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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Displaying items by tag: Wicklow

Wicklow RNLI went to the assistance of a lone sailor on Tuesday morning (20 September) after his vessel got fouled in ropes.

The all-weather lifeboat Joanna and Henry Williams slipped its moorings from the south quay at 8.50am following a pager alert and proceeded to sea under the command of coxswain Ciaran Doyle and a volunteer crew.

Twenty minutes later the casualty vessel was located seven miles offshore near the South India Buoy. Conditions in the area were good with calm sea and good visibility.

The lone sailor on the 12-metre motor vessel had left Wicklow Harbour a couple of hours earlier and was returning to Wales, when the propellor got fouled in ropes and the boat lost all propulsion.

The coxswain carried out an assessment and, as the vessel had no propulsion, it was decided the best course of action was to tow the casualty back to Wicklow harbour.

Two volunteer crew were transferred onto the motor vessel to assist with the tow line. The motor cruiser was then towed to Wicklow and brought alongside the East Pier at 10.55am where the sailor was landed safely ashore.

Speaking about the call out, volunteer lifeboat press officer Tommy Dover said: “The sailor had attempted to free the obstruction, but he was unable to unravel the rope from around the propellor. He did the right thing calling for assistance and we were happy to help.

“When going afloat we would remind everyone to check their engine and fuel, always wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid, and carry a means of calling for help.

“If you see someone in difficulty on or near the water, dial 999/112 or use Marine VHF Channel 16 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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It’s emerged that Wicklow County Council has investigated a large wooden structure overlooking the popular Magheramore Beach for potential breach of planning rules.

According to TheJournal.ie, the probe was on the foot of complaints raised by locals over the house-like structure on lands purchased last year by Paddy McKillen Jr of the Press Up hospitality group and Oakmount property firm.

The council has since confirmed that the building is part of a temporary film set, for which planing permission was not required according to a spokesperson for Oakmount.

But locals remain concerned about promises to remove the building at the end of the film shoot, as well as access to the beach.

Access had been a primary concern during ahead of the public auction of the lands, which separate Magheramore Beach from the local community, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

TheJournal.ie has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes
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Wicklow RNLI volunteers brought five people to safety during two call-outs on Saturday (13 August) after their boats suffered engine failure off the Wicklow coast.

The first call-out came at 4:30 pm, when the all-weather lifeboat slipped its moorings from the south quay and proceeded north to investigate a report of a vessel drifting south of Greystones Harbour.

A small angling boat was located a short time later south of Greystones Harbour near the Breaches buoy. The weather at the time was excellent, with good visibility and calm conditions.

A quick inspection was carried out by Coxswain Nick Keogh and the vessel with three people on board was found to have suffered engine failure and was unable to get back to shore without assistance. The boat was taken in tow to Greystones harbour by the lifeboat, and the three people were landed safely ashore at 5:40 pm.

The second call out came as the lifeboat was arriving back at Wicklow Harbour at 6:20 pm. Coxswain Keogh put to sea again, this time heading south towards Maghermore Beach.

The lifeboat located a rigid inflatable boat with two people on board anchored off Magheramore beach after it suffered engine failure. The rib was taken in tow back to Wicklow Harbour and the two people were landed safely ashore at 7:30 pm.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Wicklow Inshore RNLI lifeboat brought two paddle boarders to safety on Sunday evening (7 August) after they got into difficulties near Wicklow Head.

The lifeboat launched at 7.35 pm after members of the public walking on Wicklow Head saw the paddleboarders in difficulty and made a 999 call to the Coast Guard.

The paddle boarders were located five minutes later near Wicklow Head. As the tide had turned, they were unable to paddle against the current and were being pushed further offshore. Conditions at the time were wind south westerly force three with a moderate sea.

The two paddleboarders were transferred onto the lifeboat, where the crew conducted a quick medical assessment. No medical assistance was required, and the two casualties were landed safely ashore at the lifeboat station shortly after 8 pm.

Wicklow RNLI ILB landing the two paddle boarders safely at Wicklow Photo: Wicklow RNLIWicklow RNLI ILB landing the two paddle boarders safely at Wicklow Photo: Wicklow RNLI

Speaking about the call-outs, volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for Wicklow RNLI, Tommy Dover said: ‘Our advice to paddle boarders is always to wear a lifejacket and make sure you carry a communications device.’

Just as Helm Paul Sillery, Matt Doyle and John Stapleton completed refuelling the inshore lifeboat, pagers activated again to launch the all-weather lifeboat. So, the three volunteers quickly changed into their all-weather lifeboat kit and join Coxswain Nick Keogh, Lisa ‘O Leary and Andrew Carlin on the second callout.

The all-weather Shannon class lifeboat slipped its moorings from the south quay at 8:20 pm and proceeded north, following the Coast Guard pager alert to a report of a yacht with mechanical problems near the Six Mile Point.

