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Ballyglass RNLI came to the aid of a lone sailor last night (Wednesday, 17 January) after their yacht got into difficulty in the North Atlantic Sea.

The all-weather lifeboat was requested to launch by Malin Head Coast Guard to assist a sailor on a 9m yacht which had sustained rigging damage five miles off the north Mayo coast.

The volunteer crew received the alert at 5.25 pm and the lifeboat was underway shortly after making its way to the sailor and their vessel some 17 nautical miles north-east of Ballyglass and five miles north of the Céide fields in Mayo.

When the Ballyglass lifeboat with five crew onboard arrived on scene, a 60m fish carrier was standing off providing shelter for the casualty vessel. Their crew along with the Sligo based Irish Coast Guard helicopter crew from Rescue 118, provided illumination of the scene. Having assessed the situation, and observing that the sailor was safe and well, a decision was made to establish a tow line with the illumination assisting the lifeboat crew in setting up the tow with the vessel.

The lifeboat proceeded to tow the yacht to the nearest safe port at Ballyglass pier. Approximately three miles from Ballyglass pier the tow parted from the yacht’s end but was soon safely re-established and the lifeboat and yacht continued to their destination. There, the lifeboat crew were met by Ballyglass Coast Guard Unit who assisted in securing the casualty alongside.

Speaking following the call out, Ballyglass RNLI Coxswain James Mangan said: ‘We were pleased with the safe return of all and we would like to wish the sailor well and commend and thank our colleagues from Rescue 118 and Ballyglass Coast Guard Unit and the crew of the fish carrier for their assistance.’

Crew on this call out included Coxswain James Mangan, mechanic Allen Murray, navigator Matthew Togher and crew members Paudge Kelleher and Stephen Togher.

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In the early hours of Sunday, January 7th, Ballyglass RNLI, located in north-west County Mayo, was called to the aid of an injured fisherman. The volunteer crew was alerted by Malin Head Coast Guard to launch their all-weather lifeboat at 3am after receiving a report of an injured fisherman. The request was for the lifeboat to meet the vessel the fisherman was on in Broadhaven Bay.

Under the command of Coxswain Francie Gibbons, the lifeboat launched shortly after with five crew onboard and made its way to the scene. Despite challenging weather conditions with a south easterly force 2-3 wind and a 0.5-1m swell, the crew arrived on scene at 4.30 am and assessed the situation.

A decision was made to transfer the casualty onto the lifeboat, where he was then brought back to shore at Ballyglass Lifeboat Station. The ambulance service was on standby and took over the care of the injured fisherman at 5.10am. Ballyglass Coast Guard was also on hand to provide assistance.

In a statement, Ballyglass RNLI Coxswain Francie Gibbons said, "We would like to extend our best wishes to the casualty for a speedy recovery. We would also like to commend our own volunteers and our colleagues in the Coast Guard and ambulance service for their work in the early hours of the morning. This was an example of great collaboration between all the services involved."

 

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Achill Island and Ballyglass RNLI in Co Mayo are among six charities that will benefit from the proceeds raised from the hugely popular annual 5k Runway Fun Run, which will take place on the runway at Ireland West Airport this September.

Ireland West Airport made the announcement about this year’s fun run on Thursday (22 June) in partnership with Portwest.

Runners and walkers will take-off down the runway at 7pm on Saturday 9 September and complete a 5km course with a difference.

All are welcome to attend what promises to be a fantastic evening for all the family, raising much needed funds for our charity partners in 2023.

The airport charity partners for 2023 are the RNLI lifeboat stations in Achill Island and Ballyglass, Breakthrough Cancer Research, Diabetes Ireland, Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, Children’s Cancer Fund and Mayo Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Registration is now open but placs are limited. Entry costs €20 per adult and €5 for under-16s. A special family rate of €40 will be available for families of two adults and two kids.

All participants will receive a race T-shirt and complimentary car parking and refreshments at the airport will be provided on the day.

To mark the special event, all participants who register online to take part will be entered into a draw to win two return flights to London Heathrow with Aer Lingus — the airport’s newest daily service launched in March of this year.

A ‘virtual option’ will also be available again this year for those who wish to support the charities but are unable to make it on the day and would like to do a virtual run or walk.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The RNLI has been chosen as one of six charity partners for Ireland West Airport this year.

Funds raised for the RNLI by the airport in Knock, Co Mayo will be donated to and shared by the two lifeboat stations in the county, at Achill Island and Ballyglass.

Ireland West Airport made the announcement in late April with Breakthrough Cancer Research, Diabetes Ireland, The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, The Children’s Cancer Fund and the Mayo Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals also selected by airport staff as its charity partners for 2023.

The airport is extending its charity partners from three to six in 2023 in recognition of the fantastic work the charities do at both a local and national level.

Several events will take place during the course of 2023 which will engage passengers and staff with the aim of raising as much money as possible for all charity partners.

The headline event for 2023 will be their annual 5k runway fun run which will take place on the runway at Ireland West Airport in September.

