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Displaying items by tag: Dunmore East

Dunmore East RNLI in County Waterford has announced the appointment of David Murray as its new full-time Station Mechanic. David, who has been a volunteer with the lifeboat station since 2013, has made significant contributions to the team and the maritime community of Dunmore East. His impressive career progression from Volunteer Crew Member to Trainee Coxswain is a testament to his development of skills in technical maintenance, operational readiness, and team leadership. 

Apart from his volunteer work, David has also been working as a General Operative at Dunmore East Harbour since 2017, which further honed his skills in maintenance and safety management within the harbour, making him an invaluable member of the RNLI team. 

David's involvement in the Lily B rescue in 2020, where he played a key role in saving nine lives and preventing a 100-metre coal ship from going aground at Hook Head, earned him a Medal Service Certificate for Gallantry. His spirit, dedication, and experience make him an ideal fit for his new role as Station Mechanic.

On his appointment, David said, "It's an honour to take on the role of Station Mechanic, even more so in the year when the RNLI marks such an important event. My life has always been linked to the sea, and I'm proud to apply the skills I've developed as an RNLI volunteer to my new full-time role. I am committed to providing complete support to our crew, ensuring they have the resources and training necessary to carry out their duties safely and effectively."

The Dunmore East RNLI crew say it is thrilled to have their colleague and friend promoted to such an important position and wishes David Murray the very best in his new role. As the charity marks its bicentennial year, David's journey from a committed volunteer to a full-time professional role within the RNLI is truly inspiring and demonstrates the institution's commitment to individual growth and development.

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Marking the end of an era, Roy Abrahamsson, Coxswain and Mechanic of Dunmore East RNLI lifeboat station, has embarked on a new venture in Sweden. Roy's distinguished 24-year tenure with the RNLI, 13 of which he served as Coxswain, has been a reflection of his total dedication to lifesaving at sea. This was a trait inherited from his father, Walter Abrahamsson, who was the esteemed Coxswain of Dunmore East’s Waveney class lifeboat, the ‘St. Patrick’, stationed in the fishing village from 1975 to 1996.

Roy's earliest memories are intertwined with the RNLI, having spent cherished moments aboard the lifeboat with his father. This early exposure forged a deep-seated commitment to the life cause, which he upheld throughout his service. In a poignant echo of history, just as Walter was pivotal in welcoming the arrival of the Trent class lifeboat, Elizabeth and Ronald’, in 1996, Roy subsequently took the helm of Dunmore East's latest Shannon class lifeboat ‘William and Agnes Wray’ in 2021, underscoring the family's long-standing relationship with the RNLI.

Roy Abrahamsson, Coxswain and Mechanic of Dunmore East RNLI lifeboat stationRoy Abrahamsson, Coxswain and Mechanic of Dunmore East RNLI lifeboat station

Roy Abrahamsson's relocation to Sweden represents not just a personal milestone but also the continuation of a storied family legacy with his grandfather, Stig Abrahamsson. Stig, a native of Sweden, also had a deep-rooted relationship with the sea with connections to the Irish fishing industry. This profound maritime heritage was passed down to his son, Walter Abrahamsson, and then to Roy, weaving a rich tapestry of service to the sea-going community.

Numerous achievements have highlighted Roy's service with the RNLI, none more so than the 'Lily B' rescue operation in 2020 that saved nine lives and prevented a 100m cargo ship from hitting rocks at Hook Head in treacherous seas. For his remarkable leadership during this mission, Roy was awarded the RNLI Bronze Medal for Gallantry, an honour that celebrates his exceptional contribution to lifesaving.

Roy's approach to the maintenance of the lifeboat was not just a duty, but a passion deeply ingrained in his ethos. His meticulous attention to detail and unwavering commitment to safety have been exemplary, even by the high standards of the RNLI. He understood that the safety of his crew and the effectiveness of their life-saving missions hinged on the reliability of their vessel. As a result, the lifeboats under his care were maintained to the highest possible standards, ensuring that every component, no matter how small, functioned flawlessly.

