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Displaying items by tag: Fethard

Lifeboat crew at Fethard RNLI sprang into action yesterday afternoon following a distress call from the Irish Coast Guard. The call, received at 4:30 pm on Sunday, May 19, requested assistance for a family pet that had fallen from a cliff.

The crew found a Jack Russel terrier that had fallen 30-40 feet onto a bed of seaweed. Fortunately, two local kayakers had spotted the dog in distress and raised the alarm, prompting the lifeboat crew to respond.

Crew member Nadia Blanchfield bravely made her way to the small beach at Poles Bay, where she successfully recovered the dog and brought her on board the inshore lifeboat. The full crew, including Helm James Barry and Paddy O'Regan, ensured the safe return of the dog. The rescue took place under sunny, calm conditions with a light easterly breeze.

Pat Wallace, Volunteer Deputy Launch Authority, emphasised the importance of keeping pets on a lead near cliffs and water's edges. He also advised pet owners to have a means to call for help in case of emergencies and warned against attempting risky rescues.

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In a dramatic rescue operation, a sheep fell from a ledge in the Waterford Estuary and was saved from being engulfed by the rising tide. The incident occurred on Wednesday, prompting the Irish Coast Guard to dispatch the volunteer lifeboat crew at Fethard RNLI to the scene.

The crew, led by volunteer Helm Mick Roche and comprising Natasha Blanchfield, Eoin Bird and Diarmuid Bird, launched their boat from Duncannon and headed to the area known locally as Lady’s Bay, where the animal was stranded.

After arriving at the scene, the crew observed the sheep in distress and quickly sprang into action. Crew member Diarmuid Bird bravely entered the water, retrieved the sheep, and brought it to safety on a nearby pebble beach.

Reflecting on the incident, Helm Mick Roche stressed the importance of being cautious and vigilant around the sea and waterside. "This evening's launch highlights the importance of taking care and being wary of all edges around the sea and waterside.

Slips and falls happen in all kinds of locations, not just high cliff edges," he said.

The rescue operation was carried out under fine weather conditions, with a light southerly breeze in the Waterford Estuary. 

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Volunteer lifeboat crew at Fethard RNLI in County Wexford were requested to launch their lifeboat yesterday morning (Friday 19 January) at 11.11 am to assist a broken down 24-foot fishing vessel.

Fethard RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was launched, made their way to Baginbun Head in force 3/4 winds and choppy sea conditions. After assessing the situation and learning that the boat had suffered a gearbox problem, the Helm of the lifeboat, Thomas Stafford, decided that the safest course of action was to tow the boat, with the crew on board, to the safety of Fethard Harbour.

Speaking after the call out, Volunteer Deputy Launch Authority Pete Barry said, ‘The crew went to sea, well prepared, with a means to call for assistance. It shows the importance of having the right equipment to call for help when 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 Coast Guard.’

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The Fethard RNLI fundraising committee members in County Wexford, along with some volunteers, gathered last week to receive a significant amount of funds raised by the Hooked On Swimming Group and two businesses with local links. In total, the group donated €12,985 to the RNLI.

The Hooked On Swimming Group, a dedicated group of local swimmers, took part in their annual 12 Swims of Christmas for the third year in a row, braving the chilly December waters surrounding the Hook Peninsula. The group also organised a coffee morning with delicious home-baked treats and a monster raffle, creating a fantastic community atmosphere and a social outlet during the winter months. All the while, they raised vital funds for their local lifeboat.

Scurri present a €2,500 cheque to the RNLIScurri present a €2,500 cheque to the RNLI

This year’s total included a generous donation of €3,500 from the Greenlink project and a separate donation of €2,500 from Scurri, a locally owned delivery management software company.

Sarah Bates, a volunteer fundraising committee representative, accepted the cheques on behalf of the RNLI and expressed her gratitude, saying, “The RNLI is independent of the Coast Guard and the government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As we enter into our 200th year of lifesaving, donations like we received today are just as important as ever for us to continue saving lives at sea.”

