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Baltimore RNLI carried out a medical evacuation yesterday afternoon (Sunday 23 July) after a man sustained injuries while on a visit to Sherkin Island off the coast of West Cork.

The volunteer lifeboat crew was requested to launch their inshore lifeboat following a request from the Irish Coast Guard at 4.13pm and were on scene in seven minutes. The man had cut his foot on a sharp object while out walking on Bán Strand on Sherkin Island.

Once on scene, two of the volunteer crew went ashore and administered casualty care before transferring the injured man to the inshore lifeboat. He was brought back to Baltimore lifeboat station at and handed over to the care of HSE Ambulance crew who were waiting at the station.

The lifeboat was helmed by Pat O’Driscoll and with crew members Jerry Smith and Colin Rochford and shore crew in attendance were Tom Kelly, Seamus O’Driscoll and Kate Callanan.

Speaking following the call out, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘In this incident with the considerable distance between the beach and the ferry pier and the nature of the man’s injuries, a medical evacuation by lifeboat was the best course of action. The man did the right thing in requesting assistance from the Coast Guard. Remember, if you get into difficulty anywhere along the coastline, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard. We wish him a speedy recovery.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Union Hall RNLI were alerted by Valentia Coast Guard at 3.24pm yesterday (Saturday 22) to a report of a 30ft yacht with two sailors gone aground at the middle danger in Glandore Harbour, West Cork.

The lifeboat launched and was underway to the yacht at 3.33pm in favourable weather conditions, with a slight breeze from the north.

While en route to the scene, a member of the public notified the lifeboat station that the yacht had refloated safely. The volunteer crew subsequently spoke to the sailors, who were happy to continue sailing.

Union Hall RNLI deputy launch authority Peter Deasy said: “While a lot of activity is taking place in Glandore Harbour this week with the Glandore Classic Boat Regatta, we advise people to be alert, obey navigation aids and respect the water. If you see someone in trouble dial 999/112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Ballycotton RNLI launched their all-weather lifeboat yesterday morning (Saturday 22 July) following a request from Falmouth coastguard, who reported the activation of an emergency beacon some 60 miles off the Cork coast.

The three-person crew of a 40ft yacht had activated their EPIRB as the vessel was taking on water and needed immediate assistance.

Ballycotton’s lifeboat crew launched at at 9.28am — and resulting tow saw the lifeboat crew on service for 14 hours, eventually bringing the vessel and its crew into Crosshaven last night.

Sennen Cove lifeboat and the coastguard helicopter from Newquay were also dispatched to the scene, but were stood down with the arrival of Ballycotton RNLI and the Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117.

Once it was confirmed that the water was receding, Rescue 117 was stood down and Ballycotton RNLI established a tow with the vessel to bring it safely to Cork Harbour.

With the lifeboat being such a long distance off shore, radio coverage was challenging. The vessel Ocean Spey, which was on standby at the gas fields halfway between the Cork coast and the yacht, helped by relaying comms between the lifeboat and the coastguard.

“This was one of the longest callouts for our lifeboat crew as they spent nearly a day at sea,” said Ballycotton RNLI coxswain Eolan Walsh.

“Many agencies and vessels played a part in the successful resolution of this and thankfully nobody was injured with both crew and yacht been brought safely to shore.

“I want to thank my volunteer lifeboat crew who despite the challenging conditions were focused on bringing everyone home safely.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

On Saturday July 22, Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNL to assist two people and their dog after their 38ft cruiser ran aground at Ryan’s Point, on the eastern shore of Lough Derg.
At 2.35pm the lifeboat was launched with helm Eleanor Hooker, Keith Brennan and Darragh Quinn on board. Winds were northeasterly, Force 2. Visibility was good.
Both passengers and their dog were found to be safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets. The RNLI made numerous attempts to take the cruiser off the rocks, but it was stuck fast. The RNLI volunteer crew decided to take both people and their dog to Dromineer and to arrange for the cruiser to be lifted off the rocks by a specialist crew from the local marina. They informed Valentia Coast Guard of their decision.
The lifeboat returned to station and was ready for service again at 4.32pm.
At 7.22pm, the lifeboat launched following a request from Valentia Coast Guard to assist four people in a 40ft cruiser with engine failure by the Goat Road, at the northern end of Lough Derg. At 7.40pm the lifeboat, with helm Eleanor Hooker, Owen Cavanagh and Kevin Dooley on board, located the cruiser adrift on the navigation route. The wind was northerly, F2/3.
The lifeboat took the vessel on an astern tow to Dromineer Bay, where the lifeboat volunteers changed the tow to an alongside tow before bringing the boat into Dromineer Harbour.
Once the cruiser was safely tied up alongside at Dromineer, the lifeboat returned to Station and was read for service again at 9.07pm
Brendan O’Brien, Deputy Launching Authority at Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat Station, advises all boat users on the lake, to ‘bring charts of the lake in addition to electronic systems of navigation, and plan a safe passage before leaving harbour’.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Larne RNLI encourages the public to always call for help if they believe someone is in trouble on the coast, following a callout this week that turned out to be a false alarm.

