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#RNLI - Skerries RNLI were tasked yesterday afternoon (15 April) to a small motor boat with three on board that had failed to return to port as expected.

Dublin Coast Guard tasked Skerries RNLI shortly after 1pm after receiving a 999 call from a member of the public who was concerned about a small motor boat that had gone to sea in the early hours of the morning.

There were three men on board the boat, and with the sea conditions changing and the wind increasing, there were concerns for their safety.

The Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson was launched with Joe May at the helm and with crew members Stephen Crowley, Paddy Dillon and Jack Keane.

As the lifeboat made its way towards Rush Harbour where the men had been seen launching, they received a call from Eoin Grimes, a volunteer helm, who was at sea on board his on boat and had spotted a vessel fitting the description near Lambay Island.

Grimes soon after confirmed that the vessel was still in the area and located at the North Cardinal mark off Lambay.

The lifeboat made its way directly to the position indicated and spoke to the men on board the vessel. They agreed that the conditions had changed significantly and were going to make for the shore. The lifeboat stood by but after a few minutes, it became apparent that they were not making any progress under their own power.

The three men were taken on board the lifeboat and their boat was taken under tow for a safe return to Rush Harbour.

Speaking after the callout, Skerries RNLI lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: “We would encourage anyone going to sea to always check the forecast, wear lifejackets, carry a means of calling for help and let somebody on shore know when you expect to return.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - Skerries RNLI rescued a swimmer in difficulty yesterday afternoon (Tuesday 11 April) after he encountered a strong tide near Shenick Island and was unable to make his way ashore.

Dublin Coast Guard tasked Skerries RNLI shortly before noon after receiving an emergency call from a member of the public who had spotted a swimmer struggling to make any progress against the tide at the island off Skerries.

Volunteers launched the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson, with David Knight at the helm and crew Philip Ferguson, Joe May and Laura Boylan.

The lifeboat proceeded to the area indicated by the caller, where an Irish Coast Guard helicopter had also arrived on scene. They took the male casualty on board the lifeboat, protected him from the elements, and began first aid assessments as they made their way back to the station.

The casualty had swallowed seawater during his efforts to swim to shore and as a result, on the advice of the crew, he was transferred by ambulance to hospital for further assessment.

Speaking after the callout, Skerries RNLI lifeboat press office Gerry Canning said: “We’ve had a couple of tidal-related incidents in the last few days. We’d just like to remind people that the strength and height of the tide varies throughout the month.

“We would strongly recommend checking tide tables before engaging in any activity on or near the sea.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Skerries RNLI rescued a man and a woman and two dogs on Sunday evening (9 April) after they had been stranded on rocks by the rising tide in Loughshinny.

Dublin Coast Guard tasked Skerries RNLI shortly before 9pm on Sunday evening, having received a 999 call from two people who had been cut off by the tide.

The lifeboat was launched with volunteer Eoin Grimes at the helm and crewed by Paddy Dillon, Emma Wilson and Peter Kennedy.

Making their way directly to Loughshinny Harbour, the lifeboat crew began a search of the immediate area. They spotted the casualty on the rocks using the light on a mobile phone to signal for help.

The casualties were taken on board the lifeboat and dropped back to the harbour, where they were met by volunteers from Skerries Coast Guard unit.

Conditions at the time were moderate with a Force 3 to 4 northerly wind.

Speaking about the callout, Skerries RNLI lifeboat operations manager Niall McGrotty said: “We’d like to remind everyone making the most of the coast in the good weather to always check the tides and forecast for the area and to carry a means of calling for help.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Skerries RNLI responded to three calls for help since the weekend, bringing to safety three men, a woman – and a dog.

Dublin Coast Guard tasked Skerries RNLI shortly after 6.30am yesterday morning (Wednesday 1 March) after a call from a fishing vessel with two men on board that had run aground on the rocks south of Shenick Island.

The inshore lifeboat crew quickly located the fishing boat and determined that she was still aground, but not taking on any water.

As a precaution, Howth RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat was requested to assist, but as the vessel began to float no help was required and the Howth crew returned to station.

