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Displaying items by tag: Lifeboat

Two callouts for Lough Derg RNLI today – the first to two people on a 32ft cruiser aground by the Silver Islands on the Galway shore at the northern end of Lough Derg, and shortly after, a Mayday call to four people on board a 16ft motorboat taking on water in rough weather south of Parker’s Point on the southwestern end of the lake.

At 1.06 pm this afternoon, Sunday, September 13, Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat Jean Spier to assist 2 people on a 32ft cruiser reported to be aground by the Silver Islands, inside the red marker ‘Juliet’.

At 1.20 pm the lifeboat launched with helm Eleanor Hooker and crew Steve Smyth, Doireann Kennedy and Chris Parker on board. Visibility was good, and the wind was southwesterly Force 4, gusting Force 5.

As the lifeboat approached Cloondavaun Bay, the volunteer crew could see three vessels on standby in safe water monitoring the casualty vessel.

The lifeboat boat rounded the red navigation mark ‘Juliet’ and, as the water level on the lake is currently lower than usual, navigated a slow, safe route to the casualty vessel.

The lifeboat was alongside the casualty vessel at 1.46 pm. Both people on board were safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets. An RNLI volunteer transferred to the casualty vessel. Once he was satisfied that the vessel was not holed, he set up for a tow.

At 1.59 pm the lifeboat had the cruiser off the rocks and towed out into safe water where drives and rudder were checked and found to be in good working order.

The lifeboat took their crew member back onto the lifeboat and the cruiser made it’s way safely to Cloondavaun Bay Harbour

The lifeboat departed the scene and was back at station at 2.25 pm.

At 4.30 pm Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI to assist 4 people on a 16ft motorboat taking on water in rough weather, and in danger of sinking. At 4.40 pm Lough Derg RNLI launched with helm Eleanor Hooker and crew Ger Egan, Doireann Kennedy and Tom Hayes on board. Winds were southwesterly, Force 5 with a moderate chop.

Given the critical nature of the launch, Rescue 115, the Irish Coast Guard Search and Rescue Helicopter took off from their base at Shannon Airport and Killaloe Coast Guard also launched from their base in Killaloe.

As the lifeboat approached Parker’s Point, Rescue 115 hailed the lifeboat to say they had located the casualty vessel and were going to hover close by. At 4.56 pm the lifeboat was alongside the casualty vessel. All four persons were unharmed and wearing their lifejackets. The had deployed their anchor which was holding them off the rocky shore.

Due to the swell swamping their deck, the casualty vessel had taken on a significant amount of water, which the crew were bailing from the bilge. At this time Killaloe Coast Guard arrived on scene and as the casualty vessel’s base was at Killaloe, it was agreed with Valentia Coast Guard that Killaloe Coast Guard would take the casualty vessel back to Killaloe.

Rescue 115 departed the scene to return to its base at Shannon. Lough Derg RNLI departed the scene was back at Station in Dromineer at 5.20 pm.

Peter Kennedy, Deputy Launching Authority at Lough Derg RNLI praised all the RNLI volunteers for their ‘swift response to the callout. Four people were reported to be in grave and imminent danger, and the efficient shore crew assistance was particularly crucial to a speedy launch of the lifeboat under these circumstances.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Baltimore RNLI was called out to provide a medical evacuation this afternoon from Sherkin Island off the coast of Baltimore, West Cork.

The volunteer lifeboat crew, under Coxswain Kieran Cotter, launched their all-weather lifeboat at 3.06 pm, following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to provide medical assistance and evacuation to a woman who had sustained an injury following a fall.

The Baltimore all-weather lifeboat crew arrived at Sherkin Island pier at 3.15 pm and reached the casualty at the same time as a First Responder team who were also in the area. An initial assessment was carried out by one of the First Responders and then the voluntary lifeboat crew, assisted by the First Responder team, transferred the casualty onboard the lifeboat.

