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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

Portaferry RNLI in Northern Ireland rescued a male after he drifted more than a mile out to sea while holding on to the edge of a 15ft cabin cruiser on Tuesday afternoon (23 August).

The lifeboat crew were launched to reports of a person in the water after the alarm was raised by a local woman at Kilcief Gaelic park when she heard calls for help and contacted Belfast Coastguard.

Portaferry’s volunteer crew launched the inshore lifeboat promptly at 3.40pm and made their way to Rock Angus in Strangford Lough.

When on scene at 3.45pm, the lifeboat crew faced Force 4 conditions with a choppy sea state but excellent visibility.

The lifeboat crew located the casualty in the water and clinging to the cabin cruiser at the bar bouy at the start of Strangford Lough.

They immediately set about bringing the casualty onboard the lifeboat while checking him over for any injuries. The crew then proceeded back to Strangford Harbour and transferred the casualty into the care of his family and Portaferry Coastguard rescue team.

Following this, the lifeboat headed back to station to pick up another crew member and the salvage pump in case the casualty boat was taking on water.

When on scene again with the cabin cruiser, the crew checked the area over for any debris and then recovered the boat and established a tow to Strangford Harbour.

Commenting on the callout, Portaferry lifeboat press officer Jordan Conway said: “We were glad to rescue the casualty this afternoon and bring him to safety. The member of the public did the right thing by contacting the coastguard when she heard the calls for help.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

RNLI systems technician Euan Noble was enjoying his weekend off at Portrush’s East Strand when his girlfriend Charlotte spotted two children struggling in the water on Sunday afternoon (21 August).

Euan, an experienced surfer who works to maintain the mechanics of lifeguard equipment in the Ballymoney RNLI Support Centre, knew that there was a rip current in that area of the bay next to the Arcadia building.

Back on shore, RNLI lifeguard Luca, who was on patrol along the East Strand on Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast, also noticed the children struggling with bodyboards by the rocks.

Luca radioed RNLI lifeguards Michael and Jenna, who were out on a paddleboard exercise. Michael started to paddle out to the rocks, about 200 metres away from the black-and-white-flagged area where Euan had been surfing.

Jenna went back to shore and ran along the water’s edge before picking up a rescue board to swim out to help Euan and Michael.

Euan could see the lifeguards respond but based on his own location in the water he knew that he would reach the children first, so he quickly paddled around to them.

He reached out to the young girl in the water and managed to pull her up and out of the rip current, onto his own surfboard.

In the meantime, the girl’s brother had managed to get himself up onto the rocks, so Euan manoeuvred his board around to him where they could safely stay until the lifeguards reached them.

Lifeguards Michael and Jenna arrived on scene and carried out casualty care for some minor injuries before getting the children back to shore on the rescue boards.

Given the strength of the rip, Michael held the boy under the arms and waded to shore with the rescue board over the rocky coastline.

On his impromptu role change from technician to lifesaver, Euan said: “I’ve been caught out by this particular rip current before, they are unpredictable and they can catch you very quickly, these things do happen.

“I usually work with lifeguard equipment, and I’ve never been a lifeguard, so my priority was getting the children into the hands of the lifeguards as safely as possible.

“I am an experienced surfer and familiar with the sea state around this area. Luckily, the children were at a lifeguarded beach, where they could be rescued quickly.”

RNLI lifeguard Michael also notes the dangers of the rip current by Arcadia, saying: “This spot, at the rocks near the corner of the bay by the Arcadia building, is dangerous for bathing because of this strong, permanent rip current.

“When you visit a lifeguarded beach, always check the flags. The area safest for swimming and bodyboarding is always between the red-and-yellow flags, and the area safest for paddleboarding and surfing is always between the black-and-white flags.

“I’m proud of our RNLI team, that includes my lifeguarding colleagues and our staff, in [Sunday’s] rescue that was Euan who knew what to do to support us.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

At 2.48pm the Valentia Coast Guard requested Valentia RNLI’s volunteer crew to launch the all-weather lifeboat and to go to the aid of two adults adrift at the mouth of Cuas Crom harbour. Weather conditions at the time we described as good with a one to two metre sea swell and Force 3 westerly wind.

