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Displaying items by tag: Wexford

#RNLI - Four local towns went head-to-head at a recent quiz night in a bid to raise funds for Fethard RNLI’s new inshore lifeboat appeal.

Some 62 tables took on the challenge in four venues in Fethard on-Sea, Duncannon, Campile and New Ross last Friday (1 April) to determine which village or town would take the ‘Don’t be a fool on April Fool’s Day’ crown.

The honours went to New Ross on the night, with the winning team represented by Luke Grennan, Dan Meaney, Pat Kenny and Denis North.

Speaking following the event, Fethard RNLI fundraising chair Oonagh Hearne said: "Around 248 people enjoyed a great family evening with 62 tables participating and helping us to raise €3,000 towards our new inshore lifeboat appeal.

"Thank you to everyone who supported the event including The Brandon House Hotel, Neville’s Bar, Dunphy’s Bar and the Strand Tavern. Thanks to everyone who took part, the companies who donated prizes and all who helped organise the event. The community spirit was incredible."

Fethard RNLI hopes to raise €65,000 in their 18-month fundraising appeal which will go towards the cost of a new D class lifeboat due to arrive at the station late next year.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Two fishermen have been brought to safety this afternoon by the RNLI after they got into difficulty off the Wexford coast.

Wexford RNLI was requested to launch their inshore lifeboat at 12.08pm following a report that a fishing vessel with two people on board was experiencing mechanical difficulty a mile and a half south east of Blackwater Head.

The lifeboat helmed by Frank O’Brien launched and made its way to the scene. Wexford RNLI then requested the assistance of Rosslare Harbour RNLI due to the location of the fishing vessel some 12 miles north of Rosslare Harbour. It was the fourth call out in a week for the volunteer lifeboat crew from Rosslare.

The all-weather lifeboat under Coxswain Eamonn O’Rourke and with eight volunteer crew members on board launched at 12.29pm and made its way to the scene.

Weather conditions at the time were described as overcast but good. The men had been razor fishing when their boat got caught in lobster pots.

Once on scene, the lifeboat crew observed that no one was in immediate danger and began to work with the fishermen to establish a towline.

The vessel was then taken under tow and brought to the bar of Wexford escorted all the time by Wexford RNLI’s inshore lifeboat. Once there, Wexford RNLI took over and brought the vessel to shore at 4pm with the assistance of another fishing vessel which was in the area at the time. Having only finished a routine exercise when they were requested to launch at midday, this meant the volunteers from Wexford had spent some six hours at sea.

Meanwhile, yesterday (Saturday 12 March) Rosslare Harbour RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat under Coxswain Keith Miller launched in thick fog at 7am after a fishing boat with three people on board was reported to have lost its rudder just off Rosslare. The lifeboat once on scene took the boat under tow and brought it to Blackrock where it was met by Kilmore Quay RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat which towed it into Kilmore Quay.

Meanwhile, at 6.30am on Thursday, the lifeboat launched under Coxswain Eamonn O’Rourke to go the assistance of a fishing boat which had broke from her moorings overnight and blew ashore due to a change in the weather conditions. On this occasion the lifeboat crew established a tow before the vessel was brought alongside the fishermen’s wall in the harbour.

Speaking following today’s call out, David Maloney, Rosslare Harbour RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘The fishermen did the right thing this afternoon and raised the alarm when they began to experience some difficulty. Our volunteers both from Rosslare Harbour and Wexford responded rapidly and worked well together to bring the fishermen safely to shore. It has been a busy week for our volunteers but they are always ready and delighted to help anyone in need at sea.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Wexford RNLI's volunteer lifeboat crew rescued a man within a minute of him entering the water near Wexford Bridge on Wednesday afternoon (28 October).

The boat was just about to launch for an assessment of two prospective crew members when shore crew and tractor driver David Dempsey spotted something falling into the water out of the corner of his eye.

The lifeboat continued to launch at 2:33pm and was on scene within one minute. In the meantime a member of the public had thrown a lifebouy into the water and the casualty was able to hold onto it.

He was quickly recovered into the lifeboat at 2.34pm and the boat was back at the lifeboat station at 2.35pm, where the casualty was treated for mild hypothermia. Ambulance personnel provided further treatment and brought him to hospital.

Wexford RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer Lorraine Galvin said: "The fact that the lifeboat was ready to launch and was there within a minute of the man falling into the water saved his life, [not to mention] the fast response by a member of the public who threw a ringbouy into the water.

"The two volunteer lifeboat crew who were on assessment at the time had the opportunity to put their training to the test in a real rescue scenario."

The lifeboat crew involved in this rescue were helm Frank O'Brien and Fintan O'Donoghue, trainee crew Ger Doran and Marcin Maksimiuk, and tractor driver David Dempsey.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - At a special ceremony held yesterday (Saturday 26 September), Wexford RNLI officially named its new D class lifeboat, Alfred William Newman, at its lifeboat station in the town, adjacent to Wexford Bridge and the Quays.

