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Baltimore RNLI were called out to provide assistance to a yacht with one person onboard that got into difficulty off the coast of Baltimore, West Cork, on Thursday evening (28 July).

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their inshore lifeboat at 5.26 pm, following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to go to the assistance of a 25-foot yacht, with one person on board, which had suffered engine problems just over 1 mile south of Baltimore Harbour.

The Baltimore inshore lifeboat crew reached the casualty vessel within five minutes of launching. When the inshore lifeboat arrived on scene a local passenger boat, owned and skippered by volunteer Baltimore lifeboat crew member Jerry Smith, was already standing by.

Helm Pat O’Driscoll decided that undertaking a tow was necessary and volunteer crew member Conor Harrington was put aboard the casualty vessel to assist the lone sailor in rigging a tow. The inshore lifeboat and casualty vessel were underway by 5.35pm and proceeded to Baltimore Harbour, the nearest safe and suitable port. Once the casualty vessel was secured at the pier in Baltimore Harbour, the lifeboat returned to the station, arriving at 6.20pm.

There were four volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat, Helm Pat O’Driscoll and crew members Conor Harrington, James Kitt and Kieran O’Driscoll. Assisting at the lifeboat station were Rianne Smith and Stuart Musgrave. Conditions during the call were fresh with a south easterly force 3 wind causing a choppy sea.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Less than 24 hours after their role in the dramatic rescue of French yachtsman Loic Escoffier, Baltimore RNLI were called out to provide a medical evacuation on Wednesday afternoon (20 July) from Cape Clear Island in West Cork in what marked their third callout in five days.

The volunteer crew — coxswain Aidan Bushe, mechanic Nigel Kehoe and crew members Emma Lupton, Emma Geary and Don O’Donovan — launched their all-weather lifeboat at 4.25pm following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to provide a medevac for a man on the island.

Arriving at North Harbour 25 minutes later, they transferred the casualty onboard the lifeboat and returned to station where the casualty was then handed over to the care of an HSE ambulance crew at 5.35pm.

Speaking following the callout, volunteer lifeboat press officer Kate Callanan said: “It has been a busy few days for Baltimore Lifeboat with three calls in the last five days.

“On [Saturday] 16 July the all-weather lifeboat assisted a yacht with two people on board that was in difficulty close to rocks off the eastern side of Cape Clear Island. [Tuesday night] the all-weather lifeboat rescued a lone sailor 70 miles south of Baltimore after his catamaran capsized during a race.

“We are grateful to the crews of both our all-weather lifeboat and our inshore lifeboat who are always ready to answer their pagers as soon as required. Please remember, if you find yourself in a medical emergency whilst on an island, call 999 or 112.”

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Baltimore RNLI were called out to assist a lone sailor whose yacht had capsized 70 miles off the coast of Baltimore, West Cork, yesterday evening (Tuesday 19 July).

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 5.50 pm, following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to go to the assistance of a lone sailor who had been taking part in a race when his yacht capsized, approximately 70 miles off the coast of Baltimore.

The Baltimore all-weather lifeboat crew arrived at the casualty vessel at 9.08 pm. The sailor was on the upturned hull of the catamaran in which he had been racing in single-handedly.

Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117 was also on scene.

The lone sailor was on the upturned hull of the catamaranThe lone sailor was on the upturned hull of the catamaran. Screengrab from Irish Coastguard video below

Due to the conditions at sea, Coxswain Aidan Bushe decided the best course of action was to launch their small inflatable Y-Boat from the all-weather lifeboat with two RNLI crew members on board.

The RNLI Y-Boat alongside the casualty vessel to rescue the sailor from the upturned hullThe RNLI Y-Boat alongside the casualty vessel to rescue the sailor from the upturned hull. Screengrab from Irish Coastguard video below

Brendan Cottrell and Brian McSweeney were able to manoeuvre the Y-Boat alongside the casualty vessel to rescue the sailor from the upturned hull.

RNLI crew members assisted the sailor up on to the Baltimore lifeboat from the Y-BoatRNLI crew members assisted the sailor up on to the Baltimore lifeboat from the Y-Boat. Screengrab from Irish Coastguard video below

RNLI crew members assisted the sailor up on to the lifeboat from the Y-Boat and Rescue 117 winched the casualty from the lifeboat into the helicopter where they then departed the scene at 9.58 pm. Baltimore RNLI crew members recovered their Y-Boat and the lifeboat made its way back to Baltimore, arriving back at the station at 1.30 am.

