scroll downwards to find date of Service
February @ 18:17
Request for assistance withdrawn prior to
Lifeboat crew stood down
February @ 20:10
Belfast Coastguard requested the launch of
Portaferry Lifeboat to assist two adult males
reported to be stranded on Trasnagh Island,
Strangford Lough due to problems returning
to Whiterock in their dory in the deteriorating
Both casualties were located by the lifeboat
crew on the southern end of Trasnagh Island
and were requested by the lifeboat helmsman
to make their way out in the shallow water
in their dory towards the lifeboat which was
waiting in safe water just a few metres from
Both casualties were transferred to the lifeboat
and the dory was taken under tow to Whiterock
where both casualties were landed to
safety ashore. Portaferry Lifeboat then
returned to station
February @ 11:52
Mayday distress call heard by Holyhead Coastguard
whilst on 24/7 monitoring watch on Ch 16 from
a group of four kayakers using their hand-held
marine radio to report that one of their group
had capsized and they were all experiencing
difficulties in reaching safety ashore.
The kayakers had been on passage from Ballyhenry
Bay, Strangford Lough, to Port Kelly, Ballyquinton,
Portaferry Lifeboat, Blue Peter V,
was launched and proceeded to the Strangford
Bar and using the lifeboat's radio direction
finding equipment the crew were able to locate
the 4 kayakers, in the Irish Sea, 2 miles
south-east of the 'Strangford Bar'.
With an ebb tide in the Narrows of several
knots and a following fresh to strong north-westerly
wind the kayakers had been unable to reach
Port Kelly and were quickly swept across the
Strangford Bar into the Irish Sea.
Portaferry Lifeboat took all 4 kayakers on
board and with one of their kayaks under tow
then proceeded to Portaferry were the casualties
were landed to safety ashore and given warming
refreshments in the lifeboat station. Portaferry
Lifeboat then returned to the casualty area
and retrieved the three remaining kayaks that
were then taken under tow to Portaferry.
March 2012 @ 09:51
Portaferry & Newcastle Lifeboats launched
on service in the search for a 22 year old
crew member reported as missing from the 89m
cargo vessel Fehn Sirius whilst on
passage from the port of Belfast, bound Portugal.
The 22 year old engineer was last seen the
previous evening at around 21:00 whilst the
cargo vessel was on a southerly passage off
the County Down coast and was reported as
missing at 08:45 the following morning.
Box searches were carried out in the Irish
Sea in rapidly deteriorating weather conditions
from an area off Portavogie to that south
of Dublin Bay, by the Portaferry, Newcastle
and Arklow lifeboats. Extensive air
searches also carried out by a Royal Navy
SAR helicopter from Prestwick and two Irish
Coast Guard SAR helicopters. The Irish
Navy vessel, the LE Ciara and the missing
seaman's cargo vessel, the Fehn Sirius,
were also involved in the sea searches.
Following several hours of unsuccessful searches
over hundreds of square miles the search for
the missing crewman was scaled down.
Portaferry Lifeboat released and returned
April 2012 @ 12:09
Portaferry Lifeboat launched to search for
a kayak with 2 persons on board, reported
as potentially overdue.
Information received from a concerned member
of the public that the kayak had left Kircubbin
Bay the previous evening with 2 persons on
board and that the occupants had not returned
to their parked vehicle in Kircubbin by the
morning (25 April).
Following a search by the lifeboat in the
southern area of Strangford Lough, both persons
were found safe and well with their kayak
on Salt Island, off the south-eastern coastline
of the Quoile River estuary.
Lifeboat returned to Station.
April 2012 @ 17:16
Lifeboat crew paged by HM Coastguard but stood
down prior to launch.
April 2012 @ 17:56
Portaferry Lifeboat crew paged to assist
a yacht reported aground on Skate Rock on
an ebb tide.
Crew were stood down prior to launch by HM
Coastguard. Skipper on board the yacht
did not require the assistance of the lifeboat.