As previously reported on, the lifeboat, which went on service on the 25 June this year, was funded by the late Alfred William Newman from Birmingham who, through a bequest in his will, provided the D class lifeboat to enable crews to continue Wexford RNLI’s lifesaving service.

Welcoming guests at the ceremony Wexford RNLI lifeboat operations manager Nick Bowie said the naming ceremony and service of dedication was a special occasion in the history of the Wexford lifeboat station.

He also welcomed members of the Booth family, who funded Wexford RNLI’s last lifeboat in memory of their beloved son and brother Philip. During its time on service, the Philip Robert Booth launched 112 times, saved eight lives and rescued 86 people.

The honour of naming the new lifeboat went to Yvonne Shields, chief executive at the Commissioners of Irish Lights, an organisation which has for many years enjoyed strong links with the RNLI.

Speaking at the event, she said Irish Lights had a deep admiration for the RNLI and the wonderful work the charity did around the coast.

"It is a remarkable organisation powered by a remarkable network of volunteers, who together are hugely dedicated and committed to the safety of all. At Irish Lights our role is also focused safety at sea through the provision of aids to navigation to ensure safety passage for all.

"We regard ourselves and the RNLI as part of the same family of organisations dedicated to the safety and wellbeing of mariners around the coast and indeed there are many Irish Lights people directly involved in the RNLI. This close and heartfelt relationship between our two organisations is why I was delighted to be asked to participate in today’s ceremony."

RNLI Irish Council member Niamh McCutcheon accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the RNLI before handing her over into the care of Wexford Lifeboat Station.

McCutcheon said the demand for the lifeboat service showed no sign of slowing down. "Here in Wexford over the past five years, the volunteer lifeboat crew have launched on average 11 times each year, rescuing a total of 47 people," she said.

"That is an incredible achievement, and I would like to pay a particular tribute to every crew member, shore crew, station manager and fundraiser who has made every one of those launches possible. Each and every one of you had a vital role in that rescue."

Since the new lifeboat went on service in Wexford there have been six callouts and many training exercises.

Accepting the new lifeboat, Bowie said: "Part of my job is to authorise her launch when requested. Through the Irish Coast Guard I have the volunteers paged, asking them to get down to the station as quick as possible and prepare for a launch.

"When they arrive, and get kitted up, and head out to sea, I’ll have peace of mind because I know this lifeboat will help to keep them safe, as they save others. So, on behalf of all the station volunteers, I would like to thank the donors and their family. Your generosity has given Wexford Town a lifesaver."

A crowd of well-wishers turned up to see the lifeboat officially named, with a bottle of champagne poured over the side of the boat before it launched at the end of the ceremony for a demonstration.

Also among the platform party were Cllr Ger Carty, Mayor of Wexford, who opened proceedings; Owen Medland, RNLI divisional operations manager, who described the lifeboat and her capabilities during the ceremony; Jack Higginbotham, lifeboat boathouse manager, who delivered the vote of thanks; and Sophie Gulliver, daughter of volunteer crew member Simon Gulliver.

Father Aodhan Marken and Canon Arthur Minion lead the Service of Dedication, with music provided by the Wexford Male Voice Choir.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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A new D class lifeboat for Wexford RNLI is to be officially named Alfred William Newman during a ceremony at the lifeboat station in the town centre at 2pm tomorrow, Saturday 26 September. The lifeboat which went on service in June was funded by Alfred William Newman who, through a bequest in his Will, provided the D class lifeboat to enable crews to continue Wexford RNLI’s lifesaving service.

The RNLI which has strong links throughout Ireland with the Commissioner of Irish Lights has asked Chief Executive Yvonne Shields, to have the honour of naming the new lifeboat at the station during tomorrow’s event.

Nick Bowie, Wexford RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager is looking forward to the naming ceremony. He said: ‘As the Operations Manager here, it’s a proud and satisfying moment to see the crew get such a capable rescue water craft. As well as celebrating the naming of this lifeboat, this event gives us the chance to say a warm thank you to the donor, Alfred William Newman whose generous bequest funded the lifeboat.’

The RNLI formally established a lifeboat station in Wexford in 2002 but its lifeboating history goes back some 77 years prior to that.

The original Wexford Lifeboat Station, located at the Fort at the mouth of Wexford Harbour was opened in 1838. It had two lifeboats on station, one for the offshore waters and a smaller lifeboat for the shallower waters of the harbour. Severe storms decimated the Fort village and its linking causeway in 1925 and the larger lifeboat had to be temporarily stationed at Wexford Quay. She was eventually permanently re-stationed at Rosslare Harbour, leaving the local boating community in Wexford to deal with emergencies within their harbour.

Many years later in 1993, following the tragic drowning of Paddy Busher, a local group was mustered to establish Wexford Harbour Inshore Rescue as a declared maritime emergency resource for Wexford Harbour and their lifeboat was named Paddy Busher. In 2002 this service formally became part of the RNLI.

The D class lifeboat has been the workhouse of the RNLI’s lifesaving service for nearly 50 years. It is inflatable but robust; highly manoeuvrable and capable of operating much closer to shore than all-weather lifeboats. It is specifically suited to surf, shallow water and confined locations, often close to cliffs, among rocks or even in caves.

