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Displaying items by tag: Lifeboat

At a special naming ceremony and service of dedication held yesterday (Saturday 13 October), Ballyglass RNLI officially named its new D class lifeboat, Clann Lir, in the Mayo coastal town.

The honour of naming the lifeboat went to Derek Moran, Secretary General of the Department of Finance, with the help of Sophie Reilly from Belmullet National School, winner of a competition to choose the name of the new lifeboat.

The lifeboat which went on service earlier this year was funded by a donation from the Central Bank of Ireland.

The Central Bank, on behalf of the Department of Finance, issues several commemorative coin products every year to mark different historical events, figures and to promote Irish arts and heritage. 

The Central Bank had scheduled the launch of its 2017 Annual Mint Set, which paid tribute to the vital work carried out by the Irish Coast Guard and Irish Lighthouses for March 2017. However, the launch was postponed following the tragic loss of the crew of Rescue 116 on 14 March 2017.

Following the tragedy the Minister for Finance agreed that the proceeds from the sale of the Annual Mint Set 2017 be donated to a nominated charity. The RNLI was selected as the main beneficiary of this donation as its work closely aligns with the work of the Irish Coast Guard and the Commissioners of Irish Lights. 

Almost 4,900 Annual Mint sets were sold up to the end of January this year and a donation of just over €74,000 was made to the RNLI. The proceeds have been used to fund the new lifesaving vessel which is stationed at Ballyglass, with the remainder going towards lifeboat kit equipment and crew training.

During the naming ceremony, Eddie Diver, Ballyglass RNLI Fundraising Chairman, accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the charity, from Gerry Quinn, Chief Operations Officer of the Central Bank, before handing her over into the care of Ballyglass Inshore Lifeboat Station.

Having accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the volunteer crew, Lifeboat Operations Manager Padraic Sheeran in his address paid tribute to all involved at the station: ‘I thank Eddie for handing us this new D Class lifeboat, and the Central Bank of Ireland for donating it to us. Thanks to everyone here today and to our great supporters of the station. And last but not least a huge thank you to the volunteer crew and fundraising committee - as Lifeboat Operations Manager it’s a pleasure to work with you all.’

The Clann Lir was blessed in a service of dedication led by Father Kevin Hegarty before the lifeboat was officially named by Derek Moran.

The new inshore lifeboat replaces The Western which launched 58 times while on service in Ballyglass coming to the aid of 20 people. Clann Lir will now serve alongside Ballyglass RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat Bryan and Gordon which has launched 153 times since going on service in Ballyglass, with her crews coming to the aid of 153 people, 14 of whom were lives saved. 

The name of the new lifeboat is one close to the heart of those in the Belmullet community and was chosen by Sophie Reilly, a pupil at Belmullet National School.

Pupils in the school were given the task of nominating a suitable name for the lifeboat that had to be Irish with either a nautical or community theme. Three names were shortlisted by the volunteers in Ballyglass RNLI before the station’s volunteers picked a fitting winner, Clann Lir.

Clann Lir or The Children of Lir, is an Irish legend that tells the story of Lir and his four children. Bodb Dearg, king of the Tuatha De Danann and rival of Lir, gave his daughter Aeb to Lir, in order to appease him. Lir and Aeb had four children: one girl, Fionnuala, and three sons: Aed and twins Fiachra and Conn. Aeb died and Bodb Dearg sent another of his daughters, Aoife, to marry Lir.

Aiofe was jealous of the children's love for their father and for this reason she decided to kill them but did not have the courage; instead using her magic she changed the children into swans. They were condemned to wander for 900 years over certain lakes and rivers in Ireland.

The children had to spend 300 years on Lough Derravaragh, 300 years in the Sea of Moyle and their last 300 years as swans at Sruwaddacon Bay near Erris in County Mayo, before flying to Inishglora, an island off the coast of the Belmullet Peninsula.

