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Dublin Bay Boating News and Information

Displaying items by tag: RNLI

In response to media reports on the RNLI’s humanitarian work in the English Channel, chief executive Mark Dowie has spoken of his pride in the efforts of the charity’s lifeboat volunteers.

“I could not be prouder of our amazing volunteer lifeboat crews, who launch to the aid of anyone who is in trouble in or around the water and needs our help,” he said. “We have done this since the RNLI was founded in 1824 and this will always be our ethos.

“Every year, our lifeboat crews and lifeguards rescue around 30,000 people. We do not judge a casualty on what circumstances have found them in trouble.

“Our crews are tasked by HM Coastguard in the UK and the Irish Coast Guard in Ireland to rescue anyone who is at risk of drowning. They go home after a shout secure in the knowledge that without their help, the person they rescued may not have been able to be reunited with their own family. That is why they do what they do.

“These same principles apply to our lifesaving work in the Channel. We do not judge those we rescue — where we believe there is a risk to life at sea, we will always launch in response to a call from HM Coastguard.

“We want to be absolutely clear that we are incredibly proud of the work our volunteer lifeboat crews do to rescue vulnerable people in distress.

“When our lifeboats launch, we operate under International Maritime Law, which states we are permitted and indeed obligated to enter all waters regardless of territories for search and rescue purposes.

“And when it comes to rescuing those people attempting to cross the Channel, we do not question why they got into trouble, who they are or where they come from. All we need to know is that they need our help.

“Our crews do what they do because they believe that anyone can drown, but no one should. They believe in and remain focused on our core purpose, along with every member of the RNLI, to save lives at sea.”

First-hand accounts from lifeboat volunteers in England’s south east who respond to emergencies in the English Channel can be found on the RNLI website HERE.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Skerries RNLI were tasked by Dublin Coast Guard yesterday afternoon (Wednesday 28 July) following a 999 call from a member of the public reporting paddle boarders in difficulty in Rush Harbour.

Shortly before 3pm, the volunteer crew at Skerries RNLI launched their Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat following the report from a concerned member of the public that two stand-up paddle boarders were unable to return to shore and were in danger of being pushed onto rocks.

The lifeboat rounded the headland at Red Island in Skerries and set a course for Rush. While en route, they first received an update that one paddle boarder had made it ashore but the other had been stranded on rocks near the harbour.

As they passed the entrance to Loughshinny Harbour, they received a further update that the second person had made it safely ashore.

The lifeboat was stood down and returned to the station, where the boat and station were bath sanitised and made ready for the next service.

Conditions at the time were slight with a Force 4 westerly wind.

Speaking about the callout, press officer Gerry Canning said: “We have a lot of people making the most of having the sea on their doorstep at the moment, so it’s vital that people continue to raise the alarm whenever they think someone is danger.

“The caller today was genuinely concerned for the safety of the paddle boarders and did the right thing in dialling 999 and asking for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Volunteer lifeboat crew from Helvick Head RNLI in Waterford, rescued three kayakers stranded on rocks at Kilmurrin Cove yesterday afternoon (Wednesday 28 July) when a sudden squall capsized one of the kayaks and the group were forced onto the rocks as conditions rapidly deteriorated. The three kayakers were brought to safety when the lifeboat crew carried out a challenging manoeuvre to bring the lifeboat close to the rocks in the choppy waters and the group were helped onto the lifeboat by lifeboat crew and the winchman from Rescue 117.

The alarm was raised at 12.18 pm and Helvick RNLI were joined on the scene by Rescue 117, Bunmahon Coast Guard and Bunmahon Community Rescue Boat. The kayakers got into difficulty when conditions turned from mild to challenging quite quickly. Squalls and horizontal rain saw one kayaker capsize and the group were pushed over to rocks at Kilmurrin Cove. Taking refuge on the sharp rocks in the worsening conditions, a rescue operation was immediately launched. The winchman from Rescue 117 was able to descend from the helicopter onto the rocks and stay with the group as the lifeboat crew made the difficult approach to the rocks.

With no shoreline or safe landing spot, the lifeboat Helm performed a veering down manoeuvre which brought the lifeboat close to the rocks. A lifeboat crewmember swam to the rocks to assist the Rescue 117 winchman with the transfer of the casualties onto the lifeboat. In a highly precise and closely timed exercise, which relied on the crew taking note of the movement of the lifeboat into and away from the rocks, the three casualties were helped onboard the lifeboat and brought to the safety of the shore, where they were met by members of Bunmahon Coast Guard.