The two adults were located by the lifeboat crew on an inflatable mattress. They were found to be safe and well. The crew then brought them back to Cuas Crom pier.

Speaking following the call out, Colum O’Connell Valentia RNLI Lifeboat Operational Manager said: We are delighted with the outcome of this particular rescue and glad the two are safe and well.

‘While inflatables can be great fun, we would advise that you don’t take them to the beach as they are not designed for open water, and it can take very little breeze for you to be swept out to sea-much quicker than you can swim or paddle back to the shore. Should you get into trouble or see someone else in difficulty, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Clifden RNLI’s volunteer crew launched both of their lifeboats on Sunday (21 August) to reports of a yacht in difficulty three miles north west of Slyne Head off Connemara.

The Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat launched at 2.20pm under the command of Joseph Acton with crew members Chris Nee and Alan Kearney, followed closely by the Shannon Class all-weather lifeboat St Christopher under coxswain John Mullen with crew members Alvin Bell, Andy Bell, John Heffernan and Ash Sweeney.

Both lifeboats arrived at the casualty vessel by 2.45pm to learn that the yacht, which had two people on board, was unable to make headway because ropes were caught in the propeller.

The lifeboat crew removed some rope but were unable to completely free the propeller and shaft. The safest course of action was to establish a towline and bring the casualty vessel and her crew back to Clifden Bay.

The stricken yacht was then towed by Clifden RNLI’s Shannon class all-weather lifeboat and moored safely in Clifden Bay by 4.30pm.

Commenting on the callout, Mullen said: “The yachtsmen in question did the right thing in calling for assistance and we were happy to be able to bring them to safety.

“It’s very important to be prepared when boating or yachting. Always wear a lifejacket, have a means of calling for help and check the weather and the tides to help ensure you get to your destination safely. In a coastal emergency, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Achill Island RNLI were requested by the Irish Coast Guard to assist with a swimmer who got into difficulty at Mulranny on Friday evening (19 August).

The volunteer lifeboat crew were paged shortly after 6pm to assist with a man who had got into difficulty while swimming near the village on the isthmus between Clew Bay and Blacksod Bay in Co Mayo.

The Sligo-based coastguard helicopter Rescue 118 as well as Achill Island Coast Guard and the National Ambulance Service were also requested to assist.

Sea conditions were moderate and the weather was a little overcast with good visibility at the time.

The all-weather lifeboat Sam and Ada Moody launched with a crew of seven on board, and were at Currane Point when they were stood down having being unformed that the casualty had been brought ashore by a local swimmer.

The casualty received treatment from a local GP before been stretchered to an awaiting ambulance, it was reported.

Speaking after the incident, Achill Island RNLI lifeboat press officer Eilish Power said: “While our crew were stood down before reaching the casualty, we would remind people to never hesitate to ring 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard if they see someone needing assistance in the water.

“Our volunteer crew are always happy to respond to a call for help when requested.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Union Hall RNLI in West Cork were paged by Valentia Coast Guard at 8.55am on Friday (19 August) to go to the aid of a lone boater in a punt.

The lifeboat Christine and Raymond Fielding, under helm Stephen Hurley with crew members Charlie Deasy and Richie O’Mahony, was under way just five minutes later, headed to the vessel which was between High and Low Island just outside Glandore Harbour.

Once on scene, the person in the punt told the lifeboat crew that the wind had picked up and they were hit by a squall, so they decided to call for help.

Conditions at sea at the time had a Force 4/5 westerly wind with a one-metre swell, so the lifeboat escorted the punt to the nearest safe and suitable port of Carrigillihy Bay.

Commenting later, Hurley said: “The person did everything right; they were wearing a lifejacket and called for assistance when the wind picked up.

