Displaying items by tag: Wicklow
Wicklow RNLI held its annual Service of Remembrance on New Year’s Day (Wednesday 1 January) in memory of all deceased lifeboat volunteer members, sailors from the town and all those associated with the sea from Wicklow.
The ceremony began with a short religious prayer conducted by Fr Donal Roche and Rev Jack Kinkead, who blessed the flowers and wreaths.
After the blessing, coxswain Nick Keogh and the lifeboat crew took the floral tributes out into the bay and placed them on the water.
A minute’s silence was also held in memory of all the former members of Wicklow lifeboat who have risked everything to save the lives of others ever since the RNLI lifeboat station was established in 1857.
The lifeboat, under the command of coxswain Nick Keogh and a volunteer crew, was alongside the drifting vessel half an hour later, some 10 miles south east of Wicklow harbour.
A rope had been fouled in the vessel’s propeller while whelk fishing and it had lost all propulsion.
Weather conditions on scene had a moderate sea state, with winds north-westerly Force 4 and good visibility.
A towline was quickly established and the fishing vessel was towed into Wicklow Harbour, where the three fishermen were landed safely ashore and the boat was secured alongside the south quay at 4.30pm.
The crew on the callout alongside Keogh were mechanic Brendan Copeland, David O’Leary, Lisa O’Leary and John Stapleton.
His five trout at 5.73lb secured the title — as well as a boat with 15HP outboard, and a new rod and reel — in what was “the most drawn-out in the 63 years of the championships”, with poor weather meaning three attempts over a whole month were required.
Elsewhere, two anglers caused a headache for marine wildlife lovers in Wicklow yesterday (Sunday 8 September) when they were spotted fishing just meters from a protected seal colony.
According to Wicklow News, the men had ignored signs warning away from the seals, as well as the pleas of several onlookers, but left the area after they were spoken to by gardaí.
It is recommended that the public stay at least 100 metres away from seals as they enter their breeding season and seek safe space on land from September to the end of the year.
The all-weather lifeboat Jock & Annie Slater put to sea shortly at 11am, and 35 minutes later located the stricken Welsh motor cruiser 11 miles north east of Wicklow Harbour.
A towline was established and the cruiser was taken in tow back to Wicklow Harbour, but as they approached the harbour the skipper of the cruiser reported his vessel was taking on water.
As a precaution, the crew prepared a pump and the inshore lifeboat was launched to assist. However, the water was cleared with a bilge pump and the lifeboat pump was not required, Wicklow RNLI says.
It added that the motor cruiser was brought alongside the East Pier shortly before 2pm and the two people and three dogs were landed safely ashore.
Much earlier, Baltimore RNLI in West Cork was called out to a yacht in difficulty south of Sherkin Island.
The inshore lifeboat was launched at 12.31am to assist a 30ft yacht, with two people onboard, that was in difficulty in the Gascanane Sound.
The lifeboat reached the casualty vessel within 20 minutes and found the yacht’s crew to be well before escorting their vessel to the north pier in Baltimore.
They assessed the situation and once the lifeboat crew were happy that the crew on board the vessel were okay, they escorted the vessel to the north pier in Baltimore.
Baltimore RNLI press officer Kate Callanan said: “Although they were not in any immediate danger, the crew of the yacht did the right thing in alerting the coastguard [who tasked the lifeboat].
“At the time of the call there was heavy fog, and the area they were in is notorious for strong tides.
“If you get into difficulty at sea or on the coast, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”
The lifeboat put to sea under the command of Deputy Coxswain Tommy McAulay, and was alongside the drifting 28ft yacht at 5.50pm, eight miles north-east of Wicklow Harbour.
Conditions at the scene were calm with good visibility. A tow line was quickly established, and the stricken yacht was towed back to Wicklow Harbour where it was brought alongside the East Pier at 7.30pm and the two sailors were landed safely ashore.
The crew on the callout were Tommy McAulay, mechanic Tommy Murphy, Brendan Copeland, Brendan Kavanagh, Graham Fitzgerald and John Stapleton.
The lifeboat slipped moorings shortly after 1am and put to sea following a pager alert from the Irish Coast Guard.
The alarm was raised after the yacht which was on passage south to Cork got fouled in ropes and lost propulsion.
The Shannon class lifeboat Jock and Annie Slater was alongside the stricken yacht at 1,35am six miles east of Wicklow Head.
Volunteer crew members David O’Leary and Paul Sillery were transferred onto the yacht and managed to free the ropes from the propeller.
Weather conditions on scene had a sea state slight with wind southwest Force 2.
A towline was established, and the yacht was towed back to Wicklow Harbour where the three sailors were landed safely ashore and the yacht was secured alongside the East Pier by 3.30am.
The incident came just days after a 10m yacht with three on board was fouled on ropes off Wicklow Head, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.
The yacht, with three people on board, was located at 10.12am about two-and-a-half miles south-east of Wicklow Head. Conditions on scene had a slight sea state and good visibility.
