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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

Two volunteer crew members at Carrybridge RNLI lifeboat station have had a vital part of their crew training funded by Lloyd’s Register Foundation.

Shani Spence from Lisbellaw and Joe Donnelly from Enniskillen, recently travelled to the RNLI College in Poole, Dorset, to complete the charity’s Crew Emergency Procedures course.

The course sees volunteer crew being trained in a variety of crucial subjects such as how to deal with fires aboard lifeboats, how to ‘abandon ship’ in the event of an emergency (with a 4m jump into water), team survival swimming, coping in a life-raft in simulated darkness, how to right a capsized inshore lifeboat, and the importance of lifejackets. It also includes sessions on the correct use of flares, fire extinguishers and throw bags.

Talking about the training, Shani, who volunteers as a crew member, said: ‘This course definitely helped with my confidence in an actual emergency as I got to have a hands-on approach and see how it all feels in real life, meaning it will be a little less scary if anything went wrong.’ Joe, who also volunteers as a crew member, said: ‘It was a very good and intriguing course which I enjoyed very much.’

Shani and Joe’s training took place in the Sea Survival Centre at the RNLI College, where they were joined by other RNLI volunteer crew members from around the UK and Ireland.

The training was funded by Lloyd’s Register Foundation, a charitable foundation that helps to protect life and property by supporting engineering-related education, public engagement and the application of research. The Foundation has committed to funding the RNLI’s Crew Emergency Procedures course for a second 5-year period until December 2020. This additional funding of £1.06M brings their total support for RNLI crew training to just over £2.46M* since 2008. More than 3,000 RNLI volunteer crew members have now received the training thanks to Lloyd’s Register Foundation’s funding.

Alex Evans, Lifesaving Training Manager at the RNLI said, ‘We are so grateful to Lloyd’s Register Foundation for funding this vital part of our volunteer crews’ training.

‘Their support is very important to us and it’s fantastic how, so far, over 3,000 of our crew members have benefitted from Lloyd’s Register Foundation funding this part of their training. As only one in ten of our volunteer crew members comes from a professional maritime background, the Crew Emergency Procedures course is crucial in giving our volunteers the training they need and helping keep them as safe as possible while carrying out rescues. It gives volunteers the confidence to save lives even in the most challenging conditions.’

This donation is the latest in Lloyd’s Register Foundation’s relationship with the RNLI, which was recognised in 2010 when it received the Group Supporter Award from HRH Prince Michael of Kent in recognition of its valuable support of the charity.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Members of Howth RNLI’s Community Safety Team were on hand to promote and offer water safety advice at the Ireland Angling 2020 exhibition at the National Show Centre in Swords last weekend The charity that saves lives at sea has been a popular presence at the annual fishing show for the last thirteen years.

495 anglers and water sports enthusiasts from all over Ireland attending the annual event visited the RNLI stand to avail of tips and advice from the RNLI Community Safety Team. A wide range of safety devices, including various types of personal locator beacons, and communication aids from VHF radios to waterproof mobile phone cases were on display at the stand. Visitors discussed which devices were best suited to their particular needs depending on which sport they were involved with.

Visitors brought their lifejackets to the lifejacket clinic to get advice about their upkeep and maintenance. Of the twelve lifejackets looked at three had serious issues which would have led to them being completely ineffective in an emergency, and the other nine had expired firing heads. Being prepared and wearing a suitable lifejacket gives a casualty time for the emergency services to reach them. Each year approximately 1,200 anglers are rescued around the coasts of Ireland and the UK.

John McKenna, Community Safety Officer with Howth RNLI commented, “It is reassuring that the number of anglers who are heeding our advice and wearing lifejackets in recent years has increased, but there is still work to do to get the message out to all anglers. We would urge shore anglers, especially those who fish off rocks, to wear a life jacket and to carry a mobile phone in a waterproof case. Most people don’t realise that once a phone is charged they can call 112 for help, even if the phone has no SIM card and no credit. Personal locator beacons are also useful and anglers should always tell friends or family where you are going and when they expect to return home. We want people to be able to enjoy participating in water sports safely”.

