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Volunteers at Kilrush Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) station on the Shannon Estuary have received a new state-of-the-art lifeboat which enters service this month.

The Atlantic 85 RIB (Rigid Inflatable boat) is not only bigger and more powerful than Kilrush's existing craft but it also fitted with the latest Search and Rescue technology and instrumentation, equipping the service to continue saving lives into the next generation. Kilrush is one of only two stations in Ireland and the UK which will receive such an upgrade this year.

Following the construction of a new station in 1996, an Atlantic 21 B Class lifeboat was placed on temporary duty at the Kilrush station however it was replaced by a new Atlantic 75 lifeboat the following October. Fourteen years later, this vessel will now be replaced by the new Atlantic 85.

Kilrush Lifeboat Operations Manager John Lamb said, "This is a great vote of confidence in the crew here at Kilrush. It shows that we are doing what is being asked of us and that are being rewarded by being entrusted by this the latest in lifeboat technology and development"

The Atlantic class of lifeboats is named after Atlantic College, where the design was originally developed. Like previous RIBs, it has a manually operated self-righting mechanism, deploying an airbag mounted atop the A-frame arch. It is capable of being beached in an emergency without sustaining damage to engines or steering gear. The Atlantic 85 is fitted with radar and VHF direction finding equipment and can be operated safely in daylight in a force 6/7 and at night in a force 5/6 gale.

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Published in RNLI Lifeboats
The Kinsale RNLI Lifeboat was launched at 5.15 pm on Sunday afternoon to go to the aid of a 17ft Mastercraft, with two passengers on board, which had lost power and was anchored one mile east off the Old Head of Kinsale.
Sunday was one of the busiest sailing days of the summer, with very crowded seas. The distressed craft did not have a radio on board. Their only means of contact with shore was a weak mobile phone signal. Thankfully conditions were flat and visibility good, so helmsman Temba Jere and crew members Mark Lewis and Ian Fitzgerald were able to locate the boat and tow it back to the safety of Kinsale Harbour within 40 minutes.
The RNLI offers a free SEA Check service to all boat users which will help you make sure you have all the right safety equipment on board. Call freefone 1800 789 589 and the RNLI team will be happy to advise you.

The Kinsale RNLI Lifeboat was launched at 5.15 pm on Sunday afternoon to go to the aid of a 17ft Mastercraft, with two passengers on board, which had lost power and was anchored one mile east off the Old Head of Kinsale.
Sunday was one of the busiest sailing days of the summer, with very crowded seas. The distressed craft did not have a radio on board. Their only means of contact with shore was a weak mobile phone signal. Thankfully conditions were flat and visibility good, so helmsman Temba Jere and crew members Mark Lewis and Ian Fitzgerald were able to locate the boat and tow it back to the safety of Kinsale Harbour within 40 minutes. 

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Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Three men are dead and a fourth has been injured after a boat went on fire and sank off the West Cork coast this evening. It happened in waters south of Roundcarrig Lighthouse off Adrigole Harbour, Bantry Bay. It is understood a serious fire broke out on the 25-foot cruiser. The RNLI lifeboat went to the cruiser's rescue at 5.45pm. There is no information currently about the type of cruiser involved.

cruiseronfire

Photo: courtesy of Castletownbere lifeboat

A Coast Guard helicopter spotted the men in the water. The boat was on fire and sinking as they arrived.

The bodies of the three victims have been removed to hospital. It is understood all four men, who were in their 60s, were living in the Glengarriff area.

One of the victims is Irish and the other two men are from other European countries. A fourth man, who survived the incident, has also been taken to hospital.

The boat sank a short while later off Roancarrig, about seven miles from the fishing port. Conditions were calm at the time with some light fog in the bay, the spokeswoman said. Officials from the Marine Casualty Investigation Board will carry out an inquiry into the incident.
It is understood investigations will centre on whether an explosion in the engine caused the fire.

Press Release from RNLI: 

Lifeboat crew with Castletownbere RNLI responded to a callout out this evening (Monday 16 August 2010) to a 25-foot cruiser on fire seven miles off the coast of Castletownbere, off Adrigole Harbour in Bantry Bay. The Shannon based Coast Guard helicopter was on scene and recovered four casualties from the water. Three were pronounced dead and one was taken to Cork University hospital for treatment.

