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Displaying items by tag: Kilkeel

#RNLI - Kilkeel RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew Ernest McKee (helm), William Charleton, Suzanne McCullough and Gerry Smyth responded to a call at 8pm last night (Sunday 10 May) to go to the aid of the 25ft yacht Sundancer in difficulty south of the Hellyhunter Buoy, off Carlingford Lough.

The Sundancer, which had left Howth with a crew of three, had suffered a ripped headsail along with reported engine failure and an exhausted crew. There was a Force 6 northerly wind with a moderate sea and moderate visibility.

On coming alongside, Kilkeel RNLI crewmember Charleton managed to get onboard the yacht and assessed the state of health of the crew, one of whom was suffering from violent seasickness. He gave appropriate assistance to the casualty, making him as comfortable as possible using the ripped sail to keep the wind off. 

Meanwhile, McCullough maintained contact with the yacht's crew to reassure them they were safe. When the sails were lowered, a towline was established and the vessel was towed to Carlingford Marina.

Following the callout, Smyth stated that "the rescue was carried out under difficult and trying conditions and helm Ernest McKee did a great job manoeuvring the lifeboat into position to allow William to get onboard the yacht.

"It was a textbook location and recovery operation; we train regularly for such tasks and everything went smoothly."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

#RNLI - Roy Teggarty has retired as lifeboat operations manager at Kilkeel RNLI in Co Down.

At a social evening in the local British Legion on Friday 27 March, Teggarty was pleased to greet fellow Kilkeel RNLI colleagues as well as staff and volunteers from neighbouring stations.

Coming from a fishing and nautical background, Teggarty was an obvious choice when in 1994 the lifeboat crew in Kilkeel were looking for a deputy landing authority (DLA).

He brought hard work, dedication and excellent organisational skills to the station ensuring, with the help of others in management, that the building and the equipment were always up to the required tasks.

In the year 2000, all his experiences were recognised when he was appointed as lifeboat operations manager (LOM). Over the years he has ensured that the crew have maintained the high professional standards they have always set for themselves.

Commenting on his years of service, Teggarty stated that the majority of callouts have been routine but, as always with this role, some have been very very dark tragic days.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as DLA and LOM of Kilkeel RNLI, working with a dedicated team of volunteers, not only on the operational side but also with the excellent team of fundraisers," he said.

"Although I am standing down as LOM, I am sure that the station will continue to provide an excellent and professional service under the leadership of their new LOM John Fisher. I wish them all the best for the future in continuing to save lives at sea."

Thanking him for his many years of service, Leslie Campbell, Kilkeel RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer, said: "The crew and fundraisers would like to wish Roy a long and rewarding retirement free from early morning alarm calls and thanks for your dedication, loyalty and years of faithful service."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Kilkeel RNLI's volunteer lifeboat crew responded early yesterday morning (29 June) to a 40ft two-masted glass fibre yacht reported to be burning out of control.

The owner of the yacht, anchored south south-east of Rostrevor Pier on Carlingford Lough, had been contacted and it was confirmed there were two gas cylinders aboard the yacht.

The Kilkeel lifeboat Frank William Walton was launched at 2.20am and quickly reached the stricken yacht, which very quickly was ablaze from bow to stern. There was a slight sea and good visibility with light and variable northerly winds.

One of the propane gas cylinders had already exploded so the lifeboat, with four firefighters from Warrenpoint and a mobile firefighting pump aboard, stood off at a safe distance.

When the fire had somewhat subsided the lifeboat returned to the yacht and the flames were extinguished. The lifeboat left the firefighters and the pump ashore at Warrenpoint and returned safely to the boathouse in Kilkeel at 6.45am.

Lifeboat helm Gerry Smyth said: "It was vital that the lifeboat crew, the firefighters and the lifeboat were kept out of danger whilst there was the possibility of the gas cylinders exploding.

"The yacht was extensively damaged and still afloat when we left the scene but importantly no lives were lost."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

#Coastguard - The chief executive of the UK's Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) was in Northern Ireland yesterday (4 March) to discuss future collaboration with the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen.

As reports, the charity - also known as the Fishermen's Mission - provides emergency support to fishermen and their families in times of need.

Sir Alan Massey of the MCA was in Kilkeel, Co Down to meet with the charity's CEO David Dickens to find out how best to work together on their common ground of safety at sea.

"We want to encourage a culture where it becomes normal practice for all fishermen to wear a lifejacket or personal flotation device (PFD) when out at sea," said Massey.

