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Rosslare Harbour RNLI’s volunteer crew were requested by the Irish Coast Guard on Sunday evening (11 February) to assist five crew on board a stricken fishing vessel.

The all-weather lifeboat was launched shortly after the shout at 5.26pm and quickly reached the scene two miles north of Rosslare Harbour, in clear weather with slight seas and good visibility.

It emerged that the 15m-long fishing vessel had an entangled propeller.

Having assessed the situation and consulted with the five crew onboard, it was decided to tow the vessel to Rosslare Harbour. A tow line was secured and the vessel was safely towed to the harbour.

Jamie Ryan, Rosslare Harbour RNLI lifeboat operations manager said: “I would like to commend the crew of the fishing vessel for wearing their flotation safety devices and for carrying communication equipment.

“It is essential that sailors and fishers contact the coastguard when in difficulty. To do this, call 999 or 112.”

The lifeboat volunteer crew on this call-out were coxswain Mick Nicholas, mechanic Keith Miller, navigator Andrew Ironside and crew Paul McCormack, Eoghan Quirke, Ronan Hill, Seán Cullen and Stephen Breen.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Wexford RNLI’s inshore lifeboat had a busy Sunday afternoon (13 August) with two back-to-back rescue efforts.

Lifeboat helm Damien Foley and volunteer crew Ger Doran and Donal Troddyn were first tasked with assisting two people whose boat suffered engine failure inside Wexford harbour at 1.08pm.

The lifeboat crew arrived on scene at 1.18pm and after assessing the situation, they decided the safest option was to secure a tow to the casualty vessel and bring the people safely ashore.

At 1.53pm, just as the lifeboat was a few hundred metres from shore, the Irish Coast Guard tasked them to reports of two girls in the water off Rosslare Strand.

The lifeboat crew were able to bring the people ashore before turning around en route to Rosslare, within minutes of the tasking.

Conditions at the time were good, with a south-westerly Force 3 wind and rising tide. Rosslare Harbour RNLI were also tasked to the incident.

While their lifeboat was on the way to Rosslare Point, Wexford RNLI were informed that another paddleboard user had assisted in the rescue and the girls were safely ashore.

Rosslare Harbour’s lifeboat was asked to search and recover the lost paddleboard in case it was spotted later and reported again.

Speaking following the call-out, Wexford RNLI helm Damien Foley said: “Both incidents resulted in good outcomes. If anyone sees a person in difficulty on or near the water, please dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Shore crew for Wexford RNLI on Sunday afternoon was Simon Gulliver and the launch authority was Dave Dempsey.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Rosslare Harbour RNLI launched to the assistance of a 44ft sailing yacht with three people aboard on Tuesday (30 May) after it developed mechanical problems.

The all-weather lifeboat was requested by the Irish Coast Guard at 2.27pm and within half an hour the crew had assembled, launched and reached the scene in Ballytrent Bay.

Conditions were difficult with a rough sea and a Force 6-7 northeasterly wind but visibility was good.

After assessing the situation and consulting with the yacht’s three crew — who were safe and well and wearing flotation devices — the lifeboat team decided to tow the vessel to the nearest safe port at Rosslare Harbour.

A tow line was secured at 3pm and the vessel was safely dropped alongside the harbour at 3.50pm.

Speaking following the callout, Rosslare Harbour RNLI lifeboat operations manager Jamie Ryan said: “We are enjoying some wonderful weather and would encourage everyone planning a strip on the water to go prepared. We would stress the importance of wearing proper flotation devices and having good communication equipment when at sea.”

The lifeboat volunteer crew on this shout were coxswain Micheál Ferguson, mechanic Mick Nicholas, Paul McCormack, Dave McCusker, Keith Morris, Peter Carr and Conor Barry.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The volunteer crews of Wexford and Rosslare Harbour RNLI rescued four people after their boat suffered engine failure outside of Wexford Harbour shortly after 5pm on Tuesday (9 May).

Rosslare Harbour RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat, under coxswain Eamonn O’Rourke and four other crew members onboard, was first on scene — locating the casualty vessel with assistance from the Kilmore Quay Harbour Master.

Having assessed the situation, the decision was made to tow the boat into safe waters. Wexford RNLI then took over the tow to navigate the casualty over Wexford bar and through the sandbanks of Wexford Harbour. The four people were safely brought ashore just before 7pm.

