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Dublin Bay Boating News and Information

Displaying items by tag: Skerries

Following a busy lead-in to the weekend with three callouts in 24 hours, the volunteers at Skerries RNLI in north Co Dublin were kept on their toes by four calls between Saturday and Sunday.

Shortly before 1pm on Saturday afternoon (13 August), Dublin Coast Guard tasked Skerries RNLI following a 999 call from the public reporting that a child had been cut off by the tide and was stranded on the rocks near Balbriggan Harbour.

As they were arriving on scene, the crew received an update that some swimmers had assisted the person safely to the shore. The lifeboat was stood down and returned to the station in Skerries to be washed down and made ready for service.

Pagers sounded again for the volunteers shortly after 5pm on Saturday following reports of a missing person. However, they were located almost immediately and the volunteers were stood down before the lifeboat was launched.

Shortly before 3pm on Sunday afternoon (14 August) the volunteers launched the lifeboat having been tasked by Dublin Coast Guard to respond to reports of a kayaker missing off Balbriggan.

As they were approaching Balbriggan Harbour, the lifeboat received an update from the coastguard that the person had been located safe and well. Both Skerries RNLI and Clogherhead RNLI, who were also responding as they were on the water when the alarm was raised, were stood down.

The lifeboat had just been recovered to the apron at the boathouse when the volunteers were requested to launch again immediately, following a distress call from a RIB that had suffered engine failure near Lambay Island.

As they were navigating toward Lambay, the crew received an update that another vessel, a tender to a local yacht, was standing by the boat until the lifeboat arrived, and had provided updated GPS coordinates of their position.

The lifeboat navigated to the position given and was on scene in minutes. There were five adults on board the casualty vessel and after a quick check that everyone was safe and well, the vessel was taken under tow.

While the tow was under way, another local yacht, this time with a member of Howth RNLI on board, contacted the lifeboat and offered to take over the tow as they were headed for Howth, the home port of the stricken vessel.

The lifeboat was carefully positioned alongside the yacht and the tow was passed over. The volunteer crew then headed for home to make the lifeboat ready for the next service.

Speaking about the callouts, volunteer lifeboat press officer for Skerries RNLI, Gerry Canning said: “We’ve had an incredibly busy couple of weeks now, responding to calls at all hours of the day. It really highlights the dedication and commitment of all the volunteers at the station.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Skerries RNLI responded to their third emergency in 24 hours on Friday evening (12 August) when they were tasked by Dublin Coast Guard to stand by a small boat on Donabate Strand as it refloated after running aground earlier in the day.

Shortly after 8pm, the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson was launched by the volunteers and a course was set to navigate through the islands and south towards Donabate.

As the lifeboat was en route, the crew received an update from the coastguard that the vessel had begun to float. There was one man on board, and he had managed to start his engine and was proceeding towards Malahide.

The lifeboat was requested to escort him to Malahide. However, as they were nearing the scene, they received a further update that the vessel was taking on water.

Oon scene, the lifeboat crew found that the boat was now fully submerged in shallow water, with the man standing on the deck waving his torch to try and attract their attention.

The helm manoeuvred the lifeboat as close as possible and a crew member made their way on to the boat to assess the man’s condition.

While he did not require medical assistance, it was decided that it would be unsafe to attempt to tow the boat, or to transfer him to the lifeboat in the dark, and that the safest course of action would be to walk him back to the beach.

The volunteer crew escorted him safely to the shore where he was greeted and further assisted by Skerries Coast Guard Unit.

Earlier in the day, shortly after 11am, Skerries RNLI were tasked to assist when a person had become trapped on the cliff face at Loughshinny.

The lifeboat was on scene in a matter of minutes and stood by in case the man slipped and entered the water at the base of the cliffs.

Howth Coast Guard Unit, with the assistance of Skerries Coast Guard Unit, successfully carried out a cliff rescue and brought the man to safety at the top of the cliffs. The lifeboat was stood down and returned to base.

