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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

The RNLI volunteer crew at Dun Laoghaire Harbour will feature in the new series of popular BBC Two programme Saving Lives at Sea this Thursday, October 27.

Featuring footage captured on helmet cameras, the primetime documentary series lets viewers witness rescues through the eyes of the RNLI lifesavers while meeting the people behind the pagers.

The popular 10-part documentary is now in its seventh series and includes the lifesaving work of RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews from around Ireland and the UK.

Including interviews with lifeboat crews, the series will also hear from the rescuees and their families who are here to tell the tale, thanks to the RNLI.

This forthcoming episode on BBC2 at 7pm* on Thursday, 27 October, includes Dun Laoghaire RNLI’s rescue in May 2018 when the volunteer crew launched their all-weather lifeboat on back-to-back call outs, the second of which was to assist a hen party on a motor boat that became fouled on pots.

Dun Laoghaire RNLI crew member Gary Hayes who will feature in the upcoming episode, says: ‘We are delighted to see this rescue featuring on this year’s series of Saving Lives at Sea. Our lifesaving work would not be possible without donations from the public and we are delighted to be able to share a frontline view of the rescues they support with their kind generosity.’

In 2021, RNLI lifeboats in Ireland launched 1,078 times, coming to the aid of 1,485 people, 21 of whom were lives saved. Dun Laoghaire RNLI launched their all-weather and inshore lifeboat 78 times, bringing 78 people to safety.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Lough Ree RNLI marked a significant milestone on Monday (17 October) when a cheque for €100,000 was presented as the local community contribution to the overall €1.2m cost of the new lifeboat station on a site donated by the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland.

The presentation was made by Michael Ganly, chairman of the Lough Ree RNLI Appeal Committee to Anna Classon, the RNLI’s regional head for Ireland.

On her first visit to the new lifeboat station, which was opened this past June, Classon said she was “really impressed by the partnership between the RNLI and the IWAI and to see two great organisations sharing resources for the benefit of the community”.

The community contribution was the result of a fundraising campaign which ran for more than 12 months and was supported by community groups, the corporate sector and a host of individuals for the lakeside community and beyond.

Presenting the cheque, Ganly said: “The work of people like committee secretary Pauline Irwin and all others involved was crucial to the success of the venture.”

The new lifeboat station has been very active this year and has been a particular asset to the 46 volunteer crew as the charity and its lifeboat Tara Scougall have responded to 46 callouts in the year to date.

Reflecting on the successful fundraising campaign, Lough Ree RNLI treasurer Vincent Rafter thanked “all the GoFundMe campaigns, tests of endurance and anonymous donors who contributed amounts large and small to this special community initiative”.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The Irish Coast Guard has shared video of a drone-assisted rescue in Cork Harbour which it says illustrates the increasing importance of new technology in emergency responses.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Crosshaven RNLI rescued a woman who was cut off by the tide at White Bay on Tuesday evening (11 October).

The lifeboat crew were able to quickly reach the casualty as they were guided by the drone launched by Guillen Coast Guard Unit, the IRCG says.

Lights on the drone were also used to illuminate the area as the volunteers recovered the casualty, Guillen Coast Guard adds.

The IRCG says this was one of two rescues in recent days — the other in Clogherhead, Co Louth — where unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) “successfully and quickly located casualties in dangerous and inaccessible locations requiring extraction by either boat or helicopter”.

Published in Coastguard

For the second night in a row, Larne RNLI’s volunteers have left their beds to go the aid of a vessel’s crew in need of assistance, this time two people on a yacht that got into difficulty northeast of Larne.

The crew were requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat by Belfast Coastguard at 4.40 am following a report that an 11m yacht with two onboard had fouled its propeller on a rope and was stuck fast and unable to make headway, 10 nautical miles east of Larne. The yacht’s crew were on passage from Oban to Bangor when they encountered problems.

The lifeboat launched under Coxswain Fank Healy with six crew members onboard and made its way to the scene where it arrived 25 minutes later. Weather conditions at the time were good with a calm sea and Force 2-3 winds.

Following an initial visual assessment, it became clear to the lifeboat crew that the yacht was caught on a string of lobster pots. A decision was made to put two crew members onboard who began to work to free the yacht, but this proved a challenging task as some of it was wrapped around the port side propeller.

With one engine still working, a decision was then made for the vessel to make its way into Larne for further inspection under the escort of the all-weather lifeboat with two lifeboat crew remaining onboard.

The passage took an hour and 45 minutes when the vessel was then safely secured and moored up at East Antrim Boat Club.

Speaking following the call out, Larne RNLI Coxswain Frank Healy said: ‘It’s unusual for us to be called out in the early hours of the morning two nights in a row but that is the nature of our role as volunteer crew, and we were happy to help.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Lough Derg RNLI’s volunteers were called upon to assist a lone sailor on a 36ft yacht aground at Bonaveen Point on Tuesday afternoon (11 October).

