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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

The RNLI recorded one of their more unusual launches yesterday evening (Saturday 17 October) after a World War II-era seaplane made a distress call from Loch Ness.

It emerged that the aircraft, the PBY Catalina, had experienced engine issues while attempting to take off from the loch in the Scottish Highlands.

With the plane sitting exposed in the middle of the water, not far from Loch Ness RNLI’s lifeboat station, it was decided the safest way to assist would be to establish a tow with the inshore lifeboat RIB to the shelter of Urquhart Bay close by.

Typing up at a harbour or pontoon was ruled out, however, due to the flying boat’s massive 32-metre wingspan — so a mooring buoy was decided as the best option.

Lifeboat crew member David Ferguson later spoke of the challenges involved in towing a craft as big and unusual as this.

“Towing the Catalina would prove to be no easy feat,” he said. “Fixing points are few and far between on such an aircraft, and the best option was underneath the tail, which barely cleared the bow of the lifeboat.

“Nevertheless, with some care, we managed to establish a towline.”

Elsewhere in Scotland this weekend, Oban RNLI in Western Scotland launched on Friday evening (16 October) after a small boat was reported drifting through the Falls of Lora.

With a flooding tide and strong currents from the falls, it was believed the boat had been carried into Loch Etive, which is where Oban’s all-weather lifeboat Mora Edith MacDonald headed to conduct the search.

The lifeboat searched the area the boat was seen drifting towards, but with nothing found they continued further into the loch where they spotted the boat adrift to the west of Ardchattan church.

The unoccupied boat was then taken under tow to a nearby nearby pier where it was recovered by Oban’s HM Coastguard team.

Published in Scottish Waters
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Skerries RNLI recently launched to the rescue of a yacht with one person aboard that was adrift in the Skerries Islands.

The incident occurred on Thursday morning 15 October, when the yacht made a VHF distress call that was relayed to the local lifeboat by the Irish Coast Guard in Dublin.

Lifeboat volunteers launched the Atlantic 85 inshore vessel Louis Simson shortly before 10am and headed to the reported location, some two miles east of the islands.

As they rounded the headland at Red Island, however, they spotted an eight-metre yacht between Colt Island and Shenick Island that did not seem to be making way.

The crew checked on this yacht in case the initial information given to the coastguard had not been accurate, and it was quickly determined to be the same vessel.

It emerged that the yacht’s engine had suffered a “sudden and complete” loss of oil pressure, so a tow was established and the vessel was bright to the safety of Rogerstown harbour — where it has already been schedueld for lift-out for the winter months.

Speaking after the callout, Skerries RNLI press officer Gerry Canning said: “Things can go wrong at sea no matter how prepared you are. Always carry a means of contacting the shore to raise the alarm, like this gentleman did.

“Our volunteers are always ready to respond to that call.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The team at Fenit RNLI in County Kerry is calling for new volunteers to help them to save lives at sea.

The charity is looking for volunteers to take up the Deputy Launching Authority role at the station. This role will authorise the launch of the station’s all-weather and inshore lifeboats, provide leadership in the absence of the Lifeboat Operations Manager and oversee that all operational activities are carried out to ensure the lifeboats and all associated equipment are maintained in readiness for launching on service.

Fenit RNLI is seeking team players with leadership skills and local maritime knowledge. The role is best suited to those who live within good proximity of the lifeboat station.

The call-out follows Fenit's welcome of the first female appointment of a Lifeboat Coxswain in Ireland in September. 

Fenit RNLI which re-opened in 1994, after a gap of 25 years, and today operates both an all-weather Trent class lifeboat and an inshore D class lifeboat, launched its lifeboats 27 times last year bringing 28 people to safety.

Ger O’Donnell, Fenit RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager is now calling on new volunteers to find out more: ‘Volunteering with us gives people the opportunity to make a real difference in their local community, to save lives and become part of the larger RNLI family. We can’t keep people safe without the support of our wonderful volunteers, who truly make a difference every day no matter which role they are fulfilling.

‘Becoming a volunteer Deputy Launching Authority is a great chance to play a crucial part in helping to save lives. We are looking for enthusiastic people who are willing to offer some of their free time to join what I believe to be, one of the most rewarding voluntary services that is out there. Every volunteer receives first-class training from the RNLI and learns new skills which can benefit them in many walks of life. Full training will be supplied to ensure Deputy Launching Authorities can authorise the launch of our lifeboats, provide the necessary leadership for our volunteer crew and ensure that all operational activities are carried out to maintain the lifeboats and equipment for launching on a call out.’

Anyone interested in finding out more or wants to apply is asked to email Rob King, Area Lifesaving Manager at [email protected] or Fenit RNLI at [email protected]

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Fethard RNLI responded to two incidents in a 24-hour period over the weekend after two vessels, each with two people onboard, got into difficulty in the Waterford estuary.

The first call-out came on Friday evening (9 October), when the volunteer crew were requested to launch their inshore lifeboat by the Irish Coast Guard at 5.15 pm and go to the aid of a Bayliner cruiser with two people on board that had suffered mechanical issues. The vessel had lost power and found itself in difficulty.

