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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

Portrush RNLI on Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast was requested to launch by Belfast Coastguard yesterday morning (Saturday 19 June) at 11.52am to reports of an injured teenager near Ballintoy.

Both the inshore and all-weather lifeboats were requested to launch as the initial report stated that the 19-year-old woman had dislocated her shoulder while out with a coasteering group and needed assistance to get out of the water.

Visibility was good, with a light breeze so both boats made good time and were on scene at 12.25pm

When the volunteer RNLI crew arrived on scene, the casualty had been recovered onto the rocks and was being assisted by the coastguard.

The crew delivered nitrous oxide to the casualty for pain management, after which she was carefully transferred onto the inshore lifeboat and taken to Portballintrae Harbour where she was handed over to the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service.

Beni McAllister, lifeboat operations manager at Portrush Lifeboat Station, said: “Our volunteer lifeboat crew are trained in casualty care and have been able to maintain this training during lockdown as it is a key part of our operation.

“This was a classic transfer for our ILB crew from rocks to the lifeboat, working closely with our coastguard colleagues.

“This was also Ben Durrant’s first shout after being successfully passed out as ILB helm recently, so well done to him and the other crew members.

“We would also recommend as in this instance that people who are planning to go coasteering that they do so with an official group, as they know how to manage incidents such as this and will call us immediately if required.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Shortly after 11 pm this Saturday evening, Wicklow RNLI volunteers were assembling at the lifeboat Station following a Coast Guard pager alert.

Ten minutes later at 11:13 pm Wicklow RNLI all-weather lifeboat slipped its moorings at the south quay and proceeded north to investigate reports of a yacht experiencing difficulties south of Greystones.

The yacht with three people on board was located four miles south of Greystones at 11:45 pm. Weather conditions at the scene were good with calm sea and light airs.

An assessment was carried out and the yacht was found to have a rope fouled in the propeller, efforts were made by the lifeboat crew to free the obstruction, but some rope remained tangled in the propeller shaft. This prevented the engine from being started and the yacht from making its own way to port. 

Coxswain Keogh made the decision that undertaking a tow to Greystones harbour was necessary and the safest way to assist the sailors. The yacht was brought alongside Greystones Marina at 00:45 am on Sunday morning and the three sailors landed safely ashore.

The Lifeboat crew then proceeded back to Wicklow harbour arriving back on station at 1:30 am

Speaking after the callout, Wicklow RNLI Press officer, Tommy Dover said: ‘This was the first callout by the all-weather lifeboat crew using the new towing equipment.’

The crew on the callout were Coxswain Nick Keogh, Mechanic Tommy Murphy, Graham Fitzgerald, Paul Sillery, John Stapleton and Ian Thompson.

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As the summer months approach, Bundoran RNLI is calling on everyone looking forward to a boat trip at sea to plan ahead so they can enjoy their day safely.

The plea comes after a group of people whose boat had been tied up but damaged overnight by southerly winds and tidal conditions, became stranded and were brought ashore by the volunteer lifeboat crew.

Killian O’Kelly, volunteer helm at Bundoran RNLI, said: “It is great to see more people out on the water and enjoying themselves.

“As the summer approaches we want to remind people ahead of their trip to sea to plan ahead with safety in mind. Making simple safety measures means people can make the most of their activities with peace of mind.

“We would encourage people to get the right training for their craft. It is important to know how to handle your boat and its capabilities. Ensure your boat is prepared for the season and that your engine is well maintained. Always carry adequate tools and spares to fix any problems you may encounter and ensure you have enough fuel for your journey.

“Always check the weather and tide times. If you’re in an area that you are unfamiliar with, seek local advice on tides, conditions and potential obstacles or challenges.

“Always carry a means of calling or signalling for help — a mobile phone or a VHF radio tuned to Channel 16 to talk to the coastguard. Let them, and someone else on the shore know where you’re going and who to call if you don’t return on time, and always wear a lifejacket.”

More safety advice for boating and other activities is available at rnli.org/safety

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Ballyglass RNLI and Belmullet Tidal Pool Swimmers in north-west Co Mayo have won a Golden Welly for their recent fundraising efforts for the charity that saves lives at sea.

The RNLI award for Best Community Partnership Fundraiser, which is one of only six awards in all of Ireland and the UK, was announced last week at the RNLI’s virtual Mayday awards ceremony.

