Angling notes: New RNLI lifeboat comes into service at Lough Derg

First salmon of 2019 has been caught; anglers asked to be on the lookout for large rodent called a coypu

Lough Derg RNLI’s new Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Jean Spier.

Lough Derg RNLI’s new Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Jean Spier.

 

Volunteer crew at Lough Derg RNLI’s station have completed intensive training over recent months in preparation for the new Atlantic 85 lifeboat Jean Spier to be officially declared a search and rescue asset. The new lifeboat will replace Elsinore, the station’s outgoing Atlantic 75.

Improvements on its predecessor include a top speed of 35 knots, radar, provision for a fourth crew member and more space for casualties.

The vessel also has a manually operated self-righting mechanism which, combined with inversion-proofed engines keep the lifeboat operational even after capsize. The lifeboat can also be beached without causing damage to its engines or steering gear.

The Jean Spier carries a full suite of communication and electronic navigation aids, as well as a searchlight, night-vision equipment and flares for night-time operations.

In 2016, Robert Spier and his wife Jean, who were active supporters of the RNLI, intended to donate a new lifeboat to the charity, and were delighted when the Atlantic 85 became available to support. Sadly, Jean died in October 2017.

Lough Derg’s operations manager, Liam Moloney, said: “We are delighted after months of preparation and intensive training that our lifeboat is officially on service. We are confident this will be a great resource on the lake and appreciate the RNLI’s investment in our lifeboat station.

“The crew would like to express a special thanks to Helena Duggan, the RNLI’s trainer assessor and her colleagues for their specialist guidance over the last few months in preparation for the lifeboat to go live.”

Medal of Merit

The Red Cross conferred a Medal of Merit on the Corrib/Mask Search and Rescue Unit last month for a successful rescue of three people from an angling boat in difficulty on Lough Corrib on October 7th, 2018.

The Irish Coast Guard helicopter had been tasked but the area was particularly inaccessible and winds were force eight. All three people were recovered from the boat, with the eldest person on board in some distress and at risk of hypothermia.

The joint rescue involved the Corrib/Mask rescue crew, Irish Coast Guard, two Irish Red Cross ambulances and the National Ambulance Service. The anglers were brought to University Hospital Galway for observation.

First salmon of the year caught

UK angler Andrew Crouchman with the first salmon of 2019 from Lough Inagh
UK angler Andrew Crouchman with the first salmon of 2019 from Lough Inagh

Lough Inagh’s angling manager, Colin Folan, is delighted to report the first salmon of 2019 has been caught by regular UK angler Andrew Crouchman. The fish weighed 5.2kg (11.5lbs) and was caught on Greenpoint Beat on a Black Shrimp. This is the third time that Crouchman has landed the first fish on Inagh.

Coypu

Fresh water anglers, and in particular those fishing along river banks are asked to be on the lookout for an orange-toothed large rodent called a coypu which may be lurking in our rivers and canals.

An unconfirmed sighting of this invasive species was seen on the Royal Canal between Ashtown and Blanchardstown recently. The coypu is conspicuous because of its bright orange teeth and can measure up to one meter in length. It also has a tail similar to a rat.

If you come across one of these rodents, send a photo and the location to invasives@biodiversity.ie.

angling@irishtimes.com.

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