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Displaying items by tag: Portrush

#Portrush - RNLI lifeguards on Northern Ireland's north coast who spotted a suspicious object in the sea on Thursday afternoon (2 July) recovered an old sofa that had been dumped in the water.

Senior lifeguard Bosco McAuley and lifeguards Bruce and Shane Traill were patrolling Whiterocks Beach in Portrush around 2pm on Thursday when they spotted something in the water 150m from the shore.



The lifeguards, who couldn’t tell what was in the water using their binoculars, immediately launched their rescue water craft and made their way to the scene to investigate.

Weather conditions at the time were very good as around 200 people were enjoying the sunshine on the beach.



The lifeguards soon discovered that the object was an old sofa which had been dumped into the sea. On recovering the item out of the water and away from public harm, the lifeguards proceeded to put the sofa on one of their trucks and safely disposed of it.

"While on one hand it might appear quite funny that we launched and recovered an old sofa from the sea, it is important to point out that our lifeguards, who are highly skilled and trained, acted in good faith responding swiftly when they noticed something unusual in the water," said RNLI lifeguard supervisor Tim Doran.



"We would always encourage visitors to the beach to alert us or phone the coastguard should they notice anything suspicious. We would always rather investigate the incident to find it is a sofa and all is well than not know and then discover too late that someone is in difficulty."



Doran added: "Our lifeguards will deal with a variety of incidents over the summer period and while I hope this will be one of the fewer types of instances, it does highlight the vigilance they show to keep our beaches safe."

Published in Coastal Notes

#Surfing - Two enterprising surfing brothers are one step closer to a £50,000 business grant from Virgin boss Richard Branson.

According to the Belfast Telegraph, Ricky and Chris Martin secured enough votes through the online 'Pitch to Rich' campaign to come first out of 897 businesses in the initial round.

And if they make it through to the final, they could present their Skunk Works Surfboards company to Branson himself, with the chance to persuade him to back their idea.

The Portrush brothers were profiled earlier this year for making the most of Ireland's growing thirst for surfing with their key concept - a custom method for manufacturing much more durable foam surfboards, or 'foamies'.

Already the duo have a manufacturing set-up in place and orders for 200 boards on the books.

But Ricky Martin, who also owns the Alive Surf School in Portrush, says pitching to Branson "could ultimately change how we do things".

The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing
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#RNLI - Portrush RNLI's volunteer lifeboat crew held their annual SOS Day swim on Saturday 31 January.

SOS Day is the annual RNLI crew fundraising day and stations all over the country host innovative and novel ways of fundraising incorporating the SOS initials.

Supporters of Portrush RNLI jumped into the sea at Portrush Harbour and swam round the all-weather lifeboat William Gordon Burr.

It was a bitterly cold day, but many supporters tuned up either to jump, cheer or provide warm blankets for the swimmers when they emerged from the sea.

"This is a fun event that involves our crew, fundraisers, and a great local crowd who turn out irrespective of the weather to support the volunteer lifeboat crew," said coxswain Des Austin.

"The crew themselves take part and their colleagues are on standby to give them a friendly push and also to haul them in at the end of the swim."

The crew also took time to thank Portrush Yacht Club for providing showers for the event and the venue for the après swim, as well as the RNLI lifeguards and local coastguard team who provided safety cover for the day.

After the event, presided over by James Heaney, chair of the lifeboat management group, everyone was treated to homemade soup and sandwiches in Portrush Yacht Club – plus some special SOS cupcakes.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#rnli – Red Bay and Portrush RNLI lifeboat launched in challenging conditions this morning to aid in search for missing woman on the North Coast of Ireland.

In freezing conditions both Red Bay and Portrush RNLI lifeboat crews launched to take part in an intensive search for a missing woman in her thirties. The two lifeboats carried out a search in freezing winds and heavy swells to try and local the missing woman. The lifeboats were launched at 9.20am and joined both the PSNI and local coastguard in a huge agency search.

The lifeboat crews concentrated their search in the Ballycastle and North Antrim coast area. After three hours the woman was located inland by the PSNI and the search was stood down.

Commenting on the Sunday morning callout Red Bay RNLI helm Paddy McLaughlin said 'Conditions were challenging this morning and we are relieved that the missing woman has been found safe.

We would advise people to always tell another person where they are going and that if they are concerned for someone's welfare to make contact with the emergency services. Please also take care around the coastline as the recent weather makes conditions unpredictable.'

