#SeaKayaking – Belfast Lough escaped the rain as the fifth Bangor Bay sea kayaking race took place in superb conditions yesterday afternoon (Saturday 27 May).
Organized by Jackie Patton of the Ballyholme Yacht Club and members of the Belfast Kayak Club, and with all proceeds going to the RNLI, over 70 kayakers and paddle boarders took to the water in a wide variety of boats, and were seen en route by a volunteer Bangor RNLI crew.
Before entering the water, each kayak was checked by the organizers to ensure that it met the required safety standards and that each competitor was appropriately dressed.
Delighted with the turnout, Jackie Patton said afterwards: “This event gets better every year, with more boats participating, and the pre-race checks give us the perfect opportunity to reinforce key safety messages with the kayakers. . “
Peter E Bullick, RNLI Community Safety Officer, was also on hand to provide safety advice to competitors.
After the event, the awards ceremony was held at the Ballyholme Yacht Club, and Bangor RNLI Lifeboat Operations Director Kevin Byers thanked everyone for their generosity and said it was events like this one who provided vital funds to the RNLI.
Unfortunately, the start of the race was delayed by an unrelated accident on one of the yacht club’s holds while safety boats were launched.
The Bangor RNLI crew were among the first to attend and were able to put their first aid training into practice by helping to hoist the victim into the ambulance.
Coxswain Gareth Whan said: “There are always danger points when launching boats, and this accident highlights the fact that accidents happen both out of the water and on the water.
“The crew and I were delighted to be able to provide assistance to the victim, and we wish him a good recovery.”