The Castletownbere all weather lifeboat was requested to launch at 17.41 hrs in calm conditions. On arrival at the scene the lifeboat volunteers witnessed the vessel on fire and the CG helicopter was recovering the casualties from the water. The Shannon based helicopter had been out on a callout and was in the area. The lifeboat was designated on scene commander and stayed on scene until the burning cruiser sank.

Published in Rescue

A three year old boy and a commercial seaman have both been evacuated from two separate vessels due to medical problems yesterday afternoon.

Milford Haven Coastguard was contacted at just before 4.00 pm to report that a child had been taken ill onboard the roll-on-roll-off ferry Stena Europe. The vessel was 13 nautical miles west of Strumble Head. The boy was being attended to by a doctor and two nurses onboard the ferry who, after discussion with doctors at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, advised that the boy needed to be taken off the vessel. Rescue helicopter 122 from RAF Valley was scrambled and the boy was airlifted to Withybush Hospital.

The little boy and his family were on their way home to Ireland when the child was taken ill, says Graham Warlow, Milford Haven Coastguard Watch Manager. We wish him a speedy recovery.

At the same time that the Stena Europe was in contact with Milford Haven Coastguard, the merchant vessel Marida Melissa contacted Holyhead Coastguard to report that they had their own medical emergency onboard. One of their seafarers, an Indian national, had become ill, and after discussions with doctors it was decided that the best course of action would be to evacuate him to hospital. However, the rescue helicopter was already needed for the ill child on the ferry and so Moelfre RNLI lifeboat was requested to launch with paramedics onboard.

We dont normally use lifeboats for medical evacuations but in this case, the child had to take priority, says Barry Priddis, Holyhead Coastguard Watch Manager. When the lifeboat crew arrived at the vessel, which was anchored off Moelfre, they assessed the scene and reported back to us that they were confident that they could evacuate the ill man off of the ship safely. The man was carefully lifted on to the lifeboat then taken back into Moelfre, where he was lifted into an awaiting ambulance, then on to hospital.

Published in Coastguard

At 20.55hrs last night, Derg RNLI lifeboat was requested to launch to assist three persons on board a 43ft motor cruiser which had suffered engine failure. The lifeboat with helm Eleanor Hooker, Deirdre Kenny and Ruth Spillane on board, launched at 21.00hrs. Winds were north-westerly, Force 4, gusting 5. Visibility was initially fair with fading light. The lifeboat was alongside the casualty vessel at 21.18hrs and found all passengers to be safe and unharmed. They were requested to put on their lifejackets. The vessel had dropped anchor to prevent being pushed onto the rocky shore. Once a tow was set up, the vessel weighed anchor and was taken to the safety of the public harbour in Dromineer, where the lifeboat Deputy Launching Authority Fergal Kerney and RNLI crew members Ciaran Murphy, Ger Ahern and Dom Sharkey were waiting to take lines to assist moor the boat.

The lifeboat returned to station and was ready for service again at 23.00hrs

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Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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At 6.27pm on Wednesday 11 August 2010 Clyde Coastguard instructed the launch of Helensburgh RNLI Lifeboat after they were advised that a dinghy had capsized off the Helensburgh sea front and that there were two children in the water; the adult with them appeared to be having difficulty righting the dinghy.

While the inshore lifeboat (ILB) was proceeding to the scene, Clyde Coastguard advised that a passing RIB had taken the children ashore however the adult was still trying to right the dinghy. At 6.37pm the ILB was on scene where the crew helped to right the boat; this was complicated by the fact that the mast was stuck in the mud.Once 'unstuck', the dinghy was towed back to Helensburgh Pier by the ILB. The ILB then returned to base.

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Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The Tamar-class lifeboat is the latest in a series of high-tech craft within the RNLI lifeboat fleet and in use throughout the UK. The class is named after the River Tamar, Cornwall and like other lifeboats, they are named after large rivers, writes Jehan Ashmore.

To date 17 Tamar-class boats have been commissioned for the lifesaving institution. Some of the Tamar class fleet are constructed exclusively for the purposes of providing relief-duties across the extensive network of stations. One of these relief lifeboats, RNLB Frank and Ann Wilkinson (16-06) arrived at Dun Laoghaire on 17 July. The relief Tamar's transit took two-days to reach the harbour from the RNLI's headquarters based at Poole. The lifeboat called at Plymouth for bunkers and made an overnight stay at Penlee prior to arriving at Dun Laoghaire, where another fuel-stop was undertaken.