The Larne volunteer crew launched their inshore lifeboat Terry on Thursday afternoon (20 July) following reports from a member of the public of an 8ft punt with two on board having engine difficulties in Drains Bay, Co Antrim.

Terry and crew were quickly on scene and found the vessel making way near Larne Promenade. The crew checked that the two people on board were not in distress and had a means of calling for help if need be.

“This incident proved to be a false alarm with good intent and we would like to thank the concerned member of the public who alerted the coastguard,” said Larne RNLI deputy launching authority Philip Ford-Hutchinson.

“We would encourage anyone taking to the water to always wear a life jacket, ensure your vessel and equipment are in good working order, check the weather and tide and always carry a means of calling for help. If you see someone in trouble on the coast always dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#Vandalism - Vandals have caused an estimated £800 (€900) worth of damage to an RNLI lifeguard unit at Whiterocks on the Causeway Coast.

Following two of the busiest days of the summer season so far in Northern Ireland, the RNLI team at Whiterocks arrived at work yesterday morning (Wednesday 19 July) to see that their unit, located near the entrance to the North Coast beach, had been extensively damaged.

The charity’s lifeguards discovered that the vandals had left behind broken bottles and a barbecue, while the unit’s aerial mount required for VHF communications had also been damaged.

A large rock which had been thrown at the hut damaged the unit’s outer skin, piercing the inner plywood and leaving a two-inch hole in the unit, which was also covered with indecent graffiti.

RNLI lifeguard supervisor Karl O’Neill said the damage to the aerial mount had threatened vital VHF communications, while the rock damage meant the unit was no longer watertight.

“Our lifeguards rely on the aerial to communicate with each other when on patrol and to communicate with their colleagues in the coastguard in the event of an emergency,” he said. 

“Thankfully the damage has not rendered our communications off-service but should it have, and should it have happened during the last two days, which brought thousands of people to our beaches to enjoy the good weather, lives could have been put at risk.

“It is very disappointing for our lifeguards, who have been working hard to keep people safe, to turn up this morning after two busy days and see the unit they need to carry out their job has been so badly damaged. It really does dampen spirits.”

It is estimated that the repairs to the beach lifeguard unit will run into hundreds of pounds for the charity.

The RNLI is working closely with the PSNI who have appealed for anyone with any information to come forward.

“We would appeal to those doing this damage to be mindful that the RNLI is a charity,” said O’Neill. “Our lifeguards are an essential part of what is a seamless rescue service that saves lives from the beach to the open sea.

“Our lifeguards’ primary role at Whiterocks and on all lifeguarded beaches on the Causeway Coast is to make sure the beach can be enjoyed safely by the public. We want them to be able to continue to do that safely and with peace of mind.”

Published in Coastal Notes

Carrybridge RNLI in County Fermanagh launched this morning in response to a report of a gas explosion on a vessel at a marina in Carrybridge.

The volunteer lifeboat crew was requested to launch both their inshore lifeboat and Rescue Water Craft at 11.08am following the report from Belfast Coastguard that the explosion had happened on a vessel thought to have one person onboard.

The lifeboat helmed by Chris Cathcart and with crew members Adrian Quigley and Nigel Carson onboard launched immediately along with the station’s Rescue Water Craft with Kyle Boyd and Jen Bailey onboard.

Weather conditions at the time were overcast with light winds and fair visibility.

With initial unconfirmed reports that someone may be on the vessel, a full search was requested with Carrybridge RNLI as on scene commander.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, Ambulance Service and the PSNI attended while the Irish Coast Guard Rescue 118 helicopter from Sligo was also tasked.

During the search, the lifeboat learned that a man who had been on the boat had been removed from the scene prior to the emergency services arrival by a member of the public from the shoreline and was taken to hospital for further treatment.