Weather conditions at the time were reasonably good, with a Force 3 westerly wind and good visibility with some showers.

Speaking following the callout, Wexford RNLI helm Damien Foley said: “The casualties did the right thing and contacted the coastguard when they were in difficulty. All four were also wearing lifejackets. This callout was well executed between ourselves and our colleagues in Rosslare Harbour.

“We would remind people that if you see anyone in difficulty on or near the water to ring 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Wexford RNLI’s crew included helm Damien Foley, Sinead Casey, James Flood and Dave Murray. Deputy launching authority was David Sherwood and shore crew was Dermot Foley. Rosslare Harbour RNLI’s crew included coxswain Eamonn O’Rourke, mechanic Keith Morris, Peter Carr, Paul McCormack and Seamus McDonald.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Shipping company Finnlines is expanding its Ireland-Belgium freight service between Rosslare and Zeebrugge.

A second ro-ro vessel has been added to the route, Iarnród Éireann, port authority for Rosslare Europort, has said.

MS Finnpulp will join MS Finnwave on the route, departing from Zeebrugge on February 23rd, it said.

It will “provide a significant increase of capacity on the direct connection between Ireland and mainland Europe”, it said.

Finnlines launched the new service between Rosslare Europort and Zeebrugge in July 2022.

“ The service has been well received by Irish transport operators and provides an important link for Irish industry,” Iarnród Éireann said.

Via transhipment in Zeebrugge, the Irish connection is also available to industry to and from the Finnish, German, Estonian and Spanish markets as well as the whole Grimaldi Group network.

“ We provide an excellent transport link for Irish trade to the Continent by offering tailor-made capacity for our customers whose business depends on reliable sea transportation services,” Finnlines Line Manager Antonio Raimo said.

“We are delighted with the announcement by Finnlines on their expansion plans from Rosslare Europort,” Glenn Carr, Rosslare Europort commercial manager, said.

Glenn Carr, Rosslare Europort commercial managerGlenn Carr, Rosslare Europort commercial manager

MS Finnpulp has a capacity for 3,259 lane metres of cargo, equivalent to around 225 trailers. MS Finnwave has a capacity for 4,192 lane metres, equivalent to around 300 trailers. Both vessels can also accommodate 12 drivers.

Finnlines specialises in freight transport, and its extensive line network provides European industry with regular and reliable sea connections, while ensuring the import of goods that are essential for the security of supply.

Departures

Rosslare Mon 03:00 – Zeebrugge Tue 11:00

Rosslare Thu 22:00 – Zeebrugge Sat 06:00

Rosslare Sat 14:00 – Zeebrugge Sun 22:00

Arrivals

Zeebrugge Tue 22:00 – Rosslare Thu 04:30

Zeebrugge Thu 22:00 – Rosslare Sat 04:00

Zeebrugge Sat 16:00 – Rosslare Sun 19:00

Published in Ports & Shipping

Rosslare Harbour RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat responded on Saturday morning (30 July) to a local fisherman who reported his vessel was rapidly taking on water.

The volunteer crew launched at 9.40am and headed to the scene 10 miles north of Rosslare Europort, where they passed over a salvage pump to help remove the water from the fishing boat.

However, with the water at waist height, the crew of the casualty vessel were concerned and close to abandoning ship.

The lifeboat coxswain Eammon O’Rourke ordered the Y boat to be deployed for the crew of the fishing vessel, but eventually the salvage pump made better progress in emptying the water from inside the hull.

After several hours, all the water was pumped out and the casualty vessel was stabilised. The vessel was then towed back to the safety of Rosslare Europort.

Commenting later, O’Rourke said: “This was an excellent service where the power and speed of the Severn lifeboat combined with our well-trained volunteer crew undoubtedly saved the fishing boat crew and their vessel.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

RNLI lifesavers from Dunmore East, Kilmore Quay and Rosslare Harbour to feature in new series of TV documentary Saving Lives at Sea

The volunteer lifeboat crews of Dunmore East, Kilmore Quay and Rosslare Harbour RNLI will be taking to the small screen on Tuesday 12 October as they feature in the eighth episode of the BBC TV series Saving Lives at Sea.