Speaking following the announcement, RNL community manager Brian Wilson said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for the RNLI and we are so grateful to all at Ireland West Airport for choosing the charity that saves lives at sea as one of their charity partners for 2023.

“Any funds raised will help to power the lifesaving work of our volunteer crews at Achill Island and Ballyglass RNLI. We wish all in the airport the best of luck with the fundraising events they have planned for the year ahead.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Ballyglass RNLI came to aid of four fishermen in Donegal Bay in the early hours of Wednesday morning (21 September) after their 55ft trawler got into difficulty overnight.

The volunteer crew were requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat by Malin Head Coast Guard at 2.20am and go to the aid of a drifting trawler four miles west of Malin Beg in Donegal.

Launched under coxswain James Mangan, the lifeboat set out across Donegal Bay just after 2.30am to assist the crew of the large vessel that had lost power and was adrift.

Conditions on the overnight passage were less than favourable with southerly Force 5-6 winds, a 2-3m sea swell and poor to fair visibility.

The lifeboat made the journey north to assist the fishermen as Arranmore RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat is currently in dry docks for routine maintenance.

Once on scene at 5.25am, the lifeboat crew assessed the situation and found that the fishermen were safe and well.

It was decided to establish a secure tow and bring the vessel to the nearest safe port at Killybegs where they secured the trawler at 11.40am. The crew then began the preparations for the return journey to Ballyglass.

Speaking after the trawler was safely berthed, Pádraig Sheerin, Ballyglass RNLI lifeboat operations manager commended the crew for their dedication.

“We would like to wish the fishermen well. Despite the very early hours of this morning when the pagers went off, there was a great turn out once again from our volunteers with plenty of assistance and team work to launch the lifeboat as promptly as possible,” he said.

“It is thanks to the commitment, dedication and hard work of the volunteer crew, along with the top-class training and equipment provided by the RNLI, and the funds raised by all those who donate to the lifeboats, that allow us to continue saving lives at sea. A sincere and heartfelt thank you to one and all.”

Joining Mangan on the callout were mechanic Allen Murray and Paudge Kelleher, as well as Eric Geraghty and Ciaran Deane — who also out on the 22-hour callout just three days ago to rescue a kayaker trapped in a cave at Downpatrick Head.

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Ballyglass RNLI’s inshore lifeboat in northwest Mayo was requested to launch yesterday afternoon (Tuesday 20 July) by the Irish Coast Guard to assist two people on a jet ski in difficulty between Doolough and Claggan in Blacksod Bay.

The volunteer lifeboat crew, consisting of father and son Frankie and Eric Geraghty, with Matthew Togher at the helm, launched at Shore Road Belmullet within 10 minutes of the pagers going off. The lifeboat was on scene within half an hour with conditions being very favourable; flat sea, no wind and good visibility.

Malin Head Coast Guard had been contacted when a jet ski capsized, making the situation dangerous and impossible for the vessel to proceed. A rigid inflatable powerboat in the area had taken the casualties aboard until the lifeboat arrived. Once on scene the lifeboat crew assessed the situation, took the uninjured jet ski crew aboard and proceeded to bring them safely to land at Doolough.

The lifeboat was then returned to station, refuelled, washed down and ready for service again within 2 hours of the initial call-out. Ballyglass Coast Guard unit were also tasked to assist and were on shore to help locate the vessel.

Pádraig Sheeran, Ballyglass RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, said : ‘We are glad of a positive outcome today and want to remind people of the importance of always respecting the water and looking out for each other on or near the sea. Well done to all who helped out today. Ní neart go cur le chéile, as they say (we are stronger when we work together). 

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Ballyglass RNLI and Belmullet Tidal Pool Swimmers in north-west Co Mayo have won a Golden Welly for their recent fundraising efforts for the charity that saves lives at sea.

The RNLI award for Best Community Partnership Fundraiser, which is one of only six awards in all of Ireland and the UK, was announced last week at the RNLI’s virtual Mayday awards ceremony.

The volunteer lifeboat crew and the Belmullet swimmers were overjoyed to hear their deep-end dipping and donating earned them the prestigious Golden Welly.

The Golden Welly awards recognise and celebrate the fantastic work and contributions made to the RNLI’s annual Mayday fundraising campaign.

This year for the Mayday Mile, Michelle Healy and her mother Liz Healy, both on the committee of Belmullet Swim Club, came up with the idea of swimming a mile for the RNLI.

“There’s a great bunch of daily swimmers here in Belmullet, and they jumped at the chance to swim a mile to support the local lifeboat,” Michelle said. “We’re a coastal community and it's important we all pull together and support each other.”

Volunteer members of the Ballyglass RNLI crew joined in and swam in their full kit. Over five days during May, a total of 59 swimmers swam a collective distance of 74.11 miles in their Atlantic Ocean tidal pool, raising €2,016.

Pádraic Sheeran, Ballyglass RNLI’s lifeboat operations manager, said there has always been a great relationship between Ballyglass RNLI and Belmullet Swim Club with mutual respect and support at its core.

