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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

The RNLI has awarded volunteer lifeboat crewmember Rory Bolton with a medal recognising his twenty years’ service to the charity at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. Over the course of two decades, Rory has been a volunteer crew member on both the inshore and all-weather lifeboats based at Dun Laoghaire lifeboat station and been passed out as a mechanic for both lifeboats.

Rory was presented with his medal recently by Dun Laoghaire RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Edward Totterdell and RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager Peter Harty. Joining the RNLI back in 2001, Rory came on board after a friend who was already on the lifeboat crew, invited him to come to the station and see if he’d like to join. Already an outboard engine mechanic, Rory had seen the lifeboat in the harbour but didn’t know how to join the lifeboat crew. He was welcomed with opened arms and started his lifeboat journey on the smaller inshore lifeboat before moving onto the All-Weather lifeboat as well. He became a Helm and then the Senior Helm on the inshore lifeboat and has since passed out as a mechanic on both lifeboats and is currently third mechanic on the All-Weather lifeboat. On the personal life front, Rory also met his wife, Dr. Sarah Brookes, through the lifeboat, as she volunteers as the station’s medical advisor.

Commenting on the honour Rory said, ‘Dun Laoghaire RNLI is an amazing team to be a part of and the last twenty years have flown. We all come from different backgrounds but when we are out on a callout, we work as a team and there is nothing like it. Being a volunteer with the RNLI has been a huge part of my life, I met my wife Sarah through it, and we now have two beautiful children, Alice (7) and James (3). Alice already wants to join the lifeboat when she’s old enough. It’s been a wonderful twenty years.’

Reflecting on his most memorable callout Rory remembers a New Year’s Day callout around eight years ago to a kitesurfer who had lost the kite and was left in the water. ‘Conditions on the day were very challenging and right on the edge of what the inshore lifeboat can launch in. We went to Sandymount and there was no way he was able to get in to the shore by himself. With waves breaking over the lifeboat and the casualty struggling in the water, we pulled him to safety in the most difficult conditions. I’ll never forget it.’

Dun Laoghaire RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Edward Totterdell added his congratulations to Rory, ‘This recognition, by the RNLI, of twenty years of dedicated service and volunteering by Rory, is one he thoroughly deserves. Those two decades have seen countless rescues and launches and he has helped so many people, along with his colleagues on the crew. Our grateful thanks to Rory for all his tireless work and for his continued service to the lifeboat crew and hopefully we will have a few more years yet.’

RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager Peter Harty presented Rory with his medal on behalf of the RNLI. Peter said, ‘It’s an honour to work with a group of incredible men and women who give so much to their community. In being part of a lifeboat crew, they carry a pager day and night, ready to launch at a moment’s notice when people get into trouble on the water. Twenty years’ service is an incredible record. My thanks to Rory and also to his family, who support him and help our lifeboat crews saves lives at sea.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Helvick Head RNLI of County Waterford came to the aid of two fishermen yesterday (Wednesday 12 January) after their 29ft fishing boat broke down at Ballyvoyle.

On what was described as a sunny and calm day on the water, the volunteer crew were requested to launch their inshore lifeboat by the Irish Coast Guard at 12.50 pm following a report that the vessel needed assistance at Ballyvoyle, close to Clonea beach.

Launching at 1.03 pm, the lifeboat helmed by Joe Foley and with crew members Alan Kelly, Shane Walsh and Liam Harty onboard, made its way to the scene arriving at 1.12 pm. 

Helvick Head RNLI with the fishing boat under towHelvick Head RNLI with the fishing boat under tow

The lifeboat crew assessed the situation and found the fishermen to be safe and well. As the boat had sustained engine failure, a decision was made to tow the vessel back to Helvick Head Pier where they arrived at 1.50 pm.

Speaking following the call out, Sean Walsh, Helvick Head RNLI Deputy Launching Authority said: ‘The casualties did the right thing by calling for help when they realised they were in difficulty.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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A Lough Derg “Lap the lake” 130 km cycle is raising funds for RNLI Lough Derg this May 

Starting and finishing at the well-known harbour of Dromineer, parking and showers will be available at nearby Lough Derg Yacht Club. 

