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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

The Courtmacsherry RNLI All Weather Lifeboat “Frederick Storey Cockburn” was called out this afternoon at 3.15 pm, by the Valentia Coast Guard Marine Rescue Co-Ordination Centre, when a lone kayaker got into difficulties on the western side of the Old Head of Kinsale.

Within minutes of the crew bleepers being activated, the Lifeboat under Coxswain Mark John Gannon and a crew of five was launched and headed at speed to the scene of the alert. The conditions at sea this afternoon were of strong winds creating a strong swell off the coast.

Also tasked were the Coast Guard Rescue 117 Helicopter which was exercising in Cork Harbour, the Kinsale RNLI Lifeboat, the Old Head/Seven Heads Coastguard Unit and Naval Vessels that were on patrol in the near vicinity.

The incident happened beneath the rocky cliff-face near the 16th Hole on the Old Head Golf Course.

As the Lifeboats and the Helicopter arrived on scene within 20 minutes of the callout, the casualty had been blown on to the rocks and thankfully succeeded in climbing up the cliff-face to the 16th Golf green above. The Lifeboats recovered the kayak from the water and the Coast Guard unit assessed the casualty who was very happy to be on the safe surrounds of the Old Head of Kinsale Golf Course.

The Courtmacsherry RNLI Duty Launch Authority Philip White said “It was great to see the quick reaction of all our volunteers this afternoon who dropped whatever they were at and rushed to the station in order to have the Lifeboat underway in minutes, to help someone in distress. The persons on the golf course deserve great praise for alerting the rescue agencies quickly by ringing 999 or 112, as a fast response to an incident like this was so important, if the person was not physically able to climb the rock-face”

The Courtmacsherry Lifeboat Crew this afternoon were Coxswain Mark John Gannon, Duty Mechanic Dave Philips and crew members Ken Cashman, Kevin Young, Conor Dullea and Paul McCarthy. It has been a busy week for the Lifeboat Station in Courtmacsherry with three callouts in the past seven days.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Portrush RNLI in Northern Ireland came to the aid of eight people last night (Tuesday 24 May) after their motorboats got into difficulty off The Skerries.

The inshore lifeboat was requested to launch at 8.15 pm following a report that two 9m motorboats which were on passage from Islay in Scotland were experiencing engine difficulties a mile and a half north east of The Skerries. One engine had cut off completely and was under tow by a larger 13m twin-engine boat which was also on the passage from Scotland.

Weather conditions at the time were partially cloudy but with good visibility, a moderate to choppy sea and a Force 3-4 westerly wind.

Once on scene, the inshore lifeboat helmed by Johnny Weston went to the aid of the second 9m boat which was starting to cut out but the crew observed that it was making some headway and the boat managed to make its own way back to Portrush unaided.

Meanwhile, the 13m vessel began to encounter engine difficulties while undertaking the tow of the other 9m motorboat and the inshore lifeboat was requested to help. The lifeboat subsequently took the tow of the 9m vessel over while Portrush RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat was launched to escort the 13m motorboat from inside The Skerries rocks. The larger boat then managed to make it back to Portrush harbour by itself.

Speaking following the call out, Beni McAllister, Portrush RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘We were glad to be of assistance last night to help the crew of the three vessels as they encountered problems. As the summer approaches, we would remind anyone planning a trip to sea to always respect the water. Always carry a means of communication and as soon as you start to encounter difficulties, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Baltimore RNLI was called out to provide assistance to a yacht with one person onboard that got into difficulty off the coast of the West Cork town on Saturday evening (21 May).

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their inshore lifeboat at 6.12pm following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to go to the aid of a 29ft motor yacht, with one person onboard, which was propped on a pot line 1.5 miles southwest of Kedge Island off Baltimore Harbour.

Conditions at sea during the call were choppy with a south westerly Force 3-4 wind, a 1.5m sea swell and good visibility.

Arriving at the casualty vessel at 6.25pm, the lifeboat put volunteer crew member Stuart Musgrave aboard the casualty vessel to assist the lone sailor.

Musgrave was able to free the yacht from the line coming from the bottom of the sea, but there was still rope wrapped heavily around the propeller that couldn’t be freed.

Lifeboat helm Kieran Collins decided that a tow was necessary, and by 6.50pm the boats were under way proceeding to Baltimore Harbour, the nearest safe and suitable port, where they arrived at 7.20pm. Once the casualty vessel was secured at the pier, the lifeboat returned to the station.