“Our advice is when going out on the water ensure that everyone is wearing a lifejacket, carrying a means of communication, wearing suitable clothing. Also, let someone know where you are going and what time to expect you back.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Skerries RNLI were tasked on Thursday evening (18 August) following 999 calls to Dublin Coast Guard reporting a mother and child on a paddleboard being blown out to sea near Balbriggan.

The north Co Dublin lifeboat’s volunteer crew launched within minutes of pagers sounding shortly after 8pm, headed for a position one mile north of Bremore Point in Balbriggan some 200 metres off shore.

Conditions at the time had a Force 5 westerly wind with a moderately choppy sea.

Arriving on scene, the volunteer crew quickly spotted the casualties and moved the lifeboat alongside them. Having confirmed that they were unable to make their way back to the beach, both mother and child were taken on board the lifeboat, along with their paddleboard.

The crew carried out a quick first aid assessment and decided that the best course of action would be to bring them back to the warmth of the lifeboat station for further observation.

Once ashore in the boathouse, they were checked over by a local GP, who also happened to be one of the crew on board the lifeboat.

The mother and child did not require any further medical assistance and were soon able to leave the station safe and well when a family member arrived to collect them.

Speaking about the callout, volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: “We have responded to a number of paddleboard instances off Balbriggan this summer with offshore breezes making it difficult if not impossible to get back to the beach.

“Thankfully in this case they did the right thing in staying on the board and waiting for help to arrive.

“Remember, if you see someone in difficulty on or near the water, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

On Thursday afternoon (August 18), Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI to assist a family of four on a 43ft cruiser with engine failure, adrift in heavy weather.

At 5.02pm, the inshore lifeboat Jean Spier launched with helm Steve Smyth, Keith Brennan and Chris Parker on board.

Conditions on the lake were rough, with westerly winds of Force 4, gusting Force 5, but good visibility.

By 5.15pm the lifeboat arrived on scene, having located the casualty vessel midway between Garrykennedy and Ryan’s Point at Youghal Bay.

All four people on board were safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets.

An RNLI volunteer transferred across to the cruiser and reported back to the helm that the engines were overheating.

Given the weather conditions and location, the helm decided to take the vessel under tow to the safety of Garrykennedy public harbour, where it was safely tied alongside by 6.10pm.

Jeremy Freeman, deputy launching authority at Lough Derg RNLI advises boat users to “ensure your engines are serviced and that you have a means of communication should you get into difficulty on the water”.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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RNLI stations in Northern Ireland are celebrating several volunteers who were presented with long-service medals at Belfast Castle recently.

Held this year for the first time since the Covid pandemic, the event was attended by the deputy chairman of the RNLI, Eddie Donaldson; RNLI head of region (Ireland) Anna Classon; and trustee and council member for Great Britain and Ireland, Paddy McLaughlin.

The celebration was held to recognise the long service of volunteers from stations across Northern Ireland.

Patricia Crossley from the Ballymoney fundraising team received her 50-year award. Pat first got involved after when returning from a family outing to Belfast on 31 January 1953 and saw the lit-up revolving news on a building which said the Princess Victoria had sunk and the Donaghadee lifeboat was involved in the rescue.

Pat’s family had always holidayed in Donaghadee, and her father was a lifeboat supporter, so the following morning they went to Donaghadee and watched as the lifeboat The Sir Samuel Kelly returned with some survivors.

On that day Pat said to her father that when she was older, she’d love to do something to help lifeboats. So, from the 1960s to the present day Pat has been involved with the RNLI.

She was a flag day collector in Lisburn and Hillsborough, and since moving north 40 years ago has been involved with the Ballymoney branch, at the invitation of the then branch secretary and headmaster of Dalriada School, the late Alan Reynolds.

Pat became Flag Day organiser, a post she still holds. Pat also holds her silver and gold badge presented by the RNLI.

Jo May from Portrush and Portstewart fundraising team received her 40-year award. Jo first got involved with the Portrush branch of the RNLI after she was SCUBA diving at Ballintoy in the early 1980s and got caught in a rip tide.

