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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

Three people were brought to safety by Ballycotton RNLI after their pleasure boat suffered engine failure 17 nautical miles south of Helvick Head on Wednesday evening (27 July).

Ballycotton’s all-weather lifeboat Austin Lidbury was requested to launch by Valentia Coast Guard at 6.50pm when the 16.5ft fishing boat reported engine failure.

Weather conditions were calm and once on scene, the lifeboat crew assessed the situation. Alan Cott, a volunteer crew member, boarded the small boat and was able to get the engine started again.

Ballycotton RNLI lifeboat crew made the decision to then escort the boat to the safety of Helvick Harbour before returning to Ballycotton at 10.30pm.

Commenting after the callout, Cott said: “Thankfully conditions were very good and all three people were wearing lifejackets and had called for help as soon as they encountered engine difficulties.

“We would advise people to take the correct water safety advice for the activity they are taking part in and to always make sure they have a means of raising the alarm if things go wrong.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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On Wednesday morning (27th July), after a phone call from a member of the public to the on-call Union Hall RNLI Launch Authority, to say a yacht was in difficulty at the outer Dangers in Glandore harbour, Valentia Coast Guard requested the volunteer crew to launch their inshore Atlantic 85 lifeboat Christine and Raymond Fielding at 08.55 am

The lifeboat under helm Tim Forde with crew Charlie Deasy, Stephen Hurley and Killian O’Kelly, RNLI Water Safety Education Manager who is also a helm at Bundoran RNLI, launched at 09.10 am, in flat calm sea conditions, once on scene, an assessment was carried out by our crew and due to the yacht being aground, two of the passengers were taken onto the lifeboat, while one remained aboard, and the lifeboat was stood down and returned to the pier at Union Hall.

At 13.30 pm Chris Collins and Riona Casey under helm Tim Forde returned to the vessel to assist in re-floating, the yacht was afloat at 14.10 pm and left at the safety of a mooring in Glandore at 14.25pm.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Wicklow RNLI brought three sailors to safety after their yacht lost propulsion from a rope-fouled propellor off the Wicklow coast.

The all-weather lifeboat RNLB Joanna and Henry Williams slipped its moorings at the South quay at 10:28 pm on Monday 25 July under the command of Coxswain Nick Keogh and proceeded to the stricken vessel's last reported position.

Thirty minutes later, the lifeboat volunteers located the 14-metre yacht entangled in ropes, seven miles offshore near the South India buoy. Weather conditions at the time were wind north-westerly force five with a moderate sea. The lifeboat crew assisted the sailors and freed the yacht from the obstruction.

Speaking after the callout Coxswain, Nick Keogh said: ‘As rope remained in the propellor and the yacht was unable to make any headway, we decided the best course of action was to tow the boat back to Wicklow harbour.’

A towline was established, and the yacht was brought alongside the East pier shortly before 00:45 am on Tuesday morning, and the three sailors were landed safely ashore.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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RNLI lifeguards in Northern Ireland have saved four people in two separate incidents during a busy week on Causeway Coast beaches.

Two teenage girls were rescued after being pulled out to sea in a rip current, and on the same day a man who had disappeared beneath the waves was pulled to safety along with his son.

In the first incident, RNLI lifeguard Luke was patrolling East Strand beach in Portrush on a rescue water craft (RWC) when lifeguards were alerted by a member of the public to two teenage girls being pulled out by a rip current at Curran Point, the section between East Strand and neighbouring beach Whiterocks.

Rip currents are strong currents running out to sea which can quickly drag people away from the shallows of the shoreline and out to deeper water.

Although the weather was hot and sunny, Luke had to manoeuvre the RWC through choppy waves to get to the reported location of the casualties.

Reaching the teenage girls, Luke saw they were distressed, and they were both struggling to breathe. He pulled the first girl onto the rescue sled at the back of the RWC and then assisted the second girl to climb on as she was very weak.

Luke then brought the girls back to shore and helped them onto the beach and into the care of RNLI lifeguard Emily who treated them for shock.

Speaking after the rescue, Emily said: “Rip currents are very unpredictable. You could walk out five metres into the one at Curran Point and you would lose your footing, it is so strong.

“If you are caught in a rip current, do not try to swim against it or you’ll exhaust yourself. Instead, if you can, swim parallel to the shore until you’re free of the rip and head to shore. Always raise your hand and shout for help.

“We want people to enjoy the water safely by making sure that they come to lifeguarded beaches and swim between the red and yellow flags.”

Luke added: “This rescue proves just how vital our equipment is. The girls were quickly drifting down the beach, almost out of our sight and we would not have made it out to them quickly enough without the RWC.

