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Youghal RNLI’s volunteer crew launched their lifeboat to retrieve a dismounted jet ski yesterday afternoon (Sunday, 2 July) and upon their return, they were diverted to assist with what later transpired to be a false alarm. The alarm was raised by lifeguards working on Youghal Beach.

The inshore lifeboat launched at 4.30pm upon an alert from the Irish Coast Guard that there was a potential safety risk due to a dismounted jet ski in the water. A person onboard the jet ski had got into difficulty and was thrown into the water, and the wind took it away. However, the jetskiier managed to make it safely to shore.

Weather conditions at the time were described as clear but slightly choppy.

The lifeboat helmed by John Griffin Jnr and with crew members John McCarthy, Jason Innis and Ivan Brian onboard, made its way to the scene.

The lone jet ski was reported to be at Youghal’s front strand but upon the crew’s arrival on scene, the jet ski had drifted and was located a mile and a half from Youghal lighthouse.

The lifeboat crew assessed the situation and a decision was made to tow the vessel back to the front strand.

As the crew were returning at 5.30pm, they were alerted by the Coast Guard to a second call out and were requested to do a welfare check on a boat out by Capel Island. A member of the public raised the alarm after seeing what they thought was a boat in difficulty.

The crew diverted to the scene but on arrival found nothing and the reported boat was no longer on scene. The Irish Coast Guard helicopter, Rescue 117 from Waterford was also tasked and did a fly over but also found nothing. The search was subsequently stood down and the lifeboat returned to the station.

Speaking following the call outs, Youghal RNLI Helm John Griffin Jnr said: ‘The jet skier who had managed to make it safely ashore unaided had used the jet ski’s kill cord properly which ensured it didn’t run away. That is the right thing to do and kill cords are essential for safety.

‘We were happy to help with both incidents and would like to commend the member of the public who raised the alarm when they thought that somebody was in difficulty, we would always much rather launch and conduct a search and find nothing than not launch at all.’

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Clogherhead RNLI volunteers were tasked by the Coast Guard on Saturday, 1 July, to aid a drifting 19 ft. motorboat.

The Clogherhead volunteer lifeboat crew were requested to launch their all-weather Shannon class lifeboat at 12.22 pm following a request by the Irish Coast Guard to go to the scene of a drifting leisure craft 19 nautical miles east of Clogherhead. The lifeboat launched immediately under Coxswain Gerald Sharkey with four crew members onboard.

Weather conditions at the time were calm, with a west/north westerly wind and clear visibility.

When the lifeboat reached the scene of the drifting 19 ft. boat at 1.33 pm, it had travelled a further mile from the original location. The vessel had been noticed by a passing yacht which remained at the scene until the arrival of the lifeboat. Clogherhead RNLI put a crew member aboard the drifting vessel and found no crew. The vessel had come adrift after its mooring broke.

Having assessed the situation, a decision was made to establish a towline which was done successfully. The vessel was then towed back to the nearest safe port at Port Oriel, Clogherhead. The lifeboat arrived in Port Oriel at 1.15 pm, where assistance from Clogherhead Coast Guard was available.

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Rosslare Harbour RNLI lifeboat was tasked by the Coast Guard at 8 45 am on Saturday (July 1) to assist a 12-metre-long sailing yacht that had fouled its propellor half a mile from the Splaugh Buoy.

The yacht crew were wearing flotation devices and were unharmed.

Having assessed the situation and consulted with the two crew on board, a decision was made to tow the vessel to Rosslare Harbour. A tow line was secured at 9.20 am, and the vessel was safely berthed alongside the fisherman’s wall at 10.12 am.

The sea was calm in a Force 2 to 3 wind. The weather was fair, and visibility was good.

The lifeboat volunteer crew were: Coxswain Eamon O’Rourke. Mechanic, Keith Morris. Crew: Dave McCusker, Andrew Ironside, Seán Cullen.

Deputy Launch Authority, Tony Kehoe, commended the yacht crew for wearing their flotation safety devices and for carrying communication equipment. He said that it is essential that sailors contact the Coast Guard when in difficulty. He also commended local fisherman James Walsh for his crucial intervention in ensuring a safe, speedy and safe conclusion to the service.

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On Saturday afternoon (1 July) Lough Derg RNLI was requested to launch by Valentia Coast Guard following a report from a member of the public of a vessel aground close to Terryglass at the northern end of Lough Derg.

