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Volunteer lifeboat crews from Crosshaven and Ballycotton RNLI in Cork will share their own stories of how they got involved with the lifesaving charity on TV for RTÉ One’s Nationwide this coming Wednesday 18 December.

And the two stations will also carry out a joint exercise to recover an unconscious casualty from the water, as they appeal to the public to support the RNLI’s ‘Perfect Storm’ fundraising campaign.

In Crosshaven, local business owners Aoife Dinan, of Rejuvenate beauty salon, and Denis Cronin of the popular Cronin’s Bar both volunteer for the Cork Harbour village’s lifeboat crew.

Denis was a keen surfer before he volunteered for the lifeboat and now answers the pager by jumping on his pushbike and heading to the station a couple of minutes away.

Aoife and her partner lost a close friend to drowning and she is now an active member of the lifeboat crew, often running from her business to make callouts at the station.

Best friends Molly Murphy and Caoimhe Foster joined the lifeboat together when they were in fifth year in school. They speak about what it was like to rush out of the classroom and down to the lifeboat station for a callout and to leave their schoolmates behind.

Crosshaven RNLI volunteers and best friends Molly and Caoimhe face the RTÉ Nationwide camera | Photo: RNLI/Niamh StephensonCrosshaven RNLI volunteers and best friends Molly and Caoimhe face the RTÉ Nationwide camera | Photo: RNLI/Niamh Stephenson

Ballycotton RNLI crew member Alan Cott lost his brother Glynn when the Maggie B sank in 2006. He is very proud of his involvement with the lifeboat and is honouring the memory of his brother in the work he does to save lives at sea.

Speaking about the programme and the launch of the Perfect Storm appeal by the RNLI, area lifesaving manager Brian O’Driscoll said: “Our lifeboat crew are what is best in the RNLI. These men and women give up their time to train and launch lifeboats in all weathers and to all types of situations.

“Our thanks to the Nationwide team for visiting two of our Cork lifeboat stations and speaking to our volunteer lifeboat crew about why they do it and what they get out of it.

“Many people don’t realise that the RNLI is a charity and we depend on the generosity of the public to continue with our work saving lives at sea.

“Aoife, Denis, Alan, Molly and Caoimhe give their time and their passion to the RNLI and in return they get the training, skills and equipment to be able to help those in trouble at sea. We are very grateful for the support of the public and we don’t take it for granted.”

To support the RNLI’s Perfect Storm appeal this Christmas, helping to ensure the charity’s brave volunteers can continue saving lives at sea, visit RNLI.org/ThePerfectStorm

Published in Maritime TV

A four-day shark festival with a €250,000 prize fund is set to put Ballycotton on the sea angling map later this year.

In his latest Angling Notes for The Irish Times, Derek Evans says the Ballycotton Big Fish from 12-15 September will be the biggest festival of its kind in Europe.

The event is the brainchild of Ballycotton-born Pearse Flynn, an experienced deep-sea angler who was determined to attract the world’s top competitors to an East Cork town already renowned for its big fish records.

Prizes are set to be awarded for biggest shark landed, as well as for the boat that lands the greater number of sharks ever the course of the tournament.

But only big spending anglers need apply, as the entry fee is a whopping €5,000 per head.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Angling

#RNLI - Baltimore RNLI launched yesterday morning (Tuesday 11 September) to a swimmer reported missing on a swim from Skibbereen to Baltimore in West Cork.

The inshore lifeboat was called to search the Ilen River for the swimmer after a safety boat lost visual contact with him during a squall north of Inishbeg.

Within an hour they were joined by the all-weather lifeboat to search the narrower channels of the river. Toe Head Coast Guard and the Shannon-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 115 also assisted.

Some 40 minutes later, at 11.10am, Mizen Head Coast Guard informed all rescue agencies that the swimmer had made his way safely to shore, and all were to stand down.

“This was a great example of multiple rescue agencies working together and thankfully ended with a good outcome,” said Baltimore RNLI press officer Kate Callanan.

Elsewhere in Cork, Ballycotton RNLI launched both their all-weather and inshore lifeboats on Friday afternoon (7 September) to a capsized small sailing dinghy off Ballynamona beach.

A concerned member of the public had witnessed the casualty having difficulty righting the capsized dinghy, which was some 400 metres from the beach.

The crew on board the inshore lifeboat located the casualty in the water approximately 80m from the scene attempting to swim ashore.

The male casualty, believed to have been in the water for nearly 30 minutes, was brought onboard the inshore lifeboat and transferred to the larger all-weather vessel where he was administered first aid, then brought ashore where a local doctor and ambulance crew were waiting to assist.

“Thanks to the vigilance and very quick thinking of the local members of the public, they contributed to a speedy recovery with a positive outcome for all involved,” said Ballycotton RNLI coxswain Eolan Walsh.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Ballycotton RNLI launched their all-weather lifeboat on Saturday evening (4 August) around 7.20pm to a crew member on board the Pont-Aven cruise ferry.

The female casualty, who became injured while working on the vessel, required a medevac while 30 miles off Ballycotton Bay.

Ballycotton RNLI and its volunteer crew were launched on request by Valentia Coast Guard and proceeded to the incident.

The Pont-Aven altered its course back towards Cork Harbour and was met by Ballycotton RNLI some 16 miles out. The casualty was transferred to Ballycotton’s all-weather lifeboat and brought to Crosshaven where the ambulance service was waiting to assist.

Weather conditions were favourable, and near perfect for the task which enabled all involved to transfer the casualty quickly and seamlessly.

Speaking following the callout, Ballycotton RNLI coxswain Eolan Walsh said: “The timeliness and transfer of the casualty was made so much simpler by the professionalism of the Pont-Aven’s fast rescue boat crew.

“We would like to thank all involved that contributed to a positive outcome and we wish the casualty a speedy recover from all at Ballycotton RNLI.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Three men were rescued from their pleasure boat off an East Cork island on Thursday afternoon (26 July) when it began taking on water.

BallycottoRNLI launched their all-weather lifeboat at around 1.40pm to to the scene east of Capel Island, where the men on board the 26ft pleasure boat had issued a Mayday to the Irish Coast Guard.

Youghal RNLI was also requested to launch their inshore lifeboat, while the coastguard’s Waterford-based helicopter Rescue 117 was also tasked.

Youghal was first on scene and placed two volunteer crew members onboard the boat with a salvage pump. Ballycotton RNLI and its crew arrived shortly after and transferred a larger salvage pump onto the vessel from their all-weather lifeboat.

The three casualties were transferred onto the Youghal lifeboat and brought ashore where they were assisted by Youghal Coast Guard. Ballycotton RNLI took the casualty vessel under tow and brought it ashore.

“This launch had the potential to be extremely serious for the casualties,” said Ballycotton RNLI coxswain Eolan Walsh, “but due to the collaboration with our colleagues at Youghal RNLI and the Irish Coast Guard, we had a safe outcome. We would like to wish the three men involved well following their ordeal.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The East Cork village from where the lifeboat station crew carried out what is regarded as the most famous rescue in Irish lifeboat history, to the Daunt Rock Lightship off Cork Harbour, is in need of volunteers for its present-day crew, writes Tom MacSweeney.

That rescue was carried out aboard the historic Mary Stanford lifeboat, now preserved in the village as a commemorative memory of what that crew achieved on February 7, 1936.

Eighty-two years later, on next Monday week, February 19, as Afloat.ie reported here a meeting will be held in the village for all those interested in volunteering to help the lifeboat. The RNLI is looking for lifeboat crew members and volunteer fundraisers.

Mary Creedon, RNLI Community Fundraising Manager, has called on any volunteers who may be interested to “come along to the station on Tuesday, 19 February, at 7.30 p.m. to find out more. We are looking for anyone who is willing to offer some of their free time to join what I believe to be, one of the most exhilarating and 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. Lifeboat crew members need to have a reasonable level of fitness, have good eyesight and not be colour blind. We are looking for a range of community lifesaving volunteers - shore crew play an essential role in the launch and recovery of the lifeboat when it goes on service and we need volunteers to help us fundraise and share our safety messages.”

Nineteen-year-old Sile Scanlon is one volunteer who joined the volunteer lifeboat crew after she herself was rescued. Sile explained: ‘A few years ago I was kayaking just off Ballycotton with three friends when the weather deteriorated and we got into difficulty. There was a big swell as a result and we were afraid that are our kayaks might capsize. We raised the alarm and made our way to the lighthouse where Ballycotton RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat came to our assistance.’

Sile is now two years on the lifeboat crew and loves being a volunteer.

“Growing up in Ballycotton I have always had a love for the sea and with my family so involved, the RNLI has always been close to my heart. I always wanted to join the crew but when I was rescued myself, I experienced first-hand the value of the charity’s community lifesaving work. Whether a volunteer is a seagoing crew member or is on the shore helping to prepare the lifeboat for launch or fundraising to make a rescue possible, their contribution really does makes a difference. I find it is also very satisfying to give back to your community and to be part of a great team,” she says.

Anyone who feels they have the time and commitment to volunteer for the charity which is on call 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, is invited to attend the meeting or to email their interest to: [email protected]

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - Ballycotton RNLI launched their all-weather lifeboat on Wednesday afternoon (9 August) to aid a yacht in difficulty some 84 miles south of the East Cork village.

Vencom, a Ker 39 with 10 people onboard, was returning from the Fastnet Race when it lost its rudder and was unable to steer.

The resulting support by Ballycotton RNLI saw the volunteer lifeboat crew on service for over 10 hours, eventually returning home to Ballycotton shortly after 11.30pm.

St Mary’s lifeboat from the Isles of Scilly was also requested to launch and was first to arrive on scene at 4.15pm, half an hour before the Ballycotton crew.

The St Mary’s volunteers put Vencom under tow and began to take the vessel back ashore to Scilly. 

However, the yacht began manoeuvring violently while under tow and was unable to hold a straight line behind the lifeboat, requiring assistance from the Ballycotton lifeboat.

The Cork crew agreed to pass a casualty drogue to the yacht, which enabled it to remain in a towable position and under control.

Once confirmed that the casualty vessel and St Mary’s lifeboat were safe and in a stable towing position, the Ballycotton lifeboat returned to station.

Commenting on the callout, Ballycotton RNLI coxswain Eolan Walsh said: “This was the furthest offshore rescue that I personally have ever been requested to, and it was a pleasure to be able to assist the crew of the Vencom. 

“We would like to commend both the crew members onboard the yacht who were all wearing suitable lifejackets and also thank the crew on board the St Mary’s lifeboat for their efforts in ensuring a positive outcome for all involved.” 

Walsh added: “I would also like to thank my volunteer crew who, despite a very long and tiring launch, remained focussed on bringing everyone home safely.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

#RNLI - Ballycotton RNLI launched their all-weather lifeboat yesterday morning (Saturday 22 July) following a request from Falmouth coastguard, who reported the activation of an emergency beacon some 60 miles off the Cork coast.

The three-person crew of a 40ft yacht had activated their EPIRB as the vessel was taking on water and needed immediate assistance.

Ballycotton’s lifeboat crew launched at at 9.28am — and resulting tow saw the lifeboat crew on service for 14 hours, eventually bringing the vessel and its crew into Crosshaven last night.

Sennen Cove lifeboat and the coastguard helicopter from Newquay were also dispatched to the scene, but were stood down with the arrival of Ballycotton RNLI and the Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117.

Once it was confirmed that the water was receding, Rescue 117 was stood down and Ballycotton RNLI established a tow with the vessel to bring it safely to Cork Harbour.

With the lifeboat being such a long distance off shore, radio coverage was challenging. The vessel Ocean Spey, which was on standby at the gas fields halfway between the Cork coast and the yacht, helped by relaying comms between the lifeboat and the coastguard.

“This was one of the longest callouts for our lifeboat crew as they spent nearly a day at sea,” said Ballycotton RNLI coxswain Eolan Walsh.

“Many agencies and vessels played a part in the successful resolution of this and thankfully nobody was injured with both crew and yacht been brought safely to shore.

“I want to thank my volunteer lifeboat crew who despite the challenging conditions were focused on bringing everyone home safely.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

#RNLI - Ballycotton RNLI launched at around 10.30am yesterday morning (Monday 26 June) to aid a kitesurfer who had got into difficulty in Ballycotton Bay, Co Cork.

The all-weather lifeboat remained on standby as the inshore lifeboat headed to the casualty’s reported location.

Weather conditions at the time were described as mild with light winds.

Once on scene, the lifeboat crew brought the kitesurfer on board for medical assessment. When it was determined that no further medical attention was needed, the casualty was brought safely back to shore.

Speaking following the callout, Ballycotton RNLI coxswain Eolan Walsh said: “We would like to commend the numerous members of the public who raised the alarm this morning for their vigilance. Their quick thinking contributed to a positive outcome for all involved.

“We reminded everyone taking to the sea this summer to respect the water no matter what their activity.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Ballycotton RNLI launched in the early hours of this morning (Wednesday 10 May) to assist in the medical evacuation of a fisherman 20 miles south of Ballycotton Lighthouse.

The volunteer lifeboat crew was requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat by the Irish Coast Guard at 12.33am.

The lifeboat under Coxswain Eolan Walsh and with six crew members onboard launched to meet the fishing vessel which had five crew members onboard and was making its way to Ballycotton.

The Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117 from Waterford was also tasked.

Weather conditions at the time were described as good with a easterly Force 1-2 wind blowing.

Arriving at 1.20am, two lifeboat crew members were immediately put on board the casualty’s vessel where they proceeded to assess the man and administer casualty care.

The man was then transferred onto the lifeboat and brought back to Ballycotton where he was transferred into care of a waiting ambulance crew on the pier.

Speaking following the call out, Ballycotton RNLI Coxswain Eolan Walsh said: ‘We were glad the fishermen, all of whom were wearing lifejackets, were able to raise the alarm when one of their crew members began to feel unwell and required medical assistance. We would like to wish the man a speedy recovery following his ordeal early this morning.

‘As we approach the summer months, we would remind anyone taking to the sea to always carry a means of calling for help or signalling should you need assistance. It is also important to let someone on the shore know when you set sail and when you are due back.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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