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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Dublin Bay Boating News and Information

Displaying items by tag: Lifeboat

The RNLI and the Irish Coast Guard are urging people who will be spending time on or near the water during the Easter break to take note of the relevant water safety advice for their activity and to raise the alarm if they see someone in trouble by dialling 999 or 112 and asking for the Coast Guard. The call comes as the Easter break falls early this year and recent call outs for the search and rescue resources have seen a noted increase in requests to assist walkers cut off by the tide and people getting into difficulty while engaging in open water swimming.

Both organisations emphasise the importance of adherence with Government guidelines on 5 km travel and other Covid related restrictions. With many people who live near the coast, exercising on or alongside the water, the Coast Guard and the RNLI are requesting the public to be cautious when engaging in any coastal or water-based activity. Despite some recent warm weather, sea temperatures remain at their coldest this time of year. Also, cliff top areas may have been subject to erosion or other local weather-related changes and care should be taken when walking there.

Kevin Rahill, RNLI Water Safety manager, said: ‘We are asking people to think about their own safety. Coastal areas and our inland waterways provide a great opportunity to enjoy fresh air and open space but it is important to remember that while air temperatures may be warming up in Spring and early Summer, water temperatures remain dangerously cold between 8-10°, increasing the risk of cold water shock. And, if you are out for a walk on the beach, make sure to check the tide times to avoid being cut off by a rising tide.’

Irish Coast Guard, Head of Operations Gerard O’Flynn added: ‘The past year has seen an increase in activities such as open water swimming, and incidents relating to use of inflatable toys which are unsuitable for open water. Please always be mindful of your personal safety and always ensure that you have a means of communication should you get into difficulty.’

Water safety advice from the Irish Coast Guard and RNLI:

  • When kayaking and paddleboarding, always carry a means of calling for help, such as a VHF radio or mobile phone in a waterproof pouch.
    Whenever going afloat, wear an appropriate buoyancy aid or lifejacket.
  • For open water swimmers and dippers, acclimatise slowly and always be visible
  • Check weather forecasts, tidal conditions, never swim alone and ensure that your activity is being monitored by a colleague onshore.
  • Take care if walking or running near cliffs – know your route and keep dogs on a lead
  • Carry a fully charged phone
  • If you get into trouble in the water, FLOAT - fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs, and Float.
Published in Coastguard
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Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI’s volunteer crew launched both lifeboats this weekend to assist seven people in two separate incidents

Dun Laoghaire RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat was launched this afternoon (Sunday 21 March) following a request from the Irish coast guard at 4.10 pm, to assist five people on board a motorboat that had reported engine failure and was adrift close to the shore in Killiney Bay

The lifeboat was launched under Coxswain Adam O’Sullivan with five crew members on board and made its way to the scene on arrival at 4:35 pm the crew could see the vessel was drifting towards Killiney Beach, and quickly assessing the situation the crew decided to take the vessel in tow, they then proceeded to bring the vessel back to Dun Laoghaire Marina.

Also yesterday (Saturday 20 March) the station's inshore lifeboat was launched at 2:34pm under Helm Alan Keville and two crew to an incident just south of Sorento Point in Dalkey where two people on board a rigid inflatable boat had reported to the Irish Coast Guard that they also had suffered engine issues onboard, the lifeboat’s volunteer crew took the vessel in tow and returned it to Dun Laoghaire Marina.

Dun Laoghaire RNLI's All-Weather Lifeboat assisting vessel in Killiney BayDun Laoghaire RNLI's All-Weather Lifeboat assisting a small speedboat in Killiney Bay

All onboard the stricken vessels were wearing lifejackets with no medical attention required.

The Weather conditions at the time of both incidents were described as good with a light wind and good visibility.

Speaking following the call out, Adam O’Sullivan, Dun Laoghaire RNLI lifeboat Coxswain today said: ‘The people on board the vessel took the correct steps by calling for help once they knew they were having issues onboard it is also always great to see everyone wearing their lifejackets. I would like to take this opportunity to remind everybody to make sure that their vessels are checked and in working order before taking to the water. At this time of year, these checks are of great importance with vessel engines and safety equipment having not being used over the winter months.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Howth RNLI launched the all-weather lifeboat to rescue a fishing trawler, six people, onboard after it ran aground on rocks in Balscadden Bay, at Howth in County Dublin.