The RNLI is aiming to reduce coastal drowning significantly by 2024 through its Respect the Water campaign, which engages with water users on how to stay safe and maintain their equipment. Anyone who unexpectedly finds themselves in water is urged to follow the RNLI’s Float to Live advice – firstly float on your back, then call for help and communicate your location. Try to stay calm and keep your moral up until the emergency services reach you.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The volunteer crew of Youghal RNLI were paged yesterday at 4.57 pm to reports of a fishing vessel with one person onboard aground on the rocks at the northern end of Ferry Point.

Launching in force 8 North Westerly winds and choppy conditions, the inshore lifeboat arrived on the scene a few minutes later to find the fisherman had managed to get safely onto land.

The crew established a tow line and brought the fishing boat off the rocks and alongside the lifeboat. One crew member then boarded the vessel and began to pump out water as it was towed safely back to Harvey’s dock and handed over to the awaiting Coast Guard unit.

The Lifeboat returned to the station at 5.41 pm. The Lifeboat crew were, Patsy O’Mahoney (Helm), James Hanna, Liam Keogh and Jack Nolan.

Patsy O’Mahoney, Youghal RNLI Helm said: ‘Situations can change very quickly at sea, especially in stormy conditions. Our training really stood to us today dealing with the swell and high winds’.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Bella Irvine has retired from the Lerwick Ladies Lifeboat Guild after 38 years service, since first volunteering for the Shetland Islands RNLI unit in 1982.

At a gathering at RNLI Lerwick lifeboat station to mark the occasion last Tuesday evening (4 February), members of the guild and current lifeboat crew members paid tribute to Bella’s contribution on the committee.

After her first 10 years, Bella was then treasurer for 23 years, from 1992 until 2015. Since then, she has continued to support fundraising events and activities, including volunteering in the RNLI Lerwick shop.

In recognition of her long service, Bella received a RNLI Gold Badge and Bar in 2016.

The guild raises funds for the RNLI towards the operational costs of the Lerwick lifeboat in Scotland's far nothern isles, which relies entirely on public donations.

‘She’s one in a million and will always be welcome in our shop, where she will always find the kettle on’

Throughout the year, the guild organises many events, including the popular Lifeboat Open Day in midsummer and the Lifeboat Ball later in the year. Committee members also attend country shows during the summer months to generate income and to raise the profile of the RNLI.

In 2019, the Lerwick Lifeboat Guild, including funds raised by the men’s committee, raised a total of over £44,000.

Rhoda Watt, joint chair of the Lerwick Ladies Lifeboat Guild and current treasurer, said: “Bella has been absolutely dedicated beyond measure and will be missed on our committee. She’s one in a million and will always be welcome in our shop, where she will always find the kettle on.”

Malcolm Craigie, RNLI Lerwick lifeboat operations manager, said: “The RNLI relies on dedicated fundraisers across the country to provide equipment and training for our volunteer crews, so that we’re ready to respond 24 hours a day.

“On behalf of the lifeboat crew, we’re hugely grateful to Bella for everything she has done for the Lerwick Lifeboat Guild over the last 38 years.”

Published in Scottish Waters

The volunteer crew of Oban RNLI’s lifeboat Mora Edith MacDonald faced the gale-force conditions of Storm Ciara on two separate callouts yesterday (Sunday 8 February).

At 10:14am, HM Coastguard requested an immediate launch following reports of a group of divers in difficulty to the south of Oban, in Western Scotland.

Despite challenging conditions the lifeboat reached the scene quickly, but found that the divers had already been recovered from the water.

The lifeboats small inflatable XP boat was made ready to put a crew ashore to assist with casualty care. However, the Scottish Ambulance Service and coastguard rescue teams arrived at that point and were able to assist the casualties.

At this time, further reports reached the coastguard of another diver drifting to the north. The lifeboat immediately proceeded to the scene and discovered that the object was actually the dive gear of one of the divers now being treated by the Scottish Ambulance Service.

After the crew returned to station and as they were drying off, one of the volunteers noticed a dingy drifting across Oban Bay.

It was observed that the oars were in place on the dinghy, which prompted concern that someone may have fallen from it, so the crew relaunched into Storm Ciara to ensure that no life was at risk.

Several boats were on moorings in Oban Bay and a systematic search of these moorings began. Oban Coastguard Team, who had also just returned from the previous incident located the dinghy and were able to identify a name on it.

