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Over 90% of lifejackets tested at Ireland's two biggest sailing centres failed simple checks carried out by the Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) last week writes Irish Times Sailing Columnist David O'Brien.

From 91 jackets tested in Cork and Dublin, 83 failed a free inspection.

The annual Lifejacket check service carried out by the institute was only taken up by 40 sailors from an estimated 1,000 competing crews at Cork week. 35 failed the test.

In Dun Laoghaire, last Saturday the RNLI offered the service again prior to Dublin Bay racing, where the total fleet is over 300 boats, the country's biggest sailing centre. 51 from a possible 2500 lifejackets were checked. Only three were deemed ok.

There were several different reasons for the failures including rusty or out of date inflation capsules but the bulk were rejected because jackets were not fitted with crotch straps. "It is the RNLI opinion these lifejackets may not work to their full potential because they may not keep the wearer's airway above water", says the RNLI's Kevin Rahill.

It's an important point so it is a wonder how lifejackets can be sold without them. What is not explained though is why so few sailors took up the free check or why nearly half the lifejackets presented had out of date capsules?

There is little doubt there has been an increased use of lifejackets in recent years but as last weeks survey shows it's equally important to know the lifejacket you are wearing actually works if you end up in the water.

RNLI Lifejacket Checks

Crosshaven:

LJs Checked 40
Ok 5
No Crotch Strap 18
OOD Capsule 22
OOD Hammar 1
Mk 3 Head 1
Rusty Cyl 2
Slack or Cyl out 4
Fired 3
Condemned (evidence of severe damage to fabric, mechanism etc) 1

Dun Laoghaire:

LJs Checked 51
Ok 3
No Crotch Strap 30
OOD Capsule 21
OOD Hammar 9
Mk 3 Head 1
Rusty Cyl 4
Slack or Cyl out 2
Fired 1
Condemned (evidence of severe damage to fabric, mechanism etc) 5

Since this article first appeared in the Irish Times on Friday, July 27 plans are afoot to test Lifejackets again in Dun Laoghaire in August or September.

We want your view on our forum thread HERE!

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Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Visitors to RNLI at Dun Laoghaire will be able to view the new inshore lifeboat (ILB) that recently arrived when the station holds its annual open day on Saturday 31st July 2010 (11am to 5pm).

For the first time, the recently-formed Sea Safety team will also be on hand to offer advice to visitors on how best to prepare for trips afloat and boating activities.

Equipment demonstrations and model boat displays will also be part of the attractions including the station's All-Weather lifeboat (ALB). Crew-members, who operate on a fully-voluntary basis will be demonstrating various items of rescue equipment and the ALB " Anna Livia" will be alongside offering close-up views of this €2 million rescue craft.

There are two lifeboats at Dun Laoghaire, a Trent class ALB and a D-Class ILB (Inshore lifeboat) of the new IB1-type that was recently delivered to the 207-year old station and is based in the nearby historic boathouse at the East Pier.  This lifeboat, named 'Realt Na Mara' , was funded by the genorisity of a family in Dublin. The station's shop selling souvenirs and other lifeboat-related items will also be open, helping to raise funds for the voluntary service.

The Sea Safety team, part of the RNLI's stated aim of improving safety at sea through education and information can also take bookings for the free 'Sea Check' service that assists boat-owners. The Dun Laoghaire RNLI station is one of 43 based in the Ireland division that operate 55 lifeboats that launched on 976 occasions and rescued 1,008 people in 2009.

Dun Laoghaire is regularly amongst the busiest and last year launched on 68 occasions and rescued 92 people. For more information, please visit http://www.dunlaoghaire-lifeboat.ie

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The RNLI Lifeboat in Clifden, Co. Galway has issued a plea over a series of call outs due to the irresponsible use of flares at the weekend. Flares were spotted off Roundstone which led to an extensive search mission in the area. It is the latest in a series of  flare sightings in the area. Sources believe the cause of the problem may be expired flares let off from land.

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Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

The Baltimore RNLI inshore lifeboat Bessie, was launched this evening to assist a yacht that was adrift west of the Kedge Island near Baltimore, West Cork. The 26ft yacht with two people on board had been making its way from Glandore to Schull when its engine failed. The two crew on board decided that they would not be able to make their way to a safe harbour under sail and issued a call for assistance. Baltimore lifeboat was alerted at 19:54. Within minutes the inshore lifeboat Bessie was launched. Helm Youen Jacob with his crew, Ronan Callanan and Paul O’Driscoll, made their way towards the Kedge  and having located the yacht established a tow. The casualty was towed to the safety of Baltimore Harbour. Prevailing weather conditions were moderate with Westerly winds of 12-15 knots. 