A unique farewell exercise afloat recently took place, which saw him joined by the close-knit RNLI family from neighbouring Kilmore Quay RNLI station and crew from the Irish Coast Guard Helicopter R117. This sea salute was a powerful expression of the teamwork essence that defines the RNLI community and the collective commitment to saving lives at sea.

Reflecting on Roy's journey, Liz Power, Dunmore East RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, said: ‘Roy's dedication has been the backbone of our lifesaving efforts. His bravery, expertise, and steadfast leadership have not only saved lives but have also inspired all of us. He carries not only the legacy of his family's commitment to the RNLI but also the gratitude and respect of the local community he served so well. We would like to recognise the unwavering support from Roy's wife, Caroline, and their children. The families of lifeboat crews are the unsung heroes who play a crucial role in the RNLI's lifesaving mission.’

Now, as Roy starts a new career abroad, he is not only tracing the path of his grandfather but also honouring the legacy of his father, Walter. This move symbolises a full circle, uniting the past and present of the Abrahamsson lineage. Roy carries with him the lessons and values instilled by both his father and grandfather, bridging the maritime traditions of Dunmore East and Sweden.

Roy's time at Dunmore East RNLI has been marked by bravery, expertise, and a passion for maritime safety, a legacy passed down from his father. As he looks towards the future, the lifeboat crew and fundraising and operations team express deep gratitude for his service and have confidence that his impact will resonate for years to come.

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The Dunmore East RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew successfully coordinated a multi-agency rescue operation yesterday morning (25 November) for a fishing vessel in distress.

The 12m vessel, with three persons on board, got into difficulty less than 0.5 nautical miles west of Dunmore East Harbour. It was reported to be taking on a significant amount of water when the Irish Coast Guard tasked the RNLI crew at 07.33 am.

RNLI volunteers responded to a pager alert, and the all-weather lifeboat, William and Agnes Wray was launched and quickly located the vessel. Having assessed the situation, a salvage pump was deployed, and an RNLI volunteer was transferred to the vessel to manage the water ingress effectively. A decision was then made to tow the vessel to Dunmore East Harbour with escort support from other vessels from the local fishing community.

A comprehensive response effort involving the Irish Coast Guard, including the Rescue 117 helicopter and Dunmore East Fire Service, was waiting at the harbour. This joint operation played a pivotal role in the successful outcome of the incident.

An aerial view of Dunmore East Harbour showing the lifeboat returning to base Photo: Rescue 117An aerial view of Dunmore East Harbour showing the lifeboat returning to base Photo: Rescue 117

Liz Power, volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager at Dunmore East RNLI, commended the collective effort: ‘This rescue operation showcased exceptional collaboration between the RNLI, Irish Coast Guard, Fire Service, and the local fishing community. The response to the Mayday call by nearby fishing vessels was a key factor in the success of this operation. Their immediate assistance played a crucial role in the safety and support of the incident.’

This event highlights the critical importance of coordinated responses in maritime emergencies and serves as a reminder of the necessity for regular safety checks and preparedness on all sea-going vessels.

The RNLI emphasises the importance of always being prepared at sea. Mariners are reminded to ensure that their vessels are seaworthy, safety equipment is up to date and functional, and that they carry a VHF radio to call for help in case of an emergency.

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Dunmore East RNLI lifeboat crew called out twice yesterday (17 August) to assist two solo sailors who were part of the qualifying stages for a long-distance solo race.

Each sailor was piloting their own 6m sail-only vessels and had intended to make their way back to their homeport in France. However, unexpected weather complications meant they had to alter their course and seek the safe harbour of Dunmore East.

The first alarm came in at 1.57 pm, and the RNLI crew made their way to a location west of Hook Head, approximately four nautical miles from Dunmore East. The first sailor, who hailed from France and lacked engine power, was in good spirits and welcomed the RNLI's assistance. Given the deteriorating conditions, the crew opted to tow the vessel to Dunmore East.