Commenting on the callout Helvick Head RNLI crewmember Joe Foley said, ‘“This was a great outcome in some challenging conditions. The wind picked up very quickly out there and the group were right to seek safety on the rocks. We were glad to see that they were all wearing buoyancy aids and had not sustained any injuries other than some scratches. The veering down manoeuvre which we carried out is something that we practice regularly in training, but every scenario is different, and it is challenging when dealing with multiple casualties and a moving lifeboat in choppy water. We have a great group of search and rescue agencies around here and we all work well together.”

The RNLI advises to always wear the proper safety equipment for your activity and always bring a means of calling for help.

This is the fourth callout for Helvick RNLI in the last ten days.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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In a busy Tuesday afternoon (27 July) for Enniskillen RNLI, the volunteer lifeboat crew launched on two callouts in the vicinity of Castle Archdale.

The first came at 4.30pm after a passer-by alerted the coastguard to a person who went overboard from their vessel.

In choppy conditions with a strong westerly Force 4-5 wind, the inshore lifeboat John and Jean Lewis as well as the rescue watercraft sped to the scene.

On arrival, they found that the casualty has managed to get back on to their Whaley boat when it came to a halt and returned to shore to seek assistance.

Crews from the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service and NI Ambulance Service took care of the casualty on shore as they had spent some time in the water.

On returning to the station, the volunteer crew spotted a cruiser with two adults and a dog on board that was struggling in the challenging weather.

After transferring a crew member onto the vessel, the lifeboat volunteers were able to take command of the cruiser and safely navigate it back to the jetty at Rossigh. All on board were in good health but were a little shaken by the conditions.

Speaking following the callout, Enniskillen RNLI helm Stephen Ingram said: “It is very easy for things to go wrong in rough weather. We would remind people to use safety equipment and make sure to the ‘kill cord’ is properly attached. Always bring a means of communication with you and make sure to check the weather forecast before heading out.

“We would also like to commend the individual on the shore who called the coastguard. When you spot something happening on the water the best thing to do is dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Baltimore RNLI launched on back-to-back callouts in West Cork on Sunday evening (25 July), including a medevac and a motorboat taking on water.

The first launch was at 8.15pm to reports of a 23ft motorboat taking on water at Church Strand within Baltimore Harbour.

Arriving on scene just two minutes later, the all-weather lifeboat volunteers put crewman John Kearney was put aboard the casualty vessel to assess the situation.

The leak was plugged using a wooden dowel plug from the lifeboat, and the casualty vessel was able to make it own way to the pier in Baltimore under escort from the inshore lifeboat.

While the volunteer inshore lifeboat crew were still in the boathouse after that callout, a second request came from the Irish Coast Guard for a medevac from Cape Clear Island.

The all-weather lifeboat crew launched at 9.15pm and proceeded to Cape Clear’s North Harbour 25 minutes later to retrieve the patient, a girl who had been injured in an accident on the island.

Upon return to the station at 10.15pm, the lifeboat volunteers handed the girl over to the care of the waiting HSE ambulance crew.

Conditions at sea during both calls were flat calm with a south-westerly Force 2 wind, no sea swell and good visibility.

Speaking following the callouts, press officer Kate Callanan said: “It was a busy evening for Baltimore RNLI and our volunteer crews with our inshore and all-weather lifeboats on back-to-back calls. If you get into difficulty at sea or on the coast, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Skerries RNLI rescued two adults and two children on Sunday afternoon (25 July) after their inflatable kayak had been pulled out to sea by strong currents.

Just before 2pm, Dublin Coast Guard requested Skerries RNLI to launch their Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat to respond to a Pan-Pan VHF call.

A group of experienced sea kayakers raised the alarm after they encountered an inflatable kayak with two adults and two children on board struggling to make way against the wind and the tide.

The lifeboat was launched and proceeded immediately to the area where the kayak had been spotted, east of Colt Island in Skerries. The crew soon spotted the inflatable, which had been towed by the other kayakers into the shelter of the island.

All four casualties were taken on board the lifeboat and found to be unharmed. To avoid any hazards to navigation or further callouts, their kayak was also taken on board and the group were returned to the shore at Skerries.

Speaking later, lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: “It was encouraging to see all four wearing lifejackets and they had a mobile phone in a waterproof pouch. However, no matter how prepared you are, sometimes you can get caught out.

“We’d like to say a big thank you to the other kayakers who recognised the danger of what was happening, made the call for help, and stayed with the casualty until that help arrived. They played a huge part in ensuring a good outcome.”

