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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

The all-weather RNLI lifeboat from Donaghadee on the North Down coast launched at 3 am this morning (Tuesday18th) to the Belfast Coastguard's request to assist a 15m fishing boat with one person onboard. The boat, which was on passage from the fishing harbour of Ardglass on the south coast of Co Down, to Mallaig in Scotland, ran into mechanical difficulties in the early hours of this morning and drifted ashore at Templepatrick, just south of Ballyvester beach near Donaghadee.

The volunteer crew launched the RNLI Saxon at 3am and in flat calm sea conditions and driving rain made full speed and was on the scene in less than 10 minutes. As the vessel was so far inshore on a falling tide, the daughter inflatable lifeboat was launched and crew members John Ashwood, Deputy Coxswain, and Ross Bennett, crew member, made their way to the fishing boat to assess the situation.

It was decided that they should attempt a tow, but the attempt was unsuccessful due to the tidal conditions. After liaising with Belfast Coastguard and the fishing boat's skipper, the decision was made that the best plan would be for the lifeboat to return when the tide had risen. The lifeboat and crew returned to station at approximately 4.15am.

After a couple of hours' sleep, the crew relaunched at 8am and in similar conditions made their way back to the fishing boat at Templepatrick. They were able to go alongside as the tide had risen sufficiently and the same two crew members were transferred along with a salvage pump and towline. The tow was established while the salvage pump removed any excess water, and the boat was towed off the rocks stern first. The towrope was then transferred to the bow of the vessel, and an assessment was made to ensure there was no damage to the hull.

Saxon then proceeded a slow tow to Bangor in Belfast Lough, and while waiting for permission to enter the harbour, the lifeboat went alongside the vessel and transferred the lifeboat mechanic who was able to assess the mechanical difficulties and restart the fishing boat's engine. After discussions with the skipper and the coastguard, agreement was made that the vessel, now being under its own power, was able to proceed onwards to Mallaig.

Philip McNamara, Donaghadee RNLI Coxswain said: 'I would just like to thank our volunteer crew members for being so quick to come to the assistance of this fishing boat and of course their willingness to return again a few hours later and lose part of their days work. A thank you to their employers also, for their flexibility. We all wish the skipper and his boat safe onward passage to Scotland".

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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Clifden RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat was tasked by the Coast Guard last weekend (Saturday 15 August) to assist with the medical evacuation of a 10-year old girl with a suspected broken leg, on Inishbofin. The calm conditions made for a gentle crossing by lifeboat and the girl was transferred into the care of HSE paramedics at Cleggan.

The lifeboat was tasked at 6.50pm and was underway to Inishbofin at 7.10pm with an expected journey time of 30 minutes. The district nurse on Inishbofin had requested assistance after the casualty was involved in a biking accident while exploring the island. Upon arrival at the pier in Inishbofin and once the lifeboat was securely tied alongside, the volunteer crew transferred the casualty onto the lifeboat stretcher.

Using their RNLI casualty care training they made the young girl comfortable and transferred her aboard the lifeboat, accompanied by her mother. They were brought to Cleggan pier where a HSE ambulance was waiting and the lifeboat crew handed the casualty into the care of the HSE paramedics. They then returned to station.

Weather conditions were good with a light northeast wind and a calm sea state.

Clifden RNLI Coxswain Alan Pryce said, ‘We were delighted to be able to assist with the casualty transfer and we all wish her a speedy recovery. The capabilities of the Shannon class lifeboat ensured a fast response by the crew and also made for a comfortable crossing to Cleggan for the girl and her mother.’

Clifden RNLI lifeboat crew for the callout were Coxswain Alan Pryce, Lifeboat Mechanic Joe Acton and volunteer crew Alvin Bell, Andy Bell, Chris Nee and Alan Kearney.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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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

Baltimore RNLI was called out earlier this morning (Saturday, 15 August) to provide assistance to a yacht in difficulty off Baltimore Harbour in West Cork.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their inshore lifeboat at 8.05 am, following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to assist a 37-foot yacht, with three people on board, which had suffered engine failure just off Baltimore Harbour.

The Baltimore inshore lifeboat arrived at the casualty vessel at 8.12 am and voluntary lifeboat crew member Eoin O’Driscoll was put aboard to rig a tow. The inshore lifeboat towed the casualty vessel back to Baltimore Harbour and put them on a mooring off Sherkin Island. Once the casualty vessel was secured, the lifeboat returned to the station, arriving at 8.59 am.

