Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Latest Stories

Kilkeel RNLI’s volunteer crew launched at 1.20pm yesterday (Sunday 23 June) to go to the aid of the 44ft French yacht with two people onboard that was stranded two miles off Annalong Harbour in Co Down.

In fresh conditions with good visibility, the lifeboat volunteers found that the yacht had become stranded due to a rope in the propeller.

The crew, with Gary Young as helm, managed to retrieve the rope and free the yacht.

A crew member went aboard the yacht to check everything was well and finding everything was in order, he returned to the lifeboat and the yacht went on its way to continue its journey north.

Speaking following the callout, volunteer press officer Leslie Campbell said: “As we approach the summer months, we would remind all sea users regardless of their activity to always respect the water.

“Always wear a lifejacket, always carry a means of communication and always let someone on the shore know where you are going and what time you will be due back.

“Should you get into difficulty or see someone in trouble dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Wicklow RNLI volunteers were alerted by pager at 1.05pm on Friday afternoon (12 April) following a launch request to assist a fishing boat with engine failure.

The all-weather lifeboat Jock and Annie Slater put to sea shortly before 1.15pm under the command of coxswain Nick Keogh and proceeded towards the vessel, which was reported to be 23 miles north-east of Wicklow Harbour.

The lifeboat was alongside the 10-metre fishing boat an hour later. Conditions in the area were good, with south-easterly Force 3 winds.

The fishing vessel with three crew had developed mechanical problems and had lost propulsion. A towline was secured, and the vessel was towed back towards Wicklow over the next three-and-a-half hours, being secured safely alongside the North Quay shortly before 6pm.

This was the third callout since the all-weather lifeboat Jock and Annie Slater went on station at Wicklow on Friday 5 April.

Earlier in the week, Kilkeel RNLI’s volunteer crew launched at 4.20pm on Wednesday (10 April) to respond to a call from the skipper of a fishing boat that a semi-submerged kayak was adrift at Leestone Point, north east of Kilkeel Harbour.

Conditions were good and the crew arrived quickly on scene. On examination of the kayak, the crew found there was an algae growth on her bottom and no signs that it had been recently occupied.

With no reports of a missing kayaker, the kayak was taken on board the lifeboat which then returned to the station. Kilkeel Coastguard were in attendance.

Speaking afterwards, John Fisher, Kilkeel RNLI lifeboat operations manager, said: “It is important that if a small craft is lost or abandoned that it is reported to the coastguard. This will prevent any further reports by concerned members of the public or other persons.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Lifeboats from Clogherhead, Newcastle and Kilkeel were involved in the search for a woman missing in Carlingford Lough at the weekend, which came to a sad end yesterday afternoon (Monday 18 March) with the discovery of a body in the water off Greenore.

Newcastle RNLI was tasked to divert from a morning training exercise on the Co Down coast to join the major search operation which began on Sunday (17 March), concentrating on the entrance to Carlingford Lough and outlying islands.

During this search the all-weather lifeboat located a casualty in the water and, working with volunteer lifeboat crews from Clogherhead and Kilkeel RNLI, the casualty was taken ashore to Greenore Harbour by the Kilkeel lifeboat and placed in the care of An Garda Síochána.

The casualty was shortly after confirmed to be the remains of Ruth Maguire from Newcastle, who went missing during a hen party in Carlingford on Saturday night (16 March).

Speaking following the search, Newcastle RNLI coxswain Nathan Leneghan said: “On behalf of Newcastle RNLI I wish to express our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of the woman who was recovered from the water this afternoon.

“The thoughts and prayers of the everyone involved in the search are with them at this sad time. I also wish to commend the volunteer crews for their commitment and professionalism.”

Kilkeel RNLI lifeboat operations manager John Fisher added: “This was not the outcome we or the family wanted and at this difficult time our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the casualty.

“At this time I would also like to thank the volunteer crew for their commitment and energy. We train for such an incident but always pray that it has a better outcome.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#Lifeboats - Kilkeel’s RNLI volunteers responded to a Mayday in the early hours of yesterday morning (Sunday 24 February) after a fishing vessel lost propulsion about half a mile off Kilkeel Harbour in very foggy conditions.

The crew, including helm Gerry Smyth, Andrew McConnell, Mark McCullough and Robert Tomkins, launched their inshore lifeboat and responded to the Mayday call at 5.40am.

The vessel was quickly located and having spoken to the skipper, the helm decided to put crew member Andrew McConnell aboard to safely secure a tow rope and safely tow in the vessel, with the local coastguard team assisting in berthing. By 6.25am the crew had returned safely to the boathouse.

