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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

On Thursday evening (25 August), Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI to assist a family of four on a 40ft cruiser aground at the Goat Road at navigation Marker E.

The inshore lifeboat Jean Spier was already afloat on exercise and returned to station for crew changeover, launching at 8.52pm with helm Steve Smyth, Tom Hayes, Chris Parker and Ciara Moylan on board.

Winds were southwesterly Force 3, visibility was reduced with nightfall.

At 9.03pm the lifeboat arrived on scene. All four people on board the cruiser were safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets.

An engineer from the cruiser company was also on scene. The engineer and an RNLI volunteer transferred across to the casualty vessel to check that there was no damage to the hull.

Given the late hour and location, the helm decided to take the vessel off the shoal and out into safe water.

At 9.43pm the lifeboat had the vessel off the Goat Road and under tow to safe water where the drives and propeller were checked and found to be in good working order.

Under its own power and with an RNLI volunteer remaining on board, the cruiser followed the lifeboat to Rossmore Harbour where it was safely tied alongside at 10.10pm.

Christine O’Malley, lifeboat operations manager at Lough Derg RNLI advises boat users to “plan your passage so that you arrive at safe harbour before nightfall. Anticipate each navigation buoy on your route and keep a lookout visually and on your lake charts.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Helvick Head RNLI in Co Waterford was called upon twice on the same weekend as it celebrated the 25th anniversary of its reopening.

The first callout was during a bright and sunny Saturday afternoon (20 August), when lifeboat volunteers were paged at 4.30pm to give onshore assistance to a beachgoer with a leg injury at Helvick Head cove.

The female tourist had sustained a dislocated knee while sitting on the rocks and was supported by a number of crew members until an ambulance arrived.

She was treated on scene by paramedics before being transferred to hospital and later released to recover at home.

A family member visited the station the following day to thank all involved as it materialised that this was not the first time the casualty had encountered the lifeboat services.

Over 20 years ago, she had been one of a number of children cut off by the tide at Faill an Staicin beach and subsequently rescued by the lifeboat crew.

The following day (Sunday 21 August), Helvick Head RNLI were celebrating the 25th anniversary of the reopening of the station with an open day to recognise its relationships with other local emergency services.

While conducting an exercise in front of local crowds, alongside the crews of Naval Service vessel LÉ George Bernard Shaw, the Irish Coast Guard’s Waterford-based helicopter Rescue 117 and Youghal RNLI, the volunteer lifeboat was redirected at 3.52pm at the request of the coastguard.

It followed a report that an 18-foot pleasure boat had broken down in Dungarvan Bay.

The lifeboat — helmed by Richard Haines and with crew members Alan Kelly, Pat Devereux and Rian Kelly onboard — made its way to the reported location through choppy waters and Force 3-4 northwesterly winds.

Once on scene, the crew assessed the situation and found the three male casualties to be safe and well. As the boat had sustained engine failure, a decision was made to tow it back to Helvick Head pier.

Speaking following the callout, John Condon, Helvick Head RNLI deputy launching authority said: “The casualties did the right thing by calling for help when they realised they were in difficulty.

“We would remind anyone planning a trip to sea to always go prepared. Wear a lifejacket and be sure to carry a means of communication. Should you get into trouble or see someone else in difficulty, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Portaferry RNLI in Northern Ireland rescued a male after he drifted more than a mile out to sea while holding on to the edge of a 15ft cabin cruiser on Tuesday afternoon (23 August).

The lifeboat crew were launched to reports of a person in the water after the alarm was raised by a local woman at Kilcief Gaelic park when she heard calls for help and contacted Belfast Coastguard.

Portaferry’s volunteer crew launched the inshore lifeboat promptly at 3.40pm and made their way to Rock Angus in Strangford Lough.

When on scene at 3.45pm, the lifeboat crew faced Force 4 conditions with a choppy sea state but excellent visibility.

The lifeboat crew located the casualty in the water and clinging to the cabin cruiser at the bar bouy at the start of Strangford Lough.

They immediately set about bringing the casualty onboard the lifeboat while checking him over for any injuries. The crew then proceeded back to Strangford Harbour and transferred the casualty into the care of his family and Portaferry Coastguard rescue team.

Following this, the lifeboat headed back to station to pick up another crew member and the salvage pump in case the casualty boat was taking on water.

When on scene again with the cabin cruiser, the crew checked the area over for any debris and then recovered the boat and established a tow to Strangford Harbour.

