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Dublin Bay Boating News and Information

Displaying items by tag: Lifeboats

The volunteer crew of Clifden RNLI in Co Galway towed a broken-down boat with two people on board to safety yesterday evening and were tasked again at midnight to a medevac from the island of Inishbofin.

At 6.45pm on Friday (26 May), Clifden’s Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat was tasked by Malin Head Coast Guard to assist a boat that had broken down.

The crew launched Joyce King in beautiful sunny conditions, helmed by David Barry with crew James Mullen, Joseph Acton and Brian Ward. They were assisted by Neil Gallery and John Brendan Mannion on shore.

The crew arrived on scene to find the casualties had anchored and did not require medical attention. The stricken vessel was taken under tow back to a mooring in Clifden Bay, arriving without incident at 8.45pm.

Another callout came at midnight when Clifden’s all-weather lifeboat St Christopher was tasked to evacuate an injured person from Inishbofin. The casualty had sustained a head injury from a fall.

The lifeboat slipped her moorings under the command of coxswain James Mullen with John Mullen, Joseph Acton, Dan Whelan and Neil Gallery as crew.

The weather was calm en route with a beautiful night at sea, and the lifeboat made it to Inishbofin in excellent time. The crew met with the island nurse who provided a handover and then proceeded to transport the patient back to Cleggan pier. An ambulance was waiting to bring the patient to hospital for further treatment.

Speaking about the shouts, James Mullen said: “It was a busy night for our volunteer crew and I want to thank everyone involved, in particular the island nurse, An Garda Síochána, the National Ambulance Service and the coastguard who assisted in the multi-agency medical evacuation.

“Our volunteer crew remain on call 24/7, with the good weather promised we urge everyone to be safe around the water. If you get into difficulty, or see someone else in trouble, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

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The volunteer crews of Wexford and Rosslare Harbour RNLI rescued four people after their boat suffered engine failure outside of Wexford Harbour shortly after 5pm on Tuesday (9 May).

Rosslare Harbour RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat, under coxswain Eamonn O’Rourke and four other crew members onboard, was first on scene — locating the casualty vessel with assistance from the Kilmore Quay Harbour Master.

Having assessed the situation, the decision was made to tow the boat into safe waters. Wexford RNLI then took over the tow to navigate the casualty over Wexford bar and through the sandbanks of Wexford Harbour. The four people were safely brought ashore just before 7pm.

Weather conditions at the time were reasonably good, with a Force 3 westerly wind and good visibility with some showers.

Speaking following the callout, Wexford RNLI helm Damien Foley said: “The casualties did the right thing and contacted the coastguard when they were in difficulty. All four were also wearing lifejackets. This callout was well executed between ourselves and our colleagues in Rosslare Harbour.

“We would remind people that if you see anyone in difficulty on or near the water to ring 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Wexford RNLI’s crew included helm Damien Foley, Sinead Casey, James Flood and Dave Murray. Deputy launching authority was David Sherwood and shore crew was Dermot Foley. Rosslare Harbour RNLI’s crew included coxswain Eamonn O’Rourke, mechanic Keith Morris, Peter Carr, Paul McCormack and Seamus McDonald.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Final preparations are under way at the three Donegal-based RNLI lifeboat stations at Bundoran and Lough Swilly and Arranmore for the charity’s Mayday Mile challenge which will see six volunteer crew — two from each station — climb Donegal’s highest summit, Errigal, this Saturday 13 May in full RNLI crew kit.

Since the fundraiser was announced a few weeks ago, the six lifeboat crew members — Chris Fox and Brian Fowley (Bundoran), Stephen Quigley and Barry Nixon (Lough Swilly) and Aisling Cox and Brian Proctor (Arranmore) — have been psyching themselves up for the challenge. Gym sessions have been completed and many steps have been climbed in preparation for the event.

Killian O’Kelly, RNLI water safety education manager and organiser of the fundraiser has been encouraging the six crew as they ready for the challenge.

“We’ll be right there with them on the day — we know it’ll be a tough one for them,” he said. “I’d like to thank everyone who has donated so far and remind people who would like to contribute that the JustGiving page remains open and details can be found on each station’s Facebook page.

“A massive thanks also to the crew from each station who have volunteered to complete the challenge. It’s not what the crews are used to, they face challenging conditions at sea when they go and help those in trouble on the water, but this is very different for them. We also want to show people where their funds go and that we are grateful for every cent to give us.”

During the month of May the RNLI is encouraging members of the public to complete their own ‘Mayday Mile’ however they see fit. The money raised could help RNLI lifesavers have everything they need to keep families safe this summer. Warmer weather draws more people to the water and RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews will drop whatever they’re doing when a call for help comes in.

For updates on the Errigal climb on the day, keep an eye on the social media channels of Arranmore RNLI, Bundoran RNLI and Lough Swilly RNLI.