Fortunately this allowed them to locate the owner, who was safe and well and unaware that his dinghy had gone adrift.

Published in Scottish Waters

RNLI fishing safety manager Frankie Horne has urged the fishing community to avail of safety training that is on offer for their crews and to ensure that their safety equipment is up to date.

It comes after the skipper of a fishing vessel that sank late last year off the Isle of Man has attributed their rescue to the safety training the crew had undertaken previously and to their lifejackets, which were fitted with personal locator beacons (PLBs).

On the evening of 23 November last year, the fishing vessel Polaris suffered a catastrophic hull failure in the Irish Sea off the west coast of the Isle of Man.

The vessel sank so rapidly that the skipper only had time to send out a Mayday to the coastguard and other surrounding fishing boats before the vessel became submerged.

The coastguard immediately launched two RNLI lifeboats, from Port St Mary and Port Erin, and a rescue helicopter. However, it was a local fishing vessel, Lynn Marie, which arrived first on scene.

The skipper and a crew member from Polaris had been in the water for at least 15-20 minutes before help arrived.

The skipper of the Lynn Marie feared the worst on arriving at the scene as the Polaris had already gone below the water. The skipper stopped his engine to listen for the crew of the Polaris, which proved a wise decision as he heard two men in the water shouting. The Lynn Marie crew located them with a search light and recovered them from the water.

‘I can tell you that there is no doubt that the lifejackets saved our lives’

Commenting on the rescue, Horne said: “After speaking with Gordon Mills, the skipper of the Polaris, and the crew of Lynn Marie on their arrival at Peel, it was quite clear that this could have been a very different story had the crew of both vessels not acted so professionally.

“The crew had attended safety training and wore lifejackets fitted with personal locator beacons which had increased their chances of survival.”

Gordon Mills, skipper of Polaris, added: “At no time did I feel our lives were in danger due to our training and equipment.

“We had a policy of wearing lifejackets on the working deck since attending refresher training, where I was shown a film involving fishermen wearing their normal working clothes, being put through their paces in the RNLI Survival Centre Environmental Pool, both with and without lifejackets in cold water with wave movement whilst attempting to recover themselves.”

Mills added: “To see fishermen struggling in a controlled environment and only lasting a few minutes or in some cases a few seconds without the lifejacket makes you think about your own safety.

“I can tell you that there is no doubt that the lifejackets saved our lives. We wouldn’t have even been afloat for the crew of fishing vessel Lynn Marie to recover us from the water had we not been wearing them.

“I would encourage all fishermen to start wearing their lifejackets while on deck — you just never know when you might need it.”

Published in Water Safety

Tobermory RNLI’s volunteer crew took part in a multi-agency operation to evacuate an injured man from a local fish farm yesterday morning, Wednesday 5 February.

Following the report of a crush injury at the fish farm in the Sound of Mull, Tobermory RNLI’s volunteer crew launched their Severn class all-weather lifeboat, Elizabeth Fairlie Ramsey, shortly after 10am.

The crew collected two Scottish Ambulance Service personnel and a member of the local coastguard rescue team, and proceeded to the fish farm by MacLean’s Nose on the south coast of Ardnamurchan, near to Kilchoan.

Having stabilised the injured man, the lifeboat returned to Tobermory where the crew were met by other members of the local coastguard team and Police Scotland.

The casualty was transferred to a waiting ambulance before being taken to Tobermory Golf Club for a further transfer to the air ambulance, Helimed 5, which then flew the man to Glasgow for hospital treatment.

Lifeboat operations manager Dr Sam Jones said: “This was another great example of multi-agency working between the emergency services in our local community and beyond.

“We’d like to thank all those at the fish farm who gave immediate first aid on scene and all of us at the station wish the injured man a very speedy recovery.”

This was also the first shout for one of Tobermory RNLI’s newest recruits, Jenny Hampson, a project manager for the Tobermory Harbour Association.

Published in Scottish Waters

Larne RNLI’s volunteers diverted from their crew assessments on Sunday morning (2 February) to assist a person on a nine-metre motor boat which had broken down near Ballygally in Co Antrim.

Launching at around 10.15am into a calm sea, the all-weather lifeboat Dr John McSparran made its way to the casualty boat where a volunteer crew member was put aboard to assess its pilot, who was safe and well.

