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Displaying items by tag: Lifeboats

As the summer months approach, Bundoran RNLI is calling on everyone looking forward to a boat trip at sea to plan ahead so they can enjoy their day safely.

The plea comes after a group of people whose boat had been tied up but damaged overnight by southerly winds and tidal conditions, became stranded and were brought ashore by the volunteer lifeboat crew.

Killian O’Kelly, volunteer helm at Bundoran RNLI, said: “It is great to see more people out on the water and enjoying themselves.

“As the summer approaches we want to remind people ahead of their trip to sea to plan ahead with safety in mind. Making simple safety measures means people can make the most of their activities with peace of mind.

“We would encourage people to get the right training for their craft. It is important to know how to handle your boat and its capabilities. Ensure your boat is prepared for the season and that your engine is well maintained. Always carry adequate tools and spares to fix any problems you may encounter and ensure you have enough fuel for your journey.

“Always check the weather and tide times. If you’re in an area that you are unfamiliar with, seek local advice on tides, conditions and potential obstacles or challenges.

“Always carry a means of calling or signalling for help — a mobile phone or a VHF radio tuned to Channel 16 to talk to the coastguard. Let them, and someone else on the shore know where you’re going and who to call if you don’t return on time, and always wear a lifejacket.”

More safety advice for boating and other activities is available at rnli.org/safety

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Ballyglass RNLI and Belmullet Tidal Pool Swimmers in north-west Co Mayo have won a Golden Welly for their recent fundraising efforts for the charity that saves lives at sea.

The RNLI award for Best Community Partnership Fundraiser, which is one of only six awards in all of Ireland and the UK, was announced last week at the RNLI’s virtual Mayday awards ceremony.

The volunteer lifeboat crew and the Belmullet swimmers were overjoyed to hear their deep-end dipping and donating earned them the prestigious Golden Welly.

The Golden Welly awards recognise and celebrate the fantastic work and contributions made to the RNLI’s annual Mayday fundraising campaign.

This year for the Mayday Mile, Michelle Healy and her mother Liz Healy, both on the committee of Belmullet Swim Club, came up with the idea of swimming a mile for the RNLI.

“There’s a great bunch of daily swimmers here in Belmullet, and they jumped at the chance to swim a mile to support the local lifeboat,” Michelle said. “We’re a coastal community and it's important we all pull together and support each other.”

Volunteer members of the Ballyglass RNLI crew joined in and swam in their full kit. Over five days during May, a total of 59 swimmers swam a collective distance of 74.11 miles in their Atlantic Ocean tidal pool, raising €2,016.

Pádraic Sheeran, Ballyglass RNLI’s lifeboat operations manager, said there has always been a great relationship between Ballyglass RNLI and Belmullet Swim Club with mutual respect and support at its core.

“Promoting water safety and saving lives at sea are common goals of the RNLI and the swim group and we’ve always worked well together.

“We are very thankful to Liz, Michelle and the group of swimmers and the great work they do and we’re delighted to accept an award that acknowledges and celebrates that effort. The funds raised will now help our volunteers as they continue to save lives at sea.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Lough Derg RNLI launched on Thursday afternoon (17 June) to assist two people on a 28ft cruiser aground inside the G navigation mark, north of Drominagh Point on Lough Derg.

The inshore lifeboat Jean Spicer arrived on scene at 12.50pm, 15 minutes after launch, and waited on standby as the cruise hire company were also on scene and attempting to refloat the cruiser.

When it was evident the cruiser was fast on rocks, and the cruise hire company had arranged for a more powerful tow vessel to assist, the RNLI volunteers — helm Eleanor Hooker, Ger Egan, Steve Smyth and Chris Parker — requested to take the two casualties off the stricken vessel to Terryglass Harbour, where their boat would be taken once it was reflected.

The callout came less than 24 hours after Lough Derg’s lifeboat volunteers attended a 32ft cruiser that ran aground by the entrance to Terryglass Harbour, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Brendan O’Brien, deputy launching authority at Lough Derg RNLI, advises boat users to “plan your passage, study your charts and don’t stray off the charted navigation routes”.

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Lough Derg RNLI launched on Wednesday evening (16 June) to assist two people on a 32ft cruiser aground by the entrance to Terryglass Harbour, at the northern end of Lough Derg.

At 6.48pm the inshore lifeboat Jean Spier set off with helm Eleanor Hooker and crew Steve Smyth, Joe O’Donoghue and Tom Hayes on board. Weather conditions had a westerly Force 3/4 wind with good visibility.

The lifeboat arrived on scene 20 minutes later and could see the cruiser aground inside the navigation marker by Terryglass Harbour.

After assessing the location and depths, the lifeboat made a careful approach to the casualty vessel, all the time taking soundings of the depths. Once alongside, the RNLI volunteers found both passengers on board to safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets.