Luckily, she didn’t need the lifeboat that day as she was rescued by a fisherman who happened to be on scene. But from that day has had a healthy respect for the power of the sea and has always been an enthusiastic supporter.

Jo has been a stalwart of the fundraising events, and with her sense of style and expertise in hospitality her events are always expertly run and organised.

Jo’s latest triumph and her proudest achievement was the champagne breakfast with Graeme McDowell that she organised during the Open when it first came to Portrush, raising £36,000. Jo’s particular event is the annual RNLI BBQ held at 55º North in Portrush.

Jo said recently: “I love volunteering with the RNLI, and will continue to fundraise as long as I am physically able. The team was called the Ladies’ Guild in the early days, but it has certainly evolved since then. I enjoy being part of such a vibrant team.”

Those recognised on the day also include the following:

  • Kerry Gregg, ex-coxswain and deputy launching authority at Portrush RNLI received his 20-year award.
  • Carl Kennedy, water safety officer and deputy launching authority at Portrush RNLI received his 20-year award.
  • Bernie Riley of the Ballymoney branch received a 20-year award.

Others who were awarded long service medals but couldn’t attend the ceremony were:

  • Rodney Byrne, box secretary — 40-year award (Portrush)
  • Mac Pollock - 40 years (Ballymoney)
  • Anne McCusker – 30 years (Ballymoney)
  • David Elliot - 30 years (Ballymoney)
  • Bill McCormick - 30 years (Ballymoney)
  • Dorothy and John Weeks, retired shop supervisors - 20-year award (Portrush)
  • Judy Nelson, volunteer lifeboat press officer - 20-year award (Portrush)
Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Following a busy lead-in to the weekend with three callouts in 24 hours, the volunteers at Skerries RNLI in north Co Dublin were kept on their toes by four calls between Saturday and Sunday.

Shortly before 1pm on Saturday afternoon (13 August), Dublin Coast Guard tasked Skerries RNLI following a 999 call from the public reporting that a child had been cut off by the tide and was stranded on the rocks near Balbriggan Harbour.

As they were arriving on scene, the crew received an update that some swimmers had assisted the person safely to the shore. The lifeboat was stood down and returned to the station in Skerries to be washed down and made ready for service.

Pagers sounded again for the volunteers shortly after 5pm on Saturday following reports of a missing person. However, they were located almost immediately and the volunteers were stood down before the lifeboat was launched.

Shortly before 3pm on Sunday afternoon (14 August) the volunteers launched the lifeboat having been tasked by Dublin Coast Guard to respond to reports of a kayaker missing off Balbriggan.

As they were approaching Balbriggan Harbour, the lifeboat received an update from the coastguard that the person had been located safe and well. Both Skerries RNLI and Clogherhead RNLI, who were also responding as they were on the water when the alarm was raised, were stood down.

The lifeboat had just been recovered to the apron at the boathouse when the volunteers were requested to launch again immediately, following a distress call from a RIB that had suffered engine failure near Lambay Island.

As they were navigating toward Lambay, the crew received an update that another vessel, a tender to a local yacht, was standing by the boat until the lifeboat arrived, and had provided updated GPS coordinates of their position.

The lifeboat navigated to the position given and was on scene in minutes. There were five adults on board the casualty vessel and after a quick check that everyone was safe and well, the vessel was taken under tow.

While the tow was under way, another local yacht, this time with a member of Howth RNLI on board, contacted the lifeboat and offered to take over the tow as they were headed for Howth, the home port of the stricken vessel.

The lifeboat was carefully positioned alongside the yacht and the tow was passed over. The volunteer crew then headed for home to make the lifeboat ready for the next service.

Speaking about the callouts, volunteer lifeboat press officer for Skerries RNLI, Gerry Canning said: “We’ve had an incredibly busy couple of weeks now, responding to calls at all hours of the day. It really highlights the dedication and commitment of all the volunteers at the station.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Page 4 of 275

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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