The volunteer lifeboat crew and the Belmullet swimmers were overjoyed to hear their deep-end dipping and donating earned them the prestigious Golden Welly.

The Golden Welly awards recognise and celebrate the fantastic work and contributions made to the RNLI’s annual Mayday fundraising campaign.

This year for the Mayday Mile, Michelle Healy and her mother Liz Healy, both on the committee of Belmullet Swim Club, came up with the idea of swimming a mile for the RNLI.

“There’s a great bunch of daily swimmers here in Belmullet, and they jumped at the chance to swim a mile to support the local lifeboat,” Michelle said. “We’re a coastal community and it's important we all pull together and support each other.”

Volunteer members of the Ballyglass RNLI crew joined in and swam in their full kit. Over five days during May, a total of 59 swimmers swam a collective distance of 74.11 miles in their Atlantic Ocean tidal pool, raising €2,016.

Pádraic Sheeran, Ballyglass RNLI’s lifeboat operations manager, said there has always been a great relationship between Ballyglass RNLI and Belmullet Swim Club with mutual respect and support at its core.

“Promoting water safety and saving lives at sea are common goals of the RNLI and the swim group and we’ve always worked well together.

“We are very thankful to Liz, Michelle and the group of swimmers and the great work they do and we’re delighted to accept an award that acknowledges and celebrates that effort. The funds raised will now help our volunteers as they continue to save lives at sea.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Lough Derg RNLI launched on Thursday afternoon (17 June) to assist two people on a 28ft cruiser aground inside the G navigation mark, north of Drominagh Point on Lough Derg.

The inshore lifeboat Jean Spicer arrived on scene at 12.50pm, 15 minutes after launch, and waited on standby as the cruise hire company were also on scene and attempting to refloat the cruiser.

When it was evident the cruiser was fast on rocks, and the cruise hire company had arranged for a more powerful tow vessel to assist, the RNLI volunteers — helm Eleanor Hooker, Ger Egan, Steve Smyth and Chris Parker — requested to take the two casualties off the stricken vessel to Terryglass Harbour, where their boat would be taken once it was reflected.

The callout came less than 24 hours after Lough Derg’s lifeboat volunteers attended a 32ft cruiser that ran aground by the entrance to Terryglass Harbour, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Brendan O’Brien, deputy launching authority at Lough Derg RNLI, advises boat users to “plan your passage, study your charts and don’t stray off the charted navigation routes”.

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Lough Derg RNLI launched on Wednesday evening (16 June) to assist two people on a 32ft cruiser aground by the entrance to Terryglass Harbour, at the northern end of Lough Derg.

At 6.48pm the inshore lifeboat Jean Spier set off with helm Eleanor Hooker and crew Steve Smyth, Joe O’Donoghue and Tom Hayes on board. Weather conditions had a westerly Force 3/4 wind with good visibility.

The lifeboat arrived on scene 20 minutes later and could see the cruiser aground inside the navigation marker by Terryglass Harbour.

After assessing the location and depths, the lifeboat made a careful approach to the casualty vessel, all the time taking soundings of the depths. Once alongside, the RNLI volunteers found both passengers on board to safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets.

A lifeboat crew member transferred across to the cruiser and, after making a thorough check of the boat to ensure it was not holed, set up for a tow.

The lifeboat found the casualty vessel to be stuck fast on the rocky shelf. Two marine engineers from the cruise hire company arrived on scene with a tow vessel but were also unable to get the vessel off the rocks.

The lifeboat took both passengers and their RNLI crew member onto the lifeboat and into Terryglass Harbour, where arrangements were made for both casualties to stay on shore overnight and their boat to be refloated this morning.

Brendan O’Brien, deputy launching authority at Lough Derg RNLI ,advises boat users to “plan your passage, study your charts and identify the navigation marks for the harbour to which you are travelling”.

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Larne RNLI was requested to launch by Belfast Coastguard on Saturday (12 June) to reports of a kayaker in the water north-east of Skernaghan Point, close to Portmuck in Islandmagee on Northern Ireland’s East Antrim coast.

Launching the inshore lifeboat Terry at 3.26pm, the volunteer crew made their way towards the location of the casualty.

As they were approaching the area, it was reported that the casualty had been recovered from the water by a local fishing boat.