This was the second callout of the week for Baltimore RNLI, after the station’s all-weather lifeboat responded to a medevac call to Sherkin Island on Thursday 19 May.

Speaking following the weekend response, press office Kate Callanan said: “If you get into difficulty at sea or on the coast, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coast Gguard.”

There were four volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat for this callout, with Micheal Cottrell and Kieran O’Driscoll alongside Collins and Musgrave.

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Achill Island RNLI were involved in a 14 hour rescue overnight, (Sunday/Monday 22/23 May), to a lone sailor on board a yacht which had lost power almost 40 nautical miles west of Achill Island.

The volunteer crew were requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat by the Irish Coast Guard to assist the sailor and their racing yacht which was in difficulty almost 40 miles off the west coast, having lost all power. The loss of power meant that the sailor onboard had no means of communication. A fixed wing aircraft located the yacht’s position which was then provided to Achill Island RNLI to assist with planning what became an overnight passage.

The Trent class lifeboat launched at 8.30 pm under Coxswain Dave Curtis with a crew of six onboard including mechanic Michael Cattigan, Terry Hogarth, Ken Quinn, Ivan Swarbrigg, Stephen McGreal and Thomas Ruddy. The Sligo based Irish Coast Guard Helicopter, Rescue 118 was later tasked so that they could confirm the location of the yacht and provide light for the lifeboat crew who arrived in fading light. There were north westerly winds at the time with Force 3-4 sea conditions which began to calm during late morning.

The lifeboat located the yacht at approximately 11pm with the sailor on board. The man was physically well, but tired from his ordeal. Once on scene, Rescue 118 departed and the lifeboat crew carried out an assessment of the yacht, which was found to be in good condition. However, without power, the sailor could not lower his sail, so he had no steering control and was at the mercy of the wind. A risk assessment was carried out and it was decided to tow the yacht to nearest safe port at Clare Island.

Establishing a tow proved challenging with the sail remaining up amid 1.5-2m swells, but the efforts of the crew meant that a safe tow was eventually established and a tow commenced in the early hours of the morning and continued overnight. The lifeboat and the yacht reached Clare Island at 8.55am this morning, where the yacht was safely moored. Happy that the sailor was well and recovering from is ordeal, the volunteer crew left Clare Island at 9.10am and arrived back in Achill Island shortly before 10am this morning, having spent almost 14 hours at sea.

Speaking after the call out, Ciaran Needham, Achill Island RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, said: ‘We were delighted to be able to assist in this multi-agency rescue during the night, which thankfully resulted in the safe rescue of a lone sailor. Our crew worked hard in difficult conditions throughout, and we want to thank all those who helped make their task easier than it might otherwise have been. The Irish Coast Guard at Malin Head excellently coordinated the rescue and we are grateful to the crew of Rescue 118 for their help and assistance when we reached the lone sailor, who thankfully, is safe and well.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Donaghadee RNLI Lifeboat was launched on Thursday 19 May, to assist a yacht taking water onboard approximately 12 miles North East of Bangor, County Down.

The volunteer crew of Donaghadee Lifeboat were requested to launch by Belfast Coastguard on Thursday at 3.22 pm to reports of an 8-metre yacht in difficulty at the mouth of Belfast Lough.

The yacht, with 3 people onboard, left Stranraer at 9.45am and was en route to Bangor when it requested assistance from the Coastguard due to taking on water. They reported that they could see Kilroot Power Station but were unable to narrow down their position.

In moderate sea conditions but good visibility Donaghadee Lifeboat Saxon, launched at 3.33pm and proceeded at full speed toward Belfast Lough. Meanwhile, Irish Coastguard Search and Rescue helicopter 118, which had been on another callout further North, were able to offer assistance in locating the yacht.

To help find them, the crew of the yacht set off a red flare, enabling the crew of the lifeboat to determine their position and consequently Saxon was on scene at 4.11pm followed shortly by the Search and Rescue helicopter.

As the vessels own pump was doing a sufficient job at keeping the water at bay, the crew on the lifeboat established a tow-line to the stricken yacht and proceeded to tow at a speed of approximately 5 knots to the safe haven of Bangor Marina, arriving shortly after 6pm.

