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It was a busy weekend for RNLI lifeboats in Arklow, Larne and Kilmore Quay which each had callouts over the Easter period.

Arklow RNLI launched on Sunday afternoon (21 April) to assist a jetski in difficulty following a launch request from the Irish Coast Guard at 3.15pm.

The volunteer lifeboat crew left their families on Easter Sunday to answer the callout, bringing the all-weather lifeboat Ger Tigchlearr just north of Arklow Harbour where the casualty vessel had been reported adrift and without power.

The jetski, with two people aboard, was quickly located off the back of Arklow's North Pier, dangerously close to the rocky shoreline.

The two people aboard were immediately recovered onto the lifeboat and a line was secured to the jetski to tow it back to shore.

In Larne, RNLI volunteers were called out twice on Sunday evening to people in difficulty.

In the first callout, both the all-weather and inshore lifeboats were called to aid two kayakers who had overturned near Browns Bay just off Islandmagee.

Larne RNLI launched into a calm sea at 5,45pm with the inshore lifeboat, Terry, tasked to bring the kayakers safely to shore, while the all-weather lifeboat Dr John McSparran was tasked to recover the kayaks left behind.

After a successful recovery of both casualties and their equipment, Larne RNLI helm Pamela Leitch noted: “The two kayakers were wearing buoyancy aids; they also remembered to stay with their kayaks which made it easier for us to identify them and bring them ashore.”

The second callout involved the all-weather lifeboat towing a 26ft sailing boat which had run aground at the East Maidens lighthouse.

One of the two people onboard had asked to dock close to the Maidens so they could have a look around. However, while they were the docked the tide ebbed and the boat was left on rocks.

The remaining crew member was able to use their VHF radio to call for assistance from Belfast Coastguard, who requested the launch of the all-weather lifeboat.

When Larne’s volunteers reached the boat, they found that it had moved off the rocks and that no damage had occurred to the hull.

However, it was suggested that the casualty boat follow the all-weather lifeboat into Larne to assess any further damage.

As both boats were making their way into the Port of Larne, a tow line was established as the casualty vessel was experiencing some engine troubles. The vessel was then towed to a mooring at East Antrim Boat Club.

Meanwhile, in Kilmore Quay, the local RNLI lifeboat was alerted by Dublin Coast Guard at 5.25pm that an 11m boat with two people on board had lost engine power three-and-a-half miles south of Bag-N-Bun Head to the west of Kilmore Quay.

Conditions were near calm at the time with restricted visibility due to coastal fog. Visibility was down to one tenth of a mile at times.

The volunteer crew made best speed towards the casualty vessel, arriving alongside twenty minutes later. A tow line was passed over and the vessel was towed back to Kilmore Quay, which took just under an hour to complete.

The four Easter Sunday callouts came after Saturday launches for Courtmasherry RNLI, to a Spanish-bound yacht in distress, and Carrybridge RNLI, to two boats in difficulty on Upper Lough Erne.

“Given the fantastic weather we’ve had this weekend, we’ve seen higher numbers of people coming back to the beaches and putting their boats and other craft back in the water, earlier than usual,” said Mark Corcoran, community safety officer at Arklow RNLI.

“We’d like to remind people to always respect the water, wear a lifejacket and carry a means of calling for help when going out on the water.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#Lifeboats - Arklow RNLI launched on Tuesday (2 April) to assist a vessel in distress following a request from the Irish Coast Guard and a pager alert at 3.20pm.

The volunteer crew left their jobs and normal workday behind and within minutes of the alert were aboard the lifeboat Ger Tigchlearr and under way to the reported position, some nine miles south east of Arklow and close to the offshore Arklow sand banks.

The casualty boat, a fishing vessel, had reported engine failure and was adrift, unable to anchor.

As the lifeboat made its way to the location, fellow Arklow RNLI coxswains and crew members who were at work aboard a wind turbine transfer and maintenance vessel heard the radio request for assistance.