The lifeboat then returned to the station in Baltimore and the casualty was handed over to the care of HSE Ambulance crew at 4.30 pm.

Conditions at sea during the call out were calm with a south - south-westerly force 3-4 wind, no sea swell and good visibility.

Speaking following the call out, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘If you find yourself in a medical emergency whilst on an island call 999 or 112 and explain to the operator what the nature of the call is. The operator will then make sure that the call is directed to both the Coast Guard and the National Ambulance Service. We would like to thank the First Responders for assisting in this call and we wish the casualty a speedy recovery.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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At 9:11 pm last night (Friday 24 July), Dublin Coast Guard requested Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI to assist two people on separate jet skis which had engine issues just off the North Bull wall in Dublin Bay.

The all-weather lifeboat was launched at 9:20 pm under Coxswain Stuart Kane with five crew on board and made its way to the scene arriving at 09:35 pm. The all-weather lifeboat crew assessed the situation on arrival and saw that the two jet skis had drifted north towards Bull Wall and into shallower water which was out of the all-weather lifeboats reach. The crew swiftly made a decision and requested the help from the stations smaller inshore lifeboat “Realt Na Mara” which was launched at 09:55 pm.

Arriving on scene at 10:10 pm the inshore lifeboat took the two vessels in tow, after nearly two hours at sea the two lifeboats arrived back in Dun Laoghaire Harbour at 23:20 pm.

Weather conditions at the time were described as good with a slight wind and good visibility.

Speaking following the call out, Liam Mullan, Dun Laoghaire RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘ The volunteer crew’s involved were happy to have located the two people quickly last night with light fading fast in an area with a lot of shipping traffic and return them to shore safely. It's important to remind everyone to make sure that their vessel engines are thoroughly checked regulatory by a professional before taking to the water and always have a suitable means of communication to call the Irish Coast Guard for help.’

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RNLI Volunteer Peter Byrne participated in his first callout as Wicklow all-weather lifeboat launched shortly after 10:05 pm on Wednesday night (15 July), after a member of the public reported seeing a windsurfer having problems getting ashore near Brittas Bay beach as darkness fell.

As the lifeboat proceeded south to the last known reported position, more information was relayed from the Coast Guard and it was confirmed that the craft was, in fact, a trimaran.

The lifeboat was on scene at 10:23 pm and began a search, conditions in the area were calm with good visibility. At 10:35 pm contact was made with a solo sailor on a 16-foot trimaran near Potter’s Point. He had secured his boat on the beach and was waiting for the tide to turn before resuming passage north and no assistance was required.

Once Coxswain Nick Keogh was satisfied the sailor required no further assistance, the lifeboat was stood down by the Coast Guard and returned to station.

Following the call out, Wicklow RNLI Press Officer Tommy Dover said: ‘We would like to commend the vigilant member of the public who contacted the Coast Guard, fortunately, the sailor did not require assistance.’

The crew on the callout were Coxswain Nick Keogh, Mechanic Brendan Copeland, Tommy MacAulay, Graham Fitzgerald, Connie ‘O Gara and Peter Byrne.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Last Thursday and Friday were busy days for Bangor Coastguard on Belfast Lough with an incident on both days.

On Thursday evening the Coastguard and the Police Service investigated reports of concern for a kayaker seen the Ballywalter area in failing light. Ballywalter is a small village on the east coast of Co Down with a long award-winning sandy beach and a small harbour which partially dries out.

By the time the team arrived, it was already dark, and together with their Police colleagues, a plan was put in place. Coastguards searched the beach area while the Police spoke with the first informant and checked the area around the Harbour. The Police Helicopter was also requested but unable to attend, so the Police fixed-wing aircraft was asked to assist.

As one of the team was completing their search, they saw a kayaker round the Harbour wall. After a quick conversation, it was established that this was the person they had been looking for and he was given safety advice and both Police and Coastguards stood down.