The craft carried-out training exercises in Dublin Bay, which included a couple of trainees from the Dun Laoghaire lifeboat crew. The Tamar class lifeboat was in Irish waters primarly to cater for other station crews within the divisional staff training programme. There are no Tamar-class lifeboats operating in Irish waters, at present, though the RNLI have plans to introduce the class.

Tamar

Tamar-class relief lifeboat RNLI Frank and Ann Wilkinson (16-06) nearing Dun Laoghaire. Photo © Jehan Ashmore/ShipSNAPS

 

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Published in RNLI Lifeboats

County Antrim's Red Bay Lifeboat crew launched this evening (Saturday 7 August 2010) to rescue a brother and sister who had got into difficulty in the Boulder Field on Fair Head rocks on the North Antrim Coast.  This is the first callout for Red Bay's new Atlantic 85 lifeboat Geoffrey Charles.

The call for help was received at 18.25 this evening when the siblings went walking in the Boulder field and got into difficulty.  The Red Bay lifeboat was launched and in a heavy swell manoeuvred close to the rocks.  One of the volunteer lifeboat crew then swam from the lifeboat onto the rocks with another crewmember's drysuit and a lifejacket.  He then assisted the casualties one at a time using a rope.

Under difficult conditions the two casualties were recovered onto the lifeboat and landed at Ballycastle.  No further medical attention was needed.  Commenting on the rescue Red Bay RNLI helm Paddy McLaughlin said, " Although people like to walk in this scenic area of North Antrim it can be a very dangerous spot.  This was a successful first callout for our new lifeboat and the two people are recovering well from their ordeal."

The new lifeboat was only put on station less than a fortnight ago.  It has a number of improvements on its predecessor including a faster top speed of 35 knots; radar; provision for a fourth crew member and more space for survivors. It can operate safely in daylight in up to force 7 conditions and at night in up to force 6, it is also capable of being beached in an emergency.

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Published in RNLI Lifeboats
A teenager was rescued from Portrush Harbour after a very cold swim out to a moored boat to collect some fishing gear.

After swimming across the harbour to the moored boat the teenager called for help. Belfast Coastguard co-ordinated the rescue and sent the Portrush ILB Lifeboat and the Coleraine Coastguard Rescue team to the scene.

The Portrush lifeboat took the teenager from the boat to the pontoon where he received first aid from the Coastguard Rescue team before being transferred to hospital by ambulance.

Belfast Coastguard Watch Manager Alan Pritchard said:
"It may be summer but the sea is chilly and the cold can seriously affect swimmers.
"If you are going to take a dip please know you're limits and remember cold water shock can be dangerous, even if you're young and fit and think you're able."

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Published in RNLI Lifeboats

At 03.41 this morning (Thursday 5 August 2010) Fenit RNLI lifeboat crew were requested to launch by Valentia Coast Guard to go to the assistance of a woman injured on the Great Blasket Island.  The woman had fallen and sustained injuries to her leg and the Fenit RNLI all weather lifeboat was launched to recover her from the island and bring her ashore to Dingle to a waiting ambulance.

With no slipway or pier on the island and extremely shallow water at the landing point, the only way for the lifeboat crew to access the island was by launching the XP boat (a small inflatable boat carried onboard the lifeboat)

Four crew members went onto the island and made their way to the woman's house which was almost half a mile in and about 600 feet above sea level. The task was made more difficult due to the fact that the ground was extremely wet and slippery.

The woman was placed on a stretcher and carried back down the hill by the RNLI Fenit Lifeboat crew members. The stretcher was then placed across the xp boat and transferred to the lifeboat by the crew.

Commenting on the incident JP Brick of Fenit RNLI said, " This was a challenging callout for the lifeboat crew.  The remote location made it difficult to access the island.  The lifeboat crew needed to take a stretcher with them for the casualty and then return down the slippery terrain to the waiting XP boat.  From there they travelled out to the waiting lifeboat and transferred the casualty onboard.  This is where lifeboat crew training and equipment comes to the fore and the medivac was completed successfully."

On medical advice the casualty was brought to Dingle Marina where she was collected by ambulance and transferred to Tralee General Hospital

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Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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