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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

Youghal RNLI’s volunteer crew were paged Friday evening (14 August) to reports of two kayakers in difficulty — with one thought to be in the water on the northern side of Capel Island.

On arrival, the inshore lifeboat confirmed that one person was in the water and the other was on the rocks of the East Cork island.

The man and the woman were quickly bought on board the lifeboat where the crew made sure both were unharmed before taking them to shore at Knockadoon Pier and the waiting coastguard team. No medical assistance was needed.

Speaking after the callout, deputy launching authority Mark Nolan said: “Kayaking is the most popular watersport in Ireland.

“We would advise people to check the weather and tides before going out, to always wear a buoyancy aid, carry a form of communication with you — and one easy and simple task is to always inform someone on shore of your departure time and estimated time of return.”

Elsewhere this past week, Lough Ree RNLI responded to three callout in two hours on Wednesday (12 August), helping to bring six people to safety.

The first call was just after noon, to assist three people whose motorboat had run aground on the Hexagon Shoal.

Less than an hour later, just as the crew recovered the inshore lifeboat Tara Scougall, they were requested to assist a person whose motorboat had got stuck on the weir boom in Athlone town.

And the final callout at 2.18pm was to two people onboard a boat that was taking on water in Lanesborough.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Baltimore RNLI was called out earlier this morning (Saturday, 15 August) to provide assistance to a yacht in difficulty off Baltimore Harbour in West Cork.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their inshore lifeboat at 8.05 am, following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to assist a 37-foot yacht, with three people on board, which had suffered engine failure just off Baltimore Harbour.

The Baltimore inshore lifeboat arrived at the casualty vessel at 8.12 am and voluntary lifeboat crew member Eoin O’Driscoll was put aboard to rig a tow. The inshore lifeboat towed the casualty vessel back to Baltimore Harbour and put them on a mooring off Sherkin Island. Once the casualty vessel was secured, the lifeboat returned to the station, arriving at 8.59 am.

There were four volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat, Helm Micheal Cottrell and crew members Pat O’Driscoll, Eoin O’Driscoll and Kieran O’Driscoll. Conditions at sea during the call were calm with an easterly force 1-2 wind and no sea swell.

Speaking following the callout, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: "The skipper of the yacht did the right thing in requesting assistance as he felt winds were too light to allow him to safely access the harbour. If you get into difficulty at sea or on the coast, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard."

The previous day, Friday 14 August, Baltimore's lifeboat crew launched to their second medical evaculation of the week from Sherkin Island – bringing an islander to the mainland and the care of paramedics for further attention.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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A woman rescued after falling from a cliff at Mullaghmore Head yesterday afternoon (Thursday 13 August) was “very lucky that she was spotted”.

The casualty was found unconscious at the bottom of the cliff on the Co Sligo headland by concerned passers-by who alerted the Irish Coast Guard.

Bundoran’s RNLI lifeboat volunteers and the Sligo-based coastguard helicopter Rescue 118 were both called out to the scene.

And the woman was treated by helicopter and ambulance crew before being airlifted to Sligo University Hospital.

Bundoran lifeboat crew member Rory O’Connor commented: “The casualty was very lucky that she was spotted and that the alert was raised so quickly.

“We would remind anyone that if they see anyone in trouble on the coast to ring 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

In the latest of a busy week of callouts, Fenit RNLI’s volunteer crew launched last night (Thursday 13 August) to reports of unidentified items near the coast off Ballyheigue Beach.

Both the all-weather and inshore lifeboats launched with full crews at around 10.30pm and conducted a thorough search of the area, soon revealing that the items spotted were the remnants of fishing equipments.

Fenit RNLI said the call was raised with good intention and that such alerts are always the correct course of action should anyone ever have concern in relation to safety at sea.

Last night’s launch was the seventh callout in as many days for the Tralee Bay lifeboat station, with previous incidents including a group of surfers in potential danger, a large vessel which ran a ground, and a number of other boats that needed towing to safety in harbours throughout North and West Kerry.

