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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

Aran Islands RNLI has encouraged the public to always call for help when they believe they’ve seen someone in distress at sea.

The message follows a callout across Galway Bay to Rossaveal in Connemara last night (Monday 5 October) that turned out to be a false alarm with good intent.

The volunteer crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 7.45pm to reports of a flare sighting near Great Mans’ Bay, amid choppy seas with a two-metre swell and 22-knot northwesterly winds.

The crew were joined in the search by Costello Bay Coast Guard and the Shannon-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 115.

But after an extensive search of the area by all three rescue services working together, the operation was stood down.

“Thankfully the call out was a false alarm with good intent,” said Aran Islands RNLI press officer Lena O’Connell.

“It is always better to be safe than sorry. The volunteer crew members didn't hesitate to get the lifeboat to the search area as quickly as possible.

“We would remind everyone if you see someone in trouble or see a distress signal, don’t hesitate to call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The Volunteer crew of Youghal RNLI were requested to launch this evening at 5.20 pm to reports of a lady cut off by a rising tide near the pier at Knockadoon.

The Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat arrived on the scene at 5.32 pm and quickly located the lady on the rocks cut off by the rising tide. One of the lifeboat crew entered the water and swam ashore to the woman, staying with her until Rescue helicopter 117 arrived on the scene a few minutes later. The lady was then airlifted to safety and handed over to the awaiting Coast Guard unit. She was assessed by the Coast Guard and no medical attention was needed.

Weather conditions were calm with good visibility.

Speaking after the shout Mark Nolan, Youghal RNLI volunteer Deputy Launching Authority said: ‘Tide times and heights can vary and can easily catch you out. Tidal cut off can be dangerous so we would remind everyone before they head out to make sure it’s safe and to check tide tables. While you are out it is important to be aware of your surroundings and the tide’s direction. Should you get into difficulty dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard’.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Kayakers have been urged to always carry some means of attracting attention in an emergency, such as flares or a torch.

The call from the RNLI came after an incident off Somerset in the UK last month in which two kayakers were swept out into the Bristol Channel by strong currents in choppy waters.

Lifeboat volunteers from Minehead RNLI, joined by a rescue helicopter from HM Coastguard, had difficulty determining the kayakers’ location as darkness fell fast on the evening of Wednesday 2 September.

“Even when the helicopter found them and illuminated the area we couldn’t see them until we were about 30 yards away,” said lifeboat helm Phil Sanderson.

The two casualties, clad in T-shirts, were found cold but unharmed by their ordeal amid “nasty” conditions.

Minehead RNLI’s Chris Rundle added: “We would stress the importance of kayakers preparing for all eventualities by wearing proper clothing and buoyancy aids.

“And above all they should always carry some means of attracting attention, such as a flare pack or a good waterproof torch.

“It’s only a small investment but one which could make all the difference between life and death.”

Published in Rescue
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Portrush RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat launched to reports of a yacht in difficulty off Rathlin Island in Northern Ireland last night (Friday 2 October).

The volunteer crew were in the water just before 9pm, half an hour after paging, and headed to the location of the single-handed yachtsman four miles north-west of Rathlin in moderate to rough seas.

Cox Dave Robinson and his crew arrived on scene at 10pm and established that the yachtsman was able to manoeuvre himself into Rathlin Harbour, on the island off mainland Co Antrim, but requested their guidance.

“The yachtsman did the right thing in contacting the coastguard as he was experiencing some difficulties getting into harbour, and we were glad to provide the support,” said Portrush’s new lifeboat operations manager Beni McAllister.

“We would prefer that people were safe than sorry and would ask that they dial 999 and ask for the coastguard if help is required.”

The RNLI and HM Coastguard have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that lays out each organisation’s responsibilities for search and rescue operations in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

John Payne, director of lifesaving operations for the RNLI, and HM Coastguard director Claire Hughes met at Dover Lifeboat Station yesterday (Thursday 1 October) to sign the MOU which the UK coastguard service says demonstrates both sides’ “commitment to joint working and building on what is a very positive relationship”.

It’s hoped the agreement will bear fruit in terms of joint training and regular communication that will ultimately save lives around the UK’s coastlines and inland waters.