“Rip currents are an ever-present danger, so we patrol in the water, as well as on shore, to keep everyone safe.”

On the same day, at Benone Beach farther west along the Causeway Coast, lifeguard Andrzej had just helped bring a body boarder back to the safe area between the flags.

He then patrolled down towards the Umbra, the minor river which flows across Benone’s bathing beach and noticed two heads in the water about 500 metres out of the safe swimming zone.

One of them heard the engine of the RWC and raised his arm to signal for help. As Andrzej circled round to go to the rescue, he noticed one of the two men had sunk beneath the water.

Using his hands, Andrzej managed to pull him onto the rescue sled and then reached out to get the second casualty, who he later learned was the first man’s son. The son was struggling, but managing to keep his head above water, so Andrzej pulled him onto the sled also.

With both men onboard the rescue sled, Andrzej headed back to shore where he beached the rescue craft. Andrzej and the man’s son helped get his father onto the sand where they sat him down. Andrzej called his fellow RNLI lifeguards for medical assistance and they administrated oxygen to the casualty.

Speaking after the rescue, Andrzej said: “In the heat of the moment, my training kicked in and I just wanted to get them back on to the sand.

“It could have been a very serious situation if I hadn’t seen them out swimming, and if the son hadn’t raised his arm for help. When you swim at the beach, try to stay as close to the lifeguarded patrol zone as possible, so we can see you and get to you as quickly as we can.

“Luckily, the son knew what to do and did the right thing. If you get into difficulty in the water, lean back, stretch out your arms and legs, then call for help or raise your arm.”

Published in Water Safety

The volunteer crew of Howth RNLI launched their all-weather lifeboat Roy Barker III on Sunday afternoon (24 July) to aid a father, son and their dog Billy on a boat drifting towards the cliffs off Howth Head.

The lifeboat, with a crew of seven, launched at 1.40pm following a request from Dublin Coast Guard to assist the boat, which had come across Dublin Bay from Dun Laoghaire and suffered engine failure close to the Baily Lighthouse.

Weather conditions were challenging with fresh southerly winds and, having lost power, the boat was being blown towards the cliffs on the south side of Howth Head.

The lifeboat reached the casualty vessel within 15 minutes of launching. Once it was established that all on board the boat were well, Howth RNLI coxswain Fred Connolly took the decision to take the father, son and their black Labrador on board the lifeboat and to tow their boat back to Howth.

Speaking following the incident, Connolly said: “The owner of the boat in difficulty did the right thing in calling the coastguard for help straight away. When the winds are blowing onshore and a boat is broken down, every minute counts. Our volunteer crew responded quickly once the pager went off and we launched the lifeboat within minutes. 

“Once on scene, we cast a line to the boat and pulled them alongside so that the father, son and their dog could be transferred to the safety of the lifeboat. Our crew then established a tow line and we were able to tow the boat back to Howth Harbour.”

The coxswain added: “This type of call out for the RNLI provides a good opportunity to remind boat owners to have a means of calling for help at all times and if you do get into difficulty that you're prepared. We were delighted to be able to return Billy and his owners safely ashore.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Crosshaven RNLI lifeboat in Cork Harbour was requested to launch shortly before noon on Monday (July 25th) to assist a 13-metre steel-hulled yacht on passage from Youghal to Crosshaven that had engine difficulties.

The yacht, with three crew on board alerted Valentia Coast Guard as they were approaching Roches Point that they had engine problems, and with a North Westerly wind blowing over 25 knots along with a 1 to 2 metre sea running, felt it prudent not to attempt entering Cork Harbour under sail alone.

The lifeboat volunteers of Aidan O’Conner, Susanne Deane, Norman Jackson and Claire Morgan launched and met the yacht at Roches Point. Susanne Deane boarded the yacht and organised the lines for the tow, before the vessel was brought to Crosshaven Boatyard, where she was safely berthed.

The lifeboat returned to station, was washed down, refuelled and declared ready for service once more at 1.15 pm.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Fethard RNLI launched its inshore lifeboat on Friday afternoon (22 July) after one of its helms spotted a lone boatman struggling to make ground with oars while being blown away from the shore.

The volunteer crew launched the inshore lifeboat at Fethard Dock and headed to an area around half a mile off The Windy Gap. Weather conditions were good, with good visibility and a Force 4 southwesterly wind.

It emerged that the lone boatman had taken his flat-bottomed punt to check on a larger vessel that was moored, when the wind overpowered the small craft.

