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Displaying items by tag: Achill Island

Two sailors are recovering after their yacht washed ashore on Achill Island and was beached for three days before the alarm was raised, as RTÉ News reports.

The 50-foot boat is understood to have got into difficulty amid stormy conditions in the Atlantic in the middle of last week and washed ashore near Dooega Head on the Co Mayo island after capsizing.

But it was a further three days, on Friday (11 November), when one of the two crew climbed up the cliff to seek help.

The other crew member was rescued by the Irish Coast Guard’s Sligo-based helicopter Rescue 118 and airlifted to hospital.

According to the Irish Examiner, the two sailors say they were en route from the Caribbean to Ibiza before the incident.

But it’s also emerged that neither sailor was carrying identifying documents, and that the boat had no navigation equipment, distress signal nor food or water on board.

Published in Island News
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Achill Island RNLI went to the assistance of two local fishermen whose 21ft fishing vessel was experiencing engine difficulties this morning.

The volunteer lifeboat crew were requested by Malin Head Coast Guard to go to the assistance of the two fishermen who reported difficulties with their engine close to Corrán, off Achill Island, shortly after 10am this morning. The ‘Sam and Ada Moody’ launched with Dave Curtis, Coxswain, Michael Cattigan, Mechanic, Patrick Kilbane, Terry Hogarth and Declan Corrigan on board. They quickly reached the vessel, which was located approximately two miles from the Lifeboat Station, in what was described as ideal sea and weather conditions at the time.

On reaching the vessel, both fishermen were found to be safe and well. The vessel was assessed, and a decision was made to tow it the short distance to Corrán, the nearest and safest pier.

Speaking after the call out, Ciaran Needham, Achill Island RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, said: ‘The fishermen on board this vessel did everything right and made the right call in seeking assistance. Anyone can encounter problems with their vessel, and while sea and weather conditions were perfect this morning, they can change very quickly. Our advice is never to hesitate to call the Coast Guard for help if you encounter unexpected problems while at sea. Our crew are always happy to assist.’

Published in Fishing
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Achill Island RNLI were requested by the Irish Coast Guard to assist with a swimmer who got into difficulty at Mulranny on Friday evening (19 August).

The volunteer lifeboat crew were paged shortly after 6pm to assist with a man who had got into difficulty while swimming near the village on the isthmus between Clew Bay and Blacksod Bay in Co Mayo.

The Sligo-based coastguard helicopter Rescue 118 as well as Achill Island Coast Guard and the National Ambulance Service were also requested to assist.

Sea conditions were moderate and the weather was a little overcast with good visibility at the time.

The all-weather lifeboat Sam and Ada Moody launched with a crew of seven on board, and were at Currane Point when they were stood down having being unformed that the casualty had been brought ashore by a local swimmer.

The casualty received treatment from a local GP before been stretchered to an awaiting ambulance, it was reported.

Speaking after the incident, Achill Island RNLI lifeboat press officer Eilish Power said: “While our crew were stood down before reaching the casualty, we would remind people to never hesitate to ring 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard if they see someone needing assistance in the water.

“Our volunteer crew are always happy to respond to a call for help when requested.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Four coastal locations around the island of Ireland are in the running to be named Ireland’s best place to holiday this year, with the winner to be announced this August Bank Holiday weekend.
 
Carlingford in Co Louth on the shores of Carlingford Lough joins Achill Island in Co Mayo, Inishbofin in Co Galway and Portrush and the Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland in the list of five finalists for the Irish Times Best Place to Holiday in Ireland 2022 contest.

For more details and to find out the winner, see the Irish Times website HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

Achill Island RNLI were involved in a 14 hour rescue overnight, (Sunday/Monday 22/23 May), to a lone sailor on board a yacht which had lost power almost 40 nautical miles west of Achill Island.

The volunteer crew were requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat by the Irish Coast Guard to assist the sailor and their racing yacht which was in difficulty almost 40 miles off the west coast, having lost all power. The loss of power meant that the sailor onboard had no means of communication. A fixed wing aircraft located the yacht’s position which was then provided to Achill Island RNLI to assist with planning what became an overnight passage.