Real-life rescue footage gives a frontline view of how the charity’s lifesavers risk their own lives as they go to the aid of those in danger at sea and strive to save everyone.

Now in its sixth series, the 10-part documentary showcases the lifesaving work of the RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crews from around Ireland and the UK. The series is on BBC Two on Tuesdays at 8 pm as well as being available on BBC iPlayer following broadcast.

Real rescue footage is accompanied by emotive interviews from the volunteer lifeboat crews alongside the people they rescue and their families.

This forthcoming episode, on Tuesday 12 October, sees Dunmore East, Kilmore Quay and Rosslare Harbour RNLI, along with Rescue 117, conduct a joint rescue operation off the Wexford coast. As Afloat reported at the time, The Lily B, a 100m general cargo vessel with nine crew onboard and carrying 4,000 tonnes of coal, lost all power two nautical miles from Hook Head last October. Conditions on scene were Force 8 with severe Force 9 gusts and wave heights between eight and 10 metres. The Lily B was drifting and in danger of striking rocks on Hook Head or capsizing in the heavy seas.

The 12-hour service in challenging conditions saw multiple attempts by the lifeboat crews involved to establish a tow between the casualty vessel and the lifeboats. With the crew of the Lily B unable to stay on deck for long in the poor conditions and with language difficulties, two of the lifeboats were eventually successful in passing a rope on deck by using a rocket line and pulling the cargo vessel clear of the rocks. The lifeboat tow was maintained for three hours with waves continually crashing over the decks until the tug vessel Tramontine from Waterford Port arrived on scene and took up the tow. The three lifeboats stayed with the Lily B until they reached the safety of the Waterford Estuary. The rescue operation was finally stood down after 12 hours at sea for the lifeboat crews.

The three lifeboat crews involved are now to receive gallantry awards from the RNLI for their role in the rescue.

Neville Murphy, one of the Dunmore East RNLI lifeboat crew members featured in the forthcoming episode, said: ‘It's great that we can showcase the lifesaving work of RNLI volunteers in a TV programme like this. Without the generous support and donations from the public, we wouldn’t be able to save lives at sea and it’s great to be able to share what we do with our supporters from the comfort of their own home’

During 2020, RNLI lifeboats in Ireland launched 945 times with their volunteer crews coming to the aid of 1,147 people, 13 of whom were lives saved.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

At Rosslare Harbour, a series of information boards highlighting all that is great about the south-east ferry port and more have been installed throughout the Co. Wexford village.

The seven lecterns, which focus on Rosslare Europort, shipping, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), Tuskar Lighthouse, Kilrane, Rosslare Harbour, and St Helens, provide visitors with carefully researched facts and photographs on the history of each area.

The official unveiling of the information boards saw Chairperson of the Village Development Team Alan Murphy welcome and thank Wexford County Council (WCC) for helping to deliver projects under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme.

Alan Murphy, in particular thanked District Manager for the Rosslare Municipal District (RMD) Nóirín Cummins and local councillor Ger Carthy for their efforts in ensuring this project was delivered.

Over €31,000 was raised to fund the new lecterns and others initiatives which will soon be undertaken by the Rosslare Harbour/ Kilrane Village (RHKV) Development Team.

For further reading, Wexford People reports. 

Published in Irish Harbours

The RNLI is to present three Irish lifeboat crews with gallantry awards for their role in a rescue last October that saved nine lives and prevented a 100m cargo vessel from hitting rocks at Hook Head.

The coxswains of Dunmore East RNLI, Kilmore Quay RNLI and Rosslare Harbour RNLI are to receive RNLI Bronze Medals for Gallantry — one of the highest awards presented by the lifesaving charity — while the volunteer lifeboat crews who responded to the callout will each receive Medal Certificates.

Recognition will also be given to the crew of the Irish Coast Guard’s Waterford-based helicopter Rescue 117, the staff of the National Maritime Operations Centre in Dublin and the master and crew of the tug Tramontine.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the multi-agency rescue operation was launched on 20 October 2020 after reports that the Lily B — a 4,000-tonne cargo vessel carrying 4,000 tonnes of coal — had lost all power and was in danger of hitting rocks south of Hook Head in Wexford.