Here they met a monk who baptised them. Instantly they had back their human shapes but because of their very old age they died immediately. They were buried on the island in the one grave.

The RNLI formally established a lifeboat station in Ballyglass in 1989 and today the volunteers work from two stations that are home to an all-weather lifeboat, Bryan and Gordon, and the new inshore lifeboat. 

The D class lifeboat has been the workhouse of the RNLI’s lifesaving service for nearly 50 years. It is inflatable but robust; highly manoeuvrable and capable of operating much closer to shore than all-weather lifeboats. It is specifically suited to surf, shallow water and confined locations, often close to cliffs, among rocks or even in caves.

First introduced to the fleet in 1963, the design of the D class has continued to evolve since its introduction and the latest version was introduced in 2003. As with all D class lifeboats, the Clann Lir has a single 50hp outboard engine and can be righted manually by the crew after a capsize. Onboard equipment includes both fitted and hand-held VHF radios, night-vision equipment, and first aid kit, including oxygen. 

The 5m lifeboat is landrover launched and has a 25-knot maximum speed. It can carry up to three lifeboat crew and five survivors.

A crowd of well-wishers turned up to see the lifeboat officially named with a bottle of champagne poured over the side of the boat at the end of the ceremony.

Among the guests on the platform party were Michael Cosgrove, fundraising secretary who welcomed guests and opened proceedings, Gerry Quinn, Chief Operations Officer of the Central Bank of Ireland who handed over the lifeboat, Eddie Diver, Ballyglass Fundraising Chairman who accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the RNLI and handed it over into the care of Ballyglass Lifeboat Station, Padraic Sheeran, Ballyglass RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, Derek Moran, Secretary General of the Department of Finance who named the lifeboat, and Sophie Reilly, winner of the competition to pick the name of the lifeboat.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Lough Ree RNLI came to the aid of two fishermen who had lost engine power while enjoying the last day of the fishing season.

At 2.05pm yesterday Lough Ree RNLI Volunteers were alerted to two fishermen whose 17 foot fishing boat had broken down at Nun’s Island in the middle of Lough Ree. Conditions at the time were a blustery force 4-5 with choppy waters.

Upon arrival at Nun’s Island, the crew of Inshore Lifeboat The Eric Rowse, located the two fisherman safely ashore with their boat. When the fishermen saw the lifeboat arriving, they rowed out to meet them. After some assistance to clear weed from the propeller from the lifeboat crew, the fishermen were able to start their engine and made their way, under escort from The Eric Rowse and her crew, to Judy’s Harbour in Rinadoon Bay on the Roscommon shore of the lake. Once the two fishermen were safely in Judy’s Harbour, the lifeboat volunteers returned to the Lifeboat Station in Coosan Point.

Speaking on their return to base, Lifeboat Helm, Kieron Sloyan said, ‘as the evenings start getting shorter we would like to remind all using the lake to make sure they let someone know where they are going, when they plan to return and to always carry a means of communication either mobile phone or VHF radio with them.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Lough Ree RNLI’s inshore lifeboat crew have responded to four call outs in three days coming to the aid of 15 people.

Between 8am on Sunday last, 1 July and 2.20pm on yesterday, Tuesday 3 July, Lough Ree RNLI came to the aid of four children and 11 adults in separate call outs.

The first call out, on Sunday 1 July was to help two people whose boat had drifted onto one of the Yellow Islands to the south of Lough Ree. The couple had got into difficulty when trying to leave where they were anchored for the night. Conditions at the time were overcast with a breezy force 3-4 northerly wind. The lifeboat crew were able to remove the boat from the island, however after checking the boat when they were in deeper water it was apparent that the boat wasn’t able to continue under its own power. The crew brought the two people onboard and their boat to Athlone Marina.

On Monday, the lifeboat crew came to the assistance of eight people in two separate incidents when they had got into difficulty near the Hexagon Shoal on the eastern shore of Lough Ree near Killinure Point. Conditions on the lake on Monday were bright sunshine and a slight north easterly breeze.