The six-metre solo yacht is taken under tow by Dunmore East RNLI allweather lifeboatThe six-metre solo yacht is taken under tow by Dunmore East RNLI all-weather lifeboat

Scarcely had they returned to port at 3.17 pm when the Irish Coast Guard's second alert came through. Another sailor, part of the same race, also encountered difficulties, this time in a slightly different position, one nautical mile south of Hook Head. The RNLI crew, still in the midst of prepping their all-weather lifeboat 'William and Agnes Wray' from the prior mission, mobilised immediately. To ensure the safe transit of the second vessel, an RNLI crew member boarded, guiding it and its sailor back to Dunmore East.

 The second six-metre solo yacht is taken under tow by Dunmore East RNLI all-weather lifeboat The second six-metre solo yacht is taken under tow 

The day's efforts saw the seamless collaboration of the volunteer crew: Trevor, David M, Fergus, Paul, Luka, and notably Susan, who marked her first mission. Operations from the shore were managed by Deputy Launch Authority, Elaine Power and Lifeboat Operations Manager, Liz Power.

Peter Grogan, the Lifeboat Press Officer, commented on the day's events, stating, 'Despite the solo sailors being very experienced and well-equipped, today's situation underscores the unpredictability of the sea. Their foresight to carry a VHF radio was crucial, allowing them to call for assistance when needed. They did the right thing by calling for help. We can't stress enough the importance for all sea users to maintain a reliable means of communication at all times.'

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The Dunmore East RNLI lifeboat crew responded to a call of a fishing vessel in distress on Wednesday evening (5th July).

Having been notified by the Irish Coast Guard, the emergency pagers went off at 19:07, alerting the crew to a situation 23 nautical miles southwest of Dunmore East. An 11m fishing vessel with three crew had encountered engine troubles, leaving them stranded at sea. The volunteer lifeboat crew immediately mobilised, and the all-weather Shannon class lifeboat, William and Agnes Wray, was quickly dispatched to the troubled vessel.

Conditions were favourable when the lifeboat initially set out from Dunmore East. However, as the evening progressed, the weather turned, with the wind increasing to gale force 6-7, accompanied by a moderate sea swell. Despite the challenging conditions, the RNLI crew pressed on to reach the stranded vessel.

Approximately 1.5 hours after the initial alert, the lifeboat arrived at the fishing vessel. The crew found the fishermen safe but immobilised due to mechanical failure.

Dunmore East RNLI coxswain, Roy Abrahamsson, commented on the situation: "These incidents highlight the unpredictable nature of the sea. Even the most experienced and well-prepared crews can encounter problems. We commend the crew for making the correct decision to call for assistance when their engine failed."

Upon assessment, the decision was made to take the fishing vessel on tow back to the safety of Dunmore East Harbour. Despite the challenging conditions, the homeward journey was carried out without incident, and the fishing vessel was safely moored in Dunmore East Harbour and the lifeboat was ready again for service at approximately 2 am.

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The Dunmore East RNLI lifeboat was called out on Tuesday (13 June) to assist a vessel in distress approximately four miles southeast of Hook Head.

The vessel, with two people aboard, had caught fire and called the Irish Coast Guard for emergency assistance.

The lifeboat crew were alerted at 1.27 pm, and the Shannon class all-weather lifeboat, William and Agnes Wray, was launched.

Fortunately, the situation had been brought under control and extinguished by the time the lifeboat arrived on the scene approximately 12 mins after leaving the pontoon.

Upon arrival, the condition of the vessel and its occupants was evaluated. It was found that the crew of the vessel had followed their emergency procedures successfully, managing to control and safely extinguish the fire onboard. Although the vessel was now without power and adrift.

The coxswain of the lifeboat, Roy Abrahammsson, spoke highly of the vessel's crew. "Their actions today were commendable. It's a testament to their experience and training that they managed to extinguish the fire swiftly, preventing what could have been a very serious situation. They did the right thing in calling for help, and we were there to provide the support they needed. This incident underlines the importance of safety procedures and emergency preparedness at sea."

