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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

Wexford RNLI came to the rescue of five people on Monday afternoon (15 June) after the jet ski they were on lost power and began to sink.

The four teenagers and an adult had managed to get on top of a nearby pontoon on the River Slaney between Ferrycarrig Bridge and Killurin Bridge, where they then raised the alarm with the Irish Coast Guard.

Wexford RNLI volunteers were paged just before 3pm and launched the inshore lifeboat with three crew on board within 12 minutes.

Once on scene before 3.30pm, the crew took the four teenagers on board the lifeboat and brought them safely ashore at Killurin.

The lifeboat then returned to the scene for the adult and jet ski. Conditions at the time were good with no swell and a falling tide.

Speaking following the callout, Wexford RNLI helm Damien Foley said: “Everyone was wearing lifejackets and did the right thing by calling for help to the coastguard when they could.”

The volunteer crew of Damien Foley, Ger Doran and David Marskell, all of who were working at the time, were back at Wexford Lifeboat Station at 4.30pm. It was also the first rescue for volunteer crew member David Marskell.

Elsewhere on Monday, Aran Islands RNLI responded to two medevac shouts, on Inis Oírr and Inis Mór respectively, bringing two women to the mainland for treatment — one for a suspected broken arm.

Aran Islands lifeboat coxswain Declan Brannigan said: “Our volunteers didn't hesitate to answer both calls today and we would like to wish both women a speedy recovery.”

Published in RNLI 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

A new book providing a collection of first-hand accounts of some of the most dramatic rescues carried out by RNLI lifesavers around Ireland and the UK over the past 20 years, features an incredible feat of bravery by a Cork lifeboat crew. Told in the words of Castletownbere RNLI Coxswain Dean Hegarty, it provides a first-hand account of the dramatic rescue of a fishing crew in storm force conditions after their vessel lost all power at the harbour entrance of Castletownbere in West Cork. Six lives were saved that night and the Coxswain is set to receive a medal for gallantry, and the crew and launching authority, letters of thanks from the Institution. The book Surviving the Storms goes on sale today (Thursday 11 June) with royalties from all sales supporting the lifesaving charity.

Surviving the Storms features 11 stories of extraordinary courage and compassion at sea

Surviving the Storms features 11 stories of extraordinary courage and compassion at sea, providing a rare insight into the life-or-death decisions the RNLI have to make when battling the forces of nature and saving lives.

The Castletownbere RNLI rescue from 2018 is included with those of a Northern Ireland lifeboat mechanic who swam into a cave to rescue two teenage boys when they became trapped with a rising tide in dangerous conditions and lifeguards in Cornwall saving the lives of people, moments away from drowning. This book has an abundance of drama told from the unique perspective of the RNLI lifesavers, as well as those they rescue.

In an extract from the book Dean Hegarty, who at 24-years old had been on the lifeboat crew for five years and was a recently appointed Coxswain on his second callout in charge, explains what he saw when he and his lifeboat crew came on scene.

‘Within 10 minutes of the original mayday call, we were on the scene. What I saw when we arrived, I can’t lie; It almost gave me a heart attack. The way the tide was going out and the wind was coming in, it was churning the sea up and creating a big, watery explosion. There were huge swells reaching six metres, the height of a two-storey house, tossing the fishing boat around like a rag doll and pushing her ever closer to the sixty-metre cliffs to the west of the harbour mouth. The gales were now peaking at storm force 11. My heart started to race as I watched waves crashing up against the cliffs, with the vessel only 30 or so metres away from the rocky shoreline.’

RNLI Chief Executive, Mark Dowie, said: ‘Surviving the Storms is a wonderful account of selflessness and bravery although there is no book big enough to do justice to every RNLI rescue and rescuer. We have hundreds of lifeboat stations and thousands of crew members and lifeguards all dedicated to saving lives. Between them, they’ve helped so many people survive the storms and I’m proud of every one of them.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

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

Dunmore East RNLI lifeboat launched today (Saturday, June 6) to a report of a capsized sailing dinghy northeast of Dunmore East harbour. It was unknown at the time how many people were onboard the sailing dinghy.

