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The volunteers at Union Hall RNLI received a cheque recently for over $500 from a group of Irish emigrants in the USA.

Volunteer fundraiser Pamela Deasy travelled to Kinsale recently and met John Farley, who resides in San Francisco, and his friend John O’Mahony, a volunteer deputy launching authority at Kinsale RNLI, to receive a cheque on behalf of McCarthy’s Bar in San Francisco.

McCarthy’s Bar is owned by Eileen McCarthy from Drinagh in West Cork, and its patrons last year raised over $5,000 in aid of the Kinsale lifeboat, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

John is a lifelong supporter of the RNLI with first-hand experience of their work after he, his sister and his niece were rescued a number of years ago when their boat broke down off the Old Head of Kinsale.

Deasy said: “On behalf of all our team, we wish to thank Eileen and John for thinking of us in Union Hall. This donation will help us greatly.

“With three callouts in the last two weeks, this donation will help with training costs for our volunteers, as it costs roughly €1,557 per crew member annually.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Arranmore RNLI responded to a call at 7.15am on Wednesday morning (10 August) to assist a 25ft fishing vessel with one onboard after it sustained engine trouble.

The boat was drifting on to rocks at Calf Island which is located just metres from the Arranmore lifeboat station on the island off mainland Donegal.

On reaching the location, the lifeboat volunteers found that a neighbouring boat had secured a tow rope to the casualty vessel. The all-weather lifeboat escorted both vessels to Burtonport on the mainland.

Following the callout, RNLI relief coxswain Sean Curtin said: “We were delighted to be able to assist the boat and really pleased that they did the right thing in not delaying calling for help.

“We are a 24-hour rescue service operating 365 days of the year and we encourage the public to familiarise themselves with the safety messages from the RNLI which can be found by logging on to rnli.org/safety. We are always happy to respond to calls for assistance day and night.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Skerries RNLI were tasked in the early hours of Wednesday morning (10 August) by Dublin Coast Guard after they received a call that a razor clam fishing boat had run aground on rocks in the North Co Dublin town.

Shortly after 3am pagers sounded for the volunteer crew and the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson was launched swiftly. With the casualty vessel visible from the boathouse, they were on scene almost immediately.

The lifeboat was carefully manoeuvred alongside the vessel to check on the condition of its two crew, who were in injured. The lifeboat crew carried out a quick inspection of the outside of the vessels’ hull and there did not appear to be any significant damage.

The two men wished to stay on board the vessel and wait for the incoming tide to lift it clear of the rocks.

Skerries RNLI escorting the razor clam vessel to Skerries | Credit: RNLI/Joe MaySkerries RNLI escorting the razor clam vessel to Skerries | Credit: RNLI/Joe May

With the potential for any unseen damage to result in another call out, the decision was taken for the lifeboat to return to the vessel and stand by when it began to float.

Shortly after 6am, the lifeboat attached a line to the grounded boat and as it began to float, they towed it clear of the rocks. Once in open water the tow was released, and the boat made its own way to the safety of Skerries Harbour, escorted by the lifeboat.

Speaking about the callout, volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: “It was an early start for our volunteers this morning, and it’s been a very busy week, but we are ready to go 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you see someone in difficulty on or near the water, dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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With Met Éireann issuing an advisory for hot weather through the rest of the week and the weekend, the RNLI, Irish Coast Guard and Water Safety Ireland are urging people to plan for their personal safety when visiting the coast or when they are on or near the water.

Air temperatures are set to be in the mid to high 20s, with some parts breaking 30C today (Thursday 11 August).

All three organisations are reminding people about the dangers of cold water shock, which can seriously affect breathing and movement, and can occur in any water temperature below 15C.

In a joint statement, they said: “With the good weather and high temperatures forecast to last right through to the weekend, we want to remind everyone to attend to their personal safety.

“With so many people enjoying the water this summer, it’s important that we all know the risks. The sea can be unpredictable, and even with the temperatures soaring, the fact is that the water is still relatively cool compared to air temperatures.

“Just because an area looks safe for swimming it doesn’t mean that it is safe. Only swim in areas that are protected by lifeguards or in areas with which you are familiar. In the case of lifeguard -protected beaches, only swim between the red and yellow flags.”