The inshore lifeboat Jean Spier launched at 4.58pm with helm Steve Smyth, Eleanor Hooker, Joe O’Donoghue and Oisín Higgins on board. Winds were northwesterly Force 4-5 with good visibility.

At 5.22pm the RNLI lifeboat crew could see the casualty vessel, a leased cruiser, at the reported location close to Slevoir Bay near Terryglass Harbour.

It emerged that the cruiser company had a vessel on the water and had taken both passengers to safety in Terryglass. They told the lifeboat volunteers that they were going to take the vessel off the rocky shoal and the lifeboat waited on standby to ensure the crew on the salvage vessel were safe.

By 5.33pm both vessels were back in safe water and the lifeboat was stood down.

Christine O’Malley, lifeboat operations manager at Lough Derg RNLI advises boat users to “check the weather and stay within the navigational channel. If in difficulty dial 999 or 112 and ask for marine rescue.”

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Three fishermen were brought to safety by Valentia RNLI on Thursday afternoon (29 June) after their nets were caught in the propeller of their 14m fishing boat.

At 3.17pm, Valentia Coast Guard requested Valentia RNLI’s volunteer crew to launch their all-weather lifeboat and to go to the aid of the three fishermen two miles west of Inishvickillane in the Blasket Islands.

Weather conditions at the time we described as moderate with a 3-4m sea swell and a Force 5-6 westerly wind.

Arriving on scene, the coxswain carried out an assessment of the vessel and it was decided the best course of action was to tow the vessel to the nearest safe port at Portmagee harbour.

The call-out was the third in a week for the Valentia lifeboat crew, following two the previous weekend.

Last Saturday (24 June) the volunteer crew launched the lifeboat at 11.35pm to assist a sole sailor in difficulty on a 37ft yacht two miles north west of Kells Bay.

The sailor was assessed by the crew at the scene and found to be suffering from exhaustion. A decision was made to tow the casualty to the safety of Valentia Harbour.

On Sunday (25 June) Valentia RNLI launched to reports of a swimmer in difficulty at Coumeenoole Beach, Slea Head. The volunteers were stood down two minutes after launch as the casualty was picked up by a nearby boat.

Speaking following the call-outs, Valentia RNLI lifeboat press officer Michelle O’Shea said: “Our recent call-outs all had positive outcomes. As summer is well under way, we would like to remind all users of the sea to be as prepared before going to sea.

“We would encourage all should you get into trouble or see someone else in difficulty, to dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

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Four members of Ireland’s Row Hard or Go Home team visited Howth RNLI recently to present a cheque for €35,096 to the lifeboat crew.

The funds were raised through the teams taking part in the World’s Toughest Row (formerly the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge), a 4,800km race across the Atlantic Ocean from the Canary Islands to Antigua earlier this year.

One of the two teams set a new record for the fastest Atlantic crossing, as previously reported on

Both teams chose the RNLI and Laura Lynn to benefit from their fundraising efforts. The funds raised for the RNLI will be spent in Ireland and will go towards the search and rescue charity’s work of saving lives at sea.

The ocean rowers were shown around the north Co Dublin lifeboat station by some of the crew. The RNLI operates two lifeboats at Howth, an all-weather vessel and a smaller D-class craft which are on call 24/7.

The Row Hard or Go Home teams spent over a month at sea in some incredibly challenging conditions, away from their family and dry land. They took turns to sleep and eat and carried out repairs on the small boats, miles out to sea.

Commenting on their generous donation, RNLI community manager Pauline McGann said: “We are so delighted… Their race across the ocean, which was followed online by so many people, showed what an incredible journey and feat of endurance they undertook.

“As the RNLI is a charity that saves lives on the water, we know the challenges that being out at sea for so long can raise. They were so strong and so committed to their goal and they raised much needed funds for our lifesaving work in Ireland. We are so grateful they choose the RNLI as one of their charities.”

Derek McMullen, a member of the record-setting crew added: “It can not be understated how important and how invaluable the RNLI are. The dedication and commitment of the volunteers have saved countless lives down through the years and indeed have been there to support us through our own sea going adventures.”

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Three fishermen were brought to safety by Wicklow RNLI on Tuesday afternoon (27 June), after their 14-metre vessel got into difficulties ten miles northeast of Wicklow harbour.

The RNLI relief fleet all-weather lifeboat RNLB Ruth and David Arthur put to sea shortly before 11.45 am under the command of Coxswain Ciaran Doyle and a volunteer crew, following a launch request from the Coast Guard.

The alarm was raised after the skipper reported that his fishing vessel was fouled in ropes anchored to the seabed near the Codling Bank and required assistance.

