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Dublin Bay Boating News and Information

Displaying items by tag: RNLI

Union Hall RNLI launched this afternoon (Friday 14 May) to assist an angling vessel with seven people on board that was experiencing mechanical difficulty.

The volunteer lifeboat crew were requested to launch their inshore lifeboat Margaret Bench of Solihull at 3.40pm to the chartered angling vessel one mile south of Adam Island, just outside Glandore Harbour in West Cork.

With Tim Forde at the helm accompanied by crew Paddy Moloney and Cathal Deasy, the lifeboat launched at 3.51pm and made its way to the reported location.

Once on scene, a lifeboat crew member established a towline and the lifeboat towed the stricken angling vessel back to the pier at Union Hall.

Speaking following the callout, Union Hall RNLI deputy launching authority Jim Moloney said: “This was the second lifeboat launch request for Union Hall within 24 hours, and with a busy season ahead we would remind everyone going to sea to always carry a means of communication, wear a lifejacket and respect the water.”

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The Courtmacsherry All-Weather Trent Class RNLI Lifeboat was called out this morning Friday at 1.45 am, to go to the immediate aid of a 60-foot fishing vessel that went on fire while fishing 20 miles south-east the Old Head of Kinsale in West Cork.

The Courtmacsherry All-Weather Lifeboat, Frederick Storey Cockburn under Coxswain Sean O Farrell and a crew of 6 were away quickly from their moorings, as a mayday alert was issued by the causality, that their boat had caught fire and they required immediate help. Once the mayday distress was relayed by the Marine Rescue Co-Ordination Centre in Valentia, all available boats that were in the area at the time, raced to assist in the rescue.

Also tasked was the Coast Guard Rescue 117 Helicopter from Waterford.

Within minutes of the mayday alert being issued, the crew of four on the fishing vessel had to abandon to their liferaft as the fire had engulfed their boat. Just after 2.20 am, the Offshore Supply boat “Pathfinder” operating at the Kinsale Gas Field located the bright orange liferaft, after it deployed its own fast rescue boat to the scene. It immediately took all four crew from the liferaft onboard safely and while well shocked, they were all uninjured.

When the Courtmacsherry Lifeboat and the Coastguard Rescue 117 Helicopter arrived on scene, all four casualties were then transferred to the safe surround of the Courtmacsherry Lifeboat. Another Offshore Supply boat operating at the Gas field, used its powerful pumps to get the fire under control while the Courtmacsherry Lifeboat brought the four fishermen back to safe terrain in Courtmacsherry arriving shortly after 5 am.

Also arriving on scene was the Navy Vessel “George Bernard Shaw” who continued to monitor the fire-damaged boat as it sank.

Those rescued were well relieved to be on land again and thanked the many boats and rescue services involved in this morning’s dramatic rescue.

The Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat voluntary Lifeboat Operations Manager Brian O Dwyer said “We are all so relieved that all four crewmen were rescued so quickly in darkness this morning and praised the fast response of the Kinsale Gas Field Supply Boats who were quickly on scene”, he also thanked the 13 crew at the Lifeboat Station who rose from their beds early this morning and rushed to the station, in order to help others in distress at sea.

RNLI Lifeboat crewmembers under Coxswain Sean O Farrell after they arrived back, with the orange liferaft in the backgroundRNLI Lifeboat crewmembers under Coxswain Sean O Farrell after they arrived back, with the orange liferaft in the background

The Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat Crew involved in this morning’s callout were Coxswain Sean O'Farrell, Mechanic Tadgh McCarthy and crewmembers Dara Gannon, Denis Murphy, Evin O Sullivan, Jim O Donnell and Dean Hennessy.

This was the second callout in a week to Fishing vessels off the Courtmacsherry coast as Afloat reported here.

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Castletownbere RNLI was launched last night (Monday 10 May 2021) just after 9:00 pm to go to the assistance of a fishing vessel that experienced mechanical failure close to Mizen Head in West Cork.

Castletownbere lifeboat was tasked by Valentia Coastguard Radio last night to go to the assistance of an 18-metre Castletownbere-based fishing trawler whose propellor had become fouled and therefore was unable to move. The vessel had six crew on board.

The lifeboat was launched within minutes under the command of Coxswain Dean Hegarty with crew Marney O’Donogue, Sean ‘Bawn’ O’Sullivan, Kyle Cronin, Aaron O’Boyle, John William O’Donoghue and Donagh Murphy. At 9:46 pm the lifeboat located the stricken vessel one mile south-west of Mizen Head. Conditions on-scene were described as a 2-3 metre swell and with Force 5 south-westerly winds. Lifeboat crew secured a tow to the fishing vessel and proceeded to tow the vessel towards Castletownbere without incident. The stricken vessel was safely berthed at Castletownbere Pier just before 1:00 am this morning and the lifeboat was refuelled and made ready for service.