There were four volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat, Helm Micheal Cottrell and crew members Pat O’Driscoll, Eoin O’Driscoll and Kieran O’Driscoll. Conditions at sea during the call were calm with an easterly force 1-2 wind and no sea swell.

Speaking following the callout, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: "The skipper of the yacht did the right thing in requesting assistance as he felt winds were too light to allow him to safely access the harbour. If you get into difficulty at sea or on the coast, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard."

The previous day, Friday 14 August, Baltimore's lifeboat crew launched to their second medical evaculation of the week from Sherkin Island – bringing an islander to the mainland and the care of paramedics for further attention.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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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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When Helen Feeney took a photo of her daughter, Sara (23), and niece Ellen (17), off Furbo beach on the northern shore of Galway Bay, the pair were happy out on stand-up paddleboards.

It was a bright warm summer’s evening, just a little after 9 pm on Wednesday. The two women were wearing swim gear, but not wetsuits. Fortunately, they had buoyancy aids.

As the Irish Examiner reports, Helen, who had her dog with her on the shore, noticed they seemed have gone a little too far out for comfort. This was to be a “short trip”. Initially, she put her anxiety down to her own cautious nature.

As darkness fell, that anxiety grew. Within the hour, she had phoned her sister Deirdre, Ellen’s mum, and her husband, and the Irish Coast Guard. As she told RTE Radio’s Drivetime yesterday evening, these were “two very smart sensible girls”.

The hours in between were “horrific”, she recalled. A full-scale air-sea search was initiated after 10 pm, co-ordinated by Valentia Marine Rescue Sub-Centre in Co Kerry. The wind was northerly, and picking up, and weather conditions were deteriorating.

By the time, the RNLI’s Aran island and Galway city lifeboats put to sea, visibility was poor and there was heavy rain, thunder, and lightning, according to RNLI Galway operations manager Mike Swan.

The focus initially was on inner Galway Bay, but by daylight, it had extended right across to the Clare coast and Black Head. During the long night, a rotation of Irish Coast Guard helicopters from Shannon, Waterford and Sligo, and the Doolin and Costello Bay Coast Guard units joined the lifeboat crews.

The Civil Defence, local fishermen, anglers, leisure craft and hundreds of shore searchers were out by daylight, as were pilots with Galway Flying Club, Aer Arann, and the Oranmore-Maree coastal search volunteers.

Fisherman Patrick Oliver, one of the Galway Oliver family born with salt in their blood, knew that if the wind had gone north-easterly anything that drifted would be out towards the mouth of the bay and the Aran Islands. Onboard with him was his son Morgan (18) in their seven-metre catamaran potting vessel, Johnny Ó.

The Oliver family are heavily involved in Galway RNLI lifeboat and Galway Sea Scouts, with Patrick’s brothers Ciaran and Dave being coxswains, and Patrick being a member of the shore search team.

Ciaran’s son and Patrick’s nephew, Sean Oliver, was just 14 years old when he and fellow Galway Sea Scouts pulled a man from the river Corrib during the Macnas parade in October 2018.

It was Morgan who spotted the movement two miles south-west of Inis Oírr.

“They were waving their paddles at us,” Patrick said later. The two women were sitting on their paddleboards, holding onto a float attached to lobster pots, and to each other.

They were weak, exhausted, but well able to express their delight at being found. They told the Olivers they had seen the lights of the Aran islands and tried to reach the shore, but couldn’t make it.

They had been over 15 hours at sea, and over 17 nautical miles from their original location, when they were found.

Back on the beach at Furbo, there had been initial word that two bodies had been located. Minutes later, there was a shout as Ellen’s father, Johnny Glynn of Galway United Football Club, threw his arms up in the air.

“They’re alive!” he roared, as he ran over to his wife Deirdre Feeney, and younger daughter Alice (12), dropping to his knees in relief.

"I'm so happy,” he said afterwards. “I had given up. How could they be in the water from 9.30?”

Patrick and Morgan Oliver rooted out jackets, towels, whatever they could find to wrap the two women up on the deck of their catamaran.

The two women were “chatting away on deck”, they told Mike Swan back at the RNLI Galway station as they headed into Inis Oírr.

Both women were fit enough to walk up the pier before an Irish Coast Guard helicopter flew them into University Hospital Galway to check them out for hypothermia.