First introduced to the fleet in 1963, the design of the D class has continued to evolve since its introduction and the latest version was introduced in 2003. As with all D class lifeboats, the Alfred William Newman has a single 50hp outboard engine and can be righted manually by the crew after a capsize. Onboard equipment includes both fitted and hand-held VHF radios, night-vision equipment, and first aid kit, including oxygen.

The 5m lifeboat is tractor launched and has a 25knot maximum speed. It can carry up to three lifeboat crew and five survivors.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - Volunteer lifeboat crew from Wexford and Rosslare Harbour RNLI launched on Sunday (14 June) to go to the assistance of two people onboard a 37ft yacht which got into difficulty off Wexford’s east coast.

Wexford RNLI launched their inshore lifeboat first at 4.30pm following reports that a yacht had suffered engine failure two miles south west of Raven’s Point. They then requested the assistance of their colleagues at Rosslare Harbour RNLI who subsequently launched their all-weather lifeboat.

Weather conditions at the time were described as good with a Force 5-6 northerly wind blowing. The sea was calm and there was good visibility. 

The Wexford lifeboat, helmed by Lorraine Galvin and with crew members Simon Gulliver and Martin Conway onboard, arrived on scene at 5pm. Gulliver, who is also Wexford RNLI’s station mechanic, boarded the yacht and assessed the situation.

After inspection, Gulliver was able to get the fuel system working again and ran the boat for 10 minutes to ensure the vessel was operating smoothly. Rosslare Harbour RNLI stood by meanwhile, ready to assist if required. 

Following the checks, the yacht was able to continue on its journey. 

Speaking following the callout, Galvin said: "We were delighted to be able to assist the two people who got into difficulty on their yacht today.

"Simon’s skills as mechanic paid off as he successfully managed to get the yacht back underway and in doing so avoided a lengthy tow back to shore."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#MarineWildlife - News emerged this week that Dippy, the famous diplodocus cast at the entrance of London's Natural History Museum, is to be replaced with the skeleton of a blue whale.

But amid all the hubbub that this move has sparked, perhaps little known is the replacement creature's Irish origin.

According to Geographical, the magazine of the Royal Geographic Society, the museum's blue whale skeleton is from a female whale that was beached off Wexford more than 100 years ago.

The giant marine mammal was reportedly already injured when it washed up at Wexford Harbour in 1891, says whaling expert Phillip Hoare, who notes that the museum paid £250 (some £27,000 in today's money) for the carcass – which produced an incredible 630 gallons of valuable whale oil.

That rendering was done at the museum itself, which had a 'whale pit' reserved for such purposes till the 1940s, when complaints from the neighbours about the smell put paid to that practice.

What's more, the Wexford whale that will have pride of place in the museum's atrium is just one of countless other specimens acquired over the decades, many of which are stores in a warehouse in south London.

Geographical has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#Wexford - The Wexford People reports on the death of a man in his early 50s after a quad bike accident on Ballinesker Beach in Curracloe yesterday afternoon (23 December).

The man was reported missing in the afternoon and found on the beach late in the evening with fatal injuries, with a post-mortem scheduled to take place today.

Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117, the local coastguard unit, gardaí and other volunteers were involved in the search for the deceased.

Published in News Update
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#Wexford - Wexford RNLI recovered the body of man last night (Saturday 22 November) following a 90-minute search operation after reports of a man who had fallen from his boat at the Crescent at Wexford Quay.

The lifeboat launched at 4.23pm seconds after the alert by the Irish Coast Guard. Its volunteer lifeboat crew were already in their full kit with the lifeboat on the slip as they had just come back to the station following an exercise.

Within a minute the lifeboat was on scene, where they were given reports of the person's location. A lifeboat crew member entered the water and the crew performed extensive searching of the area, assisted by local vessels from Wexford Harbour Boat and Tennis Club. 

Coastguard helicopter Rescue 117, Rosslare and Curracloe Coast Guard and Garda units joined in the search, with divers from Slaney Search and Rescue arriving on scene when the man's body was found. 

Wexford RNLI lifeboat crew recovered the casualty at 6.10pm and brought him back to Wexford lifeboat station. 

The Irish Times reports that the man is thought to have lost his footing while on a boat and slipped into the water.

Published in News Update
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#RNLI - Two people were rescued by Wexford RNLI in the early hours of Friday morning (3 October) after one was seen entering the water in the county town's harbour and another, a trained lifeguard, entered to assist.

  1. The volunteer crew was alerted at 1.29am and the lifeboat launched within six minutes of the pagers going off.

Both men were rescued alongside Wexford Quay and brought back to Wexford lifeboat station, where a HSE ambulance was waiting.

Speaking after the incident, a spokesperson for Wexford RNLI said: "The quick response by the lifeguard, Gardaí and lifeboat saved lives last night.

"If anyone see someone in distress in the water they should ring the coastguard on 112 or 999 which will ensure the fastest response by the Wexford lifeboat."

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