Lough Derg is the third-biggest on the island of Ireland. It is a long, narrow lake, with shore roads in counties Clare, Galway, and Tipperary for the cyclists to navigate.

Event tickets are €65 per person and will include a t-shirt and goody bag. We would love participants to raise another €65 or more and donate a total of €130 for 130km. All funds raised go to Lough Derg RNLI. 

Bookings are now open for places here and download the poster below.

Lap the Lake” Cycle Will Raise Funds for RNLI

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Youghal RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat launched yesterday morning (Tuesday 4 January) to a report from a member of the public who saw a boat drifting out to sea.

The lifeboat crew located the 12ft punt at 10.15am drifting from Youghal Bridge out the harbour on a strong falling tide. The vessel was then towed to Ferry Point where the local coastguard were waiting.

Youghal RNLI deputy launching authority Mark Nolan said: “Thanks to the member of public that reported this, as any vessel like this on a strong falling tide could be a navigational hazard to other marine traffic in the area.

“If you see someone in trouble or notices anything suspicious in the water dial 999 or 122 and ask for the coastguard.”

The volunteer lifeboat crew on the callout were helm Erik Brooks with crew Kevin Daly and Ivan Bryan.

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Eleven-year-old Tommy Kehoe was one of around 60 sea swimmers who completed a fundraising challenge on the Little Beach in Kilmore Quay on New Year’s Eve in aid of the Co Wexford village’s RNLI lifeboat.

Organised by local women Melinda Kehoe, Grainne O'Brien and Simmi Duffin, the 20 Dips in December challenge saw local swimmers take part in, not one but 20 sponsored swims in the sea during the month of December.

The weather and sea conditions throughout the month were a key consideration for the swimmers. Even though there were some days where conditions did not allow for a dip, there were enough favourable days to allow for the challenge to be completed safely by the hardy swimmers.

Among them was Melinda’s son Tommy, who even fitted in a dip in the mornings before school. And his efforts have been well rewarded as so far he has raised €1,140 for the local lifeboat. Donations can still be made on the event’s JustGiving page.

Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, fundraising in aid of Kilmore Quay lifeboat has taken place throughout the year as guidelines allowed.

Dedicated supporters of the RNLI in the area have organised walks, swims, cycles, vintage runs, online bingo, and head shaves among other activities, raising vital funds to maintain the charity's lifesaving services.

Speaking following the final swim on Friday, Kilmore Quay RNLI lifeboat operations manager John Grace said: “There is a fantastic community spirit here today. Tommy has raised an incredible sum of money for the RNLI, as have all the participants.

“We cannot thank everyone who took part and all who support Kilmore Quay RNLI throughout the year enough for all their efforts and generosity.”

Those taking part in the 20 Dips in December challenge swim regularly in the sea throughout the year. If you are considering doing so, please check out the safety tips on Swim Ireland’s website regarding winter swimming in Ireland or contact a local open-water swimming group.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The volunteer lifeboat crew of Howth RNLI had their first launch of 2022 yesterday (Sunday 2 January) to paddleboarders in difficulty off the coast of Portmarnock Beach. Immediately after that, they were tasked to rescue a group of kayakers who could not make it back to Howth Harbour due to the strong off-shore winds.

The inshore lifeboat was launched at 2.05 pm and made way towards Portmarnock Beach. Weather conditions were poor with strong winds and one-metre-high seas. Once on scene at Portmarnock, Howth Lifeboat crew located the paddleboarders who had made their way ashore with their punctured paddleboard. A crew member was sent ashore to assess the paddleboarders before they were handed into the care of a Coast Guard crew on Portmarnock beach.

As the lifeboat crew made their way back to Howth, they were alerted to another situation involving five kayakers who were in difficulty as they made their way back to Howth Harbour, due to the strong off-shore winds. The volunteer lifeboat crew located three of the kayakers who had taken shelter on Ireland’s Eye, an island just North of Howth Harbour. The crew took the kayakers on board the lifeboat and brought them back to Howth. The lifeboat then escorted the remaining two kayakers back to the safety of the harbour.