The generosity of the Hooked On Swimming Group and the local businesses is commendable, and their efforts will undoubtedly make a significant impact on the RNLI's operations.

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A family of four on board a broken-down speedboat off the County Wexford coast received assistance from the volunteer lifeboat crew at Fethard RNLI over the weekend. The Irish Coast Guard requested the launch of the lifeboat on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. following a distress call from the stranded family.

Helm Mick Roche, along with crew members Cathal O’Connell and Paddy Regan, launched Fethard RNLI’s inshore lifeboat and arrived on the scene, located 500 meters off Slade Harbour, in a short amount of time. The weather was good with flat calm seas. After assessing the situation, the crew made the decision to tow the family and their craft to the safety of Fethard Dock.

Pete Barry, Volunteer Deputy Launch Authority, spoke about the importance of having a means to call for help in case of an emergency. He commended the family for their quick thinking in calling the Coast Guard, which allowed the crew to launch as soon as possible and bring the situation to a safe conclusion.

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Fethard RNLI came to the aid of two people on Saturday afternoon (20 May) after their 20ft boat broke down.

The volunteer crew were requested to launch their inshore D class lifeboat by the Irish Coast Guard at approximately 2.45 pm. The sailors raised the alarm after their boat encountered engine difficulties and broke down north of Templetown Bay at Stonewall Bay, south of Duncannon.

The lifeboat helmed by Mick Roche and with crew members Thomas Stafford and Mick Cooper onboard, launched immediately and made their way to the scene.

Weather conditions at the time were good with flat calm seas, a Force 1 south easterly wind with good visibility and some cloud.

On arrival, the crew observed that both onboard were wearing lifejackets and were safe and well.

Having assessed the situation, a decision was made to tow the vessel to the nearest safe port at Passage East.

Speaking following the call out, Fethard RNLI Helm Mick Roche said: ‘The two onboard reacted as they should when they encountered engine problems and raised the alarm, and we would commend them for being prepared by having a means of communication and for wearing their lifejackets.

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Fethard RNLI in Co Wexford is in search of new people to join its volunteer team in a variety of lifesaving roles.

The station will host an open day over St Patrick’s weekend from 11am-1pm next Saturday morning (18 March) and want anyone who has an interest in volunteering to come along and find out more.

The station is particularly keen to recruit new volunteer lifeboat shore crew and enhance its fundraising crew.

Patrick O’Regan has been a crew member for four years, having joined in 2019. He says it was his desire to help in the community and give back that encouraged him to get involved.

“I had always wanted to help out in my local community,” he says, “and to make a difference. The sea and the dangers associated with it have always fascinated me. Joining the RNLI gave me the opportunity to help save lives at sea.“”

All crew members on joining receive full competency based training. “I have found training to be invaluable,” Patrick adds, “and an exciting way to learn new skills such as first aid and boat handling in an environment where questions are welcomed and encouraged to ensure we have a highly competent crew who are prepared for every eventuality.“”

As for what he derives most satisfaction from, Patrick says: “The most rewarding part of being a volunteer with the RNLI is making a measurable difference to the charity’s purpose of saving lives at sea while also expanding my knowledge of the sea and learning essential skills.”

Fethard RNLI crew member Patrick O’Regan has been a volunteer for four years | Credit: RNLI/FethardFethard RNLI crew member Patrick O’Regan has been a volunteer for four years | Credit: RNLI/Fethard

The roles you can apply for are varied, as Eileen Murphy found when she joined almost 17 years ago and soon became a driver.

“My great grandfather was Patrick Cullen who lost his life on the Helen Blake,” Eileen says. “My mother was very involved in the upkeep of the monument, and it was important to keep the connection with the lifeboat.

“I joined to help in whatever way I could and became a driver on the station Land Rover that brings our D class lifeboat to its launching point once the pagers go off and the crew are kitted up.”

Eileen has also found the learning over the years to be invaluable: “The training has been fantastic. I have done off-road driving, radio and casualty care courses. I would never have got to do any of that except for the RNLI.”

