By Richard O'Reilly
Hundreds of water sport enthusiasts in the Foyle area will be rowing, boating and sailing in safety thanks to support of Loughs Agency in partnership with 3 local water based recreation clubs.
Foyle Sailability, Lough Foyle Yacht Club and Moville Boat Club regularly organise sessions on the water (for the public as well as members) but at times have been hindered by inadequate safety boat cover.
The Loughs Agency has now provided a safety boat for shared use among these organisations to facilitate ‘taster’ sessions, regattas and other gatherings.
Garry Crothers, Vice Chairman of Foyle Sailability praied the Lough's Agency. He said“safety is paramount for any club. Direct access to a safety vessel will greatly enhance our ability to deliver more sessions on the water on a more regular basis to people with disabilities from across the north west."
Bill Johnson, of Lough Foyle Yacht Club also welcomed the vessel: "As the second city of Northern Ireland, there is a massive under usage of this valuable recreational resource, and this boat will enable more people to safely get onto the water at one of the three sailing clubs."
The Commodore of Moville Boat Club, Joe Kelly, said “The club is privileged to be included. This initiative by the Loughs Agency ensures that clubs like Moville can promote these water sports, increasing the number of people exposed to the fabulous natural resources that Lough Foyle offers.
Andy Sides from Loughs Agency said: "We advocate the promotion and development of marine tourism on the Foyle but there must also be support for safe operating systems on the water. This provision of the safety boat will lead to more activity on the Foyle and enable the organisations to increase the delivery of their services and activities."