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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

RNLI volunteers from Skerries and Howth were tasked to Rush in north Co Dublin on Wednesday afternoon (4 August) following a Pan-Pan VHF call from small fishing boat with two on board that was taking on water near the entrance to Rogerstown Estuary.

With the possibility of persons entering the water, both lifeboats launched shortly after 4.30pm and headed for Rogerstown at the maximum possible safe speed amid moderate conditions, with a Force 4 wind.

As the inshore lifeboat from Skerries arrived on scene, they could see that the casualty vessel had sunk on the bar at the entrance to Rogerstown Estuary.

There were people in the water in the vicinity of the boat where it was grounded, however the water was shallow enough for them to stand.

As lifeboat volunteers assessed the situation, Howth RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat arrived and stood by in case of needed assistance. A ground unit from Skerries Coast Guard was also in attendance.

It was quickly established that the two people from the boat had made it to safety on the beach, but then re-entered the water trying to lay out an anchor to secure the boat.

With the aid of the Skerries RNLI crew, they managed to turn the boat to bring the bow into the waves, which enabled them to bail the boat out and refloat it.

Noting the large number of windsurfers and kitesurfers in the area, Skerries’ helm decided that the boat presented a hazard and could potentially lead to a further callout if left where it was.

The vessel was subsequently taken under tow to the nearest safe harbour at the slipway in Rogerstown. The casualties returned to shore and with the immediate danger passed, Howth RNLI were stood down and returned to station.

Speaking about the callout, Skerries RNLI’s press officer Gerry Canning said: “There is always a great deal of concern when there is the possibility of someone ending up in the water.

“Thankfully on this occasion the boat grounded on a sand bar and they were able to make their way to safety. But it highlights that things can and do go wrong at sea and shows the value of carrying a means to call for help if needed.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Lough Ree RNLI volunteers got an opportunity recently to examine progress on the building of the new boathouse at Coosan Point, Athlone, Co. Westmeath.

As the charity enters its tenth year of service on Lough Ree the local RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew look forward to the completion of a state of the art boathouse beside its current base at Coosan Point on Lough Ree.

Built on a site donated by the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland, which will have its national headquarters under the same roof, the 280sqm two-storey facility will transform the ability of Lough Ree RNLI to offer a vital service to the midlands. At its heart is the boathouse which will be home to the Atlantic 85 Inshore lifeboat ‘Tara Scougall’ allowing for quicker access on to the water via a new purpose-built slip-way.

Other facilities include a large meeting room to facilitate ongoing training of crews and water safety education for community groups. Alongside is a communications centre, managers office, mechanics workshop and a small shop.

The 280sqm two-storey facility will transform the ability of Lough Ree RNLI to offer a vital service to the midlandsThe 280sqm two-storey facility will transform the ability of Lough Ree RNLI to offer a vital service to the midlands

The main contractors, Woodvale Construction from Omagh, Co. Tyrone have been on site since last autumn. Built to the highest specifications and heated geothermally it is expected that the facility will be handed over to the RNLI in September with the local volunteer crew taking possession in October.

Given that this is one of the busiest RNLI stations in Ireland, with almost 400 call outs, 30 already this year, assisting over 300 vessels and coming to the aid of over a thousand people this building is a critical piece of infrastructure for a lakeside community.

Locally, the Lough Ree RNLI fundraising committee started a campaign to raise a community contribution of €100,000. Treasurer Vincent Rafter said that he wanted to ‘thank those who had already donated and organised ‘Go Fund Me’ pages.’ He said that ‘while great progress had been made at a difficult time for all charities it is hoped that one final wave of generosity from local businesses, community organisations, sports clubs and individuals will see the target achieved.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Baltimore RNLI was launched earlier this evening (Thursday 5 August) following the activation of an alarm from a personal locator beacon within Baltimore Harbour in West Cork.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their inshore lifeboat at 6.54 pm following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to help locate an active Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) which was going off within the anchorage area of Baltimore Harbour.

Baltimore inshore lifeboat proceeded to the area using their onboard direction-finding equipment to locate where the beacon was going off. The equipment brought them to a yacht at anchor with people onboard.

Unbeknownst to the crew aboard the yacht, the PLB was active in one of their life jackets. Once the PLB was deactivated the lifeboat received confirmation from the Irish Coast Guard that they could return to the station.

They proceeded to Baltimore lifeboat station, arriving at 7.11 pm.

There were four volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat, Helm Micheal Cottrell and crew members Kieran O’Driscoll, Kieran Collins and Ryan O’Mahony. Assisting at the boathouse were Jerry Smith and Seamus O’Driscoll. Conditions within the harbour during the call were calm with a westerly force 5 wind and 0.5m sea swell.

