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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Portrush

#Missing - The Irish Times reports that the search for a sea angler missing off the North Antrim coast has been postponed due to today's dangerously high winds.

The PSNI has also urged members of the public wishing to help with the search for the 38-year-old - who is believed to have been swept into the sea while fishing on rocks at Ramore Head yesterday - to step back and leave the search to the professionals.

“Deteriorating weather and sea conditions mean that the search environment is extremely challenging and police do not want to see anyone put at risk," said a spokesperson.

Published in News Update
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#coastguard – At 4.05pm yesterday Belfast Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre received a 999 emergency call from a member of the public who had witnessed a shore based fisherman entering the water at Ramore Head, Portrush.

Belfast Coastguard immediately requested helicopter assistance. The Irish Coastguard Rescue helicopter is searching the area, and both the Portrush RNLI all-weather and inshore lifeboats from are on scene searching for the man. Coastguard Rescue Teams from Ballycastle and Colraine are on scene, searching the surrounding area. There are also three local vessels assisting with the search.

Belfast Coastguard Watch Manager, Graeme Watters said

This man was fishing in a party of three. We do not know how he came to be lost in the water, but we have many assets supporting in the search.

Published in Coastguard
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#SurfKayaking - This weekend 14-15 September sees Portrush in Co Antrim host the Northern Ireland & British Open championships in waveski and surf kayak, and the Coleraine Times has the lowdown on what to expect.

It's fitting that the contest, last held in Portrush in 2010, is returning to a region that's produced more than its fair share of world-class surf kayaking talent - the latest being 18-year-old Jake King from Derry who claimed the world title this past July.

Published in Kayaking
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#coastguard – A search is currently underway for the owner of two fishing rods found near rocks at the Blue Pool, Portrush.
A member of the public called Belfast Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre at just after 11am because they had spotted the two abandoned fishing rods. Because the coastguard cannot be sure that the owner hadn't fallen in to the water they sent the Portrush Coastguard Rescue Team, the RNLI Lifeboat from Portrush and the Irish Coastguard helicopter based at Sligo to the scene. Despite an extensive search the owner of the fishing rods has not been found.
Belfast Coastguard Watch Manager Ian Murdock said:
"Until we find out that the owner of the fishing rods is safe and well we have to assume the worst. If you were fishing at the Blue Pool last night or early this morning please call the coastguard, particularly if you left some equipment behind.
"Rocks can be dangerous and slippery so please consider whether there is anywhere safer to fish. Because there is little to hold on to even a small wave can wash you off in to the sea and so the coastguard recommends that when fishing from rocks you wear a suitable floatation device, you check weather and tidal conditions and tell someone on shore where you are going and what time you plan to be back. If you don't return on time ask them to call 999 and ask for the coastguard.

Published in Coastguard
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#RNLI - Portaferry RNLI is looking for new volunteer crew members to join its search and rescue service in Co Down.

The station currently has 17 lifeboat and two shore crew to cover its inshore service on Strangford Lough but is now calling on new volunteers to come forward and find out how they can get involved in helping the charity continue to save lives at sea.

To that end, the station will be hosting two open days early next month for all interested candidates to learn more.

"We are looking for anyone aged 17 years and over who is willing to offer some of their free time to join what I believe to be, one of the most exhilarating and rewarding voluntary services that is out there," said lifeboat operations manager Brian Bailie.

"Every volunteer receives first class training from the RNLI and learns new skills which can benefit them in many walks of life. Lifeboat crew members need to have a reasonable level of fitness, have good eyesight and not be colour-blind."

He added: "Anyone who would like to volunteer but feels they would not meet the requirements for lifeboat crew should in no way be put off, as shore crew also play an essential role in the launch and recovery of the lifeboat when it goes on service."

For anyone who feels they have the time and commitment to volunteer for the charity which is on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, is asked to email Brian at [email protected].

Alternatively, prospective volunteers can come along to the station’s open days from 7-9pm next Tuesday 7 May or from 2-4pm next Saturday 11 May.

