Displaying items by tag: Rescue 118
Calls have been made for people rescued from the water while going against safety advice and weather warnings to be “handed the bill” for their rescue, after two surfers were saved off the Sligo coast during Storm Jorge at the weekend.
The Irish Times reports that the two surfers were winched aboard the Sligo-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 118 on Saturday morning (29 February) after one had lost his surfboard and another on shore had attempted to rescue him.
Storm conditions such as those presented by Storm Jorge — which prompted a Status Red marine warning for all Irish coastal waters — create the swells sought after by the big wave surfers regularly attracted to the Sligo coast, particularly at Mullaghmore, over the winter months.
But the situation on Saturday did not sit well with members of the public commenting online, who branded the surfers’ actions as “selfish” and “nonsense” and demanded they foot “the bill” for the launch of emergency services, or even face criminal prosecution.
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.
Four people have been rescued from an island off the Sligo coast after their vessel washed up on rocks.
Bundoran RNLI’s volunteer crew launched to the incident at Inishmurray Island yesterday afternoon (Sunday 3 November) along with the Irish Coast Guard’s Sligo-based helicopter Rescue 118, which airlifted the casualties to hospital
The RNLI says the lifeboat made efforts to recover their boat from the rocks but due to a three-metre swell, it was decided to leave it in place.
Later, volunteer helm Rory O’Connor said: “The four casualties were lucky on this occasion and we are thankful that they alerted the coastguard when they did. This was another callout with a good outcome.”
Several emergency calls were reportedly made by onlookers at the scene, where the Mulroy coastguard unit and Tory Island ferry Queen of Aran also stood by to assist.
A spokesperson for the Irish Coast Guard acknowledged the fortunate outcome, and singled out the crew of the Sligo-based SAR helicopter Rescue 118 “for their efficient response to a difficult challenge”.
It’s understood that the deceased was a man in his 50s from North Mayo. He was one of three men recovered from a life raft some 16 miles off Eagle Island after their vessel sank.
Rescue 118 spotted flares less than an hour later and proceeded to airlift the casualties for transfer to Sligo University Hospital.
Malin Rescue Coordination Centre received an early morning request from the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), who requested the Irish Coast Guard to assume coordination of the operation.
The rendezvous with the ship took place around 190 miles west of Erris Head shortly before 8.30am. Rescue 118 was expected to arrive with the casualty at University Hospital Galway before midday.
An Air Corps Casa maritime patrol aircraft was made available to provide communications and surveillance back up, known as ‘top cover’ but had to be redeployed to conduct two separate patient transfers to UK on foot of a request from the National Ambulance Service. This role was reassigned to the Dublin-based coastguard helicopter Rescue 116.
Weather conditions at the time were described as reasonable.
The most serious of these involved a six-year-old girl whose inflatable was swept out to sea at Gweedore, as Independent.ie reports.
Coastguard officials have blamed the changing tide combined with high winds for conditions that also saw three kayakers require assistance in two separate incidents.
Last week Bundoran RNLI gave their own warning over rip currents after a group of GAA players were pulled out to sea.
The lifeboat and helicopter crews came together for a joint training exercise at Lough Ree Yacht Club amid changeable weather conditions, with winds Force 4-6 and frequent rain showers blowing through.
On arrival, Rescue 118 landed at the yacht club grounds where the pilot and crew briefed the Lough Ree RNLI volunteers, after which they invited the RNLI crew, family members and yacht club members to have a tour of the helicopter.
The exercise got underway with the lifeboat crew members being winched between their inshore lifeboat The Eric Rowse and the helicopter. The strong winds enabled easier hovering for the helicopter, and provided the lifeboat crew with an invaluable experience.
Speaking following the exercise, Lough Ree RNLI volunteer deputy press officer Sarah Bradbury said: “Joint training exercises such as today’s allows our crews to develop their skills, work with and share learning experiences with our colleagues in the Irish Coast Guard and most importantly prepare for working effectively with each other when the time comes and we need to help someone in need.”
The exercise came days after a busy bank holiday weekend for the Lough Ree lifeboat, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.
The overnight operation was jointly co-ordinated with the UK Coastguard who had initially been alerted by the tanker, which is on a transatlantic voyage to the Orkney Islands.
Weather conditions on scene were described as reasonable with northwesterly winds of up to 40km per hour.
The injured crewman was airlifted by Rescue 118 shortly before 8am, and the helicopter was due back in Sligo before 10.30am for transfer of the casualty to Sligo University Hospital.
And as Helicopter Investor reports, Rescue 118 and the rest of the Sikorsky S-92 fleet based at Shannon, Dublin and Waterford will have completed at least 877 missions between them by year's end.
"We have invested heavily in our four bases in Ireland so that we can offer a safe, reliable service with the highest levels of availability,” said Chris Hodson of CHC Helicopter, contracted to provide coastguard SAR services in Ireland since 2010.
#Coastguard - A Limavady councillor says two men rescued yesterday from the snow-covered Benevenagh Mountain should be billed for the cost of their "completely idiotic" escapade.
It also emerged that a PSNI search and rescue team had to be airlifted to the site by an Army Air Corps helicopter that had been involved in distributing animal food relief to farmers badly affected by the recent poor weather.
Limavady councillor Edwin Stevenson, who is also a farmer, said: "I am at an absolute loss as to why anyone would decide to climb Benevenagh in these conditions and can only describe the actions of these two men as completely idiotic."
He suggested that the NI Executive should consider "billing people who carelessly risk not just their own lives, but also the lives of the emergency services who invariably end up having to dedicate time and energy rescuing them".
The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.