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Displaying items by tag: Lifeboats

Bangor's lifeboat rescued four people aboard a motorboat from Carrickfergus after the boat broke down off Whitehead, and the group risked drifting into a shipping lane in Belfast Lough in fading light.

A volunteer crew from Bangor RNLI was requested by Belfast Coastguard just after 10pm on Saturday night last (13 June) to attend the broken down motorboat just off Whitehead.

In calm conditions and only light winds, there was no immediate danger, but there was a possibility of the boat drifting into the shipping lane used by the Belfast to Cairnryan ferry.

In fading light, helm Kyle Marshall and the crew were able to reach the craft quickly and, having assessed the situation, attached a tow rope and towed them back to Carrickfergus Marina.

By the time they reached the marina, the light had all but gone.

Speaking following the callout, Marshall said: “We were delighted to be able to help these people and return them safely to the marina.

“We would ask everyone returning to the water after lockdown to ensure their vessel has been well maintained, and they have all the appropriate safety gear on board.”

Boat owner Alan McIlroy was effusive in his praise of the Bangor crew: “These guys are worth their weight in gold, and after realising we had a problem, we were delighted to see them arrive. They were totally professional, and very skilled.”

Published in Belfast Lough
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Youghal RNLI’s inshore lifeboat and her volunteer crew responded to their pagers yesterday (Sunday 14 June) when the alarm was raised by two people aboard a fishing vessel with steering failure.

Helmed by Liam Keogh, The lifeboat launched just before 1pm to the 20ft fishing vessel, 2km south east of Youghal Harbour near the Black Ball buoy, in fairly calm sea conditions.

Once the fishing boat was located, one crew member boarded, following all Covid-19 guidelines and procedures, and worked to quickly establish a tow.

The fishing vessel was then safely towed back to its mooring in Ferrypoint and the lifeboat returned to the station by 1.40pm.

Speaking after the callout, Lou Stepney, Youghal RNLI’s volunteer press officer, said: “Mechanical failure is one of the main reasons for RNLI callouts.

“Situations can change very quickly at sea. We advise anyone out on the water to be prepared for an emergency by always wearing a lifejacket, checking your equipment before you set off and always to carry a means of calling for help, call 112/999 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Sea swimmer and experienced kayaker Kevin O’Sullivan has presented Skerries RNLI with a donation of €1,200 from monies raised while kayaking solo around the island of Ireland.

Kevin’s three-year venture started in 2016 and was spurred by his love of kayaking.

“After over 35 years of kayaking, looming large in front of me was my own personal edge,” he explains of his decision to embark on the solo circumnavigation.

“I had been operating as a volunteer kayak instructor with Skerries Sea Scouts for seven years. Being inspired by the courage of the many junior paddlers within their ranks, I decided it was high time I ventured outside my own comfort zone as this mission materialised out of the faintest whisper of a long-held dream I had thought about for years.”

During the planning of the trip, Kevin said he was aware of the work done by volunteers at his local RNLI station in Skerries, and Medicins Sans Frontiers in the Mediterranean.

“I decided to put a charity element to my venture. Monies raised were split down the middle and shared.

“My local involvement with The Frosties, a year-round sea swim group, gave me first-hand knowledge of the very critical service the RNLI offers to all water users. We have availed of their service on a few occasions.

“I am not alone in complimenting their non-judgemental approach to any rescue they carry out. It is wonderful to give something back to this great organisation.’

Kevin’s circumnavigation was all the more remarkable in that he achieved it in his spare time, committing to the adventure for almost three years.

“I would kayak a stretch over a few days, camping as I went, depositing my kayak with a helpful soul, whilst returning home to family and work for a period.

Kevin O’Sullivan using his paddle to pass the ‘Bag of Swag’ while maintaining social distancing (Photo: RNLI/Gerry Canning)Kevin O’Sullivan using his paddle to pass the ‘Bag of Swag’ while maintaining social distancing | Photo: RNLI/Gerry Canning

“When the next favourable weather window opened coincident with my time off work, I would return to my boat continuing along the coast, all the while eating away at the total distance of 1,750 km to put me back into Skerries where I started.”

First circumnavigated in 1978 by a three-man team, around 100 have now completed the trip, mostly in small groups.

“Only 25 of these have been solo. Mick O’Meara, from Waterford, holds the record at 23 days, and was my own personal inspiration for the trip.”

Kevin says he wasn’t sure he could “stomach” the challenge due to his propensity for sea sickness, but the story of Mick O’Meara kept his spirits up.

“Thankfully I was graced with good weather, great support and my body held out so that after three summers, my kayak found itself being slid back onto its rack after a 903-day absence.”

Kevin recalled of his achievement: “I camped, B&Bed, was put up by strangers, slept in adventure centres, friends’ houses and hostels. I used planes, trains and automobiles to get to and from the remotest corners of this island to complete my paddling project.

