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Displaying items by tag: Carlingford Lough

A man in his 40s has died in hospital after an incident involving a jet ski in Carlingford Lough on Monday evening (22 May), as RTÉ News reports.

The man and a woman were recovered from the water following reports of two people in difficulty in the water off the Co Louth town early on Monday evening.

While the woman remains hospitalised in a serious but stable condition as of Tuesday night (23 May), the man was pronounced dead on Tuesday afternoon.

RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Jetski

Tendering for the Narrow Water Bridge linking the Mourne Mountains and the Cooley peninsula is due to be initiated by the Government.

Planning permission is already in place for a 280m cable-stayed bridge, anchored by two towers at either end, with segregated car, cycle and pedestrian lanes.

The bridge will connect the A2 Newry to Warrenpoint dual carriageway with the R173 Omeath, and can open to allow for passage of boats through and on to the Newry Canal.

The Narrow Water Bridge has been a longstanding commitment of the Government and is a key commitment in the “New Decade New Approach” agreement of January 2020, which restored the Northern Ireland Executive after a three-year “hiatus”.

The Government says the bridge will provide access to a range of cross-border active travel and recreational activities, including greenways, mountain bike trails, walking routes and beaches.

It says that a sum of €3m from the Shared Island Fund has enabled Louth County Council, working with Newry, Mourne and Down District Council to bring the project to tender stage.

“I am delighted that the Narrow Water Bridge is now proceeding to tender stage,”Taoiseach Micheál Martin said.

“ This is an important and symbolic project for the north-east, directly connecting the Cooley Peninsula to coastal Co Down, and a project with strong support from communities on both sides of the border,” he said.

“The project also brings significant tourism and economic benefits to the region. Along with improving North-South connectivity, the bridge will be at the heart of a range of cross-border greenways, active travel, recreation and outdoor activity amenities planned for the Carlingford Lough area,”he noted.

A contract is expected to be awarded next year, subject to Government approval.

So far in this late season, Carlingford has enjoyed mostly kind sunny weather for its open meetings on the Lough and Warrenpoint Regatta was no exception.

Warrenpoint is a small County Down port town at the head of Carlingford Lough south of Newry and is separated from County Louth by a narrow strait. It is overlooked by the Mournes to the north and the Cooley Mountains opposite. A passenger service connects it with Omeath on the southern shore.

Warrenpoint Regatta struck lucky for its regatta with glorious sunshine and a steady sea breeze. Seven cruisers competed in three races over a triangular course set by Race Officer Tim Gibbons. With wins in races 1 and 2, it was the Beneteau 25 Platu Supersonic, skippered by Thomas Kearney from Carlingford Lough YC at Killowen on the northern shore, which pipped the J80 Warrior (owner Tim Gibbons) to win the coveted Whistledown Trophy. Tom Teggart’s Perseverance from Carlingford SC in Co Louth won the Echo 908 Class.

Warrenpoint Regatta struck lucky for its regatta with glorious sunshine and a steady sea breezeWarrenpoint Regatta struck lucky for its regatta with glorious sunshine and a steady sea breeze

Long-term sponsor Colum McAvoy from the Whistledown Hotel presented trophies to the winners at the hotel.

The final open event of the cruiser programme is the two-day CLYC Cruiser Regatta on Sept 24th & 25th

The inaugural Moneley Oyster Pearl regatta was held in 1979 and has been an enduring feature of sail racing in Carlingford Lough ever since, bar the Covid lockdown years. The people of Carlingford have been harvesting oysters since medieval times.

Last weekend saw the return of the regatta, which celebrated the renowned Oyster to the Lough, which lies on the border of Co Down and Co Louth between the Mourne and the Cooley Mountains, and it was far travelled Arklow competitors who made a big impression.

Glorious sunshine and a steady sea breeze gave perfect conditions for the event, which provided racing for dinghies, day boats and cruisers, with many visiting boats from as far away as Arklow in a stunning setting between the mountains.

Humdinger from ArklowHumdinger from Arklow

A fleet of twelve cruisers competed over four races for the coveted Pearl Trophy on a triangular port course in mid-Lough. The Race Officer was Brian McConville. John Conlon’s Sunfast 37 Humdinger from Arklow lived up to its name, taking line honours in all four races. Supersonic, Thomas Kearney’s Beneteau 25 Platu from Carlingford SC and the J92 J’zus Outhaul (Brian Dempsey, Arklow) took second and third respectively in the Echo 908 class and Dempsey won the CPH class.

The dinghy and day boat fleet raced on a course between Carlingford Marina and the entrance to Carlingford Harbour. The event combined single and doublehanded boats, with the results for each race being decided by the average lap time for each boat. The wind was light and variable in the morning, but racing got underway in a steady sea breeze after an hour’s delay. The leads changed frequently, and the final positions came down to the wire with seconds separating winners in each race. Flying Fifteens dominated the first race with the Commodore of Carlingford SC Diarmuid and Aine Gorman in Ffree Ranger first, followed by Jim Garvey and Johnny Duffy with Stephen Callan and Marcos Simpson third.