Upon arrival at the casualty vessel, the crew assessed the situation, brought the casualty on board the lifeboat, set up a towline and brought the vessel to the safety of Fethard Dock.

Commenting about the callout, volunteer helm Mick Roche said it “highlights the huge importance of always having a means to call 999 or 112”.

He added: “It also should encourage all members of the public engaging in water activities to know the local tides and weather, in particular the direction of the wind, and if an offshore wind is blowing.”

Friday’s callout also marked the first shout for volunteer crew member Ian O’Grady, who downed tools at a local building site to join the crew.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Youghal RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew rescued a family of three from their stricken yacht this morning (Friday 22 July) as it drifted towards rocks near Black Head in Youghal Bay.

The couple with their teenage son radioed for help after their 44ft yacht had lost power, leaving them slowly drifting towards the rocky shoreline
 
Youghal’s Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat was launched at 6.42am and reached the 44ft yacht in just 10 minutes amid favourable conditions with a falling tide.

It emerged that a rope had become caught up in the yacht’s propeller and the vessel had lost all power.

The family onboard were experienced sailors and were travelling the world on their yacht for the last 10 years. The lifeboat crew found them to be safe with none requiring medical attention.
 
One volunteer crew member boarded the yacht and established a towline to bring it back to Youghal pontoon, where the family were handed into the care of Youghal Coast Guard who were awaiting their arrival.
 
Youghal RNLI deputy launching authority Mark Nolan said: “The family had a VHF radio onboard and didn’t hesitate to call the coastguard to alert the lifeboat for assistance when they experienced difficulty.

“This has been a very busy time for us here in Youghal with this being our fifth shout less than a week. We would urge people to always carry a means of communion and if they get into difficult to call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Less than 24 hours after their role in the dramatic rescue of French yachtsman Loic Escoffier, Baltimore RNLI were called out to provide a medical evacuation on Wednesday afternoon (20 July) from Cape Clear Island in West Cork in what marked their third callout in five days.

The volunteer crew — coxswain Aidan Bushe, mechanic Nigel Kehoe and crew members Emma Lupton, Emma Geary and Don O’Donovan — launched their all-weather lifeboat at 4.25pm following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to provide a medevac for a man on the island.

Arriving at North Harbour 25 minutes later, they transferred the casualty onboard the lifeboat and returned to station where the casualty was then handed over to the care of an HSE ambulance crew at 5.35pm.

Speaking following the callout, volunteer lifeboat press officer Kate Callanan said: “It has been a busy few days for Baltimore Lifeboat with three calls in the last five days.

“On [Saturday] 16 July the all-weather lifeboat assisted a yacht with two people on board that was in difficulty close to rocks off the eastern side of Cape Clear Island. [Tuesday night] the all-weather lifeboat rescued a lone sailor 70 miles south of Baltimore after his catamaran capsized during a race.

“We are grateful to the crews of both our all-weather lifeboat and our inshore lifeboat who are always ready to answer their pagers as soon as required. Please remember, if you find yourself in a medical emergency whilst on an island, call 999 or 112.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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A 36ft yacht with two people onboard that had suffered engine failure south of Roche’s Point yesterday (Wednesday, 20 July), was brought to safety by lifeboat crew from Ballycotton RNLI.

Ballycotton RNLI was requested to launch by Valentia Coast Guard at 4.20 pm when a yacht suffered engine failure. The vessel had been en route to Crosshaven in Cork Harbour.

Conditions were calm and once on scene, lifeboat crew assessed the situation before establishing a tow and bringing the yacht to the nearest safe port, which was Crosshaven.

Commenting on the callout Ballycotton RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Jerry Lynch said, ‘Thankfully conditions were perfect for the callout. With the recent good weather we have seen an increase in people out enjoying the water. We would advise people to take the correct water safety advice for the activity they are taking part in to always make sure they have a means of raising the alarm if things go wrong.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Page 9 of 276

William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland and internationally for many years, with his work appearing in leading sailing publications on both sides of the Atlantic. He has been a regular sailing columnist for four decades with national newspapers in Dublin, and has had several sailing books published in Ireland, the UK, and the US. An active sailor, he has owned a number of boats ranging from a Mirror dinghy to a Contessa 35 cruiser-racer, and has been directly involved in building and campaigning two offshore racers. His cruising experience ranges from Iceland to Spain as well as the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and he has raced three times in both the Fastnet and Round Ireland Races, in addition to sailing on two round Ireland records. A member for ten years of the Council of the Irish Yachting Association (now the Irish Sailing Association), he has been writing for, and at times editing, Ireland's national sailing magazine since its earliest version more than forty years ago

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