Donations to the Errigal challenge can be made via the JustGiving page and the final sum will be divided equally between the three Donegal stations.

Elsewhere, volunteers with Dunmore East RNLI are preparing for their own vertical Mayday Mile by summiting the highest peaks in both the Comeragh and Knockmealdown mountains, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Carrybridge RNLI in Northern Ireland were delighted to receive a generous donation of £1,500 from the Erne Boat Rally committee at the lifeboat station this past Thursday evening (4 May).

The money was raised following the annual boat rally gathering which took place on Lough Erne over the June Bank Holiday weekend in 2022.

Over 50 cruisers attended the Erne Boat Rally weekend, with some 140 people having a very enjoyable cruising experience on both Upper and Lower Lough Erne.

Stephen Scott, lifeboat operations manager at Carrybridge RNLI said: “The funds raised are vital to the continuing work of the Carrybridge RNLI on Lough Erne, and will assist with future lifesaving operations.

“It was very much appreciated that the Erne Boat Rally committee continued with raising vital funds for their local RNLI lifeboat station.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The RNLI has been chosen as one of six charity partners for Ireland West Airport this year.

Funds raised for the RNLI by the airport in Knock, Co Mayo will be donated to and shared by the two lifeboat stations in the county, at Achill Island and Ballyglass.

Ireland West Airport made the announcement in late April with Breakthrough Cancer Research, Diabetes Ireland, The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, The Children’s Cancer Fund and the Mayo Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals also selected by airport staff as its charity partners for 2023.

The airport is extending its charity partners from three to six in 2023 in recognition of the fantastic work the charities do at both a local and national level.

Several events will take place during the course of 2023 which will engage passengers and staff with the aim of raising as much money as possible for all charity partners.

The headline event for 2023 will be their annual 5k runway fun run which will take place on the runway at Ireland West Airport in September.

Speaking following the announcement, RNL community manager Brian Wilson said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for the RNLI and we are so grateful to all at Ireland West Airport for choosing the charity that saves lives at sea as one of their charity partners for 2023.

“Any funds raised will help to power the lifesaving work of our volunteer crews at Achill Island and Ballyglass RNLI. We wish all in the airport the best of luck with the fundraising events they have planned for the year ahead.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Dunmore East RNLI assisted a crew of three people onboard a yacht stranded off Hook Head late on Thursday night (4 May).

After receiving an alert from the Irish Coast Guard, the volunteer lifeboat crew were called into action at 11.43pm to assist the 10m yacht in distress some one-and-a-half miles northwest of Hook Head.

The yacht, with three people onboard, found itself adrift after losing both engine power and electrics amid challenging weather conditions.

The Shannon class all-weather lifeboat William and Agnes Wray was promptly launched, and upon the crew conducting a search in the reported vicinity, it reached the yacht in poor visibility, with Force 5-6 winds, a moderate sea state and rainy conditions.

After evaluating the situation and ensuring the well-being of the yacht’s crew, the decision was made to tow the vessel back to the safety of Dunmore East Harbour.

Speaking following the callout, lifeboat coxswain Roy Abrahamsson said: “The yacht’s crew were relieved to see us arrive, as the loss of power had left them adrift and vulnerable in the challenging wind and rain conditions in darkness.

“We urge those going afloat to check their engine and fuel, always wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid, and carry a means of calling for help.

“The lifeboat crew successfully completed the operation, with the lifeboat returning to the pontoon at 1am. This latest call out showcases the professionalism and dedication of Dunmore East RNLI’s volunteers, who consistently provide a vital service for those in need at sea. If you see someone in difficulty on or near the water, dial 999/112 or use Marine VHF Channel 16 and ask for the coastguard.”

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In their second callout of the May Bank Holiday weekend, Lough Derg RNLI launched on Sunday evening (30 April) to a cruiser aground on the Galway shore of the lough.

The request from Valentia Coast Guard followed a report from a member of the public that a 40ft cruiser was aground inside Rabbit Island and the Split Rock navigation mark near Rossmore Quay.

At 6.13pm the inshore lifeboat Jean Spier launched with helm Owen Cavanagh, Eleanor Hooker and Joe O’Donoghue on board. Winds were westerly, Force 3/4 and visibility was good.

Twelve minutes later the RNLI lifeboat volunteers could see the casualty vessel inside Rabbit Island close to Rossmore Quay.

The lifeboat crew navigated through safe water to the casualty vessel and was alongside at 6.35pm.

There were six people on board, all safe and unharmed. They were requested to put on their lifejackets. A RNLI lifeboat crew member transferred across to the casualty vessel and checked under the floorboards to confirm that the vessel was not holed.

Given the location and the weather, the helm made the decision to take the vessel off the shoal and asked crew to set up for a tow. The skipper of the casualty vessel was requested to empty its water tanks to lighten the boat.

