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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

The RNLI has launched its search for budding new lifeguards to start their career on some of Northern Ireland’s most popular beaches, as applications open for 2022.

Recruitment for this season’s team of RNLI beach lifesavers on the Causeway Coast and in County Down has opened, ready for the summer season. As well as rescuing those in difficulty, the RNLI’s beach lifeguards promote safe behaviour so visitors can return home safely.

Lifeguards are needed for beaches at Benone, Downhill, Castlerock, Portstewart, Portrush West, Portrush East, Whiterocks and Ballycastle on the Causeway Coast and at Tyrella, Murlough and Cranfield in county Down.

Successful applicants will receive world-class lifesaving training, enjoy good rates of pay and develop valuable skills for a future career.

Karl O’Neill, RNLI Lead Lifeguard Supervisor said: ‘Lifeguarding is a really unique and rewarding role and if you’re thinking about applying, I would really recommend you go for it. You can gain some invaluable skills and training whilst working on the beach and being part of an incredible team.

‘If you enjoy working in a challenging environment, have the ability to work under pressure and you like helping others, it really is a job you will love.’

Conard McCullagh, RNLI Lead Lifeguard Supervisor added: ‘The skills our lifeguards gain can be an ideal first step towards many career paths or offer invaluable experience for those studying or training in a similar field.

‘Beach lifeguarding can be a great opportunity and a very rewarding role. You could change lives – including your own – all whilst enjoying the beach as your office. As long as you can meet the fitness requirements, pass the interview and you are over school leaving age, there can be a role for you as a lifesaver.

‘We have lifeguards who have been working for the RNLI for years, both on the beach and as part of our support teams. It really is a great opportunity.’

Find out more about how you can help to improve the safety of a community and apply to be part of our amazing lifesaving team at rnli.org/BeALifeguard.

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The Irish Coast Guard at Dun Laoghaire Harbour along with the RNLI Inshore boat was tasked to a yacht on rocks just off Sandycove at the Forty Foot Bathing Pace on the south shore of Dublin Bay on Monday afternoon.

The Coastguard reported on social media that with low tide fast approaching, the Inshore Lifeboat Crew (ILB) successfully got the yacht off the rocks in time, along with assistance from other boats, with little or no damage to the yacht".

The yacht then returned to Dun Laoghaire Harbour in the company of the RNLI Inshore boat.

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Wicklow RNLI Inshore RNLI lifeboat was launched at 10:30 am this morning (Sunday 16 January) after a concerned member of the public contacted the Coast Guard to report a lone kayaker in difficulties south of Wicklow harbour.

The Inshore lifeboat crew proceeded south towards Wicklow Head and began an immediate search of the area. Weather conditions at the scene were sea state moderate with wind north-easterly force four with good visibility.

At 10:55 am the crew located a kayaker about two miles off the Silver Strand beach. He was not in any difficulty and required no further assistance.

"A lone kayaker was in difficulties south of Wicklow harbour"

Speaking after his first callout as a Helm, Paul Sillery said: ‘We were alongside the kayaker just before 11 am and carried out a quick assessment. The kayak was well kitted out with safety equipment including a marine VHF radio. The man said he was on a training exercise and did not require any assistance, so we contacted the Coast Guard to say he was ok and wished to continue his passage south.’

Paul SilleryPaul Sillery

The lifeboat crew were stood down and returned to the station.

While the kayaker was well equipped for the journey today. It is essential to carry a communications device, such as a VHF radio, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) or a mobile phone every time you go out on the water. Carry it on your person and in a waterproof pouch on a lanyard, so you can’t drop it if your hands get cold. Always tell someone where you are going and when you will return.

The crew on the callout were: Helm Paul Sillery, Alan Goucher, Peter Byrne, and Stephen Kenny.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The RNLI has awarded volunteer lifeboat crewmember Rory Bolton with a medal recognising his twenty years’ service to the charity at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. Over the course of two decades, Rory has been a volunteer crew member on both the inshore and all-weather lifeboats based at Dun Laoghaire lifeboat station and been passed out as a mechanic for both lifeboats.