RNLI water safety lead Kevin Rahill said: “Many people who get into danger each year never planned to enter the water — slips, trips and falls can also occur.

“The RNLI is urging people to Float to Live if they get into trouble in the water. This means leaning back and spreading your arms and legs to stay afloat, controlling your breathing, then calling for help or swimming to safety.

“In the event of any water or coastal emergency, call 999 or 112 or use marine VHF Radio Channel 16 and ask for the coastguard.”

Roger Sweeney from Water Safety Ireland added: “Rip currents are difficult to spot but common on beaches and carry you out to sea quickly.

“If you do get caught in one, the advice is to not to exhaust yourself trying to swim against it. Rather swim parallel to the beach until free of the narrow current and then head for shore.”

Gerard O’Flynn from the Irish Coast Guard also noted: “Record numbers are also taking to the water on craft such as paddleboards and kayaks, many for the first time, so it is important to always remember to wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid and to take a means of calling for help.”

Published in Water Safety

Jaffa, a nine-metre Dutch yacht with six people onboard that suffered a fouled propeller 4.5 nautical miles east of Ballycotton island in the early hours of this morning (Tuesday, 9 August), was brought to safety by the lifeboat crew from Ballycotton RNLI.

Ballycotton RNLI Lifeboat The Austin Lidbury was requested to launch by Valentia Coast Guard at 12.01 am following a request for assistance from the crew of a student training yacht whose propeller was fouled on a lobster pot marker and were unable to sail to the nearest safe harbour as there was not enough wind. They had begun their journey yesterday morning in Kilmore for Cork as part of a college training voyage to circumnavigate Ireland.

With excellent conditions and clear visibility, Ballycotton RNLI was quickly able to locate the stricken yacht and assess the situation. After confirming all people on board were safe, Alan Cott a volunteer crew member boarded the yacht and was able to cut the rope wrapped around the propeller and free of the vessel. Ballycotton RNLI Lifeboat then secured a towrope to the yacht and returned to Ballycotton pier at approximately 2.30am.

Eolan Walsh, Ballycotton RNLI Lifeboat Coxswain, said, ‘It was approximately 11.00 pm when their propeller became fouled. The crew of the Jaffa remained calm and made the correct decision to request assistance from the Irish Coast guard when they encountered propeller difficulties. Everyone on board was wearing a life jacket and were relieved to see us. We would advise people to take the correct water safety advice for the activity they are taking part in and to always make sure they have a means of raising the alarm if things go wrong’.

The crew of the Jaffa expressed their gratitude to Ballycotton RNLI and will remain in Ballycottton until repairs have been carried out before setting sail on the rest of their journey. 

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Union Hall RNLI  was paged by Valentia Coast Guard and launched at 3.17 pm on Monday (8th August) to reports of an overdue boat, that had left Ring pier, at 10 am with one person onboard.

Launching in flat calm conditions with excellent visibility, the lifeboat under helm Chris Collins with crew members Tim Forde, Stephen Hurley and Johnny McKenna, left Glandore harbour heading for Ring, which is located at the head of Clonakilty Bay in West Cork. While en route to where the casualty vessel was reported, they heard that the punt was being escorted into the nearest safe port of Ring by another boat in the area. The volunteers at Union Hall continued to meet up with the two boats, who were happy to proceed into Ring themselves. The lifeboat returned to Union Hall Lifeboat Station at 4.10 pm.

Jim Moloney, Union Hall RNLI Deputy Launching Authority said: ‘In the current warm weather spell, it is so important when going out on the water, to ensure that everybody is wearing a lifejacket, that they carry a means of communication, a mobile phone or we recommend a VHF, wearing suitable clothing and that they let someone know where they are going and what time they are expected back. Luckily the person on board had let someone on shore know what time to expect them back, and when this time had passed, the alarm was raised, and help was quickly on hand.’