On Thursday evening, as the volunteer crew were conducting their scheduled training, they received a VHF radio call from Dublin Coast Guard asking them to investigate reports of people in the water trying to make their way back from Shenick Island.

The lifeboat proceeded towards the island immediately, and as they rounded the headland at Red Island they spotted the group wading towards the shore in chest-deep waters.

They were confident that they could make their own way ashore and declined to be taken into lifeboat. The lifeboat stood by until they reached the safety of the beach before returning to the training session.

Speaking about the callout, volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: “As the warm weather continues we are seeing a huge increase in the number of people enjoying themselves on the water. Unfortunately we are also seeing an increase in the number of launches for our volunteers.

“We would just like to remind everyone to be conscious of their safety. Check the local tides and weather, wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid if you are going afloat, and always carry a means of calling for help. If you see someone in difficulty on or near the water, dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.”

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Skerries RNLI were tasked in the early hours of Wednesday morning (10 August) by Dublin Coast Guard after they received a call that a razor clam fishing boat had run aground on rocks in the North Co Dublin town.

Shortly after 3am pagers sounded for the volunteer crew and the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson was launched swiftly. With the casualty vessel visible from the boathouse, they were on scene almost immediately.

The lifeboat was carefully manoeuvred alongside the vessel to check on the condition of its two crew, who were in injured. The lifeboat crew carried out a quick inspection of the outside of the vessels’ hull and there did not appear to be any significant damage.

The two men wished to stay on board the vessel and wait for the incoming tide to lift it clear of the rocks.

Skerries RNLI escorting the razor clam vessel to Skerries | Credit: RNLI/Joe MaySkerries RNLI escorting the razor clam vessel to Skerries | Credit: RNLI/Joe May

With the potential for any unseen damage to result in another call out, the decision was taken for the lifeboat to return to the vessel and stand by when it began to float.

Shortly after 6am, the lifeboat attached a line to the grounded boat and as it began to float, they towed it clear of the rocks. Once in open water the tow was released, and the boat made its own way to the safety of Skerries Harbour, escorted by the lifeboat.

Speaking about the callout, volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: “It was an early start for our volunteers this morning, and it’s been a very busy week, but we are ready to go 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you see someone in difficulty on or near the water, dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.”

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Skerries RNLI were tasked on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon (1 August) by Dublin Coast Guard following 999 calls reporting a girl being blown out to sea on her paddleboard.

The volunteers in Skerries launched their Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson shortly after 2pm within minutes of pagers sounding set a direct course for the reported location off Balbriggan Harbour.

The Irish Coast Guard’s Dublin-based helicopter Rescue 116 and Skerries Coast Guard unit were also tasked.

As the lifeboat was arriving on scene, they received a message from the helicopter that girl had been separated from her board and was in the water. The helicopter maintained a visual on the casualty and guided the lifeboat to her position.

As the lifeboat approached it became obvious that the girl was starting to tire and struggling to reach for the boat. One of the volunteer crew entered the water and swam to her to keep her afloat and assist her towards the lifeboat.

Once on board, a first aid assessment was carried out. She was tired and cold but did not appear to need any medical assistance.

The lifeboat was positioned into shallow water before one of the crew helped the girl to the shore where she was handed into the care of her parents and the Skerries Coast Guard unit.

The lifeboat then retrieved the paddleboard and the leash, which had become separated from the board, before returning to the station in Skerries.

Conditions at the time had a Force 3 southwesterly wind with slight seas and good visibility.

Speaking about the callout, volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: “Unfortunately we are seeing a rise in calls to paddleboards and kayaks. The breeze can take a person away from the shore quite quickly.

“Our advice is to always wear a lifejacket and carry a means of contacting the shore, even if you don’t intend on going far from the shore.”

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Volunteers at Skerries RNLI raced into action on Friday afternoon (10 June) around 1pm following a 999 call reporting two children being blown out to sea on an inflatable from Bettystown beach.

The crew encountered heavy squalls heading north to the location in their Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat, and with the increased risk to the casualties they requested that Clogherhead RNLI in Co Louth assist in the search.