Rory was presented with his medal recently by Dun Laoghaire RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Edward Totterdell and RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager Peter Harty. Joining the RNLI back in 2001, Rory came on board after a friend who was already on the lifeboat crew, invited him to come to the station and see if he’d like to join. Already an outboard engine mechanic, Rory had seen the lifeboat in the harbour but didn’t know how to join the lifeboat crew. He was welcomed with opened arms and started his lifeboat journey on the smaller inshore lifeboat before moving onto the All-Weather lifeboat as well. He became a Helm and then the Senior Helm on the inshore lifeboat and has since passed out as a mechanic on both lifeboats and is currently third mechanic on the All-Weather lifeboat. On the personal life front, Rory also met his wife, Dr. Sarah Brookes, through the lifeboat, as she volunteers as the station’s medical advisor.

Commenting on the honour Rory said, ‘Dun Laoghaire RNLI is an amazing team to be a part of and the last twenty years have flown. We all come from different backgrounds but when we are out on a callout, we work as a team and there is nothing like it. Being a volunteer with the RNLI has been a huge part of my life, I met my wife Sarah through it, and we now have two beautiful children, Alice (7) and James (3). Alice already wants to join the lifeboat when she’s old enough. It’s been a wonderful twenty years.’

Reflecting on his most memorable callout Rory remembers a New Year’s Day callout around eight years ago to a kitesurfer who had lost the kite and was left in the water. ‘Conditions on the day were very challenging and right on the edge of what the inshore lifeboat can launch in. We went to Sandymount and there was no way he was able to get in to the shore by himself. With waves breaking over the lifeboat and the casualty struggling in the water, we pulled him to safety in the most difficult conditions. I’ll never forget it.’

Dun Laoghaire RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Edward Totterdell added his congratulations to Rory, ‘This recognition, by the RNLI, of twenty years of dedicated service and volunteering by Rory, is one he thoroughly deserves. Those two decades have seen countless rescues and launches and he has helped so many people, along with his colleagues on the crew. Our grateful thanks to Rory for all his tireless work and for his continued service to the lifeboat crew and hopefully we will have a few more years yet.’

RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager Peter Harty presented Rory with his medal on behalf of the RNLI. Peter said, ‘It’s an honour to work with a group of incredible men and women who give so much to their community. In being part of a lifeboat crew, they carry a pager day and night, ready to launch at a moment’s notice when people get into trouble on the water. Twenty years’ service is an incredible record. My thanks to Rory and also to his family, who support him and help our lifeboat crews saves lives at sea.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Helvick Head RNLI of County Waterford came to the aid of two fishermen yesterday (Wednesday 12 January) after their 29ft fishing boat broke down at Ballyvoyle.

On what was described as a sunny and calm day on the water, the volunteer crew were requested to launch their inshore lifeboat by the Irish Coast Guard at 12.50 pm following a report that the vessel needed assistance at Ballyvoyle, close to Clonea beach.

Launching at 1.03 pm, the lifeboat helmed by Joe Foley and with crew members Alan Kelly, Shane Walsh and Liam Harty onboard, made its way to the scene arriving at 1.12 pm. 

Helvick Head RNLI with the fishing boat under towHelvick Head RNLI with the fishing boat under tow

The lifeboat crew assessed the situation and found the fishermen to be safe and well. As the boat had sustained engine failure, a decision was made to tow the vessel back to Helvick Head Pier where they arrived at 1.50 pm.

Speaking following the call out, Sean Walsh, Helvick Head RNLI Deputy Launching Authority said: ‘The casualties did the right thing by calling for help when they realised they were in difficulty.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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A Lough Derg “Lap the lake” 130 km cycle is raising funds for RNLI Lough Derg this May 

Starting and finishing at the well-known harbour of Dromineer, parking and showers will be available at nearby Lough Derg Yacht Club. 

Lough Derg is the third-biggest on the island of Ireland. It is a long, narrow lake, with shore roads in counties Clare, Galway, and Tipperary for the cyclists to navigate.

Event tickets are €65 per person and will include a t-shirt and goody bag. We would love participants to raise another €65 or more and donate a total of €130 for 130km. All funds raised go to Lough Derg RNLI. 

Bookings are now open for places here and download the poster below.

Lap the Lake” Cycle Will Raise Funds for RNLI

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Youghal RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat launched yesterday morning (Tuesday 4 January) to a report from a member of the public who saw a boat drifting out to sea.

The lifeboat crew located the 12ft punt at 10.15am drifting from Youghal Bridge out the harbour on a strong falling tide. The vessel was then towed to Ferry Point where the local coastguard were waiting.

Youghal RNLI deputy launching authority Mark Nolan said: “Thanks to the member of public that reported this, as any vessel like this on a strong falling tide could be a navigational hazard to other marine traffic in the area.

