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Displaying items by tag: Lifeboat

The RNLI has today launched an innovative free text message service aimed at preventing people getting caught out by dangerous tides when travelling to Coney Island in County Sligo.

In what is the first of its kind in Ireland, the RNLI text messaging service is being introduced by the charity in a direct response to a coastal safety risk identified by the local community in Sligo.

For years the causeway which provides access to Coney Island and the nature of its flooding tidal waters have presented a risk to the public who are unsure of the tide times and the appropriate times to cross from the mainland.

Sligo Bay RNLI has responded to numerous incidents around Coney Island that relate to tidal cut off and activities around the sandbanks and tidal channels. However, the volunteer lifeboat crews have often been restricted by water depth when attending these incidents especially during the crucial early phase of the flooding tide where people are starting to cut off or are bogged in.

It is hoped that the new text messaging system accompanied by signage directing people to the numbers to text, will encourage safer crossing and decision making.

Anyone planning to visit the island by car, bike or foot is encouraged to Text Coney to 53600 (from Republic of Ireland mobiles) or 81400 (from Northern Ireland/UK mobiles) to find out the safe crossing times for that day.*

The RNLI will reply with information on the best times subject to good weather conditions along with key safety messages reminding users to always leave extra time to return safely to the mainland, to never attempt to cross if the strand is covered with water and in the event of an emergency to dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.

Speaking at the launch of Text Coney today, Rogan Wheeldon, RNLI Community Incident Reduction Manager said: ‘This is a perfect example of a community on the coast identifying a risk and working collaboratively to help save lives at sea. By providing the public with the relevant information to make safer choices when accessing the coast it reduces their risk, the risk to our lifeboat crew, and also to those in the community that are putting their own lives at risk to help those in trouble’.

Joe Henderson, Sligo Bay RNLI Coastal Safety Officer added: ‘Over recent years our lifeboat crew at Sligo Bay RNLI has been called out many times to rescue people who have been caught out by the tide. As part of the RNLI’s work in prevention of accidental drowning we now have this wonderful texting system in place with good signage here at The Causeway and we really want to make people aware that is here and encourage locals and visitors alike to get texting when planning a visit to the beautiful Coney Island. We would like to thank everyone involved in bringing this development to fruition including the residents of Coney Island and Sligo County Council.’

The Text Coney launch comes a week after the RNLI launched Respect the Water, its annual national accidental drowning prevention campaign which will run throughout the Summer.

Respect the Water aims to highlight the risk of accidental drowning when people are near the coastline by encouraging safer behaviour both in and around the water.

The campaign is primarily aimed at males aged between 16 and 39 but the same advice is relevant for anyone visiting the coast.

The RNLI is warning of the key dangers that can lead to accidental drowning - cold water, unexpected entry into the water, and rip currents and waves.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Fethard RNLI launched this morning to a 21-foot fishing vessel with a fouled propeller one mile from Baginbun Head.

There was one fisherman on board the boat. While the lobster pots were being recovered onto the vessel a rope became tangled in the propeller and prevented the vessel from moving, leaving it stranded.

The lifeboat launched from Fethard dock in good weather with a northerly wind gusting 3/4 knots. Fethard lifeboat was on scene with the fishing vessel at 11.05am.

The volunteer lifeboat crew were able to release the rope and the fishing vessel came back to Fethard Dock under its own steam.

Speaking following the call out, Walter Foley, Fethard RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘The fisherman did exactly the right thing calling for the assistance of the RNLI. Weather conditions were good and allowed the volunteer crew to swiftly release the rope from the propeller allowing the fishing vessel to return under its own steam.’

Fethard RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew on the callout were Helm Thomas Stafford and Nicoletta Parrell, Dean Foley, Damian McGarry. The launch vehicle driver was Eileen Murphy.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Crosshaven RNLI lifeboat launched at 10.53pm last night to a small yacht aground at White Bay on the East side of Cork Harbour.

At the scene, the crew found one person in the water attempting to hold the yacht off the beach in the swell and another person on the beach.

One RNLI crewman swam ashore to assess the situation and attach a towline to the yacht. As the casualties were cold and wet, they were handed into the care of Guileen Coast Guard unit for transportation, while the lifeboat brought the vessel to Crosshaven.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Five RNLI lifeboats were launched last night from Larne and Red Bay in Northern Ireland and Portpatrick in Scotland to take part in an extensive search for a missing microlight aircraft. The craft is understood to have two people onboard when it was reported missing off the Northern Ireland coastline.