As the team from Clogherhead were making their way south in their all-weather lifeboat, Skerries RNLI located the casualty vessel — which turned out to be a yellow kayak containing personal belongings but no one on board or in the water nearby.

Dublin Coast Guard issued a Mayday before tasking the Dublin-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 as well as the Drogheda Coast Guard land unit.

The lifeboat from Skerries immediately began a search pattern in the area, while Clogherhead RNLI commenced a parallel search of the shore from the mouth of the Boyne heading south.

Shortly after the search patterns had begun, Rescue 116 requested Clogherhead RNLI to divert from their course to investigate an object in the water near Gormanstown beach.

However, as they were making their way to the coordinates given, Dublin Coast Guard reported that the owners of the kayak had made contact and confirmed that they were ashore in Bettystown and were safe and well.

The Mayday was cancelled and all units were stood down and returned to their respective bases.

Conditions at the time has a Force 4-5 westerly wind with slight swells and good visibility. There were occasional strong squalls with winds increasing to Force 6 and visibility reduced to poor.

Speaking about the callout, Skerries RNLI press officer Gerry Canning said: “There were two black back supports in the kayak so it’s very easy to see how the person who dialled 999 and asked for the coastguard genuinely believed that someone was in difficulty.

“Thankfully in this case it was a false alarm, but they did exactly what we want people to do when they see someone in trouble.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Skerries RNLI were tasked on Bank Holiday Monday evening (6 June) by Dublin Coast Guard following 999 calls reporting an injured swimmer in Rush Harbour who was unable to get out of the water.

Pagers sounded shortly before 5.30pm and the volunteer crew quickly assembled to launch their Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson, setting a course for Rush.

When the lifeboat arrived on scene, there were already two Dublin Fire Brigade personnel in the water stabilising the injured man, who had jumped into the sea from the harbour and struck submerged rocks below.

Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 was also on scene, however given the nature of the man’s injuries, winching him directly out of the water risked causing further discomfort or injury.

The helicopter proceeded instead to land in a nearby field which Skerries Coast Guard had secured as a landing zone.

Three crew members from Skerries RNLI entered the water and assisted the fire brigade in placing the man on a spinal board. They then carefully floated him around the harbour wall, into the harbour and ashore.

From there he was transferred by Skerries Coast Guard unit to an awaiting ambulance, which in turn brought him to the helicopter for onwards transport to hospital. Members of An Garda Síochána were also assisting on scene.

Speaking about the callout, Skerries RNLI press officer Gerry Canning said: “All of the emergency services really pulled together to ensure this man got the help he needed.

“We would advise anyone jumping the into the water to look for obstructions and check the depth of the water, every time, even if you know the area. Tides can vary and underwater objects can move. We wish the man a full and speedy recovery.”

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Skerries RNLI were tasked Wednesday morning (25 May) by Dublin Coast Guard following 999 calls reporting a paddle boarder in distress in the water off Bettystown beach.

Shortly before 11.30am the volunteers in Skerries launched their Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson. The crew plotted a course for Bettystown beach and proceeded as quickly as possible through difficult weather conditions.

Dublin Coast Guard had also tasked the Irish Coast Guard’s Dublin-based helicopter Rescue 116, and just as the lifeboat was arriving on scene they had begun winching a woman from the water.

She had been blown out to sea on her paddle board and was reportedly exhausted and very cold.

Rescue 116 then landed on the beach and with the assistance of Drogheda Coast Guard Unit the woman was transferred to an awaiting ambulance.



To prevent any hazards to navigation, or any additional 999 calls regarding the paddle board, Dublin Coast Guard requested its recovery and the lifeboat subsequently located it just over a mile away before returning to station.

Speaking about the callout, Skerries RNLI’s Gerry Canning said: “This is a great example of all the rescue services working together to ensure the best possible outcome.

“We would advise anyone intending to be on or near the water to check the weather and tides for the local area.”

