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Courtown RNLI volunteers invite everyone in the community to their ‘Jingle Mingle’ event this Saturday 9 December.

The fundraising committee is hosting the Christmas afternoon from 2pm-5pm on the North Pier in Courtown, Co Wexford.

It’s an opportunity to gather and meet neighbours and friends from the community and enjoy some festive cheer.

Christmas carols, homemade mince pies and heart-warming hot chocolate will be on offer, and Santa will be arriving at 4pm to great the children and give them a little gift.

The team will also be hosting the annual ‘Light a Light’ remembrance ceremony. Candles of love, hope and remembrance are currently on sale in the Taravie at €3 each, with all proceeds going towards the Courtown lifeboat. The candles will be lit at 4.45pm, a lovely way of remembering loved ones.

The lifeboat shop will also be open on Saturday from 11am to 5pm with lots of Christmas cards, calendars, diaries and gifts on sale.

Courtown RNLI’s fundraising committee and the volunteer crew look forward to welcoming everyone to their Christmas get-together this Saturday.

Courtown RNLI Jingle Mingle poster

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Two men and a boy were rescued by the Courtown RNLI on August 9th after their cabin cruiser experienced engine failure off the coast of Cahore.

The Arklow RNLI initially responded to the distress call and had the vessel under tow when the Courtown crew arrived on the scene. Courtown's inshore lifeboat took over the tow and safely brought the cruiser into Courtown Harbour.

The rescued individuals were all wearing lifejackets and had a means of communication to call for help. Jim Murphy, Deputy Launching Authority of Courtown RNLI, emphasised the importance of following safety recommendations and contacting the Coast Guard in an emergency.

Courtown and Arklow RNLI attend to the broken down cruiserCourtown and Arklow RNLI attend to the broken down cruiser

The successful joint operation between the two RNLI stations highlights their crucial role in ensuring the safety of those at sea.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Courtown RNLI in Co Wexford rescued three men on Sunday afternoon (16 July) after their RIB encountered engine problems and was drifting out to sea.

The volunteer crew were requested to launch their inshore lifeboat at 5.32pm by the Irish Coast Guard following a report that the boat with three onboard was in difficulty two miles out from Courtown Pier.

The lifeboat launched shortly after at 5.45pm with helm Rob Ireton and crew members Hazel Woods and Mark Conn onboard. The crew arrived on scene just before 6pm.

Weather conditions were favourable at the time with a slight southeasterly wind and calm seas with a slight chop.

Once the lifeboat was on scene, the crew assessed the situation and found that the men were safe and well. They had only left Courtown harbour following a refreshment break when their engine failed two miles out.

The crew fixed a tow rope to the 5m RIB and the lifeboat proceeded to tow the boat safely into shore.

Speaking following the call-out on Sunday, Jim Murphy, Courtown RNLI deputy launching authority said: “We were delighted to help the three men who got into difficulties this afternoon.

“All three were wearing their lifejackets and had a means of communication to raise the alarm, two things we would always recommend and encourage.

“We would remind all boat owners to maintain their craft and always have a means of calling for help. Should you get into difficulty or see someone in trouble, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Courtown RNLI’s fundraising committee is hosting a family fun day this Sunday 9 July on the North Pier in Courtown, Co Wexford.

A blessing of the boats and a short ceremony recognising and remembering those who have lost their lives at sea will commence at 2pm.

This will be followed by an afternoon of fun for all the family, with stalls selling plants, books, bottles and cakes, strawberries and cream.

There will be music in front of the boat house and face painting for the children, plus a monster raffle with all proceeds going to the Courtown lifeboat. Tickets will be €5 for three strips and the raffle will take place in the Taravie Hotel at 5pm.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Courtown RNLI in Co Wexford rescued three people on Sunday afternoon (11 June) after their speedboat started taking on water off Courtown Beach.

The volunteer crew were requested to launch their inshore lifeboat at around 3.40pm and it was launched shortly after at 3.50pm with helm Peter Browne and crew members Rob Ireton and Cathal Kinsella onboard.