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Summer certainly hit Ireland's North Coast with a bang this week as temperatures topped 27 degrees, and the volunteer crew of Portrush RNLI experienced one of their busiest weeks.

On Monday 21 July, the all-weather lifeboat William Gordon Burr was launched to a motor cruiser at Lough Foyle that had run foul of a chain of lobster pots.

The crew deployed the Y boat off the lifeboat to try to free the ropes from the propeller. The mission was successfully accomplished and the cruiser sailed off to Greencastle to get checked out.

Next out was the inshore lifeboat David Roulston (Civil Service No 52), which had two callouts on Wednesday 23 July, the first around 11am to a small boat who got into difficulty at Dunluce Castle.

Luckily for the boat, a local fisherman arrived on scene at the same time as the lifeboat and towed the boat to Portballintrae.

The next callout was at 9pm, and again another local boat assisted with the small boat who had got into difficulty.

On Thursday morning at 5am, the crew of the all-weather lifeboat were paged once again. This time it was a callout to Ballycastle to assist with the search of a young person who was reported missing.

The coastguard helicopter was deployed and they soon located the young female who was successfully airlifted to hospital.

"So far this has been one of our busiest seasons as we have experienced an unprecedented good summer so our volunteer crew have been kept working," said Judy Nelson, volunteer lifeboat press officer for Portrush RNLI.

"We love to see people coming to Portrush to take advantage of everything the North Coast has to offer, but would ask people to exercise caution when on the beach.

"The RNLI Lifeguards are on patrol on all the beaches and are delighted to offer advice to visitors about safe bathing. The RNLI website will also give all the advice you need, whether it is about swimming, kayaking, surfing or boating."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#Lifeboats - Portrush RNLI's all-weather lifeboat was launched on Saturday 5 July to reports of kayakers in difficulty at the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge.

Although the sun was shining and it seemed like a good day for kayaking, the weather conditions at sea were choppy with a southwesterly wind that picked up what Independent.ie described as a 'freak wave' that capsized the group.

Two of the kayakers ended up on the rocks at Carrick-a-Rede and the coastguard rescue team were deployed to pick them up while the Portrush lifeboat stood by to offer safety assistance.



Two of the kayaking party who tried to make it back to base were found struggling as the tide changed, and were picked up by the Portrush all-weather crew along with their kayaks.

The party and their kayaks were then transported safely back to Portrush Harbour, where the kayakers disembarked. The whole operation took approximately three hours.



Portrush RNLI had a visiting coxswain on board, Anthony Barclay from Moelfre Lifeboat Station in Anglesey, North Wales.

One of Portrush’s previous lifeboats, Richard Evans, was named after one of the RNLI’s greatest heroes, a holder of two RNLI gold medals for bravery who also hailed from Moelfre.



Barclay said: "It was a privilege to cox the Portrush lifeboat today, and myself and the crew were pleased to have brought the kayakers safely back to Portrush Harbour."

In other news from Portrush, lifeboat chair James Heaney and operations manager Robin Cardwell were presented with a lovely gift from Dorma Healey and her son Steven recently.

On behalf of the station, they accepted a silver medal belonging to Dorma's father Sam Cunningham, ex-coxswain of the Portrush Lifeboat.

The medal was awarded to Cunningham for his outstanding seamanship in the rescue of a number of Greek seamen on the ship Argo Delos, which had run aground just off Malin Head on 2 October 1960.

The rescue was long and difficult in very rough weather, and the lifeboat was on service for over 14 hours.

In all 14 lives were saved thanks to the dedicated volunteer crew of the lifeboat. Each crew member received a ‘Thanks on Vellum’ from the RNLI and special tribute, with each of the crew also receiving an engraved silver tankard in recognition from the Royal Navy's HMS Leopard, which had also helped in the rescue.

Dorma Healy was delighted to present her father's medal to the station. This medal is unique in that it comes with an identical miniature silver medal, which was presented to Cunningham’s wife Dorothy.

For this rescue, the second coxswain at that time, Robert McMullan, also received a bronze medal for his courage displayed during the rescue.

This bronze medal is also displayed in the lifeboat station and was presented by his son Robert, also coxswain of the Portrush lifeboat.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

#WaterSafety - HM Coastguard has issued a safety warning over dangerous riptides along Northern Ireland's north coast this week after strong currents claimed one life and put two others at risk.

BBC News reports on the death of 25-year-old Stephen Pentony, who got into difficulty while bodyboarding off the popular surfing hotspot of Portrush in Co Antrim last Friday 16 May.