The single-handers fought back in the second race, with the honours going to Fiachra McCormick in a Laser with anger second and Donal McCormick taking third. This left it all to play for in the third and final race. After multiple changes of lead, the win eventually went to Fiachra McCormick (CSC), just ahead of his brother Dónal.

The prize for the double-handers went to Diarmuid, and Áine Gorman in Ffree Ranger and the single-hander prize went to Fiachra McCormick.

The overall Moneley Oyster Pearl Dinghy trophy came down to a countback as both Diarmuid and Áine, and Fiachra each had eight points; however, Fiachra’s two wins gave the decision in his favour and made him the Moneley Oyster Pearl Dinghy Champion for 2022.

Skipper John Conlon and the crew of Humdinger with the coveted Moneley Oyster Pearl Trophy. Photo: Mark SlaterSkipper John Conlon and the crew of Humdinger with the coveted Moneley Oyster Pearl Trophy. Photo: Mark Slater

The presentation ceremony took place at Carlingford Marina, courtesy of the Moneley family, who generously sponsored the event. It was agreed that the success of this year’s event would help to re-establish the Oyster Pearl as the premier cruiser regatta on Carlingford Lough.

Winners of the Adult Fleet, Diarmuid and Áine Gorman (Commodore of Carlingford Sailing Club) receiving their trophy from Mrs Pamela O’Connor MoneleyWinners of the Adult Fleet, Diarmuid and Áine Gorman (Commodore of Carlingford Sailing Club) receiving their trophy from Mrs Pamela O’Connor Moneley

On Saturday next (20th), the fleet competes in the Warrenpoint Regatta for the Whistledown Trophy. 

Kilkeel RNLI came to the aid of a windsurfer who got into difficulty in Carlingford Lough yesterday.

The volunteer crew were requested to launch their inshore lifeboat by Belfast Coastguard at 2.30 pm yesterday (Monday, 1 August) after the alarm was raised by a member of the public that a windsurfer was thought to be in difficulty in Carlingford Lough.

The lifeboat helmed by Raymond Newell and three crew members onboard, headed to Carlingford Lough in moderate sea conditions and navigated the lifeboat into the shallower sea grounds of Mill Bay.

A lone windsurfer was soon located in the area along with his board. With the wind direction and tide forcing the windsurfer further away from the land the surfer was finding it difficult to make it back ashore.

The crew were able to get the casualty into the lifeboat along with his windsurf board and he was then safely transported back into Greencastle where the Kilkeel Coastguard shore team were waiting to assist.

This was also trainee volunteer crew member Brandon Campbell’s first official call out.

Speaking afterwards, Kilkeel RNLI Helm Raymond Newell said: ‘Thankfully, we were able to assist in bringing the windsurfer safely back to shore. Given the good weather, there are a lot more people around and on the water and we would like to advise people to always carry a means of calling for help, always wear a lifejacket and other appropriate protection and always check the weather and tides before going to sea. Should you get into difficulty or see someone else in trouble, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

RNLI crews from Kilkeel in Co Down and Clogherhead in Co Louth launched to the aid of seven people and a dog last week after their 80ft tall ship ran aground in Carlingford Lough.

The lifeboat volunteers launched their inshore and all-weather lifeboats at 3.30pm on last Tuesday 24 May following a report that a vessel had run aground on a falling tide earlier in the day close to Narrow Water Castle while on passage from Newry to Ballycastle in Northern Ireland’s North Antrim coast.

Greenore Coast Guard and Kilkeel Coastguard were also tasked. But with no one in immediate danger, a decision was made to hold off on launching the lifeboats to assist until the tide came up.

With the rising tide, the ship began to take on water quickly so upon arrival, lifeboat crew transferred on board with two salvage pumps to take the ingress out.

The seven crew of the tall ship and the dog were transferred onto their smaller inflatable tender which was safely escorted to Warrenpoint Harbour by Clogherhead RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat.

Meanwhile, two more pumps were put aboard the vessel and after two-and-a-half hours the ship became level with the sea again. Subsequently the tall ship was towed into the channel where it was able to continue under its own steam to the nearest safe port at Warrenpoint Harbour escorted by both lifeboats.

Speaking following the callout, Kilkeel RNLI helm Gary Young said: “Thankfully, no one was in any immediate danger, but the ship’s crew safely moved to their tender once the vessel began to take on a lot of water as the tide rose.