At 4.45pm the inshore lifeboat Jean Spier was launched with helm Steve Smyth, Eleanor Hooker and Richard Nolan on board, headed for the reported location at the northwestern shore of Lough Derg above Cloondavaun Bay. Winds were southerly Force 4/5 and gusting, with good visibility.

The lifeboat arrived on scene 20 minutes later at Fowler Island, north of Bonaveen Point on the Co Clare shore.

Two local people, in their lake boat standing off in safe water, came alongside the lifeboat and informed the volunteers it was they who called for assistance after they were unable to assist the person on board the yacht.

They expressed their concern for the skipper on the yacht, who had been aground for the three hours and who they could not safely take off under the conditions due to the casualty’s limited mobility. They had attempted an approach but damaged their propeller on rocks that extend 30 metres from Fowler Island into the lake.

Valentia Coast Guard offered an airlift for the casualty but the RNLI volunteers felt that would prove difficult due to the location and the height of the mast on the yacht.

Studying their lake charts and using their local knowledge, the lifeboat volunteers planned a route to the yacht with the intention to evacuate the casualty.

The helm requested the crew to take up positions in the bow, port and starboard, to take soundings and to report sightings of hazards in the water. Then the helm lifted one engine and skilfully navigated a course around rocks to the casualty vessel.



At 5.41pm the lifeboat reached the stern of the casualty vessel. An RNLI volunteer boarded the yacht to assist the skipper and, with an RNLI volunteer in the bow of the lifeboat, they helped the casualty transfer to the lifeboat.

Once everyone was recovered to the lifeboat, the helm, with one crew member at the stern on the lookout for hazards, immediately began a route back to safe water, after which they assessed the casualty for any injury. The sailor was feeling cold but otherwise well.

Just before 6pm the lifeboat arrived at Cloondevaun Harbour and left the casualty in the care of their friend. The two people in their lake boat also arrived safely to shore, ahead of the lifeboat.

Catherine Gleeson, deputy launching authority at Lough Derg RNLI advises boat users to “carry a means of communication and let someone know your destination and your planned time of arrival”.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Larne RNLI rescued a man who got into difficulty in the early hours of this morning (Wednesday, 12 October) after his 30ft yacht sustained engine failure in the dark of night.

The volunteer crew were requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat at 2.30 am following a VHF Mayday to Belfast Coastguard from a sailor who encountered problems when his yacht broke down, and he was unsure of his location.

The lifeboat immediately launched under Coxswain Frank Healy and with six crew members onboard and made its way to the lat long position the sailor had provided, which was six miles east of Larne.

Weather conditions at the time were rough, with southwesterly winds gusting 20 knots.

The lifeboat arrived on the scene approximately 15-20 minutes later and instantly located the sailor, who was wearing a lifejacket and was safe and well onboard his boat. He had left Loch Ryan in Scotland and was on passage to Bangor when he got into difficulty.

Having assessed the situation, a decision was made to transfer two crew members onboard the yacht to establish a tow and to bring the vessel to the nearest safe port at Larne. Due to the weather conditions, when the lifeboat was approaching Larne, a decision was made to request the assistance of the station’s inshore lifeboat to help with mooring the yacht on arrival. The yacht and sailor were brought to safety at approximately 6 am where the man was then brought to the lifeboat station and made comfortable.

Speaking following the call out, Phil Ford-Hutchinson, Larne RNLI Deputy Launching Authority, said: ‘The sailor did the right thing this morning in raising the alarm when he knew he was in difficulty. His engine had broken down, he was unsure where he was in the dark and weather conditions were not great. Despite the time, our crew responded in numbers without hesitation and were delighted to help and we wish the man well on his onward journey.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Crosshaven RNLI Lifeboat Pagers were activated at 6.25 pm on Tuesday evening (11 October) to attend to a person cut off by the tide at White Bay, Cork Harbour.

The high tide was fast approaching and the casualty was soaked by the incoming waves.

The lifeboat under the command of Alan Venner, with Claire Morgan, Jonny Bermingham and James Fegan arrived on scene shortly before dusk.

In what was a challenging rescue, the crew had to anchor the lifeboat and veer down into a rock-strewn gulley whilst being buffeted by 3 to 4-foot waves.

Jonny Bermingham, and Alan Venner went ashore to help the very cold patient onto the lifeboat. As the casualty was showing signs of hypothermia, an ambulance met the lifeboat at the station and the casualty was handed into the care of the National Ambulance Service.

Guileen Coast Guard unit was also tasked and provided much-needed illumination of the area from the cliff tops. Lifeboat Doctor, Dr John Murphy also attended the casualty at the station.

Shore Crew: Jon Meany, Jakub Bednarsky, Aisling Ryan, Jen Grey and Hugh Tully DLA.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

An eight-metre fishing boat that suffered mechanical failure nine nautical miles east of Ballycotton island yesterday evening (Monday 10 October) was brought to safety by lifeboat crew from Ballycotton and Youghal RNLI.

Ballycotton RNLI Lifeboat The Austin Lidbury was requested to launch by Dublin Coast Guard at 4.45 pm to a fishing boat that had suffered engine failure.