Commenting on the callout, Portaferry lifeboat press officer Jordan Conway said: “We were glad to rescue the casualty this afternoon and bring him to safety. The member of the public did the right thing by contacting the coastguard when she heard the calls for help.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

RNLI systems technician Euan Noble was enjoying his weekend off at Portrush’s East Strand when his girlfriend Charlotte spotted two children struggling in the water on Sunday afternoon (21 August).

Euan, an experienced surfer who works to maintain the mechanics of lifeguard equipment in the Ballymoney RNLI Support Centre, knew that there was a rip current in that area of the bay next to the Arcadia building.

Back on shore, RNLI lifeguard Luca, who was on patrol along the East Strand on Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast, also noticed the children struggling with bodyboards by the rocks.

Luca radioed RNLI lifeguards Michael and Jenna, who were out on a paddleboard exercise. Michael started to paddle out to the rocks, about 200 metres away from the black-and-white-flagged area where Euan had been surfing.

Jenna went back to shore and ran along the water’s edge before picking up a rescue board to swim out to help Euan and Michael.

Euan could see the lifeguards respond but based on his own location in the water he knew that he would reach the children first, so he quickly paddled around to them.

He reached out to the young girl in the water and managed to pull her up and out of the rip current, onto his own surfboard.

In the meantime, the girl’s brother had managed to get himself up onto the rocks, so Euan manoeuvred his board around to him where they could safely stay until the lifeguards reached them.

Lifeguards Michael and Jenna arrived on scene and carried out casualty care for some minor injuries before getting the children back to shore on the rescue boards.

Given the strength of the rip, Michael held the boy under the arms and waded to shore with the rescue board over the rocky coastline.

On his impromptu role change from technician to lifesaver, Euan said: “I’ve been caught out by this particular rip current before, they are unpredictable and they can catch you very quickly, these things do happen.

“I usually work with lifeguard equipment, and I’ve never been a lifeguard, so my priority was getting the children into the hands of the lifeguards as safely as possible.

“I am an experienced surfer and familiar with the sea state around this area. Luckily, the children were at a lifeguarded beach, where they could be rescued quickly.”

RNLI lifeguard Michael also notes the dangers of the rip current by Arcadia, saying: “This spot, at the rocks near the corner of the bay by the Arcadia building, is dangerous for bathing because of this strong, permanent rip current.

“When you visit a lifeguarded beach, always check the flags. The area safest for swimming and bodyboarding is always between the red-and-yellow flags, and the area safest for paddleboarding and surfing is always between the black-and-white flags.

“I’m proud of our RNLI team, that includes my lifeguarding colleagues and our staff, in [Sunday’s] rescue that was Euan who knew what to do to support us.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

At 2.48pm the Valentia Coast Guard requested Valentia RNLI’s volunteer crew to launch the all-weather lifeboat and to go to the aid of two adults adrift at the mouth of Cuas Crom harbour. Weather conditions at the time we described as good with a one to two metre sea swell and Force 3 westerly wind.

The two adults were located by the lifeboat crew on an inflatable mattress. They were found to be safe and well. The crew then brought them back to Cuas Crom pier.

Speaking following the call out, Colum O’Connell Valentia RNLI Lifeboat Operational Manager said: We are delighted with the outcome of this particular rescue and glad the two are safe and well.

‘While inflatables can be great fun, we would advise that you don’t take them to the beach as they are not designed for open water, and it can take very little breeze for you to be swept out to sea-much quicker than you can swim or paddle back to the shore. Should you get into trouble or see someone else in difficulty, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Clifden RNLI’s volunteer crew launched both of their lifeboats on Sunday (21 August) to reports of a yacht in difficulty three miles north west of Slyne Head off Connemara.

The Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat launched at 2.20pm under the command of Joseph Acton with crew members Chris Nee and Alan Kearney, followed closely by the Shannon Class all-weather lifeboat St Christopher under coxswain John Mullen with crew members Alvin Bell, Andy Bell, John Heffernan and Ash Sweeney.

Both lifeboats arrived at the casualty vessel by 2.45pm to learn that the yacht, which had two people on board, was unable to make headway because ropes were caught in the propeller.

The lifeboat crew removed some rope but were unable to completely free the propeller and shaft. The safest course of action was to establish a towline and bring the casualty vessel and her crew back to Clifden Bay.

The stricken yacht was then towed by Clifden RNLI’s Shannon class all-weather lifeboat and moored safely in Clifden Bay by 4.30pm.

Commenting on the callout, Mullen said: “The yachtsmen in question did the right thing in calling for assistance and we were happy to be able to bring them to safety.