Crew and shore crew - left to right - Niamh Collins, Chris Collins, Stephen Hurley, Tim Forde, Denis O’Donovan, Johnny Mc’Kenna, John O’Donovan and Jim Moloney Photo: RNLI/Pamela DeasyUnion Hall Crew and shore crew - left to right - Niamh Collins, Chris Collins, Stephen Hurley, Tim Forde, Denis O’Donovan, Johnny Mc’Kenna, John O’Donovan and Jim Moloney Photo: RNLI/Pamela Deasy

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Dun Laoghaire RNLI had a busy afternoon on Sunday (7 August) with three separate callouts all within a matter of hours. They began with a missing child at the Forty Foot bathing place, followed by a yacht taking on water with a crew of two adults and five children, and finally, a speedboat with engine trouble and a family of six onboard at Salt Hill.

The volunteer crew were first alerted minutes before 1 pm by the Irish Coast Guard, that a child was missing and was last seen in the water by the group of swimmers with them. Thankfully, Dun Laoghaire RNLI, Rescue 116, and local Lifeguards were all stood down when it transpired that the boy had left the water unseen by his companions and appeared on shore ten minutes later. Raising the alarm when you suspect someone is in danger on or near the water is always the correct action to take.

The second callout came in at 5.10pm, for a 36ft yacht with a fouled propeller and no power, which was taking on water. Dun Laoghaire RNLI all-weather lifeboat under the command of Coxswain Mark McGibney with six crew members onboard, made its way to the scene, launching within ten minutes and arriving on scene at 5.30pm. On board the yacht were two adults and five children aged between 10 and 12, all wearing lifejackets and remaining calm. Weather conditions presented a gentle breeze with excellent visibility.

Dun Laoghaire RNLI Coxswain Mark McGibneyDun Laoghaire RNLI all-weather lifeboat Coxswain Mark McGibney

When on scene, the Coxswain decided an immediate extraction of all casualties was the safest way to proceed, bringing the lifeboat alongside for the adults and children to come safely aboard the lifeboat, before the lifeboat crew tended to the yacht. A salvage pump from the lifeboat was brought aboard the yacht to assist the onboard bilge pump which was struggling to stem the flow of seawater. Positioning one adult crew member and a RNLI volunteer onboard the yacht, the lifeboat secured a towline and began the journey to shore where all seven casualties’ safety alighted.

Speaking following the call out, Dun Laoghaire RNLI Coxswain Mark McGibney said: ‘We’re delighted we were able to secure the casualties safety within 25 minutes of the alarm being raised. I would encourage anyone setting out to ensure they are completely aware of the dangers of loose and unsecured ropes on deck, and further ensure that in the event of an emergency at sea, a VHF radio be the prime means of communication to the Coast Guard and lifeboat service due to the fact that we can use our radio direction finder as a means of homing in on a casualty’s position. A mobile phone should be a secondary means of communication.”

The third callout of the day came as the lifeboat were dealing with the 36ft yacht and was to a 17ft speedboat which had lost all power. The craft, with a family of six onboard, was unable to proceed and was drifting in the Salthill area. The speedboat owner raised the alarm by calling the Irish Coast Guard, and Dun Laoghaire RNLI inshore lifeboat was launched with volunteer Helm Alan Keville and two crew onboard. On arrival at scene, the Helm assessed the situation, and the crew quickly secured a towline to the speedboat, bringing the casualties safely ashore.

Speaking following the call out, Dun Laoghaire RNLI Helm Alan Keville said: ‘It’s vital that no delay is made in raising the alarm when on board a vessel in trouble, early notice makes all the difference, as too does wearing appropriate lifejackets, which in this instance all casualties were thankfully doing.”

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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Howth RNLI’s volunteer crew launched both their all-weather and inshore lifeboats to two separate incidents on Sunday (7 August).

The larger lifeboat was launched shortly after 3pm to reports of a motorboat with three people on board which had suffered engine failure two miles north of Ireland’s Eye, the uninhabited island off the coast of Howth.

The lifeboat, under the command of second coxswain Ian Sheridan, located the broken-down vessel within 15 minutes of launching.

Once it was established that all on board were well, the crew passed a tow line from the lifeboat and the boat was towed back to Howth Harbour. Weather conditions were good with light southerly winds.

A few hours later, at 7.15pm a call came in from a concerned sailor regarding an inflatable dinghy in Howth Sound with three people on board who were attempting to row back to Burrow Beach.

Due to the southerly winds, the inflatable was being blown offshore.