The Skerries lifeboat — with helm Eoin Grimes and crew Paddy Dillon, Steven Johnson and Peter Kennedy — stood by the fishing vessel as she returned safely to Skerries Harbour.

Two days previously, on Monday morning (27 February) shortly after 10.30 am, volunteers Conor Walsh, Joe May and Stephen Crowley manned the lifeboat to assist a woman who was stranded on the rocks after going to the aid of a trapped dog.

The woman was not the owner of the dog, but had waded out to help the distressed animal before being cut off by the tide.

Both were brought safely to the lifeboat station and the dog was taken to a local veterinarian, where she was later reunited with her owner.

On Saturday afternoon (25 February), the lifeboat was launched with Eoin Grimes, Conor Walsh and Simon Shiels on board after the coastguard requested assistance for a man who had lost power on his personal watercraft.

The man had been some way off shore when he ran into difficulty, and was exhausted after he had managed to paddle a long distance.

The lifeboat crew assisted the man ashore where he received further help from the Skerries Coast Guard unit. They then took the watercraft under tow and returned it to the beach.

Speaking about the callouts, Skerries RNLI lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: “We’re very proud of our volunteers. This last few days they have shown just how much commitment and dedication is involved in being on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They are always ready to respond to a call for help.”

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#CoastalNotes - Fingal County Council has issued a warning for people to be vigilant for palm oil ‘fatbergs’ along the North Dublin coast as they can be particularly dangerous to dogs.

A number of fatty balls were found on Sunday (12 February) at Hoare’s Rock in Skerries, Co Dublin, and results from laboratory tests have showed that the substance was palm oil.

It’s thought that the oil was part of a consignment which came off a ship in the English Channel about 18 months ago and was washed ashore by the weekend storm.

The congealed substance has been turning up sporadically on beaches and coasts in England but this is the first time it has been recorded in Fingal.

Similar fatty deposits washed up on Mayo beaches last November, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

“We believe the discovery of this material in Skerries on Sunday is an isolated incident as we have not had any other sightings along the Fingal coastline,” said a council spokesperson.

“The material is a solid white substance which is known as a ‘palm oil fatberg’ and they can range in size from being as  small as a golf ball to as big as a boulder.

“We are asking the public to be vigilant as this substance can be harmful to dogs.”

Published in Coastal Notes
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#RNLI - Skerries RNLI volunteers launched their Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson for the second time in two days on Tuesday evening (29 November 29) after Dublin Coast Guard received reports from a fishing vessel of a boat on fire.

Shortly before 9pm a fishing vessel contacted Dublin Coast Guard and reported seeing a boat on fire, providing GPS co-ordinates for the location.

The lifeboat, with Emma Wilson at the helm and crewed by Joe May, Philip Ferguson and Ian Guildea, made its way directly to the area indicated.

Once on scene they carried out an initial search but there were no vessels in the immediate area. There was however, a marine survey vessel operating in the area with bright orange working lights.

After a further search it was decided that it was a false alarm with good intent and the lifeboat was stood down.

Speaking after the callout, Skerries RNLI lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: “The crew of the fishing vessel genuinely believed that there was someone in danger and contacted Dublin Coast Guard.

“Our volunteers will respond to any call for help, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”

On Sunday evening (27 November) the lifeboat launched after several people dialled 999 to report sighting distress flares near Balbriggan. However, with no sign of anyone in difficulty, the lifeboat was stood down.

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#RNLI - Skerries RNLI responded yesterday afternoon (31 October) to reports of swimmers in difficulty to the south of Colt Island off the north Co Dublin town.

Shortly after 12 noon, a member of the local fishing fleet alerted Dublin Coast Guard that several swimmers appeared to be having difficulty returning to shore.

Skerries RNLI volunteers launched the lifeboat, with Peter Kennedy at the helm and crewed by Gerry Canning and Steven Johnston, all of whom were already in the station attending a casualty care course when the pager sounded.

Arriving on scene, the crew quickly located a male and a female swimmer, with a fishing vessel standing by them.