Given the situation, the decision was made to tow the vessel back to the safety of Dunmore East Harbour. Upon arrival, Waterford Fire Brigade, Gardaí and Irish Coast Guard were on hand to conduct further checks and offer assistance if necessary.

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Hundreds of swimmers ranging from beginners to experienced athletes, fearlessly took on the challenge of the Dunmore East RNLI Open Water Swim last Sunday (28 May).

The event garnered an impressive response with 360 registered swimmers, all driven by a shared purpose: supporting the invaluable work of Dunmore East RNLI. Participants from around the country and beyond attended the event, promoting a sense of positivity, energy, and personal fulfilment while collecting necessary funds for the lifeboat station.

The event featured three swim options, offering distances of 1,600m, 800m, and 500m, thereby providing opportunities for individuals of all skill levels to test their mettle in the invigorating open water. Regrettably, the 1,600m swim had to be cancelled due to safety concerns arising from a strong north-easterly wind. Nonetheless, participant safety remained the utmost priority, and a dedicated team of kayakers, safety boats, and the state-of-the-art Shannon Class RNLI lifeboat, William & Agnes Wray, expertly escorted the swimmers throughout the event.

Dunmore East RNLI Open Water Swim participants: Fionnuala Houlihan, Nicola Cunniffe, Una Fennell and Anne Marie PowerDunmore East RNLI Open Water Swim participants: Fionnuala Houlihan, Nicola Cunniffe, Una Fennell and Anne Marie Power Photo: Peter Grogan

Carol McGeary from Dunmore East RNLI's Open Water Swim committee praised all involved with the event: ‘The inspiring community support and each participant's contribution were remarkable. The funds raised will power our volunteer crew's lifesaving work at sea. We are proud and grateful for this collective success in enhancing water safety and support.

‘The event highlighted the spirit of charity and volunteerism while emphasising water safety. Heartfelt appreciation goes out to everyone involved in creating this memorable day. The team eagerly look forward to the next event, continuing the tradition of community spirit and support for the Dunmore East RNLI.’

Dunmore East RNLI extends its sincere gratitude to the event's lead sponsors, Energia Renewables and Activate Waterford, for their generous support in bringing the swim to fruition. Gratitude is also extended to additional supporters, including Brendan Walsh Fruit & Veg, Strand Hotel, Powers Centra, Dunmore East Coastguard, Costcutter, Clem Jacob Hire, Dunmore East Fire Brigade, Order of Malta, The Fitness Beach Bum, Geoff Harris, Kellog's, and Lidl. Their contributions played an instrumental role in ensuring a memorable day for all.

The organising committee extends special thanks to Barry McConnell, Commodore of Waterford Harbour Sailing Club, Deirdre Lane, Harbour Master, and Karen Harris, Dunmore Adventure Centre, for their invaluable assistance in arranging and hosting the event. Their cooperation and flexibility in accommodating the event alongside their own activities are greatly appreciated.

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Dunmore East RNLI assisted a crew of three people onboard a yacht stranded off Hook Head late on Thursday night (4 May).

After receiving an alert from the Irish Coast Guard, the volunteer lifeboat crew were called into action at 11.43pm to assist the 10m yacht in distress some one-and-a-half miles northwest of Hook Head.

The yacht, with three people onboard, found itself adrift after losing both engine power and electrics amid challenging weather conditions.

The Shannon class all-weather lifeboat William and Agnes Wray was promptly launched, and upon the crew conducting a search in the reported vicinity, it reached the yacht in poor visibility, with Force 5-6 winds, a moderate sea state and rainy conditions.

After evaluating the situation and ensuring the well-being of the yacht’s crew, the decision was made to tow the vessel back to the safety of Dunmore East Harbour.

Speaking following the callout, lifeboat coxswain Roy Abrahamsson said: “The yacht’s crew were relieved to see us arrive, as the loss of power had left them adrift and vulnerable in the challenging wind and rain conditions in darkness.