The RNLI pagers sounded at 4.12 pm on Thursday 7th January to reports of a fishing trawler aground just outside Howth Harbour in Balscadden Bay. The all-weather lifeboat was launched and was on the scene in a matter of minutes.

The trawler was hard around and listing to one side. The lifeboat crew assessed the fishing trawler and deemed it safe to put a tow line aboard. Fred Connolly, Howth RNLI Lifeboat Coxswain carefully navigated the all-weather lifeboat in the shallow water and the volunteer crew got a tow line aboard the stricken trawler.

The tide was rising and the lifeboat eased the trawler off the rocks and into deeper waterThe tide was rising and the lifeboat eased the trawler off the rocks and into deeper water

The tide was rising and the lifeboat eased the trawler off the rocks and into deeper water. The trawler was brought back to the safety of Howth Harbour.

The Howth Lifeboat and volunteer crew returned to Howth station and stood down at 5.50 pm.

The fishing trawler aground in Balscadden BayThe fishing trawler aground in Balscadden Bay Photo: Annraoi Blaney

Speaking following the callout, Ian Malcolm, Howth RNLI Deputy Launching Authority said: ‘Our volunteer lifeboat crew were pleased to be able to quickly respond and tow the fishing vessel to the safety of Howth Harbour. Our Lifeboat volunteers train regularly to prepare for situations just like this’’

The crew on the Howth RNLI Trent Class All Weather lifeboat were; Fred Connolly - Coxswain, Ian Sheridan - Mechanic, Killian O’Reilly, Ian Martin, Aidan Murphy, Stephan Mullaney and Ronan Murphy.

Published in Fishing

A new video featuring five of the most dramatic RNLI rescues of 2020 has been released today as the lifesaving charity braces itself for another busy Christmas: 

Figures for the last 10 years for the festive period (Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day) show that RNLI lifeboats in Ireland launched 122 times, with their volunteer crews coming to the aid of 56 people including four lives saved.

The incredible footage shows how the RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crews will go to the aid of anyone who needs their help, whatever the weather and no matter how dangerous the conditions.

Among the Irish rescues, the video features:

  • Three lifeboats from Dunmore East, Kilmore Quay and Rosslare Harbour battling for hours in strong winds and breaking seas to save a 4,000-tonne coaster and nine crew from being washed onto the rocks.
  • A crew member from Portrush RNLI jumping from their all-weather lifeboat into stormy seas to rescue a teenager who got into difficulty while jumping into the sea off rocks.

The RNLI has launched its Christmas Appeal and is asking for support so the charity’s lifesavers can continue to save lives at sea: Please visit - RNLI.org/Xmas

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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A man whose life was saved by the RNLI off the Waterford coast earlier this year, has urged people to support the RNLI’s Christmas appeal. Michael Power from Tramore had been sea swimming when he got into serious difficulty. Pulled unconscious from the water by Tramore RNLI, the lifeboat crew never gave up on him and despite his family being called to his bedside to say goodbye, Michael went on to make a full recovery. Now in thanks to the volunteer lifeboat crew that saved his life, Michael is calling on people to support his lifesavers after the RNLI have seen a drop in income as traditional fundraising activities had to be cancelled due to the pandemic.

In January this year, Michael Power set off for a swim along the Guillamene cove in Tramore, County Waterford. A regular swimmer Michael kept his head down and was aware of other swimmers in the vicinity. Not keeping an eye as he usually did on the coastline, he eventually became aware that he was not moving even after increasing his strokes. He had become caught in a rip current and could not get out of it. He tried to get to safety, but he was rapidly losing energy and began to panic. Michael subsequently learned that he had developed Hypothermia before slipping into a coma. He has no memory of the man who raised the alarm from the shore or the RNLI lifeboat crew who were on scene minutes later to find him face down in the water and unresponsive. Onlookers from the cliff watched in shock as the volunteer crew pulled him lifeless from the water and commenced CPR. His next memory is waking up in hospital with his family having been called in to say goodbye.