They arrived on scene at 3.55pm and observed that the speedboat had made its way onto the beach.

Conditions were favourable at the time with partial cloud and a southeasterly wind.

Having assessed the situation, it was decided that crew member Cathal Kinsella to swim ashore with a tow rope. He assisted the speedboat crew to secure the tow line and he then stayed onboard the speedboat as it was towed into the harbour by the lifeboat.

Great care and skill were required towing the boat into the harbour as it was a busy day in Courtown, with small craft and jet skis using the harbour.

Speaking following the callout, Billy Byrne, Courtown RNLI deputy launching authority said: “We were delighted to help and wish the three onboard the speedboat well. We would commend them for all wearing the appropriate lifejackets, that is always the right thing to do.

“We would encourage all boat owners to maintain their craft and always have a means of calling for help. Should you get into difficulty or see someone else in trouble, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Courtown RNLI rescued a dog this afternoon after it got separated from its owner and got stuck on rocks below Ardamine Church.

The volunteer crew were requested by the Irish Coast Guard to launch their inshore lifeboat at approximately 2 pm and launched shortly after at 2.10 pm with helm Robbie Ireton and crew members Peter Browne and Amy Dowdall onboard. They arrived on scene at 2.14 pm and observed that Courtown Coast Guard’s shore unit were on scene but couldn’t reach the dog due to the steep rocky terrain.

The conditions were favourable at the time with partial cloud and a slight wind.

Having assessed the situation, a decision was made for crew members Peter and Amy to swim ashore and climb up on the rocks and work together to fasten a harness around the large dog. Due to its size and the slippiness of the rocks, this proved challenging and the crew had to work to carry the dog carefully from rock to rock, until they managed to hand it safely over to the Coast Guard, who then reunited the dog with its relieved owner.

The lifeboat then returned to the station where there was plenty of shore crew to assist with washing the boat and leaving it ready for the next call out.

Speaking following the call out, Jim Murphy, Courtown RNLI Deputy Launching Authority said: ‘This was the first call out of the year and we were delighted to assist in reuniting the dog safe and well with its owner.

We would encourage pet owners to keep their animal on a lead when close to cliff edges, and slippery surfaces. If your pet does go into the water or gets stuck on rocks, don’t attempt a rescue yourself, they will probably get out themselves. If you are worried and need help, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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A Wexford senator has called for new premises for Courtown’s coastguard unit to be made a priority by the Office of Public Works.

As the Gorey Guardian reports, Senator Malcolm Byrne told the Seanad that progress on procuring suitable premises was at a “glacial pace”.

Currently, the Courtown unit of the Irish Coast Guard occupies a single room hut with no toilet which is used by 22 crew members.

"I am concerned about it because the council had identified potential sites and it was not going to leave them sitting around,” the senator said.

“Potential private sites were also identified. The money has been provided for the purchase of a site. The Coast Guard is very keen that the acquisition would progress. The minister is aware of the vital work the coastguard does in coastal communities.

“I am disappointed because the situation has not moved on to any great extent since I raised it as a commencement matter in February and by other means.”

The Gorey Guardian has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastguard

At a special naming ceremony and service of dedication held on Saturday 28 May, Courtown RNLI officially named its inshore D class lifeboat, Frank.

As Afloat reported previously, the honour of handing over the lifeboat and officially naming her went to Martin and Liz Bandey, close friends of the late Frank Watkin who the lifeboat is named after. The couple were representing Frank’s wife Kathleen who was unable to attend the ceremony.

The lifeboat which went on service in January 2020 is funded by Frank and Kathleen, who together shared a love for the sea and sailing in particular.

Frank and Kathleen were married in Bishopstoke in England after Frank’s work took him from the Ford Motor Company office in Essex to the Ford Transit manufacturing factory in Southampton. He soon decided he preferred Hampshire to Essex and when the couple were married, they bought a yacht which was kept in Chichester Harbour where they spent many happy and exciting ventures both around the harbour and into the Solent.