Elsewhere in Northern Ireland, primary school children will have the opportunity to hit the surf with RNLI lifeguards over the next month.

The charity’s ‘Hit the Surf’ programme runs from 7 May to 7 June on the East Strand Beach in Portrush.

Aimed at primary five to seven pupils aged eight to 11, the programme - which is expanding to accommodate more schools this year - gives children a unique opportunity to gain practical lessons in lifesaving and beach safety. All equipment is provided free of charge.

Each session lasts two-and-a half-hours and includes a theory lesson on staying safe at the beach, the role of beach lifeguards and the RNLI, and detailed information on flags and rip currents.

There are practical lessons in lifesaving and surf based skills, while lifeguards aim to build pupils confidence in the sea. Children also learn about the local hazards and the beach environment.

Sessions are still available for schools who want to book pupils in. For more information contact Jessica on 0777 441 4208 or email [email protected]

Last year RNLI lifeguards located on beaches in Co Down and along the Causeway Coast responded to 158 incidents and assisted 176 people who found themselves in difficulty.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Rather than accept gifts for their 50th wedding anniversary, a Portstweart couple have asked their family and friends to make donations to Portrush RNLI.

As the Coleraine Times reports, Ewart Toms and his wife - who are well known butchers in the area - raised £500 for the RNLI which they were more than happy to hand over to lifeboat station volunteers at Portrush.

They said: “We wanted to mark this special occasion in our lives, by making a donation to a cause close to our hearts, and to the volunteers who risk their lives to save others.”

The Coleraine Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#boatjumble – Portrush Boatowners Association is eagerly looking forward to the annual boat jumble at Portrush Harbour on Saturday 30th March 2013.

The boat jumble which is usually held in October was rescheduled to Easter Saturday, so that visitors to Portrush could enjoy the event, which combines a gathering of the local boatowners raising funds for charity and a bit of banter and craic. The Charities benefitting this year are Chest Heart and Stroke and Portrush Lifeboat Station.

The jumble takes place on the North Pier and consists of stalls and car boots selling all things nautical and maybe not so nautical. It gives boatowners a chance to buy boating paraphanalia as well as maybe the odd boat up for grabs.
The local Coastguard will be on hand to give Sea Safety advice and the Portrush Lifeboat will hopefully be alongside side with her crew, which offers an excellent opportunity to have a tour of the lifeboat and ask the crew questions about how she works.

Also this year the Association have asked local men Andy McClelland and John Lynn to come along with their boats.

John is planning to sail solo from Islay to Portrush in his laser dinghy retracing the steps of his late father Robert who made the same journey on a windsurfer. John will also be raising funds for Portrush Lifeboat Station.

Local Lifeboat crew member and Junior World Kayaking Champion Andy McClelland wil be kayaking 22 miles across the Irish Sea in May in aid of kidney research, Alzheimers Society and the regional respiratory Belfast City Hospital.

There will be an opportunity to talk to both John and Andy about their plans.

Charlie Grossie Chair of the Portrush Boatowners Association commented:-

'"The Association is yet again proud to be able run the Boat Jumble in support of the RNLI and the NI Chest Heart and Stroke charities. We are hoping for good weather and good turn on the day. We look forward to being able to make a healthy donation in support of both charities".

The Boat Jumble starts at 10am to 3pm on 30th March 2013. Stalls/Cars caost £25 and entry fee is £3 for adults, children get in free.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#SeaKayaking - A Portrush teen is preparing to cross the Irish Sea by kayak for charity this summer.

Top surf kayaker Andy McClelland aims to raise funds for the Alzheimer's Society, Kidney Research and the Regional Respiratory Centre with his One Man One Boat campaign, which will see him kayak 22 miles across the open water from Donaghadee in Co Down to Portpatrick in Scotland.

The current Surf Kayak Junior World Champion will embark on his challenge in a high-performance sea kayak on loan from Rockpool Sea Kayaks and is presently planning his trip with fellow physiotherapy students at Ulster University Jordanstown as well as the Causeway Coast Kayaking Club.