Vessel successfully refloated on the next
April 2012 @ 12:14
Portaferry Lifeboat launched following reports
of a 14ft yacht tender adrift in the Strangford
Lifeboat crew recovered an empty punt off
Ballyhenry Point and towed it back to the
April 2012 @ 22:10
HM Coastguard received reports from a concerned
member of the public that an adult male was
attempting to leave Cloughey Bay in a 8ft
punt, bound for Portavogie.
Portaferry Lifeboat launched and HM Coastguard
team from Portaferry were dispatched by road
to the area.
Coastguards located the adult male and were
fortunately successful in persuading him to
return home by road, rather than by sea
Portaferry Lifeboat, on passgage to the area,
was stood down and returned to station
April 2012 @ 23:05
Lifeboat launched on request of Belfast Coastguard
following a 999 call from a member of the
public reporting the sighting of red flares
between Ringhaddy and Whiterock, Strangford
Lifeboat crew carried out a thorough search
of the sea area whilst a Coastguard team carried
out a shore search assisted by the informant.
Nothing found and lifeboat returned to station.
April 2012 @ 13:06
The Lifeboat Operations Manager was in the
Lifeboat Station when he received a call from
a lifeboat crew member reporting that a yacht
appeared to be in difficulty off Chapel Island,
The LOM immediately paged the lifeboat crew
and the lifeboat, Blue Peter V, arrived
off the casualty vessel within 10 minutes.
HM Coastguard teams from Portaferry and South
Down were tasked to the area and an Irish
Coast Guard SAR helicopter was initially requested
to standby but was later stood down as not
required to assist.
Shortly before the arrival of the lifeboat,
the 36ft yacht, with 9 persons on board, had
gone aground just before low water off Chapel
Island in strong to gale force northerly winds
with a headsail and spinnaker flying, resulting
in the vessel being driven further and further
ashore in the surf. The crew of the
yacht were eventually successful in releasing
the headsail and spinnaker but not before
the hull had been breached. They decided to
abandon the grounded vessel and were able
to make their way to safety ashore in the
shallow water onto Chapel Island.
On the arrival of Portaferry Lifeboat off
Chapel Island, one of the lifeboat crew entered
the water and made her way ashore where she
was able to establish that all 9 of those
on-board the stricken vessel were safely ashore
Earlier attempts by coastguards and lifeboat
crew to communicate with the striken vessel
by marine VHF radio during the incident had
been unsuccessful. Communications were
later established via mobile telephone.
A coastguard team then escorted the survivors
off Chapel Island to the mainland prior to
them being cut-off by the rising tide.
Portaferry Lifeboat then returned to station.
May 2012 @ 19:36
Belfast Coastguard received a report from
a member of the public that a yacht was adrift
in the Narrows off Ballyhenry Bay, Strangford
Portaferry Lifeboat launched and recovered
a 35ft yacht.
Yacht taken under tow and secured to moorings
in Ballyhenry Bay and owner notified by HM
Portaferry Lifeboat returned to station
May 2012 @ 13:21
Belfast Coastguard received a report from
a member of the public that a visiting yacht
had been anchored for several days between
Conly and Darragh Island, Strangford Lough,
without any signs of life onboard except for
a cabin light being visible at night.
Portaferry Lifeboat launched to check out
the safety of any persons on board the 30ft
ketch. Two persons were found on board
and both were safe and well.
Lifeboat returned to station..
July 2012 @ 15:08
Lifeboat launched at the request of Belfast
Coastguard following an ambulance control
report that a man had been injured after falling
on rocks in a remote area 1.3 NM North of
Ardglass, close to Sheepland Harbour, County
The man was reported to have fallen into
the sea during the accident but he had been
retrieved by others on the shore.
On the arrival of the 'Blue Peter V'
lifeboat it was decided that the evacuation
of the casualty by sea was inadvisable due
to the severity of the man's injuries and
an Irish Coast Guard SAR helicopter from Dublin
was tasked to the area. Additional oxygen
required and a cylinder was suppiled to paramedics
from the lifeboat. On arrival in the
area of the ICG SAR helicopter an orange smoke
flare was used to guide the helicopter to
a safe landing area.