Speaking following the call-out, Howth RNLI inshore lifeboat helm, Lorcan Dignam said, ‘When going on the water it’s really important that you always check the weather and tides and be mindful that conditions can change quickly. You should always carry a means of calling for help and keep it within reach. Although the weather has been quite mild recently, sea temperatures are very cold at this time of year and people taking to the water should be dressed for the conditions and always wear a lifejacket. Thankfully the outcome today, our first launch of 2022, was a successful one with the paddleboarders and kayakers all returned safely to shore.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The RNLI has recorded a bumper year in donations driven largely by public support for its humanitarian work in the English Channel, as the Guardian reports.

Online donations to the charity that saves lives at sea have risen by 50% in 2021, it says, putting it on course for its best fundraising year since it was founded in 1824.

In July last year the charity’s chief executive issued a statement in the wake of criticism from right-wing commentators and media for its efforts in rescuing asylum seekers from the English Channel, emphasising that he “could not be prouder” of the work of the RNLI’s volunteers.

Since the tragic drawing of 27 people in the Channel in November 2021, just days after an attempted blockade against a lifeboat by fishermen allegedly encouraged by right-wing propaganda, the RNLI says its support from the public has only grown stronger.

The Guardian has more on the story HERE.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The volunteer crew of the Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat was called out to reports of a surfer in difficulty on New Year’s Day afternoon. The emergency call was placed to Malin Head Coast Guard just after 3 pm on Saturday (1st January 2022) with the volunteer crew launching just five minutes following the alert.

The surfer thought to be in difficulty was surfing on the Peak and the lifeboat was on scene within one minute of launching. After a few minutes in the area and having spoken to a surfer in the water, it was determined that all was okay and that the call was one with good intent. As a precaution, the Sligo based Rescue 118 helicopter had been launched from Strandhill and also did a sweep of the area.

Speaking on their return to the station, helm Richard Gillespie advised people along the coast to be alert ‘today was a call with good intent – we would always urge people who think that they see someone in difficulty on the coast to call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard. We would always rather launch to check something out than not be called at all.’

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Baltimore RNLI were called out to provide a medical evacuation yesterday (Thursday 30 December) from Cape Clear Island off the coast of West Cork.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 9.26 am, following a request to bring a doctor to the island and provide a medical evacuation.

The Baltimore all-weather lifeboat crew arrived at North Harbour in Cape Clear Island at 9.52 am The casualty was transferred by stretcher onboard the lifeboat and they departed the Island at 10.05 am. The lifeboat returned to the station in Baltimore arriving at 10.30 am and the casualty was handed over to the care of HSE Ambulance crew at 10.35 am.

There were five volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat, Coxswain Aidan Bushe, Mechanic Micheal Cottrell and crew members David Ryan, Kieran Collins and Jerry Smith. Our station medical advisor, Dr Don Creagh, accompanied the crew on the call. Conditions at sea during the call out were poor with a south-westerly force 4 wind, a 2m sea swell and fog with visibility of 1 nautical mile.

Speaking following the call out, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘If you find yourself in a medical emergency whilst on an island don’t hesitate call 999 or 112.

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Over the course of 2021, volunteers with Skerries RNLI were presented with long-service awards totalling 190 years of volunteering with the charity that saves lives at sea.

Due to restrictions on gatherings, the north Co Dublin lifeboat station was unable to host an event to celebrate the awards.

However, the seven crew recently received their awards individually at the lifeboat station in recognition of their commitment to save lives at sea.

Lifeboat operations manager Niall McGrotty was recognised for 40 years of service to the Skerries lifeboat, while David May, Eoin McCarthy and William Boylan each received awards for 30 years’ service.

Recognised for 20 years of service apiece were David Courtney, Gerry Canning and Ian Guildea, while a certificate of service was also presented to retired shore crew Tommy Grimes in recognition of his 17 years of dedicated volunteering.

Speaking about the awards, McGrotty said: “Volunteers are the lifeblood of the RNLI and without them the lifesaving work we do wouldn’t be possible.

“The variety of roles being awarded this year is a testament to the dedication and commitment of the volunteers in our station.

“It is an honour to congratulate each person who received this award.”

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