The work vessel was closer to the stricken fishing boat, which was by now approximately half a mile from the sandbanks and in real danger of being wrecked in the prevailing westerly wind and moderate sea conditions.

Following a consultation with the lifeboat coxswain, the workboat crew were able to get a line safely aboard the vessel and tow it away from the sandbanks for a time.

As this was in progress, the lifeboat arrived on scene and its crew set up their own tow to bring the vessel and three aboard back home to Arklow.

Following the callout, Mark Corcoran, community safety officer at Arklow RNLI, said: “Thanks to the quick thinking and actions of our volunteers who were at work on the wind turbine vessel, Arklow RNLI was in the happy position to tow this fishing vessel and her crew of three to safety.

“We would remind people to respect the water and always wear a lifejacket and carry a means of calling for help when going out on the water.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#Rowing: Ireland crews reached multiple A Finals and had two fifth-place finishes at the World Coastal Rowing Championships in Sidney, Victoria in Canada.

 The Myross men’s coxed quadruple of Kenny McCarthy, Vincent Browne, Andy O’Sullivan and James Lupton, with cox Ciara Deasy, finished fifth in their A Final. The race was won by Italy, who were well clear of second-placed Monaco, with France One taking bronze.  

 In the final of the men’s single, Patrick Boomer was also well placed behind the winner Eduardo Linares Ruiz. The Peruvian took the lead before half way and held on to dethrone Italy’s defending champion, Simone Martini, who took bronze. Lars Wichert of Germany was second.

 Boomer, who was representing Loughros Point of Donegal, was fifth, well in touch with the medallists.  

 Ireland's women's crews also did well. Castletownbere's coxed quad of Emily Dulohery, Cliona O'Regan, Orla Gilsenan, Miriam Sheehan and cox Carmel Connolly finished sixth. Russia won from Spain and Monaco.

 Diana Dymchenko of the Ukraine won the women’s single. Sionna Healy of Arklow was eighth and Laura O’Neill of Kilmacsimon 12th.

World Coastal Rowing Championships, Sidney, Victoria, Canada (Selected Results; Irish interest)

Men

Quadruple, coxed: 1 Italy (CC Saturnia) 22 mins 14 secs, 2 Monaco, 3 France One; 5 Myross, Ireland (K McCarthy, V Browne, A O’Sullivan, J Lupton; cox: C Deasy) 23:46.9.

Single: 1 Peru (E Linares Ruiz) 26:30.2, 2 Germany Two, 3 Italy; 5 Ireland One, Loughros Point (P Boomer) 27:23.4.

Women

Quadruple, coxed: 1 Russia 25:18.0, 2 Spain One, 3 Monaco; 6 Castletownbere, Ireland (E Dulohery, C O’Regan, O Gilsenan, M Sheehan; cox: C Connolly) 27:56.

Single – 1 Ukraine (D Dymchenko) 28:56.7, 2 Netherlands, 3 France Two; 8 Ireland One (S Healy, Arklow) 31.38.2; 12 Ireland Three (L O’Neill, Kilmacsimon) 33:25.1.

Published in Coastal Rowing

#Lifeboats - Arklow’s volunteer RNLI crew rescued four people in two separate callouts over the weekend.

The first launch was on Saturday afternoon (6 October) to a yacht which had gotten into difficulty and was without power about one mile east of Arklow harbour.

Three crew and their vessel were towed safely back to Arklow.

The second callout came in the early hours of Sunday morning (7 October) when the Arklow lifeboat launched at 2.30am to a report of a person in the water in the harbour.

Thanks to witnesses on scene as well as local gardaí and coastguard officers, the casualty was located and thrown a life ring to keep them afloat till the lifeboat arrived minutes later.

Once out of the water, the casualty was taken to hospital by ambulance.

“We would like to extend our thanks to the members of the public who alerted the coastguard and the local gardaí to this incident,” said Mark Corcoran, community safety officer at Arklow RNLI.

“Without this early call for help and assistance during the rescue, this callout could have ended very differently.”

