Ireland’s first sea-going boat-based environmental charity known as 'Citizen Sea', supported by Ards and North Down Borough Council and Bangor Marina.

Co-Founders are Jen Firth, herself a boat lover and marine conservationist, who together with Master Shipwright Tony McLoughlin (whose previous project was the Brian Boru), aim through Citizen Sea, to inspire others to engage with the marine environment through Science, Education, Research and raising awareness.

Tony McLaughlin and Jen FirthTony McLoughlin and Jen Firth

Launched in 1969, the vessel is a 17-metre ex herring Ringnetter of 40 tonnes displacement built of larch and oak in the Norse tradition by Scottish yard Weatherhead and Blackie of Port Seaton. Descended from the legendary sailing drifters of the late nineteenth century, she is a roomy and powerfully built boat and has worked through all seasons and as a general-purpose fishing vessel up until late 2018.

Citizen Sea Science Club Courtesy Citizen SeaCitizen Sea Science Club Photo: Courtesy Citizen Sea

Primarily Seabird is as a research and education vessel and, perhaps most importantly, an ambassador for the natural marine and coastal environment. Citizen Sea wants to inspire local people and visitors to become stewards of the greatest natural resource in order to create healthier seas and coastal communities now and in the future. Jen and Tony hope to create action through education and provide evidence for conservation by engaging people.

"Citizen Sea aims to inspire others to engage with the marine environment"

“It is surprising just how many people who live in a coastal region have never set foot on a boat”, Jen says, and she and her colleagues have sought to rectify this, principally through a schools’ programme. About the schoolchildren who visit she says, “when they get on a boat, they don’t even look at their phones!”. Justification surely for what Jen and Tony are undertaking. Also, they want, by the example of the restoration of this particular vessel, to encourage upcycling and using older things. By bringing people to the sea they hope that they will develop a greater understanding of the marine environment and engage with the rich maritime heritage and culture whilst learning how to care for and protect the wildlife and the environment within it.

The schools' programme has proved extremely popular and up to ten children make up a Science Club, with two sessions per day on weekends. The lessons also extend to examining the contents of the marina’s Seabins which collect waste material. Sadly, they have found microplastics in the contents.

Other activities include beach clean-ups and marine environmental workshops. For working out of the marina, for instance on islands, and places which would be inaccessible to this large boat, RIBs are used. More info here

Published in Marine Wildlife
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It’s not often a Notice to Mariners is issued by Bangor Harbour on Belfast Lough for a paddleboarding event but this was the case when a fundraiser was held in the Harbour on a very cold Sunday morning (1st Dec) writes Betty Armstrong

Stand Up Paddleboarding has taken off in Northern Ireland and a great turn out of SUPpers took part to support SUPforCancer. There were 38 adults, 12 children and three dogs. A substantial crowd watched from the Eisenhower Pier. It was organised by SUP Hub NI.

The event was sponsored by nine local business and plenty of prizes were won in what is believed to be the first-ever SUP Tombola where numbered tennis balls were scattered around the Harbour and paddlers had to race to scoop one up before a fellow paddler did. Their number correlated to a prize donated by one of the supporting businesses, a new and fun way for people to win prizes. There were special prizes for the Fastest Santa, Fastest ‘grim’ (kid), and best dressed.

In all £723 has been raised so far but the JustGiving link remains open in case readers wish to add to it here

The Ards and North Down Christmas lights switch-on this year on Saturday (23rd) at Bangor on Belfast Lough will be followed by a spectacular firework display from a floating barge moored outside the Harbour. A 200-metre safety zone will be placed around the floating barge.

As the Marina is a popular place for viewing the display from your boat, there is no restriction on entering via the reception area only, as the side gate will be locked.

Bangor Harbour Bye – Laws 2005 (Part 11 Navigation, section 3) apply.

All vessel movements will be prohibited from 1700 hrs to approx. 1830 hrs. Please listen to VHF channel 11 / 80 for safety directions.

Access Restrictions - Eisenhower Pier & Pickie Pier - Saturday 23rd November

Access to vehicular traffic and members of the public will be prohibited from 1600 hrs to approx. 1830 hrs* (authorised personnel only)

Access Restrictions – Commercial Pier & Fuel Pontoon - Saturday 23rd November

Access to vehicular traffic will be prohibited from 1600 hrs to approx. 1830 hrs* - authorised personnel only. The fuel berth will be closed from 1600 hrs to approx. 1830 hrs*. No unauthorised parking on the Commercial Pier.
*Access Restrictions Lifted

Restriction to access (Eisenhower, Commercial & Pickie Piers) will be lifted by the Harbour Master only when ‘safe site’ assurances have been received from Ards and North Down Borough Council’s Risk Manager.
Safety Zone – 200 metres around the floating Barge

A 200-metre safety zone will be placed around the floating barge. Please do not come within 200 metres of the barge. MV Ocean Crest will patrol the Safety Zone.

Published in Belfast Lough
Tagged under

#Rescue - Belfast Coastguard was "stuck for words" after bystanders failed to raise the alarm for an elderly man who fell into the water at Bangor Marina this week.

According to the Belfast Telegraph, the man was working on his boat at the marina on Belfast Lough when he slipped into the water just after 11am on Thursday morning (31 March).

He was reportedly moments away from drowning before he was rescued by Graham Edgar, who described a group of onlookers at the marina who failed to call for help, or even throw in one of a number of lifesaving devices nearby.

The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.

Published in Rescue
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