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Displaying items by tag: Lifeboats

Six people were rescued from their boats on Lough Erne as Storm Ellen swept over Northern Ireland in the early hours of Thursday (20 August).

Enniskillen RNLI said the vessels, which were moored at the Devenish West jetty, were breaking their moorings in the strong winds.

All six passengers across the two brought to safety in Enniskillen aboard the inshore lifeboat.

Meanwhile, three other vessels breaking their moorings at Lough Erne Yacht Club were assisted by the lifeboat station’s shore crew.

Fermanagh braved the worst of Storm Ellen in Northern Ireland, while the Foyle Bridge in Derry had to be closed for a time amid gales and driving rain, as the News Letter reports.

Sligo Bay RNLI volunteers launched last night just hours before the arrival of Storm Ellen to reports of a lone surfer heading out to sea in the fading light.

The inshore lifeboat was joined by the Sligo-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 118 as it headed to Strandhill just after 8.30pm yesterday evening, Wednesday 19 August.

Freshening south-easterly winds were blowing 14 knots ahead of the storm’s track north from the West Cork coast.

Once at the scene, the lifeboat crew located the surfer who was able to make their own way ashore.

Speaking following the callout, Aisling Gillen of Sligo Bay RNLI said: “Thankfully this was a happy ending. We would remind everyone of the importance of paying heed to safety warnings during periods of stormy weather and exercise extreme caution.

“Stay back, stay high and stay dry.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Youghal RNLI’s volunteer crew were paged yesterday evening (Tuesday 18 August) to reports of a swimmer in difficulty around half a mile off shore at the East Cork town’s Front Strand.

As they launched the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat in calm conditions at 8.23pm, the crew received a further report of a second swimmer entering the water to assist the first and getting into difficulty.

However, both swimmers managed to make it ashore without any assistance from the crew.

The lifeboat made a general search of the area before returning to the station.

“Swimming in open water is very different from swimming in a pool,” said deputy launching authority Mark Nolan.

“Unseen currents, cold water and waves make open water swimming more challenging. Even the strongest of swimmers can tire quickly.

“Remember to always tell someone where and when you are going swimming, and if you see anybody in trouble in the water call 112/999 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Portrush RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat launched late yesterday afternoon (Sunday 16 August) to reports of two missing divers just off Rathlin Island.

The divers were part of an organised party with a diving school, and the dive leader immediately raised the alarm with the coastguard as a precaution.

But as the lifeboat headed to Rathlin, the crew were informed that the divers had been found and recovered by the dive boat.

Portrush RNLI was asked to standby at Ballycastle in case a medical evacuation was required.

However, the dive company had a doctor on board, and the divers were assessed as being fit and handed over to the NI Ambulance Service to be taken to hospital as a precaution.

Lifeboat press officer Judy Nelson said: “This has been one of our busiest seasons as people are choosing to holiday at home and try sea-based activities that they may not have done before.

“We would advise the public to book these activities with an experienced group, who on this occasion observed all safety precautions and raised the alarm immediately, thus preventing an untoward event.”

Portrush RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat launches to reports of a flare (RNLI/Ben Durrant)Portrush RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat launches to reports of a flare | RNLI/Ben Durrant

Portrush RNLI previously launched the all-weather lifeboat just before 1am on Sunday morning to several reports of a distress flare in the Portstewart Strand area.

After a thorough search of the vicinity with nothing found, the multi-agency response — including the PSNI and HM Coastguard — was stood down and the lifeboat returned to station by 3.30am.

This was also Portrush RNLI crew member Dave Robinson’s first shout as coxswain since passing RNLI assessments two weeks ago.

Deputy launching authority Carl Kennedy said: “As the RNLI will always respond to reports of a distress flare being spotted, we would ask members of the public to take care when launching any kind of light, firework, flare or Chinese lantern during the night as these can be seen as distress flares and reported as an emergency call.

“This can entail, as it did tonight, huge resources being deployed by emergency services to ensure that there was no-one in danger.

“Tonight this was a false alarm with good intent with no one in danger.”

Published in Diving
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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

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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A woman was evacuated for medical attention by Youghal RNLI yesterday evening (Monday 10 August) after she slipped and fell on rocks below the East Cork harbour’s lighthouse.

The volunteer lifeboat launched at 5.07pm in perfect sea conditions and on a falling tide, reaching the casualty in just three minutes.

Two crew members went ashore with a stretcher to assist the fire brigade and Irish Coast Guard crews who were already at the scene.

Following the Government and RNLI guidelines concerning Covid-19, the casualty was placed onto the stretcher and transferred to the lifeboat.

She was then taken to Youghal lifeboat station where an ambulance was waiting to bring her to Cork University Hospital.

Speaking after the callout, Youghal RNLI’s deputy launching authority Mark Nolan said: “We would like to wish today’s casualty a speedy recovery.

“It can be very easy to fall and slip whilst out walking — be wary of all edges around the sea and water, and always take a means of calling for help with you.”

This year follows one of the busiest for Youghal RNLI in its 180-year history, with a record number of callouts. And 2020 has been especially challenging time for everyone thus far.

As a charity that relies 100% on public donations for its funding, the RNLI have definitely felt the effects of fundraising events being cancelled, bucket collections unable to go ahead and RNLI shops being closed.

If you can make a donation to Youghal RNLI or your local lifeboat at this time, it would be greatly appreciated.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Coastguard units from Coleraine and Ballycastle were tasked to rescue a man in his 70s who had fallen in a cave close to the Giant’s Causeway on Friday (7 August).

The casualty had sustained a knee injury and was being treated at the scene in Smuggler’s Cove on Northern Ireland’s North Coast by NIAS paramedics.

Due to the remote location, the decision was made to evacuate the injured man by RNLI lifeboats from Portrush.

The challenging terrain made extraction difficult and complex.

First the man was moved by rope rescue stretcher over very uneven and slippery boulders to the water’s edge, then transferred into coastguard water rescue stretcher, then onto the inshore lifeboat.

From there to the all-weather lifeboat for transfer to a waiting ambulance at Portrush Harbour.

Coleraine Coastguard said: “This was a highly challenging rescue due to the location, but another great example of inter-agency teamwork brought it to a successful ending.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Two adults and a child were rescued this morning (Sunday 9 August) by Larne RNLI after their small RIB broke down near Magheramore in Co Antrim.

The volunteer crew launched the smaller in-shore lifeboat, Terry, at 11.05am and made their way in calm seas towards the scene.

All three on the casualty vessel were found to be safe and well, and a tow was establish to return the RIB to the harbour at Ballylumford.

Inshore lifeboat helm Chris Dorman said: “The casualties did the right thing. They were trying out this piece of equipment and realised that something wasn’t quite right with it, so they contacted the coastguard for assistance.

“Everyone onboard was wearing a lifejacket and they had means to contact the shore in case of emergency.”

He added: “If you see anyone in difficulties at sea, the dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

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