Battling strong waves over six metres high amid Force 8 conditions, the Dunmore East and Kilmore Quay lifeboats managed to establish tow lines onto the drifting vessel and, with the help of the Rosslare Harbour crew, worked together to ensure the vessel stayed away from the rocky shore until the tug arrived.

RNLI director of lifesaving John Payne said: “Those crews involved demonstrated that unique blend of courage, selflessness, dependability and trustworthiness, at their best, in the most demanding of conditions. Without question their combined actions saved lives at sea.

“Conditions onboard the lifeboats were unpleasant in the rolling and pitching seas. The volunteer crews displayed fortitude, perseverance and courage to remain focused whilst under the most testing conditions, often up to their knees in water and heaving decks.

“The unity of purpose and sense of ‘One Crew’ displayed by all contributed significantly to the successful outcome in a protracted 12-hour service.”

The three coxswains (from left), Roy Abrahamsson of Dunmore East, Eugene Kehoe of Kilmore Quay and Rosslare Harbour’s Eamon O’Rourke | Credit: RNLIThe three coxswains (from left), Roy Abrahamsson of Dunmore East, Eugene Kehoe of Kilmore Quay and Rosslare Harbour’s Eamon O’Rourke | Credit: RNLI

The three coxswains — Roy Abrahamsson of Dunmore East, Eugene Kehoe of Kilmore Quay and Rosslare Harbour’s Eamon O’Rourke — were informed of the awards by RNLI area lifesaving manager Joe Moore, who said: “In recommending these awards, the RNLI Trustees recognise the difficulty of the service, the challenges that were faced by the lifeboat crews during their 12 hours at sea and the tragedy and environmental disaster that was averted off the Irish coast.”

In reviewing the service, the RNLI also recommended a Medal Service Certificate for the crew of Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117 for their top cover and reassurance to all the crews below for the duration of the service.

Signed letters of appreciation will also be presented to the staff of the National Maritime Operations Centre in Dublin and the master and crew of the tug Tramontine.

Details of the arrangements for the presentation of Bronze Medals for Gallantry and the Medal Service Certificates are to be arranged in consultation with the awardees.

List of lifeboat crew to be honoured by station:

  • Dunmore East RNLI crew: Roy Abrahamsson (Coxswain), David Murray (Mechanic), Neville Murphy (Navigator) and crewmembers Peter Curran, Jon Walsh, Luka Sweeney and Kevin Dingley.
  • Kilmore Quay RNLI crew: Eugene Kehoe (Coxswain), Philip Walsh (Mechanic), Aidan Bates (Navigator) and crewmembers Trevor Devereux and Sam Nunn.
  • Rosslare Harbour RNLI crew: Eamon O’Rourke (Coxswain), Mick Nicholas (Mechanic), Keith Miller (Navigator) crewmembers Padraig Quirke, Michael Sinnott, Eoghan Quirke and Paul McCormack.
Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Aran Islands lifeboat volunteers launched their all-weather lifeboat on Saturday afternoon (17 August) to carry out a medical evacuation for an injured tourist.

The female visitor to Inis Mór had sustained a suspected fractured leg while out sightseeing, Aran Islands RNLI said.

The casualty was transferred safely aboard the Severn class lifeboat David Kirkaldy under coxswain Tommy Dirrane and a full crew, and was brought to the waiting ambulance at Rossaveal Harbour.

Dirrane said later: “The volunteer crew members train regularly to maintain their quick response time and that can make all the difference to the casualty you are going to help. We would like to wish the casualty a speedy recovery.”

Elsewhere on Saturday, Rosslare Harbour RNLI volunteers were called to assist a small yacht with two onboard in difficulty off Cahore Point off the North Wexford coast.

Tangled in a lobster pot line and unable to sail in the freshening south westerly wind, the crew called the Irish Coast Guard for assistance, according to the RNLI.

Rosslare Harbour RNLI volunteers launched their all-weather lifeboat and reached the yacht in a short time.

Lifeboat volunteers reached the yacht in short order and set up a tow line to bring it close to Cahore Harbour, where the Cahore inshore rescue boat took over due to the shallow water.

Rosslare Harbour RNLI coxswain Eamonn O’Rourke said: “I would like to commend our volunteer crew who worked hard to attach a tow to the yacht in challenging conditions. We were glad to see the vulnerable yacht and her crew safe.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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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