Rescue 117 winched the casualty from the lifeboat into the helicopterRescue 117 winched the casualty from the lifeboat into the helicopter. Screengrab from Irish Coastguard video below

Irish Coast Guard video of the dramatic rescue

 

There were seven volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat, Coxswain Aidan Bushe, Mechanic Nigel Kehoe and crew members Brendan Cottrell, Eoin Ryan, Brian McSweeney, Jim Griffiths and Emma Lupton. Conditions at sea during the call were challenging with a north to north westerly force 6-7 wind and a 3 to 4m sea swell.

Speaking following the call out, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘This is a great example of a joint-agency rescue working together under difficult conditions to save a life. We wish the sailor a speedy recovery and thank our colleagues in the Irish Coast Guard for all assistance provided during this callout'.

Drheam Cup

The lone sailor involved was well-known French yachtsman Loic Escoffier competing in the Drheam Cup in his catamaran Lodigroup.

The 41-year-old from Saint-Malo had left Cherbourg and was 60 miles south of Fastnet when the boat capsized with him inside. 

Rescued - French yachtsman Loic EscoffierRescued - French yachtsman Loic Escoffier

The alarm was raised at around 4pm on Tuesday and the coast guard and RNLI picked him up shortly before midnight. 

Loic had spent his time capsized on the inside of the vessel, and the emergency effort was coordinated by the Valentia Coast Guard.

Lodigroup has issued thanks to the rescue services for their 'reactivity and professionalism' and also to Brieuc Maisonneuve, a rival Rhum Multi competitor, who stood by Escoffier until his evacuation.

Loic Escoffier on his catamaran LODIGROUP prior to the capsize in the 900-mile Drheam-Cup A photo of the catamaran LODIGROUP prior to the capsize in the 900-mile Drheam-Cup  Photo: Thierry Martinez

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Baltimore RNLI lifeboat were called out to provide assistance to a yacht with two people onboard that got into difficulty off the coast of Cape Clear Island, West Cork, earlier on Tuesday (21 June).

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their inshore lifeboat at 11.57 am, following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to go to the assistance of a 28-foot yacht, with two people on board, which was propped on a pot buoy near Bird Island off Cape Clear Island in West Cork.

The Baltimore inshore lifeboat crew arrived at the casualty vessel at 12.10 pm. The volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat were able to free the casualty vessel from the trailing fishing gear however as there was still rope wrapped tightly around the propellor, Helm Kieran Collins decided that undertaking a tow was necessary. Volunteer crew member David Ryan was put aboard the casualty vessel to assist rigging a tow from the lifeboat, and both the lifeboat and casualty vessel were underway by 12.26 pm. The lifeboat then proceeded to Baltimore Harbour, the nearest safe and suitable port, arriving at 1.20 pm. Once the casualty vessel was secured alongside the pier in Baltimore Harbour, the lifeboat returned to the station, arriving at 1.25 pm.

There were four volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat, Helm Kieran Collins and crew members James Kitt, Kieran O’Driscoll and David Ryan. Assisting at the station were Jerry Smith and Rianne Smith. Conditions at sea during the call were calm with a westerly force 1-2 wind and no sea swell.

Speaking following the call out, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘The occupants of the yacht did the right thing in calling for help as soon as they had become propped and before any further difficulties arose. If you get into difficulty at sea or on the coast, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’

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Baltimore RNLI were called out earlier today (Thursday 16 June) to provide assistance to a yacht with two people onboard that was taking part in a race.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their inshore lifeboat at 11.45am, following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to go to the assistance of a 7m sailing yacht with two people on board, that had got into difficulty 0.5 miles south of Sherkin Island off the coast of West Cork.

The Baltimore inshore lifeboat crew arrived at the casualty vessel at 11.50am. Volunteer crew member Rob O’Leary was put aboard the casualty vessel to assist in rigging a tow passed to the yacht from the lifeboat.

The inshore lifeboat, with the casualty vessel under tow, then proceeded to Baltimore Harbour, the nearest safe and suitable port. The lifeboat crew secured the casualty vessel at the pier in Baltimore Harbour, and once they made sure that the sailors were happy the lifeboat returned to the station, arriving at 12.33pm.

There were four volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat, Helm Pat O’Driscoll and crew members Ian Lynch, James Kitt and Rob O’Leary. Assisting at the lifeboat station were Rianne Smith and Sean McCarthy. Conditions at sea during the call were calm with a south-easterly force 1 wind, no sea swell and good visibility.

Speaking following the call out, Pat O’Driscoll, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Helm said: ‘Due to navigational difficulties the sailors were having we decided a tow was necessary and the safest option to assist them. Please remember if you get into difficulty at sea, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’

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Baltimore RNLI was called out to provide assistance to a yacht with four people on board that got into difficulty 52 miles off the coast of Baltimore, West Cork, yesterday (Sunday 5 June).

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat just before 1 pm, following requests from the Irish Coast Guard and the UK Coastguard to go to the assistance of a 36-foot motor yacht, with four people on board, which had encountered difficulties and was 52 miles south of Baltimore.

