Boat Patrols from Ballykelly?

Discussion in 'Infantry' started by Jaeger, Dec 8, 2006.

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  1. Can somebody help me to settle an argument here? Does anybody know anything about "Boat patrols" being conducted from Ballykelly into the Lough Foyle by the resident Infantry Bn or anybody else for that matter, at any time during the course of the campaign? I know the the Booties used to do them on Carlingford Lough but I wasn't aware of it happening anywhere else, any help gratefully received.
  2. We used to do a boat patrol from back of Belleek Cop shop in Fermanagh onto Lough Erne, were we would try to find illegal stills, and not drown as the boat developed a leak.
  3. Don't know about those ones but there were regular patrols by the booties in Lough Neagh, I know I went o a few and bloody good fun they were (apart from the frigging midges.

    The Lough Neagh Patrols were an interesting idea as the Lough borders 5 (?) of the 6 counties and you could deploy very quickly to any of them. What we usually did was sail about for a bit then do a landing near a coast road and chuck in a VCP, the idea was to confuse PIRA with the speed of arrival without the telltale "wocca wocca"
  4. In the time I was in NW NI - late 80s and early 90s, there were no boat patrols mounted from Ballykelly. I cant remember seeing any type of boat, harbour or launching point. And you wouldn't want to be out in those waters on a rib.

    However, the sappers in Fort George Ldy had a variety of small boats. I remember using them for boat drop off and pick up on River Foyle regularly. Never in Lough Foyle though.

    The Royal Navy sometimes - very infrequntly - parked a warship in Lough Foyle and seached the odd boat. I remember providing support in the form of a search advisor once.
  5. The RE have a number of ribs up at Ballykelly. They were often out as I ran past although I never saw them actually in the Foyle. Im trying to remember, Im sure in the bar one night someone said they were for clearing the odd WWII mine that used to appear in the Foyle although that could be an urban myth!

    They are definatley there though.
  6. Thanks lads, very interesting and so far your comments confirm what I thought. To be more specific though,were any of you in Ballykelly from say, 1990 to 1993? I seem to remember the Kingo's being there at about that time. If so, can anybody tell me if there were any boats available that could have been used for this sort of activity? My own guess is no, lets face it, in an Infantry unit the only "military" boat that anyone would have any expertise in using at that time would have been the old Mark 4 Assault Boat and I really can't imagine anyone using one of those in close proxiity to the border? If Rigid Raiders were in use then surely it would require Royal Marine involvement IIRC?
  7. My memory of the shoreline in that area is that BKY was totally unsuited to mounting boat ops from. The camp perimeter did not extend to the Loch shore in any case, as any of the local mussel collectors would tell you.

    Why do you ask?
  8. Spanish_Dave

    Spanish_Dave LE Good Egg (charities)

    I remember in 83 some of the lads doing boat ops but cant remember where, I do remember Wurzel from 46 Bty allegedly losing his virginity - with a search dog (the canine kind)
  9. I'm curious to why you think you wouldn't want to be out on the water in a Rhib in Lough Foyle??
  10. one of our guys was killed in a boat accident in londonderry...if thats the foyle then yes patrols were carried out...remember a whale being there as well once during the tour..
  11. I was a B/k from 86 to 88 and can tell you now no boat patrols were ever carried out by the res inf battalion. B/K was a dissused air base and didn't have direct access to the sea or lough unless you wanted to carry it over about 1km of marshy land.
  12. There was no launch facility for boat patrols out of Ballykelly, however boats were frequently used for the the transportation of personnel and logistics from Ebrington barracks to Fort George, mainly at night.

    Occasional patrols, specifically of lough foyle were conducted, however the boats were more often used for patrol insertion/extraction.
  13. I used to see the boats patrolling along the Foyle from the Limavady road sangar on Clooney during the late 90's. I hope I am not breaking OPSEC here but didn't something happen in the mid 90's involving people from the city side and and some jet ski's near Fort George?
  14. 2 R ANGLIAN conducted the from BKY until they left in 2005.

    Not very often, mind.
  15. That would have been a pretty mean porterage from the BKY perimeter to the loch shore.