Commenting on the callout Castletownbere RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, Paul Stevens, stated: ‘The fishing vessel made the right call in seeking assistance – given the boat’s proximity to the shore and the prevailing wind conditions, the lifeboat ensured that a potential critical incident was averted. He also complimented the crew on its rapid response, maintaining strict COVID-19 protocols and the successful outcome of the call-out.

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RNLI lifeboat volunteers come from a multiplicity of backgrounds. And though some may have no previous maritime experience before they enrol, this is not an issue as the RNLI provide a comprehensive and rigorous programme that equips trainees to meet all necessary requirements to be crew on a lifeboat. Being an RNLI lifeboat crew is one of the most exciting and fulfilling roles a person can perform; it offers volunteers the opportunity to make a difference in their local community, to save lives, and to be part of an inclusive and diverse organisation.

Stephen Seymour is a dairy farmer who lives and farms close to Dromineer. He says, having a greater amount of free time, he decided to find out more about joining the lifeboat crew. Stephen says that a strong impetus for him to volunteer with the RNLI, was the ‘opportunity it would provide to save lives on the lake’.

Ania Skrzypczynska, a graphic designer, moved to Dromineer a year ago. She says following encouragement from her neighbour, Eleanor Hooker, a volunteer helm at the station, she decided to visit the station and to find out what volunteering with the lifeboat would entail. Ania says ‘boating is very new to me and lifeboating is certainly not something I was familiar with, however, it sounded like an exciting adventure’ with the chance to learn new skills. Even though initially she says she was a ‘bit apprehensive about this big commitment’, she’s glad she’s joined the crew and hopes to be able to ‘make a positive impact in someone’s life’.

Ciara Moylan, a Rooms Division Manager at the Abbey Court Hotel in Nenagh, lives in Dromineer village. She says ‘living so close to a lifeboat station and growing up on the lake, it's always something I've wanted to be a part of’. Of her experience as an RNLI volunteer thus far, Ciara says it’s ‘extremely rewarding and I am very grateful to be part of this organization and having access to all of the knowledge I've already received and will continue to receive’.

Richard Nolan runs a Consulting Business. He says after ‘moving home from London, I was excited to get involved in various local causes’ to help where he could and to get to know local people having been away for so long. Richard says that living by the lake, he was ‘particularly excited to see positions advertised with the RNLI’ as it presented him with the opportunity to support his community and also to get to know the lake. Of his initial training over the past few months, Richard says he recognised ‘this wasn’t going to be an average volunteering opportunity’ but says that the ‘team have all been phenomenally supportive’.

Dom Sharkey, a senior helm at the station says it’s ‘great to see local men and women volunteer for the lifeboat, I’m delighted to welcome our four enthusiastic new recruits to the Lough Derg RNLI crew’.

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The Courtmacsherry All Weather Trent Class RNLI Lifeboat was called out this morning Sunday at 11 am, to go to the aid of a 75-foot fishing vessel that had got into difficulties 27 miles off the Old Head of Kinsale in West Cork.

The lifeboat under Coxswain Mark Gannon and a crew of 6 were underway from their moorings in the harbour within minutes of being alerted by the Marine Rescue Co-Ordination Centre in Valentia and proceeded at full speed to the area of the causality.

Conditions at sea today were very difficult with Force 7/8 winds and high sea swells. The fishing vessel with five crewmembers on board had put out a distress signal when its hull was breached in difficult sea conditions and was taking in water.

Also launched was the Coast Guard Rescue 117 Helicopter from Waterford. Just after 12 noon, the Coast Guard Helicopter dropped an emergency salvage pump and winchman on to the fishing vessel deck and the Courtmacsherry Lifeboat readied their emergency salvage pump, and plans were finalised to pump the water from the stricken vessel in order for it to continue being operational.

The seven Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat crew members under Coxswain Mark Gannon after they arrived into Kinsale Harbour with the fishing vesselThe seven Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat crew members under Coxswain Mark Gannon after they arrived into Kinsale Harbour with the fishing vessel

As the water was pumped from the casualty, the Lifeboat stood by alongside in readiness for evacuation of the crew or any other assistance if required. With the pumping of the water being successful, and the seas very difficult, the Lifeboat escorted the causality at a safe speed back into the safe surrounds of Kinsale Harbour, arriving just after 4 pm.

A relieved fishing vessel Skipper thanked all the rescue services for their help in today’s rescue.

The Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat Deputy Launch Authority and LPO Vincent O Donovan said “Great credit is due to all our volunteer crew members who rushed to answer the callout this morning and headed into very rough seas to help others in distress. Vincent praised both the Coastguard Rescue 117 helicopter crew and the crew of the Lifeboat in carrying out a very professional rescue involving salvage pumps in rough seas and strong winds.

The Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat volunteer Crew involved in today’s callout were Coxswain Mark Gannon, Mechanic Chris Guy and crewmembers Mark John Gannon, Dara Gannon, Denis Murphy, Ciaran Hurley and Evin O Sullivan.

The Lifeboat returned to its base in Courtmacsherry just after 5 pm and has refuelled and restocked, in readiness of whenever the next call to action may occur. This is the 13th callout of 2021 for the Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat station.