The lifeboat volunteers also provided a safety escort for a swimming fundraiser last Saturday 8 August.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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When Helen Feeney took a photo of her daughter, Sara (23), and niece Ellen (17), off Furbo beach on the northern shore of Galway Bay, the pair were happy out on stand-up paddleboards.

It was a bright warm summer’s evening, just a little after 9 pm on Wednesday. The two women were wearing swim gear, but not wetsuits. Fortunately, they had buoyancy aids.

As the Irish Examiner reports, Helen, who had her dog with her on the shore, noticed they seemed have gone a little too far out for comfort. This was to be a “short trip”. Initially, she put her anxiety down to her own cautious nature.

As darkness fell, that anxiety grew. Within the hour, she had phoned her sister Deirdre, Ellen’s mum, and her husband, and the Irish Coast Guard. As she told RTE Radio’s Drivetime yesterday evening, these were “two very smart sensible girls”.

The hours in between were “horrific”, she recalled. A full-scale air-sea search was initiated after 10 pm, co-ordinated by Valentia Marine Rescue Sub-Centre in Co Kerry. The wind was northerly, and picking up, and weather conditions were deteriorating.

By the time, the RNLI’s Aran island and Galway city lifeboats put to sea, visibility was poor and there was heavy rain, thunder, and lightning, according to RNLI Galway operations manager Mike Swan.

The focus initially was on inner Galway Bay, but by daylight, it had extended right across to the Clare coast and Black Head. During the long night, a rotation of Irish Coast Guard helicopters from Shannon, Waterford and Sligo, and the Doolin and Costello Bay Coast Guard units joined the lifeboat crews.

The Civil Defence, local fishermen, anglers, leisure craft and hundreds of shore searchers were out by daylight, as were pilots with Galway Flying Club, Aer Arann, and the Oranmore-Maree coastal search volunteers.

Fisherman Patrick Oliver, one of the Galway Oliver family born with salt in their blood, knew that if the wind had gone north-easterly anything that drifted would be out towards the mouth of the bay and the Aran Islands. Onboard with him was his son Morgan (18) in their seven-metre catamaran potting vessel, Johnny Ó.

The Oliver family are heavily involved in Galway RNLI lifeboat and Galway Sea Scouts, with Patrick’s brothers Ciaran and Dave being coxswains, and Patrick being a member of the shore search team.

Ciaran’s son and Patrick’s nephew, Sean Oliver, was just 14 years old when he and fellow Galway Sea Scouts pulled a man from the river Corrib during the Macnas parade in October 2018.

It was Morgan who spotted the movement two miles south-west of Inis Oírr.

“They were waving their paddles at us,” Patrick said later. The two women were sitting on their paddleboards, holding onto a float attached to lobster pots, and to each other.

They were weak, exhausted, but well able to express their delight at being found. They told the Olivers they had seen the lights of the Aran islands and tried to reach the shore, but couldn’t make it.

They had been over 15 hours at sea, and over 17 nautical miles from their original location, when they were found.

Back on the beach at Furbo, there had been initial word that two bodies had been located. Minutes later, there was a shout as Ellen’s father, Johnny Glynn of Galway United Football Club, threw his arms up in the air.

“They’re alive!” he roared, as he ran over to his wife Deirdre Feeney, and younger daughter Alice (12), dropping to his knees in relief.

"I'm so happy,” he said afterwards. “I had given up. How could they be in the water from 9.30?”

Patrick and Morgan Oliver rooted out jackets, towels, whatever they could find to wrap the two women up on the deck of their catamaran.

The two women were “chatting away on deck”, they told Mike Swan back at the RNLI Galway station as they headed into Inis Oírr.

Both women were fit enough to walk up the pier before an Irish Coast Guard helicopter flew them into University Hospital Galway to check them out for hypothermia.

The buoyancy aids helped, but staying together and staying with their paddleboards had been crucial – along with keeping calm, Patrick Oliver said.