The launch was requested by the coastguard when the aircraft was reported overdue at 8.30pm and a major search operation was put in place.

Joining the five RNLI lifeboats in the major search were the Irish Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue 116 along with a rescue helicopter from Prestwick and local coastguard teams.

Search conditions were described as extremely challenging as visibility was poor due to thick fog. Larne RNLI launched their all-weather lifeboat and D class lifeboat, Red Bay RNLI launched their Atlantic 85 and all-weather lifeboat along with the all-weather lifeboat from Portpatrick. The lifeboats between them searched a huge area off the Northern Ireland coastline before standing down the search after 4am. It is expected that the search will resume again this morning; however weather conditions remain poor with heavy fog still present.

UK Coasguard adds

At about 8.30pm yesterday (Thursday 9 June) Distress and Diversion (based at Swanwick) notified the UK Coastguard that a small microlight aircraft with two persons on board had been reported overdue.

The microlight was transiting the Northern Ireland coastline when it went missing and an extensive search is being carried out in the area.

Last night and in the early hours of this morning, the UK Coastguard search and rescue helicopter based at Prestwick, the Irish Coastguard helicopter based at Dublin, Ballycastle, Coleraine, Stranraer, Portpatrick, Larne and Campbelltown Coastguard Rescue Teams, Larne RNLI inshore and all weather lifeboats, Red Bay inshore and all weather lifeboats and Portpatrick RNLI all weather lifeboats, were all involved in the search.

The search was suspended due to poor visibility as a result of fog at 3.00am today (Friday 10 June). The teams and rescue units are waiting for the visibility to improve before they resume the search.

The Northern Ireland North West Mountain Rescue Team will also be joining the search today.

Ryan Gray, Senior Maritime Operations Officer at the UK Coastguard said: ‘UK Coastguard has also issued a Mayday relay broadcast in the area and several merchant shipping vessels have responded and are keeping a lookout for this aircraft. We may send further resources as the search widens.’

The Northern Ireland Police and Police Scotland have also been informed.

A further update will be provided when the search resumes.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The Courtmacsherry RNLI All Weather Lifeboat was called out at 9.05 pm tonight to go to the aid of a 35–ft French yacht that got into difficulty one mile off the Old Head of Kinsale in West Cork.

The Courtmacsherry Lifeboat under Coxswain Sean O'Farrell and a crew of six launched immediately and reached the vessel at 9.26pm and succeeded in quickly getting a tow rope on board, which had lost power and was drifting. With a crew of three on board, the yacht was taken immediately under tow by the lifeboat and arrived back safely to Courtmacsherry pier at 10.35pm.

The yacht was under passage from France when they encountered difficulties just off the Old Head of Kinsale and sent out a Mayday distress call.

Courtmacsherry RNLI Voluntary Lifeboat Operations Manager Brian O Dwyer said " the quick response of the Crew tonight, with some in the Lifeboat House attending a Crew and Fundraising meeting to organise the Stations Open Day on Sun June 26th, was testament to their commitment to lifesaving and it was great to have the casualty in the safe surround of Courtmacsherry Pier pontoon just over 90 minutes from receiving the Callout from Valentia Coastguard".

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Castletownbere RNLI rescued two fishermen from a sinking vessel in the early hours of this morning. The volunteer crew was requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat at 4.45am to go to the assistance of a fishing vessel which was reported sinking 11 miles south west of Dursey Island on the Beara peninsula.

The Castletownbere lifeboat under Coxswain Brian O’Driscoll and with six crew members onboard was launched minutes later at 4.55am.

Weather conditions at the time were described as good with a Force three to four wind and good visibility.

The naval vessel LE Orla and the Irish Coast Guard’s Rescue 115 helicopter were also tasked.

The lifeboat was on scene at 5.50am where the crew found two fishermen in a life raft.

Both men were taken aboard the lifeboat and were reported to be safe and well.

The lifeboat arrived back to Castletownbere at approximately 8am this morning.

Speaking following the call out, Paul Stevens, Castletownbere RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘Fortunately the weather conditions were favourable early this morning and we were able to quickly transfer the two fishermen into the safety of the lifeboat. Both are safe and well. They did the right thing this morning and raised the alarm when they got into difficulty.

