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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Displaying items by tag: Lifeboats

Like every other RNLI station, lifeboat volunteers at Kinsale RNLI have been unable to pursue their normal fundraising activities due to Covid-19 restrictions.

So they were surprised and delighted to receive a cheque recently for over $5,000 from a group of Irish expatriates in the USA.

McCarthy’s Bar in San Francisco — owned by Eileen McCarthy from Drinagh, West Cork — became an unlikely outpost for the lifeboat thanks to Kinsale native John Farley, who has lived in the Californian city for the past 30 years.

John is a lifelong supporter of the RNLI, with first-hand experience of their work after he, his sister and niece were rescued a number of years ago when their boat broke down off the Old Head.

Towards the end of the American NFL season, John organised a football pool with 25 friends, many from West Cork, for the final four San Francisco 49er games. They raised an incredible $5,200.

This is the largest single donation received by Kinsale RNLI since lockdown was introduced in March last, and the station says it will go a long way towards funding an essential service that has remained on call throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eileen and John have now installed an official RNLI collection box in McCarthy’s bar so fundraising can continue into the future. “We all appreciate that that RNLI is there for us when we need them, so we wanted to be there for them in their hour of need,” John said.

Kinsale RNLI lifeboat press officer Tricia Tyson commented: “John has been a great supporter down the years, and tells me their next big fundraiser will be for the RNLI in the Aran Islands as one of his group, Ronan Concannon, is from Aran Mor.

“We are delighted they are sharing their generosity with hardworking stations around Ireland. Our RNLI collection box only arrived in San Francisco a few weeks ago and John tells me it is almost full already.

“On behalf of all our RNLI volunteers, I wish to sincerely thank John, Eileen and all the McCarthy’s bar customers for remembering the RNLI back home. It just goes to prove the old adage that you can take a man out of Ireland, but you can’t take Ireland out of the man.”

The other Kinsale fundraisers in San Francisco are Fergus O’Shea, Derek Lovell, Polo Crosbie, Jason Davenport, Richard O’Keeffe, with John Farley and Kathleen Barry in Boston, Gertie O’Shea in Vancouver and the Callanan family, related to John Farley, who live in Kinsale.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

A woman was rescued from a sea inlet in West Cork after a more than 90-minute ordeal yesterday evening, Thursday 25 February.

The casualty had got caught in the swelling tide just off the slipway at Dunworley Beach near Butlerstown before 5pm.

Fortunately her shouts for help were heard above the sinkhole leading to the inlet a local walker, who immediately called the rescue services.

Courtmacsherry RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat attended the scene alongside the Irish Coast Guard’s helicopter Rescue 115 from Shannon and the land-based Old Head/Seven Heads coastguard unit, who rigged up their ropes to climb down the sinkhole and reach the casualty.

The woman was then successfully raised up the sink hole cliff face to the care of a waiting HSE ambulance crew.

Courtmacsherry RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer Vincent O'Donovan said: “It was great to see the total dedication of so many voluntary people from all the rescue services today and everyday in these difficult Covid times, who drop all and rush to the aid of others in difficulties.”

O'Donovan reiterated the importance of calling the rescue services at 112 or 999 quickly once any incident like this occurs, as they are always at the ready 24 hours a day — and every minute is so important to any person in difficulty.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

RNLI Portrush has posted that RNLI Lifeguards are recruiting and applications are open for 2021.

If you have a National Vocational Beach Lifeguard qualification and are interested in joining a dynamic, well-trained team responsible for keeping beach users safe around the RNLI patrolled beaches, then this may be for you.

In Northern Ireland, recruitment is open for the Causeways Coast and County Down beaches. Those on the Causeway Coast are Benone Strand, Downhill, Castlerock, Portstewart Strand, Portrush East and West Strands, Whiterocks and Ballycastle. In County Down, Tyrella, Murlough and Cranfield are all on the South Down coast. It is advised to apply for an area, not a particular beach.

You can find information here

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Both Portrush RNLI lifeboats were launched within an hour of each other to separate incidents on Northern Ireland’s North Coast this afternoon (Wednesday 24 February).

Initially, the volunteer crew were requested to launch the all-weather lifeboat by Belfast Coastguard at 12.36pm in response to reports of a surfer in difficulty at Castlerock.

While en-route, the crew received notification that the surfer had made it back to the beach unaided and all was well.