Fethard RNLI’s D-Class lifeboat launched from Duncannon Beach and the crew were soon alongside the casualty vessel. There were calm waters at the time and a Force 3 westerly wind. The crew assessed the situation and found that those onboard were safe and well. A towline was then established, and the vessel was towed to the safety of Dunmore East Harbour.

Second call out

A second call out came on Saturday afternoon (10 October) when the Irish Coast Guard requested the lifeboat to go to the aid of a 35ft vessel that had ran aground at the spider buoy near King’s Bay. Dunmore East RNLI’s all-weather Trent class lifeboat was also requested to launch. Due to the size of the vessel, it was decided that it should stay and await a flooding tide to get it off the sandbank. The crew of Fethard lifeboat assisted the two-person crew by deploying their anchor. The vessel was secured and remained there until it was safely able to move on when there was enough water.

Speaking after the call outs, Mark Brennan, Fethard RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘We were happy to help the crew of both boats at the weekend. Situations can change very quickly at sea and mechanical failure is one of the main reasons for RNLI call outs. We would advise anyone out on the water to be prepared for an emergency by always wearing a lifejacket, checking your equipment before setting off, and always carrying some means of calling for help. Should you get into difficulty, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI all-weather lifeboat was launched this afternoon (Saturday 10 October) following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to assist four people on board a 36ft yacht, which had reported having mechanical issues while anchored just off Hawks Cliff in Dalkey.

The all-weather lifeboat was launched at 2:25 pm under Coxswain Mark McGibney with six crew members onboard and made its way to the scene arriving at 2:35 pm. The all-weather lifeboat took the vessel in tow and made its way back to Dun Laoghaire Harbour. While in tow it was reported that the vessel was taking on a significant amount of water and the issue found was resolved before continuing. Arriving in Dun Laoghaire Harbour the lifeboat crew used the lifeboats on board salvage pump to remove the excess water from the yacht before returning to the lifeboat station.

All onboard were wearing lifejackets and no medical attention was required.

Weather conditions at the time were described as good with a light wind and good visibility.

Speaking following the call out, Mark McGibney, Dun Laoghaire RNLI lifeboat Coxswain said: ‘The casualties did the correct thing today by calling for help and keeping themselves safely at anchor until our crew arrived on scene, what happened can happen to anyone and I would like to take this opportunity to remind everybody to make sure that their vessel engines and safety equipment are checked and in working order before taking to the water.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Galway man John Coyle has been recognised by the Queen in the Birthday Honours list for his role in helping the RNLI in its work to save lives at sea. John is to receive an OBE. A former Trustee of the RNLI and Chair of the RNLI’s Council in Ireland, John has been to the forefront of lifesaving on the island of Ireland. 

A graduate in Economics and Business from University College Dublin and The College d’Europe at Bruges, John Coyle is a former President of Galway Chamber of Commerce and Chambers Ireland, also holding the position of Vice Chair of Eurochambres. John has also worked in the agrochemical, Maritime, Tourism and Property sectors.

Throughout his business career and charity work, John has been committed to the strengthening of cross border business links and mutual cooperation.

In 2008 he was nominated by the Government to the Board of the Commissioners for Irish Lights - the entity charged with the maintenance of lighthouses and AIDS to Navigation for the entire Island of Ireland.

His relationship with the RNLI was a result of a lifelong interest in yachting and began through fundraising for the lifeboats on the west coast of Ireland before joining the Irish Council of the RNLI. John was then invited to join the UK Council of The RNLI before becoming a Trustee of the charity. His direct involvement with the RNLI spans some thirty-five years and continues to this day. 

In June 2019, he was appointed a Knight of the Sovereign Order of Malta and now he is to receive on OBE for his work with the charity. 

Speaking on the award, John Coyle said, ‘This is a tremendous honour and one, as a volunteer for the RNLI, I feel very proud to receive. The RNLI in Ireland is an all-island organisation and the spirit of co-operation that exists between Ireland and the UK continues to bring people together in their mission to save lives. A huge debt of thanks is due to all those who so generously continue to fundraise or donate to the RNLI, we could not continue without their support. 

Commenting on the honour, outgoing Chair of the RNLI’s Irish Council David Delamer added, ‘This is a wonderful tribute to John and recognition of many years of dedicated work. John is a man of great integrity and optimism. He has the great ability to be able to bring people with him and listen to what people need. He strives in all things for balance and fairness. John always works tirelessly and diligently, to help causes close to his heart, never seeking recognition but always gaining respect. 

RNLI Chief Executive, Mark Dowie said: ‘It is such a delight to see these RNLI people recognised for their hard work and commitment, particularly as we have had such a challenging year. Those who have been named in this year’s Birthday Honours truly represent the RNLI values. On behalf of everyone at the RNLI, I send my heartfelt congratulations and gratitude to all those who have been recognised.’

Published in Galway Harbour
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The team at Newcastle RNLI in Northern Ireland is calling for a new volunteer lifeboat press officer to help them to save lives at sea.

This role will help raise awareness of the RNLI through the promotion of the lifeboat station’s vital work, including newsworthy rescues carried out by the crew.