The first call out was at 1pm to help four people - two adults and two children, onboard a boat that had got stuck on the Hexagon Shoal. The lifeboat crew were able to remove the boat from the shoal and the four onboard were able to continue on their way to Lecarrow to enjoy the rest of their holiday. The second call out was to two adults and two children onboard a speed boat that had lost power. The lifeboat crew on this occasion brought the four people and the boat to Quigleys Marina beside Coosan Point.

Meanwhile, yesterday, Lough Ree RNLI was alerted by a member of the public to a boat in difficulty near Hudson Bay on the western shore of Lough Ree. When the volunteers arrived on scene the boat was at anchor and the five people onboard had arranged assistance from a friend and while grateful to the crew for coming out, they did not require their help.

Speaking today, Sarah Bradbury, Lough Ree RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer, said: ‘It’s great to see so many people, both locals and visitors, enjoying Lough Ree and all that it has to offer. As we continue to enjoy the dry weather, we’d like to remind people to respect the water and to let people know that water levels may be lower than usual and to keep to the main navigation channels where the water will be deeper.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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At 1.20pm on Tuesday May 1, Lough Derg RNLI launched following a request by Valentia Coast Guard to assist a fisherman in an 18ft lake boat reported aground by the Goat Road on the north eastern shore of Lough Derg.

Winds were south-southeasterly, Force 4/5. Visibility was good, but with mist and frequent rain squalls.

The Lifeboat, with helm Ger Egan, Owen Cavanagh and Keith Brennan on board, arrived at the Goat Road 1.36pm, but there was no evidence of the casulty vessel. The lifeboat searched the area and located the fisherman in his boat at 'Russell Cabin', north of the Goat Road.

"An RNLI volunteer waded in to the lake boat and found the fisherman to be safe and unharmed and wearing his lifejacket"

As the lakeboat was aground in a particularly rocky and shallow area, the lifeboat dropped anchor and veered back to the location. An RNLI volunteer waded in to the lake boat and found the fisherman to be safe and unharmed and wearing his lifejacket.

The RNLI volunteer and the fisherman bailed the water taken in over the gunwales of the lakeboat. They eased the vessel off the rocks and out to to the lifeboat, where it was taken under tow to Skehana. The lakeboat was tied safely alongside at 2.56pm

The lifeboat returned to station and the lifeboat was ready for service again at 3.35pm

Liam Maloney, Volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager advises boat users to ‘check the conditions before going afloat and make sure your vessel is able for the conditions forecast.'

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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At 6.29pm on Saturday April 14, Lough Derg RNLI was requested to launch by Valentia Coast Guard to assist a lone sailor on a 30–ft yacht aground in Scariff Bay

At 6.40pm, the lifeboat launched with helm Dom Sharkey, Eleanor Hooker and Ger Egan on board. The RNLI volunteers located the vessel at 6.57pm. Winds were south-southeasterly, Force 5. Visibility was good.

Killaloe Coast Guard was also on scene and took the yacht off the sandy bank. Lough Derg RNLI volunteers stayed on scene until satisfied that all was well and no further assistance required.

The lifeboat departed the scene at 7.17pm, and was ready for service again at 7.59pm

Lifeboat helm Dom Sharkey advises boat users to ‘enjoy the lake, but make sure you check weather forecasts for Lough Derg, and to let someone know when you expect to reach harbour. Remember always to carry a means of communication, such as VHF marine radio and/or mobile phone.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Lough Derg RNLI launched yesterday afternoon following a request from Valentia Coast Guard to assist two people after their 40ft–cruiser grounded inside the red navigation mark by Hare Island.

The lifeboat, with helm Ger Egan, Owen Cavanagh and Delia Ho on board located the vessel at 1.50pm. Winds were southeasterly, Force 5. Visibility was good.