“Once, in fact, I walked two-and-a-half kilometres on the Hook Peninsula to get to my B&B from the beach I landed on, back in November 2017. The proprietor, who very kindly reopened his B&B for me, stood shocked when I rolled my 18ft long kayak up his driveway rather than atop my car.”

Gerry Canning, volunteer lifeboat press officer for Skerries RNLI, commended Kevin for his fundraising efforts on behalf of the station.

“This was a phenomenal effort with an amazing amount raised for Skerries RNLI and we want to say a huge thank you to Kevin. With so many fundraising events cancelled this year, donations like this are even more crucial.

“We can really feel Kevin’s pride for what he has achieved and his enthusiasm for helping the charities he donated to. These funds are very much appreciated by all here at Skerries and will help us to continue to save lives at sea.”

Published in Kayaking

Portrush RNLI’s lifeboats aided in the rescue of a young man who fell 30 feet onto rocks on the north coast last night (Wednesday 10 June).

Both the inshore and all-weather lifeboats were launched as a precaution due to the nature of the incident, after reports that the man had fallen at Port-Na-Happle just off the Convent Walk, a popular scenic coastal path in Portstewart.

Volunteer lifeboat crew member Dr Colm Watters, who is a consultant at Causeway Hospital’s emergency department, was transferred ashore to assist the local coastguard with the treatment of the casualty before he was passed into the care of the NI Ambulance Service.

Lifeboat operations manager Keith Gilmore said later: “We had the opportunity to do some training with our coastguard colleagues last year and this has paid off in terms of our joint working procedures.

“We are fortunate to have a volunteer with Colm’s expertise on crew and this was invaluable in this incident. We wish the casualty well and hope he has a speedy recovery.”

Earlier in the day, Wicklow RNLI brought three fishermen to safety at lunchtime after their 12-metre vessel got into difficulties off the Wicklow coast.

The alarm was raised earlier in the morning after the fishing boat’s propeller got fouled in ropes near the Codling Buoy.

Crew of the all-weather lifeboat Jock & Annie Slater located the drifting fishing vessel 14 miles east of Wicklow Harbour and quickly established a tow. The boat was safely tied alongside the South Quay at 12:30pm.

Portaferry RNLI came to the aid of two people on jet skis who got into difficulty at Cloughy Bay in Co Down yesterday afternoon (Sunday 7 June).

Portaferry’s volunteer crew launched the inshore lifeboat promptly at 3.14pm and made their way to the scene in sunny conditions with good visibility and a Force 4 northerly wind.

Arriving 11 minutes later, the crew noticed two people in the water and hanging on to their jet skis, along with a kayaker who had rowed out to assist but in doing so had gott into difficulty.

The volunteer crew recovered all three people out of the water and took them aboard the lifeboat, bringing them to safety on the shore of Strangford Lough.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Dun Laoghaire RNLI launched the station’s inshore lifeboat to assist two people onboard a small rowing boat on Dalkey Sound yesterday afternoon (Sunday 7 June).

The volunteer crew of three immediately launched the lifeboat at 1pm after a report from the Irish Coast Guard of two people onboard a small rowing boat having difficulty getting back to shore.

The crew — consisting of helm Nathan Burke, Laura Jackson, and Jack Shanahan — arrived at the scene 15 minutes later and took the rowing boat under town and back to shore at Coliemore Harbour.

Jackson, who is also Dun Laoghaire RNLI’s community safety officer, said: “It is important to highlight the RNLI and Irish Coast Guard’s message at the moment asking people to take extra care when using the sea.

“Please make sure you have a plan of action in case you get into difficulty, always check the tide times and weather conditions along with having a method of communication to call for help if needed.

“Dun Laoghaire RNLI remains on call and is fully operational during the coronavirus pandemic. While there is no crew training or exercises taking place, our volunteers are here, ready to respond to those in need.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Arklow RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew assisted two kayakers who got into difficulty on a trip to Arklow Bank Wind Park on Saturday afternoon (30 May).

The all-weather lifeboat, under coxswain Ned Dillon and crew Brendan Dillon, Geoff Kearnes, Eddie McElheron, Leigh Downey and Matt Heaney, were paged at 3.20pm and launched immediately.

Upon arrival at the scene some two miles east of Arklow, one of the kayakers and his boat were transferred to the lifeboat, while the other was escorted back to Arklow South Beach.

Speaking following the callout, Mark Corcoran, Arklow RNLI’s community safety officer, said: “Thankfully we were able to assist these kayakers safely back to shore.

“Given the good weather and the relaxation of some the Covid-19 protocols, there are a lot more people around and on the water, we would like to reiterate our message that if you are going on or in the water.

“Always carry a means of calling for help, always wear a lifejacket and other appropriate protection, always check the weather and tides before going to sea and please Respect The Water.