The Trent class lifeboat launched at 8.30 pm under Coxswain Dave Curtis with a crew of six onboard including mechanic Michael Cattigan, Terry Hogarth, Ken Quinn, Ivan Swarbrigg, Stephen McGreal and Thomas Ruddy. The Sligo based Irish Coast Guard Helicopter, Rescue 118 was later tasked so that they could confirm the location of the yacht and provide light for the lifeboat crew who arrived in fading light. There were north westerly winds at the time with Force 3-4 sea conditions which began to calm during late morning.

The lifeboat located the yacht at approximately 11pm with the sailor on board. The man was physically well, but tired from his ordeal. Once on scene, Rescue 118 departed and the lifeboat crew carried out an assessment of the yacht, which was found to be in good condition. However, without power, the sailor could not lower his sail, so he had no steering control and was at the mercy of the wind. A risk assessment was carried out and it was decided to tow the yacht to nearest safe port at Clare Island.

Establishing a tow proved challenging with the sail remaining up amid 1.5-2m swells, but the efforts of the crew meant that a safe tow was eventually established and a tow commenced in the early hours of the morning and continued overnight. The lifeboat and the yacht reached Clare Island at 8.55am this morning, where the yacht was safely moored. Happy that the sailor was well and recovering from is ordeal, the volunteer crew left Clare Island at 9.10am and arrived back in Achill Island shortly before 10am this morning, having spent almost 14 hours at sea.

Speaking after the call out, Ciaran Needham, Achill Island RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, said: ‘We were delighted to be able to assist in this multi-agency rescue during the night, which thankfully resulted in the safe rescue of a lone sailor. Our crew worked hard in difficult conditions throughout, and we want to thank all those who helped make their task easier than it might otherwise have been. The Irish Coast Guard at Malin Head excellently coordinated the rescue and we are grateful to the crew of Rescue 118 for their help and assistance when we reached the lone sailor, who thankfully, is safe and well.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Usually, it’s the lifesavers of the RNLI who answer Mayday calls – it’s the most serious call for help. But this May, they need the public’s help.

The charity is calling on the people of Achill and its diaspora to support Achill Island RNLI lifeboat crew’s Mayday Mile to help raise vital funds to keep people safe this summer.

Organised by the island’s lifeboat crew, the Mayday fundraiser will see the volunteers rowing a distance of one mile from their lifeboat station in a small flotilla including a currach, some kayaks and other watercraft commonly seen in the pristine waters around Achill Island.

The crew will be carrying their pagers with them so they can respond to a call for help, should the need arise.

Funds raised through Mayday fundraising events will make sure that RNLI lifesavers have everything they need to keep families safe on the water and RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews will drop whatever they’re doing when a call for help comes in.

Eilish Power, Achill Island RNLI’s press officer says: “Summer is our busiest time of year, with thousands of people visiting the area and enjoying the water. A call for help can come from anywhere, from people enjoying days out with family or friends or the medical evacuations on our surrounding islands that our volunteer crew facilitate.

“Mayday is our own call for help, as we rely on the generosity of the public to support events like the Achill Island RNLI lifeboat crew’s 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.”

The RNLI’s Mayday national fundraiser begins on Sunday 1 May and will run for the whole month across Ireland and the UK.

You can show your support for the Achill Island RNLI lifeboat crew’s Mayday Mile by giving what you can via the donation page, and visit the station’s Facebook page for details.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Achill Island RNLI medically evacuated a man from Clare Island on Friday afternoon (28 January), in what was their first call out of 2022.

The volunteer crew launched their all-weather lifeboat, Sam and Ada Moody, at 3.26 pm on Friday following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to evacuate the man who was in need of medical assistance, from the island. Sea conditions were moderate at the time with 1½-2 metre swells in southeasterly winds with mist and fog.

The casualty was taken onboard the lifeboat and received medical treatment from the crew while being transferred to Roonagh Pier. The casualty was then brought to hospital by the National Ambulance Service for further treatment.

The lifeboat crew consisted of five volunteers and included Ken Quinn, who took part in his first rescue since he re-joined Achill Island RNLI following a three-year break for work purposes. Ken, who had previously volunteered with the Achill RNLI crew for six years said: ‘The relationship between Achill Island RNLI and those on our islands has always been a special one. It is a privilege to be able to respond when the call for help comes in. We wish the casualty well with their recovery.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Inishturk islander John O’Toole will enjoy his 89th Christmas at home with his wife Mary, his children and grandchildren in the coming weeks.

He and his family won’t take this for granted. however, since John spent several weeks in hospital during the summer after his medevac by Achill Island RNLI when he became seriously unwell in June this year.