The lifeboat refuelled and returned to Donaghadee Harbour and were available for their next callout shortly after 7pm.

Earlier in the week on Tuesday 17 May at 5.55 am, the volunteer crew were launched at the request of Belfast Coastguard after reports from a member of the general public who reported sightings of a man in a small boat holding onto a lobster pot just North of Ballywalter Harbour. The lifeboat launched into moderate/rough conditions and proceeded at full speed toward the casualty, who’s outboard engine had broken down. It transpired that the casualty had contacted a family member with a boat to assist, the lifeboat stayed on scene until the assisting vessel arrived and returned to Donaghadee Harbour at 7.20 am.

Philip McNamara, Donaghadee Lifeboat Coxswain commented ‘Two positive results this week from our callouts – a credit to the member of the public who called in the the small punt holding onto the lobster pot, we would always encourage the public to call 999 and ask for the Coastguard if they are worried, the earlier we are launched the more likely a positive result.

We were happy to ensure the remaining safe passage of the 8 metre yacht into Bangor Marina, again the importance of asking for help as earlier as possible to ensure a positive outcome played a big part in this callout, also having the relevant equipment onboard to help us locate you is essential. As always the crew’s quick response and skill were superb, and I extend my thanks to them.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

During a busy first month at the new RNLI lifeboat station at Coosan Point volunteer crew guided visitors from near and far through the state of the art facility in the first public tours of the base. The panoramic view from the new training room gave a new aspect of Lough Ree to the visitors.

First through the doors ahead of the May Bank Holiday were 18 guests from Moate Mens Shed accompanied by some partners who were greeted by a volunteer crew led by Station Visits Officer Paul Kelly. The group had a first hand experience of the work of the charity when the volunteer crew were called out to assist a stricken cruiser on the lake during the course of the visit.

Early this month a group of 50 secondary school students from northeast France arrived to experience the emergency procedures at first-hand. The group of 15-18-year-olds are part of a second-level French programme at second which prepares them for a career in the emergency services. The visit to Lough Ree RNLI was part of an educational tour to Ireland.

French students in the RNLI lifeboat at Lough ReeFrench students in the RNLI lifeboat at Lough Ree

In recent days a younger generation got their first experience of the charity’s work. Children from Clonbrusk Childcare Centre and first classes from neighbours at Coosan National School enjoyed exploring the lifeboat, trying out some of the gear and even timing themselves in ‘rapid response’!

Station visits officer Paul Kelly said: ‘the charity looks forward to welcoming visitors of all generations to the Lifeboat Station. It is hoped to facilitate a number of visits each month with a waiting list already growing!’

Meanwhile, it has been announced that the official opening of the Lough Ree RNLI Lifeboat Station and the official naming of the charity’s lifeboat ‘Tara Scougall’, had to be postponed due to the pandemic, will take place on Saturday 11 June at 2 pm. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Helvick Head RNLI came to the aid of four sailors on Sunday evening (15 May) after they got into difficulty and needed assistance in the Gold Coast area of Dungarvan.

With mild easterly winds and calm seas, the volunteer crew launched their inshore lifeboat at the request of the Irish Coast Guard at 6.25 pm. It followed a report from a member of the public who spotted the boaters waving from their speedboat which had broken down and was drifting with the tide.

The lifeboat helmed by Joe Foley and with crew members Alan Kelly, Simon O’Hara and Paidi Breathnach onboard, launched at 6.33 pm and made its way to the scene. 

Once on scene, the crew assessed the situation and found the casualties to be safe and well. As the speedboat had sustained engine failure, a decision was made to tow it back to shore. 

After bringing the group to the nearest safe port at Ballinacourty Pier, the lifeboat returned to Helvick Head station at 7.15 pm.

Speaking following the call out, Kieran Rossiter, Helvick Head RNLI Deputy Launching Authority said: ‘We would commend the member of the public who did the right thing by calling for help when they saw the sailors were in difficulty. We would remind anyone planning a trip to sea to always go prepared. Wear a lifejacket and be sure to carry a means of communication. Should you get into trouble or see someone else in difficulty, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Clifden RNLI’s new all-weather Shannon class lifeboat arrived to an emotional welcome from crowds gathered in the Connemara community to see it complete its week-long voyage home from the charity’s All Weather lifeboat centre in Poole.

