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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

Fethard RNLI commemorated an important anniversary on Saturday (10 July 2021). It was 25 years to the exact day (10 July 1996) that the RNLI re-established a lifeboat station at Fethard-On-Sea, following an absence of 82 years. The milestone was marked by a solemn ceremony at sea, where current lifeboat crew laid a wreath to remember all those involved with the station, who had passed away over the last 25 years.

The anniversary was originally to involve a large-scale exercise at sea, viewed by the public from Baginbun beach and involving Fethard RNLI, Kilmore Quay RNLI, Dunmore East RNLI and the Irish Coast Guard. Unfortunately, the display was postponed due to the ongoing restrictions for Covid and it is now planned to take place on Sunday the 12 September.

Fethard RNLI has a rich history in the Institution. A previous RNLI lifeboat based in Fethard, called the Helen Blake, was lost and 9 of her 14 crew on 20 February 1914. The station was then closed, and it was not known if a lifeboat would ever again be on service in the area. However, the local community came together years later to raise the funds needed to establish a new station. After a lot of hard work and determination, their dream of having a Lifeboat was realised.

That same community spirit was also present in 2016 when the community funded the station’s current lifeboat the Naomh Dubhan.

Commenting on the 25th anniversary, Fethard RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Walter Foley said, ‘All of us involved with Fethard RNLI would like to sincerely thank our wonderful community who have supported this lifeboat station for the past 25 years. There are so many people involved with our station and we appreciate every one of them and the work they do.’

‘Having a lifeboat station re-established after suffering such a loss as we did in 1914 is an incredible achievement. In the intervening years our community decided they wanted their lifeboat back and campaigned and raised the funds necessary to return one to the area. There is a special bond between Fethard RNLI, and its community and it is the reason why we are still going strong today.’

An official event to mark the 25th anniversary of the reopening of Fethard RNLI is due to take place on Baginbun beach on Sunday 12 September.

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Castletownbere RNLI was launched yesterday evening (Saturday 10th July 2021) just after 7.20 pm to go to the immediate assistance of a lone sailor who had become injured on his yacht off Bere Island in West Cork

Castletownbere lifeboat was tasked by Valentia Coastguard Radio yesterday evening after a yacht approaching Lonehart Harbour on the southern side of Bere Island hit a rock and the sailor was thrown forward resulting in injuries to his face and leg. He immediately radioed for help.

The lifeboat ‘Annette Hutton’ was launched within minutes under the command of Coxswain Dean Hegarty with crew Martin Cronin, Joe Cronin, John Paul Downey, Aaron O’Boyle, Donagh Murphy & David O’Donovan,

At 7.40 pm the lifeboat located the yacht at Island’s End located at the easterly tip of Bere island in calm conditions. A member of the lifeboat crew was transferred aboard to rig a tow and the casualty was brought aboard the lifeboat to receive first aid.

On arrival at Castletownbere RNLI Station, the injured man was met by paramedics from the ambulance service and he subsequently received medical assessment and attention. Meanwhile, members of the lifeboat crew had motored the yacht to a safe berth in Castletownbere harbour.

Commenting on the callout Castletownbere RNLI Deputy Launching Authority, Felix O’Donoghue, stated: ‘The crew are to be complimented for their very swift response this evening and the rescued sailor seemed to be in good spirits when expressing his gratitude.

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Baltimore RNLI’s volunteer crew were called out to reports of a boat on fire off Sherkin Island in West Cork yesterday afternoon (Saturday 10 July).

Under coxswain Aidan Bushe, the all-weather lifeboat launched at 3.34pm following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to attend the blaze on RIB in Horseshoe Harbour.

The lifeboat arrived at the scene five minutes later and found that the occupants of the RIB had already been removed to another vessel and all were safe.

Volunteers used their onboard fire hose on the burning vessel but unfortunately the RIB was beyond recovery and it sank a short time later.

Speaking following the callout, Baltimore RNLI’s press officer Kate Callanan said: “There were a number of vessels in the immediate vicinity at the time this fire broke out and Baltimore RNLI would like to thank those who assisted in bringing the occupants of the RIB to safety.”