The male swimmer had been dragged further out to sea than intended and, with the effects of the cold water starting to set in, was struggling to swim against a strong current.

The female swimmer was in no difficulty and had gone to assist him. She was also able to tell the crew that two other swimmers who had been in the area had made it ashore themselves.

Both swimmers were taken on board the lifeboat, and the woman was dropped ashore to retrieve her belongings. However, the man was very cold and the crew decided he should be brought back to the station for further assessment.

He was brought into the warmth of the station by members of crew on the shore who began to treat him for mild hypothermia. As a precaution, he was then checked over by Skerries RNLI’s honorary medical officer, Dr Seamus Mulholland.

After a short time, the man was well enough to be on his way and the Skerries lifeboat volunteers returned to their casualty care training.

Speaking after the callout, Skerries RNLI lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: “The speed of response is crucial in cases like this as the effects of cold water can cause a casualty’s condition to worsen quite quickly.

“You won’t get a much quicker launch than when there is already a full crew in the station training when the pagers sound.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Skerries RNLI volunteers launched their Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat on Thursday evening (28 July) to reports of a 21ft boat with a fouled propeller south of Rush Harbour.

A person on board the stricken vessel had contacted one of the volunteer crew and informed them that they had fouled their propeller and were anchored south of the harbour.

The crew were paged shortly after 8.30pm, and the lifeboat was quickly launched with Joe May as Helm and crewed by Rob Morgan, Peter Kennedy and Simon Shiels.

As the lifeboat was en route, the crew received an update to say that the casualty vessel had managed free their propeller and return safely to Rogerstown Estuary. The lifeboat was stood down and returned to station.

Speaking after the callout, Skerries RNLI lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: "Things can go wrong at sea, even for the most experienced seafarers. That’s why it is important to always have the correct equipment on board.

"In this case a good anchor gave [the casualty vessel and its crew] the time they needed to get themselves out of trouble."

The callout was the third in a week for the Skerries inshore lifeboat, after it launched to reports of swimmers in difficulty last Saturday 23 July, and rescued four from a speedboat grounded on rocks at Colt Island the previous Thursday (21 July).

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#RNLI - Skerries RNLI volunteers launched their Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat on Saturday afternoon (23 July) after Dublin Coast Guard received a call from a concerned member of public about a swimmer in difficulty.

The lifeboat launched shortly after 12.30pm with Philip Ferguson at helm and crewed by Emma Wilson, Steven Johnson and AJ Hughes, after a swimmer was reported having difficulty returning to shore at the swimming area known locally as The Captains.

Within minutes the lifeboat was on scene, but there was no sign of any swimmers in the area. Before a search could be started Dublin Coast Guard received a second call to confirm that the swimmer had made it ashore and was safe and well. The lifeboat was stood down and returned to station.

Speaking after the callout, Skerries RNLI lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: :The member of the public who called Dublin Coast Guard was genuinely concerned for the swimmer and was right to make the call.

"Thankfully in this case our assistance wasn’t required, but our volunteer crew are always ready to respond to anyone in difficulty at sea."

The callout came two days after the Skerries lifeboat rescued four men from a speedboat grounded on rocks at Colt Island, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Skerries RNLI launched yesterday afternoon (Thursday 21 July) after Dublin Coast Guard received a call from a vessel that had suffered engine failure near the islands off the North Co Dublin coastal town.

The lifeboat launched shortly after 4.30pm and proceeded to the general area indicated by the casualty vessel.

Arriving on scene, the volunteer crew spotted the speedboat, which had been pushed on to the rocks at Colt Island by the wind and tide. At the time there was a Force 3-4 south-westerly wind and a slight swell.


The lifeboat was carefully positioned to transfer a crew member to the casualty vessel. A tow was established and the boat, with four men on board, was towed clear of the rocks into safer water.

Upon inspection there did not appear to be any major damage to the hull so the tow was continued, returning them safely to Skerries Harbour.

Speaking after the callout, Skerries RNLI lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: "Thankfully the lifeboat reached them quickly as the situation was deteriorating quite quickly.

"However, all four were wearing lifejackets and crucially they were able to contact the shore for help."

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