“That’s the danger with them blow-ups [paddleboards],” he said. “when the wind is offshore, the wind can carry them out to sea.”

Breda Feeney, an aunt, was in tears of joy, and family members hugged each other as the Sikorsky S-92 helicopter landed at the hospital helipad.

“Knowing the two girls, they are very strong and resilient,” she said.

"We are forever indebted," she said.

Experienced Galway sailor Pierce Purcell paid tribute to the “phenomenal effort”, and said that sailors would “never complain about lobster pots getting in the way again”.

Irish Coast Guard divisional controller John Draper said that sea temperatures were about 15 degrees, but if they had been in the water, and not on their boards, it could have been a “different story”.

More from the Examiner here

Published in Galway Harbour
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At 9.28 pm last night, Thursday, August 13, Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI to go to the assistance of 8 adults on a 45ft cruiser aground by Ryan’s Point, inside the Mountaineer Bouy at Barrack Bay.

At 9.42 pm the RNLI lifeboat Jean Spier launched with helm Eleanor Hooker, and crew members Owen Cavanagh, Keith Brennan and Doireann Kennedy on board. The wind was northeasterly, Force 2. It was nightfall with poor visibility; the RNLI volunteers used on-board electronic navigation, RADAR, searchlights and local knowledge to steer their course to the casualty. 

Once the lifeboat rounded the Mountaineer Buoy, the crew took soundings of the depths in a cautious approach to the casualty vessel. The lifeboat came alongside at 9.55 pm and found all eight people to be safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets.

An RNLI volunteer transferred to the cruiser. Once he was satisfied that the vessel was not holed, he set up for a tow. The lifeboat attempted to take the casualty vessel astern off the rocky shelf. However, it was stuck fast on the rocks.

As the cruiser had been travelling in company, and its companion vessel was moored in Garrykennedy Harbour, the lifeboat informed Valentia Coast Guard of its intention to take all passengers on to the lifeboat and to bring them to Garrykennedy Harbour for the night.

Valentia Coast Guard arranged for the casualty vessel to be attended to first thing the following morning.

At 11.04 pm the lifeboat delivered the eight people into to the care of their friends at Garrykennedy Harbour.

The lifeboat departed the scene and was back at Station at 11.30 pm 

Peter Kennedy, Deputy Launching Authority at Lough Derg RNLI advises boat users to ‘study your charts and plan your passage, paying close attention to the navigation buoys’.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Following a major search and rescue operation on Galway Bay overnight and this morning (13 August 2020), two women have been found safe and well off Inis Oir after spending 15 hours out at sea.

Former Galway RNLI lifeboat crew member and current shore crew member and fisherman Patrick Oliver and his son Morgan joined the search early this morning and discovered the two women on their boards holding on to a lobster pot about two miles south west of Inis Oir.

Despite spending the night out on the water in extreme conditions, the women did not require medical attention. They had drifted almost 20 miles when discovered. They were taken onboard the fishing vessel, the Johnny O, and after disembarking, walked up the pier where they were medically assessed by Coast Guard personnel.

The 23-year-old woman and 17-year-old teenager who are cousins, had gone paddle boarding at about 9 o’clock last night from Furbo Beach when a sudden north wind blew them out to sea. A relative of the women raised the alarm and the Irish Coast Guard immediately launched a major search and rescue operation which continued throughout the night and today.

Galway RNLI launched its inshore lifeboat at 10pm (last night) and stayed out throughout the night changing crew three times. They were joined immediately by the Aran Island RNLI all-weather lifeboat and the Irish Coast Guard Rescue helicopter 115 from Shannon. Two further Coast Guard Rescue helicopters from Sligo and Waterford joined this morning, along with Coast Guard lifeboats from Oranmore/Maree, Cashla Bay and Doolin while the Civil Defence carried out a search along the north shore co-ordinated by the Gardai. Galway Flying Club and Aer Arann also joined the search.

There were scenes of jubilation and joy in both Galway and Aran Island RNLI Lifeboat stations when fisherman Patrick Oliver rang the Galway Lifeboat station with the good news.