As thanks to the lifeboat crew that came to his aid, John and his family are supporting the RNLI’s Christmas Appeal.

John spent almost two months being treated for his illness in Mayo University Hospital before recuperating in a nursing home and finally becoming well enough to return home courtesy of Achill Island RNLI to Inisturk in August.

Speaking about her father’s dramatic recovery, John’s daughter Annie Maher said: “On that day in June when Dad took ill, the Achill Island lifeboat was called to transfer Dad from home to the mainland to get medical attention at Mayo University Hospital.

“Without the quick response of the lifeboat on that day, it may have been a very different outcome.”

Supporting the RNLI’s Christmas Appeal comes easy to the O’Toole family, who have been long-standing supporters of the charity that saves lives at sea.

Having John at home brings back fond memories of Christmases in the past, and that unique relationship that exits between the islanders and the RNLI.

File image of Achill Island RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat | Credit: RNLIFile image of Achill Island RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat | Credit: RNLI

Annie recounts stories of how the young children on Inisturk would donate all the money they gathered on their traditional Wren Boys Day collection to the RNLI, which they affectionally refer to as ‘the lifeboat’.

She said that the islanders were always assured that even in really bad weather conditions, ‘the lifeboat’ would always come to their aid. “What a wonderful service it is to all still living on the islands around Ireland.”

She also spoke about the RNLI collection box which was always on the counter in the local pub, and the islanders happily popped their change into it.

“Dad has made a remarkable recovery following his return home,” Annie said. “He enjoys daily short walks with mum and the dogs while keeping an eye on the sheep. He is looking forward to spending time with family and friends and maybe have a little glass or two of rum.”

She concluded: “Dad, Mum and all of us understand the commitment and dedication of the Achill lifeboat crew and all involved with the lifeboat. We wish them all a very Merry Christmas and safe New year. May God watch over them all while at sea.”

These callouts would not be possible without donations from the RNLI’s generous supporters, helping to fund the essential kit, training and equipment needed by lifeboat crews all year round.

Despite the disruption caused by the pandemic, lifeboat crews have remained on call, available to launch at any hour, day, or night, to help those in trouble at sea.

Through people supporting this year’s Christmas appeal, the RNLI can continue to operate the lifesaving service and work towards the charity’s goal, to save every one.

To make a donation to the RNLI’s Christmas Appeal, visit RNLI.org/Xmas

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Achill Island RNLI evacuated a male patient from Inishbofin late last night and into this morning, (Tuesday 5 October). The patient was brought to Cleggan Pier in Galway for further transport to University College Hospital, Galway.

The volunteer lifeboat crew of six with Dave Curtis as Coxswain, left Achill Island at 9.50 pm last night (Monday) to travel a distance of 20 nautical miles to reach their casualty on Inishbofin. The journey took the all-weather lifeboat, Sam and Ada Moody, past Clare Island and Inishturk, then south to Inishbofin in moderate sea conditions with waves of up to two metres in places.

It was a cold, dark night with westerly winds and showers. A light snow flurry greeted the crew when they arrived at Inishbofin, a journey that took the Trent class lifeboat just under an hour to complete on this particular leg. The patient was taken onboard the lifeboat which then travelled to Cleggan where the pier was lit up by members of the Cleggan Coast Guard unit who assisted with transferring the patient to the waiting HSE ambulance. The patient was then transported to University College Hospital in Galway for further treatment and the Sam and Ada Moody returned to Achill Island at 1.26 am this morning.

Speaking after the call out, Ciaran Needham, Achill Island RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘As always, it is great to see inter-agency cooperation working so well in the early hours of the morning. Our volunteers train for all types of sea and weather conditions and are ready to respond whenever their pagers go off, day or night. We were delighted to be able to assist this patient and we wish him a speedy recovery.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Achill Island RNLI is delighted to welcome Ciaran Needham, a native of Sáile as the station’s new Lifeboat Operations Manager. Ciaran succeeds Tony McNamara, who recently retired from the role.

Ciaran is an electrician by trade and is also a member of Achill GAA where he trains regularly with his club mates. While Ciaran loves all things GAA, he is also an avid surfer, and it is his passion for surfing that has instilled a deep respect in him for the sea and how it can change in an instant.