“We urge those going afloat to check their engine and fuel, always wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid, and carry a means of calling for help.

“The lifeboat crew successfully completed the operation, with the lifeboat returning to the pontoon at 1am. This latest call out showcases the professionalism and dedication of Dunmore East RNLI’s volunteers, who consistently provide a vital service for those in need at sea. If you see someone in difficulty on or near the water, dial 999/112 or use Marine VHF Channel 16 and ask for the coastguard.”

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Dunmore East RNLI's courageous volunteer crew members in County Waterford will take on the daunting challenge of climbing a vertical mile in a single day, on Sunday, 7 May, as part of the charity's Mayday Mile fundraising challenge.

The dedicated crew will test their strength and stamina by summiting the highest peaks in both the Comeragh and Knockmealdown mountains, ascending a vertical mile over the course of the day. To make the challenge even more gruelling, the team will be wearing their full lifeboat kit. The aim is to raise vital funds and awareness for the RNLI, the charity dedicated to saving lives at sea.

The crew will include Hugh O'Sullivan, Peter Grogan, Oscar Stafford, Adam Sweeney and Luka Sweeney, all volunteers on the all-weather lifeboat in Dunmore East.

Money raised through the Mayday Mile could help RNLI lifesavers have everything they need to keep families safe this summer. Warmer weather draws more people to the water, and RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews will drop whatever they’re doing when a call for help comes in.

'Our team is passionate about the lifesaving work of the RNLI, and we wanted to take on a challenge that would not only raise funds for the charity but also highlight the dedication and bravery of our volunteers,' said Adam Sweeney, a crew member on the Dunmore East RNLI Lifeboat. 'As someone who will be participating in the Mayday Mile, I am excited and eager to push my limits in support of the RNLI's vital work. This challenge serves as a reminder of the resilience and determination our crews embody when faced with difficult conditions at sea.'

'Summer can be our busiest time of year, with many people at risk of getting into danger by the water. Ordinary people just enjoying days out with family or friends. Mayday is our own call for help, as we rely on the generosity of the public to take part in events like the Mayday Mile and raise the funds that allow us to be there when we’re needed most. But we need to be ready. Training, kit, stations, fuel, these are just some of the things we need to save lives, and that your fundraising can help provide.’

People can help support Dunmore East RNLI's efforts by making a donation or getting involved through the Mayday Mile fundraising page.

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Dunmore East RNLI successfully assisted a lone sailor after they got into difficulty on their 30ft yacht outside the Co Waterford town’s harbour last Thursday (20 April).

The lifeboat crew was called into action just after 8pm on Thursday night by the Irish Coast Guard after they were alerted that a lone sailor aboard a 30ft yacht was in difficulty after the vessel lost power approximately one mile south east of the harbour.

Led by coxswain Roy Abrahamsson, the volunteer crew promptly launched in the Shannon Class all-weather lifeboat William & Agnes Wray and reached the stranded yacht swiftly in calm conditions.

In the meantime, the crew from the Port of Waterford pilot boat were on scene first as they were in the area at the time, checked in with the sailor and stood by in a support capacity ensuring the sailor’s safety until the lifeboat arrived.

The vessel had been on the final stages of a long passage from the UK and encountered difficulties on the last leg. To ensure the safety of the sailor, the lifeboat crew established a tow line to bring the yacht back to Dunmore East.

Thanks to the combined efforts of the lifeboat crew, pilot boat and the sailor, the yacht was successfully towed to the harbour by 9pm.

Reflecting on the incident, Dunmore East RNLI lifeboat press officer Peter Grogan said: “The sailor did the right thing calling for assistance and we were happy to help.

“When going afloat we would remind everyone to check their engine and fuel, always wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid, and carry a means of calling for help. If you see someone in difficulty on or near the water, dial 999/112 or use marine VHF Channel 16 and ask for the coastguard.”

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