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Displaying items by tag: Northern Ireland

Four teenagers were rescued in Co Down last weekend when they were cut off by the tide, the News Letter reports.
The teens were caught up to their shoulders in water at Ardilea on Saturday evening when they were retrieved by a former volunteer coastguard who lives nearby.
The group were met at the shore by the South Down Coastguard Rescue Team and NI Ambulance Service paramedics and taken to hospital showing signs of hypothermia.
Meanwhile, on Friday night RNLI Bangor lifeboat rescued a young girl stranded on a rock near Groomsport after a call from a member of the public.
“With waves breaking around the knees of the frightened child it was paramount that she be brought ashore as quickly as possible," said a coastguard statement.
The girl was treated by waiting paramedics at the shore.

Four teenagers were rescued in Co Down last weekend when they were cut off by the tide, the News Letter reports.

The teens were caught up to their shoulders in water at Ardilea on Saturday evening when they were retrieved by a former volunteer coastguard who lives nearby.

The group were met at the shore by the South Down Coastguard Rescue Team and NI Ambulance Service paramedics and taken to hospital showing signs of hypothermia.

Meanwhile, on Friday night RNLI Bangor lifeboat rescued a young girl stranded on a rock near Groomsport after a call from a member of the public.

“With waves breaking around the knees of the frightened child it was paramount that she be brought ashore as quickly as possible," said a coastguard statement. 

The girl was treated by waiting paramedics at the shore.

Published in Rescue
Northern Ireland's only dedicated search and rescue command centre has been saved from closure following a review of plans to streamline the UK's coastguard network.
BBC News reports that UK Transport Minister Phillip Hammond told the House of Commons today that the coastguard station at Bangor would remain open and operate 24 hours a day, allaying concerns that the station would be reduced to daytime-only service.
"Had this decision gone the wrong way, it would not simply have been a blow for the staff here in Bangor, but for all of Northern Ireland," commented North Down MLA Peter Weir.
The Bangor station will be one of eight full-time centres across the UK that remain open, while the stations at Clyde, Forth, Portland and Liverpool will be closed.
BBC News has more on the story HERE.

Northern Ireland's only dedicated search and rescue command centre has been saved from closure following a review of plans to streamline the UK's coastguard network.

BBC News reports that UK Transport Minister Phillip Hammond told the House of Commons today that the coastguard station at Bangor would remain open and operate 24 hours a day, allaying concerns that the station would be reduced to daytime-only service.

"Had this decision gone the wrong way, it would not simply have been a blow for the staff here in Bangor, but for all of Northern Ireland," commented North Down MLA Peter Weir.

The Bangor station will be one of eight full-time centres across the UK that remain open, while the stations at Clyde, Forth, Portland and Liverpool will be closed.

BBC News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastguard
Well-wishers broke out the champagne to welcome home Elaine 'Shooter' Alexander as she completed her solo circumnavigation of Ireland by kayak yesterday.
The first woman from Northern Ireland to complete such a feat, Shooter landed at County Antrim Yacht Club 71 days after setting off from the same spot on her 1,000-mile challenge to raise funds for local charity SHARE.
Shooter's skills were regularly tested to the limit. On one occasion she suffered severe sea sickness after getting caught in a large swell during a 12-mile crossing near Brandon Bay.
“I was fully committed with a cliff face on one side and a long paddle to America on the other, so I had to continue despite being severely ill,” she said.
But the challenge wasn't all doom and gloom. One highlight was when Shooter was joined by a pod of six dolphins for over an hour near Easkey on the Sligo coast. And above all, the people she met along the way have left a lasting impression.
“The support from the kayaking community and local fisherman has been great," she said. "Kayakers have paddled stretches with me, met me with tea and biscuits, gave me warm beds and hot showers, shared invaluable local knowledge – I can’t thank them enough."

Well-wishers broke out the champagne to welcome home Elaine 'Shooter' Alexander as she completed her solo circumnavigation of Ireland by kayak yesterday.

The first woman from Northern Ireland to complete such a feat, Shooter landed at County Antrim Yacht Club 71 days after setting off from the same spot on her 1,000-mile challenge to raise funds for local charity SHARE.

Shooter's skills were regularly tested to the limit. On one occasion she suffered severe sea sickness after getting caught in a large swell during a 12-mile crossing near Brandon Bay.

“I was fully committed with a cliff face on one side and a long paddle to America on the other, so I had to continue despite being severely ill,” she said. 

But the challenge wasn't all doom and gloom. One highlight was when Shooter was joined by a pod of six dolphins for over an hour near Easkey on the Sligo coast. And above all, the people she met along the way have left a lasting impression. 