The volunteer lifeboat crew were paged and the smaller inshore lifeboat was launched shortly after. The lifeboat RIB reached the inflatable in minutes, and it was observed that none of the three on board were wearing lifejackets.

The lifeboat crew took the three individuals onto the lifeboat and returned them to the safety of Howth Harbour.

Speaking following the incident, Howth RNLI inshore lifeboat helm Ian Martin said: “Although the conditions for heading out on the water were good today, things can change very quickly and with inflatables like these, even the slightest wind can take them out to sea. That is why inflatables are not suitable for Irish waters.

“It’s also really important that anyone going out on the water wears a lifejacket that is suitable for the activity they are doing and that it is in good working order and fits well.

“With the good weather forecast for the coming week, we expect a lot of people will be spending time on or near the water. If you do get into trouble, remember to Float to Live: Lean back, using your arms and legs to stay afloat. Control your breathing, then call for help or swim to safety. In a coastal emergency call 999 or 112 for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat Station was alerted this evening, (Sunday, August 7th) at 7.30 pm by the Valentia Coast Guard Marine Rescue Co-Ordination Centre, that a 48-foot yacht had got into difficulties 4.5 miles off the Seven Heads coastline near Clonakilty Bay and required assistance.

Within minutes of the crew bleepers being activated, the Station’s All Weather Trent Class Lifeboat “Frederick Storey Cockburn” under Coxswain Sean O Farrell and a crew of six was launched and headed to the scene of the alert.

Just after 8.15 pm, the Lifeboat located the yacht with two crew on board, and after assessing the situation, a decision was made to secure a tow line to the casualty and tow the yacht, which had encountered mechanical difficulties on its passage from New Ross to Clifden, back to the nearest port of Courtmacsherry.

The lifeboat arrived safely at port just after 10 pm, and the causality was placed at a mooring in the lower harbour as the Courtmacsherry Pontoon is undergoing a major dredging operation that commenced last Friday.

The Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat voluntary Duty Launch Authority Vincent O Donovan said, “It was great to see the quick reaction of our volunteers on this busy summer evening, who dropped whatever they were at and rushed to the station in order to help others in danger. It’s been a long day for most of these volunteers as they also took part earlier in the day in a major multi-agency Search and Rescue exercise off Broadstrand in Courtmacsherry Bay”

The Courtmacsherry Lifeboat crew were Coxswain Sean O Farrell, Mechanic Dave Philips and crew members Ken Cashman, Kieran Boyle, Donal Young, Ciaran Hurley and Denis MurphyThe Courtmacsherry Lifeboat crew were Coxswain Sean O Farrell, Mechanic Dave Philips and crew members Ken Cashman, Kieran Boyle, Donal Young, Ciaran Hurley and Denis Murphy

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Marine Science Perhaps it is the work of the Irish research vessel RV Celtic Explorer out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of marine research, development and sustainable management, through which Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. From Wavebob Ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration these pages document the work of Irish marine science and how Irish scientists have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.

 

At A Glance – Ocean Facts

  • 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean
  • The ocean is responsible for the water cycle, which affects our weather
  • The ocean absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity
  • The real map of Ireland has a seabed territory ten times the size of its land area
  • The ocean is the support system of our planet.
  • Over half of the oxygen we breathe was produced in the ocean
  • The global market for seaweed is valued at approximately €5.4 billion
  • · Coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems in the world — at 230 million years
  • 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast in Ireland
  • Ocean waters hold nearly 20 million tons of gold. If we could mine all of the gold from the ocean, we would have enough to give every person on earth 9lbs of the precious metal!
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world – Ireland is ranked 7th largest aquaculture producer in the EU
  • The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world, covering 20% of the earth’s surface. Out of all the oceans, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest
  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world. It’s bigger than all the continents put together
  • Ireland is surrounded by some of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe, with Irish commercial fish landings worth around €200 million annually
  • 97% of the earth’s water is in the ocean
  • The ocean provides the greatest amount of the world’s protein consumed by humans
  • Plastic affects 700 species in the oceans from plankton to whales.
  • Only 10% of the oceans have been explored.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
  • 12 humans have walked on the moon but only 3 humans have been to the deepest part of the ocean.

(Ref: Marine Institute)

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