With a slight wind and clear visibility, Ballycotton RNLI was quickly able to locate the stricken vessel. Once the crew had spoken with the casualty and assessed the situation, a secure tow line was established. During their passage back to Youghal, they met with Youghal RNLI and passed on the tow before returning to Ballycotton at 6.30 pm.

Commenting on the callout, Ballycotton RNLI Coxswain Conor Philpott said, ‘Thankfully conditions were very good, and the person was wearing a lifejacket and had called for help as soon as they encountered engine difficulties'.

Last night's rescue was the first service for Conor Philpott in the role of Coxswain and one of the newest members Kate Flemming as a volunteer crew member.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Lough Derg RNLI’s volunteers were requested on Saturday afternoon (8 October) to assist two people on a 16ft yacht aground on a shoal near Terryglass Harbour.

The inshore lifeboat Jean Spier was launched at 5.05pm with helm Eleanor Hooker and crew Tom Hayes, Joe O’Donoghue and Richard Nolan on board. Winds were southeasterly Force 3-4 and visibility was good.

Twenty minutes later the lifeboat located the yacht on a shoal north of Terryglass Harbour. With a crew member taking soundings off the bow, the lifeboat made a cautious approach to the casualty vessel.

Both people on board the yacht were safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets. A lifeboat volunteer boarded the vessel and established that it was not holed.

It emerged that the skipper had been hoisting the yacht’s sails when its outboard engine failed, and the wind pushed the yacht onto the shoal.

The lifeboat attempted to free the yacht from the shoal but it was evident that the bow keel plate was stuck fast.

Two RNLI crew rotated the bow and used the wind and wave to lift the yacht off the shoal before taking it out into safe water, where volunteers set up an alongside tow to Terryglass Harry, where it was tied safely alongside at 6.45pm.

Liam Maloney, deputy launching authority at Lough Derg RNLI advises boat users: “If you find yourself in difficulty on Lough Derg, dial 999 or 112 and ask for marine rescue.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Courtmacsherry RNLI's all-weather lifeboat Frederick Storey Cockburn was called out at 10.40am on Tuesday morning (4 October) to help three people on a 70ft fishing boat in difficulty 22 miles offshore, southeast of the Old Head of Kinsale in West Cork.

Under coxswain Sean O’Farrell and a crew of five, the lifeboat was under way quickly and immediately made its way to the area of the casualty to assess the situation.

The distress alarm was raised by the fishing vessel’s crew with the Irish Coast Guard’s Marine Rescue Coordination Centre in Valentia, when they fouled their propellers and became disabled while trawling in the area.

The lifeboat located the casualty at 11.50am and a tow rope was immediately attached in order to secure the fishing vessel in lumpy seas with a strong wind blowing and a three-metre swell.

Having assessed the situation, a decision was made to tow the boat which had three crew on board, to the nearest port of Kinsale, where it was successfully docked at the local pier at 6pm.

Commenting on the callout, Courtmacsherry RNLI’s deputy launching authority Philip White praised all crew for carrying out the rescue so professionally.

“It is ironic that our crew was involved in a long eight-hour rescue today, at the same time that the station’s new Shannon class lifeboat came off the production line in Poole and the traditional bell ringing ceremony was held.”

The crew on board Tuesday’s callout alongside O’Farrell were mechanic Dave Philips and crew members Pat Lawton, Tadgh McCarthy, Evin O’Sullivan and Gearoid O’Donovan.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Marine Wildlife Around Ireland One of the greatest memories of any day spent boating around the Irish coast is an encounter with marine wildlife.  It's a thrill for young and old to witness seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales right there in their own habitat. As boaters fortunate enough to have experienced it will testify even spotting a distant dorsal fin can be the highlight of any day afloat.  Was that a porpoise? Was it a whale? No matter how brief the glimpse it's a privilege to share the seas with Irish marine wildlife.

Thanks to the location of our beautiful little island, perched in the North Atlantic Ocean there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe.

From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals this page documents the most interesting accounts of marine wildlife around our shores. We're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and youtube clips.

Boaters have a unique perspective and all those who go afloat, from inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing that what they encounter can be of real value to specialist organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) who compile a list of sightings and strandings. The IWDG knowledge base has increased over the past 21 years thanks in part at least to the observations of sailors, anglers, kayakers and boaters.

Thanks to the IWDG work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. Here's the current list: Atlantic white-sided dolphin, beluga whale, blue whale, bottlenose dolphin, common dolphin, Cuvier's beaked whale, false killer whale, fin whale, Gervais' beaked whale, harbour porpoise, humpback whale, killer whale, minke whale, northern bottlenose whale, northern right whale, pilot whale, pygmy sperm whale, Risso's dolphin, sei whale, Sowerby's beaked whale, sperm whale, striped dolphin, True's beaked whale and white-beaked dolphin.

But as impressive as the species list is the IWDG believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves keep a sharp look out!

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