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Displaying items by tag: Union Hall

A new inshore Atlantic 85 class lifeboat has officially gone on service at Union Hall RNLI in in West Cork.

The lifeboat, which arrived at the lifeboat station last week, replaces the last Atlantic 75 in Ireland, Margaret Bench of Solihull, which has been used to save lives at sea in West Cork since 2017. Previous to this, Maritime Nation was in service from 2014. Both of these lifeboats came from the RNLI’s relief fleet.

The volunteer lifeboat crew began familiarisation training on the new lifeboat this past Monday and it was officially declared a search and rescue asset by the Irish Coast Guard last night, Thursday 24 June.

It has been funded through a legacy from the late Raymond Fielding. Raymond and his wife Christine were keen sailors and sailed into Glandore Harbour many times over the years.

Due to his many fond memories of West Cork, Raymond wanted his legacy to fund an Atlantic 85 class lifeboat and he requested that it came to Union Hall.

The Christine and Raymond Fielding will be officially named at a special ceremony and service of dedication at Union Hall lifeboat station at a later date.

The new lifeboat has been funded through a legacy from the late Raymond Fielding | Credit: RNLI/Union HallThe new lifeboat has been funded through a legacy from the late Raymond Fielding | Credit: RNLI/Union Hall

Union Hall’s new lifeboat has some advancements on its predecessor. The Atlantic 85 design allows room for four crew members and more kit than the Atlantic 75, which only had room for three people.

The lifeboat is powered by two 115HP engines and has a stronger hull and greater top speed of 35 knots. The added radar allows the crew to operate more effectively in poor visibility and there is also VHF direction-finding equipment.

Another feature is the manually operated self-righting mechanism which, combined with inversion-proofed engines, keeps the lifeboat operational even after capsize. The lifeboat can also be beached in an emergency without causing damage to its engines or steering gear.

The Atlantic 85, which was introduced to the RNLI fleet in 2005, also carries a full suite of communication and electronic navigation aids, as well as a searchlight, night-vision equipment and flares for night-time operations.

Speaking following the lifeboat officially going on service, Union Hall RNLI lifeboat operations manager John Kelleher said: “We are extremely grateful to Raymond Fielding for his generous legacy donation which has funded our permanent lifeboat here at Union Hall.

“As we welcome a new lifeboat, there is also a sense of nostalgia as we are the last lifeboat station in Ireland to use an Atlantic 75 lifeboat.

“We are looking forward to being the custodians of this new lifeboat which will allow our volunteers to go on to rescue and save many more lives in the years to come.”

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Union Hall RNLI’s latest volunteer got more than he expected last night (Tuesday 22 June) after the lifeboat crew were called to assist two people on a yacht with mechanical difficulties off Toe Head in West Cork.

The lifeboat, helmed by Michael Limrick with Liam Limrick and new recruit Craig Jennings onboard, were on a training exercise at the time and launched back out to sea at 9pm.

One at Toe Head the crew observed that the 34ft yacht was making progress but was slow due to mechanical issues. Sea conditions were good at the time with a moderate northerly breeze, so the volunteer crew stayed alongside the yacht and escorted it back to the pier at Union Hall.

Speaking following the callout, Peter Deasy, Union Hall RNLI’s deputy launching authority, said: “Our volunteer crew were just returning from an exercise and a busy day of training so I asked the crew if they would like an alternative crew but they were very willing to interrupt their training and proceed to assist the casualties.

“We congratulate Craig Jennings on what started as a three-hour training exercise for him but turned into nearly five hours at sea and included his first callout with Union Hall RNLI.

“We would remind everyone for the season ahead to always carry a means of communication and wear a lifejacket.”

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Union Hall RNLI launched this afternoon (Friday 14 May) to assist an angling vessel with seven people on board that was experiencing mechanical difficulty.

The volunteer lifeboat crew were requested to launch their inshore lifeboat Margaret Bench of Solihull at 3.40pm to the chartered angling vessel one mile south of Adam Island, just outside Glandore Harbour in West Cork.

With Tim Forde at the helm accompanied by crew Paddy Moloney and Cathal Deasy, the lifeboat launched at 3.51pm and made its way to the reported location.

Once on scene, a lifeboat crew member established a towline and the lifeboat towed the stricken angling vessel back to the pier at Union Hall.