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The Union Hall  RNLI volunteer crew were requested to launch their inshore lifeboat Christine and Raymond Fielding, by the Irish Coast Guard at 3.50pm today (Friday 9th July) to reports of two people in difficulty in the small sound, an area north of Rabbit Island, just west of Glandore Harbour.

The lifeboat helmed by Tim Forde with crew Charlie Deasy, Stephen Hurley and Richie O’Mahony made its way to the small sound and met the casualty vessel. The two crew were rowing towards shore as they had engine difficulty, but they were happy enough to not require assistance. They were wearing lifejackets and conditions were favourable with sea conditions calm.

First call-out - The Union Hall RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat crew (from left to right) Richie O’Mahony, Stephen Hurley, Tim Forde, Charlie Deasy, Sean Walsh and Jim MoloneyFirst call-out - The Union Hall RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat crew (from left to right) Richie O’Mahony, Stephen Hurley, Tim Forde, Charlie Deasy, Sean Walsh and Jim Moloney

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Aran Islands RNLI has welcomed a new full-time mechanic to the station. Mairtín Eoin Coyne takes over from Johnny Mulkerrin, who retired after 35 years last month.

Mairtín Eoin, an Aran Islander from birth, is no stranger to the station having served as a volunteer on the all-weather lifeboat for more than 20 years, having joined in 1996.

Mairtin Eoin was part of the crew that undertook training at the RNLI's College in Poole, Dorset, to learn the workings of the current Severn class lifeboat before she came to the Island in 1997.

Through the years, Mairtín Eoin has undertaken other courses to further his education, including lifeboat sea survival and mechanical maintenance of lifeboats.

For the past five to six years, he has regularly served as cover for now-retired mechanic Johnny Mulkerrin when needed.

Michael Hernon, Aran Islands RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, welcomed Mairtín Eoin on behalf of the station: 'We are delighted to welcome Mairtín Eoin who took up his post on the 1 June and we wish him many more safe and happy years at sea. His role as full-time mechanic at Aran Islands RNLI will ensure the operational effectiveness of our station through the operation, maintenance and repair of the lifeboat and its associated machinery and equipment.'

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Lough Ree RNLI’s volunteer crew were the recipients of a number of personalised gifts from a keen lifeboat supporter at a presentation yesterday afternoon (Sunday 4 July).

Limerick man Mark Conway (43) visited Coosan Point Athlone with his friend Tommy Corbett and key worker Ivana Kottesova, bringing with him a self-crafted model of an all-weather lifeboat.

The creative artist, who has honed his skills with the Brothers of Charity in the Treaty City, had earlier this year contacted then lifeboat operations manager Tony McCarth to offer the replica as a gift to the station.

At a special ceremony at the Lough Ree RNLI boathouse at Coosan Point, Conway met McCarth, current lifeboat operations manager Jude Kilmartin, treasurer Vincent Rafter and members of the crew and their families and presented his metre long model of an RNLI lifeboat.

During the visit Conway had another surprise in store when he also presented a painting of a lifeboat which was also his own work.

Kottesova said: “Mark has already made presentations to the RNLI at Lough Derg, Kilrush, Courtmacsherry and Kinsale and hopes eventually to visit all RNLI lifeboat stations on the island.”

Kilmartin expressed the charity’s gratitude for the presentation and said he looked forward to displaying the art in a place of prominence in the new boathouse, which is on schedule for completion later this year.

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Kinsale RNLI’s lifeboat launched on Saturday 3 July to help a solo yachtsman struggling at sea with damaged sails.

The yachtsman had left the Caribbean island of Carriacou on Thursday 13 May en route to the UK. But three weeks into the voyage, the 51ft ketch lost engine power, forcing the skipper to continue his 6,500km journey under sail.

He told his rescuers that his yacht was becalmed in the Atlantic for 10 days when the wind dropped. Then after he was able to resume his voyage, the sails were damaged, further hampering progress.

By the time the Irish Coast Guard became aware of his plight on Saturday morning, the vessel was travelling at just three knots per hour with no prospect of reaching its intended destination.

Kinsale RNLI’s volunteers tracked the vessel online throughout the day and grew increasingly concerned for its safety. At 6pm, the lifeboat was requested to launch by the coastguard to assess the situation, and the crew located the vessel off the Old Head of Kinsale.

