TO COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS PORTAFERRY LIFEBOAT STATION
IS CURRENTLY CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC.
LIFEBOAT STATION AND THE VOLUNTEER LIFEBOAT CREW CONTINUE
TO PROVIDE A 24HR 7 DAY LIFESAVING SERVICE.
As a Blue
Peter lifeboat station we especially welcome
groups of school children and their teachers, or other
youth groups, to visit the home of Blue
Peter V and learn about Water
Safety, the lifesaving work of the RNLI and that of
We also welcome
visits by adult groups and organisations.
If you are a group
who wish to visit our Lifeboat Station to learn about
'Water Safety' and about the life-saving work of the
RNLI please click on the e-mail address below and
provide our Community Safety Officer, Ian Harrison,
with your contact information and details of your
request. We will normally respond to you within 48
Please contact us at:
you are a group (such as a yacht club, youth organisation
etc) who want us to visit you and learn about Water
Safety, including checks on lifejackets, please contact
our Community Safety Officer, Ian Harrison, at: firstname.lastname@example.org
year we have a few 'Station Open Days', usually
during the summer months, when the station is open
to children, their parents and the public. When decided,
the date of our next 'Open Day' will appear on our
Presenters can also give talks about the lifesaving
work of the RNLI to adult groups/organisations by
addition, approved RNLI Education Volunteers can,
on request, visit schools, youth groups, etc, to give
audio/visual presentations about the life-saving work
of the RNLI. Visits to schools and youth groups
can be tailored to suit the age of those involved
(4 to 18) and can also include information
about sea, beach and water safety. Presenters
can also offer help to teachers and group leaders
to link their visit to class projects through many
of the RNLI's free educational resources.
is no charge for presentations given by RNLI Education
you wish to have, or discuss, a visit by one of our
presenters please click on the 'education' e-mail
address above and provide us with your contact details.
you just want to find out more about RNLI presentations/visits
to lifeboat stations please click here.
you are a teacher or a youth group leader, the RNLI
provides over 100 free downloadable teaching resources.
These are available in English, Welsh and Gaelic.
To go to this RNLI resource page please click
There are also many ways for 14–25 year olds to get
involved with the lifesaving work of the RNLI. The
RNLI has a 'Youth Advisory Board' made up of young
people who help the RNLI to develop interesting and
relevant opportunities. There are a host of modules
to support 14-25 year olds in their Duke of Edinburgh
or President's Award. Click here
for further information.
note that our lifeboat station is manned solely by
volunteers and is only opened by prior arrangement,
so it really is vital that you contact us to arrange
a suitable date and time for any visit.
We look forward
to welcoming you to our Blue
Peter lifeboat station sometime in the future.
before you visit our 'BLUE PETER' Lifeboat Station
Portaferry is one
of seven 'Blue Peter' RNLI Lifeboat Stations, and
the only one in Ireland, whose lifeboats have been
sponsored by the world's longest running television
programme for children, the BBC's "Blue
Peter", first broadcast sixty years
name, 'Blue Peter', was
chosen to reflect a ship preparing to leave port on
a voyage. In this case, a 'voyage of discovery'.
In days past, the
'Blue Peter' flag (signal
would be hoisted (often
with the simultaneous firing of a cannon or gun)
and flown from the head (the
the fore or main mast of sailing ships to advise the
crew to report on board for duty, preparatory to the
vessel leaving port.
over the past sixty years has helped to launch many
children on their own voyage of discovery through
The 'Blue Peter' - Signal Flag P
Today, the signal
flag P remains a very important signal and it is used
world-wide in almost every yacht race. The
P flag is hoisted as a 'prepartory signal' with a
short sound (using
a starting cannon, a horn or a whistle, etc),
in compliance with the International Yacht Racing
Union rules, to advise those participating in a yacht
race 'to prepare' for the start. The P flag
is quickly lowered with a long sound (using
a horn or a whistle)
1 minute prior to the start of a yacht race to advise
that the race is due to start in exactly 1 minute.
At the final count-down, and precisely after
this minute has elapsed, the 'class' or other designated
signal flag is quickly lowered, accompanied by a short
a starting cannon, a horn or a whistle, etc) and
the yacht race begins.
The importance of
all signal flags used in yacht racing is such that
they take absolute precedence over the making, timing
or absence of any associated sound(s).
Photo: RNLI - Colin
'Blue Peter V' flying a 'blue
peter' (signal flag
P) following her naming ceremony in 2010
lifeboats in Portaferry have been sponsored by CBBC
'Blue Peter' since 1986 through the monies
raised by children from the Blue
Peter 'Pieces of Eight' appeal that began in
1966 and has now sponsored 25 RNLI lifeboats over
the past 60 years resulting in the saving of hundreds
of lives at sea.
All of our Blue
Peter lifeboats have been named 'Blue
Our first Blue
Peter V lifeboat was presented to the Station
in 1986 and was an 'Atlantic 21' lifeboat. It was
named, using a bottle of milk, by a 'young' girl aged
10, Paula Trainor, who was a decendant of the Young
family from Cloughey that had been much involved with
the former Cloughey Lifeboat for several decades.
Karon Keating from Blue
Peter attended the naming ceremony.
Our second Blue
Peter V was presented to the Station in
1994 and was a larger lifeboat, an Atlantic 75. The
lifeboat was named by Blue Peter
presenter Tim Vincent.
Our third, and current
Blue Peter V,
was presented to the station on 5 June 2010 and is
an Atlantic 85 lifeboat. Blue
Peter V was named by Blue
Peter presenter, Andy Akinwolere.
Photo: RNLI - Jim
The new lifeboat is housed in a new modern and enlarged
Boathouse that was specially designed to accommodate
the Atlantic 85 with its launching carriage and tractor.
The new Boathouse was opened at the naming of
our new Blue Peter V.
Please click here
for more information and photographs of the naming
and opening ceremony.
Photo: Colin Watson