Just before 5 pm, the Dunmore East RNLI lifeboat launched at the request of the Irish Coast Guard to a report from of a capsized dinghy to the northeast of Dunmore East harbour.

Within minutes of the launch, the Trent Class Dunmore East RNLI lifeboat ‘Elizabeth and Ronald’ arrived on scene to find one person in the water alongside the capsized sailing dinghy. The person was recovered safely from the water and assessed by the volunteer crew. One of our crew boarded the capsized sailing vessel, managed to re-right the dinghy and secure the sails. The dinghy was then taken under tow and brought to the safety of Dunmore East Harbour.

The skiff dinghy is taken in tow by the RNLI lifeboat back to Dunmore East Harbour The skiff dinghy is taken in tow by the RNLI lifeboat back to Dunmore East Harbour Photo: RNLI/Neville Murphy

Karen Harris, Deputy Launch Authority Dunmore East RNLI said: ‘We would like to thank the member of the public who made the call for help. It was a very quick response by our volunteer crew today which resulted in a positive outcome. We would like to remind people, not to go out to sea alone, always have a way of calling for help and remember to adhere to the current restrictions in place’.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Howth RNLI launched both the all weather lifeboat and the inshore lifeboat in 5 separate call-outs over the bank holiday weekend to rescue 12 people who found themselves in difficulty

The RNLI pagers sounded at 6.38pm on Sunday 31st May after a call was placed to the Coast Guard reporting 4 people stranded by the tide on rocks in Balscadden bay Howth. The inshore lifeboat was launched and located the 4 people 8 minutes later. They had become cut off by the tide and were quickly assessed and found to be in good spirits despite being in the water for a period of time. They were transferred back to the safety of Howth harbour.

The RNLI pagers sounded again on Monday 1st June at 4.04pm to reports of a speed boat that had mechanical problems and drifted onto Sutton strand. The inshore lifeboat was launched and quickly located the boat with 3 family members onboard.

Speed boat towed to safety by Howth RNLI

The speedboat was taken in tow by the crew of the inshore lifeboat and the family were unharmed by the incident and returned safely to shore at Howth Lifeboat Station.

The RNLI pages again sounded just over an hour later at 5.50pm to reports of 5 people stranded by the tide in the centre of Baldoyle estuary. The coast guard helicopter Rescue 116 was also tasked to the scene and airlifted 1 of the party of 5 people while a local paddle boarder was assisting in returning 3 people to shore as the final person swam to shore. Howth RNLI inshore lifeboat assessed the casualties on the beach.

Five people were cut off by tide and rescued by Coastgaurd Helicopter at Howth


Rescue 116 landed on Portmarnock strand and passed the casualty to the RNLI inshore lifeboat who returned them safely to their friends.

The RNLI had launched earlier in the weekend on 2 further occasions to false alarms with good intent.

Speaking following the callout, Noel Davidson, Howth RNLI Volunteer Press Officer said: ‘Our volunteer lifeboat crew are always ready to respond to a call for help and have launched 13 times in the last 20 days. Thankfully while some of the call outs proved to be false alarms with good intent, this bank holiday the RNLI were able to rescue 12 people from separate call outs and all were brought to safety from situations that could have been quite serious’

‘Always check the tide times and conditions before you set off and while out, be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on the tide direction. Ask for local advice and look out for safety signs. Always carry a means of calling for help and know to call 112/999 and ask for the Coastguard if you or someone else is at risk.’

The RNLI continues to provide an on call 24/7 search and rescue lifeboat service. To ensure peoples’ own safety in or on the water please adhere to the relevant water safety guidance for your activity. More information can be found at www.rnli.org/safety

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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