“The support from the kayaking community and local fisherman has been great," she said. "Kayakers have paddled stretches with me, met me with tea and biscuits, gave me warm beds and hot showers, shared invaluable local knowledge – I can’t thank them enough."

Published in Kayaking
Search and rescue operations from Northern Ireland's only dedicated coastguard centre are on the increase, the Belfast Telegraph reports.
The latest figures show that there were 50 per cent more callouts to the Bangor-based centre last year than in 2006.
Shipping Minister Mike Penning - who is behind controversial plans to streamline the UK's coastguard network, which could see Bangor either closed or reduced to daylight operation - also confirmed that more than a third of callouts were made at night.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the final decision on the coastguard proposals will be taken by 19 July.

Search and rescue operations from Northern Ireland's only dedicated coastguard centre are on the increase, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

The latest figures show that there were 50 per cent more callouts to the Bangor-based centre last year than in 2006.

Shipping Minister Mike Penning - who is behind controversial plans to streamline the UK's coastguard network, which could see Bangor either closed or reduced to daylight operation - also confirmed that more than a third of callouts were made at night.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the final decision on the coastguard proposals will be taken by 19 July.

Published in Coastguard
Hundreds of schoolchildren protested at Stormont last week to call for new laws to protect Northern Ireland's coastal waters, the Belfast Telegraph reports.
The group handed a petition with 4,000 signatures to Environment Minister Alex Attwood urging the introduction of a Marine Bill which would provide special marine conservation zones and restrict harmful maritime activities.
At present, Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK with no legal safeguards for the protection of its coastline.
The Northern Ireland Marine Task Force, which is heading the campaign, says "over-reaching legislation" is needed to preserve the North's marine wildlife and plantlife habitats.
The Belfast Telegraph has more in the story HERE.

Hundreds of schoolchildren protested at Stormont last week to call for new laws to protect Northern Ireland's coastal waters, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

The group handed a petition with 4,000 signatures to Environment Minister Alex Attwood urging the introduction of a Marine Bill which would provide special marine conservation zones and restrict harmful maritime activities.

At present, Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK with no legal safeguards for the protection of its coastline.

The Northern Ireland Marine Task Force, which is heading the campaign, says "over-reaching legislation" is needed to preserve the North's marine wildlife and plantlife habitats.

The Belfast Telegraph has more in the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes
Killer whales and a humpback whale have been spotted off the coast of Northern Ireland in recent weeks, according to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG).
Irish Weather Online quotes the IWDG's Pádraig Whooley, who said three killer whales - or orcas - had been seen off Rathlin Island in Co Antrim on 10 June. Two more were later spotted between the Down coast and the Isle of Man.
Then on 14 June a humpback whale was sighted off Bangor - only the third time the species has been seen in Northern Irish waters.
"Any sighting today of a humpback whale sends out a very strong conservation message." said Whooley.

Killer whales and a humpback whale have been spotted off the coast of Northern Ireland in recent weeks, according to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG).

Irish Weather Online quotes the IWDG's Pádraig Whooley, who said three killer whales - or orcas - had been seen off Rathlin Island in Co Antrim on 10 June. Two more were later spotted between the Down coast and the Isle of Man.

Then on 14 June a humpback whale was sighted off Bangor - only the third time the species has been seen in Northern Irish waters.

"Any sighting today of a humpback whale sends out a very strong conservation message," said Whooley.

Published in Marine Wildlife
The final decision on plans to streamline the UK's network of coastguard centres will be taken next month, the News Letter reports.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the 24-hour station at Bangor - which covers Nothern Ireland's coastline - is at risk of closure under the proposed cuts.
Shipping Minister Mike Penning says the decision will be announced on 19 July, following the report of the Commons Transport Select Committee next week, after which a second consultation period will begin.
He reportedly told a Westminster debate last week that "no change is not an option".
Northern Ireland voiced their opposition at the debate to any reduction of service at Bangor, with David Simpson of Upper Bann saying that it "would have a significant effect on the levels of service and rescue".
The News Letter has more on the story HERE.

The final decision on plans to streamline the UK's network of coastguard centres will be taken next month, the News Letter reports.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the station at Bangor - Northern Ireland's only 24-hour search and rescue co-ordination centre - is at risk of closure under the proposed cuts.

Shipping Minister Mike Penning says the decision will be announced on 19 July, following the report of the Commons Transport Select Committee next week, after which a second consultation period will begin.

He reportedly told a Westminster debate last week that "no change is not an option".