Speaking following the call out, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘Thankfully the activation of the alarm today was not due to someone in danger, but this call does highlight how important a PLB is and how well the equipment onboard the lifeboat can accurately locate one that is activated. If you get into difficulty at sea or along the coast, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Dunmore East RNLI lifeboat launched yesterday (Wednesday, August 4) to a report of a 12-metre fishing vessel with two people on-board, that had broken down 17 miles South West of Dunmore East.

At 5:00 pm the lifeboat launched at the request of the Irish Coast Guard, making best speed, the Trent Class Dunmore East RNLI lifeboat ‘Elizabeth and Ronald’ and her volunteer crew arrived on scene at 6:10 pm, assessed the situation and took the stricken vessel under tow and arrived back to the safety of Dunmore East harbour at 9:30 pm.

Roy Abrahamsson, Dunmore East RNLI Coxswain, said: ‘Weather conditions were good at the time and our volunteer crew train hard for missions like this which made for a very smooth operation. Thankfully all went well and the fishermen are now safely back in port’.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Castletownbere lifeboat was launched early this morning (Thursday 5th August 2021) just after 2.00 a.m. to go to the immediate assistance of a yacht that was dragging its anchor in Dunmanus Bay in West Cork.

Yesterday evening a 32-foot yacht, with five persons on board, anchored near Dooneen point on the northern shore of Dunmanus Bay. As the evening passed and the weather grew progressively worse, the yacht started to drag her anchor. The skipper became increasingly concerned and subsequently raised the alarm with Valentia Coastguard Radio.

Castletownbere lifeboat, ‘Annette Hutton’, was tasked at 02.00 and launched within minutes under the command of Coxswain Dave Fenton with crew Marney O’Donoghue, Sean ‘Bawn’ O’Sullivan, Joe Cronin, Seamus Harrington, Aaron O’Boyle and Donagh Murphy. The yacht was located at 02.50 and, once contact was made, it requested that it be escorted to a safer mooring. Weather on scene was described as ‘Southerly, Force 5/6’.

The lifeboat escorted the yacht from Dunmanus Bay into calmer waters and she was finally moored at Lawrence Cove Marina in Bere Island just before 06.00 this morning.

Commenting on the callout Coxswain Fenton, stated that: ‘The yacht made the right call in seeking help and moving to a safer mooring – there was a small craft warning in operation and the weather was deteriorating – in circumstances such as these, it is always better to err on the side of caution’.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Portaferry RNLI’s inshore lifeboat launched yesterday evening (Monday 2 August) to the aid of a woman who had fallen onboard a yacht.

The volunteer lifeboat crew’s pagers sounded just after 7.30pm and they launched amid good conditions to assess the situation where a woman had suffered a fall on a 30ft yacht.

On scene, the volunteer crew found the casualty sitting upright in the cabin with an injured back and side. The lifeboat crew administered casualty care and supplied oxygen until the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service arrived and transferred the woman to hospital.

Also in attendance were coastguard teams from Portaferry and Bangor.

Portaferry helm Chris Adair said: “The casualty we assisted today had a mobile phone with her and was able to call for help.

“We had some great multi-agency collaboration between Portaferry lifeboat crew, Portaferry and Bangor Coastguard Rescue teams and the NI Ambulance Service.

“We wish the casualty a speedy recovery.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The RNLI is to present three Irish lifeboat crews with gallantry awards for their role in a rescue last October that saved nine lives and prevented a 100m cargo vessel from hitting rocks at Hook Head.

The coxswains of Dunmore East RNLI, Kilmore Quay RNLI and Rosslare Harbour RNLI are to receive RNLI Bronze Medals for Gallantry — one of the highest awards presented by the lifesaving charity — while the volunteer lifeboat crews who responded to the callout will each receive Medal Certificates.

Recognition will also be given to the crew of the Irish Coast Guard’s Waterford-based helicopter Rescue 117, the staff of the National Maritime Operations Centre in Dublin and the master and crew of the tug Tramontine.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the multi-agency rescue operation was launched on 20 October 2020 after reports that the Lily B — a 4,000-tonne cargo vessel carrying 4,000 tonnes of coal — had lost all power and was in danger of hitting rocks south of Hook Head in Wexford.

Battling strong waves over six metres high amid Force 8 conditions, the Dunmore East and Kilmore Quay lifeboats managed to establish tow lines onto the drifting vessel and, with the help of the Rosslare Harbour crew, worked together to ensure the vessel stayed away from the rocky shore until the tug arrived.