The injured man was then airlifted by the
SAR helicopter and flown to a landing area
at Musgrave Park Hospital, Belfast from where
the casualty was transferred by ambulance
to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast.
Portaferry Lifeboat was then stood down and
returned to station at 17:39
July 2012 @ 15:10
Portaferry Lifeboat crew had just completed
an exercise and were in the lifeboat station
when they were paged by Belfast Coastguard
to assist a becalmed 10.5M yacht with engine
difficulties, reported to be 8.5NM south-east
of Ardglass, County Down with three persons
Portaferry Lifeboat was launched on service
and proceeded towards the reported position.
Whilst on passage to the casualty, communications
were lost with Belfast Coastguard south of
Strangford Lough and were then re-established
through Liverpool Coastguard. Visibility
in the area was deteriorating.
Communications with the casualty and Belfast
Coastguard remained difficult and with the
assistance of Liverpool Coastguard and on-board
radio direction finding equipment it was established
that the yacht's position was significantly
different from that first reported and was
10NM west of the lifeboat's position at that
The casualty vessel was quickly located in
the new position when a tow line was established
and the yacht was taken to Ardglass Marina
where 3 persons were landed to safety ashore.
The lifeboat was refuelled at Ardglass Marina
when an awaiting relief crew from Portaferry
took command and the initial lifeboat crew
returned to Portaferry by road and the Strangford
The lifeboat then returned to the station,
arriving at 18:45
July 2012 @ 01:59
Portaferry Lifeboat, Blue Peter V,
launched on service following reports from
Belfast Coastguard that a rigid hulled inflatable
boat (RhIB) had been in collision with a yacht
off Killyleagh, County Down. Both vessels
reported to be in danger of sinking due to
On arrival of the Portaferry Lifeboat, two
men were found to be aboard the RhIB, one
of who had appeared to have sustained a minor
head injury. No one was found to be
aboard the moored yacht.
The injured male was then taken by lifeboat
to safety at a quay at Killyleagh from where
he was to be transported by a friend to hospital
The lifeboat crew then returned to the casualty
area and checked that both vessels were afloat
and secured to moorings before returning to
the lifeboat station, arriving at 03:30.
July 2012 @ 10:09
Portaferry Lifeboat, Blue Peter V,
launched to assist a yacht off Killard Point
with two persons on board.
Yacht had lost engine power at the entrance
to Strangford Lough prior to high-water Strangford
and the skipper was able to anchor, approx
0.5NM North of Killard Point. to avoid being
carried into danger by the strengthening current
of the ebb tide.
Coastguards on the shore maintained a watch
on the anchored vessel until the arrival of
the lifeboat when the yacht was taken under
tow to Portaferry Marina where two persons
were landed to safety ashore.
July 2012 @ 20:00
Lifeboat crew were on exercise off Ballyhenry
Bay, Strangford Lough, when they were approached
by a 5.5m RhIB with 2 persons on board requesting
assistance in returning to Kircubbin due to
the foggy conditions.
Lifeboat escorted the RhIB to Kircubbin Bay
and returned to station at 20:40
July 2012 @ 11:16
Portaferry Lifeboat, Blue Peter V,
launched on service following a 999 call received
by HM Coastguard requesting immediate assistance,
from a 38ft yacht, aground on the Skate Rock,
Strangford Lough, with 2 adults and 1 child
Portaferry Lifeboat arrived with the casualty
vessel 10 minutes later. Winds in the area
were NW - F5 to F6
Attempts to pull the yacht off the Skate
Rock were unsuccessful and the vessel's anchor
was then taken into deep water and deployed
to secure the yacht when refloating on the
following flood tide. A child was then
transferred to the lifeboat from the yacht
and taken to the Killyleagh Yacht Club where
she was landed to safety ashore into the care
of a relative.
The lifeboat then returned to the grounded
yacht to confirm that the two men aboard were
happy to remain with the vessel until it refloated
on the flood tide.
Portaferry Lifeboat returned to Station,
arriving at 13:00
August 2012 @ 18:50
999 call received by Belfast Coastguard from
a person reporting a yacht aground southwest
of Kircubbin, Strangford Lough.