After Frank died and with no immediate known relatives, Kathleen had a decision to make with what she wanted to do with her inheritance. With a passion for the sea and sailing, she visited the RNLI Support Centre in Poole and after what she described as an educational and exciting trip, she was captivated and decided she wanted at that point to put some funds into the charity that saves lives at sea rather than wait until she passed away.

Courtown RNLI D class naming ceremony Courtown RNLI D class naming ceremony

At the same time, the next lifeboat being built was waiting for funds and was partially constructed at the RNLI boatyard in East Cowes on the Isle of Wight. It was arranged for Kathleen to visit and see the lifeboat she would later name Frank, in the final stages of its construction.

During the naming ceremony, Anna Classon, RNLI Head of Region for Ireland, accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the charity from Martin Bandey, before handing her over into the care of Courtown Lifeboat Station.

During her address she said: ‘This D class lifeboat is the thirteenth lifeboat on station here in Courtown since the lifeboat was re-established in 1990. The original lifeboat station began operations in 1865 and closed in 1925. Since the station reopened, our inshore lifeboat crews have answered over 240 calls for help, bringing 515 people to safety, 46 of whom were lives saved, while operating these D class lifeboats.’

She then praised the efforts of all those who supported the work of the station: ‘We are immensely proud of all our volunteers who give up their time here at Courtown Lifeboat Station and throughout the organisation and we thank you for the dedication, commitment and sacrifice made by each of you to help others. Whatever your role – crew, station management, fundraiser, donor, you are the embodiment of the RNLI - willingly and selflessly helping others in need.’

Courtown RNLI D class naming ceremony

Lifeboat Operations Manager Sam Kennedy accepted the lifeboat on behalf of Courtown RNLI ahead of Frank being blessed in a service of dedication led by Father Tom Dalton, the station’s Lifeboat Training Coordinator, and the Reverend Margaret Sykes. The lifeboat was then officially named by Liz Bandey.

Sam said the event was a special occasion for the lifeboat station adding that the crew were most grateful to Kathleen for her generous gift in memory of her husband which had funded this lifeboat, Frank.

‘As Lifeboat Operations Manager along with the deputy launching authorities, part of my job is to authorise her launch when requested. It’s my job to send a message to the volunteers, asking them to get down to the station as quick as possible.

‘When the crew arrive here, and get kitted up, and head out to sea, we’ll have peace of mind because this lifeboat will help to keep them safe, as they save others. So, on behalf of all the station volunteers, I would like to thank Kathleen and the late Frank. Your generosity has given Courtown a lifesaver.’

At the end of the ceremony, a specially commissioned painting of Frank at its new home in Courtown Harbour by local artist Kate Kos, was presented by the station to Liz and Martin to give to Kathleen on their return to England.

The D class Frank replaces the Caird Au Chuain which served Courtown RNLI for over 10 years. During that time, the lifeboat launched 50 times bringing 61 people to safety, four of whom were lives saved.

Courtown RNLI D class naming ceremony

The D class inshore lifeboat has been the workhouse of the RNLI for over 50 years.

First introduced into the RNLI fleet in 1963, the design of the inflatable D class continues to evolve to meet changes in demand and technology.

The lifeboat is highly maneuverable and usually operates closer to shore than all-weather lifeboats. It comes into her own for searches and rescues in the surf, shallow water and confined locations – often close to cliffs, among rocks and even inside caves.

A lifeboat station was originally established in Courtown in 1865 when a station was opened at the request of local residents and a boathouse was constructed at a cost of £200. A new Peake class lifeboat Alfred and Ernest which was built in 1852, was placed on service. The station was closed in 1925 before the RNLI established an inshore lifeboat station in 1990 with the placing of a D class lifeboat for evaluation purposes. The old boathouse was later repurchased, and a new D class lifeboat was placed on service the following year.

A crowd of well-wishers turned up to see the lifeboat officially named with a bottle of champagne poured over the side of the boat before it launched at the end of the ceremony.