The Baltimore all-weather lifeboat crew arrived at the casualty vessel at 3.22 pm. After making sure all four people on board were okay, Coxswain Aidan Bushe assessed the situation and decided that undertaking a tow was necessary and the safest way to assist the casualties.

Crew members from the lifeboat passed a tow to the yacht and the lifeboat and casualty vessel were underway by 3.30 pm. The lifeboat then proceeded to Baltimore Harbour, the nearest safe and suitable port, and secured the casualty vessel at the pontoon at 10.14pm. The lifeboat then returned to the station, arriving at 10.25 pm.

There were six volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat, Coxswain Aidan Bushe, Mechanic Micheal Cottrell and crew members Pat Collins, David Ryan, Colin Whooley and Jim Griffiths. Conditions at sea during the call were choppy with an easterly force 3-4 wind, a 1.1m sea swell and good visibility.

Speaking following the call out, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘It was a long callout for our volunteer lifeboat crew who spent over 9 hours at sea, but the occupants of the yacht did the right thing in requesting assistance. We wish them well with the rest of their journey. If you get into difficulty at sea or on the coast, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’

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Baltimore RNLI was called out to provide assistance to a yacht with one person onboard that got into difficulty off the coast of the West Cork town on Saturday evening (21 May).

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their inshore lifeboat at 6.12pm following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to go to the aid of a 29ft motor yacht, with one person onboard, which was propped on a pot line 1.5 miles southwest of Kedge Island off Baltimore Harbour.

Conditions at sea during the call were choppy with a south westerly Force 3-4 wind, a 1.5m sea swell and good visibility.

Arriving at the casualty vessel at 6.25pm, the lifeboat put volunteer crew member Stuart Musgrave aboard the casualty vessel to assist the lone sailor.

Musgrave was able to free the yacht from the line coming from the bottom of the sea, but there was still rope wrapped heavily around the propeller that couldn’t be freed.

Lifeboat helm Kieran Collins decided that a tow was necessary, and by 6.50pm the boats were under way proceeding to Baltimore Harbour, the nearest safe and suitable port, where they arrived at 7.20pm. Once the casualty vessel was secured at the pier, the lifeboat returned to the station.

This was the second callout of the week for Baltimore RNLI, after the station’s all-weather lifeboat responded to a medevac call to Sherkin Island on Thursday 19 May.

Speaking following the weekend response, press office Kate Callanan said: “If you get into difficulty at sea or on the coast, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coast Gguard.”

There were four volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat for this callout, with Micheal Cottrell and Kieran O’Driscoll alongside Collins and Musgrave.

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Baltimore RNLI were called out to provide a medical evacuation yesterday (Thursday 30 December) from Cape Clear Island off the coast of West Cork.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 9.26 am, following a request to bring a doctor to the island and provide a medical evacuation.

The Baltimore all-weather lifeboat crew arrived at North Harbour in Cape Clear Island at 9.52 am The casualty was transferred by stretcher onboard the lifeboat and they departed the Island at 10.05 am. The lifeboat returned to the station in Baltimore arriving at 10.30 am and the casualty was handed over to the care of HSE Ambulance crew at 10.35 am.

There were five volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat, Coxswain Aidan Bushe, Mechanic Micheal Cottrell and crew members David Ryan, Kieran Collins and Jerry Smith. Our station medical advisor, Dr Don Creagh, accompanied the crew on the call. Conditions at sea during the call out were poor with a south-westerly force 4 wind, a 2m sea swell and fog with visibility of 1 nautical mile.

Speaking following the call out, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘If you find yourself in a medical emergency whilst on an island don’t hesitate call 999 or 112.

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A brother and sister who volunteer to save lives at sea with Valentia RNLI have called on the public to support the charity’s Christmas Appeal.

Dominic and Cornelia Lyne will be on call, along with their colleagues at the Kerry lifeboat station and RNLI volunteers at 45 other lifeboat stations across Ireland, ready to launch at a moment’s notice to save lives.

Cornelia and Dominic grew up in a house where the RNLI lifeboat pager going off was a familiar sound. The siblings are the children of former volunteer lifeboat crew member Nealie Lyne, who after 25 years saving lives at sea is now a deputy launching authority at the station.

Dominic says: “Because we are family, once you put on the gear, we are all in it together and we have to ensure we all come home to those waiting for us.”

Cornelia is very proud of being a female crew member in the RNLI and hopes to inspire other women to join, too.

“I’m nearly 10 years a crew member and I still love it when we have landed home safe after a callout during the summer when there are a lot of tourists around and the kids see me walking up to the boathouse in my full gear and they realise girls can join the crew too.