‘This morning’s call out came as the RNLI prepared to launch its Respect the Water campaign today,

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Volunteer lifeboat crew at Larne RNLI responded to a launch request from the UK Coastguard yesterday evening to help search for three overdue divers near Blackhead Lighthouse.

The initial alarm was raised at 5.30pm to report three divers who were 40 minutes overdue. Larne All-weather lifeboat launched followed by Larne inshore lifeboat and the crews were quickly on scene in the Blackhead Area to commence the search. The major multiagency search was coordinated by the coastguard and included Bangor RNLI, the Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116, four shipping vessels, two boats from Whitehead Yacht club and Larne, Portmuck and Bangor coastguard teams.

The weather conditions of calm seas with thick banks of rolling fog caused poor visibility and challenging search conditions.

Larne RNLI inshore lifeboat located the three divers at 6.50pm on a cliff face north of The Gobbins. The divers were recovered into the lifeboat and did not require medical assistance however they were fatigued, hungry and thirsty. Larne All-weather lifeboat then took the divers onboard and transferred them safely back to Belfast Coastal Operations Centre in Bangor.

Larne RNLI Operations Manager Allan Dorman said 'Conditions were very challenging with visibility down to about fifteen metres. The divers did the right thing and stayed together. We were fearful as time passed and our lifeboat crews were still searching the area with no sightings but thankfully the tide took them north and to nearby rocks. They were exhausted when they were finally located and recovered onto the inshore lifeboat. We are extremely thankful that the callout ended well with everyone accounted for and safely recovered. Our thanks to everyone involved in the search.’

UK Coastguard adds:

Three divers found safe after extensive UK Coastguard search and rescue operation

UK Coastguard coordinated the search and rescue operation for three divers this afternoon who were located by the Larne RNLI inshore lifeboat after nearly two hours in the water.

At 5.30pm today (8 June) UK Coastguard received a call from the coxswain of a RHIB (rigid hulled inflatable boat) dive boat reporting that three divers were 20 minutes overdue from their dive in the area of Blackhead, Belfast Lough.

A Mayday emergency broadcast was issued to alert all shipping vessels in the area and the Ballycastle, Bangor, Larne and Portmuck Coastguard Rescue Teams, the Irish Coastguard helicopter, Bangor RNLI inshore lifeboat and Larne RNLI all weather and inshore lifeboats carried out an extensive search. Four commercial vessels, two fishing boats, a yacht and four RHIBs from the Whitehead Yacht Club responded to the Mayday broadcast and joined the search efforts.

The crew of the Larne RNLI inshore lifeboat spotted the three divers nearly three miles from their original dive location. They were safely put onto the boat and taken to the Bangor Marina where they were met and given safety advice by the Bangor Coastguard Rescue Team. They required no medical treatment.

Ryan Gray, Senior Maritime Operations Officer for the UK Coastguard said: ‘The coxswain of the RHIB dive boat did exactly the right thing calling the UK Coastguard when it became apparent that the divers were overdue. Although we had very heavy fog in the area which reduced visibility, these divers were extremely experienced and had an emergency plan in place when they found themselves in difficulty. It was a very challenging search operation given the weather conditions, however, the divers’ professionalism and the fact that they stayed calm and stuck together, meant that we were able to locate them quickly. They had all the right equipment to cope with this situation and we are extremely glad that they were found safe and well.

‘We would like to extend a massive thank you to all those who reacted quickly to the Mayday broadcast that was issued. It was truly a coordinated effort and everyone did a fantastic job to bring these divers home safely.’

Mr Allan Dorman Larne, RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘Conditions were very challenging with visibility down to about fifteen metres. The divers did the right thing and stayed together. We were fearful as time passed and our lifeboat crews were still searching the area with no sightings but thankfully the tide took them north and to nearby rocks. They were exhausted when they were finally located and recovered onto the inshore lifeboat. We are extremely thankful that the callout ended well with everyone accounted for and safely recovered. Our thanks to everyone involved in the search.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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At 1.45pm today, Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat was requested to launch by Valentia Coast Guard, following a request for assistance from a cruiser with 9 people on board, which had grounded on rocks by Ryan's Point.

The lifeboat, with helm Eleanor Hooker, Dom Sharkey and Owen Cavanagh on board, launched at 2pm. Winds were westerly, Force 1/2, visibility was good.

At 2.10pm the lifeboat located the 40ft. vessel by Ryan's Point, inside the Mountaineer navigation mark.