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Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Wicklow lifeboat launched at 10.07am on Sunday morning ( 25th July) to assist a 32 foot yacht with mechanical problems. The yacht was at located 11.00am 13 miles North East of Wicklow harbour becalmed and unable to motor. The lifeboat crew quickly established a towline and the yacht with 3 people onboard was taken back to Wicklow Harbour, the vessel was safely alongside the quay by 1.15pm and the lifeboat returned to station. Crew list - Coxswain Nick Keogh, Mechanic Lisa O Leary, Brendan Kavanagh  Wayne Jones, John Docherty and Brian Sinnot.

A few hours later pagers were activated to alert the volunteer crew and the lifeboat put to sea again at 3.42pm, this time to give assistance to a rigid inflatable boat that had broken down with 5 people onboard near the Silver Strand. The lifeboat located the 5 metre Rib South of Wicklow head. 3 children were taken onboard the lifeboat and the Rib was towed back to Wicklow harbour, where all 5 people were landed safely.
Crew list: Coxswain Ciaran Doyle, Mechanic Lisa O Leary, Tommy McAulay , Barry Spencer, Tommy Murphy and John Docherty.

_MG_8992

Wicklow Lifeboat Launches at the Weekend. Photo: courtesy Wicklow lifeboat

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Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under
Lifeboat crew to welcome visitors at annual Open Day
Visitors to RNLI at Dun Laoghaire will be able to view the new inshore
lifeboat (ILB) that recently arrived when the station holds its annual open
day on Saturday 31st July 2010 (11am to 5pm).  For the first time, the
recently-formed Sea Safety team will also be on hand to offer advice to
visitors on how best to prepare for trips afloat and boating activities.
Equipment demonstrations and model boat displays will also be part of the
attractions including the station’s All-Weather lifeboat (ALB).
Crew-members, who operate on a fully-voluntary basis will be demonstrating
various items of rescue equipment and the ALB " Anna Livia" will be
alongside offering close-up views of this €2 million rescue craft.
There are two lifeboats at Dun Laoghaire, a Trent class ALB and a D-Class
ILB (Inshore lifeboat) of the new IB1-type that was recently delivered to
the 207-year old station and is based in the nearby historic boathouse at
the East Pier.  This lifeboat, named ‘Realt Na Mara’ , was funded by the
genorisity of a family in Dublin.
The station’s shop selling souvenirs and other lifeboat-related items will
also be open, helping to raise funds for the voluntary service.  The Sea
Safety team, part of the RNLI’s stated aim of improving safety at sea
through education and information can also take bookings for the free ‘Sea
Check’ service that assists boat-owners.
The Dun Laoghaire RNLI station is one of 43 based in the Ireland division
that operate 55 lifeboats that launched on 976 occasions and rescued 1,008
people in 2009.  Dun Laoghaire is regularly amongst the busiest and last
year launched on 68 occasions and rescued 92 people.
For more information, please visit http://www.dunlaoghaire-lifeboat.ie

Visitors to RNLI at Dun Laoghaire will be able to view the new inshore lifeboat (ILB) that recently arrived when the station holds its annual open day on Saturday 31st July 2010 (11am to 5pm).  For the first time, the recently-formed Sea Safety team will also be on hand to offer advice to visitors on how best to prepare for trips afloat and boating activities.

Equipment demonstrations and model boat displays will also be part of the attractions including the station’s All-Weather lifeboat (ALB). Crew-members, who operate on a fully-voluntary basis will be demonstrating various items of rescue equipment and the ALB " Anna Livia" will be along side offering close-up views of this €2 million rescue craft.

There are two lifeboats at Dun Laoghaire, a Trent class ALB and a D-ClassILB (Inshore lifeboat) of the new IB1-type that was recently delivered to the 207-year old station and is based in the nearby historic boathouse at the East Pier.  This lifeboat, named ‘Realt Na Mara’ , was funded by thegenorisity of a family in Dublin.

The station’s shop selling souvenirs and other lifeboat-related items willalso be open, helping to raise funds for the voluntary service. The SeaSafety team, part of the RNLI’s stated aim of improving safety at seathrough education and information can also take bookings for the free ‘SeaCheck’ service that assists boat-owners.

