Displaying items by tag: RNLI
Baltimore RNLI was called out earlier this evening (Friday 7 August) to provide assistance to a motorboat in difficulty at Sherkin Island, off the coast of west Cork.
The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their inshore lifeboat at 6.50 pm, following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to assist an 18ft motorboat, with four people on board, which had broken down in Horseshoe Harbour, Sherkin Island, off the coast of West Cork.
The Baltimore inshore lifeboat arrived at the casualty vessel at 6.54 pm. The owner of the motorboat had dropped an anchor and all occupants were wearing lifejackets. The lifeboat transferred volunteer crew member David Ryan on to the vessel. He established a tow and hauled the anchor, and the lifeboat commenced the tow for Baltimore at 6.59 pm. The lifeboat towed the casualty vessel to its own mooring in Baltimore Harbour and once it was secured the lifeboat returned to the station, arriving at 7.24 pm.
There were four volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat, Helm Micheal Cottrell and crew members Ryan O’Mahony, David Ryan and Eoin O’Driscoll. Assisting at the station were Jerry and Rianne Smith. Conditions at sea were calm with a westerly force 4 wind, a 0.5m sea swell and good visibility.
Speaking following the call out, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘Always remember when going to sea, to carry means of communication. If you get into difficulty at sea or on the coast, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’
It was a long night at sea for Arklow RNLI on Tuesday evening (4 August) as its volunteers launched to assist three people on a yacht in difficulty in the Irish Sea some 25 miles off the Co Wicklow town.
The yacht was intercepted just north of the Arklow Bank amid swells of up to five metres, and its crew were suffering from fatigue and sea sickness.
Worsening conditions meant the yacht was not able to make headway either by sail or its own engine tower, so it was taken under tow by the lifeboat to Wicklow Harbour as the safest and shortest option — eventually arriving at 1.15am, more than six hours after launch.
Lifeboat coxswain Brendan Dillon commented: “Given the prevailing conditions at sea, this could have ended very differently.”
The volunteer crew were on the scene with the inshore lifeboat just eight minutes after launch, following an alert from passers-by who heard the kayaker calling for help at Walter Rock in the Strangford Narrows.
Directed by those members of the public, the lifeboat reached the casualty who had been in the water for between 15 and 30 minutes, clinging to his upturned kayak.
He was taken onboard the lifeboat and made comfortable before being returned to shore and passed into the care of Portaferry Coastguard. The lifeboat crew then returned to the Narrows to recover the kayak.
Speaking after the callout, Portaferry RNLI press officer Jordan Conway said: “We would like to commend the members of the public who raised the alarm last night which ensured we reached the casualty in good time.
“As the summer season continues, we remind everyone planning a trip to sea to always respect the water.
“Always carry a means of calling for help and keep it within reach. Wear a personal flotation device and check the weather and tides.
“Tell someone where you are going and when you are due back and always wear appropriate clothing for the conditions and your trip.”
As the lifeboat passed Holy Island, its crew spotted an SOS light signal from the shore, in an area known as the Black Rocks.
The lifeboat navigated with caution to the casualty vessel, which had dropped anchor nearby but the anchor dragged and saw the boat pushed into a dangerous and rocky area of shore.
The two adults and two teenagers on board were found safe and unharmed, and wearing their lifejackets.
An RNLI volunteer transferred to the casualty vessel and, after checking for damage, set up for a tow to bring the vessel off the rocks and back out to safe water.
The lifeboat then took the casualty vessel to Mountshannon Harbour, making slow progress in the poor weather with reduced visibility and eventually arriving just after 10.30pm.
With the harbour at capacity, the skipper of a moored vessel offered to have the casualty boat rafted next to theirs for the night.
Keith Brennan, trainee helm at Lough Derg RNLI, commended the quick actions of the skipper on the casualty vessel.
“He did everything correctly: deploying the anchor once his engine failed, calling for help and using light signals to indicate his position to the lifeboat.”
The all-weather lifeboat launched on Saturday (1 August) and headed south to the scene in the Portnoo area, where they found one person in the RIB and recovered another from the water before giving casualty care.
A tow was established to bring the RIB to Portnoo where an ambulance was waiting to take the casualty to hospital for further treatment.
This was the first callout for the Arranmore lifeboat crew since March, when coronavirus restrictions were imposed.
Operating safely within the RNLI and Government Covid-19 guidelines, the inshore lifeboat crew reached the 16ft fishing boat shortly after launch in good weather conditions.
One member of the crew boarded the fishing boat and, after making sure that the person on board was fine, a tow was established to bring the vessel back to Ferrypoint.
Speaking after the callout, deputy launching authority Mark Nolan said: “Engine trouble is one of the main reasons for RNLI callouts. Problems can occur at any time; being prepared is key.
“Always carry a form of communication with you, just like the person on-board today; once he realised there was a problem, he was able to call for help straight away, avoiding any unnecessary danger.”