Now Michael wants to thank his rescuers by calling on people to support the RNLI’s Christmas appeal and donate to the charity that saves lives at sea and on inland waters. Michael has also been down to the lifeboat station to thank his rescuers in person, along with his grateful family.

Commenting on his near-drowning Michael said, ‘I am known as the miracle man around here now. I am so grateful to my rescuers and that I am here to be able to tell my story. I know the lifeboat crew who rescued me personally, as I live locally and swim in the sea regularly, so I can only imagine how difficult it was for them to pull me out of the sea in that condition. The doctors told me that I should not have survived, and that the lifeboat crew undoubtedly saved my life. So, this is my way of saying thank you.’

‘When I visited the lifeboat station, they presented me with my swimming cap and googles that they had kept safe, unsure if I would survive but unwilling to dispose of them. It was an extremely emotional moment and I have plans to frame them as a reminder of that day that I can’t even remember. I know there are so many families out there who have reason to be grateful to the RNLI and mine certainly have, they are tremendous people.’

The RNLI have launched their Christmas appeal this year as so many traditional community fundraising events such as raft races, open days and sea swims have had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus restrictions. This year the charity has spent funds on PPE, including face masks, gloves and thousands of litres of hand sanitiser. This is money the charity hadn’t budgeted for but needed to be spent to keep its lifesavers and the public protected during the coronavirus crisis.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Coosan Point on Lough Ree is home to one of Ireland’s busiest lifeboat crews. But they operate from temporary facilities and the RNLI say they urgently need a permanent, new base to continue their lifesaving missions.

The Institute is seeking donations to help fund a new, purpose-built lifeboat station and are aiming to raise €100k.

Lough Ree volunteer crews have been rescuing people from the lake’s 28km stretch of inland water since 2012, launching more than 370 times and helping over 1,060 people.

The permanent station near the existing slipway at Coosan Point – crucial for the efficient launching and recovery of the lifeboat will include

  • Secure boathouse for lifeboat, launch tractor and trailer
  • Crew training and meeting rooms
  • Changing facilities, showers and WCs
  • Offices and operations room
  • Workshop and fuel storage facilities
Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Galway RNLI's deputy launching authority (DLA) has appealed to people not to try to swim ashore if caught in a tidal situation while walking. 

Paul Carey, DLA at the Galway station, issued his appeal after the rescue of a man and a woman who were caught by spring tides in Galway on Sunday evening. 

The two had walked out to Seaweed Point between Blackrock and Silverstrand which is accessed at low tide.

The spring tide took them by surprise and submerged their access back, according to the station.

Galway RNLI lifeboat launched at the request of the Irish Coast Guard at 4.43pm after the alarm was raised by a member of the public.

"Unaware that the lifeboat was on its way, one of the two took the decision to swim ashore to call for help," the station says.

"He was met at the shore by a member of the lifeboat shorecrew and confirmed there was another person still stranded, which was relayed to the lifeboat.

"Upon arrival, a lifeboat crew member searched the area, located the other casualty who was sheltering from the winds, and took her onboard the lifeboat.

"Both were brought back to the lifeboat station at Galway docks where they were assessed. They did not require medical attention," the station says.

“We would never recommend anyone to attempt to swim ashore," Mr Carey said afterwards.

"If people do get caught in circumstances like this they should remain on land and not attempt to swim ashore until the rescue services arrive," he advised.

The Galway RNLI helmsman Dave Badger was with crew Brian Niland, Dave McGrath and Ross Forde on the callout.

Published in Galway Harbour
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Just three days after the return of Newcastle RNLI station's D class lifeboat, Eliza, after a refit, in the late afternoon yesterday, Belfast Coastguard requested the immediate launch of the both the station's Lifeboats to reports of an overdue swimmer in the vicinity of the Inner Dundrum Bay area at at Murlough Beach.

