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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

Sligo Bay RNLI volunteers launched last night just hours before the arrival of Storm Ellen to reports of a lone surfer heading out to sea in the fading light.

The inshore lifeboat was joined by the Sligo-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 118 as it headed to Strandhill just after 8.30pm yesterday evening, Wednesday 19 August.

Freshening south-easterly winds were blowing 14 knots ahead of the storm’s track north from the West Cork coast.

Once at the scene, the lifeboat crew located the surfer who was able to make their own way ashore.

Speaking following the callout, Aisling Gillen of Sligo Bay RNLI said: “Thankfully this was a happy ending. We would remind everyone of the importance of paying heed to safety warnings during periods of stormy weather and exercise extreme caution.

“Stay back, stay high and stay dry.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Baltimore RNLI was launched this afternoon following the activation of an alarm from a positioning beacon off the coast of West Cork.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their inshore lifeboat at 4.04 pm following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to help locate an active Emergency Position Indication Radio Beacon (EPIRB) two nautical miles west of the Calf Islands off the coast of West Cork.

Baltimore lifeboat proceeded to the area and started to search under the direction of the Irish Coast Guard and the Irish naval vessel the LÉ Samuel Beckett. Also assisting in the search were Schull Coast Guard and an Irish Coast Guard helicopter. After an extensive search was carried out by all agencies the search was stood down at 6.43 pm and Baltimore lifeboat made its way back to the station arriving at 7.05 pm.

There were four volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat, Helm Pat O’Driscoll and crew members Eoin O’Driscoll, David Ryan and Kieran O’Driscoll. Assisting at the boathouse were Jerry Smith and Marty O’Driscoll. Conditions at sea during the call were calm with a south-easterly force 2-3 wind and 0.5m sea swell.

Speaking following the call out, Pat O’Driscoll, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Helm said: ‘Thankfully the activation of the alarm today was not due to the loss of a vessel. It is important to ensure the secure fastening of an EPIRB on board a vessel and to regularly check that it is in good working order. With storm Ellen approaching, bringing strong winds and potential coastal flooding in combination with spring tides, the RNLI is urging people to exercise extreme caution. If you think someone is in difficulty at sea or along the coast, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Youghal RNLI’s volunteer crew were paged yesterday evening (Tuesday 18 August) to reports of a swimmer in difficulty around half a mile off shore at the East Cork town’s Front Strand.

As they launched the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat in calm conditions at 8.23pm, the crew received a further report of a second swimmer entering the water to assist the first and getting into difficulty.

However, both swimmers managed to make it ashore without any assistance from the crew.

The lifeboat made a general search of the area before returning to the station.

“Swimming in open water is very different from swimming in a pool,” said deputy launching authority Mark Nolan.

“Unseen currents, cold water and waves make open water swimming more challenging. Even the strongest of swimmers can tire quickly.

“Remember to always tell someone where and when you are going swimming, and if you see anybody in trouble in the water call 112/999 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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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.

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