The Gannon family, Coxswain Mark, his son Mark John and brother Dara, all part of the Lifeboat crew today.The Gannon family, Coxswain Mark, his son Mark John and brother Dara, all part of the Lifeboat crew today.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

 Howth RNLI in County Dublin rescued four people in an inflatable dinghy who were struggling to make it back to shore against strong winds and tides on Saturday, May 9th.

Howth RNLI was requested to launch the inshore lifeboat at 6.50 pm on Saturday 8th May 2021 to reports an inflatable dinghy with four people aboard struggling to return from Ireland's Eye to Howth harbour.

Weather conditions at the time gave good visibility but there was a strong southerly wind and a powerful tide at the location.

The volunteer lifeboat crew quickly located the dinghy which was struggling to make progress back to Howth Harbour. The 4 people aboard were all wearing lifejackets and were in good spirits.

The volunteer lifeboat crew took the dinghy in tow and returned safely to Howth Harbour.

Speaking following the callout, Stephen Harris, Howth RNLI Deputy Launch Authority said: ‘When the call was raised by a concerned member of the public we were delighted to help the 4 people this evening, they all had their lifejackets and safety gear but were just not aware that they were not making any headway trying to return to harbour, we were happy to assist and they were extremely grateful’.

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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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The volunteer crew of Youghal RNLI were paged today (Tuesday 4 May) at 4.31 pm to a report of two people in a small boat who had failed to return from a pleasure trip in the Redbarn area of Youghal Bay.

Arriving in the area eight minutes later, the lifeboat crew located the two people in the small, 2.5m boat approximately 1 mile offshore from Redbarn beach. They were struggling to row the vessel against an ebbing tide and a north-westerly force 5/6 offshore wind after the engine had failed.

Both casualties, who were wearing lifejackets, were brought aboard the inshore lifeboat, where it was established all was well with them. The boat was then towed safely back to Redbarn beach. The two people were then handed over into the care of the awaiting Youghal Coast Guard unit. No medical assistance was required.

Speaking after the call out Mark Nolan, Youghal RNLI Deputy Launching Authority said: ‘Today’s rescue highlights the importance of always letting someone know an estimated time of your return. Had friends and family of these people not been expecting them and had not raised the alarm when they didn’t return, the outcome could have been very different. They did the right thing in calling 112/999 and asking for the Coast Guard

He went on to say ‘Today’s shout out was the fourth one in a week, I’d like to thank all our volunteers for responding to their pagers in what has been one of the busiest weeks in our station's history’.

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Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI rescued a paddleboarder who got into difficulty after he could not get back to shore on Bank Holiday Monday evening.

The lifeboat crew were paged following a report made to the Irish Coast Guard by a member of the public who had sighted the paddleboarder in the water about 150 metres from shore at Blackrock on Dublin Bay.

The inshore lifeboat was launched by the lifeboat crew of three at 6.37 pm just minutes after the crew had been paged.

Weather conditions at the time were quite rough with a squall causing strong offshore wind gusts, along with a changing outward tide and choppy waters. Visibility at the time was okay with the crew being able to locate the casualty quickly with the help of Dun Laoghaire Coastguard Unit from shore.

On arrival at 6.47 pm the lifeboat crew found the casualty exhausted having tried to paddle and swim back to shore. The crew quickly came alongside and brought the person onboard. They then carried out a casualty care assessment and observed that the casualty was showing signs of hyperthermia due to a long period in the cold sea.

The lifeboat transferred the person to land as quickly as possible at the Martello tower in Blackrock with help from the Dun Laoghaire Irish Coast Guard Unit. The casualty was then handed over to a waiting National Ambulance service crew for further medical care.

Speaking following the call-out, Alan Keville, Dun Laoghaire RNLI's inshore lifeboat Helm at the time said: ‘ The crew and I are very happy with the outcome of this evening’s callout having safely returned the casualty to shore and into the care of the National Ambulance service’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Baltimore RNLI was called out to provide a medical evacuation in the early hours of this morning (Monday 3 May) from Sherkin Island off the coast of Baltimore, West Cork.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 00.28 am, following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to provide medical assistance and evacuation to a man living on the island.

The Baltimore all-weather lifeboat crew arrived at Sherkin Island pier at 00.39 am. Three voluntary lifeboat crew members proceeded to the casualty’s location where they administered casualty care and then transferred him by stretcher back to the lifeboat. The lifeboat departed Sherkin at 01.19 am and handed the casualty over to the HSE paramedics who were waiting at Baltimore lifeboat station.

There were seven volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat, Coxswain Aidan Bushe, Mechanic Cathal Cottrell and crew members Micheal Cottrell, Colin Whooley, Brian McSweeney, Jerry Smith and Don O’Donovan. Conditions in the harbour during the call out were calm with a south-westerly force 2-3 wind and no sea swell.

Speaking following the call out, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘Baltimore RNLI often provide medical evacuations to residents of islands off the coast of West Cork.

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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