Having lived in Sydney, Australia, for 10 years where he worked as an electrician and spent a lot of time surfing, Ciaran returned home to Achill Island two years ago, where he now lives with his partner, Mary Ellen Daly. While in Sydney, Ciaran was aware of the full-time lifeguards that patrolled Sydney’s sprawling beaches as he surfed. Back at home, he has always appreciated the role of the lifeboat and the unique volunteer nature of the RNLI, a charity reliant on the generous donations from the public.

Talking about why he joined Achill Island RNLI as Lifeboat Operations Manager, Ciaran said: ‘I’ve been involved with the sea for my whole life and knowing that there is a volunteer lifeboat crew always ready and willing to come to the assistance of anyone who needs it has always meant so much to me. It made sense to volunteer with Achill Island RNLI when this role became available, with the realisation that I could have been a potential casualty many times in the past, or indeed, at some stage in the future.’

As the Lifeboat Operations Manager, Ciaran is responsible for operational activities at the lifeboat station, authorising the launch of the lifeboat and the day-to-day management of the station.

When speaking about his vision for the lifeboat station in the years ahead, Ciaran said that he was looking forward to welcoming new members to Achill Island RNLI. Describing this as a new chapter for the station, he said: ‘I would like to welcome Martin Reilly as an additional Deputy Launching Authority and Eilish Power as our new Lifeboat Press Officer and I look forward to working with them in their new roles. I’m also looking forward to welcoming new lifeboat crew to the station and our new team will benefit from the experience that already exists in Marie Kilbane as Deputy Launching Authority, Dave Curtis as Coxswain and Michael Cattigan as mechanic, as well as all the existing volunteer crew.’

Ciaran reflected on the challenges presented by Covid restrictions over the past 18 months. Regular meetings with the crew, welcoming the public for open days and essential fundraising activities have all been interrupted and missed, but Ciaran looks forward to activities at the station beginning to return to normal. When speaking about what he admires most about the RNLI, Ciaran said: ‘It’s that volunteer aspect; that has to be admired above all else. The amount of training that our crew participate in, their commitment and dedication, it’s immense. And it wouldn’t be possible without the tireless work and effort by our always enthusiastic and hugely devoted fundraising branch.’

Meanwhile, Rob King, RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager, welcomed Ciaran and wished him well in his new role: ‘I would like to thank Ciaran for accepting the role of Lifeboat Operations Manager with Achill Island RNLI and I very much look forward to supporting him and the Achill team.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Naval Visits focuses on forthcoming courtesy visits by foreign navies from our nearest neighbours, to navies from European Union and perhaps even those navies from far-flung distant shores.

In covering these Naval Visits, the range of nationality arising from these vessels can also be broad in terms of the variety of ships docking in our ports.

The list of naval ship types is long and they perform many tasks. These naval ships can include coastal patrol vessels, mine-sweepers, mine-hunters, frigates, destroyers, amphibious dock-landing vessels, helicopter-carriers, submarine support ships and the rarer sighting of submarines.

When Naval Visits are made, it is those that are open to the public to come on board, provide an excellent opportunity to demonstrate up close and personal, what these look like and what they can do and a chance to discuss with the crew.

It can make even more interesting for visitors when a flotilla arrives, particularly comprising an international fleet, adding to the sense of curiosity and adding a greater mix to the type of vessels boarded.

All of this makes Naval Visits a fascinating and intriguing insight into the role of navies from abroad, as they spend time in our ports, mostly for a weekend-long call, having completed exercises at sea.

These naval exercises can involve joint co-operation between other naval fleets off Ireland, in the approaches of the Atlantic, and way offshore of the coasts of western European countries.

In certain circumstances, Naval Visits involve vessels which are making repositioning voyages over long distances between continents, having completed a tour of duty in zones of conflict.

Joint naval fleet exercises bring an increased integration of navies within Europe and beyond. These exercises improve greater co-operation at EU level but also internationally, not just on a political front, but these exercises enable shared training skills in carrying out naval skills and also knowledge.

Naval Visits are also reciprocal, in that the Irish Naval Service, has over the decades, visited major gatherings overseas, while also carrying out specific operations on many fronts.

Ireland can, therefore, be represented through these ships that also act as floating ambassadorial platforms, supporting our national interests.

These interests are not exclusively political in terms of foreign policy, through humanitarian commitments, but are also to assist existing trade and tourism links and also develop further.

Equally important is our relationship with the Irish diaspora, and to share this sense of identity with the rest of the World.

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