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Northern Ireland lifeboat crews marked the end of the summer season with a number of callouts over the weekend.

On Saturday afternoon (31 August) Portaferry’s inshore lifeboat wad called out to reports that two Flying Fifteen keelboats had capsized on Strangford Lough.

On arrival it was found both vessels had been righted and were returning to shore, Portaferry RNLI said.

But while out on the lough, the lifeboat crew were also tasked to aid a 36ft yacht which had run aground on Don O’Neill Island some four miles away.

At the scene, the lifeboat crew ensured that all on the yacht and their dog were safety aboard their vessel and that there was no water being taken on.

The following afternoon (Sunday 1 September), the inshore lifeboat launched to a motorboat with two adults and three children that had run aground in the Narrows.

Another vessel had taken the casualty boat under tow to deeper water and the lifeboat crew followed up by escorting the motorboat to Portaferry Marina.

Elsewhere on Sunday, Carrybridge RNLI’s inshore lifeboat and rescue water craft were launched to a vessel with four on board which had grounded west of the Share Centre on Upper Lough Erne.

After carefully navigating the shallow waters and assessing the condition of the two adults and two children on board, the lifeboat crew checked the vessel for water ingress and none was found.

With the owner’s permission, the volunteer crew set up a tow line and proceeded to refloat the casualty vessel in deeper water.

The barge was again checked for water ingress and the steering and propulsion also checked before they were allowed to continue their journey.

Carrybridge lifeboat operations manager Stephen Scott reminded all boaters to plan their routes carefully using revenant charts to avoid difficulties in unexpectedly shallow waters.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Kilkeel’s volunteer lifeboat crew worked fast to help clear a speedboat with engine troubles from a busy shipping lane yesterday afternoon (Tuesday 27 August).

The 16ft Bayliner, with one person on board, had broken down in Carlingford Lough and was in danger from incoming and outgoing shipping traffic, according to Kilkeel RNLI.

Kilkeel’s inshore lifeboat launched at 1.10pm headed south along the Co Down coast, and on arrival at the scene they found that the speedboat has been restarted.

Checking that the skipper was fine, they ensured there were no further issues before escorting the skipper back to his mooring in Greencastle.

The previous evening, Carrybridge RNLI’s inshore lifeboat Douglas Euan & Kay Richards and rescue water craft were launched to a vessel with its own engine difficulties some two miles downstream of the River Erne hamlet.

When the lifeboats arrived on scene, the casualty vessel — with two person on bard — was found floating close to the shoreline.

Once those on board were found to be well, a volunteer from the rescue water craft boarded their vessel to help set up a tow line and it was brought back to its private berth in the hamlet.

Carrybridge RNLI helm Chris Cathcart later advised all boat users: “Before setting out on your journey, please plan your route and carry out regular checks of their vessels. Also have a means of calling for assistance if you find yourself in trouble.

“If you see someone in trouble on the water or are in difficulties yourself, the number to dial is 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Carrybridge lifeboat volunteers a busy morning on Sunday (4 August), starting with two personal water craft with engine issues close to Naan Island on Upper Lough Erne.

The relief inshore lifeboat and rescue water craft were launched at 11.33am to the stricken vessels, which one person on each craft, which were floating close to thee island’s shoreline, according to Carrybridge RNLI.

Both pilots were found to be well, and once their water craft were cleared of obstructions and fund to be in working order, they were sent on their way.

Just as the lifeboats were leaving the scene, however, Carrybridge RNLI reports they observed another personal water craft, this time with three on board, entering shallow water and at risk of grounding.

This third vessel was escorted into into deeper and safer water by the rescue water craft before it was allowed to continue its onward journey.

Speaking later, Carrybridge RNLI helm and press officer Chris Cathcart had advice for all boat users on Lough Erne and elsewhere.

“Before setting out on your journey please plan your route and carry the relevant charts and have a means of calling for assistance if you find yourself in trouble.

“If you see someone in trouble on the water or are in difficulties yourself, the number to dial is 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

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Aran Islands RNLI rescued two sailors after their 38ft yacht got into difficulties off Gorumna Island in Co Galway yesterday morning (Thursday 27 June).

The station received the shout at 7.27am and the lifeboat David Kirkaldy launched under coxswain Tommy Dirrane with a full crew, heading straight for the 38ft yacht that had got tangled in lobster pots in the North Sound.

Conditions on the water were choppy with moderate seas and a 1.5m swell, and an east to north-easterly wind.

Once on scene, the lifeboat crew established contact with the two people aboard the yacht, and found that a local fisherman in the area had freed the vessel from the tangled lobster pots.

The lifeboat then escorted the yacht, which was under sail, as far as the mouth of Kilronan Harbour, where a tow line was established due to steering issues to guide the yacht alongside the pier.

Speaking after the callout, Dirrane said: “Thankfully, this was a good outcome to what could have been a different situation and we would like to commend the local fisherman who also helped.