“Arklow RNLI remains on call and is fully operational during the coronavirus pandemic. While there is no crew training or exercises taking place, our volunteers are here if and when our community need us.”

The RNLI has issued advice with the Irish Coast Guard to ask people to avoid using the water for exercise while restrictions are in place. This is to minimise the risk to search and rescue volunteer crews, helicopter crew and other frontline emergency services of being unintentionally exposed to the coronavirus.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Bangor RNLI is appealing to get in touch with the family of a teenage paddle boarder rescued at the weekend after he was blown out into Belfast Lough.

The volunteer lifeboat crew were tasked on Friday afternoon (29 May) after reports of the incident off Grey Point.

Arriving at the scene, they found the 13-year-old boy had been retrieved from the water by a motorboat that has seen him in difficulty, and he was safety returned to the beach at Helen’s Bay.

Bangor RNLI emphasises that the boy had no lifejacket on, and that without the help of others “this could easily have turned into a tragedy”.

Now the lifeboat unit is appealing to contact the boy and his family to invite them to visit the lifeboat station when regulations allow, to find out more about what they do.

“We are also interested to find out from him how he felt when he realised things were going wrong, in the hope that this might prevent others getting into difficulty.”

Published in Belfast Lough
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Kilrush RNLI’s inshore lifeboat aided in the rescue of a child swept out to sea on an inflatable lilo.

The incident yesterday afternoon (Thursday 28 May) occurred shortly after 3pm off Beal Strand on the Kerry shore of the Shannon Esturary.

It’s understood the casualty, a young girl, had been swept out to sea due to strong winds and tides in the area.

Lifeboat volunteers arrived on scene as the Shannon-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 115 had located the casualty some distance from shore and winched a crew member to the water to assist her.

The girl — who was found to be distressed and had swallowed water — was assessed on board the lifeboat before being taken back to Beal Strand, from where she was transferred to Rescue 115 and flown to University Hospital Kerry in Tralee as a precaution.

Press officer Charlie Glynn said: “Thankfully this rescue had a successful outcome and the young girl was reunited with her family.”

He added: “As the current Covid-19 restrictions continue to apply, the RNLI are fully operational and on call 24/7. We ask everyone to follow Government travel instructions.”

Dun Laoghaire RNLI crew on the inshore lifeboat Realt Na Mara (Photo: RNLI/Liam Mullan)Dun Laoghaire RNLI crew on the inshore lifeboat Realt Na Mara | Photo: RNLI/Liam Mullan

Elsewhere yesterday, Dun Laoghaire RNLI launched its inshore lifeboat to a vessel with four on board believed to be sinking in Dublin Bay.

On arrival at the scene it was found the boat was not taking on water but had mechanical issues, and the lifeboat took it under tow to the safety of Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

Edward Totterdell, Dun Laoghaire RNLI’s deputy launching authority, said: “It has been a busy week for our station and volunteer crew having responded to four callouts from the Irish Coast Guard so far.

“It is important to highlight the RNLI and Irish Coast Guard’s message this week asking people to take extra care when using the sea.

“Dun Laoghaire RNLI remains on call and is fully operational during the coronavirus pandemic. While there is no crew training or exercises taking place, our volunteers are here if people need us.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

RNLI lifeboat crews from Skerries and Clogherhead launched yesterday (Monday 25 May) to retrieve a number of adults and children who had become stranded on rocks near Mornington Beach, east of Drogheda.

The lifeboats were launched shortly before 3pm after Dublin Coast Guard received emergency calls about the group’s welfare.

Also tasked were the Irish Coast Guard’s Dublin-based helicopter Rescue 116, the Drogheda Coast Guard boat, and a coastguard land unit, with all arriving on scene within minutes.

Two women, a man and three children were located on the breakwater on the Mornington side of the River Boyne. It’s understood that the women and children had managed to climb up onto the rocks after they were pulled out to sea by a strong current, and the man had come to their assistance.

Working together, Skerries RNLI and Drogheda Coast Guard used their inshore boats to transfer the woman and one of the children to Clogherhead’s all-weather lifeboat for a possible transfer to the helicopter.

However, after consultation with the woman and Rescue 116, it was decided to bring them to a waiting ambulance on Mornington pier to be assessed and treated for their injuries.

The two inshore boats then recovered the remaining casualties from the rocks and brought them to be checked out by ambulance paramedics.

Subsequently the lifeboat crew were informed that another child had also been in the water and had suffered cuts and bruises.

However, they had made it back to shore with assistance from one of the adults. That child was picked up from the beach with another adult and brought for assessment by the ambulance crews.

Speaking about the call out, volunteer lifeboat press officer for Skerries RNLI, Gerry Canning, said: “Any incident involving multiple casualties has the potential to be serious.

“This was another great example of how well our volunteers work alongside our colleagues from our flank stations, from the coastguard and indeed all the emergency services.

“We hope all the casualties involved make a full and speedy recovery.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Page 5 of 108

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