"These waters are known for rip currents," said Coleraine coastguard Chris Little, who said they "can be a very frightening experience".

Meanwhile, the Londonderry Sentinel has news of a lucky escape for two others in nearby Benone on the same day.

The two men were pulled out to sea on their personal water craft after it malfunctioned, but they managed to reach the shore with some difficulty.

One of the men was later treated in hospital.

Published in Water Safety

#Surfing - The News Letter has the lowdown on this weekend's Causeway Coast Surf Festival in Portrush.

This marks the second year of the festival, hosted by the Causeway Coast Surf Club, that mixes surfing with beach and street sports plus music, film and photography, with plenty on offer to entertain the whole family over the Easter weekend.

Aside from the action on the water, highlights are set to be screenings from the Shore Shots film festival that wowed Dublin earlier this month, and a collection of classic Volkswagen camper vans.

The News Letter has more on the weekend's events HERE.

Published in Surfing

#rnli – Portrush RNLI volunteer All Weather Lifeboat Crew got their first service of 2014 today, after receiving reports of two jet skiers in difficulties at Benone Beach near Magillian.

The RNLI were alerted by a friend of the two men who noticed that one of the men had fallen off the jet ski into the water.
The weather was blustery and chilly and the sea was very choppy and extremely cold. The All-weather crew quickly located the two men who by this stage were very cold, as they had both been in the water for some time and neither were wearing wetsuits.
The crew got the two young men on board and returned to base were they handed the casualties over to a waiting ambulance.

The crew then returned to the area to recover the jet ski as this could have posed a hazard to other boats and vessels in that area if not recovered. This too was quickly located and a decision was made by the Coxswain to tow the jet ski to the safety of Portstewart Harbour as the surf conditions were not ideal for the Y boat (from the All Weather boat) to tow to the beach.

The crew then returned to station after a four-hour operation

Lifeboat Operations Manager Robin Cardwell commented:

'As this is the start of the summer season we are looking forward to welcoming people to enjoy the North Coast, but we would advise everyone to check their safety equipment after the winter months to make sure it is still in good condition. The Lifeguards will be back on the beaches from 18th April so talk to them before you go out. You can also talk to our crew at the station who can advise of impending weather conditions and the currents and rip tides in the area.

The crew returned to base, refuelled ready for the next shout

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

#WaterSafety - The RNLI will host four free Surfers Survival Clinics next weekend, Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 March, on the East Strand in Portrush.

The clinics, which are run by the charity’s lifeguards, are open to surfing enthusiasts of all abilities and are aimed at developing both knowledge and skills in surf safety.

The RNLI programme, which is now being run for the third year in Northern Ireland, will show surfers how to develop their rescue techniques, learn basic first aid and surf etiquette and learn them how to help themselves and others if they get into trouble in the surf.

More people are taking to the sea every year for enjoyment and the Causeway Coast is a popular area for water sports including surfing and body boarding. The clinics have proved popular with surfers who use them as a chance to brush up on their knowledge and skills and pass on their experiences to others.

There are 10 seasonal RNLI lifeguarded units in Northern Ireland, each equipped with lifeguards ready to respond in the event of an emergency. RNLI lifeguards aim to reach any casualty up to 300m from shore within the red and yellow flags within three and a half minutes. Lifeguards are also on hand to provide advice and assistance to all water users.

Last year, Northern Ireland experienced one of its hottest summers for years and this was reflected in a busy season for the lifeguards located across the Causeway Coast in Co Down.

In all, RNLI lifeguards responded to 302 incidents compared to 159 in 2012 and came to the aid of 330 people who found themselves in difficulty, which is an increase of 153 from the year before.

The Causeway Coast, where there are seven units, was the busiest area, with lifeguards responding to 222 incidents and assisting 247 people.

Speaking ahead of next weekend’s clinics, RNLI lifeguard supervisor Tim Doran said: “Surfers of all abilities will benefit from the Surfers Survival Clinic. Amateur surfers will get the chance to learn safety skills, duck diving and surf etiquette which should help them minimise any injuries should they get into trouble.

“The more experienced surfer will be shown rescue and first aid demonstrations so that they can continue developing their skills in the surf.”

Spaces are limited for each session so advance booking is essential to avoid disappointment. Anyone who wishes to take part in the RNLI’s Surfers Survival Clinic should be aged 18. To book a space or for more information contact Tim on +44 (0) 77 899 25998.

Published in Water Safety
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