A lifeboat crew member transferred across to the cruiser and, after making a thorough check of the boat to ensure it was not holed, set up for a tow.

The lifeboat found the casualty vessel to be stuck fast on the rocky shelf. Two marine engineers from the cruise hire company arrived on scene with a tow vessel but were also unable to get the vessel off the rocks.

The lifeboat took both passengers and their RNLI crew member onto the lifeboat and into Terryglass Harbour, where arrangements were made for both casualties to stay on shore overnight and their boat to be refloated this morning.

Brendan O’Brien, deputy launching authority at Lough Derg RNLI ,advises boat users to “plan your passage, study your charts and identify the navigation marks for the harbour to which you are travelling”.

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Larne RNLI was requested to launch by Belfast Coastguard on Saturday (12 June) to reports of a kayaker in the water north-east of Skernaghan Point, close to Portmuck in Islandmagee on Northern Ireland’s East Antrim coast.

Launching the inshore lifeboat Terry at 3.26pm, the volunteer crew made their way towards the location of the casualty.

As they were approaching the area, it was reported that the casualty had been recovered from the water by a local fishing boat.

Upon reaching the fishing boat, the volunteer crew recovered the casualty from the boat into the lifeboat and began to administer first aid. They also recovered the kayak to be towed into the safety of Portmuck Harbour.

Upon reaching the harbour, the casualty was handed over to the care of Portmuck Coastguard team and the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service.

Larne RNLI helm Barry Kirkpatrick said following the callout: “We would like to wish the casualty a speedy recovery and commend the crew of the fishing vessel who were on scene first.

“The casualty was wearing a lifejacket and all of his equipment was in good working order order. Sometimes even with the correct preparation, the sea can still be very unpredictable. We would recommend anyone going to sea always carries a means of calling for help should they get into any trouble.”

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Four Clifden RNLI crew members who went to the aid of a sailor stranded on the rocks of Inishark have received letters of commendation for their role in the complex rescue operation.

On 20 September 2019, in severe weather conditions, Clifden RNLI’s all-weather Shannon class and inshore Atlantic 85 lifeboats were launched at the request of the Irish Coast Guard.

A sailor had come into difficulty after his yacht suffered engine failure at Inishark island. The volunteer crew were on the scene within 30 minutes and located the casualty who had made his way onto the rocks.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, he operation was hampered by a south-east Force 7/8 onshore wind but helm Alan Pryce, using experience and training, was able to safely put a crew member ashore to assess the casualty.

The casualty did not have life-threatening injuries but given the severity of the weather, the safest option was to request the assistance of the coastguard’s Sligo-based helicopter Rescue 118 which winched the sailor to safety.

Clifden RNLI volunteers Alvin Bell, his father Andy Bell, Ian Shanahan and Alan Pryce crewed Clifden’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat during this challenging rescue operation and they recently received letters of commendation from John Payne, the RNLI director of lifesaving operations, for their service.

John Brittain, Clifden RNLI lifeboat operations manager, congratulated the crew: “Alvin, Andy, Ian and Alan have shown continued commitment to Clifden RNLI and I am delighted that their selfless courage and dedication has been recognised with a letter of commendation.

“This particular rescue highlights the level of training, skills and seamanship of our volunteer members and we are very grateful for the role they play in saving lives at sea.”

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Enniskillen RNLI launched to the aid of four people on a speedboat adrift in shallow water in the vicinity of Castle Archdale yesterday (Sunday 13 June).

Following a request from Belfast Coastguard, the volunteer crew launched the station’s inshore lifeboat John and Jean Lewis at 7.35pm to go to the aid of the 16ft speed boat, which had engine difficulties and was adrift in the Castle Archdale area of Lower Lough Erne.

Weather conditions at the time were choppy with a south-westerly wind.

The crew quickly found the drifting boat on the western side of Crevinishaghy Island.

All four adults onboard were found to be safe and well and wearing the correct safety equipment.

The volunteer crew then established a tow between the lifeboat and the vessel and all casualties were brought to Castle Archdale marina safely.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Lough Derg RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was requested by Valentia Coast Guard to launch to assist four people on a 35ft cruiser with fuel problems yesterday evening, Friday 11 June.

The vessel was reported to be near Navigation Mark F, north of the Goat Road on the Tipperary shore.

At 5.05pm the lifeboat Jean Spier launched with helm Owen Cavanagh and crew Eleanor Hooker, Joe O’Donoghue and Chris Parker on board. Conditions had a westerly Force 3/4 wind, with good visibility.

Fifteen minutes later, the lifeboat located the vessel just off the navigation channel above the Goat Road, where the passengers had dropped anchor to prevent drifting into the shallows and onto rocks.

All on board were found to be safe and unharmed, and wearing their lifejackets.