“As we enjoy the good weather and the summer months ahead, we would like to remind anyone planning a trip to sea to always respect the water.”

“CarrybridgeCarrybridge RNLI with the grounded vessel close to the Share Discovery Village | Photo: RNLI/Carrybridge

Elsewhere, Carrybridge RNLI launched its inshore lifeboat yesterday afternoon to aid a vessel with five on board that had run around around a mile north-west of the Share Discovery Village on Upper Lough Erne.

All on board were found safe and well, and wearing lifejackets. Their vessel was not taking on water, so a tow line was set up to refloat it in deeper water.

After checks for damage gave the all-clear, the vessel was allowed to continue its journey.

Lifeboat operations manager Stephen Scott added: “We would remind all users that before going afloat they should always carry a means of communication and to plan their voyage using relevant charts.

“If you see someone in trouble on the water or are in difficulties yourself the number to dial is: 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

A busy weekend for Carrybridge RNLI began at 7.39pm on Friday 14 June when the inshore lifeboat Douglas Euan & Kay Richards and rescue water craft were launched to a vessel with two people which had run aground about a mile north of Knockninny on Upper Lough Erne.

After checking that the people on the boat were safe and well, the volunteer crew checked the boat for water ingress and found none.

The vessel had refloated itself and a crew member was put on board to test the boat’s propulsion and steerage and all was found to be in working order. The vessel was then able to continue on its planned journey.

Two evenings later, at 8.59pm on Sunday, both lifeboats launched again to a vessel adrift, with the people on board waving for assistance in the area of Tamlaght Bay.

When the volunteer crew arrived on scene the vessel had managed to restart its engine and was proceeding back to Carrybridge. The craft was escorted back to the public slipway.

Shortly after arriving back at Carrybridge, the volunteer crew then assisted a person who had fallen into the water earlier in the evening.

Two crew members carried out a casualty care assessment and found the individual to be in good condition. The casualty’s vessel was escorted to its private marina with two crew members on board and safely secured to its mooring.

Chris Cathcart, helm at Carrybridge RNLI, said: “We would remind all boat users to respect the water, plan your passage before setting out, and take particular care whilst navigating.

“If you see someone in trouble on the water or are in difficulties yourself the number to dial is 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

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At 1.14pm on the Saturday 20 April Carrybridge RNLI’s inshore lifeboat, Douglas Euan & Kay Richards and Rescue Water Craft (RWC) were launched to a vessel with two people which had run aground North West of Knockninny.

Winds were Southerly, Force 0. Visibility was excellent with a part cloudy sky.

The lifeboat and RWC arrived with the casualty vessel and after checking the people on the boat where ok the volunteer crew checked the boat for water ingress and found none. With the owner’s permission, the vessel was refloated and towed into deeper water and again the boat was checked for water leaks as well as the steering and propulsion checked and all was found to be ok.

The vessel was then able to continue on its planned journey.

Whilst the lifeboat and RWC were returning to the station the crew were alerted by another vessel with two people on board which had broken down. The crew assisted the boat by towing it back to a private marina.

Speaking following the call out, Stephen Scott, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Carrybridge RNLI advised all boat users: ‘to enjoy the fantastic weather over the holiday period, but as it is for many the start of the boating season to carry out regular maintenance checks and to plan their voyage using relevant charts. We would also remind all water users to wear lifejackets and to respect the water. If you see someone in trouble on the water or are in difficulties yourself the number to dial is: 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.’’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - A small angling boat with one person on board was towed to safety by Wicklow RNLI after it got into difficulty near Wicklow Head on Wednesday evening (8 August).

The angler had earlier departed from Wicklow Port for a day’s fishing along the coast, but was unable to get the engine into gear to return to the harbour.

The inshore lifeboat launched shortly after 6pm with helm Vinnie Mulvihill and crew David O’Leary and Graham Fitzgerald, and located the drifting craft near Wicklow Head eight minutes later. Weather conditions at the scene were calm with a northerly wind force three.

The angling boat was taken in tow back to Wicklow Harbour and the angler was landed safely ashore.

Elsewhere, Clifden RNLI continued what’s been a busy August when the volunteer lifeboat rescued a boy separated from his kayak at Omey Island earlier on Wednesday afternoon.

The youngster and his friend were holidaying on the island in Claddaghduff with their families, who raised the alarm when one of the boys was seen in the water with his friend trying to help him.

Following the coastguard request after 2.30pm, the Atlantic 85 lifeboat launched from Clifden while the D Class lifeboat travelled by road and was launched at Claddaghduff. Winds were Force 6 and gusting to 7 at the time.

When the Atlantic 85 reached the scene, they found people waving from the eastern shore of the island and saw that the two boys involved had made it ashore to another beach in the area, where some other visitors were assisting them.