Arklow RNLI reminds the public to people to respect the water – always wear a lifejacket and to carry a means of calling for help when going out on or near the water.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#Lifeboats - Arklow RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat crew left their Sunday lunch on 23 September to attend to a fishing vessel in difficulty east of Cahore Point in Co Wexford.

Once the vessel and its crew of three were located, it was established that while it had power, it could not make any headway due to its propeller being fouled with fishing gear.

The lifeboat volunteers rigged a tow line and set up for a long slow tow home to Arklow. All hands came ashore safely some five hours later.

Mark Corcoran, community safety officer at Arklow RNLI, said: “We would like to remind people to respect the water and always wear a lifejacket and carry a means of calling for help when going out on the water.”

The previous evening, Skerries RNLI was tasked to another fishing vessel which suffered mechanical failure and lost engine power less than half a mile north of Skerries harbour.

The struggling 22m fishing boat, with a crew of seven on board, was well lit and visible from the shore so the Atlantic 85 lifeboat Louis Simson made its way quickly alongside.

With the fishing vessel drifting dangerously close to the shore, it was decided to establish a tow to bring safely alongside the harbour.

Speaking about the callout, volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: “This was quite a large vessel for us to take under tow, but the conditions were very fair on the night and the Atlantic 85 was very much up to the job.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#Rowing: Myross won the men’s quadruple, while Sionna Healy of Arklow took the women’s single on the second day of the Irish Offshore Rowing Championships in Kerry. It was a good event overall for Arklow. They won the men’s and women's doubles on Saturday, while on Sunday – which featured races deferred because of disruptive winds – they won the mixed doubles, through Alan Goodison and Andrea Kinsella.  

Irish Offshore Championships, Kerry

Saturday

Men

Double: Arklow (J Whooley, A Goodison) 20.17.

Single: Loughros Point, Donegal (P Boomer).

Women

Quadruple: Killorglin (E O’Donovan, A Tyther, K Boyle, R O’Donoghue; D Leahy) 22:48.

Double: Arklow (R Ireson, MA Kent).

Sunday

Men

Quadruple: Myross (V Browne, K McCarthy, J Lupton, A O’Sullivan; C Deasy) 17:12.

Women

Single: Arklow (S Healy) 24:32.

Mixed

Double: Arklow (A Goodison, A Kinsella) 18:53.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Patrick Boomer won the single sculls at the Irish Offshore Championships at O’Carroll’s Cove near Caherdaniel in Kerry. Boomer represented Loughros Point in Donegal and hopes to go on to row for them at the World Coastal Rowing Championships in Canada in October.

 John Whooley of Skibbereen won a title – for Arklow. The Corkman teamed up with Alan Goodison to take the men’s double.

 Kerry club Killorglin won the women’s quadruple and Arklow the women’s double.

 The final of the men’s quadruple, the women’s single and the mixed double will take place on Sunday as the wind made conditions unsuitable on Saturday.

Irish Offshore Championships, Kerry

Men

Double: Arklow (J Whooley, A Goodison) 20.17.

Single: Loughros Point, Donegal (P Boomer).

Women

Quadruple: Killorglin (E O’Donovan, A Tyther, K Boyle, R O’Donoghue; D Leahy) 22:48.

Double: Arklow (R Ireson, MA Kent).

Published in Coastal Rowing

#RNLI - Following a pager alert by the Irish Coast Guard at 7.28am yesterday morning (Monday 27 August) Arklow RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat was launched to reports of a fishing vessel in difficulty.

Within a few minutes, the Ger Tigchelarr and her volunteer crew were en route to the casualty vessel some four miles south of Arklow.

Once on scene, the volunteer lifeboat crew were able to ascertain that the vessel had suffered machinery failure and needed assistance.

A tow line was set up and the vessel and its crew of three was towed back to Arklow where all hands came ashore safely.