Lifeboat volunteer Alan Goucher was transferred onto the yacht to assess the situation and assist with the towline.
The yacht was taken in tow back to Wicklow Harbour and brought safely alongside the East Pier at 11.10am.
The all-weather lifeboat slipped her moorings at 4.50pm on Tuesday afternoon (7 May) to aid the 12-metre cruiser with eight people on board, which had set out from Wales and was crossing the Irish Sea to Malahide when it developed mechanical problems and lost all propulsion.
The skipper contacted the coastguard by marine VHF radio for assistance.
Wicklow’s lifeboat was alongside the casualty at 5.45pm about 19 miles offshore. Conditions in the area had a south-east Force 2 with a slight sea state and good visibility.
A tow line was established and the motor cruiser was taken in tow back to Wicklow Harbour where it was bought alongside the East Pier and all eight on board landed safely ashore.
The all-weather lifeboat Jock and Annie Slater put to sea shortly before 1.15pm under the command of coxswain Nick Keogh and proceeded towards the vessel, which was reported to be 23 miles north-east of Wicklow Harbour.
The lifeboat was alongside the 10-metre fishing boat an hour later. Conditions in the area were good, with south-easterly Force 3 winds.
The fishing vessel with three crew had developed mechanical problems and had lost propulsion. A towline was secured, and the vessel was towed back towards Wicklow over the next three-and-a-half hours, being secured safely alongside the North Quay shortly before 6pm.
This was the third callout since the all-weather lifeboat Jock and Annie Slater went on station at Wicklow on Friday 5 April.
Earlier in the week, Kilkeel RNLI’s volunteer crew launched at 4.20pm on Wednesday (10 April) to respond to a call from the skipper of a fishing boat that a semi-submerged kayak was adrift at Leestone Point, north east of Kilkeel Harbour.
Conditions were good and the crew arrived quickly on scene. On examination of the kayak, the crew found there was an algae growth on her bottom and no signs that it had been recently occupied.
With no reports of a missing kayaker, the kayak was taken on board the lifeboat which then returned to the station. Kilkeel Coastguard were in attendance.
Speaking afterwards, John Fisher, Kilkeel RNLI lifeboat operations manager, said: “It is important that if a small craft is lost or abandoned that it is reported to the coastguard. This will prevent any further reports by concerned members of the public or other persons.”
The lifeboat, under the command of second coxswain Ciaran Doyle, located the drifting vessel two miles east of Kilcoole at 11.10am.
Weather conditions in the area at the time had an easterly Force 5 with moderate sea.
A towline was quickly established, and the trawler was taken in tow. The fishing vessel and three crew were brought safely alongside the South Quay in Wicklow Harbour shortly after 12.30pm.
This was the first callout for the Shannon class lifeboat which went on station last Friday.
It comes during a very busy period at Wicklow RNLI as Jock and Annie Slater replaced Annie Blaker, the last Tyne class lifeboat in the RNLI fleet, which was officially retired last Friday 4 April after 30 years of service with Wicklow lifeboat station.
The slipway-launched lifeboat has been the busiest all-weather lifeboat in the history of the station — being involved in over 340 services, and rescuing over 400 people, since her arrival in 1989.
The final callout for Annie Blaker came last Thursday evening (3 April) when coxswain Nick Keogh and a volunteer crew launched to assist two sailors on a yacht with a rope-fouled propeller nine miles off the Wicklow coast.
Annie Blaker has been replaced by the relief lifeboat Jock and Annie Slater, which will operate from temporary facilities at the South Quay while the slipway and station are redeveloped to accommodate a new permanent lifeboat, which is expected to arrive in 2022.
Wicklow RNLI operations manager Des Davit said: “This month will be bittersweet for all of us involved in Wicklow Lifeboat Station. We will be saying goodbye to a magnificent boat, the last Tyne in the fleet, the Annie Blaker.
“At the same time, thanks to a magnificent effort of skill, determination and commitment by the crew just one month after her arrival, Lifeboat 13-01, the Jock and Annie Slater, went on service.
“Because of the skill of the crew and their huge commitment to training this new, state of the art lifeboat went on service much earlier than anticipated.
“We hope to have a farewell party for ‘Annie’ later in the month so keep an eye out for more information on this both in the press and on social media.”
In other news, BT Ireland, operator of the national 999/112 emergency call answering service, has donated €5,000 to the RNLI.
Bundoran, Rosslare and Courtmacsherry RNLI each received donations through BT Ireland’s nationwide payroll giving scheme ‘Give As You Earn’ to support their vital services in the community.
Captain Tony McGowan, Bundoran RNLI lifeboat operations manager, said: “This is a huge donation that will help our lifeboat crews continue to save lives at sea.
“These funds will help to ensure our crews are fully kitted, trained and skilled to do the work that they do and that our lifeboat is equipped, fuelled and maintained.”