“If you see someone in trouble or notices anything suspicious in the water dial 999 or 122 and ask for the coastguard.”

The volunteer lifeboat crew on the callout were helm Erik Brooks with crew Kevin Daly and Ivan Bryan.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Eleven-year-old Tommy Kehoe was one of around 60 sea swimmers who completed a fundraising challenge on the Little Beach in Kilmore Quay on New Year’s Eve in aid of the Co Wexford village’s RNLI lifeboat.

Organised by local women Melinda Kehoe, Grainne O'Brien and Simmi Duffin, the 20 Dips in December challenge saw local swimmers take part in, not one but 20 sponsored swims in the sea during the month of December.

The weather and sea conditions throughout the month were a key consideration for the swimmers. Even though there were some days where conditions did not allow for a dip, there were enough favourable days to allow for the challenge to be completed safely by the hardy swimmers.

Among them was Melinda’s son Tommy, who even fitted in a dip in the mornings before school. And his efforts have been well rewarded as so far he has raised €1,140 for the local lifeboat. Donations can still be made on the event’s JustGiving page.

Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, fundraising in aid of Kilmore Quay lifeboat has taken place throughout the year as guidelines allowed.

Dedicated supporters of the RNLI in the area have organised walks, swims, cycles, vintage runs, online bingo, and head shaves among other activities, raising vital funds to maintain the charity's lifesaving services.

Speaking following the final swim on Friday, Kilmore Quay RNLI lifeboat operations manager John Grace said: “There is a fantastic community spirit here today. Tommy has raised an incredible sum of money for the RNLI, as have all the participants.

“We cannot thank everyone who took part and all who support Kilmore Quay RNLI throughout the year enough for all their efforts and generosity.”

Those taking part in the 20 Dips in December challenge swim regularly in the sea throughout the year. If you are considering doing so, please check out the safety tips on Swim Ireland’s website regarding winter swimming in Ireland or contact a local open-water swimming group.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The volunteer lifeboat crew of Howth RNLI had their first launch of 2022 yesterday (Sunday 2 January) to paddleboarders in difficulty off the coast of Portmarnock Beach. Immediately after that, they were tasked to rescue a group of kayakers who could not make it back to Howth Harbour due to the strong off-shore winds.

The inshore lifeboat was launched at 2.05 pm and made way towards Portmarnock Beach. Weather conditions were poor with strong winds and one-metre-high seas. Once on scene at Portmarnock, Howth Lifeboat crew located the paddleboarders who had made their way ashore with their punctured paddleboard. A crew member was sent ashore to assess the paddleboarders before they were handed into the care of a Coast Guard crew on Portmarnock beach.

As the lifeboat crew made their way back to Howth, they were alerted to another situation involving five kayakers who were in difficulty as they made their way back to Howth Harbour, due to the strong off-shore winds. The volunteer lifeboat crew located three of the kayakers who had taken shelter on Ireland’s Eye, an island just North of Howth Harbour. The crew took the kayakers on board the lifeboat and brought them back to Howth. The lifeboat then escorted the remaining two kayakers back to the safety of the harbour.

Speaking following the call-out, Howth RNLI inshore lifeboat helm, Lorcan Dignam said, ‘When going on the water it’s really important that you always check the weather and tides and be mindful that conditions can change quickly. You should always carry a means of calling for help and keep it within reach. Although the weather has been quite mild recently, sea temperatures are very cold at this time of year and people taking to the water should be dressed for the conditions and always wear a lifejacket. Thankfully the outcome today, our first launch of 2022, was a successful one with the paddleboarders and kayakers all returned safely to shore.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The RNLI has recorded a bumper year in donations driven largely by public support for its humanitarian work in the English Channel, as the Guardian reports.

Online donations to the charity that saves lives at sea have risen by 50% in 2021, it says, putting it on course for its best fundraising year since it was founded in 1824.

In July last year the charity’s chief executive issued a statement in the wake of criticism from right-wing commentators and media for its efforts in rescuing asylum seekers from the English Channel, emphasising that he “could not be prouder” of the work of the RNLI’s volunteers.

Since the tragic drawing of 27 people in the Channel in November 2021, just days after an attempted blockade against a lifeboat by fishermen allegedly encouraged by right-wing propaganda, the RNLI says its support from the public has only grown stronger.

The Guardian has more on the story HERE.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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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.

Who is Your Sailor of the Year 2021?
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