Portrush RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat approached the motorboat with steering failure | Credit: RNLI/Daniel ThornePortrush RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat approached the motorboat with steering failure | Credit: RNLI/Daniel Thorne

Elsewhere, Portrush RNLI launched on Saturday afternoon (24th July) to a report of a 34ft motorboat with steering failure just off Portballintrae on Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast.

Once on scene, the volunteer crew performed a dynamic risk assessment and decided to tow the boat and its three crew to the nearest safe, suitable port which in this case was Portrush Harbour.

“This is a classic tow manoeuvre which our crew train are trained to do,” said lifeboat operations manager Beni McAllister.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

This month the Oireachtas Library has been displaying an 1807 pamphlet by Reverend William Liddiard (1773–1841), calling for the establishment of an organised lifeboat service along the Irish coast.

Rev Liddiard was writing in response to the sinking of two ships in Dublin Bay — the Rochdale and the Prince of Wales — which saw the loss of almost 400 lives in one night:

“I have seized the moment when the feelings of the nation are afloat, and before they can possibly be thought to have subsided, of recommending a more general establishment of the Life-boat; a plan, which affords in some degree a balm for the despondency of the moment, promising as it does to prevent a recurrence of misfortunes similar to those, which have lately gloomed our shores.”

As special collections librarian Kate McCarthy writes, it is clear from the pamphlet that Rev Liddiard was impressed with the work to develop a dedicated lifeboat service at Bamburgh Castle on the north-east coast of England.

And he was particularly keen to use the then recently constructed Martello towers as dedicated lifeboat stations in Ireland.

“However,” McCarthy adds, “it was not until 1824 that the National Institution for the Preservation of Lives and Property from Shipwreck was established for Britain and Ireland (now the Royal National Lifeboat Institution). But the sinking of the Rochdale and Prince of Wales added to a growing campaign for the development of a safe pier at the small village of Dunleary (now Dun Laoghaire).”

The Oireachtas website has more on Rev Liddiard’s pamphlet HERE.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

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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Lough Derg RNLI’s volunteers were called out twice yesterday afternoon (Friday 23 July) to assist two separate cruisers with engine issues as a thunderstorm brewed.

At 3pm the inshore lifeboat Jean Spier launched with helm Eleanor Hooker and crew Keith Brennan, Steve Smyth and Joe O’Donoghue to assist two people on a 26ft cruiser with engine failure southwest of Illaunmore.

The lake was developing a moderate chop as a thunderstorm gathered force directly above and the wind quickly strengthened from Force 2 to 4 as the lifeboat arrived at the casualty vessel with minutes of launch.

Both people on board were found to be safe and well and wearing their lifejackets. One of the lifeboat crew boarded the cruiser to assess the situation but could not determine a cause for the engine failure.

Given the deteriorating weather conditions, with frequent forked lightning, the RNLI helm decided the safest course of action was to take the cruiser and its passengers to the closest safe harbour at Dromaan.

The crew set up an alongside tow, with a volunteer remaining on the casualty boat, while and the helm warned everyone not to hold on to any metal fittings on either boat in case of a lightning strike. The casualty vessel was safely tied in Dromaan Harbour before 3.45pm.

Less than half an hour later, the lifeboat crew had just completed a wash-down and refuelling at the station when they were called again, this time to a 38ft cruiser with four on board that had engine failure northwest of Illaunmore.

At 4.15pm the lifeboat launched to the reported location at navigation mark D where there were five cruisers in the vicinity, none of which matched the casualty vessel’s description. Valentia Coast Guard then confirmed to the lifeboat crew that the vessel has regained power and was making way north at 20 knots, and the lifeboat was stood down.

Liam Maloney, deputy launching authority at Lough Derg RNLI, advises water users to “check the weather forecast for inland lakes and let others know when you anticipate arriving at your destination”.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Galway RNLI towed a 20-foot half-decker that got into difficulty off Barna to safety last evening.

The pleasure/fishing vessel experienced mechanical issues after it left Galway docks and started drifting.

The crew contacted the Irish Coastguard which then tasked the Galway lifeboat shortly before 7 pm.

Galway Lifeboat volunteer crew Brian Niland (Helmsman), Martin Oliver, Lisa McDonagh and James Rattigan located the vessel with three crew on board.

RNLI deputy launch authority Seán Óg Leydon said that the crew "thankfully had the means to contact the Coastguard directly " for help before the situation escalated.

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.

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