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Dublin Bay Boating News and Information

Displaying items by tag: Lifeboat

Wicklow all-weather lifeboat RNLB Joanna and Henry Williams launched shortly after 11 pm tonight (Friday 23 July) following a Coast Guard pager alert, to investigate reports of a yacht in difficulties off the Wicklow Coast.

The Shannon class lifeboat located the yacht twenty-five minutes later, four miles north of Wicklow harbour. Conditions on scene were sea state moderate with wind north-easterly force three.

The yacht with two crew had suffered engine failure while heading north off the coast and was unable to make its way safely into Wicklow harbour. An assessment was carried out and a towline was established with the yacht.

Speaking after the callout, Coxswain Ciaran Doyle said:’ We transferred one of our crew onto the yacht to assist the two sailors during the tow back to Wicklow harbour’.

The yacht was brought alongside the South Quay at Wicklow harbour at 00:30 am on Saturday morning and the two sailors were landed safely ashore.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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As Afloat reported earlier Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat to launch following a Mayday call to assist five people on board a 38ft cruiser on fire, by Castle Harbour, Portumna, at the most northern end of Lough Derg.

When the lifeboat crew assembled at the station, Valentia Coast Guard was informed that three people had been safely evacuated from the vessel.

At 12.16 pm the lifeboat Jean Spier launched with helm Keith Brennan, crew Eleanor Hooker, Joe O’Donoghue and Doireann Kennedy on board. The lake was calm and visibility was excellent.

Aoife Kennedy, Lough Derg RNLI Deputy Launching Authority relayed information from Valentia Coast Guard that the remaining two people had been safely evacuated from the burning vessel. Valentia Coast Guard contacted the lifeboat to request that volunteers check the wellbeing of the casualties.

Rescue 115, the Irish Coast Guard Search and Rescue Helicopter based at Shannon was also in attendance, as was the Killaloe Coast Guard Search and Rescue Boat, based at Killaloe.

The lifeboat arrived on scene at 12.35 pm. The fire on the casualty vessel had taken hold and fire firefighters from Portumna Fire Service were working to extinguish the fire. All four other casualties were safe and unharmed and were being attended to by ambulance crew at Castle Harbour.

As there was a significant risk to the many boat users close by with fuel onboard the vessel, Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat and the Killaloe Coast Guard boat to monitor the scene and request that all vessels maintain a safe distance.

At 1.30 pm, firefighters had managed to put out the main fire, however, the vessel was still smouldering and billowing smoke. The anchor line had burned and the vessel was now drifting into the main navigation channel.

At 2.14 pm, the casualty vessel was relocated to Carrigahorig Bay, where firefighters continued to pump water and foam to ensure the fire was fully out.

Aoife Kennedy, Deputy Launching Authority at Lough Derg RNLI, advises water users to ‘always be alert to the dangers of fire on a boat and always carry a means of communication so that you can call the emergency services for help’.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Yesterday evening (Friday 16 June) at 9.08 pm Ballycotton RNLI’s all-weather Trent class lifeboat, the Austin Lidbury was tasked by Valentia Coast Guard to report a boat on fire in the bay between Knockadoon and Ballycotton island.

Conditions were very calm with clear visibility.

Ballycotton RNLI’s volunteer crew launched the lifeboat immediately under Duty Coxswain Michael Hallahan with six crew members on board.

Conditions were calm with clear visibility.

Youghal RNLI, the Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117 and Youghal Coast Guard were also tasked. Following several searches of the area at 10.30 pm all rescue teams were stood down and the call-out was treated as a false alarm with good intent.

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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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Both Wicklow RNLI lifeboats were launched shortly before 5:30 pm this evening following reports of two swimmers in difficulties on an inflatable toy off the Silver Strand beach south of Wicklow Head.

The Inshore lifeboat arrived on scene at 5:38 pm and located four people on rocks near the beach. Two men who were on the beach with their families were concerned about the two young swimmer’s safety and entered the water to help them. They managed to get them up onto rocks near the beach.

Conditions at the scene were wind north-easterly force four with a moderate sea. The inshore lifeboat crew took the four people from the rocks and transferred them to the all-weather lifeboat which was standing by offshore. ‘Rescue 116’ stood by overhead as the casualties were transferred to the lifeboat.

The winchman was lowered onto the lifeboat to carry out a medical assessment of the four casualties. The two young girls were then transferred to the Coast Guard helicopter and flown to Dublin Airport, where they were met by an Ambulance crew and brought for further medical attention.

The two men, who had rescued the two girls did not require any further medical assistance and were brought back to Wicklow harbour for a well-deserved hot drink at the lifeboat station after their quick intervention to help the young girls.

Speaking after the callout, Wicklow RNLI Press Officer, Tommy Dover said, ‘The quick actions of the two swimmers who went to the aid of the young girls resulted in a positive outcome this afternoon and we would urge people not to use inflatable toys on the beach.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Castletownbere RNLI was launched this afternoon (Saturday 5th June 2021) and conducted a joint rescue with Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 115 of an ill woman on board a local angling boat off the West Cork Coast.

Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat was tasked by Valentia Coastguard Radio at 13:42 with a report of a 25-foot boat near the Dursey Sound with a woman on board who had taken ill and was ‘unresponsive’. The Shannon-based Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 115 was also sent to the scene.

The lifeboat was launched within minutes under the command of Coxswain Dean Hegarty with mechanic David O’Donovan and crew Joe Cronin, John Paul Downey, Aaron O’Boyle, Kyle Cronin and Donagh Murphy.