The buoyancy aids helped, but staying together and staying with their paddleboards had been crucial – along with keeping calm, Patrick Oliver said.

“That’s the danger with them blow-ups [paddleboards],” he said. “when the wind is offshore, the wind can carry them out to sea.”

Breda Feeney, an aunt, was in tears of joy, and family members hugged each other as the Sikorsky S-92 helicopter landed at the hospital helipad.

“Knowing the two girls, they are very strong and resilient,” she said.

"We are forever indebted," she said.

Experienced Galway sailor Pierce Purcell paid tribute to the “phenomenal effort”, and said that sailors would “never complain about lobster pots getting in the way again”.

Irish Coast Guard divisional controller John Draper said that sea temperatures were about 15 degrees, but if they had been in the water, and not on their boards, it could have been a “different story”.

More from the Examiner here

Published in Galway Harbour
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At 9.28 pm last night, Thursday, August 13, Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI to go to the assistance of 8 adults on a 45ft cruiser aground by Ryan’s Point, inside the Mountaineer Bouy at Barrack Bay.

At 9.42 pm the RNLI lifeboat Jean Spier launched with helm Eleanor Hooker, and crew members Owen Cavanagh, Keith Brennan and Doireann Kennedy on board. The wind was northeasterly, Force 2. It was nightfall with poor visibility; the RNLI volunteers used on-board electronic navigation, RADAR, searchlights and local knowledge to steer their course to the casualty. 

Once the lifeboat rounded the Mountaineer Buoy, the crew took soundings of the depths in a cautious approach to the casualty vessel. The lifeboat came alongside at 9.55 pm and found all eight people to be safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets.

An RNLI volunteer transferred to the cruiser. Once he was satisfied that the vessel was not holed, he set up for a tow. The lifeboat attempted to take the casualty vessel astern off the rocky shelf. However, it was stuck fast on the rocks.

As the cruiser had been travelling in company, and its companion vessel was moored in Garrykennedy Harbour, the lifeboat informed Valentia Coast Guard of its intention to take all passengers on to the lifeboat and to bring them to Garrykennedy Harbour for the night.

Valentia Coast Guard arranged for the casualty vessel to be attended to first thing the following morning.

At 11.04 pm the lifeboat delivered the eight people into to the care of their friends at Garrykennedy Harbour.

The lifeboat departed the scene and was back at Station at 11.30 pm 

Peter Kennedy, Deputy Launching Authority at Lough Derg RNLI advises boat users to ‘study your charts and plan your passage, paying close attention to the navigation buoys’.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Following a major search and rescue operation on Galway Bay overnight and this morning (13 August 2020), two women have been found safe and well off Inis Oir after spending 15 hours out at sea.

Former Galway RNLI lifeboat crew member and current shore crew member and fisherman Patrick Oliver and his son Morgan joined the search early this morning and discovered the two women on their boards holding on to a lobster pot about two miles south west of Inis Oir.

Despite spending the night out on the water in extreme conditions, the women did not require medical attention. They had drifted almost 20 miles when discovered. They were taken onboard the fishing vessel, the Johnny O, and after disembarking, walked up the pier where they were medically assessed by Coast Guard personnel.

The 23-year-old woman and 17-year-old teenager who are cousins, had gone paddle boarding at about 9 o’clock last night from Furbo Beach when a sudden north wind blew them out to sea. A relative of the women raised the alarm and the Irish Coast Guard immediately launched a major search and rescue operation which continued throughout the night and today.

Galway RNLI launched its inshore lifeboat at 10pm (last night) and stayed out throughout the night changing crew three times. They were joined immediately by the Aran Island RNLI all-weather lifeboat and the Irish Coast Guard Rescue helicopter 115 from Shannon. Two further Coast Guard Rescue helicopters from Sligo and Waterford joined this morning, along with Coast Guard lifeboats from Oranmore/Maree, Cashla Bay and Doolin while the Civil Defence carried out a search along the north shore co-ordinated by the Gardai. Galway Flying Club and Aer Arann also joined the search.

There were scenes of jubilation and joy in both Galway and Aran Island RNLI Lifeboat stations when fisherman Patrick Oliver rang the Galway Lifeboat station with the good news.

Barry Heskin, Galway RNLI Deputy Launching Authority said the two women kept their heads and did the right thing: ‘We are absolutely delighted that it has all worked out well.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Page 7 of 211

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

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