Among the guests on the platform party were Mark Chambers, Courtown RNLI Deputy Launching Authority, who welcomed guests and opened proceedings, Martin and Liz Bandey, close friends of Frank and Kathleen who handed over and named the lifeboat, Anna Classon, RNLI Head of Region for Ireland, who accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the RNLI and handed it over into the care of Courtown Lifeboat Station, Sam Kennedy, Courtown RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, and Courtown RNLI Helm Yvette Deacon who gave a vote of thanks and closed proceedings.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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An inshore D class lifeboat for Courtown RNLI is to be officially named Frank during a ceremony at the lifeboat station in the Wexford town at 3pm tomorrow, Saturday 28 May. The lifeboat which went on service in January 2020 is funded by the late Frank Watkin, and his wife Kathleen, who together shared a love for the sea and sailing in particular.

Frank and Kathleen were married in Bishopstoke in England after Frank’s work took him from the Ford Motor Company office in Essex to the Ford Transit manufacturing factory in Southampton. He soon decided he preferred Hampshire to Essex and when the couple were married, they bought a yacht which was kept in Chichester Harbour where they spent many happy and exciting ventures both around the harbour and into the Solent.

After Frank died and with no immediate known relatives, Kathleen had a decision to make with what she wanted to do with her inheritance. With a passion for the sea and sailing, she visited the RNLI Support Centre in Poole and after what she described as an educational and exciting trip, she was captivated and decided she wanted at that point to put some funds into the charity that saves lives at sea rather than wait until she passed away.

At the same time, the next lifeboat being built was waiting for funds and was partially constructed at the RNLI boatyard in East Cowes on the Isle of Wight. It was arranged for Kathleen to visit and see the lifeboat she would later name Frank, in the final stages of its construction. She was joined by good friends Martin and Liz Bandey who Frank and she met via their local Rotary Club and with whom the couple had enjoyed their love for the sea.

Talking about that trip and the lifeboat’s subsequent arrival in Courtown, Kathleen said: ‘It was very interesting and one of the best things I had done in years, and I am glad she (Frank) has arrived safely in Ireland. I have a love for Ireland – I used to work for Aer Lingus many, many years ago.’

While Kathleen won’t be able to travel to Courtown tomorrow, her wish to have a lifeboat named after her husband Frank will be granted. She will be represented at the ceremony by the couple’s good friends Martin and Liz.

The D class Frank replaces the Caird Au Chuain which served Courtown RNLI for over 10 years. During that time, the lifeboat launched 50 times bringing 61 people to safety, four of whom were lives saved.

Speaking ahead of the naming ceremony, Sam Kennedy, Courtown RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘This is a very special occasion for our station and we are most grateful to Kathleen and her late husband for this generous gift in his memory which has funded this lifeboat, Frank.

‘Frank and Kathleen had a love for the sea and sailing and while she can’t be here today, it is important to us to know that Kathleen was able to see the lifeboat before she arrived here at her new home in Courtown.’

The D class inshore lifeboat has been the workhorse of the RNLI for over 50 years.

First introduced into the RNLI fleet in 1963, the design of the inflatable D class continues to evolve to meet changes in demand and technology.

The lifeboat is highly manoeuvrable and usually operates closer to shore than all-weather lifeboats. It comes into her own for searches and rescues in the surf, shallow water and confined locations – often close to cliffs, among rocks and even inside caves.

A lifeboat station was originally established in Courtown in 1865 when a station was opened at the request of local residents and a boathouse was constructed at a cost of £200. A new Peake class lifeboat Alfred and Ernest which was built in 1852, was placed on service. The station was closed in 1925 before the RNLI established an inshore lifeboat station in 1990 with the placing of a D class lifeboat for evaluation purposes. The old boathouse was later repurchased and a new D class lifeboat was placed on service the following year.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Members of Courtown/Arklow Coast Guard were recently presented with medals of tenure, as the Gorey Guardian reports.

And chief among them was Benjamin Murphy, who was recognised for his 40 years’ service prior to his recent retirement.

“Pulling off 40 years of service is nearly impossible to do and it’s a massive achievement as a volunteer,” David Swinburne of Courtown/Arklow Coast Guard said.

The Gorey Guardian has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastguard
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