“The close working relationship we have with the RNLI is very special and the signing of this MOU exhibits our continued collaboration and dedication to preventing loss of life at sea and along the coast,” Hughes said.

Payne added: “The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea and our close co-operation with our tasking agency in the UK, HM Coastguard, helps to make this possible.

“Our volunteer lifeboat crews and staff work side-by-side on search and rescue operations with HM Coastguard teams up and down the UK’s coastline and we are pleased to officially recognise this relationship.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Tuesday 13 October at 8pm is the date and time for your TV diary to see the volunteer crew of Lough Derg RNLI feature in the current series of Saving Lives at Sea on BBC Two.

Viewers will see Lough Derg’s lifeboat crew rescue a man who fell overboard in rough weather and an eerie night time launch in fog, alongside rescue stories from their colleagues at other stations and beaches around our coasts.

Saving Lives at Sea features real-life rescue footage captured on helmet cameras gives a frontline view of how the RNLI’s lifesavers risk their own lives as they go to the aid of those in danger at sea.

That’s accompanied by emotive interviews from the volunteer lifeboat crews and lifeguards from around Ireland and the UK, alongside the people they rescue and their families.

Lough Derg’s upcoming profile follows on from Lough Ree lifesavers’ appearance in last year’s series of the hit TV documentary, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

And in next week's episode, the volunteer crew of Skerries RNLI will feature with their rescue of a teenage paddle boarder who was blown out to sea.

“It’s great that we can showcase the lifesaving work of RNLI volunteers in a TV programme like this,” said Lough Derg helm Eleanor Hooker.

“In recent months, the pandemic has presented RNLI volunteers with additional challenges, but we’ve continued to maintain a 24/7 search and rescue service.

“This year, due to Covid, fundraising events have been cancelled and we’ve seen a drop in our charitable income. Without the generous support and donations from the public, we wouldn’t be able to save lives at sea.

“It’s great that with the Saving Lives at Sea programme our supporters can see what we do out on a shout, and from the comfort of their own home. We need their support more than ever during these challenging times.”

Saving Lives at Sea is broadcast Tuesdays at 8pm on BBC Two, NI, and viewers in the UK can also watch the series on demand following broadcast on the BBC iPlayer.

Published in Maritime TV

Lifesavers at the RNLI are encouraging people to support them by signing up to host a Fish Supper this October or donate the price of fish and chips to raise vital funds for the lifesaving charity.

The RNLI's annual fishy fundraiser encourages people to host a Fish Supper during the month of October with donations being made in support of the lifesaving charity or if they prefer, to donate the price of a fish and chip supper.

With restrictions in place due to the Coronavirus pandemic, this year's Fish Supper event is a bit different. Therefore, the RNLI is encouraging people to host their Fish Supper online this year, if they can't have it with their household. Of course, if people prefer, they can always donate the price of a fish and chip supper online.

With the Coronavirus pandemic having a huge impact on the RNLI's ability to generate income, fundraising events like Fish Supper are more important than ever.

To give people some ideas, award-winning chef Derry Clarke, of L'Ecrivain restaurant has generously shared some of his favourite fish recipes and even accompanied them with a specially recorded video. Derry and Sallyanne Clarke are huge supporters of the work of the RNLI and Derry even wore his lifeboats t-shirt in the video.

Scallops

Mussels

The charity's lifeboat crews have faced an incredibly busy summer as people flocked to the coast and inland waters when restrictions eased. To sign up to host your own Fish Supper, and to find a load of fantastic recipes from some top celebrity chefs, visit: RNLI.org/Fish

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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A Wexford family has expressed thanks to the volunteers of Kilmore Quay RNLI who brought them to safety earlier this summer when their pleasure craft got into difficulty.

James Kehoe and his grandchildren Aisling, 13, Emily, 9, and Orla, 7, were rescued when their 7m boat broke down having sustained engine failure in Ballyteigue Bay, half a mile north west of Forlorn Point in county Wexford. The lifeboat under Coxswain Aidan Bates, went to the family’s aid and towed the vessel safely back to Kilmore Quay.

Such was seven-year-old Orla’s delight at being rescued by the lifeboat, she has since created a scrapbook about her adventure.