Speaking following the callout, Union Hall RNLI deputy launching authority Jim Moloney said: “This was the second lifeboat launch request for Union Hall within 24 hours, and with a busy season ahead we would remind everyone going to sea to always carry a means of communication, wear a lifejacket and respect the water.”

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Union Hall RNLI volunteer Brian Crowley has received an Excellence in Volunteering Award from the RNLI for his hard work, dedication to and promotion of the charity that saves lives at sea.

Unfortunately due to pandemic restrictions, the lifeboat station could not present him with his award in person but hopes to mark this achievement next year.

“This is such an achievement as Brian is volunteering with the RNLI for ‘only’ 66 years so far,” said Pamela Deasey, Union Hall RNLI’s press officer.

“He was asked then to join by Mrs Bridges in Glandore, and he said ‘Yes’ straight away. As a young man growing up in Union Hall, he was aware of the dangers of the sea, and he wanted to raise awareness and help raise vital funds for the service.”

Brian was well-known throughout West Cork at the time as he used to co-own the ever popular Crowley’s Hall in Union Hall, where many a West Cork couple met — his first undertaking as fundraiser was a dance which was a tremendous success.

He became secretary of Leap, Glandore and Union Hall branch in 1976 as well as filling in a lot of other roles, until the current branch set up in 1997.

“Words like dependable, trustworthy, selfless and courageous are the ethos of the RNLI and Brian has proved to be a great ambassador having these qualities in abundance,” Pamela added.

“This is not Brian’s first award, as he also received his silver badge for fundraising in 1985 and a gold badge in 2003. He has many a story to tell about all his years service and all the tremendous characters he has met along his way.”

Speaking following news of the award, Mick McKenna, chair of fundraising at Union Hall RNLI, said: “Everyone at Union Hall RNLI would like to firstly congratulate Brian for this much deserved award, and secondly thank him for all his time, efforts and dedication throughout all these years, in helping to raise vital funds for the RNLI. We are all extremely proud of his achievements.”

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The RNLI lifeboat crew was requested to launch their inshore lifeboat Margaret Bench of Solihull, this morning at 5.37 am to a fishing vessel, with two people onboard, that was just west of Glandore harbour in West Cork.

The lifeboat helmed by Chris Collins with Darren Collins and Jordan Limrick onboard, launched at 5.46 am and made its way to the area where the vessel was fishing.

Once on scene, the volunteer crew spoke with the two people, who were well and wearing life jackets. A lifeboat crew member went aboard as the boat was experiencing engine trouble and attached a towline. The boat was towed back to Union Hall pier and tied up. The lifeboat was back on station at 7.05 am.

Speaking following the callout John Kelleher, Union Hall RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘We would remind everyone going to sea always carry a means of communication, wear a life jacket and respect the water.

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The Union Hall RNLI lifeboat crew in West Cork were requested by the Irish Coast Guard to launch their inshore lifeboat Margaret Bench of Solihull, this afternoon (Wednesday 15 July) at 3.24 pm to a motorboat, approx 8 metres in length, with four adults and eight children on board. The vessel was propped at the eastern point of Myross Island, west of Glandore Harbour in West Cork.

The lifeboat helmed by Tim Forde with Darren Collins and Sean Walsh on board, launched at 3.35 pm and made its way to the scene arriving at 3.40 pm.

The Union Hall RNLI crew at their station in West Cork The Union Hall RNLI crew at their station in West Cork

Once on scene, the volunteer crew spoke with the people aboard, as the boat was propped they attached a towline and towed the boat back to Glandore Pier.

Speaking following the call out Jim Moloney, Union Hall RNLI Deputy Launch Authority said: ‘they did everything right on board, when they realised they were propped they called for help and everyone was wearing life jackets. We would remind everyone going to sea always carry a means of communication, wear a life jacket and respect the water’.

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Thanks to the generosity of Ivon and Jane Roberts from Rosscarbery, County Cork, you now can be the next owner as the couple has donated their boat Decade to Union Hall RNLI.

Ivon and Jane bought Decade on their tenth wedding anniversary 23 years ago and now with their crew Jessica and Ivon after flying the nest, they are looking for a new purchase. Decade is a Seal 22 Mark 2 boat, approximately 21ft in length and comes with the trailer.