RNLI director of lifesaving John Payne said: “Those crews involved demonstrated that unique blend of courage, selflessness, dependability and trustworthiness, at their best, in the most demanding of conditions. Without question their combined actions saved lives at sea.

“Conditions onboard the lifeboats were unpleasant in the rolling and pitching seas. The volunteer crews displayed fortitude, perseverance and courage to remain focused whilst under the most testing conditions, often up to their knees in water and heaving decks.

“The unity of purpose and sense of ‘One Crew’ displayed by all contributed significantly to the successful outcome in a protracted 12-hour service.”

The three coxswains (from left), Roy Abrahamsson of Dunmore East, Eugene Kehoe of Kilmore Quay and Rosslare Harbour’s Eamon O’Rourke | Credit: RNLIThe three coxswains (from left), Roy Abrahamsson of Dunmore East, Eugene Kehoe of Kilmore Quay and Rosslare Harbour’s Eamon O’Rourke | Credit: RNLI

The three coxswains — Roy Abrahamsson of Dunmore East, Eugene Kehoe of Kilmore Quay and Rosslare Harbour’s Eamon O’Rourke — were informed of the awards by RNLI area lifesaving manager Joe Moore, who said: “In recommending these awards, the RNLI Trustees recognise the difficulty of the service, the challenges that were faced by the lifeboat crews during their 12 hours at sea and the tragedy and environmental disaster that was averted off the Irish coast.”

In reviewing the service, the RNLI also recommended a Medal Service Certificate for the crew of Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117 for their top cover and reassurance to all the crews below for the duration of the service.

Signed letters of appreciation will also be presented to the staff of the National Maritime Operations Centre in Dublin and the master and crew of the tug Tramontine.

Details of the arrangements for the presentation of Bronze Medals for Gallantry and the Medal Service Certificates are to be arranged in consultation with the awardees.

List of lifeboat crew to be honoured by station:

  • Dunmore East RNLI crew: Roy Abrahamsson (Coxswain), David Murray (Mechanic), Neville Murphy (Navigator) and crewmembers Peter Curran, Jon Walsh, Luka Sweeney and Kevin Dingley.
  • Kilmore Quay RNLI crew: Eugene Kehoe (Coxswain), Philip Walsh (Mechanic), Aidan Bates (Navigator) and crewmembers Trevor Devereux and Sam Nunn.
  • Rosslare Harbour RNLI crew: Eamon O’Rourke (Coxswain), Mick Nicholas (Mechanic), Keith Miller (Navigator) crewmembers Padraig Quirke, Michael Sinnott, Eoghan Quirke and Paul McCormack.
Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Arklow RNLI launched swiftly on Sunday (1 August) to assist a support vessel that lost propulsion during a sailing regatta off the Co Wicklow town.

Most of the volunteer crew were already close to the station when they received the request to launch just after 11am, and the all-weather lifeboat Ger Tighclearr was soon under way with coxswain Ned Dillon at the helm.

Once on scene, about a quarter-mile north-east of the Arklow Harbour entrance, it was established that the 10.5ft motor cruiser with two crew aboard had become entangled in fishing gear.

An RNLI volunteer went aboard the cruiser to assist but after efforts to clear the props failed, it was decided to tow the vessel — which had been acting as a support boat as part of the local Sailing Regatta — back into the safety of the harbour.

Following the callout, Arklow RNLI’s community safety officer Mark Corcoran said: “Thankfully we had a positive result this morning. This callout shows that anybody can become entangled in fishing gear; indeed I have myself as have other members of our own crew.

“I’m delighted the time and effort we spend on delivery of our community safety plan and our interactions with all of the groups and clubs who use the harbours and river keep the water safety message to the fore in people’s minds.”

The crew alongside Dillon on this callout were station mechanic James Russell, Craig O’Reilly, Geoff Kearnes, Eddie McElheron and Jimmy Myler.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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This bank holiday weekend, with more people expected to take part in water-based activities, the RNLI is sharing some advice and top tips to help people stay safe on the water, whether travelling to the coast or visiting inland waters.

RNLI Water Safety Lead, Kevin Rahill said: ‘This Bank Holiday weekend, many people are going to be heading to the water to enjoy themselves. We want to see people having fun in or on the water and keeping safe while doing it. By taking a few simple steps, everyone can reduce the risk of an accident.’

‘Even in Summer, water temperatures can be cold, rarely going above 15 degrees. Cold Water Shock can affect everyone. To avoid this, acclimatise to the water slowly to get used to the cold. If you fall in unexpectedly, remember to ‘Float to Live’ – lie on your back and spread your arms and legs, gently moving them to keep afloat. Keep floating until you feel your breath coming back before calling for help or swimming ashore if nearby.’