A tow line was then established so that the casualty boat could be towed into East Antrim Boat Club to be put onto a mooring.

Larne’s inshore lifeboat Terry met the casualty vessel in Larne Harbour, where the tow line was passed across and an alongside tow was carried out to allow the casualty to tie up on its mooring at the boat club.

Speaking following the callout, Larne RNLI lifeboat operations manager Allen Dorman said: “We had a good turnout from our crew today as we had been planning to do some assessments, but it was great to see how the crew reacted when the call came in.

“Everyone knew what they had to do and acted accordingly and were delighted to help the vessel's owner. I’m also pleased to say that the assessments were carried out after the call out and everyone passed.”

Larne RNLI coxswain Frank Healy added: “I was pleased to see the casualty was wearing appropriate safety equipment when we arrived and would like to remind anyone thinking of going onto the water to check that their boat is fully operational and that they have appropriate safety equipment onboard.

“If you do get into trouble at sea remember to call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

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Lough Derg RNLI was requested to launch on Sunday afternoon (2 February), by Valentia Coast Guard to reports of three people in difficulty on an 18ft motorboat in Portumna, at the northern end of Lough Derg.

At 3.49 pm, the inshore B-Class lifeboat Jean Spier launched with volunteer crew Eleanor Hooker as helm, Lian Knight, Ger Egan and Owen Cavanagh on board. Visibility conditions were poor with frequent rainy squalls and force 5, gusting 6-7 southwesterly winds.

Initial reports were of a person who had fallen overboard attempting to start their boat after it had suffered engine failure but had been recovered by two fellow companions, who had entered the water to assist him.

When the casualties managed to get back on board they immediately raised the alarm, reporting that one of their group required immediate medical attention.

The multi-agency operation involved the Irish Coast Guard helicopter 115 from Shannon, Fire and Rescue Service, Ambulance Service and Gardaí along with the RNLI.

Lifeboat crew planned their strategy on route aware that at least one casualty was known to be in a serious condition. Upon arriving on scene, volunteer Eleanor Hooker handed the helm to Owen Cavanagh, and with Ger Egan and Lian Knight, assisted with first aid. The winchman from the Irish Coast Guard helicopter and crew members from the Fire and Rescue service were already on board the casualty vessel.

One casualty was suffering from the effects of hypothermia. The RNLI crew assisted with his care by providing oxygen and a blanket and monitoring his condition. The other two casualties were also provided with RNLI blankets.

One casualty was transferred from the motorboat by stretcher on to the lifeboat, along with the two other casualties. The lifeboat transported the casualties to a safe landing place close by and delivered them into the care of the ambulance crew.

Speaking following the call out, Lough Derg RNLI helm Eleanor Hooker said: ‘This was a challenging multi-agency rescue operation today and we are so thankful we were able to rescue these three people with the help of our colleagues in the other emergency services. The location of the casualty vessel and the extreme temperatures of the water at this time of year meant that they needed help urgently. We wish them all a speedy recovery following their ordeal.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Tobermory RNLI’s deputy second mechanic Tony ‘Kiwi’ Spillane has been announced as World Mince and Tatties Champion for 2020.

After the All Blacks' disappointing run in the Rugby World Cup last year, the New Zealander made his home country proud by emerging victorious in the contest at the Mishnish in Tobermory yesterday, Saturday 25 January.

‘Kiwi’ has continued in a tradition of world champions at the lifeboat station, on the Isle of Mull in western Scotland, with operations manager Dr Sam Jones winning the title in 2007 and former coxswain Phil Higson being champion in 2008 and 2011.

Competitors submit their best plate of mince and tatties to a panel of judges, with the winner being declared world champion.

But there was controversy when it emerged that coxswain David McHaffie and Dr Sam Jones had been two of the three judges, and some of the audience claimed that there had been ‘a fix’.

But Dr Jones dismissed the accusations. “Kiwi won his world title absolutely fair and square,” he said. “It was a blind tasting and none of us had any idea whose mince we were sampling.

“We’re hoping that at our next training night, Kiwi will cook up his championship dish to warm up the volunteer crew when they come back from exercise.”

Published in Scottish Waters
Page 9 of 199

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