Published in Rescue

Skerries RNLI were tasked shortly before 11am yesterday morning (Monday 25 April) following a 999 call to Dublin Coast Guard from two kayakers who were stranded on Shenick Island off the North Co Dublin town.

The Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson was quickly launched and the volunteer crew navigated their way around the headland and past Colt and St Patrick’s islands before heading towards Shenick.

After its crew quickly spotted the two men on the foreshore of Shenick island, the lifeboat was carefully manoeuvred into the shallow waters on the western side of the island and two volunteers waded ashore to check on the condition of the casualties.

One of the men had been in the water for some time after his kayak capsized and he lost his paddle. As a result, he was suffering badly from the cold and was beginning to show signs of hypothermia.

The lifeboat helm decided that the best course of action was to get the man ashore and out of the elements as quickly as possible.

He was transferred into the lifeboat by the crew and in order to speed up the evacuation, one member of the crew stayed on the island with the second man, who was feeling fit and well, to assist him in recovering their kayaks from the far side of the island.

The lifeboat brought the casualty to the beach at the lifeboat station, where he was met by shore-crew volunteers who provided him with blankets and brought him into the boathouse.

In the meantime, the lifeboat returned to Shenick Island to pick up the remaining volunteer and the second man. Their kayaks and equipment were also loaded on to the lifeboat and returned to shore.

After spending some time in the station warming up, the man was soon feeling much better and did not require any further medical assistance.

An Irish Defence Forces RIB was also in the area at the time as the Air Corps are currently undergoing exercises in Gormanston. They also made their way to Shenick Island and stood by to offer any assistance if required.

Weather conditions at the time had a Force 3-4 easterly wind with a slight swell and good visibility.

Speaking about the callout, volunteer press officer Gerry Canning said: “The men made the right call in getting themselves ashore wherever they could and calling for help.

“One of the men had his mobile phone in a waterproof case which proved very important in this instance and we continue to encourage people to always carry a means of contacting the shore in case they need assistance.”

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Skerries RNLI were tasked shortly before noon on Easter Monday (18 April) following a request for assistance to Dublin Coast Guard from two men on board a 4m motorboat.

The volunteers in Skerries launched their Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson within minutes of pagers sounding and navigated south of the headline at Red Island to the reported position.

Conditions at the time had Force 2-3 southwesterly winds with a slight swell and excellent visibility.

The casualty vessel was quickly located at anchor between Lambay Island and Rogerstown estuary.

After assessing the situation and learning that the boat had suffered an electrical issue, the lifeboat helm decided that the safest course of action was to tow the boat, with the men on board, to the nearest suitable berth at Malahide Marina.

Once the boat was safely alongside in the marina, the lifeboat navigated back out through the channel in Malahide and returned to station in Skerries, where it was washed down, refuelled and made ready for the next service.

Speaking about the callout, Skerries RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said it “highlights the importance when going to sea of having a means to call the shore for help.

“No matter how experienced you are, things can go wrong at sea. The men were well prepared and were able to call for help early and provide an accurate location to the coastguard.”

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Skerries RNLI were tasked yesterday evening (Tuesday 1 February) to investigate reports of two people stranded on Colt Island off the North Co Dublin town.

Dublin Coast Guard had received several 999 calls from concerned members of the public reporting that two people appeared to be stranded on the island.

The volunteers in Skerries received the call shortly after 5pm and launched their Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson directly for Colt Island.

As they arrived on scene the crew could see that the tide was especially low and the waters around the island were very shallow. The two men were making their own way ashore and were almost back on the beach.

The lifeboat updated Dublin Coast Guard and stood by until the men were safely ashore. The lifeboat was then stood down and returned to the station. Skerries Coast Guard unit were also on scene on the shore.

Speaking about the callout, Skerries RNLI’s Gerry Canning said: “Our volunteers are always ready to drop what they are doing and respond to a call for help. Thankfully on this occasion it was a false alarm with good intent.

“The members of the public were genuinely concerned for the two men and did the right thing in dialling 999 and asking 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.

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