Speaking following the call-out, Kilkeel RNLI helm Gerry Smyth said it was “something our volunteers train for on a regular basis but this time the foggy conditions and the low tide made the tow more difficult than usual.

“The lifeboat crew were delighted to help and handled the call out in a thoroughly professional manner. We wish the fishermen well.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Stanley Tomkins, treasurer for the Kilkeel RNLI volunteer crew, is to retire after 25 years’ service at the Co Down lifeboat station.

Tomkins, a retired bank manager, was recently awarded the British Empire Medal for his charitable work in the local community.

Over the past 25 years he been the treasurer for Kilkeel RNLI, and he has now decided to step down to devote more time to his other interests.

John Fisher, Kilkeel RNLI lifeboat operations manager, said: “We thank Stanley for his dedication and his energy over the past 25 years. We shall miss his steady hand on the financial rudder and wish him well for the future.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

#RNLI - Kilkeel RNLI’s volunteer crew launched their inshore lifeboat at 7.55pm yesterday evening (Thursday 26 July) after a crew member of a fishing boat was reported unwell and in need of medical attention.

Winds were blowing 3 to 4 knots with a choppy sea and good light as the lifeboat headed to the fishing vessel four miles south-east of Kilkeel Harbour.

On reaching the fishing boat, two lifeboat crew members went aboard to access the casualty, who was a diabetic and unconscious.

The lifeboat crew made the casualty comfortable and administered oxygen while reassuring him that he would be fine.

Another crew member went aboard with a stretcher but with the choppy conditions, it was deemed too awkward to transfer the casualty to the lifeboat, so the three crew members remained with the casualty.

On entering the safety of the harbour, the casualty was finally transferred to the lifeboat and safely brought ashore to a waiting ambulance crew. The local coastguard was also in attendance.

Kilkeel RNLI lifeboat operations manager John Fisher said: “The crew performed, as always, in a professional and competent manner and the callout showed the value of keeping up-to-date with all first aid matters. And we are glad to know that the casualty is making a good recovery.”

Earlier in the day, Enniskillen RNLI was requested to launch by Belfast Coastguard at 12.36pm to a boat aground and reports of a person in the water in the Castle Cauldwell area.

The PSNI boat Lady Grey was also requested. Weather conditions at the time were clear and bright with a moderate wind.

Enniskillen’s volunteer crew on the inshore lifeboat Joseph and Mary Hiley and the rescue water craft made their way to the area and found all six people aboard the grounded 40ft cruiser — five adults and one child — were safe and well.

A tow was set up and the crew managed to free the vessel from the area into safer water. The lifeboat crew onboard checked the boat over and found it working well mechanically, and stayed with the cruiser’s crew until they were well into the Belleek River. The passengers were happy to make their onward journey.

“We would like to wish those onboard the cruiser a safe and enjoyable onward journey,” said Stephen Ingram, Enniskillen RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat press officer. “Today’s callout was a good example of ourselves and our colleagues in the local PSNI working well together to bring people to safety.

“As people continue to enjoy Lough Erne this summer, we would remind everyone to always respect the water. If your vessel does get into difficulty call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.

“As the terrain underwater can be unpredictable we would ask people to always remain onboard your boat and wait for help to arrive.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Newcastle RNLI rescued six fishermen in a callout that lasted 12 hours on Monday 5 February.

At 3.10pm, Newcastle’s volunteer crew were alerted to Belfast  Coastguard’s request for a lifeboat to assist a fishing vessel breakdown 15 miles southeast of Newcastle Harbour.

The all-weather Mersey class lifeboat Eleanor and Bryant Girling was launched at 3.20pm and reached the casualty vessel an hour later. Weather conditions at the time were calm but cold with excellent visibility.

Communications were made with the skipper and it was agreed that the best option was for the lifeboat to tow the boat back to the port of Kilkeel.

While the tow got underway at a slow speed of four knots and with 15 miles to go, the estimated time of arrival in Kilkeel was approximately 8.30pm.

However, due to size of the vessel and the tide ebbing, the lifeboat crew were not able to enter the harbour until 1am.

At 12.30am it was decided to launch Kilkeel RNLI’s inshore lifeboat to assist with the manoeuvring of the fishing vessel into the tight harbour entrance. Shortly after 1.20am the vessel was alongside the quay and handed over to Kilkeel Coastguard rescue team.