Both passengers were found to be safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets.

An RNLI volunteer was transferred across to the casualty vessel where he checked that the vessel was not holed or suffered damage to its propellers or rudder.

The cruiser was taken off the rocks and continued its onward journey without further assistance from the lifeboat.

‘Enjoy the lake, but make sure you plan your trip and ensure you stay the correct side of navigation marks on the lake’

The lifeboat departed the scene at 2.11pm, and was ready for service again at 2.36pm

Lifeboat helm Ger Egan advises boat users to ‘enjoy the lake, but make sure you plan your trip and ensure you stay the correct side of navigation marks on the lake’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and marine clothing giant Helly Hansen have today announced a new strategic partnership that will support the lifesaving charity’s aim of defeating drowning.

Helly Hansen, the global technical sailing brand founded in Norway in 1877, has committed to supporting the RNLI for the next five years through a variety of life-saving activities. These include delivering drowning prevention messages to their customers, generating income, supporting fundraising and safety campaigns, product innovation and supplying the very best kit to the RNLI’s lifesavers.

Combining almost 350 years of rich heritage, innovation and expertise at sea, the RNLI and Helly Hansen share core brand values, history and experience – making this the perfect partnership for both organisations.

Supplying the RNLI with new all-weather lifeboat crew kit, Helly Hansen has worked with the lifesaving charity to ensure the professional-grade gear will meet the demanding needs of the RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crews. The new clothing is due to go on service from September 2018.

RNLI Chief Executive, Paul Boissier, said: ‘We are delighted to announce this partnership with Helly Hansen, a highly respected and trusted global technical apparel brand. Through this new alliance, we’ll be able to reach even more people with our vital safety messages, with Helly Hansen committed to helping us achieve our ambition of reducing drowning.

‘Helly Hansen will provide our lifesavers with the very best kit to wear when they’re saving lives at sea. Our new all-weather lifeboat kit is due to start going on service from September and our beach lifeguards will receive their new kit next year.

‘In addition to sharing our drowning prevention advice and supplying lifesaving kit, Helly Hansen has pledged to generate income, fundraise for us, provide us with preferential financial terms and make a very generous gift in kind donation, to which we are extremely grateful.’ 

Paul Stoneham, Chief Executive Officer, Helly Hansen, said: ‘As a brand that defines itself through its work with professionals for over 140 years, Helly Hansen has a tremendous amount of respect for the RNLI’s mission, heritage and the individuals that have built and continue to sustain this critical institution.

‘We are both proud and humbled by the serious nature of supporting those who willingly help others in their time of need, and we are motivated by the shared ambition of broadening water safety awareness and the reduction of drownings. We look forward to our work together and the continued development of a long-term partnership that we can all be proud of.’

Designed to allow greater freedom of movement, the new all-weather lifeboat kit provides better endurance levels and comfort for the charity’s crew members 

Waterproof, breathable and considerably lighter than the kit it will replace, the technical layering system will ensure crew members will keep warm and dry when they’re out saving lives in all conditions. The kit comes in a wide range of sizes, with versions tailored to fit male and female crew members. 

Kieran O’Connell, lifeboat mechanic at Dun Laoghaire RNLI was one of 60 crew members from six lifeboat stations across Ireland and the UK who trialled the new Helly Hansen gear. He said: ‘The new all-weather lifeboat kit is fantastic. It’s much lighter than the old kit and uses breathable fabric, which is ideal for the more demanding tasks we often need to carry out. While trialling the kit it was reassuring to find that it kept you both warm and dry, even while out at sea in harsh conditions.’ 

The new kit also has a version tailored for female crew members. This ensures the clothing is a better fit and is comfortable to wear for hours spent at sea.

The new kit will be rolled out to all RNLI stations with an all-weather lifeboat including the twenty-five based in Ireland.