Having established that it was not possible to take the vessel off the shoal from the bow of the casualty vessel, it was decided that four of the passengers would use their tender to take them to Rossmore Quay, their intended destination, close by. A passing fishing vessel took the remaining two passengers.

Two experienced mariners offered support in their RIB and were asked to accompany the fishing vessel and the tender to shore.

With an RNLI volunteer remaining on the casualty vessel, the lifeboat took back in all lines and established the bridle and tow on the stern of the cruiser which was then freed from the shoal and towed out in to safe water.

All drives, forward and astern, and the rudder were found to be in good working order. A second RNLI volunteer boarded the casualty vessel to prepare mooring lines while it made way under its own power to Rossmore Quay. By 7.42pm the cruiser was safely tied alongside at Rossmore Quay and the lifeboat departed the scene.

Christine O’Malley, lifeboat operations manager at Lough Derg RNLI advises boat owners to “plot your course and remain within the navigation channel. Always carry a means of communication so that if you find yourself in difficulty you can call 112 or 999 and ask for marine rescue.”

On Friday afternoon the inshore lifeboat at Lough Derg was called to assist a fishing vessel with two on board that ran aground at Castlelough, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

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On Friday afternoon (28 April), Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI to launch following a report from a member of the public that a vessel was aground at Castlelough below Parker’s Point.

The inshore lifeboat Jean Spier launched at 1.55pm with helm Eleanor Hooker, Steve Smyth, Chris Parker and Richard Nolan on board. Winds were southwestery Force 2 and visibility was good.

At 2.09pm the RNLI volunteers could see the casualty vessel at a location close to a woodland shore south of Castlelough. They navigated the lifeboat through safe water close to the casualty vessel.

Using local knowledge and onboard navigation tools, the crew identified the edge of the rocky shoal on which the lakeboat was grounded. Observing the casualty vessel, it was evident it was pivoting on a rock mid-keel.

Carrying a handheld VHF radio and a general purpose line, an RNLI volunteer waded in to the casualty vessel and quickly established that the two people on board were safe and unharmed and their boat was not holed.

The RNLI crew requested the skipper to lift their outboard engine to reduce drag whilst he eased the boat off the rock. The engine’s propellors were not damaged after the casualty vessel grounded.

The lifeboat volunteer climbed aboard the casualty vessel which then made way back out to safe water and alongside the lifeboat, which guided it to safe harbour.

Christine O’Malley, lifeboat operations manager at Lough Derg RNLI urges boat users to “wear your lifejacket and carry a means of communication”.

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Donaghadee RNLI’s lifeboat volunteers were paged on Monday (24 April) to assist a 10-metre yacht with three crew members onboard that was in difficulty off the Co Down coast in Northern Ireland.

Around 8.10pm on Monday evening, the crew were asked to launch the RNLI Trent class relief lifeboat Macquarie to go to the assistance of the yacht which had experienced engine failure just off Burr Point near Ballyhalbert.

In a northwesterly wind with good visibility — albeit fading light — and a calm sea state, the crew were able to make full speed to the last reported location of the yacht and reached the scene at 8.45pm.

During passage, volunteer crew member David Cull was able to liaise by VHF with the skipper of the yacht to reassure him of their pending arrival and give advice on how to make the yacht ready to receive a towline.

Once on scene and in now faded light, the lifeboat volunteers were able to quickly establish the towline with yacht’s crew and begin the tow back to Bangor Harbour, where they arrived roughly two-and-a-half hours later and where the yacht’s crew were passed into the care of the local coastguard rescue team.

Speaking following the callout, Donaghadee RNLI coxswain Philip McNamara said: “The skipper of this yacht did absolutely the correct thing in asking for assistance as soon as he knew he had an issue, and had everything ready to make it easy for us to quickly establish the tow once alongside.

“The importance of having a means of communication, and on this occasion a VHF, cannot be underestimated.

“This was a classic example of how well this works when things go unexpectedly wrong. As always, my thanks to the volunteers who dropped everything to attend the callout — a great crew to work with.”

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Dunmore East RNLI successfully assisted a lone sailor after they got into difficulty on their 30ft yacht outside the Co Waterford town’s harbour last Thursday (20 April).

The lifeboat crew was called into action just after 8pm on Thursday night by the Irish Coast Guard after they were alerted that a lone sailor aboard a 30ft yacht was in difficulty after the vessel lost power approximately one mile south east of the harbour.

Led by coxswain Roy Abrahamsson, the volunteer crew promptly launched in the Shannon Class all-weather lifeboat William & Agnes Wray and reached the stranded yacht swiftly in calm conditions.

In the meantime, the crew from the Port of Waterford pilot boat were on scene first as they were in the area at the time, checked in with the sailor and stood by in a support capacity ensuring the sailor’s safety until the lifeboat arrived.