The next day (Friday) the team was tasked along with Bangor Lifeboat to a yacht with engine problems between Bangor and Groomsport. They kept visual on the vessel while the Lifeboat set up a tow and headed for Bangor where the vessel and the lifeboat were met in the harbour by Coastguard personnel.

Published in Belfast Lough
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A new book providing a collection of first-hand accounts of some of the most dramatic rescues carried out by RNLI lifesavers around Ireland and the UK over the past 20 years, features an incredible feat of bravery by a Cork lifeboat crew. Told in the words of Castletownbere RNLI Coxswain Dean Hegarty, it provides a first-hand account of the dramatic rescue of a fishing crew in storm force conditions after their vessel lost all power at the harbour entrance of Castletownbere in West Cork. Six lives were saved that night and the Coxswain is set to receive a medal for gallantry, and the crew and launching authority, letters of thanks from the Institution. The book Surviving the Storms goes on sale today (Thursday 11 June) with royalties from all sales supporting the lifesaving charity.

Surviving the Storms features 11 stories of extraordinary courage and compassion at sea

Surviving the Storms features 11 stories of extraordinary courage and compassion at sea, providing a rare insight into the life-or-death decisions the RNLI have to make when battling the forces of nature and saving lives.

The Castletownbere RNLI rescue from 2018 is included with those of a Northern Ireland lifeboat mechanic who swam into a cave to rescue two teenage boys when they became trapped with a rising tide in dangerous conditions and lifeguards in Cornwall saving the lives of people, moments away from drowning. This book has an abundance of drama told from the unique perspective of the RNLI lifesavers, as well as those they rescue.

In an extract from the book Dean Hegarty, who at 24-years old had been on the lifeboat crew for five years and was a recently appointed Coxswain on his second callout in charge, explains what he saw when he and his lifeboat crew came on scene.

‘Within 10 minutes of the original mayday call, we were on the scene. What I saw when we arrived, I can’t lie; It almost gave me a heart attack. The way the tide was going out and the wind was coming in, it was churning the sea up and creating a big, watery explosion. There were huge swells reaching six metres, the height of a two-storey house, tossing the fishing boat around like a rag doll and pushing her ever closer to the sixty-metre cliffs to the west of the harbour mouth. The gales were now peaking at storm force 11. My heart started to race as I watched waves crashing up against the cliffs, with the vessel only 30 or so metres away from the rocky shoreline.’

RNLI Chief Executive, Mark Dowie, said: ‘Surviving the Storms is a wonderful account of selflessness and bravery although there is no book big enough to do justice to every RNLI rescue and rescuer. We have hundreds of lifeboat stations and thousands of crew members and lifeguards all dedicated to saving lives. Between them, they’ve helped so many people survive the storms and I’m proud of every one of them.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The Courtmacsherry All-Weather Trent Class RNLI Lifeboat was called out at 2.10 pm this afternoon to go to the aid of swimmers who had got into difficulty off Virgin Mary’s Bank in Inchydoney Island, West Cork.

Under Coxswain Sean O Farrell and a crew of five, the Courtmacsherry Lifeboat was underway very quickly, under the Station’s new COVID-19 Launch protocols and immediately made its way at top speed to the area of the causalities. Also mobilised was the local Irish Coastguard Unit from Castlefreke, the Coastguard Rescue 115 Helicopter from Shannon and the Local HSE Ambulance. Four persons were swimming together when two got into difficulty. The others made the shoreline and raised the alarm by immediately contacting the rescue services.

Thankfully the two swimmers in difficulty were later able to get ashore where they were assessed by the rescue services, following a very traumatic ordeal. All four were hugely appreciative of the responses of the Rescue Services.

Commenting on this afternoon’s callout, the Courtmacsherry RNLI Voluntary LPO Vincent O Donovan thanked all the Lifeboat crewmembers and Station Officers for ensuring a safe callout today. He commented that “It was also vital that the call for help to the Rescue services was made as quickly as possible as vital minutes can be so important in all rescues”.