Clifden RNLI helm Thomas Davis manoeuvred the lifeboat close to the shore and crew member James Mullen then swam to attend to the boys before reuniting them with their families. They were cold and shaken after the ordeal but otherwise unharmed.

Speaking after the callout, Mullen said: “We were really glad to have been able to assist these lads and their families today and always encourage anyone concerned to raise the alarm as quickly as possible.

“Conditions at sea in this area can change rapidly even for experienced water users and we are always on hand to help where we can.”

The RNLI advise all kayakers to always carry a means of calling for help and to keep it in reach at all times.

More recently, Carrybridge RNLI’s rescue water craft and inshore lifeboat Douglas Euan & Kay Richards, were requested to launch by Belfast Coastguard to assist a man who was disorientated whilst navigating Tamlaght Bay in Upper Lough Erne in the early hours of this morning, Friday 10 August.

And Larne RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat and inshore lifeboat crews recently carried out a training exercise to simulate a casualty care and extraction scenario.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Carrybridge RNLI’s inshore lifeboat and rescue water craft launched to assist a 23ft cruiser which had run aground close to the Share Centre on Upper Lough Erne yesterday evening, Sunday 5 August.

Winds were south-westerly Force 2 with good visibility and cloudy skies when the Carrybridge lifeboat crew were requested to launch by Belfast Coastguard at 5.20pm.

Arriving at the casualty vessel, the lifeboat crew found the cruiser aground and all four people on board to be safe and well.

On assessing the vessel, the volunteer crew found its mean of propulsion had also become damaged when it grounded.

After three of the casualty vessel’s crew were taken on board the lifeboat and transferred to the Share Centre, a tow line was set up with the assistance of the rescue water craft and the cruiser was refloated before being towedd back to its mooring at the Share Centre with its remaining crew member.

It was the second callout for Carrybridge RNLI over the weekend. On Saturday evening (4 August), the inshore lifeboat and rescue water craft launched to a 16ft rowing boat which was adrift in the main navigation channel.

The rowing boat had broken free from its moorings and drifted half a mile upstream from Carrybridge. The vessel was taken under tow by the lifeboat back to its own private mooring.

Speaking following these callouts, Carrybridge RNLI lifeboat operations manager Tom Bailey said: “As we continue to enjoy the good weather, we would remind all boat users to respect the water, plan your passage before setting out, and take particular care whilst navigating. Should you get into trouble, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Friday 13 July was an unlucky one for a 26ft sports cruiser with engine trouble close to Naan Island on Upper Lough Erne.

Carrybridge RNLI’s inshore lifeboat Douglas Euan & Kay Richards launched at 3.23pm yesterday to the cruiser which had six on board, all found to be safe and well.

After a towline was set up, the lifeboat took the casualty vessel back to Knockninny Jetty and was set to return to station within an hour.

Speaking after the callout, Carrybridge RNLI lifeboat operations manager Tom Bailey said: “As we enjoy this current spell of good weather, we would remind all boat users before going afloat to carry out regular checks of their vessels.

“Also now that the summer holiday season is in full swing, we would ask all users to enjoy themselves but also to respect the water whilst out on the lake.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Just two days before Carrybridge RNLI’s new inshore lifeboat had its naming ceremony, boat and crew launched to assist a cow that had fallen from a steep bank on Upper Lough Erne.

The lifeboat and rescue water craft launched at 3.30pm on Thursday afternoon (7 June) arrived to the cow and its owner, who had been trying to recover the animal from the Arney River without success.

Weather conditions had southerly Force 2 winds, with good visibility and cloudy skies.

After speaking with the farmer, the volunteer crew kept the animal close to the bank and helped to steer the cow towards a part of the bank where it would be able to get out.

After some careful coaxing, the cow was assisted in getting out of the river by the crew and the farmer’s family. The crew were thanked by the owners and the lifeboat and rescue water craft departed the scene at 4.14pm.

Then on returning to station, the RNLI crew were requested to aid a vessel which had broken down nearby. The crew assisted in towing this boat back to its private slipway.

“We are always happy to help the local community in situations where there is risk to both the public and animals,” said Tom Bailey, lifeboat operations manager at Carrybridge RNLI.

“We also advise everyone working close to the edge of water to take the necessary precautions. In this instance we were delighted that the cow was able to be recovered without injury.”

Elsewhere, Enniskillen RNLI launched yesterday afternoon (Saturday 9 June) to assist a 23ft Bayliner that has lost engine power at the entrance into the River Erne which leads to Belleek.

The charity’s inshore lifeboat Joseph and Mary Hiley and rescue water craft arrived at the casualty vessel which had three people onboard, all of whom were safe and well.

The volunteer crew set up a tow to the lifeboat and towed the vessel to Aughinver.

Speaking following the callout, Enniskillen RNLI helm Aidy Kelly said: “It was a very successful recovery with our crew using the benefits of their winter training to recover the vessel and all onboard safely to Aughinver.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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