The swimmer had got separated from his friend. Coastguard teams from Newcastle, Kilkeel and Portaferry, police officers from Newcastle and Downpatrick and the Coastguard helicopter from Valley, in Wales were also involved in the search.

Dundrum Outer Bay lies east of Newcastle in south County Down. The Outer Bay is a wide gently shelving bay, and the Inner Bay is an estuarine lagoon, connected to the Outer Bay by a tidal channel.

The search extended from Murlough Beach, around Dundrum inner bay to Tyrella Beach in difficult conditions with a strong, cold onshore wind.

Over two hours after he went missing the swimmer was found by Police Officers on the beach at Ballykinler Army Base, having been swept away from Murlough and across the bay before coming ashore. The man was taken to hospital.

The rescue was coordinated by Belfast Coastguard Operations Centre.

This story was updated on November 17 with up to date details of the rescue operation

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The volunteer lifeboat crew at Lough Derg RNLI will be taking to the small screen again on Tuesday 17 November at 8 pm, as they feature in the seventh episode of the BBC TV series Saving Lives at Sea.

Real-life rescue footage captured on their helmet cameras gives a frontline view of how the charity’s lifesavers risk their own lives as they go to the aid of those in danger at sea and strive to save everyone.

Now in its fifth series, the 10-part documentary showcases the lifesaving work of the RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crews and lifeguards from around Ireland and the UK. The series will air on BBC Two on Tuesdays at 8 pm, as well as being available on BBC iPlayer following broadcast.

Real rescue footage is accompanied by interviews from the volunteer lifeboat crews and lifeguards alongside the people they rescue and their families.

In a forthcoming episode, to be aired on Tuesday 17 November at 8 pm on BBC Two, viewers will see Lough Derg RNLI rescue two kayakers who got into extreme difficulty in rough weather, alongside rescue stories from their colleagues at other stations and beaches around our coasts.

Owen Cavanagh, Helm of the Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat crew featured in the 17 November episode, says: ‘It’s great that with the Saving Lives at Sea programme our supporters can see what we do out on a Shout, and from the comfort of their own home too. This year the pandemic has presented RNLI volunteers with additional challenges, but we’ve continued to maintain a 24/7 search and rescue service. And due to Covid19, fundraising events have been cancelled, with a drop in our charitable income. Without the generous support and donations from the public, we wouldn’t be able to save lives at sea. We need their support more than ever during these challenging
times.’

During 2019, RNLI lifeboat crews around Ireland and the UK rescued

  • 9,412 people, saving 211
  • lives, while the charity’s lifeguards aided
  • 32,207 people and saved 118
  • lives on some of the UK’s busiest beaches.
Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat was launched last night at 22:54 to go to the assistance of a seriously will fisherman on board a fishing vessel off the West Cork Coast.

Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat was tasked by Valentia Coastguard Radio at 22:46 last night to go to the assistance of a 27-metre locally-registered fishing trawler, with six persons on board, located two miles south of Mizen Head which reported that a crewman had suddenly become seriously ill.

The lifeboat was launched within minutes under the command of Coxswain Dean Hegarty and located the vessel west of Sheep’s Head.

Conditions on-scene were difficult with a three metre swell and 25-knot south-westerly winds. Two attempts were made to transfer the casualty from the fishing vessel to the lifeboat but were unsuccessful due to unfavourable conditions. The lifeboat then escorted the trawler to just inside the mouth of Castletownbere harbour where the casualty, a man in his late forties, was transferred to the lifeboat in calmer waters. 

Castletownbere RNLI with Coastguard Helicopter crew on boardThe Coastguard helicopter 115 lowered a winchman onboard the Castletownbere RNLI

The Shannon-based Sikorsky Irish Coastguard helicopter Rescue 115 was tasked and met with the lifeboat in Bantry Bay. The helicopter lowered a winchman and the casualty was successfully transferred to the helicopter for immediate evacuation to Cork University Hospital.

Commenting on the callout Castletownbere RNLI Lifeboat Deputy Launching Authority, Brendan O’Neill, complimented the crew on its rapid response to the call-out and thanked the coastguard for its cooperation in making this call-out successful.

Published in Fishing
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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