Barry Heskin, Galway RNLI Deputy Launching Authority said the two women kept their heads and did the right thing: ‘We are absolutely delighted that it has all worked out well.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Clifden RNLI has rescued a sailor who got into difficulty on a 36ft yacht this afternoon. The volunteer lifeboat crew were requested to launch at 3.20 pm by the Irish Coast Guard following a report that a yacht was in difficulty somewhere between Cleggan and Inishbofin Island.

As communication with the casualty was poor initially, a decision was made to launch Clifden RNLI’s inshore lifeboat in addition to the station’s all-weather lifeboat.

Weather conditions at the time were fair with a Force 3 northerly wind and a slight sea.

The inshore lifeboat helmed by Daniel Whelan arrived on scene first, some 10 miles from Clifden. The lifeboat crew assessed the situation and checked that the one man onboard was safe and well. A crew member then transferred onto the yacht to set up a tow.

Clifden RNLIThe yacht under tow by Clifden RNLI

On arrival of the all-weather lifeboat under Coxswain John Mullen, the tow was passed from the inshore lifeboat to the all-weather lifeboat. The all-weather lifeboat then towed the yacht safely back to shore with the Atlantic 85 lifeboat alongside.

Speaking following the call out, Clifden RNLI Coxswain John Mullen said: ‘We would like to commend the sailor for raising the alarm when he got into difficulty, that is always the right thing to do, and we would like to wish him a safe onward journey.

‘As the summer continues and we enjoy some good weather, we would remind everyone regardless of their activity at sea, to always respect the water. Always wear a lifejacket, always have a means for calling and signalling for help and ensure everyone onboard knows how to use it. Always check the weather forecast and tide times before heading out and make sure someone on the shore knows where you are going and when you are due back. Should you get into difficulty or see someone else in trouble, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’

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.’

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Dun Laoghaire RNLI launched both their lifeboat’s this afternoon (Tuesday 11 August) at the request of the Irish Coast Guard assisting two vessels in two separate incidents.

At 12:55 pm today, the all-weather lifeboat was launched under Coxswain Mark McGibney with a crew to reports of a yacht which had suffered steering failure two miles north of Greystones in County Wicklow. A local vessel, ‘Centurion’, sighted and confirmed the casualty vessel’s location. The volunteer crew made their way to the scene arriving at 1:21 pm and on arrival, the lifeboat crew assessed the situation. The person on board was in good health and the stricken yacht was taken in tow to Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

As the all-weather lifeboat was on its way back to Dun Laoghaire Harbour the station’s inshore lifeboat was also requested to launch at 2:06 pm to a separate incident just outside the entrance to Dun Laoghaire Harbour. A report was received from the Irish Coast Guard of five people on a 23ft yacht with engine failure. The inshore lifeboat crew swiftly located the vessel arriving on scene at 2:14 pm, having assessed that all on board were in good health the volunteer crew took the yacht in tow bringing it into Dun Laoghaire Harbour arriving at 2:45 pm. The station’s all-weather lifeboat crew arriving after shortly after, at 3:00 pm.

Weather conditions at the time of both callouts were described as calm with a light wind with restricted visibility due to fog.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI Coxswain Mark McGibneyDun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI Coxswain Mark McGibney

Speaking following the call out, Mark McGibney, Dun Laoghaire RNLI lifeboat Coxswain said: ‘The people in both incidents made the right decision in calling the Irish Coast Guard for help. Conditions today were calm on scene but visibility was restricted by fog, thank you to the crew of the local vessel, Centurion for sighting and confirming the vessel’s location which allowed us to respond with no delay’.

Also speaking alongside Mark McGibney following the callouts was Gary Hayes, Dun Laoghaire RNLI inshore lifeboat Helm, he said’ The volunteer crew and I are very happy to have returned everyone safely to shore today. I’d like to take this opportunity to ask everybody thinking of going out on the water to please check their vessel and safety equipment in advance’.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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