As Afloat reported earlier, the lifesaving vessel is the first ‘Launch a Memory’ lifeboat to be put on service in Ireland. The St. Christopher carries the names of over 10,000 people on its hull, which were put there by members of the public through a special ‘in memory’ fundraising initiative for the charity.

The lifeboat arrived into the West of Ireland town on Saturday afternoon in a flotilla made up of Achill Island lifeboat, Clifden’s inshore lifeboat and the station’s relief Shannon class lifeboat, along with a group of local vessels. Friends, families and supporters lined the quayside to get a glimpse of the new €2.4 million search and rescue asset which arrived bathed in sunshine.

The main part of the arrival was held today (Sunday 15 May) with the new lifeboat beached at Clifden. The Shannon is the first modern all-weather lifeboat propelled by waterjets which allow it to operate in shallow waters and be intentionally beached. After the tide had receded the 10,000 names on the lifeboat hull were visible and members of the public who had sponsored names were able to view them up close. The names made up the letters RNLI and the number of the new lifeboat, 13-43.

After the tide had receded the 10,000 names on the lifeboat hull were visible and members of the public who had sponsored names were able to view them up close Photo: Andrew DownesAfter the tide had receded the 10,000 names on the lifeboat hull were visible and members of the public who had sponsored names were able to view them up close Photo: Andrew Downes

The lifeboat was funded through a legacy from the south-east of England and will be officially named in a ceremony to be held at a later date. The ten thousand names were provided by people pledging a minimum donation of €30/£30 to have their loved one’s name recorded onboard a working search and rescue lifeboat off the Irish coast. Hundreds of people made the trip to see the lifeboat up close with some travelling over from the UK. It was an emotional trip for many who brought photographs of their loved ones with them.

Clifden volunteer lifeboat crew collected their new lifeboat in Dorset a week ago and sailed it home to Clifden with stops at Plymouth, Penlee, Ballycotton, Kinsale, Valentia and the Aran Islands. While in Penlee the Clifden lifeboat crew paid their respects to the eight crew who were lost from there on 19 December 1981 while attempting to rescue the crew and passengers onboard a stricken coaster.

Commenting on the arrival, Clifden RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager John Brittain said, ‘This weekend was the culmination of a lot of hard work by the volunteers in Clifden. To receive a new lifeboat is an incredibly exciting time for a station but to receive a launch a memory lifeboat, which carries the names of so many loved ones, is a great privilege and an honour for everyone here in Clifden.’

‘We have been so moved by the stories shared with us in the run up to the arrival and we now take each one of these names out to sea with us every time we launch. We are so grateful of the public’s support of the work we do as we continue to save lives at sea.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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On 13 March 2017, the Rescue 116 crew of Capt. Dara Fitzpatrick, Capt. Mark Duffy, Paul Ormsby and Ciarán Smith took off from Dublin airport just after 11 p.m. for a medical evacuation off the west coast of Ireland. The first indication of disaster came when the crew failed to answer a radio call at 12.46 a.m. Shortly after 2 am on 14 March, sister helicopter Rescue 118 spotted a casualty and debris in the water. There would be no survivors from R116, and extensive searches failed to locate the bodies of two of the four crew.

The crash occurred just six months after the loss of experienced Irish Coast Guard volunteer Caitríona Lucas, from Doolin Coast Guard in Co. Clare, and eighteen years after the loss of four Air Corps crew who were returning from a night rescue in thick fog off the south-east coast.

In Search and Rescue, author Lorna Siggins exposes the shocking systemic flaws that led to these tragic deaths, but also looks at successful rescues where, despite all the odds, the courage and dedication of members of the Irish Coast Guard, Air Corps, RNLI, fishing crew and the volunteers who work with them have saved countless lives.

Paperback • €16.95 | £14.99. 336 pages. Preview here. On Sale Now on this link here

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On Saturday afternoon, 14 May, while on exercise in Cork Harbour, Crosshaven RNLI volunteers were tasked by the Coast Guard to a 32’ yacht with suspected electrical fire on board and mechanical difficulties.

The lifeboat with David Venner, Clare Morgan, Warren Forbes and Ian Venner on board made best speed to the casualty which had two people on board and was in a position off the Whitegate oil refinery jetty.

Forbes and Morgan boarded the vessel and checked the fire was extinguished, brought the sails under control and set up a tow to the Royal Cork Yacht Club marina at Crosshaven.

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