The Dun Laoghaire RNLI station is one of 43 based in the Ireland divisionthat operate 55 lifeboats that launched on 976 occasions and rescued 1,008people in 2009.  Dun Laoghaire is regularly amongst the busiest and lastyear launched on 68 occasions and rescued 92 people.

For more information, please visit www.dunlaoghaire-lifeboat.ie

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Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Irish Lifeboats are being fitted with onboard video cameras to record rescue operations and the results from the first missions are below. The report of the rescue of a man from a sinking fishing vessel off the Cork Coast by the RNLI was published on afloat.ie on July 14. A 43 ft fishing vessel was taking on water 17 miles south west off the coast. Now viewers can see exactly what the Castletownbere lifeboat encountered when it arrived on scene.

Also on the south coast, the Crosshaven RNLI came to the rescue of a dismasted yacht in Cork Harbour. Again, the video clip is below:

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Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Baltimore Inshore lIfeboat was called into service twice on Saturday to assist vessels in distress in poor weather conditions. A yacht dragging its anchor in Church Strand called for assistance while winds were freshening to force 7 from the southwest with heavy rain and poor visibility. The alarm was raised at 20:15 on Saturday. Helmsman John Kearney and crew Micheal Cottrell and Ronan Calnan provided assistance to the lone yachtsman, helped to secure the vessel and escorted her back to Baltimore Harbour.

Later at 22:40 the inshore lifeboat was again called out to give assistance to a RIB that had gone aground on a rocky shore following engine failure. There was one man and two children on board at the time. The inshore lifeboat was launched again under the direction of Helmsman John Kearney and crew Paul O'Driscoll and Tadhg Collins. Again the lifeboat was able to secure the safety of the vessel and passengers.

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Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Ballycotton lifeboat was called on to lend assistance to a 23 metre fishing vessel in difficulties, 31 miles south of Ballycotton today. The Irish registered vessel, with five on board, contacted the emergency services when they fouled their propeller. The Ballycotton lifeboat, Austin Lidbury, arrived on scene at 12:00 and established a towline. The vessel was safely towed to Ballycotton harbour.

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Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Castletownbere Lifeboat was launched this afternoon at 12.20pm to go to the assistance of a 43 ft fishing vessel taking on water 17 miles south west of Castletownbere in county Cork. To view the RNLI Video scroll down to the bottom of the post.

When the lifeboat crew arrived on scene they saw that the three crew had got into a liferaft as their fishing vessel was taking on a considerable amount of water and was in danger of sinking.  

Conditions were described as fair with a large 4 metre groundswell. The Coast Guard helicopter from Shannon winched two of the fishing crew off the liferaft but a third man was in the water.  Castletownbere lifeboat crew immediately recovered the man onto the lifeboat.   With the casualty safely on the lifeboat, two RNLI crewmembers brought a salvage pump on board and proceed to pump the water from the fishing vessel.  It was then taken under tow by the lifeboat and brought back to the harbour.  

The rescued man did not need any further medical attention. The Irish Navel vessel the LE Eithne was also on scene during the rescue.   Commenting on the callout Castletownbere RNLI crewmember Paul Stevens said, “ This callout thankfully resulted in a happy ending with three men being brought to safety.  We were also able to bring the fishing vessel ashore in one piece.  I am sure the three men are in shock but they had a lucky escape.”

Celtic_dawn_1

Celtic_dawn_2

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Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Page 208 of 211

Irish Lighthouses

Irish Lights is a maritime organisation delivering essential 24/7 safety and navigation services around the coast of Ireland 365 days. Its focus is reliable and cost-effective services which protect people, property and the marine environment, and support marine industry and coastal communities.

Irish Lights is responsible for providing marine aids to navigation under the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention. This remit includes: providing and maintaining over 300 general aids to navigation, managing about 4,000 local aids to navigation and marking or removing dangerous wrecks outside harbour areas around Ireland. Irish Lights also provides contract commercial services for ship charter, buoy and marine data services and supports tourism and heritage activities.

Emergency Response: If you notice any aid to navigation is not functioning correctly please contact our 24-hour emergency number 01 280 1996

Great Lighthouses of Ireland

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Hook, Co Wexford
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Loop Head, Co Clare
Clare Island, Co Mayo
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