The lifeboat located the casualty near Blackball Head and two lifeboat crew volunteers board the vessel. A first aid assessment was undertaken and Oxygen was administered and the casualty became responsive. The woman was then transferred to the lifeboat. The helicopter winchman was lowered to the deck of the lifeboat and the casualty was airlifted to the helicopter at 15:05 and was then taken to Kerry General Hospital.

Commenting on the callout Castletownbere RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Paul Stevens, complimented the coxswain and crew on its rapid response, the high level of teamwork and stated that the rescue was an ‘excellent example of joint collaboration between the RNLI and the Coast Guard’.

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I've never given much thought to why lifeboats are orange. It just seemed to me to be the right colour to be seen easily at sea.

Now I know that it's also a colour that provides reassurance and relief - so the RNLI has told me.

Their boats weren't always the shade of orange that now designates them.

In the 1800s they were painted ultramarine blue until artists from the UK Royal Academy complained in the 20s that the colour was "too French" and it was changed to a darker royal blue in 1923 - with the oars on the rowing lifeboats of the time painted blue and white – different colours for the different sides of the boats which helped Coxswain's instructions as "pull away blues…or whites" for whichever side he needed power from.

Last year 53 per cent of the 945 calls for help which led to lifeboat launches happened in June, July and AugustLast year 53 per cent of the 945 calls for help which led to lifeboat launches happened in June, July and August

In the 1950s red, white and blue, - a touch of French again – was the colour, and there was a grey on superstructures, which was changed to orange on the advice of best visibility at sea. Boats had a blue hull and a red boot top stripe… and later crew gear became yellow, again, easy to see…

The hulls of the offshore boats are still blue… but the superstructure orange is what grabs attention and the inshore boats are also orange.

What brought my thoughts to this is the increased number of emergency call-outs to the RNLI and where they are coming from - kayakers, swimmers, canoeists, paddleboarders, anglers, jet-skis and walkers near the coast, being cut off by tides, feature regularly.

Last year 53 per cent of the 945 calls for help which led to lifeboat launches happened in June, July and August and, with the 'holiday at home' emphasis this year, it could be a busy Summer for lifeboat stations and crews.

There is an increase of interest in marine leisure – good to see – but safety must be paramount, and in this regard, I got a lot of response to my last Podcast, about the use of flares in emergencies. … Are flares or electronics best for emergencies? That seems an open debate, about which more will be heard, and there does seem increasing dependence on mobile phones – not the best option, but better than nothing.

The sight of an orange lifeboat heading to the rescue will always be a relief. This month is the RNLI's Mayday campaign and, with restrictions limiting public collections, do connect with that orange colour and help ensure that it can be seen, when needed, at sea.

Podcast below

Published in Tom MacSweeney
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For the third time this week, Youghal RNLI responded to their pagers on Saturday, May 1 at 3.08 pm to a report of a 17ft angling boat with engine trouble, half a mile south of the Eastern Cardinal in Youghal Bay.

The lifeboat crew under the Helm of Liam Keogh launched the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat in calm, sunny conditions and arrived on scene in less than 10 minutes.

They established a stern tow with the casualty vessel and towed it safely to the pontoon in Youghal quay.

The lifeboat returned to the boathouse where with the help of the shore crew, the lifeboat was washed down and refuelled.

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Howth RNLI launched both the all-weather lifeboat and the inshore lifeboat to come to the aid of a sailboat with a family of seven people aboard after they ran aground off Ireland's Eye.

The RNLI pagers sounded at 3.10 pm on Sunday 25th April 2021 to reports of a sailing vessel aground off the west side of Ireland's eye. The all-weather lifeboat was launched and located the stricken sailing yacht with seven family crew members onboard. The yacht was hard aground and the inshore lifeboat was launched to navigate the shallow water around the stricken vessel.

The volunteer lifeboat crew took five members of the family aboard, the mother and four of the children and transferred them to the all-weather lifeboat where they were checked out. All were in good spirits and returned to the safety of Howth Marina.

The volunteer lifeboat crew checked for damage to the stricken yacht and suggested that the Father and eldest family member remain aboard until the next high tide which was 11.30 pm later that evening and the yacht would float free with no damage.

The Howth RNLI Lifeboat Coxswain; Fred Connolly remained in phone contact with the skipper of the yacht over the remaining hours awaiting high tide.

The yacht refloated just after 8.00 pm and returned safely under it’s own power.

Speaking following the callout, Fred Connolly, Howth RNLI Lifeboat Coxwain said: ‘Our volunteer lifeboat crew are always ready to respond to a call for help and we train for situations just like this. We were delighted to able to quickly locate the sailing boat, remove some of the family members and keep in contact with the skipper while the high tide returned and the yacht refloated safely”

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Portaferry RNLI lifeboat crew was called out on 22nd April to a yacht with engine failure at the entrance to Strangford Lough.

The entrance at the southern end of the Ards Peninsula leads to the Strangford Narrows through which the tide flows at about 8 knots, and with an uneven bottom, rough seas can result. Portaferry and its Marina lie on the eastern side of the Narrows, and the Strangford ferry runs between here and the village of Strangford on the western side.

The casualty vessel was sailing towards Portaferry but did the right thing and called for help early, knowing that they would need assistance when coming alongside. The lifeboat took the vessel under tow and ensured their safe arrival at the Portaferry marina.

Commenting on the call-out, helmsman Simon said, "While not in any immediate danger, the men certainly took the right course of action today calling for help once they realised that they had an issue. We were delighted to help and would urge anyone considering going to sea to take all necessary precautions and respect the water".

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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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