Upon reaching the fishing boat, the volunteer crew recovered the casualty from the boat into the lifeboat and began to administer first aid. They also recovered the kayak to be towed into the safety of Portmuck Harbour.

Upon reaching the harbour, the casualty was handed over to the care of Portmuck Coastguard team and the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service.

Larne RNLI helm Barry Kirkpatrick said following the callout: “We would like to wish the casualty a speedy recovery and commend the crew of the fishing vessel who were on scene first.

“The casualty was wearing a lifejacket and all of his equipment was in good working order order. Sometimes even with the correct preparation, the sea can still be very unpredictable. We would recommend anyone going to sea always carries a means of calling for help should they get into any trouble.”

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Four Clifden RNLI crew members who went to the aid of a sailor stranded on the rocks of Inishark have received letters of commendation for their role in the complex rescue operation.

On 20 September 2019, in severe weather conditions, Clifden RNLI’s all-weather Shannon class and inshore Atlantic 85 lifeboats were launched at the request of the Irish Coast Guard.

A sailor had come into difficulty after his yacht suffered engine failure at Inishark island. The volunteer crew were on the scene within 30 minutes and located the casualty who had made his way onto the rocks.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, he operation was hampered by a south-east Force 7/8 onshore wind but helm Alan Pryce, using experience and training, was able to safely put a crew member ashore to assess the casualty.

The casualty did not have life-threatening injuries but given the severity of the weather, the safest option was to request the assistance of the coastguard’s Sligo-based helicopter Rescue 118 which winched the sailor to safety.

Clifden RNLI volunteers Alvin Bell, his father Andy Bell, Ian Shanahan and Alan Pryce crewed Clifden’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat during this challenging rescue operation and they recently received letters of commendation from John Payne, the RNLI director of lifesaving operations, for their service.

John Brittain, Clifden RNLI lifeboat operations manager, congratulated the crew: “Alvin, Andy, Ian and Alan have shown continued commitment to Clifden RNLI and I am delighted that their selfless courage and dedication has been recognised with a letter of commendation.

“This particular rescue highlights the level of training, skills and seamanship of our volunteer members and we are very grateful for the role they play in saving lives at sea.”

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Enniskillen RNLI launched to the aid of four people on a speedboat adrift in shallow water in the vicinity of Castle Archdale yesterday (Sunday 13 June).

Following a request from Belfast Coastguard, the volunteer crew launched the station’s inshore lifeboat John and Jean Lewis at 7.35pm to go to the aid of the 16ft speed boat, which had engine difficulties and was adrift in the Castle Archdale area of Lower Lough Erne.

Weather conditions at the time were choppy with a south-westerly wind.

The crew quickly found the drifting boat on the western side of Crevinishaghy Island.

All four adults onboard were found to be safe and well and wearing the correct safety equipment.

The volunteer crew then established a tow between the lifeboat and the vessel and all casualties were brought to Castle Archdale marina safely.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Lough Ree RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew went to the aid of thirteen people as it responded to three separate call-outs on the northern waters of the lake over the past weekend.

The most significant event was on Saturday (12 June) when at 7.20 pm the charity’s volunteer lifeboat crew launched under helm Emmet Devereaux to go to the aid of a speedboat with nine people on board which was drifting in Bantry Bay. On reaching the scene it was found that the boat had run aground and damaged a propeller. The craft with nine people on board was taken under tow to a safe berth at Ballyleague.

Late on Friday evening, the Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat volunteer crew went to the assistance of a 23ft steel cruiser with two people on board which had run aground in Barley Harbour. The cruiser was towed off the rocks and following inspection towed to Barley Harbour. The RNLI volunteer lifeboat the ‘Tara Scougall’ returned to its base just before midnight.

On Sunday morning (13 June) the Lough Ree RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew returned to Bantry Bay on the Longford lakeshore where a 37ft cruiser with two people on board had run aground and was listing. Following the inspection, the boat was taken under tow to a safe berth in Lanesboro.

Reflecting on a busy weekend for the charity, Lough Ree RNLI volunteer operations manager Jude Kilmartin said: ‘this is the start of the busy season on the lake when all users of the waterway should in time of need make the emergency call to 999 or 112 at the earliest opportunity. It is a tribute to our volunteer crews that responses this weekend were successful and timely.’

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