Portrush RNLI’s inshore lifeboat launched to the rescue of a 50-year-old woman who fell into the water while with a coasteering group at Dunseverick near the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland yesterday afternoon (Saturday 1 August).
The volunteer crew applied casualty care to the woman, and one remained to watch over her while the lifeboat collected a paramedic and a member of the local coastguard team to assist at the scene.
Suspecting the woman had sustained a back injury, the team called for a helicopter and she was transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast by the regional air ambulance. R199 from Prestwick in Scotland was also dispatched to the scene.
Portrush lifeboat operations manager Keith Gilmore said later: “Causeway Coasteering did exactly the right thing in calling the RNLI and the coastguard to make sure that the casualty could receive appropriate treatment.”
The Courtmacsherry All Weather Trent Class RNLI Lifeboat was called out at 12.54 pm this Saturday afternoon to go to the aid of two Kayakers who got into difficulties, in breezy conditions, off the headland of Dunworley Point on the Seven Heads Coastline in West Cork.
The two Kayakers were blown on to the remote rugged, rocky headland of Birds Island off Dunworley, about 7 miles from Clonakilty, and found themselves seeking immediate assistance, as they had to abandon their Canoes.
The Courtmacsherry Lifeboat under Coxswain Micheal O Donovan and crew were underway within minutes and immediately proceeded to the area where the alert was raised. Also tasked by Valentia Radio was the Rescue 115 Coastguard Helicopter and the local Seven Heads Coastguard Unit.
The two casualties managed to get onto the rocks after their frightening ordeal and climbed the cliffside to get onto some firm ground. The Lifeboat and Helicopter arrived on scene and the Helicopter landed on the headland to access the injuries to the two persons. The Lifeboat recovered paddles from the Kayaks and remained on the scene until the Helicopter airlifted one of the casualties to Hospital and the other person was taken to nearby safe terrain by the Coastguard unit.
Commenting on this afternoon’s callout, the Courtmacsherry RNLI Voluntary Deputy Launching Authority Diarmuid O Mahony, along with the Seven Heads Coastguard unit spokesman Eamonn Barry thanked all the Lifeboat and Coastguard crew members for their quick response today and carrying out the rescue and assistance very professionally, in what could have been a very serious incident. They reiterated and thanked those in trouble for their quick action in seeking immediate help and assistance, as minutes matter and it is always vital to alert the Coastguard quickly when in difficulty.
The Courtmacsherry Lifeboat Crew involved in today’s callout were Coxswain Micheal O Donovan, Mechanic Tadgh McCarthy and crew members Dara Gannon, Ken Cashman, Denis Murphy and Mark John Gannon.
Wicklow all-weather RNLI lifeboat launched shortly after 12:45 pm today (Saturday 1 August) following a Coast Guard launch request, to assist a 14-metre ketch with four people onboard near Greystones.
The drifting yacht was located 30 minutes later by Coxswain Doyle and the volunteer crew three miles south of Greystones harbour.
The engine had failed and there was not enough wind to use the sails to get to shore, so the skipper contacted the Coast Guard for assistance. Conditions on scene were calm with good visibility.
A towline was quickly established, and the yacht was towed into Greystones Marina, where the three adults and a child were landed safely ashore.
The crew on the call out were (2nd) Coxswain Ciaran Doyle, Mechanic Brendan Copeland, Carol Flahive, Paul Sillery, Mark Kavanagh and Peter Byrne
As The Irish Examiner reports, new standard operating procedures (SOPs) to adhere with Covid-19 public health and safety guidelines have changed the environment and placed extra pressure on crews.
All around the coast, inshore and all-weather RNLI lifeboats are also being scrubbed with extra vigour – right down to disinfection of handsets on marine radios.
“We had to make a very quick shift, and adopt new standard operating procedures early on,” Courtmacsherry coxswain Sean O’Farrell says.
Crews going to sea with standard RNLI personal protective equipment (PPE) wear surgical masks under helmet visors, along with double sets of gloves.
The new measures extend to alerting crews. Every volunteer who responds to a pager message must stay in their car outside the station, unless and until called.
“We can’t risk an infection that could affect key staff and volunteers, and close down an entire lifeboat station for two weeks,” O’Farrell adds.
“We’re getting used to it very quickly because we are already a lot busier for this time of year,” his colleague, RNLI Wicklow station mechanic Brendan Copeland says.
Water Safety Ireland chief executive John Leech had warned that as Covid-19 restrictions were lifted and travel plans cancelled, there could be the “greatest number in history” on our waterways. Almost two million people live within five kilometres of the coast.
His deputy, Roger Sweeney, confirms there have already been incidents where people have ignored red flags, hoisted at guarded swimming locations to indicate conditions are too dangerous for swimming.
Read more on The Irish Examiner report here