Speaking following the callout, Newcastle RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer Nathan Leneghan said: “This was the first callout of the year for Newcastle RNLI and we were delighted to help bring the fishing crew to safety.

“This was a long and challenging callout due to the tide and size of the boat but we worked with the conditions and with the support of colleagues from Kilkeel RNLI were able to bring the boat to safety.

“We would remind anyone taking to sea to always respect the water. Check weather and tide times before you leave and always let someone ashore know when you are leaving and when you are due back. Always wear a lifejacket and always carry a means of calling or signalling for help should you get into difficulty.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Two British naval war ships, three helicopters and a fishing vessel joined Peel RNLI in the dramatic rescue of a trawler between Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man in the early hours of Wednesday morning (21 September).

The 20m converted fishing vessel from Kilkeel in Co Down was on passage in the Irish Sea from Glasgow to Conwy in Wales when it started taking water through the stern tube and was in danger of sinking some 11 miles west of the Isle of Man.

Peel's all-weather lifeboat Ruby Clery, under the command of coxswain Paul Cain, launched shortly after the volunteer crew were alerted at 1.30am.

Northern Irish fishing vessel Stephanie M gave shelter to the casualty until the lifeboat crew were able to put a pump on board to evacuate the water.

The vessel, with three adults and one child on board, was soon stabilised and helicopters and other vessels stood down. The trawler was then taken in tow by the lifeboat bound for Peel.

During this time, a young woman and the child were taken ill, so the tow was dropped about 15 minutes from Peel and the two taken to a waiting ambulance where they were treated and then removed to Nobles Hospital.

Meanwhile, the lifeboat returned to the stricken vessel, which was now under its own power, and escorted it into Peel Harbour at about 5am.

"We advise people to always check their equipment before leaving port," said Cain after the callout.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Kilkeel RNLI helped bring a fisherman to safety yesterday evening (Tuesday 17 May) after he was injured while fishing for prawns off the Co Down coast.

The volunteer lifeboat crew was alerted at 4.50pm and requested by Belfast Coastguard to go to the aid of an injured man on a 68ft fishing trawler in Dundalk Bay.

The inshore lifeboat, helmed by Alan Henning and with three crew members onboard, launched within minutes and made its way to the scene some six nautical miles from the lifeboat station.

Weather conditions at the time were described as wet with a lot of rain and a 1.5m swell.



Once on scene, lifeboat crew member Andrew McConnell was transferred from the lifeboat on to the fishing vessel, where he assessed the casualty and ensured he was wearing a sea survival suit before being moved from the trawler.

The injured man was made comfortable before he was strapped and lowered down into the lifeboat where he was then transported back to Kilkeel and handed over into the care of a waiting ambulance.

Speaking following the callout, Kilkeel RNLI lifeboat operations manager John Fisher said: "There wasn’t enough water in the harbour yesterday afternoon to allow the fishing trawler make its way into Kilkeel so we were happy to assist.

"We would like to wish the injured man a full and speedy recovery from his ordeal."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

#RNLI - Kilkeel RNLI's volunteer lifeboat crew launched at 9.20am yesterday morning (Monday 14 March) to go the aid of a fishing vessel rapidly taking in water about 25 miles southeast of Kilkeel, Co Down.

The vessel was in a heavy swell when water was seen in the fish room. The boat’s pump was unable to cope with the water entering and at one stage the fish room was three-quarters full of water. It had begun to affect the stability of the boat when the alarm was raised and help was dispatched.

When Kilkeel RNLI arrived on scene, the lifeboat was carefully manoeuvred by its volunteer crew alongside the vessel in an increasingly heavy swell, and two of the lifeboat crew went aboard the fishing vessel with a salvage pump. Newcastle RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat was also on scene to render assistance.

The Kilkeel lifeboat then transferred a further pump from the Newcastle lifeboat, and with all the pumps working the boat was kept afloat. The two lifeboats then escorted the fishing boat under her own steam safely into Kilkeel Harbour, arriving at about 12.45pm.

John Fisher, Kilkeel RNLI lifeboat operations manager, said: "If the incident had happened further out to sea then the operation would have been more difficult, but with the Kilkeel and Newcastle lifeboats co-operating well together, the fishing boat and its crew were brought safely ashore.

Kilkeel RNLI's volunteer lifeboat crew on this callout were Raymond Newell, Alan Henning, Andrew McConnell and Wayne Marshall.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Page 1 of 3

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

mgm sidebutton
bjmarine sidebutton
xyachts sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events

tokyo sidebutton
sovscup sidebutton
vdlr sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating