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Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat was requested by Valentia Coast Guard to assist a family of three, two adults and a child, on a 21ft cruiser suffering engine failure near the County Clare shore today.

Weather conditions were calm with Force 2 winds and good visibility.

The lifeboat, with helm Dom Sharkey and crew Michael O'Sullivan and Tom Hayes on board, reached the casualty vessel at 12.10 pm. The skipper of the vessel had dropped anchor to prevent his boat drifting onto the rocky shore. Once the RNLI volunteers established that the people on board were safe and well and that the vessel had not suffered damage, they set up for a tow and took in the anchor.

At 12.30 pm the lifeboat had the cruiser, with her passengers and an RNLI crew member on board, under tow to Mountshannon Harbour.

After tying the cruiser safely alongside at Mountshannon Harbour, the lifeboat returned to Station and was ready for service again at 2.30 pm.

Dom Sharkey, volunteer helm at Lough Derg RNLI said: ‘We advise people to ensure that their vessels are regularly serviced, and, in the event of difficulties, to always carry a means of communication.'

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Valentia RNLI volunteers launched their all-weather lifeboat this morning to assist a fisherman with suspected spinal injuries following a collision.

At 1.17 am the Valentia Coast Guard requested Valentia RNLI all-weather lifeboat to launch to an injured fisherman onboard a 37m fishing vessel. The vessel with nine people on board was involved in a collision with a 229m cargo ship, 37 miles North West of Valentia.

At the location, there was a four-metre swell with a south-west wind force three to four. The lifeboat crew members assessed the situation taking into consideration the condition of the fisherman and weather. It was decided the best and safest option was to escort the fishing vessel to Dingle Harbour. The crew then assisted the National Ambulance Service in immobilising and transferring the fisherman from the vessel to the ambulance. The fisherman was then taken to University Hospital Kerry for further medical attention. In total, the RNLI volunteer crew were at sea for seven hours.

Speaking following the call out, Valentia RNLI Coxswain Richard Quigley said: The fishing vessel made the right decision in calling for help to ensure the casualty received the proper medical treatment.

Published in Coastguard
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Carrybridge RNLI's inshore lifeboat and rescue water craft (RWC) were launched last night (Monday 7 October) after 7pm to a vessel with two people on board which had suffered engine failure around half a mile upstream from the Killyhevlin jetty.

When the lifeboat Douglas Euan & Kay Richards and RWC arrived on scene, they proceeded slowly to the vessel's location close to the reed line.

Once the boat's condition was assessed, and with the owner's permission, the volunteer lifeboat crew set up a tow and brought the casualty vessel in to deeper water, and then onwards to Killyhevlin jetty.

Speaking after the callout, Chris Cathcart, helm at Carrybridge RNLI, advised all boat users to take proper care when plotting their trips on the water.

"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
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Portaferry RNLI celebrated the lifeboat station’s 40th anniversary this past weekend with a party and presentation evening for crew members and their families.

During the course of the evening, the crew paid thanks to past and present members for their dedication and hard work over the last 40 years.

Portaferry lifeboat station owes its origins to an RNLI lifeboat station that was established in 1884 in the village of Cloughey, Co Down. The first lifeboat, called The Faith, was commissioned a short while after in 1885.

With the introduction of fast inshore lifeboats that were capable of making way against strong tidal currents such as those experienced in the Strangford Narrows, it was decided in 1979 to place a single-engine C class lifeboat in Portaferry for evaluation.

The lifeboat quickly proved to be a success and a twin engine D class was commissioned, before the station was officially established on 1 May 1980. The station was upgraded to 24-hour all-year operation in 1982.

The past 40 years have seen huge changes in the technology and design of the boats and the personal safety equipment worn by the crew.

Portaferry now operates a B class Atlantic 85 lifeboat known as Blue Peter V. Portaferry is one of seven Blue Peter RNLI stations, and the only one in Ireland, whose lifeboats have been sponsored by the world's longest-running television programme for children.

Presentations were made on the evening to past and present crew members for their hard work and commitment over the last four decades.

Lenny Lawson, Graeme Ellison and Billy Ellison were awarded certificates from the RNLI for their service of the many different roles they held within the station.

John Murray Snr, Pat Browne and Mrs Brownlow were presented with a present as a token of thanks from the crew for all their hard work and efforts in the roles they play in the fundraising guild team and throughout the station in the past 40 years.

Colin Conway and John Murray Jnr were presented with RNLI medals and a present from the crew to acknowledge their long service awards for 20 years and 40 years respectively.

The evening was enjoyed and attended by crew members, family and other members of the different teams within Portaferry lifeboat station.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Lough Ree RNLI’s lifeboat volunteer will be showcased on the small screen in an upcoming episode of BBC TV series Saving Lives at Sea.

Tune in to BBC Two on Tuesday 15 October at 8pm to see the Lough Ree crew on two callouts, firstly when they launch to the aid of two fishermen whose boat is swamped during a fishing competition.

Next they’re tasked come to the aid of an elderly man taken ill on the island of Inch Bofin — alongside rescue stories from their colleagues at other stations and beaches around Ireland and Britain’s coasts and inland waters.

Lough Ree’s appearance follows last year’s profile of Courtown’s lifesavers, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Lough Ree RNLI helm Tom Bradbury says: “It’s great to see the work we do on TV like this.

“We’re always grateful for the support we get from the public as we rely on donations to do what we do, so it great that all our supporters now get to see, from the comfort and safety of their own front rooms, exactly how they help us save lives.”

Filming for the fourth series of Saving Lives at Sea took place over the past year, with lifeboat crews and lifeguards carrying special cameras and welcoming film-makers into their day-to-day life.

Rescues from the RNLI’s archives are also revisited, and viewers can get a glimpse into the everyday lives of the thousands of men and women who give up their time to save lives.

Viewers in the UK can also watch the series on demand following broadcast on the BBC iPlayer.

Published in Maritime TV

Fenit RNLI launched in gale force conditions during Storm Lorenzo this evening to search for a windsurfer reported missing off Brandon Bay in County Kerry.

The volunteer lifeboat crew were requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat at 7.23 pm this evening by the Irish Coast Guard.

A fellow windsurfer who was already on the shore raised the alarm after he lost sight of his partner for four minutes.

The lifeboat launched immediately under Coxswain John Moriarty and with six crew members onboard and made its way to the scene some 14 nautical miles from the station in gale force 9 conditions.

The Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 115 from Shannon was also tasked along with Dingle Coast Guard.

The lifeboat was almost on scene when communication came through that the windsurfer had made it to shore by himself and was safe and well. The lifeboat was subsequently stood down.

Speaking following the call out, Ger O’Donnell, Fenit RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘Thankfully, we had a good outcome this evening and the windsurfer was located safe and well.

‘As Storm Lorenzo continues, we would remind everybody to take note of the weather forecast and Stay Back – Stay Dry – Stay High. If you see someone in difficulty or are concerned about somebody’s whereabouts on or near the water use VHF channel 16 or dial 112, and ask for the Coast Guard.

‘RNLI lifeboat crews are ever ready to answer any call for help and I would like to commend the 14 crew members who turned up at the lifeboat station this evening willing and selflessly prepared to go out despite the gale force conditions.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Aran Islands RNLI carried out a medical evacuation this morning during Storm Lorenzo.

The volunteer crew were asked to launch their all-weather Severn class lifeboat at 9.51am today at the request of the Irish Coast Guard.

A lady on Inis Meain had sustained an injury from an earlier fall and required further medical attention.

The lifeboat launched under Coxswain John O’Donnell and a full crew onboard and headed straight for Inis Meain.

Weather conditions at the time of launching were described as having rough seas with a 3.5m swell rising, and a southeasterly force 8 wind blowing.

Once the patient was transferred safely aboard under the supervision of the volunteer crew members, the lifeboat headed straight for Rossaveal harbour where the lady was handed into the care of the waiting ambulance crew.

Speaking after the call out, Aran Islands RNLI Coxswain John O’Donnell said: ‘The conditions at sea this morning were really challenging but despite Storm Lorenzo, our willing and able volunteer crew members selflessly didn’t hesitate to answer the call and ensure the patient was looked after until she was safely transferred to the ambulance in Rossaveal. We would like to wish the patient a speedy recovery.

‘As Storm Lorenzo continues, we would remind everybody to take note of the weather forecast and Stay Back – Stay Dry – Stay High.

‘If you see someone in difficulty or are concerned about somebody’s whereabouts on or near the water use VHF channel 16 or dial 112, and ask for the Coast Guard.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The Irish Coast Guard and the RNLI have issued a joint warning to the public as Storm Lorenzo approaches to remind people to pay particular attention to their personal safety while outdoors and along the coastline during this time.

While the severity of the storm is not fully known and its path is changeable the organisations have issued advice to mariners to monitor all sea area forecasts broadcast by Met Eireann, be prepared and to take heed of the advice and sea conditions. Leisure craft users are also being advised to avoid any unnecessary sea activity.

In addition, walkers are advised to avoid any exposed areas, including seafront walkways, as they may be hit by sudden gusts exposing themselves to unnecessary danger.

Coast Guard Operations Manager Derek Flanagan said: “We wish to remind everybody to take note of the weather forecasts and we are reminding walkers to ‘Stay Back – Stay Dry – Stay High’.

RNLI Lifesaving Manager Sean Dillon added: “Our lifeboat crews have been busy this year and are ever ready to answer any call for help. However, they would always prefer that people take advice and stay safe during storm warnings than put themselves and others at risk by their actions.

If you see someone in difficulty or are concerned about somebody’s whereabouts on or near the water use VHF channel 16 or dial 112, and ask for the Coast Guard.

Published in Coastguard
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Fethard RNLI rescued a man and his two dogs after they got cut off by the tide while out walking north of Creaden Head in County Waterford on Sunday evening (29 September).

The inshore D class lifeboat was requested to launch by the Irish Coast Guard at 5.09 pm on Sunday and was put to sea immediately from Duncannon Beach with Jamie Chatman at the helm and volunteers Finola Foley and Cathal O’Connell onboard.

The Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117 from Waterford was also tasked along with the all-weather lifeboat from Dunmore East RNLI.

Arriving on scene approximately 2.7 nautical miles from Duncannon Beach, the lifeboat crew observed Rescue 117 on scene searching for the casualty who was subsequently located standing on rocks under a tree in an area of shallow water.

There was a one-metre swell at the time and a Force 3 south-west wind blowing. The tide was continuing to rise and there was a groundswell of a metre along the shore.

Dunmore East RNLI arrived on scene and was preparing to launch its smaller daughter inflatable boat to access the shallow water when the D class lifeboat from Fethard arrived.

Due to the shallow conditions and having more room to accommodate casualties, the decision was made for Fethard RNLI’s crew to go to the man and transfer him and the two dogs on to the D class lifeboat. Both the helicopter and the Dunmore East lifeboat stood by until the casualty was assessed. With no further medical attention required, both Rescue 117 and Dunmore East RNLI were stood down while Fethard RNLI brought the man and the dogs back to the safety of Fornaght Strand where the Dunmore East Coast Guard shore unit was there to meet him.

Speaking following the call out, Hugh Burke, Fethard RNLI Deputy Launching Authority said: ‘We would like to commend the man for doing the right thing in carrying a means of communication and using it to raise the alarm when he got into difficulty. This rescue was a great example of the good teamwork between the various agencies with our volunteers working closely with our colleagues in Dunmore East RNLI, Rescue 117 and Dunmore East Coast Guard. Due to where the man was seeking shelter on rocks under a tree and in shallow water, he was initially difficult to find so the teamwork in locating and getting to him was important.

‘We would remind walkers that headlands and rocky outcrops can create isolated bays that can get cut off by an incoming tide. Always check weather conditions and tide times before venturing out. Always let someone know where you are going and when you are due back and always carry a means of communication. Should you get into difficulty call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard’.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#Event: Phelim Drew and friends will hold a charity concert in Dublin on Sunday, October 6th, for the RNLI and the Irish Underwater Search and Recovery Unit. The All In a Row event will be held in St Patrick’s Church, Ringsend Village. The cost of a ticket is €10, with all the funds raised pledged to the charities.

Published in Coastal Rowing
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