The crew on board this afternoon’s call out were Coxswain Sean O Farrell, Mechanic Stuart Russell and crew members Tadgh McCarthy, Dara Gannon and Evin O Sullivan. Of note was that five other crewmembers were quickly at the station in order to give any help required. Attached is a picture of the Lifeboat crew after returning to base.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Olympic sailing silver medalist Annalise Murphy joined four Dun Laoghaire-based 29er sailors and their coach in their bid to ‘virtual cycle’ around Ireland in aid of the RNLI.

As Afloat reported earlier, Max Goodbody, Nathan van Steenberge, Sam Ledoux and Tim Norwood, along with coach Thomas Chaix, have taken on the epic route via every lighthouse around the island of Ireland — but covering the distance on stationary bikes in their own homes.

Last night the Irish sailing superstar from Rio 2016 joined the four boys for an 85 km stretch. Like everyone else, the National Yacht Club dinghy star is adapting to a new life with Coronavirus as Afloat reported previously here as she aims for the Tokyo 2021 Olympics.

Since starting on Saturday 9 May, the 29er boys have already covered the distance from Dun Laoghaire to West Cork — and that’s around their home school commitments, too.

The team aims to complete the 2,000km route — with 14,000 metres of climbing — in 11 days while raising funds for the charity that saves lives at sea.

Annalise is not the only Tokyo Laser trialist to join in either. Howth's Aoife Hopkins has also been on the journey. Donaghadee's Finn campaigner Oisin McClelland was also on the route from Castletownbere with coaching staff tagging along too.

Already exceeding their initial target of €2,000, the team have so far raised over €5,000 to keep the RNLI afloat in uncertain waters.

Published in Annalise Murphy
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Despite the challenges of the coronavirus outbreak, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) hopes to provide a lifeguard service on around 30% of the beaches the charity usually covers this summer, if government guidance allows.

The rollout of the normal seasonal lifeguard service was paused at the end of March due to the measures put in place by the Government to control the spread of Coronavirus. In the anticipation that there may be changes to the lockdown restrictions in the coming weeks and months allowing the public to visit beaches around the UK and Channel Islands, the RNLI has been looking at plans to resume a lifeguard service where possible.

This needs to be consistent with government guidance but the plan is for the service to build in time so that lifeguard patrols reach 70 beaches across the UK by peak season. Beaches will be chosen based on risk and popularity. The RNLI will also look to achieve a geographical spread while making sure the service provided is flexible and sustainable enough to respond to what may be an ever-changing environment.

RNLI Chief Executive, Mark Dowie, said: ‘The RNLI is incredibly proud of its highly skilled lifeguards who work alongside the charity’s volunteer lifeboat crews, HM Coastguard and other emergency services. RNLI lifeguards are professional lifesavers and will be essential when the lockdown is lifted and people head to our coastlines and enjoy our beautiful beaches.

‘The current situation means that the operational logistics and training behind setting up a lifeguard service – normally in full swing at the moment – have had to stop. Re-establishing this infrastructure and distributing equipment to beaches will take time. And we must also make sure that conditions are safe for our lifeguards to provide an effective service – our priority remains the safety of our people and the public.

‘But despite these challenges, and given enough notice of lockdown lifting, we’re hoping to put lifeguard patrols on around 70 beaches across the UK and Channel Islands.

‘We are planning for a service that we can adapt to changes in Government guidelines and restrictions. We don’t know whether people will be allowed to visit beaches, what social distancing restrictions will be in place, or whether we’ll have periods where restrictions are relaxed and then reintroduced. We’re also looking at how we provide our lifeguard service – we may have a more agile service that can adapt to changing circumstances – so it may look a little different to previous years. And we’re working with local councils, landowners and partners to make sure the environment lifeguards return to is safe and appropriate precautions are in place.

‘While the main challenge of rolling out a lifeguard service will be logistical, as a charity we do also need to consider the financial challenge we currently face and our fall in income due to restrictions on how we can fundraise.