An RNLI volunteer transferred across the casualty vessel and once it was established that there was no damage to the vessel, but that it would require assistance to safe harbour, an alongside tow was set up.

The nearest safe harbour was the public moorings at Kilgarvan Quay, where the casualty vessel was safety tied at 5.50pm.

Jeremy Freeman, deputy launching authority at Lough Derg RNLI, advises boat users this busy summer season to “ensure you have sufficient, fresh fuel for your journey and a means of communication”.

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Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council (DLRCoCo) has signed up to become an RNLI Local Ambassador, committing itself to sharing vital water safety messages with the public throughout the council area this summer.

The RNLI — which has three lifeboat stations in Dublin city and county at Dun Laoghaire, Howth and Skerries — has already had a busy year to date and is anticipating a busy summer on the coast.

Last year alone, volunteer crews at Dublin’s lifeboat stations launched 145 times and brought 163 people to safety.

As a local ambassador, the council says it will proactively help promote key water safety messages on behalf of the charity that saves lives at sea.

This will include sharing locally tailored and activity specific water safety messages on our social media channels every week throughout the summer months.

As the summer approaches, DLRCoCO is encouraging people to come and visit its beaches but is also reminding everybody of the dangers the water can pose.

An Cathaoirleach, Cllr Una Power said: “The council is pleased to become a RNLI Local Ambassador. This is a great way for us to help the RNLI get important water safety information across to the wider public in our council area.

“It is our hope that work such as this will help to reduce water-based incidents and drownings. People visit the coast and our beaches to enjoy a range of activities by the sea and we want to help ensure they do so safely.”

Darina Loakman, Dun Laoghaire RNLI water safety adviser, added: “We would like to thank the council and the many other local businesses in Dublin who have pledged to share advice that will help keep people safe around the coast.

“Last year during some weekends over the summer, there were multiple lifeboat launches for our volunteer crew here at Dun Laoghaire RNLI. The increased popularity of a range of water sports has seen more people in the water and we have also seen a rise in people getting cut off by the tide and becoming stranded.

“Over half the people that get into trouble in the water didn’t expect to get wet so having organisations such as the council working to deliver safety advice in this way is wonderful.”

Meanwhile, the council has increased the number of beach lifeguards on duty this year.

Seapoint, Sandycove and Killiney have a lifeguarding service during the bathing season from 1 June to 15 September. Lifeguards are on duty from 12-6pm Monday to Friday and from 11am to 6pm Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Aran Islands RNLI’s volunteer crew on Inis Mór were asked to launch their all-weather Severn class lifeboat just before noon yesterday (Tuesday 8 June) by the Irish Coast Guard for a medevac.

A woman on the neighbouring island of Inis Oírr was in need of medical attention, and due to fog she was unable to leave by a scheduled flight.

The lifeboat launched under coxswain John O'Donnell and a full crew amid good weather conditions with calm seas, a light southerly wind and fair visibility.

Once at the pier in Inis Oírr, the patient was transferred safely aboard the lifeboat under the supervision of the volunteer crew, following COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. The lifeboat then headed straight for Rossaveal Harbour and the waiting ambulance.

Speaking after the callout, O’Donnell said: “The crew responded without delay and we got the patient on her way to the care she needed as quickly as possible. We would like to wish the patient all the best.

“As we head into the summer months, please heed all safety advice for leisure activities on the water. Never swim alone, always let someone know when you are due back ashore if going to sea. Always bring a mobile phone to contact someone and always wear a lifejacket.”

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Coastal Notes Coastal Notes covers a broad spectrum of stories, events and developments in which some can be quirky and local in nature, while other stories are of national importance and are on-going, but whatever they are about, they need to be told.

Stories can be diverse and they can be influential, albeit some are more subtle than others in nature, while other events can be immediately felt. No more so felt, is firstly to those living along the coastal rim and rural isolated communities. Here the impact poses is increased to those directly linked with the sea, where daily lives are made from earning an income ashore and within coastal waters.

The topics in Coastal Notes can also be about the rare finding of sea-life creatures, a historic shipwreck lost to the passage of time and which has yet many a secret to tell. A trawler's net caught hauling more than fish but cannon balls dating to the Napoleonic era.

Also focusing the attention of Coastal Notes, are the maritime museums which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of historical exhibits for future generations.

Equally to keep an eye on the present day, with activities of existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector and those of the energy exploration industry.

In addition Coastal Notes has many more angles to cover, be it the weekend boat leisure user taking a sedate cruise off a long straight beach on the coast beach and making a friend with a feathered companion along the way.

In complete contrast is to those who harvest the sea, using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety poses an issue, before they set off to ply their trade at the foot of our highest sea cliffs along the rugged wild western seaboard.

It's all there, as Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied to the environment from which they came from and indeed which shape people's interaction with the surrounding environment that is the natural world and our relationship with the sea.

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