“There was great teamwork between ourselves and our colleagues from Clogherhead RNLI and Greenore Coast Guard. We had to work quickly to get the salvage pumps on and to remove the ingress of water which we were delighted to see working in order to save the vessel.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Lee Maginnis notes the 200th anniversary of the great granite Haulbowline Lighthouse on the County Louth coast will be in 2024

Haulbowline Lighthouse, that feat of granite engineering sitting on a wave-washed rock in the mouth of Carlingford Lough. Northern Ireland on one side, the Republic of Ireland on the other. Not that the nesting Cormorants on the window ledges know or care.

There was another lighthouse on Cranfield Point; it became a victim of the erosion going on a lot longer than many care to admit. But the old light had already been replaced by the time it fell into the sea.

It had been in the wrong place. Invisible to ships in the West and not marking the dangerous rocks at the mouth of the lough. George Haplin designed and built Haulbowline in 1824.

That makes the remarkable Haulbowline nearly 200 years old. Remarkable. Sitting out there on a rock that can rarely be seen. Battered by the waves. Strong currents racing past the base.

The tower was white until 1946. Now it is back to its natural stone.

Many other features have long gone. It seems a pity to many that they were not retained. The metal ball hoisted and lowered to indicate the tide level. The half-tide lantern displayed on the seaward side, halfway up. The red turning light. Explosive fog signals...

On 17 March 1965, Haulbowline had the dubious honour of becoming the first Irish major offshore light to be fully automated and remotely monitored and controlled from shore. The dataphonic system installed sent pre-recorded voice messages ashore by telephone about the status of the light and equipment. This was the beginning of the end of the lighthouse keeper.

Haulbowline in the past. Photographer unknownHaulbowline in the past. Photographer unknown

The fog signal sounded, and the light flashed if visibility was poor, day or night, back then.

The light still flashes three times every ten seconds. Still from a height of 32 metres in a tower 34 metres tall. But it is an LED now, range down to 10 nautical miles.

The fog signal is gone. It is missed by many.

Generators are no longer heard humming; now, a solar panel charges the batteries that provide power during the night.

Thankfully Haulbowline is still there and is listed. It is active. A monument to the past, but still capable of stirring up a strong sense of adventure and mystery today as it guides ships and guards the mouth of Carlingford Lough.

Kiwi Lee Maginnis lives in the countryside of Northern Ireland likes the outdoors, wildlife and sport. He has a keen interest in the sea and the environment. 

Published in Lighthouses

A documentary on the lives of people in coastal communities connected by the Carlingford Lough ferry will have its premiere in a special outdoor drive-in screening this Thursday (19 August).

Four Seasons in a Day is one of six documentaries in the Borderline series focused on border regions around Europe and the people who live there.

Already an award winner, Annabel Verbeke’s film — which was broadcast on RTÉ One last Tuesday — explores the complexities of Brexit through the eyes of locals and visitors alike via the ferry that links Greenore in Co Louth with Greencastle in Co Down.

The film will have its premiere screening on the island of Ireland in a special event at the Carlingford Lough Ferry terminal in Greencastle this Thursday evening at 8pm.

Tickets priced at €27.55 per car are available from the Eventbrite page HERE. The film can also be streamed by viewers in Ireland on the RTÉ Player.

Published in Ferry

Photos that emerged last month of cuts on the back of Carlingford Lough’s resident dolphin have prompted an investigation, as reports.

Finn the dolphin has become a popular sight off Carlingford and Greenore on Co Louth’s Cooley Peninsula since taking residence in the area more than a year ago.

But concerns for his welfare were raised last month after photos surfaced on the Facebook page for Carlingford Lough and The Cooley Peninsula showing what appeared to be a deep gash on his back below his dorsal fin.

While more recent images of the dolphin show that his wounds are healing, the general public have been urged to keep their distance from the animal.

A spokesperson for the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) said: “We have not had a chance to fully investigate the reported injuries.

“However, we are aware, as is the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, An Garda Síochána and Louth County Council and an investigation is ongoing.”

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group’s Pádraig Whooley told Echo Live that curious dolphin-watchers should “stay out of the water and enjoy the spectacle from the shore”.

He added: “The more people engage with this animal, the more people turn him into a local pet [and] the more we are encouraging this aberrant behaviour. It is not natural for a…dolphin to seek out human company.”

Published in Marine Wildlife

The coastal ferry service across Carlingford Lough is set to recommence next weekend with the easing of lockdown.

As The Irish News reports, the service, between Greenore in Co.Louth and Greencastle in Co.Down, has not been operational since last March.

Since its launch, the service has been a valuable transport link between the Republic and the north, for commuters and the tourism industry.

Operated by Frazer Ferries Group the company's second cross-border service, the Lough Foyle Ferry, which operates between Greencastle in Co Donegal and Magilligan Point in Derry, is expected to reopen later this month.

Commercial director Irene Hamilton,, said: "We’re absolutely delighted to be opening our service on Carlingford Lough.

More on this development here.

Published in Ferry
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