Lifeboat helm Jonathan Connor placed crew member Felix Milner on board the stricken yacht and, after consultation, decided that taking the ketch under tow was necessary to assist the vessel to reach the nearest safe and suitable port.

Milner remained on board the yacht on the final leg of the journey to Kinsale Harbour to safeguard the wellbeing of the skipper, who was exhausted but uninjured despite his long ordeal.

After arriving into Kinsale at 9.15pm, the yachtsman enjoyed his first hot shower in over seven weeks before being reunited with his son and two daughters, who live in West Cork and were waiting for him on the pier.

Commenting on the rescue, the yachtsman said: “The RNLI Kinsale are some of the nicest people I have ever met. Their expertise and commitment leave me humbled. It is an institution I have always supported and will do so for the rest of my days.”

Kinsale helm Connor added: “It is a tribute to the yachtsman’s seamanship that he made a 6,500km voyage single-handed and remained calm and focused despite the many problems he encountered in the course of his journey.

“He is very fit and able but was clearly exhausted after 52 days alone at sea and it was the right decision to help him over the final hurdle and bring him safely to Kinsale.”

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The volunteer crew at Aran Islands RNLI were asked to launch their all-weather Severn class lifeboat just after 8pm yesterday (Sunday 4 July) to a woman in need of medical attention on Inis Mór, the largest of the Galway Bay island chain.

With the patient safely transferred aboard the lifeboat by the crew following COVID-19 health and safety protocols, the lifeboat — under coxswain Tommy Dirrane with a full crew — headed straight for Rossaveal Harbour and the waiting ambulance.

Weather conditions at the time of launching were good with calm seas and a light westerly breeze blowing, with fair visibility.

Speaking after the callout, Dirrane said: “There was a great response time from the crew which ensured we could promptly get the patient on her way to the medical attention she needed. We would like to wish the patient a speedy recovery.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Howth RNLI pagers sounded at 6.10 pm Friday 3rd July 2021 to reports of a small fishing vessel with three people on board who were stranded in the vicinity of Lambay Island due to mechanical problems.

The Howth RNLI all weather lifeboat and volunteer crew launched 12 minutes later and rapidly made its way to the scene.

Weather conditions at the time gave good visibility but there was a 2 to 3 metre swell and the casualty vessel was anchored off a lee shore sound of Lambay Island.

Howth RNLI Second Coxswain Ian Sheridan assessed the situation and transferred the 2 young members of the family aboard the Lifeboat and a decision was taken to take the fishing boat in tow to the safety of the nearest port of Malahide marina.

The 3 people aboard were all wearing lifejackets but the 2 younger crew members were suffering from slight seasickness.

Towed to safety - Weather conditions at the time gave good visibility but there was a 2 to 3 metre swellTowed to safety - Weather conditions at the time gave good visibility but there was a 2 to 3 metre swell

Speaking following the callout, Stephen Harris, Howth RNLI Deputy Launch Authority said: ‘We were delighted to help the 3 people this evening, they all had their lifejackets and safety gear. They dropped anchor and called for help as soon as they encountered engine difficulties, we were happy to assist.’

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Lough Ree RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew this morning (Friday 2 July) responded to a call-out to a cruiser with eleven people on board which had run aground north of Inch Turk island.

This brings to 25 the number of people the charity has rescued since last Sunday.

This morning’s call came from the Irish Coast Guard at 8.30 am. Under helm Emmet Devereux the volunteer crew launched in calm conditions quickly reached the stricken vessel with all eleven people on board wearing life jackets. Following an inspection, the cruiser was towed off the rocks into safe water.

Last Sunday afternoon (27 June) the Lough Ree RNLI volunteer crew rescued four people on board a cruiser stranded on the Hexagon Shoal near Hare Island.

On Tuesday last (29 June) the Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat ‘Tara Scougall’ and her volunteer crew were back in the same waters when a cruiser with nine people on board ran aground off Hare Island. Minutes after returning to base the lifeboat was back on the water, this time coming to the assistance of a 34ft cruiser with one person on board which had lost power off Carberry island.

Reflecting on a busy summer season, with eighteen call-outs so far this year Lough Ree RNLI Operations Manager Jude Kilmartin advised boat users to ‘be aware of the falling water levels on the lake which has made rock shoals on the lake more dangerous. The best advice is to always remain within the navigation markers.’

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