Newcastle RNLI is seeking someone who can produce and distribute regular new releases, be available to answer media enquiries, work to support media opportunities and facilitate interview requests.

The role is best suited to someone with good writing and communication skills, who lives locally and can be flexible with their time.

Lisa Ramsden, Newcastle RNLI’s lifeboat operations manager, said: “Volunteering with us gives people the opportunity to make a real difference in their local community, to save lives and become part of the larger RNLI family.

“We can’t keep people safe without the support of our wonderful volunteers, who truly make a difference every day no matter which role they are fulfilling.

“Becoming a volunteer lifeboat press officer is a great chance to play a crucial part in helping to save lives.

“We’re looking for an enthusiastic person with good writing and interpersonal skills and who enjoys working with people and at times under pressure to inform the media and update our community on the various lifesaving activities that are happening at the station from rescues to fundraising, community safety to events.”

Anyone interested in finding out more or wants to apply should follow the link to the RNLI website HERE.

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Aran Islands RNLI’s volunteer crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 4.43pm yesterday (Thursday 8 October) to assist a 38ft fishing vessel that was drifting “dangerously close” to Eagle Rock, just off Golam Head in Co Galway.

Under coxswain John O'Donnell and with a full crew, the lifeboat headed straight for the fishing vessel amid moderate conditions, with a two-metre sea swell.

Once on scene, lifeboat crew found that both people aboard the fishing vessel were in good health and observing coronavirus guidelines.

A tow line was set up and the lifeboat brought the casualty vessel to the safety of Rossaveal Harbour in Connemara.

Speaking after the callout, O’Donnell said: “This was a good outcome as the vessel was drifting dangerously close to Eagle Rock after losing the use of their engines.

“Our volunteer crew members never hesitate to get to the call as quickly as possible. If you see someone in trouble, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Wicklow all-weather RNLI lifeboat launched shortly before 11 pm this morning (Tuesday, 6 October) to assist in a multi-agency search for a missing person from a Dublin – Holyhead ferry.

Fifteen minutes after launching Wicklow lifeboat was re-tasked by the Coast Guard to assist a fishing vessel with machinery failure south of Greystones. The lifeboat under the command of Coxswain Nick Keogh located the stricken fishing vessel off Kilcoole at 11:20 am. Conditions at the scene were sea state moderate, with northwesterly wind force four.

A towline was quickly established, and the ten-metre fishing boat was taken in tow back to Wicklow harbour, where the four fishermen were landed safely ashore at lunchtime.

After refuelling and a crew change, Wicklow lifeboat returned to sea to resume a search for the missing sailor off the Wicklow Coast. The operation which involved RNLI lifeboats from Ireland and Wales, Coast Guard helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft from the Irish Air Corps and UK Coastguard, carried out a co-ordinated search covering a large area of the Irish sea.

The multi-agency operation ended late on Tuesday afternoon and Wicklow lifeboat returned to Station.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Clifden RNLI was delighted to accept the sum of €3,774 raised by the Connemara based Twelve Bens Cycling Club after a unique and testing fundraising challenge.

On Sunday, September 6th, 12 cyclists from the club undertook an innovative cycling challenge consisting of 12 laps of the 'Sky Road' loop, so-called due to its steep hill climbs along the well known scenic route.

Beginning and ending at the Clifden Bike Shop on Market St, the cyclists completed twelve laps of the 17-kilometre route which presented a testing 230 metres of elevation per lap.

On the Sky Road Loop at Clifden in aid of the local RNLIOn the Sky Road Loop at Clifden in aid of the local RNLI

The participating cyclists were Ciarán Hickey, Daniel King, Dara O Donoghue, Finian Sheridan, John Gallagher, John James Flaherty, Johnny King, Nick Finney, Rob King (RNLI Area Lifeboat Manager), Simon Ashe, Simon O' Hora and Willie O'Hora.

The group were joined by some support cyclists and stewards and a small outdoor gathering of socially distanced supporters to encourage them in their challenge, which they hoped to achieve in less than 12 hours.

Event organiser Simon O Hora said 'We came up with a challenge we could do locally as travelling for training wasn't an option due to Covid 19 restrictions. As a club, we wanted to do something that would push ourselves mentally and physically and one where we could see the sea on every lap-to remind us why we were doing it.

It was certainly challenging at times but ultimately it was a rewarding endeavour and we were really glad to have been able to raise this sum for the RNLI'.

Simon O Hora of the Twelve Bens Cycling Club presents Clifden RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager John Brittain with a cheque for €3774Simon O Hora of the Twelve Bens Cycling Club presents Clifden RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager John Brittain with a cheque for €3,774

A further €520 was collected in RNLI buckets on the day and the weary cyclists fully completed their epic challenge in 10 hours and 12 minutes.

Speaking on behalf of Clifden RNLI, Catherine Pryce said 'In this most challenging year for all charities, the Twelve Bens challenge has provided a very welcome donation to the local Clifden lifeboat crew. It was an extremely well-run event, all carried out within the necessary public health guidelines and we congratulate the cyclists on their achievement and thank all who donated for their ongoing support'.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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