As well as the new all-weather lifeboat crew gear and the lifeguard kit, Helly Hansen will also supply corporate clothing and uniforms for RNLI staff.

In the aftermath of storm Emma and the heavy snowfalls around the country the Irish Coast Guard and the RNLI have issued a joint call for people to exercise caution and remain vigilant around the coast and near rivers. High tides, onshore easterly winds and a sharp rise in river levels could pose a significant risk to public safety. 

Although river levels have been relatively low, a quick thaw coupled with heavy rainfall could result in a surge in water levels without warning. High tides assisted by non-prevailing winds as forecasted for the East coast may result in flooding and extreme danger on exposed piers and coastlines. The public should exercise caution and stay away from piers, harbours, seawalls and riverbanks.

Up to date weather event information can be viewed on www.gov.ie

Owen Medland, RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager said, ‘ It’s been a tough few days for the country and people will want to get out and about as soon as the weather moderates. ‘Many people rescued by RNLI lifeboat crews had no intention of entering the water in the first place. All too often, people’s first instinct when they see someone in trouble in the water is to go in after them. If you see someone in danger, dial 112 and ask for the Coast Guard straight away. Look for a ring buoy or something that floats that they can hold on to and throw it out to them.’

Irish Coast Guard Search and Rescue Operations Manager Gerard O’Flynn added, “The advice of the Coast Guard is simple, Stay Back, Stay High Stay Dry. Coast Guard teams around the country have been very busy providing support to the emergency services over the past few days. Please heed the warnings and be mindful of the risk posed by a surge in river levels following the expected thaw and be mindful of the risks on exposed coastal areas”.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Crosshaven RNLI volunteers led an inter agency rescue yesterday evening (Thursday 22 February) after being diverted from exercise to a person who had fallen on rocks at Fountainstown and was found in a serious condition by a member of the public. 

The lifeboat, commanded by Aidan O’Connor with Norman Jackson, Jenna O’Shea and Georgia Keating were only a few minutes from the incident when tasked by Valentia Marine Rescue centre, and were first on scene.

Due to darkness and a rocky shore, Aidan O’Connor elected to swim in to shore with the first aid kit. Aidan continued to administer first aid until members of the Crosshaven Fire service, Crosshaven Coast Guard and an ambulance arrived. After further medical intervention, the casualty was then stretchered over the rocks to a waiting ambulance. The lifeboat returned to station at 10pm. 

Lifeboat Operations Manager, Patsy Fegan, said that “The casualty was extremely lucky to have been found by a member of the public. The outcome, if he had remained there overnight would be very different. Always tell somebody where you are going and what time you will be back."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Volunteer lifeboat crew with Red Bay RNLI were called out this evening (Thursday 28 December) to reports that two walkers were stranded on the Boulder Field at Fair Head, Antrim, in freezing temperatures. Red Bay RNLI located the missing walkers and illuminated the scene before the coastguard helicopter which had flown in from Scotland was able to winch them to safety. 

Red Bay RNLI was requested to launch at 5.10pm when a third walker was able to get to safety and raise the alarm for the stranded walkers on Fair Head. With temperatures plummeting, Red Bay RNLI launched both their lifeboats and when on scene at Fair Head, illuminated the Boulder Field.

With the strong searchlight from the lifeboat directed onto the cliff face the two walkers were quickly identified around 150 metres up from the sea. The lifeboat guided the coastguard helicopter to the walkers and they were then winched to safety. 

Commenting on the callout Red Bay RNLI Coxswain Paddy McLaughlin said, ‘we would strongly advise people to think twice about walking or hiking on difficult terrain in freezing temperatures. Every year we answer a number of callouts to walkers or hikers on Fair Head but in this weather the risks are even greater. The surface is very slippy and difficult to navigate and access to the area can be quite challenging for search and rescues crews.’ 

‘We are always on call to help those in trouble or difficulty and thankfully this time one of the group was able to raise the alarm.’

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