An RNLI volunteer boarded the vessel and reassured everyone, all safe and unharmed, and asked them to put on their lifejackets. The RNLI crew member checked under the floorboards for any damage to the hull and found it intact. He put the ballast tanks on drain and carried out a visual survey of the rocks around the boat.

Meanwhile the lifeboat carried our soundings to determine depths and dangers close to the location. The lifeboat attempted to take the vessel off the shelf from its stern and from the bow, but she was stuck fast. At 3.02pm the lifeboat informed the Coast Guard that it was taking all 9 people and her RNLI crew member onto the lifeboat and transferring the casualties to Dromineer, where they would wait whilst, Lifeboat Operations Manage, Liam Maloney made arrangements for their boat to be re-floated.

On their return passage to Dromineer, the lifeboat had to advise another vessel that they would run aground if they held their course and did not round the Mountaineer Buoy. That vessel changed course and came back out onto the navigation channel.

The lifeboat returned to Station and was ready for service again at 3.40pm.

Lifeboat Operations Manager, Liam Maloney advises all boat users to 'stay within the navigation channels on the lake, and to study your charts before setting out from port'. 'This fine weather is to stay with us a while longer', he continued, 'remember to respect the water and think safety when in or around water'.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The Irish Coast Guard, the RNLI and Irish Water Safety advise caution to those engaged in recreational activities in or near water during the current spell of good weather and throughout the summer months.

There has been a significant rise in maritime recreational incidents over the weekend due to the good weather.

At this time of the year as the secondary school term comes to a close and the fine weather is upon us, members of the public are urged to take care when engaging in aquatic activities.

Chief of Operations, Coast Guard Eugene Clonan, said “there has been a noticeable increase in the number of calls over the weekend. Sunday was particularly busy with twenty three calls in response to maritime recreational incidents and he urged members of the public, particularly younger people to exercise caution in and around the water”.

Gareth Morrison RNLI Lifesaving Delivery Manager said, ‘As the weather improves we notice an increase in callouts for our lifeboats. Many of these incidents relate to leisure activities where a nice day out has unfortunately ended in a call for help. Seeking some simple advice before you take to the water or coastline could make all the difference. Our volunteer lifeboat crews are always on call but when every second counts in an emergency you need to be prepared. The RNLI urges everyone to Respect the Water.’

Roger Sweeney, Deputy CEO of Irish Water Safety said that “Ireland averages eleven drownings every month and that constant responsible child supervision will help prevent further tragedies. Parents should check that their local primary school is teaching Irish Water Safety’s classroom based curriculum that instils good habits for a safe summer ahead.”

• The temperature of the sea, lakes, canals and inland water ways is still pretty cold and waters users should exercise caution and be aware of cold water shock and hypothermia.

• Swim with others, never alone, close and parallel to shore.

• If walking on the beach be careful that you are not cut off by the tide. Seek local information about stranding risks.

• Members of the public using recreational craft at the beginning of the season should check the seaworthiness of their craft before launching, particularly engines.

• When departing check the weather forecast, tell someone where you are going and when expected back and wear a life jacket when going afloat.

• For further information on safety on the water check www.safetyonthewater.ie.

• If you see someone in difficulty in the sea, on the shore, cliffs, lakes or rivers dial 999/112 and ask for the Coast Guard.

Published in Marine Warning

Lough Derg RNLI launched following a report of a vessel aground at Kylenoe Rocks at the north-eastern end of Lough Derg last night.

At 7.01pm last night Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat was requested to launch by Valentia Coast Guard, following a report of two adults in difficulty after their 18ft motor boat went aground at Kylenoe Rocks, at the northern end of Lough Derg.

The lifeboat, with helm Eleanor Hooker, Dom Sharkey and Lian Knight on board, launched at 7.15pm. Winds were westerly, Force 2, visibility was good.

The lifeboat located the casualty vessel at Kylenoe Rocks with two people on board, both wearing their lifejackets. An RNLI crew member waded into the boat and reassured the two people on board. The boat had suffered damage to the propeller on their outboard engine, and so they had taken it off the transom and into the boat.

Once the boat was off the rocks and towed into safe water, the lifeboat took it under an alongside tow to Terryglass Harbour, where it was taken out of the water.

The lifeboat returned to Station and was ready for service again at 9.45pm.

Deputy Launching Authority, Brian Hanly advises all bot users to carry a means of communication and 'in case of emergency dial 999 or 112 and ask for Marine Rescue'.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Page 13 of 66

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