Emily, Aisling and OrlaEmily, Aisling and Orla

It also transpires that the family have a close RNLI connection with James’ late father and the girls’ great grandfather, Jimmy Kehoe, a former station mechanic who was awarded a Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum, by the RNLI, for his part in a dangerous rescue off the Saltee Islands 63 years ago.

Jimmy was one of seven crew members on the Kilmore Quay lifeboat Ann Isabella Pyemont, which successfully rescued 10 seamen from the ill-stricken French trawler Augusta Mariste, in a fresh south to southwesterly gale with gusts at times of Force 10, in Ballyteigue Bay on the 19 December 1957.

Kilmore Quay RNLI Coxswain Aidan Bates said: ‘We were delighted to be able to help the family during the summer and tow the vessel back to safety. It was lovely to hear that Orla went to such efforts to create a scrapbook about the rescue and to be reminded of the girls' great-grandfather Jimmy, one of seven former Kilmore Quay RNLI volunteers who were deservedly recognised for their selfless bravery and courage all those years ago.’

OrlaOrla

James Kehoe, skipper of the boat and the girls’ grandfather said: ‘It was good to experience the professionalism of the lifeboat crew through the eyes of my seven-year-old granddaughter Orla who took such a personal interest in the operation from start to finish.

‘When at sea with small children and the unexpected happens, it is so important to do the right thing. A good ship to shore communications system enabled me to contact Rosslare Coast Guard Radio – which is manned 24/7 – give my exact position and explain the situation. There is an instant response and the system works flawlessly.

‘Kilmore Quay RNLI has a proud history going back several generations. The current incredibly powerful all-weather boat is state of the art in terms of nautical sophistication. We always need to bear in mind that the service is manned by men and women who volunteer as crew members and who are prepared to take to the sea on a rescue mission in the most appalling weather conditions. Nothing will deter them in a real-life threatening emergency.

‘It is so important to remember that this incredible service is funded by voluntary donations. This year Covid-19 has meant the cancellation of the annual Lifeboat Day which is a significant fundraising event for the RNLI so next time you see that lifeboat box on a shop counter – be generous.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Tramore RNLI’s lifeboat volunteers were tasked to the aid of a female swimmer in difficulty at the Guillamene cove in Co Waterford yesterday afternoon (Sunday 27 September).

The inshore lifeboat was lunched at 1.55pm and within eight minutes was at the scene, where three people had been swimming near the rocks.

Easily identifiable by her yellow swimming hat, as WLR FM reports, the casualty had suffered a cramp and her companions swam back to shore to raise the alarm.

The woman was recovered from the water and on further medical attention was necessary.

Fergal McGrath, one of the helms at Tramore RNLI, said later: “This was our 23rd shout this year, making it our busiest year to date.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Aberdeen’s two RNLI lifeboats launched minutes apart around 9am this morning (Sunday 27 September) to a report of two surfers in danger at the entrance to Aberdeen Harbour in Eastern Scotland.

It emerged that the surfers had paddled out beyond the surf line and were being swept further and further offshore — the tide and wind preventing them from making their way back.

First on scene was the inshore lifeboat Buoy Woody with her crew of three, having been guided to the precise location — around half a mile offshore at the Footdee end of Aberdeen Beach — by coastguard volunteers ashore.

The two experienced surfers were uninjured but said they were both exhausted, having been in the water for almost two hours. They and their equipment were taken aboard the lifeboat to be returned to shore.

However, with the tide approaching high water, violent surf running up the beach, and the lifeboat RIB loaded to capacity, it was decided to transfer the surfers to the all-weather lifeboat Bon Accord which had arrived in the calmer water beyond the surf line.

Cal Reed, Aberdeen lifeboat’s coxswain on this service, says: “The member of the public who made the initial phone call did the right thing: if you think you see someone in difficulty at sea, always call 999 and ask for the coastguard.”

Elsewhere, on Friday afternoon (25 September) Belfast Coastguard in Northern Ireland requested Troon RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat to assist Arran RNLI with a vessel it had taken under tow to Ardrossan in Western Scotland with its Atlantic 85 inshore vessel.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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