The lifeboat was alongside the drifting yacht with two sailors at 8:45 pm and after a quick assessment by the Coxswain, the yacht was found to have engine failure and unable to get into port under its own power. It was taken in tow back to Wicklow Harbour.

The yacht was secured alongside the East pier at Wicklow harbour as darkness fell at 9:30 pm this evening and the two sailors were landed safely ashore.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Wicklow RNLI brought three sailors to safety after their yacht lost propulsion from a rope-fouled propellor off the Wicklow coast.

The all-weather lifeboat RNLB Joanna and Henry Williams slipped its moorings at the South quay at 10:28 pm on Monday 25 July under the command of Coxswain Nick Keogh and proceeded to the stricken vessel's last reported position.

Thirty minutes later, the lifeboat volunteers located the 14-metre yacht entangled in ropes, seven miles offshore near the South India buoy. Weather conditions at the time were wind north-westerly force five with a moderate sea. The lifeboat crew assisted the sailors and freed the yacht from the obstruction.

Speaking after the callout Coxswain, Nick Keogh said: ‘As rope remained in the propellor and the yacht was unable to make any headway, we decided the best course of action was to tow the boat back to Wicklow harbour.’

A towline was established, and the yacht was brought alongside the East pier shortly before 00:45 am on Tuesday morning, and the three sailors were landed safely ashore.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Wicklow RNLI were delighted to welcome Jordann Wizowski and his mother Megan to the lifeboat station for a very special presentation recently.

Five-year-old Jordann completed a walk between the present Wicklow RNLI lifeboat station and the former station on the Murrough as part of the RNLI Mayday Mile challenge and raised €250 from family and friends in the process.

Jordann, who is a member of the RNLI Storm Force kids’ club, presented the cheque to Santiago Balbontin from the Wicklow RNLI fundraising branch — and was delighted some of the volunteer crew gathered for a photograph.

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Both Wicklow RNLI lifeboats were launched after 09:45 am this morning (Saturday 4 June), following reports of a missing swimmer at Silver Stand beach.

The alarm was raised after the wife of the swimmer became concerned for his safety and contacted the Coast Guard.

The lifeboats arrived off the Silver Strand beach, south of Wicklow head fifteen minutes later and began a search of the area. Conditions at the scene were wind easterly wind force Six with moderate sea and good visibility.

The Dublin based Coast Guard s92 helicopter ‘Rescue 116’ and a Coast Guard shore unit were also tasked to the incident along with an NAS Ambulance crew and Wicklow Garda Siochana.

Speaking after the callout, Wicklow RNLI Station Coxswain, Nick Keogh said: “During the search we made visual contact with the swimmer who was stranded on rocks near the beach, we stood by as he was winched to safety by Rescue 116.”

The casualty was airlifted to the beach and hand into the care of NAS Paramedics.

The callout comes as the Coast Guard, RNLI and Water Safety Ireland issued a joint water safety appeal over the June bank holiday. As Many people are expected to take advantage of the break and visit the coast and inland waters and the organisations are asking people to check that they have the correct equipment they need to enjoy their activities and that they know what to do in the event of an emergency.

Irish Coast Guard Operations Manager Micheál O’Toole said, ”We want everybody to enjoy our waters but please pay attention to your own safety. Never ever swim alone and if you are using a boat or kayak, please ensure that if an emergency arises and you need assistance, that you are capable of contacting the Coast Guard with a marine VHF radio, PLB or EPIRB. Never rely on a mobile phone alone.”

RNLI Water Safety Delivery Support Lisa Hollingum added: “It’s great to see people getting out and taking part in water based activities this summer but it’s important to know what to do if something unexpected happens. There are so many great products on the market for water safety and something as simple as a water proof pouch to hold a means of communication for when you go out on a paddle board or kayak, can make all the difference.”

If you see somebody in trouble on the water or along the coast, or think they are in trouble; Dial 999 or 112 or use VHF radio CH 16 and ask for the Coast Guard.

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This week marks the end of an era at Wicklow RNLI as long-serving crew member and station mechanic Brendan Copeland officially retires from saving lives at sea.

Brendan’s last day started with a trip to Dun Laoghaire Harbour to bring Wicklow RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat back to station after a lift-out and hull clean.

While the lifeboat was departing Dun Laoghaire for Wicklow, a call came in regarding a motor cruiser that had suffered engine failure in Dublin Bay.

As Wicklow RNLI’s lifeboat was close by and the motor cruiser was drifting in busy shipping lanes and a danger to traffic at Dublin Port, the lifeboat diverted to assist and was on scene in minutes.

A tow line was quickly established and the cruiser was towed to the nearest safe port of Dun Laoghaire, where its occupants were safely landed ashore.

The crew then returned to Wicklow and Brendan quietly retired after 31 years with the RNLI, helping to save 23 lives and assisting over 334 people.