With swimming becoming increasing popular Kevin Rahill offered the following advice, ‘Always choose to swim in a lifeguarded area and swim between the flags. Stay within your depth and swim parallel to the shore. Watch out for rip currents, if you do get caught in one, try to swim parallel to the shore until you can feel you are out of the current before trying to swim shore. Inflatable toys are not suitable for any open water and should be kept for the pool. They can easily be blown offshore very quickly.’

For other activity such as water boating, sailing, canoeing, paddle boarding, wear an appropriate personal flotation device suitable for the activity, and always carry a means of calling for help.

Water safety Ireland adds:  Nine people have drowned at waterways on the island of Ireland in seven days, six at inland waterways, leading Water Safety Ireland to make a national stay safe appeal to the public throughout the Bank Holiday weekend and the month of August. People are advised to swim only at Lifeguarded waterways or in areas that are traditionally known to be safe and have ringbuoys available for rescues.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The rescue of cousins Sara Feeney (23) and Ellen Glynn (17) after being swept out to sea on paddleboards captured the attention of the country last August. How a balmy summer's evening quickly turned into a nightmare for the cousins' parents onshore, to the quick-witted reaction of the two women to lash the boards together, to the fishermen who realised the initial search was too focused on inner Galway Bay.

A story of endurance as Sara and Ellen survived 15 hours at sea, and the tears of relief among hundreds of volunteers searching the Galway and Clare coastlines and in Galway RNLI lifeboat station, where the volunteer crews have recovered more bodies than most of them care to remember.

When 23-year old NUI Galway graduate Sara Feeney and her 17-year old cousin Ellen Glynn set out for a short spin on paddleboards one evening in mid-August 2020, they only expected to be on the water for a short time.

Covid-19 restrictions had prevented them from going to their closest beach at Silver Strand on north Galway Bay, so they drove out with Sara's mum Helen to Furbo beach, 12 km west of Galway city.

There were swimmers in the water, enjoying the heat in fading light as they pumped up the inflatable boards and took to the water at around 9.30pm.

Sara's mum Helen walked her dog, Otis, along the short shoreline. Within a short space of time she wondered why she couldn't see the cousins on the water.

Little did she know at that time that the two women were shouting and frantically waving their paddles, unable to make it back to shore.

The northerly breeze had turned north-easterly and gained in strength, and the two women had no means of communication – Ellen had forgotten her wet bag that normally carried her mobile phone. They were wearing lifejackets, but no wetsuits – only bikinis – and had no food or water.

Realising they were in danger of being separated, the two women strapped their boards together. Back on shore, Helen Feeney had dialled the emergency services and had been put through to the Irish Coast Guard.

For a time, the two women remained confident that they would be located and were initially only worried about all the trouble they would have caused. As darkness fell and the hours passed, they spotted boats and a helicopter coming close enough to light up the sea around them, but in the vast sea area, they could neither be seen nor heard.

Shooting stars and bioluminescence lifted their spirits briefly, and Ellen sang every Taylor Swift song that she knew. Conditions worsened, with heavy rain. When a lightning storm forced an Irish Coast Guard helicopter to fly off to the north, they knew they would have to try and survive the night. By now, they were clinging to their boards in a heavy swell.

As the fog lifted well after dawn, they realised just how much trouble they were in, with the Cliffs of Mother just south of them, the Aran island of Inis Oírr to the north, and the Atlantic to the west.

They had been carried all of 18 nautical miles or 33 kilometres diagonally across Galway Bay and out into the ocean. A chance sighting of floats attached to crab pots set by Aran fisherman Bertie Donohue saved them from drifting further.

When they were located by Galway fisherman Patrick Oliver and his son Morgan in their catamaran, Johnny Ó, the two women had been the focus of a major air/sea search co-ordinated by Valentia Coast Guard and had spent 15 hours at sea. "We found them, but they saved themselves," Patrick Oliver would say later.

Fishermen Patrick Oliver and his son Morgan located the girlsFishermen Patrick Oliver and his son Morgan located the girls

This documentary features interviews with Sara Feeney and Ellen Glynn and their families one year on, speaking also to key people involved in their rescue, recalling how a balmy evening turned into a long, dark terrifying 15 hours that will be remembered as the miracle of Galway Bay.

Narrated by Lorna Siggins

Produced by Lorna Siggins and Sarah Blake

Sound Supervision by John Doyle and Peadar Carney

Available for podcast on Thursday 29th July

Broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1 on Sunday 1st August @ 6pm, Monday 2nd August @ 3pm, and Tuesday 3rd August @ 10pm

Published in Rescue
Page 9 of 245

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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