Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Lifeboats

Just hours after the conclusion of their station’s open day on Sunday (6 August), Wicklow RNLI’s volunteer crew members responded to the first of two call-outs in 24 hours.

Pagers sounded just after 9.30pm on Sunday night and within 10 minutes the all-weather lifeboat Ruth and David Arthur was making best speed to a position just south of Greystones to attend a six-metre fishing vessel with one person on board which was adrift after suffering engine failure.

Arriving on scene 30 minutes after launch, the lifeboat coxswain assessed the situation and decided that the safest option was to tow the vessel to the nearest port.

The fishing vessel’s lone crew was safely landed ashore at Greystones Marina shortly after 10.35pm.

The second call-out came at 5.40pm on Monday (7 August) when a concerned member of the public reported a small inflatable dinghy with four people on board appeared to be struggling to get back to shore due to the turning tide and westerly offshore wind.

The D-class inshore lifeboat was launched within minutes under helm Paul Sillery and it quickly located the the dinghy and its occupants just as they were making it ashore at Travelahawk beach.

Once it was ascertained that no further assistance was required, the lifeboat was stood down by the Irish Coast Guard.

Speaking later, Sillery emphasised the dangers of using inflatables in the sea: “Inflatables can pose significant risks, as they are susceptible to changing tides, offshore winds and currents.

“We would urge everyone to leave the inflatables at home and not bring them into the sea. If you see someone in trouble in the water, please call 112 or 999 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Skerries RNLI were tasked just before 10pm on Friday night (4 August) following a 999 call to report that two teenagers were stranded on Shenick Island, having been cut off by the incoming tide.

The volunteers in Skerries launched their Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson and proceeded to make their way around the headland at Red Island in Skerries towards Shenick Island.

Arriving on scene, the lifeboat crew quickly spotted the two teenagers on the shoreline on the island. The lifeboat was manoeuvred into shallow water near the bar between the mainland and the island and a crew member made their way ashore.

Having confirmed that no medical assistance was required, the crew member helped the teenagers make their way out the lifeboat and brought to the station where they were given some dry blankets and refreshments to warm themselves while they waited for someone to collect them.

Weather conditions at the time had a Force 2-3 south-easterly wind with a calm sea and good visibility.

This was the second day in a row that the lifeboat was tasked to people stranded on Shenick, having responded to a similar call as they finished training on Thursday evening. In that instance the people made it ashore themselves.

Speaking about the call-out, volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: “When [the teenagers] realised that they had gotten their timing wrong and were not going to get back to shore as the water was getting deeper, they absolutely made the right call in returning to the island and calling for help and we always encourage anyone in difficulty on or near the water to dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

The Cowes RNLI lifeboat was kept busy during Cowes Week racing earlier this week with incidents on Monday and Tuesday.

On Monday morning (31 July) the lifeboat crew were called out to two yachts involved in a violent collision, and then assisted a yachtsman knocked into the water.

In all cases the boats involved were competing in the Daring Class event.

On the first occasion one Daring collided with the hull of another, holing it. The damaged boat was eventually towed to a Cowes boatyard by a harbour launch, escorted by the lifeboat.

Then the lifeboat went back out into the Solent to assist a Daring yachtsman who was knocked into the water near the Bramble Bank, after being struck by a boom when the boat broached.

The casualty was taken by the lifeboat to Trinity Landing where he was received by the coastguard for possible onward medical treatment.

Cowes RNLI on exercise on Wednesday 2 AugustCowes RNLI on exercise on Wednesday 2 August

Cowes RNLI launched again on Tuesday (1 August), helping in two Solent incidents.

The first call-out was just after 1pm in response to a report of a man overboard from a yacht, east of Cowes Harbour’s breakwater.

The lifeboat eventually delivered the man to Trinity Landing, where island coastguards handed him over to an ambulance for onward delivery to St Mary’s Hospital in Newport.

Another emergency call followed, concerning a woman with a suspected broken wrist aboard a day-boat.

The lifeboat took the woman to Trinity Landing where a doctor member of the lifeboat station was waiting to carry out a preliminary assessment before she, too, was taken to hospital.