When they were returning to station, they were re-tasked to reports of two persons who had been swept off the rocks just between Portrush and Portstewart.

The all-weather crew requested that the inshore lifeboat was also launched as the casualties were reported to be close to the rocks.

Conditions and visibility today were good which helped both boats to make good time.

However again, before the ILB arrived on scene, the two persons had been able to get back onto the rocks without assistance from the volunteer lifeboat crews.

Beni McAllister, lifeboat operations manager at Portrush RNLI, said: “Although both boats were launched today and were stood down on both shouts, we would ask that if people feel that there is someone in difficulty in the sea, that they dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.

“We have said this before, but our crews would rather be safe than sorry.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Courtmacsherry RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat was called out yesterday afternoon (Sunday 21 February) to a surfer in difficulty off Garrettstown Beach near the Old Head of Kinsale.

The Trent class lifeboat with a crew of five was under way within minutes of the 3.40pm call.

However, upon reaching the scene less than 15 minutes later, they learned that the surfer had managed to get ashore with the help of family members.

“It was great to see the fast response of so many of our volunteer crew again today, when their bleepers activated, which ensured that we were at the scene very quickly,” said Brian O'Dwyer, Courtmacsherry RNLI volunteer lifeboat operations manager.

Elsewhere, Fenit RNLI’s volunteer crew were tasked around 1pm to reports of two upturned kayaks in the Banna Strand area.

The station launched both its all-weather and inshore lifeboats, with a full crew on both vessels.

File image of Fenit RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat (Photo: RNLI/Fenit)File image of Fenit RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat | Photo: RNLI/Fenit

On arrival at the scene of the reported sighting, the lifeboat crews were advised that the occupants of the kayaks were safe and accounted for, and their kayaks washed ashore shortly afterwards.

Fenit lifeboat press officer Jackie Murphy said the volunteers “were delighted that there was a safe and positive outcome for all concerned”.

Meanwhile, the RNLI stresses to all those taking part in any water activities or planning a visit to the coast during this extended lockdown to follow its water safety advice below, along with all new Government regulations, and stay safe in these different times for all rescue services:

  • Have a plan — check the weather forecast, tide times and read local hazard signage.
  • Keep a close eye on your family — on the beach, on the shoreline and in the water.
  • Don’t allow your family to swim alone.
  • Don’t use inflatables at all, at all on the sea.
  • Make sure to wear a lifejacket at all times when taking to the sea in a boat.
  • 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 an emergency dial 999 or 112 immediately and ask for the coastguard. The rescue services are there to help you all.
Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Courtown RNLI braved difficult sea conditions to recover a small boat that ran aground north of Cahore Harbour in Co Wexford yesterday, Sunday 21 February.

Lifeboat volunteers were called at 3.45pm to the vessel with three on board, which had reportedly lost power around a mile north of Cahore Harbour at Glasscarrig Beach.

Courtown RNLI reports that arriving at the scene in the inshore lifeboat, its crew learned that the boat had lost power soon after launch, and had subsequently washed up on the beach and rocks.

All three occupants had managed to get safely ashore in the meantime. But recovery of their boat proved difficult due to the choppy conditions at sea.

A tow line was eventually secured and the boat was towed back to Cahore Pier by Cahore Inshore Rescue, who also attended the scene.

Speaking after the callout, Courtown RNLI lifeboat operations manager Sam Kennedy said: “It was great to see that the three people managed to get to shore safely.

“Our crew responded readily today and adhered to all Covid-19 guidelines currently in place at Courtown RNLI.”

The inshore lifeboat on this callout was helmed by Peter Browne with crew members Fergus Slevin and Cormac Kinsella.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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As the RNLI continues to operate as normal during the Covid-19 pandemic, the charity is still unable to fundraise out in person in the community.

With more people needing the lifeboat crews as they stay home, support from the public is more important than ever — and Carrybridge RNLI in Northern Ireland is one unit that has risen to the challenge by making it easier for people to back their vital work.

The RNLI operates two lifeboat stations for Upper and Lower Lough Erne, at Carrybridge and Enniskillen respectively, and has seen a drop in funds raised locally in 2020 as traditional fundraising activities had to be cancelled.

In many cases, when the lifeboat pager goes off, volunteers will need to abandon homeschooling or work and head to the lifeboat station to answer the call for help.