As for what Eileen finds most rewarding, she says: “You feel you are contributing to a very good cause which is important to me. I have learned new skills and the sense of satisfaction you feel is great. You also make new friends.”

Walter Foley, Fethard RNLI’s lifeboat operations manager said the team is looking forward to welcoming anyone who is interested in finding out more to the open day.

“Volunteering with us gives people the opportunity to make a real difference in their local community, to save lives and become part of the larger RNLI family,” he says. “We can’t keep people safe without the support of our wonderful volunteers, who truly make a difference every day no matter which role they are fulfilling.

“We’re looking for enthusiastic people to come along on Saturday morning and see what is involved and learn how they can play their part. The RNLI provides first-class training and equipment, guidance and support to all volunteers, from lifeboat crew to shore crew to fundraising crew.

“So, no matter the time or the skill you can offer, it is our hope that this can be the beginning of something exciting for new volunteers as it was for Patrick and Eileen some years ago while also allowing Fethard RNLI to continue its great work in saving lives at sea.”

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Fethard RNLI’s friends in the Baginbun-based sea swim group Hooked on Swimming are doing the 12 Swims of Christmas in aid of the RNLI, the charity that saves lives at sea, as previously reported on

This Sunday 11 December they will be holding a coffee morning from 10am at The Hall in Fethard-on-Sea in Co Wexford to raise funds for their local lifeboat via a raffle with some great prizes.

But even if you can’t be there on the morning, donations towards the swimmers’ €5,000 goal can be made via their GoFundMe page HERE.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Fethard RNLI’s fundraising branch has begun to distribute RNLI Christmas cards to local shops and businesses, while local swimming group Hooked on Swimming have begun their 12 swims of Christmas fundraiser which will see proceeds raised to power the lifesaving work of the volunteer lifeboat crew.

In the past week, local shops and businesses throughout the Hook Peninsula have been stocked up with beautiful Christmas cards for locals and visitors to purchase.

Hooked on Swimming

Meanwhile, the local sea swimming group Hooked on Swimming, began their 12 swims of Christmas. From now, until their final swim on New Year's Day, the swimmers will brave the elements and swim 12 times for the RNLI. The 12 Swims group began last year and has grown from strength to strength, now comprising of 140 swimmers. This group have also arranged a coffee morning on Sunday 11 December, at St Marys Community Hall, Fethard. Everyone in the community is invited to come down and join them for light refreshments, raffle prizes and festive treats.

Speaking about the fundraising activities this Christmas, Sarah Bates from Fethard RNLI Fundraising Branch said: ‘We are very lucky to have fantastic people in our community who are so willing to support the lifesaving work of their local lifeboat crew. We hope our Christmas cards sell out and that the whole community will show their support for our local swimmers and their 12 swims of Christmas.

‘RNLI volunteers will be on call this festive season and ready to leave their loves ones to save others this Christmas. They really appreciate the generous fundraising efforts and the donations raised that helps them to continue their work in saving lives at sea.’

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Fethard RNLI launched its inshore lifeboat on Friday afternoon (22 July) after one of its helms spotted a lone boatman struggling to make ground with oars while being blown away from the shore.

The volunteer crew launched the inshore lifeboat at Fethard Dock and headed to an area around half a mile off The Windy Gap. Weather conditions were good, with good visibility and a Force 4 southwesterly wind.

It emerged that the lone boatman had taken his flat-bottomed punt to check on a larger vessel that was moored, when the wind overpowered the small craft.

Upon arrival at the casualty vessel, the crew assessed the situation, brought the casualty on board the lifeboat, set up a towline and brought the vessel to the safety of Fethard Dock.

Commenting about the callout, volunteer helm Mick Roche said it “highlights the huge importance of always having a means to call 999 or 112”.

He added: “It also should encourage all members of the public engaging in water activities to know the local tides and weather, in particular the direction of the wind, and if an offshore wind is blowing.”

Friday’s callout also marked the first shout for volunteer crew member Ian O’Grady, who downed tools at a local building site to join the crew.

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