The lifeboat then began to tow the day-boat, with its two remaining occupants, into the harbour — where a harbour launch then took over to take the craft to a local marina.

The women of Cowes RNLIThe women of Cowes RNLI

On Wednesday (2 August) all Cowes Week racing was abandoned due to high winds for a second time, but the daily lifeboat exercises continued as planned — with one launch staffed entirely by women.

“It was great to have an all-women crew on the lifeboat, all women on shore crew, a woman as our launching authority, a woman as our plant operator and the women from the shop and visits team,” said one crew member.

Mark Southwell, station operations manager added": “As far back as 15 years ago the then-independent Cowes lifeboat already had a mixed crew, which went on transfer to the RNLI service. So, from the start we have been able to demonstrate that the lifeboat it not a men’s club — and it’s not a club at all, but a serious professional service, ready at a moment’s notice.

“Today 30 per cent of the station itself is female. There are no bars or prejudices towards anyone here. Logically that’ll be a 50/50 split one day and rightly so, thus reflecting the population of Cowes. And all lifeboats should fully represent their towns.

“I have to say that I admire anyone, man or woman, who happily tuns up and launches in such foul conditions as we have experienced today, and still has a broad smile!”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Baltimore RNLI were called out on Monday night (31 July) for the second time in two days to provide a medical evacuation, this time from Cape Clear Island off the coast of West Cork.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 9.08pm following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to medevac a visitor from the island.

Conditions during the call-out were good, with a north-westerly Force 5 wind, smooth sea and good visibility.

Arriving at North Harbour on Cape Clear Island at 9.33pm, the lifeboat crew performed a care assessment of the casualty before transferring him onboard the lifeboat and taking him to the station in Baltimore, where he was handed over to the care of a waiting HSE ambulance crew shortly after 10.10pm.

Speaking following the call-out, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat press officer said: “This is the second medevac carried out from an island within two days. On 30 July a man on Sherkin Island who had suffered an injury required the lifeboat to bring him out to the mainland for treatment.

“Baltimore RNLI provides a vital service to those living, working or holidaying on an island who are in need of medical assistance. If you find yourself in a emergency whilst on an island, call 999 or 112.”

There were seven volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat during Monday night’s call-out: coxswain Aidan Bushe, mechanic Jerry Smith and crew members Kieran Collins, Brian McSweeney, Colin Whooley, Emma Geary and Stuart Musgrave.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

The RNLI has teamed up with British Canoeing to encourage people to make safety a priority before taking to the water.

And echoing their safety advice is a kayaker who claims his trip to the coast may have ended in tragedy had he not been carrying the correct kit.

The summer safety campaign is in response to figures showing the number of lives saved while kayaking or canoeing by RNLI crews more than doubled last year in comparison to 2021.

Stand-up paddleboarding has continued to increase in popularity as last year, RNLI lifeboat crews saw a 21% rise in launches to paddleboarders across the UK and Ireland, in comparison to 2021.

It is a particular issue on Anglesey, where RNLI lifeboat crews at Trearddur Bay, Moelfre, Holyhead and Beaumaris have seen the number of people rescued while taking part in these activities rocket from six in 2021 to 37 in 2022.

RNLI crews are urging visitors to the coast to make safety a priority this summer. It’s a message shared by kayaker Guy Lowdes from Llandegla, who was returning from the Skerries near Holyhead with a group of 10 other kayakers back in December when he got into trouble.

Guy says: “I’m an experienced coastal kayaker and never did I expect to find myself in this situation. My kayak was capsized by a rogue wave and I found myself in the water on a very cold December afternoon. The tide pushed me one way and my boat the other, I must have been in the water about 20 minutes.”

Guy’s friend was able to remain with him and thankfully had a personal locator beacon (PLB) which he used to call for help. A rescue operation was mounted including a helicopter and RNLI crews from Holyhead and Moelfre.

“I’m just so grateful we had a means of calling for help, so we could alert the RNLI to exactly where we were located,” Guy says. “I was starting to feel incredibly cold and poorly despite wearing a dry suit. I’m convinced if I’d have been there any longer with the failing light, we may never have been found.