Dickens added that the Fishermen's Mission is "keen to engage with all agencies and organisations that seek to reduce the number and severity of incidents in fishing".

Published in Coastguard

#RNLI - Kilkeel RNLI rescued a windsurfer who got into difficulty in Carlingford, Co Louth yesterday (Tuesday 29 January).

The charity’s volunteer lifeboat crew was requested to launch by the Irish Coast Guard shortly after 2pm following a report that a windsurfer had got into difficulty in Carlingford Lough.

Launching their inshore lifeboat immediately, the crew encountered very unfavourable weather, with strong westerly winds of between force six and seven.

The lifeboat proceeded up the lough where they found and retrieved the windsurfer who had stayed by his board. The crew then attempted to retrieve the sail and board but couldn’t due to the windy weather conditions. They instead proceeded to tow the board into Greenore where the local coastguard took over.

Despite being in the water for approximately an hour, the casualty was described as being in reasonably good health.

Roy Teggarty, Kilkeel RNLI lifeboat operations manager, paid tribute to the lifeboat crew for their efforts in what was a challenging rescue:

"This was a day with difficult conditions because of the strong winds," he said. "It was mainly difficult to keep the lifeboat steady when retrieving the casualty so this rescue involved expert boat handling by all involved."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RESCUE - The Evening Herald reports that a body recovered 14km off the coast of north Dublin on Sunday is believed to be that of a missing fisherman.

The grisly find was made by the fishing vessel Rath Eilte in the waters off Skerries. A post-mortem was set to be carried out yesterday to determine the cause of death.

Found fully clothed in black and yellow oilskins, the remains are thought to be those of a Ukrainian in his 30s, a crewman on the Kilkeel-registered Zenith who was reported missing some 14.5km off Clogherhead in Co Louth on 29 January.

Published in Rescue

#RESCUE - The Irish Times reports that the search has resumed for a fisherman who fell overboard from a trawler in the Irish Sea yesterday.

The crewman of the Kilkeel-registered fishing vessel Zenith was reported missing some nine miles (14.5km) off Clogherhead, Co Louth.

Yesterday afternoon the Irish Coast Guard and Clogherhead RNLI began an air and sea search and rescue effort, assisted by coastguard helicopter and other lifeboats and vessels in the area.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Rescue
A search coordinated by Belfast Coastguard that was prompted by several reports of sightings of red flares at the mouth of Carlingford Lough was stood down last evening after nothing was found.

The first sightings of the red flares came in at 18.10 via 999 calls from members of the public reporting that they had seen the flares near the mouth of the Lough, southwest of Kilkeel.  Belfast Coastguard issued a relay broadcast to vessels in the area to try and find more information about the potential vessel in distress, and three fishing vessels responded to say that they too had sighted the flares.

Belfast Coastguard then sent the South Down Coastguard Rescue Team, Kilkeel RNLI Inshore Lifeboat and the Irish Coast Guard Helicopter to the scene to begin a search. The three fishing vessels who responded to the initial broadcast also maintained a lookout during this time. The search area was approximately five and a half miles, and three miles offshore, and the search was completed at 20.30 and all resources stood down with nothing found.

Belfast Coastguard Watch Manager Rob Steventon said:

"With good visibility on scene and the search area completely saturated we are satisfied that the red flare sightings were not from a vessel in distress.  All sightings of distress flares reported to the Coastguard have to be thoroughly investigated, however a proportion of these turn out to be either Chinese lanterns, or non distress situations, such as people disposing of out of date flares.  Members of the public should be aware however, that using flares in a non-emergency situation is against the law."

Notes to Editors

Published in Coastguard
Police in Northern Ireland have launched an investigation after a six-year-old boy was critically injured when he was struck by a speedboat near Carlingford Lough in Co Down. Stuart Wilson was on a wake-board being towed by another boat when the accident happened at Cranfield Bay near Kilkeel on Monday.

It is understood another speedboat  hit the youngster, leaving him with serious head injuries.

In a statement released on behalf of the Wilson family, Reverend David Somerville said:

"The family of Stuart Wilson, aged six years old, say that he remains critically ill. They would like to thank people for their support and prayers but appeal for privacy at this difficult time. They ask everyone to continue to pray for Stuart."

Stuart was given first aid on Cranfield Beach by a doctor and an off-duty nurse before being rushed to Daisy Hill hospital in Newry by ambulance. 

Published in News Update
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