“Promoting water safety and saving lives at sea are common goals of the RNLI and the swim group and we’ve always worked well together.

“We are very thankful to Liz, Michelle and the group of swimmers and the great work they do and we’re delighted to accept an award that acknowledges and celebrates that effort. The funds raised will now help our volunteers as they continue to save lives at sea.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

In Co Mayo, Ballyglass RNLI’s inshore lifeboat launched to assist a fishing vessel in Broadhaven Bay in the station’s first callout of 2021.

At 12.30pm yesterday (Friday 2 April) the Irish Coast Guard requested the volunteer crew to assist a 35ft fishing vessel that had ran aground in the channel close to Belmullet docks and had sent a Mayday emergency distress signal.

Adhering to all COVID-19 procedures and guidelines, the inshore lifeboat — with Frankie Geraghty at the helm — launched immediately and was on scene within minutes, securing the casualty vessel and transferring its sole occupant safely ashore.

Pádraig Sheeran, volunteer lifeboat operations manager at Ballyglass RNLI, commended all involved on the expediency of the response.

“The RNLI and and the coastguard are always ready to assist but we ask the public to always put safety first, to always have a means of communication when on or near the water, and to always respect the water,” he said.

Earlier this week the RNLI and Irish Coast Guard issued a joint appeal to the public to heed safety advice when on or near the water over the Easter weekend and beyond, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

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Ballyglass RNLI rescued two fishermen whose boat got into difficulty and ran adrift in Broadhaven Bay on Thursday afternoon (20 June).

The station’s all-weather volunteer lifeboat crew were requested to launch and locate the sea anglers drifting into danger in Broadhaven Bay after their RIB suffered engine failure.

After the anglers calling for assistance on VHF, the lifeboat was requested to launch by Malin Head Coast Guard at 4pm and was on scene within minutes, with six crew aboard.

The Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 118 from Sligo and Ballyglass Coast Guard Unit were also tasked and put on standby in the area, while a local fishing vessel assisted in the search and location of the small craft.

Once on scene, the lifeboat crew assessed the situation and deemed it necessary to launch its smaller onboard inflatable daughter boat, as the casualty vessel had drifted into shallow water.

The two anglers were not in need of medical assistance and were safely transferred to the lifeboat. The casualty craft was securely towed to Ballyglass pier.

Conditions were fair at the time with a fresh Force 4 wind and good visibility.

Speaking following the callout, Ballyglass RNLI coxswain James Mangan said: “I commend the two anglers for contacting emergency services as soon as they got into difficulty and for having VHF radio and wearing lifejackets.

“The situation could have been more serious had they not followed these precautions.”

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Ten volunteer lifeboat crew from Ballyglass RNLI, in conjunction with Belmullet Cycling Club, will undertake a 150km cycle from Sligo Bay RNLI in Rosses Point to Ballyglass RNLI in Belmullet on Saturday 27 April.

A total of 130 cyclists from all over Ireland are registered to take part in the Waves-2-Wheels fundraiser which will see proceeds raised go to Ballyglass RNLI.

Allen Murray, Ballyglass RNLI station mechanic and Waves-2-Wheels chairperson, said he is overwhelmed by the hard work and dedication of all involved in getting the charity cycle from the rolling waves to the rolling road, and hopes it will be a safe and successful event.

“The idea was born last autumn when members of the lifeboat crew and the cycling club were discussing ways they could work together to raise funds in the locality,” Murray said.

“A charity cycle from a neighbouring lifeboat station to Ballyglass was suggested and agreed upon almost instantly. From there the hard work of organising the event and training began.

“A large number of the crew came on board to swap the sea for the saddle to raise much needed funds to maintain the high standard of training and equipment needed by Ballyglass RNLI volunteers to save lives at sea.”

Lifeboat coxswain and Waves-2-Wheels secretary James Mangan explained how important it is to raise awareness and funds for our lifeboats.

“Having two lifeboats working out of two locations both here at Ballyglass (all-weather lifeboat) and at Belmullet (inshore lifeboat) involves a lot of training and maintenance to ensure our volunteers and boats are ready 24/7 for whatever they may face when the pagers call them to sea.

“We are very lucky here in Mayo to have such wonderful supporters and sponsors and are very grateful to all who help us out in any way.

“When our volunteers launch to assist those in trouble at sea they know that they have the best of training and equipment to help bring them home safely. The crew kit alone costs between €1,000-€2,000, including lifejacket, and this gives the crew confidence to face various conditions and weathers, night or day.”

The RNLI’s two lifeboat stations in Mayo at Achill Island and Ballyglass launched 40 times in 2018 bringing 25 people to safety.

These rescues are only possible because of the donations made to the charity by supporters. And Waves-2-Wheels is currently accepting donations online ahead of the big ride in nine days’ time.

The cycle begins at Rosses point at 9am on Saturday 27 April, with the cyclists travelling through Easkey, Enniscrone, Ballina, Crossmolina and arriving at Belmullet’s inshore lifeboat station after 4pm.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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