“Once the RNLI arrived and I was taken onboard Holyhead’s lifeboat, the adrenaline stopped. I felt very unwell and cold. I’m so pleased to be here today sharing my story and hoping people take heed of the RNLI’s advice and never set up without having the necessary equipment. My story just goes to show how dangerously unpredictable the sea can be.”

The RNLI and British Canoeing are raising awareness of how to stay safe on the water when planning to stand-up paddleboard, kayak or canoe on any type of water.

Their safety advice is to:

  • Wear a buoyancy aid or personal flotation device.
  • Carry a means of communication to call for help in an emergency.
  • Check the weather before heading out.
  • Tell others of your plans so they know when you will be returning.
  • Paddle within your ability.

The Anglesey coastline in Wales has become a mecca for people wanting to take to the sea and experience these popular activities, but local RNLI crews are encouraging people to heed by their advice.

Vince Jones, RNLI mechanic at Moelfre says they have been inundated with calls to stand-up paddleboarders in particular.

“We want people to enjoy our stunning coastline but are urging people to think carefully before setting out,” he says. “Many of our calls are to people being blown out to sea in offshore winds. We ask people to think carefully about the weather and tides before setting off and ensuring they have a means of calling for help.”

For more information on how to stay safe during paddlesports, see the RNLI website HERE.

Published in Water Safety
Tagged under

Youghal RNLI came to aid of a sailor onboard a broken-down 17ft pleasure boat that suffered engine failure some two-and-a-half miles south east of Youghal Lighthouse in East Cork.

The volunteer crew were requested to launch their Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat at 11.11am on Thursday morning (20 July) following a report of a person onboard a broken-down Warrior 175 and were on the scene around five minutes later.

Weather conditions were described as very favourable with a northwesterly breeze on a ebbing tide.

Helmed by Alan Revins along with crew members Jack Nolan, Shane Buckley and Jason Innes, the lifeboat arrived at the location and the crew observed the man onboard was safe and well and did not require medical assistance.

Upon further assessment of the situation, one crew member boarded the vessel and a decision was made to establish a tow and bring the boat to its mooring at Ferry Point in Youghal Harbour.

Speaking after the call-out, Mark Nolan, Youghal RNLI deputy launching authority said: “The person onboard made the call for assistance by calling 999 and asking for the coastguard. He did the right thing by carrying a means of communication like a mobile phone and VHF radio and also by wearing his personal protective equipment — things we would always encourage people to do.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Baltimore RNLI were called out to a medical emergency on Thursday evening (20 July) to Heir Island off the coast of West Cork.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 5.06pm following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to provide medical assistance to a woman who had sustained an injury while visiting the island.

Arriving at Heir Island within 15 minutes, coxswain Aidan Bushe requested the immediate launch of the lifeboat’s Y-boat with two volunteer lifeboat crew, Rob O’Leary and Don O’Donovan, on board in order to quickly access the beach where the casualty was.

Due to the nature of the injury, and having spoken to a medical professional who was also assisting on the beach, Bushe felt that a medical evacuation by air was necessary and contacted the Irish Coast Guard to request a helicopter.

A HSE ambulance crew had arrived at the lifeboat station so while the two lifeboat crew remained on the beach, the lifeboat returned to the station in Baltimore, collected the two paramedics plus an additional lifeboat crew member and quickly returned to Heir Island.

The two paramedics were then transferred onto the beach by the Y-boat and care was handed over as they awaited the arrival of the coastguard’s Shannon-based helicopter Rescue 115, who airlifted the casualty to hospital for further treatment.

Conditions during the call-out were relatively calm with a northeasterly Force 2 wind and very little sea swell.

Speaking following the call-out, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer said: “This is a great example of a multi-agency rescue with Baltimore RNLI, the Irish Coast Guard and the National Ambulance Service all working together to assist in this medevac.

“We would like to wish to casualty a speedy recovery. If you find yourself in a medical emergency whilst on an island, call 999 or 112.”

There were six volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat: Coxswain Aidan Bushe, Mechanic Sean McCarthy and crew members Pat Collins, Don O’Donovan, Stuart Musgrave and Rob O’Leary.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Aran Islands RNLI carried out a medical evacuation on Wednesday afternoon (19 July) after a visitor had a biking accident.