‘The reduced lifeguard service will continue to be supported by our lifeboat stations around the coast. Our lifeboat volunteers have been on call 24/7 to help those in trouble at sea throughout the coronavirus outbreak – and will continue to be so this summer. We will also be giving water safety advice throughout the summer. During the coronavirus outbreak, we have seen great examples of people coming together, so our focus is to work with the public to succeed in ensuring the coast is a safe place to visit when restrictions are lifted.’

The RNLI is urging everyone to follow current Government instructions until these restrictions are lifted. The guidance is clear: stay home, protect the NHS and save lives. While you are allowed outside for daily exercise, we do not recommend that this exercise is on or in the sea. If you are able to visit the coast for your daily exercise while adhering to Government advice, we urge you to remember the following RNLI safety advice:

  • Take care near cliffs - know your route and your limitations
  • Check the weather forecast and tide times
  • If you fall into the water unexpectedly, FLOAT TO LIVE. Fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs, and float
  • In any coastal emergency dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard
Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Dun Laoghaire RNLI came to the aid of two people who got into difficulty on a kayak this morning.

The volunteer lifeboat crew were paged at 8.21 am following an initial report from the Irish Coast Guard that two men were in difficulty on a kayak somewhere between Dalkey Island and Coliemore Harbour.

The casualties used a mobile phone to raise the alarm when the kayak they were on began to drift out to sea.

The all-weather lifeboat under Coxswain Mark McGibney and with four crew members onboard launched immediately and made its way to the scene. Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard shore unit also attended.

Weather conditions at the time were described as good with a calm sea, light wind and good visibility.

On arrival south of Dalkey Island, the lifeboat crew observed that a fishing trawler that had arrived on scene first had taken the kayak in tow. The two kayakers who were safe and well were then transferred onto the lifeboat and brought back to Dun Laoghaire where no further medical attention was required.

Speaking following the call out, Stephen Wynne, Dun Laoghaire RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘The casualties did the right thing this morning and called for help once they knew they were in difficulty and that the vessel was drifting out to sea. We would like to wish them well and thank the fishing crew that was first on scene for their assistance this morning.

‘Dun Laoghaire RNLI remains on call and is fully operational during the Coronavirus pandemic. While there is no crew training or exercises taking place, our volunteers are here if people need us.’

The RNLI has issued advice with the Irish Coast Guard, to ask people to avoid using the water for exercise while restrictions are in place. This is to minimise the risk to search and rescue volunteer crews, helicopter crew and other frontline emergency services, through being unintentionally exposed to the coronavirus.

The charity meanwhile, has today launched its annual Mayday fundraising appeal. While crews around Ireland remain on call, the pandemic means that fundraising cannot take place as normal. The RNLI is instead asking people to consider fundraising at home to help save lives at sea. To find out more or to donate, log on to rnli.org/Mayday

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Dublin Port Information

Dublin Port Company is currently investing about €277 million on its Alexandra Basin Redevelopment (ABR), which is due to be complete by 2021. The redevelopment will improve the port's capacity for large ships by deepening and lengthening 3km of its 7km of berths. The ABR is part of a €1bn capital programme up to 2028, which will also include initial work on the Dublin Port’s MP2 Project - a major capital development project proposal for works within the existing port lands in the northeastern part of the port.

Dublin Port has also recently secured planning approval for the development of the next phase of its inland port near Dublin Airport. The latest stage of the inland port will include a site with capacity to store more than 2,000 shipping containers and infrastructure such as an ESB substation, an office building and gantry crane.

Dublin Port Company recently submitted a planning application for a €320 million project that aims to provide significant additional capacity at the facility within the port in order to cope with increases in trade up to 2040. The scheme will see a new roll-on/roll-off jetty built to handle ferries of up to 240 metres in length, as well as the redevelopment of an oil berth into a deep-water container berth.

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