McClelland has yet to set a date for the solo crossing, awaiting word on the best possible weather and sea conditions in May.

The Alzheimer's Society has more on the story HERE.

Published in Kayaking

#RNLI - Portrush RNLI has rescued a kayaker who got into difficulty off the Co Antrim coast.

The volunteer lifeboat crew had an early call out on Sunday morning (17 February) to the kayaker who got into trouble on the water at West Bay.



There were strong southerly winds at time which caused a swell. The kayak capsized and was whipped by the prevailing wind into the harbour area, leaving the kayaker stranded and treading water.



A Portrush lifeboat crew member who witnessed the scene on the West Strand spotted the incident and promptly raised the alarm.



The inshore lifeboat crew - including Mark Mitchell as helm, Andy McClelland and Stevie Ritchie - launched within minutes and had the kayaker back at base within 20 minutes.



Portrush RNLI lifeboat operations manager Robin Cardwell said: "The kayaker was very fortunate as the winds were quite strong in the West Bay. Our volunteer crew launched quickly and was able to bring him back to shore safely."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#portrush – Tim Nelson's interest in all things connected with the RNLI has paid dividends in relation to the return of a silver gallantry medal presented to a local man for saving the life of a boy in Portrush in 1891.

Tim a keen collector and married to the Station's Press Officer, Judy Nelson was searching the web for images of RNLI issued medals as he had seen an unnamed RNLI bronze medal on eBay and was trying to work out if it was a modern copy or an original. As part of his on-going research Tim discovered a silver medal on the Internet awarded by the RNLI for bravery. As he read the accompanying history and the description of the medal he was surprised to find that the rescue that the medal had been awarded for had occurred in Portrush Harbour in 1891.

Tim said

'Obviously having an interest and connection with the Lifeboat Station in Portrush, I was very excited by the find. I contacted Robin Cardwell Lifeboat Operations manager to tell him and contacted the seller to express interest in the medal.'

Robin was keen to learn more and between himself, Tim, Des Austin, Coxswain, arrangements were made to purchase the medal to return it to its home Station in Portrush.

The medal was awarded by The Royal National Lifeboat Institution to: John Boyd Seaman who was not a crew member but a seaman living in Portrush. The full citation reads:

On 8 May 1891, while going out to his smack (small boat) which was at anchor in Portrush Harbour, a boy was thrown into the sea after his boat ran into another vessel's wake. John Boyd saw this from his position on another boat some 100 yards away. Despite being encumbered with his coat and sea boots, John Boyd jumped into the water and swam to the boy, as did fisherman David Patton, who, though twice as far away on shore, ran to the quay, threw off his coat, jumped in the sea and went to his aid. Boyd and Patton both supported the boy until a boat came from shore to further assist them. The RNLI voted John Boyd and David Patton its silver medal and accompanying vellum testimonial on 14 May 1891 The award was reported in various papers including the Belfast News-Letter, Saturday 16 May 1891).

John Boyd's medal has had quite a journey before returning to the home station. It formed part of the Watters Collection, sold at Glendinnings between 9-12 June 1913; it was subsequently part of the American Numismatic Society collection until 2006 and was sold for the ANS by Morton & Eden Auctioneers, 26 October 2006.

The medal was purchased by a collector Dr Roger Willoughby, who has a keen interest in lifesaving medals and is planning to write a book about Lifesaving Medals issued in Ireland. Dr Willoughby would be delighted to hear from anyone with any information that could assist him with his research. He can be contacted via email at [email protected]

Robin Cardwell Lifeboat Operations Manager commented:-

'We are delighted to have this medal back in Portrush were it first started out. It has had quite a journey around the world and we are so pleased that Tim found it and was able to assist in its return.'

The medal was purchased from crew funds and donations made by Willie Gregg as part of his on-going fundraising initiatives for Portrush Station and Willie's Orphan Fund

The medal will form part of the Stations history exhibition and can be seen on station open days.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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