The volunteer crew were requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat at 3.31pm and proceed to the pontoon at Kilronan on the island of Inis Mór, where the patient was transferred safety aboard before the lifeboat headed straight for Rossaveal Harbour and the awaiting ambulance.

Conditions at the time of launching were good, with calm seas and a light breeze.

Speaking after the call-out, coxswain Aonghus Ó hIarnáin said: “This was another fast response time from the volunteer crew. We wish the patient a speedy recovery.“”

Joining Ó hIarnáin on the call-out were mechanic Mairtín Eoin Coyne and crew members Mairtín Dé Bhailis, Daniel O’Connell and Ciarán O’Donnell.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Courtmacsherry RNLI were called out just before midnight on Monday (17 July) by Valentia Coast Guard to go to the immediate aid of a 29ft yacht which had suffered mast, power and mechanical difficulties some 69 miles south of Courtmacsherry in West Cork.

The all-weather lifeboat Val Adnams, under coxswain Mark Gannon and a crew of five assembled from their beds at speed, was under way quickly in darkness to face into tough weather conditions at sea on Monday night and the early hours of Tuesday (18 July).

It emerged that the yacht was on passage from Cork to France with two people on board when they got into difficulties in bad weather.

As they were unable to raise the alarm on their own VHF radio, they fired two red distress flares which were spotted by the crew of the fishing vessel Harvest Reaper II a number of miles away, who immediately alerted the coastguard.

The lifeboat located the stricken yacht over 69 miles across the Irish Sea at 3.15am and in deteriorating sea and weather conditions, it was decided to take the yacht in tow and return under a safe speed to the nearest port of Courtmacsherry.

The Courtmacsherry lifeboat crew that were at sea on this call-out for over 14 hours as the darkness grew into light | Credit: RNLI/CourtmacsherryThe Courtmacsherry lifeboat crew that were at sea on this call-out for over 14 hours as the darkness grew into light | Credit: RNLI/Courtmacsherry

After a marathon 11-hour tow, the yacht was returned to Courtmacsherry Pontoon at 2pm and its two crew werepleased to be back to be back on dry land after a very difficult night and morning.

Courtmacsherry RNLI’s lifeboat operations manager Brian O’Dwyer said: “It is not very often that red flares are the means of distress communications these days and the importance of having these on board the yacht was ever so important this morning.

“It was great to see nearly two voluntary crews and officers arrive quickly at midnight, within minutes of their bleepers being activated, in order to help others in distress at sea.

“We are so proud of how our new Shannon class lifeboat performed in this, our longest call-out in over a decade and also in very poor conditions.”

The Courtmacsherry lifeboat volunteer crew on today’s marathon mission were coxswain Mark Gannon, mechanic Dave Philips and crew members Ken Cashman, Tadgh McCarthy, Denis Murphy and Donal Young.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Courtown RNLI in Co Wexford rescued three men on Sunday afternoon (16 July) after their RIB encountered engine problems and was drifting out to sea.

The volunteer crew were requested to launch their inshore lifeboat at 5.32pm by the Irish Coast Guard following a report that the boat with three onboard was in difficulty two miles out from Courtown Pier.

The lifeboat launched shortly after at 5.45pm with helm Rob Ireton and crew members Hazel Woods and Mark Conn onboard. The crew arrived on scene just before 6pm.

Weather conditions were favourable at the time with a slight southeasterly wind and calm seas with a slight chop.

Once the lifeboat was on scene, the crew assessed the situation and found that the men were safe and well. They had only left Courtown harbour following a refreshment break when their engine failed two miles out.

The crew fixed a tow rope to the 5m RIB and the lifeboat proceeded to tow the boat safely into shore.

Speaking following the call-out on Sunday, Jim Murphy, Courtown RNLI deputy launching authority said: “We were delighted to help the three men who got into difficulties this afternoon.

“All three were wearing their lifejackets and had a means of communication to raise the alarm, two things we would always recommend and encourage.

“We would remind all boat owners to maintain their craft and always have a means of calling for help. Should you get into difficulty or see someone in trouble, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under
Page 8 of 157