The vessel had been on the final stages of a long passage from the UK and encountered difficulties on the last leg. To ensure the safety of the sailor, the lifeboat crew established a tow line to bring the yacht back to Dunmore East.

Thanks to the combined efforts of the lifeboat crew, pilot boat and the sailor, the yacht was successfully towed to the harbour by 9pm.

Reflecting on the incident, Dunmore East RNLI lifeboat press officer Peter Grogan said: “The sailor did the right thing calling for assistance and we were happy to help.

“When going afloat we would remind everyone to check their engine and fuel, always wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid, and carry a means of calling for help. If you see someone in difficulty on or near the water, dial 999/112 or use marine VHF Channel 16 and ask for the coastguard.”

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Dublin Bay

Dublin Bay on the east coast of Ireland stretches over seven kilometres, from Howth Head on its northern tip to Dalkey Island in the south. It's a place most Dubliners simply take for granted, and one of the capital's least visited places. But there's more going on out there than you'd imagine.

The biggest boating centre is at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the Bay's south shore that is home to over 1,500 pleasure craft, four waterfront yacht clubs and Ireland's largest marina.

The bay is rather shallow with many sandbanks and rocky outcrops, and was notorious in the past for shipwrecks, especially when the wind was from the east. Until modern times, many ships and their passengers were lost along the treacherous coastline from Howth to Dun Laoghaire, less than a kilometre from shore.

The Bay is a C-shaped inlet of the Irish Sea and is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and 7 km in length to its apex at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south. North Bull Island is situated in the northwest part of the bay, where one of two major inshore sandbanks lie, and features a 5 km long sandy beach, Dollymount Strand, fronting an internationally recognised wildfowl reserve. Many of the rivers of Dublin reach the Irish Sea at Dublin Bay: the River Liffey, with the River Dodder flow received less than 1 km inland, River Tolka, and various smaller rivers and streams.

Dublin Bay FAQs

There are approximately ten beaches and bathing spots around Dublin Bay: Dollymount Strand; Forty Foot Bathing Place; Half Moon bathing spot; Merrion Strand; Bull Wall; Sandycove Beach; Sandymount Strand; Seapoint; Shelley Banks; Sutton, Burrow Beach

There are slipways on the north side of Dublin Bay at Clontarf, Sutton and on the southside at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, and in Dalkey at Coliemore and Bulloch Harbours.

Dublin Bay is administered by a number of Government Departments, three local authorities and several statutory agencies. Dublin Port Company is in charge of navigation on the Bay.

Dublin Bay is approximately 70 sq kilometres or 7,000 hectares. The Bay is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and seven km in length east-west to its peak at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the southside of the Bay has an East and West Pier, each one kilometre long; this is one of the largest human-made harbours in the world. There also piers or walls at the entrance to the River Liffey at Dublin city known as the Great North and South Walls. Other harbours on the Bay include Bulloch Harbour and Coliemore Harbours both at Dalkey.

There are two marinas on Dublin Bay. Ireland's largest marina with over 800 berths is on the southern shore at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. The other is at Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club on the River Liffey close to Dublin City.

Car and passenger Ferries operate from Dublin Port to the UK, Isle of Man and France. A passenger ferry operates from Dun Laoghaire Harbour to Howth as well as providing tourist voyages around the bay.

Dublin Bay has two Islands. Bull Island at Clontarf and Dalkey Island on the southern shore of the Bay.

The River Liffey flows through Dublin city and into the Bay. Its tributaries include the River Dodder, the River Poddle and the River Camac.

Dollymount, Burrow and Seapoint beaches

Approximately 1,500 boats from small dinghies to motorboats to ocean-going yachts. The vast majority, over 1,000, are moored at Dun Laoghaire Harbour which is Ireland's boating capital.

In 1981, UNESCO recognised the importance of Dublin Bay by designating North Bull Island as a Biosphere because of its rare and internationally important habitats and species of wildlife. To support sustainable development, UNESCO’s concept of a Biosphere has evolved to include not just areas of ecological value but also the areas around them and the communities that live and work within these areas. There have since been additional international and national designations, covering much of Dublin Bay, to ensure the protection of its water quality and biodiversity. To fulfil these broader management aims for the ecosystem, the Biosphere was expanded in 2015. The Biosphere now covers Dublin Bay, reflecting its significant environmental, economic, cultural and tourism importance, and extends to over 300km² to include the bay, the shore and nearby residential areas.

On the Southside at Dun Laoghaire, there is the National Yacht Club, Royal St. George Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club and Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club as well as Dublin Bay Sailing Club. In the city centre, there is Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club. On the Northside of Dublin, there is Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club and Sutton Dinghy Club. While not on Dublin Bay, Howth Yacht Club is the major north Dublin Sailing centre.

© Afloat 2020