 Jane & Ivon Roberts, Harriet O’Regan, Jim Moloney, Mary Jacinta Casey, Carmel & Mick Mc’Kenna(From left to right) Jane & Ivon Roberts, Harriet O’Regan, Jim Moloney, Mary Jacinta Casey, Carmel & Mick McKenna

Pamela Deasy, Union Hall RNLI said: ‘The team at Union Hall RNLI want to thank Ivon and Jane for their generous donation. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic all fundraising events have been cancelled bar those of a virtual nature so this opens the door for a new owner, the next chapter of Decade while also raising funds for Union Hall RNLI. The fundraising team also want to thank Garrett O’Mahony, harbour master and Cork County Council for facilitating the boat on Union Hall pier.’

Ivon comes from a family steeped in maritime heritage and his great grandfather Richard Roberts was Captain of the Sirius which was the first wooden-hulled side steamship built-in 1837 to cross the Atlantic.

The boat is on a single axle trailer on Union Hall pier ready to go sailing.

For further information on how to make an offer to purchase the vessel, people are asked to contact Mick McKenna on 087 252 9038.

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Union Hall RNLI in West Cork was requested to launch last night (Wednesday) at 9.01 pm to reports of a yacht with engine difficulty in very light winds.

The volunteer lifeboat crew helmed by Chris Collins, with Cathal Deasy and Jordan Limrick were quickly underway to the yacht which was half a mile east of high island just outside Glandore harbour with four persons on board.

A tow line was quickly established between the yacht and the inshore lifeboat Margaret Bench of Solihull, and the yacht was towed back into the pier at Union Hall. The conditions at sea were calm but with little or no wind.

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Union Hall RNLI rescued a family of four this morning after they issued a Mayday when their 15m cruiser struck rocks and started to rapidly take on water off Glandore Harbour in West Cork.

The volunteer crew were requested to launch their inshore lifeboat by the Irish Coast Guard at 10.34am following the Mayday and asked to go to the scene west of Glandore Harbour.

The lifeboat helmed by Aodh O’Donnell and with crew members Shane Hurley and Jordan Limrick onboard, launched immediately and made its way the short distance south of Rabbit Island. Toe Head and Glandore Coast Guard units were also tasked.

Weather conditions at the time were cloudy but good with calm seas and a Force 1-2 north easterly wind.

Once on scene, the lifeboat crew observed that the vessel had headed for shore due to the intake of water and the skipper had managed to beach the boat into the safety of Carrigillihy Harbour.

The crew assessed that the casualties were safe and well before transferring the two adults and two children onto the lifeboat and bringing them safely back to shore where they were made comfortable at the lifeboat station in Union Hall.

Speaking following the call out, Peter Deasy, Union Hall RNLI Deputy Launching Authority said: ‘This was quite a serious incident this morning and the family who were competent seafarers took immediate action and issued a Mayday when they knew they were in difficulty. They were all wearing their lifejackets at the time which is always important in situations like these.

‘As we continue to enjoy the summer, we would remind all users of the sea regardless of 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 when you are due back. Should you get into difficulty, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’

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Union Hall RNLI assisted a swimmer who was reported missing off Owenahincha Beach this afternoon.

The volunteer crew was requested by the Irish Coast Guard to launch their inshore lifeboat at 1.24pm after the alarm was raised by a lifeguard that a strong swimmer was missing for 15 minutes off Owenahincha Beach in west Cork, and last spotted near an area notorious for tidal currents.

The lifeboat helmed by Chris Collins and with Charlie Deasy and Dan Collins onboard, launched at 1.30pm and made its way to the scene three nautical miles east of the harbour arriving at 1.48pm.

Weather conditions were poor at the time with a south east Force 6, gusting Force 7 wind and a big swell.

The Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 115 from Shannon was also tasked along with the local Coast Guard unit from Castlefreke.

Once on scene, the lifeboat first conducted a search around the rocks where the swimmer was last seen. Due to the tidal and wind conditions, the lifeboat proceeded to conduct a westerly search and successfully located the swimmer in 10 minutes near Rosscarbery Pier. The swimmer was in a good condition and the lifeboat proceeded to escort the man safely to shore.

Speaking following the call out, Jim Moloney, Union Hall RNLI Deputy Launching Authority said: ‘We are delighted that the swimmer was safe and well when we located him, and we were happy to escort him safely to shore. We would like to commend the lifeguard for his vigilance and prompt actions as the area can be notorious for tidal currents and conditions at sea were not good at the time.’

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