“It’s very important to be prepared when boating or yachting. Always wear a lifejacket, have a means of calling for help and check the weather and the tides to help ensure you get to your destination safely. In a coastal emergency, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Achill Island RNLI were requested by the Irish Coast Guard to assist with a swimmer who got into difficulty at Mulranny on Friday evening (19 August).

The volunteer lifeboat crew were paged shortly after 6pm to assist with a man who had got into difficulty while swimming near the village on the isthmus between Clew Bay and Blacksod Bay in Co Mayo.

The Sligo-based coastguard helicopter Rescue 118 as well as Achill Island Coast Guard and the National Ambulance Service were also requested to assist.

Sea conditions were moderate and the weather was a little overcast with good visibility at the time.

The all-weather lifeboat Sam and Ada Moody launched with a crew of seven on board, and were at Currane Point when they were stood down having being unformed that the casualty had been brought ashore by a local swimmer.

The casualty received treatment from a local GP before been stretchered to an awaiting ambulance, it was reported.

Speaking after the incident, Achill Island RNLI lifeboat press officer Eilish Power said: “While our crew were stood down before reaching the casualty, we would remind people to never hesitate to ring 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard if they see someone needing assistance in the water.

“Our volunteer crew are always happy to respond to a call for help when requested.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Union Hall RNLI in West Cork were paged by Valentia Coast Guard at 8.55am on Friday (19 August) to go to the aid of a lone boater in a punt.

The lifeboat Christine and Raymond Fielding, under helm Stephen Hurley with crew members Charlie Deasy and Richie O’Mahony, was under way just five minutes later, headed to the vessel which was between High and Low Island just outside Glandore Harbour.

Once on scene, the person in the punt told the lifeboat crew that the wind had picked up and they were hit by a squall, so they decided to call for help.

Conditions at sea at the time had a Force 4/5 westerly wind with a one-metre swell, so the lifeboat escorted the punt to the nearest safe and suitable port of Carrigillihy Bay.

Commenting later, Hurley said: “The person did everything right; they were wearing a lifejacket and called for assistance when the wind picked up.

“Our advice is when going out on the water ensure that everyone is wearing a lifejacket, carrying a means of communication, wearing suitable clothing. Also, let someone know where you are going and what time to expect you back.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Skerries RNLI were tasked on Thursday evening (18 August) following 999 calls to Dublin Coast Guard reporting a mother and child on a paddleboard being blown out to sea near Balbriggan.

The north Co Dublin lifeboat’s volunteer crew launched within minutes of pagers sounding shortly after 8pm, headed for a position one mile north of Bremore Point in Balbriggan some 200 metres off shore.

Conditions at the time had a Force 5 westerly wind with a moderately choppy sea.

Arriving on scene, the volunteer crew quickly spotted the casualties and moved the lifeboat alongside them. Having confirmed that they were unable to make their way back to the beach, both mother and child were taken on board the lifeboat, along with their paddleboard.

The crew carried out a quick first aid assessment and decided that the best course of action would be to bring them back to the warmth of the lifeboat station for further observation.

Once ashore in the boathouse, they were checked over by a local GP, who also happened to be one of the crew on board the lifeboat.

The mother and child did not require any further medical assistance and were soon able to leave the station safe and well when a family member arrived to collect them.

Speaking about the callout, volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: “We have responded to a number of paddleboard instances off Balbriggan this summer with offshore breezes making it difficult if not impossible to get back to the beach.

“Thankfully in this case they did the right thing in staying on the board and waiting for help to arrive.

“Remember, if you see someone in difficulty on or near the water, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

On Thursday afternoon (August 18), Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI to assist a family of four on a 43ft cruiser with engine failure, adrift in heavy weather.

At 5.02pm, the inshore lifeboat Jean Spier launched with helm Steve Smyth, Keith Brennan and Chris Parker on board.

Conditions on the lake were rough, with westerly winds of Force 4, gusting Force 5, but good visibility.

By 5.15pm the lifeboat arrived on scene, having located the casualty vessel midway between Garrykennedy and Ryan’s Point at Youghal Bay.

All four people on board were safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets.

An RNLI volunteer transferred across to the cruiser and reported back to the helm that the engines were overheating.

Given the weather conditions and location, the helm decided to take the vessel under tow to the safety of Garrykennedy public harbour, where it was safely tied alongside by 6.10pm.

Jeremy Freeman, deputy launching authority at Lough Derg RNLI advises boat users to “ensure your engines are serviced and that you have a means of communication should you get into difficulty on the water”.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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