Portaferry Lifeboat launched on service and
located a 35ft yacht aground on the South
Rock, Strangford Lough, with 2 personsl on
board. The owner of the yacht indicated
that he was happy to remain with the yacht
until it refloated on the following flood
The lifeboat crew deployed the vessel's anchor
in deep water prior to returning to the lifeboat
station at 20:10.
August 2012 @ 03:06
Portaferry Lifeboat crew paged by Belfast
Coastguard following a report from the skipper
of the yacht that had gone aground the previous
evening on the South Rock, Strangford Lough,
that his yacht was taking in water.
On the arrival of the lifeboat with the casualty
it was ascertained that the ingress of water
had become less serious.
Portaferry Lifeboat remained with the grounded
yacht until it had refloated off the South
Rock and then escorted the vessel and the
two persons on board to safety at the quay
at Portaferry, arriving at 06:00.
August 2012 @ 14:35
Belfast Coastguard contacted the lifeboat
station's LOM following a request by police
for assistance in recovering the body of an
adult male. The man's body had been
found earlier by persons who were on board
a RhIB off Sheepland Harbour, near Ardglass,
Lifeboat crew paged and Portaferry Lifeboat
was launched on service.
The man's body was recovered from the sea
by the lifeboat crew and taken ashore at Ardglass
where the remains were transferred into the
care of police.
Portaferry Lifeboat returned to station at
13 September 2013 - Following an inquest
held at Belfast Coronor's Court the deceased
was named as Fergal Kavanagh, a 54 year old
man from Dublin.
September 2012 @ 20:59
HM Coastguard received 999 call reporting
a group of 5 kayakers were overdue at Whiterock,
Portaferry Lifeboat launched in fresh to
strong westerly winds and proceeded to search
from Pawle Island, heading North through Ringhaddy
Sound towards Whiterock Bay.
Coastguard shore team reported that kayakers
had returned safely to Whiterock at 21:40
and Portaferry Lifeboat stood down and returned
to station at 22:20.
September 2012 @ 17:21
Three crew members were at the Lifeboat Station
when one of them noticed a 30ft motor boat
aground at Church Point, on the southern side
of the Strangford Narrows, opposite the Lifeboat
Following discussions between the Station
LOM and Belfast Coastguard it was agreed to
launch the lifeboat immediately and to alert
the local coastguard unit.
On the arrival of the Lifeboat with the casualty
vessel within five minutes, it was found to
be aground and surrounded by rocks with a strong
3-4 knot current running through. (The vessel
had suffered engine problems earlier that may
have led to its grounding) Two of the lifeboat
crew then entered the water to assist in bringing
the lifeboat alongside the casualty vessel.
The three men aboard the casualty vessel
were then taken on board the lifeboat and
transferred to safety ashore at Portaferry.
The lifeboat returned to station at 18:00
Dec 2012 @ 00:24
Portaferry and Newcastle lifeboats launched
to go to the assistance of a 54ft fishing
vessel, the Supreme, with engine problems,
located 1 nautical mile southeast of Ballyquinton
Point with 4 persons on board. Vessel on passage
from Ardglass to the Clyde.
Portaferry Lifeboat, 'Blue Peter V',
was launched at 00:32am and the Newcastle
Lifeboat shortly afterwards.
The crew of the fishing vessel attempted
to anchor after the engine failure but on
the arrival of the Portaferry Lifeboat it
was found that the vessel was drifting. A
line was then secured between the casualty
vessel and the Portaferry Lifeboat to prevent
the fishing vessel being carried towards the
shore or into the Strangford Narrows on the
flood tide. Shortly afterwards all electrical
power was lost by the fishing vessel.
The Newcastle Lifeboat arrived on scene shortly
before 2:00am when a tow line was established
and the fishing vessel was then taken towards
Ardglass accompanied by the Portaferry Lifeboat.
On arrival off Ardglass the Portaferry Lifeboat
secured a stern line to the fishing vessel
to assist the Newcastle Lifeboat in taking
the casualty safely into Ardglass Harbour.
4 persons were landed to safety ashore.
Both lifeboats were released from service
and returned to their stations.
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