Following the callout, Arklow RNLI community safety officer Mark Corcoran said: “Following these incidents, it’s important to stress to all who go on or in the water the importance of having a means of calling for help. The earlier our crews can get to the casualty, the better the outcome.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - Clifden RNLI’s D class lifeboat Celia Mary was on exercise at Glassilaun Beach for the annual sports day on Sunday (12 August) when it was alerted to a group of people cut off by the tide.

The inshore lifeboat proceeded to Illamore Island after the alert at 3.50pm. On approaching the island, they saw a woman up to her chest in the water holding onto a child who was visibly in distress.

The six-year-old child was immediately brought onboard the lifeboat followed by her mother. Both were wet, cold, frightened and extremely happy to finally be in safe hands.

Both casualties were given survivors lifejackets and a crew member gave the child his warm helmet. Her mother had a jacket which she wrapped around her to keep the wind off.

The lifeboat crew spotted one more adult and four children stranded on top of some rocks. They were also cut off by the rising tide, but not in immediate danger.

The woman recovered to the lifeboat indicated that she was the mother of two of the children still on the rocks. The crew brought another child on board the lifeboat, placing a lifejacket and helmet on her.

After that the lifeboat proceeded to the beach where the crew collected the casualties’ belongings, leaving crew member David O’Reilly with the four still cut off by the tide.

The casualties on board the lifeboat were then returned to the safety of the shore, and went back for the remaining four. The callout was complete at 5pm and the lifeboat was ready for service from Clifden at 7pm.

Elsewhere, Arklow RNLI’s lifeboat was launched at 2.04pm yesterday (Monday 13 August) following a pager alert to a kitesurfer and windsurfer both reported to be in difficulty south of Mizen Head.

With strong tides in the area, Arklow RNLI proceeded to the scene. Upon arrival, the lifeboat crew were made aware that the casualties had made it ashore safely and the lifeboat was stood down.

Following the callout, Mark Corcoran, Arklow RNLI’s volunteer press officer and community safety officer, said: “Thanks to the quick thinking of the local beach lifeguard, our lifeboat was launched early enough to be on scene to assist if necessary.

“People should never hesitate in calling us out. Before going out people need to check the tides and weather and make themselves aware of local hazards and always carry a mean of calling for help.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI#RNLI - Arklow RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat launched on Saturday evening (9 June) following a report of a lone swimmer in difficulty and being carried out to sea.

A concerned member of the public had been out walking at North Quay when they spotted the swimmer.

After alerting fishermen at the end of the North Pier, they called 999 an alerted the coastguard, who in turn tasked Arklow RNLI to launch at 10.22pm.

The lifeboat and her crew were underway and en route to the casualty within minutes. Some fishermen and others on the quayside maintained eye contact with the swimmer and were able to give the lifeboat volunteers assistance with location.

In rapidly darkening but calm conditions, the lifeboat crew located the casualty around a quarter mile south of Arklow Harbour, and were able to recover the now tiring swimmer using the rescue A-frame.

The casualty was brought ashore at Arklow lifeboat station and was handed over to the care of the waiting ambulance crew and gardaí. The swimmer was found to be in good spirits and was brought home a short time later.

“We would like to thank the member of the public and the fishermen who were out on North Quay last night,” said Mark Corcoran, community safety officer at Arklow RNLI. “Their early call for help allowed our volunteers to be able to make good time in getting to and recovering this casualty.

“We would like to encourage people to always remember to carry a means of calling for help and if they do spot anyone in the water who might be in difficulty to always call 999 or 112 and ask for coastguard.”

The RNLI recently launched its 2018 national drowning prevention campaign, Respect the Water, which is now in its fifth year of encouraging the public to fight their instincts upon contact with cold water and learn to FLOAT:

  • Fight your instinct to panic or swim hard
  • Lean back in the water to keep your airway clear
  • Open your body up, extend your arms and legs, pushing your stomach up
  • Actions: gently move your hands and feet to help you float
  • Time: in 60-90 seconds you’ll be able to control your breathing
Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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