Following the completion of a full search, all agencies were stood down.

Speaking following the call out, Carrybridge RNLI Helm Chris Cathcart said: ‘We would like to wish the man who had been on the boat well following what must have been a frightening experience for him. We would also like to commend the member of the public on the shore who came to his assistance. Today’s call out was a good example of multiple agencies responding well together.

‘We would remind all visitors to the lough during the boating season to ensure they do regular checks on their vessels so everything is in working order. When on the water, always wear a lifejacket and always have a means for calling for help. Always check the weather and tide times and make sure someone ashore knows where you are going and who to call if you don’t return on time. Should you get into difficulty, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Newcastle RNLI was involved in a major air, sea and land search at Tyrella on the Co Down coast last night (Monday 17 July) after walkers reported seeing someone struggling in the sea.

Newcastle RNLI’s inshore lifeboat Eliza and her volunteer crew were tasked along with members of Newcastle Coastguard, local PSNI and their air support helicopter to the area shortly before 9pm last night.

It followed reports from four women who were walking on the beach that there may be a person in difficulty in the water.

A comprehensive search was carried out for almost two hours before the operation was stood down with nothing found.

Newcastle RNLI volunteer lifeboat helm Nathan Leneghan said: “Conditions were ideal for searching with very few waves and just the right amount of sunlight. 

“We know Tyrella is a very popular beach and with the favourable weather at the moment we advise people to always try to swim at lifeguarded beaches and respect the water.

“We would rather be called out for a genuine false alarm than be called out too late. These women took the right action and should be commended.”

Newcastle RNLI advises the public that if they see someone in trouble on or near the water to dial 999 or 112 immediately and ask for the coastguard.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Lough Ree RNLI was called to assist two sailors when their 17ft Fireball dinghy was holed and began to sink on Lough Ree on Saturday evening (15 July).

The crew of Lough Ree lifeboat The Eric Rowse were alerted by the Irish Coast Guard at 7pm when the sailors called for assistance over their portable VHF radio. 

The Fireball was sinking after the rudder bracket broke away from the hull, causing the buoyancy tanks to fill with water.

Weather conditions at the time was wet and windy, with a Force 4-5 breeze, frequent showers and moderate visibility.

The lifeboat crew were on scene within minutes and recovered the two sailors, who had capsized the boat in order to slow the filling of the buoyancy tanks. 

After establishing that both men were uninjured, the lifeboat crew and the sailors proceeded to turn the dinghy upright and lower the sails, and then towed it to the nearest island.

On reaching Beam Island, the five baled the water out of the dinghy and examined the damage to the hull, before towing the vessel to Lough Ree Yacht Club where it was recovered from the water.

Lough Ree RNLI helm Stan Bradbury said: “We were very happy to assist these experienced sailors when they ran into difficulty on the lake. 

“Equipment failure can, and does, happen at unexpected times; these two had taken the necessary precautions before leaving shore, and followed the correct procedures to achieve a good outcome if anything went wrong.

“Calling for assistance early, before you become excessively cold or tired, is the best course of action if you find yourself in difficulty on the water.”

Saturday’s callout came days after an exceptionally busy week for the Midlands lifeboat crew, in which they assisted 30 people on seven vessels over a five-day period.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Larne RNLI was involved in a multi-agency rescue yesterday afternoon (Sunday 16 July) after a cyclist fell between as much as 15 feet from the Coast Road north of Ballygally in Co Antrim.

The volunteer crew were requested to launch both their all-weather and inshore lifeboats at 10.15am following a report from Belfast Coastguard that the cyclist had fallen down a steep slope onto a rocky shore half a mile north of Ballygally.

Larne and Ballycastle Coastguard also responded along with personnel from both the fire and rescue service and the ambulance service.

Weather conditions were good at the time of the launch, with a north-westerly wind and a calm sea.

Once on scene, two crew members from the all-weather lifeboat went ashore with the inshore lifeboat crew to help with moving the the casualty from the beach.

The cyclist was assessed by a doctor and paramedic from the ambulance service, and a decision was made to transfer him from the beach via the inshore lifeboat to the care of ambulance personnel.

Speaking following the callout, Larne RNLI helm Pamela Leitch said: “Due to the nature of the cyclist’s fall, the position for extraction was challenging via land and the best decision was to remove him from the beach side. 

“We would like to wish the cyclist a speedy recovery following what must have been a frightening experience for him. Today’s call out was a great example of different agencies working well together to bring someone to safety.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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