Northern Ireland MPs voiced their opposition at the debate to any reduction of service at Bangor, with David Simpson of Upper Bann saying that it "would have a significant effect on the levels of service and rescue".

The News Letter has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastguard
Ireland has ranked fifth in a new Europe-wide report on bathing water quality - but some beaches in Northern Ireland are falling short of strict EU standards.
MEP Jim Higgins welcomed the results of the annual Bathing Water Report for 2010, saying: "Ireland's scenic attributes are a primary reason for attracting tourists and it is essential that our coastal and inland bathing sites are also enticing."
Ireland has moved up five places from its overall rank of 10th in 2009, with 90.1% of all bathing water sites meeting the EU's Blue Flag guidelines for water quality at beaches and swimming spots.
However, the Daily Telegraph reports that a number of beaches in Northern Ireland and other parts of the UK were judged to be 'poor'.
Beaches at Newcastle and Ballyholme in the North are among 16 across the UK that did not pass the EU's strict checks for Blue Flags.
The 2010 report ranks Cyprus as the cleanest bathing spot in Europe, with 100% of sites passing EU insspection. It was closely followed by Croatia with 97.3%, Malta at 95.4% and Greece at 94.2%.

Ireland has ranked fifth in a new Europe-wide report on bathing water quality - but some beaches in Northern Ireland are falling short of strict EU standards.

MEP Jim Higgins welcomed the results of the annual Bathing Water Report for 2010, saying: "Ireland's scenic attributes are a primary reason for attracting tourists and it is essential that our coastal and inland bathing sites are also enticing."

Ireland has moved up five places from its overall rank of 10th in 2009, with 90.1% of all bathing water sites meeting the EU's Blue Flag guidelines for water quality at beaches and swimming spots.

However, the Daily Telegraph reports that a number of beaches in Northern Ireland and other parts of the UK were judged to be 'poor'.

Beaches at Newcastle and Ballyholme in the North are among 16 across the UK that did not pass the EU's strict checks for Blue Flags.

The 2010 report ranks Cyprus as the cleanest bathing spot in Europe, with 100% of sites passing EU insspection. It was closely followed by Croatia with 97.3%, Malta at 95.4% and Greece at 94.2%.

Published in Coastal Notes
The latest product from sonar technology company Tritech is a mammal detection system for use around underwater turbines.
According to the manufacturers, the Gemini SeaTec system uses a multi-beam sonar and image detection software to provide real-time monitoring and warning of sea mammals in the vicinity of subsea turbines, allowing operators to take corrective action.
The system also logs valuable data that may be used for environmental assessment in any sea turbine development project.
Tritech's system is already installed on the SeaGen tidal turbine in Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland. The system also has future possible applications in cable lay survey operations and general subsea monitoring.
For more details visit the Tritech website.

The latest product from sonar technology company Tritech is a mammal detection system for use around underwater turbines.

According to the manufacturers, the Gemini SeaTec system uses a multi-beam sonar and image detection software to provide real-time monitoring and warning of sea mammals in the vicinity of subsea turbines, allowing operators to take corrective action.

The system also logs valuable data that may be used for environmental assessment in any sea turbine development project.

Tritech's system is already installed on the SeaGen tidal turbine in Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland. The system also has future possible applications in cable lay survey operations and general subsea monitoring.

For more details visit the Tritech website.

Published in Power From the Sea
The UK Shipping Minister has hit out at claims that Northern Ireland coastguards were barred from speaking to the Commons committee looking into plans to streamline the British coastguard network.
According to the Belfast Telegraph, Minister Mike Penning maintained he had "not gagged anybody" when questioned over his forbidding officers from a number of coastguard stations - including Bangor - from giving testimony to the transport committee.
The minister explained his decision on the basis that coastguards are civil servants and that "a civil servant's job is to support the government of the day".
He also indicated to the inquiry panel that he was working towards keeping open 10 stations instead of the eight listed in the original plans, under which Bangor would either be downgraded to a daytime station or closed outright.
The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.

The UK Shipping Minister has hit out at claims that Northern Ireland coastguards were barred from speaking to the Commons committee looking into plans to streamline the British coastguard network.

According to the Belfast Telegraph, Minister Mike Penning maintained he had "not gagged anybody" when questioned over his forbidding officers from a number of coastguard stations - including Bangor - from giving testimony to the transport committee.

The minister explained his decision on the basis that coastguards are civil servants and that "a civil servant's job is to support the government of the day".

He also indicated to the inquiry panel that he was working towards keeping open 10 stations instead of the eight listed in the original plans, under which Bangor would either be downgraded to a daytime station or closed outright.

The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastguard
Page 21 of 27

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