“When the pagers go, no lifeboat volunteer hesitates to answer the call, and these rescues would not be possible without the donations from the RNLI’s generous supporters, helping to fund the essential kit [and] training equipment needed by lifeboat crews all year round. Thank you to everyone who supports the appeal this Christmas.”

James Kitt joined Baltimore RNLI after relocating to the West Cork town with his Irish girlfriend Emma | Credit: RNLIJames Kitt joined Baltimore RNLI after relocating to the West Cork town with his Irish girlfriend Emma | Credit: RNLI

Meanwhile, in neighbouring West Cork, one of Baltimore RNLI’s newest recruits is James Kitt, who joined the lifeboat station after relocating with his Irish girlfriend Emma.

Baltimore RNLI is one of eight lifeboat stations based in Cork, along with Castletownbere, Courtmacsherry, Union Hall, Kinsale, Crosshaven, Ballycotton and Youghal.

James was previously volunteer lifeboat crew at Chiswick on the Thames in London, one of the busiest of the charity’s lifeboat stations.

Born in Poole in Dorset, he met Emma in the States at a sailing event and the couple decided to relocate to Ireland before the pandemic, moving to Dublin.

When the first lockdown came, the couple relocated to Baltimore with James working remotely for an Irish aid organisation. Having swapped the busy London life for West Cork, he says he couldn’t be happier finding a station where he can use his lifeboat training.

“I’m one of a number of new joiners to the lifeboat crew in Baltimore and the level of maritime experience and expertise here is incredible,” he says. “Although it’s not surprising when you see the love of the sailing here. I’m learing so much from my colleagues and getting into the West Cork way of life. Emma and I love it here and feel very much at home.

“Baltimore lifeboat is so embedded in the community, something that’s a little harder to achieve at a busy London station. When there is a callout here everyone is aware of it and the whole place gets behind the crew, it’s fantastic.

“When the pager goes, no lifeboat volunteer hesitates to answer the call, and I know first hand that these rescues would not be possible without the donations from the RNLI's generous supporters.”

To make a donation to the RNLI’s Christmas Appeal, visit RNLI.org/Xmas

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Baltimore RNLI were called out twice within 12 hours today (Saturday 4 September), firstly to provide assistance to two people when their vessel went aground, and secondly to provide assistance to a sailing boat that had capsized.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 6.16 am, following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to go to the assistance of a 50 foot converted trawler, with two people on board, which had run aground in the Ilen River, near Old Court in West Cork.

The Baltimore all-weather lifeboat crew arrived at the casualty vessel at 6.45 am and Coxswain Aidan Bushe immediately assessed the situation. There was no obvious damage done to the trawler and given the fact the tide was falling and she was hard aground, the decision was made not to attempt to refloat her. Baltimore Lifeboat volunteer crew members launched their y-boat and crew members Jerry Smith and Colin Whooley made their way over to the casualty vessel and took two people off the vessel and brought them back to the lifeboat. The lifeboat crew then retrieved the y-boat and the lifeboat made its way back to Baltimore, dropping the two people at the pier before returning to Baltimore lifeboat station at 8.07 am.

At high tide this afternoon the skipper of the casualty vessel managed to refloat the vessel without any further assistance from Baltimore RNLI.

There were six volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat this morning, Coxswain Aidan Bushe, Mechanic Cathal Cottrell and crew members Sean McCarthy, Don O’Donovan, Jerry Smith and Colin Whooley. Conditions during the call were calm with a north easterly force 2-3 wind, no sea swell and good visibility.

Baltimore all-weather lifeboat pumps out the Y boat  Photo: RNLI/Micheal Cottrell Baltimore all-weather lifeboat pumps out the casualty dinghy  Photo: RNLI/Micheal Cottrell

The volunteer lifeboat crew were also called to launch their all-weather lifeboat at approximately 4.18 pm, following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to go to the immediate assistance of an 18ft sailing sloop, with three people on board, which was sinking in Baltimore Harbour.

When Baltimore all-weather lifeboat crew arrived at the casualty vessel at 4.24 pm the three people on board had been taken off by the Baltimore Sailing Club crash boat, and the vessel was full of water. The volunteer lifeboat crew immediately readied their onboard salvage pump and proceeded to pump the vessel dry. A local rib that was also in the vicinity at the time assisted in stabilising the casualty vessel whilst it was being pumped out. Once all the water was pumped out the assisting rib towed the casualty vessel back to its mooring within the harbour. Baltimore lifeboat then returned to station arriving at 4.54 pm.

There were five volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat during the second callout, Coxswain Aidan Bushe, Mechanic Cathal Cottrell and crew members Jerry Smith, Jim Griffiths and Conor Harrington. Conditions within the harbour during the second call were calm with an easterly force 4 wind, no sea swell and good visibility.

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