Brendan, a former lighthouse keeper with The Commissioners of Irish Lights, joined Wicklow RNLI as a volunteer in 1991. In the early years he served on both the all-weather and inshore lifeboats as a crew member and emergency mechanic. In 2007, Brendan was appointed Wicklow RNLI’s full-time station mechanic, a position he held for the last 15 years.

His role involved a wide range of duties that included maintaining the Tyne class lifeboat, Annie Blaker, a labour of love he continued up to 5 April 2019 when she was officially retired as the last operating Tyne class lifeboat in the RNLI fleet.

At the time, former lifeboat operations manager Des Davitt said: “I want to pay a special thanks to our station mechanic Brendan Copeland who looked after Annie so well for all these years. Her incredible life-saving record is a measure of how well she was maintained.”

When asked in April 2019 how he felt prior to Annie Blaker launching for the final time at Wicklow, Brendan replied: “You’re asking me if I’m sad or emotional today? I’m more than that, I’m heartbroken, to borrow a quote used for the Blasket Islanders, ‘the likes will never be seen again’.”

While the Tyne lifeboat had twin propellors with a top speed of 18 knots, the new modern Shannon class lifeboat which was to follow is capable of 25 knots and considered the fastest and most technologically advanced in the RNLI fleet.

To prepare for the arrival of the Shannon class, Brendan and a panel of mechanics travelled to Poole for training on the new jet-propelled lifeboat powered by two Scania engines. The training paid off and with great determination and huge commitment from Brendan and the crew, the Shannon went on service much quicker than anticipated.

Brendan has gone to sea on countless callouts during his time with the lifeboat and one shout that stands out to him occurred in the early hours of 22 March 2013 after a fishing vessel with three crew lost power and was in danger of being washed ashore east of Wicklow Head.

He recalled: “Annie was launched, and I can honestly say as we went around the pier the sea was boiling. We managed to get a line to the boat which was larger than Annie and towed it back to Wicklow; it felt like we were in a teapot that was being shook to make the tea stronger.”

For their actions in bringing the vessel and three crew to safety, Brendan and the crew received a letter of commendation from RNLI operations director Michael Vlasto.

Brendan took part in his last afloat exercise on the lifeboat last Saturday 28 May with his volunteer team deciding to mark this milestone for their much-loved mechanic, who has been a mentor, friend and the backbone of Wicklow RNLI for many years.

As the Wicklow lifeboat returned to station, a flotilla of local boats and Arklow RNLI’s lifeboat accompanied Brendan into Wicklow Harbour.

From the east pier the arrival was witnessed by a large turnout made up of Brendan’s family, friends and his lifeboat family, while a lone piper played as the boat passed and the Dublin based Coast Guard helicopter made a flypast.

As the lifeboat reached the south quay berth, local emergency services lined up in a guard of honour and sounded their sirens as the lifeboat passed. Brendan was overwhelmed and thanked everyone.

Commenting on Brendan’s retirement, Mary Aldridge, Wicklow RNLI lifeboat operations manager said: “The crew and I wish you and Betty all the happiness in the world on your well-deserved retirement. You have provided excellent service as a community lifesaver with the RNLI since 1991; you will be severely missed at the station.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Wicklow RNLI’s inshore lifeboat launched just after 9.55am on Sunday morning (29 May) to reports of a motorboat with two onboard that was in difficulties south of Wicklow Harbour.

Three minutes later the lifeboat was on scene, where the motorboat’s owner could be seen using a boat hook to keep it from being washed up onto the rocks under the Black Castle amid challenging conditions, with a northeasterly Force 3-4 wind.

The inshore lifeboat got close enough to transfer a line to the motorboat, and it was quickly hauled out to sea and away from danger.

A towline was then established and the motorboat was towed the short distance back to Wicklow Harbour. The two men were landed safely ashore on the south quay at 10.22pm, none the worse after their ordeal.



Speaking after the callout, Wicklow RNLI lifeboat press officer Tommy Dover said: “A speedy response by the inshore lifeboat crew in challenging conditions resulted in a good outcome today.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Wicklow RNLI Inshore lifeboat launched just after 09:55 am this morning (Sunday 29 May) to reports of a motorboat in difficulties south of Wicklow harbour. The lifeboat proceeded south and was on scene three minutes later.

The owner could be seen using a boat hook to keep the motorboat from being washed up onto the rocks in challenging conditions under the Black Castle. Weather at the time was wind north-easterly force 3/4 with slight seas and good visibility.

The inshore lifeboat got close enough to transfer a line to the motorboat, and it was quickly hauled out to sea and away from danger. A towline was established, and the motorboat was towed the short distance back to Wicklow harbour.

The two men were landed safely ashore on the south quay at 10:22 pm, none the worst after their ordeal.

Speaking after the callout Wicklow RNLI Press Officer, Tommy Dover said: ‘A speedy response by the Inshore lifeboat crew in challenging conditions resulted in a good outcome today.’

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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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