Stephen Scott, lifeboat operations manager at Carrybridge RNLI, says: “We couldn’t do what we do without the support of the public. The RNLI has experienced a drop in funds locally, but we are rescuing more people than ever before.

“We are facing challenging times and are calling on people to consider making a donation this year to ensure we can continue saving lives on inland waters.

“We have moved our fundraising online in these challenging times and set up a JustGiving page for the lifeboat station where people can donate directly to their local lifeboat station in Carrybridge.”

To support the RNLI at Carrybridge, helping to ensure the charity’s brave volunteers can continue saving lives on Lough Erne, visit their JustGiving page HERE.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

A dog and his walker were rescued after they got cut off by the tide at Sandymount this afternoon (Thursday 4 February).

Dun Laoghaire RNLI’s inshore lifeboat assisted with recovering the duo from the water and bringing them to safety at Poolbeg beach.

National Ambulance Service paramedics arrived to give the owner a medical check-up.

At the same time, an Irish Coast Guard member and a paramedic gave Hugo the dog some TLC after his dramatic experience, as Hugo can’t swim.

Dun Laoghaire’s coastguard unit reminds the public if you see anyone in difficulty in or near the water, dial 112/999 immediately and ask for the coastguard.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Portrush RNLI’s volunteers rescued two surfers who got into difficulty while surfing at Co Antrim’s East Strand earlier today (Monday 1 February).

The inshore lifeboat launched before 1.30pm following a number of 999 calls to both the coastguard and the lifeboat station, and arrived on scene within four minutes amid fair weather conditions.

It emerged that the two surfers had got caught in a rip current and despite repeated attempts to get back to shore, they realised they couldn’t as they were becoming very tired. They attracted the attention of a number of onlookers who dialled 999.

Once on scene, the RNLI crew quickly recovered the two surfers into the lifeboat and returned with them to Portrush Harbour, where they were handed off to the care of the waiting coastguard team.

Beni McAllister, lifeboat operations manager at Portrush RNLI, said: “Surfing during lockdown has become extremely popular on both our beaches here in Portrush and it is a great pastime both mentally and physically.

“However, rip tides can be treacherous, and we would ask people to take care and check on conditions before entering the water.

“These two surfers did the right thing in alerting onlookers and we are relieved that people reacted very quickly and dialled 999, which allowed us to get onto scene very quickly.

“Remember if you see someone in trouble, dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.”

The crew on this callout were helm Ben Wilson and volunteers Christy Bradley and Daniel Thorne.

Published in Surfing
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Skerries RNLI’s volunteer crew had a busy weekend responding to calls to stranded walkers on Friday (22 January) and a missing swimmer today (Sunday 24 January).

Shortly before 4.30pm on Friday afternoon, Dublin Coast Guard tasked Skerries RNLI following a call from An Garda Síochána reporting that a number of people had been cut off by the rising tide on Barnageeragh beach.

The lifeboat was launched and proceeded to the area indicated, where the crew quickly spotted one adult and three children at the base of the cliff above the waterline.

While the casualties were uninjured, conditions underfoot in the area were very poor due to a large number of submerged rocks covered in seaweed and algae.

Following a consultation with members of the Skerries Coast Guard unit who were at the top of the cliff, it was decided that due to the falling temperatures and rapidly fading light, the safest option would be to request the assistance of the Dublin-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116.

A crew member stayed with the casualties to reassure them and keep them calm until the helicopter arrived and winched them aboard.

Then today, Sunday 24 January, the volunteer crew were paged shortly after 12.30pm following a call from a concerned family member when a swimmer in Skerries had not returned at the expected time.

The lifeboat launched immediately and made its way around the headland to the swimming platform known locally as The Springers.

Upon arrival it was quickly established that the swimmer had since made it safely ashore. They were well equipped for cold water swimming and required no assistance. The lifeboat was stood down and returned to the station.

Speaking about the callouts, which came a week after the town’s first of the year, Skerries RNLI’s Gerry Canning said: “Friday afternoon was a fantastic example of how well all the emergency services work together, with full-time emergency service personnel and volunteers working alongside each other seamlessly to get the best possible outcome.

“Thankfully the call for the swimmer on Sunday was a false alarm with good intent. We encourage anyone who thinks someone may be in difficulty in or near the sea to dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard. The earlier they make that call the better.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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