Wicklow lifeboat was alongside the fishing vessel one hour after launching. Conditions on scene were wind south southeast force 4-5 with moderate sea.

The lifeboat crew were able to free the fishing vessel from the rope obstruction, but rope remained tangled in the propeller.

Speaking after the callout, Coxswain Ciaran Doyle said: ‘As the vessel was unable to return to port under its own power the only option was to take it in tow.’

A tow line was established at 12.35pm and course was set for Wicklow harbour. The fishing vessel was secured alongside the Packet pier just after 3pm and the three fishermen were landed safely ashore.

The lifeboat returned to station where trainee Nathan ‘O Connor went ashore after completing his first callout as an RNLI volunteer.

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Kilmore Quay RNLI volunteer crew were called late on Saturday night to assist a yacht with four people on board that had lost power at sea, having also launched in the afternoon to reports of four swimmers in difficulty at a local beach.

The crew were requested to launch their all-weather Tamar class lifeboat Killarney, by the Irish Coast Guard at 3.40 pm on Saturday, 24 June, to reports of four swimmers in difficulty at Ballyteige Burrow beach, west of Kilmore Quay harbour.

Two friends went swimming from the beach and found themselves unable to swim back to shore. Back ashore, their friends noticed they were in difficulty and rang the Irish Coast Guard to raise the alarm, while another took the ring buoy from the beach and swam out to assist the pair in difficulty.

The lifeboat under Coxswain Eugene Kehoe immediately launched and made its way to the scene. Meanwhile, another swimmer and a kayaker, also seeing the pair in difficulty, had made their way to the pair to lend assistance. A small boat that was nearby had also arrived on scene and recovered three of the swimmers, who were then transferred to the lifeboat. The fourth swimmer was recovered by the Y-boat launched from the lifeboat. On return to Kilmore Quay Harbour, the lifeboat was met by the Kilmore Quay Irish Coast Guard unit and a paramedic. One of the swimmers had swallowed some seawater and was taken to hospital as a precaution by the Irish Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue 117.

At 11:09 pm Saturday night, the Irish Coast Guard requested the volunteer crew to respond to a Pan Pan call to assist four people aboard a yacht that had lost all power. The lifeboat, under Coxswain Eugene Kehoe with six crew members on board, immediately launched and made its way to the 12m yacht situated 18 miles southeast of Kilmore Quay. Conditions at the time were drizzly with poor visibility, light southeasterly winds and a slight sea swell.

Arriving on scene approximately one hour later, the lifeboat crew checked that all on board the yacht was safe and well before assessing the situation with the vessel. A decision was made to establish a towline and return to the nearest port, which was Kilmore Quay. The passage back to port with the vessel under tow took just over two and a half hours. Arriving back in the harbour at 2:53am, the casualty vessel was secured alongside the marina. The lifeboat returned to its berth and was made ready for service again by the crew.

Speaking following the call outs, Kilmore Quay RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager John Grace, said: ‘'Thankfully both call outs had a happy ending. The young people at the beach did the right thing in raising the alarm when they noticed their friends in trouble, which helped to prevent the situation from becoming much worse. Always remember when you see someone in trouble call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard. “

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Both Wicklow RNLI Inshore and all-weather lifeboats launched this afternoon (Sunday, 25 June) after the Irish Coast Guard received a distress call on Marine VHF Channel 16, reporting an 8-metre racing yacht had capsized during a squall in Wicklow bay, and one person was trapped under a sail.

The Inshore lifeboat launched at 4.10 pm and was on scene two minutes later. Weather conditions in the area were poor at the time as a thunder and lightning storm with strong gusting wind and rain passed overhead.

Speaking after the call-out RNLI Helm Alan Goucher said: ’As we approached the partially submerged vessel, five people were visible in the water. We recovered four, but the fifth person was tangled in the rigging, so lifeboat volunteer Peter Byrne entered the water and managed to free the person from the obstruction.’

With the five sailors safely onboard the Inshore lifeboat, they were landed ashore at Wicklow lifeboat station and handed into the care of a NAS Paramedic for a medical assessment. Thankfully they required no further treatment.

The all-weather lifeboat under the command of Coxswain Nick Keogh stood by the sinking yacht and placed a marker buoy on the section still visible above water. They were stood down by the Coast Guard shortly after 5pm and returned to station.

Commenting on the callout, Wicklow RNLI Press officer Tommy Dover said:’ This was a fast response by our volunteers today, who assembled and launched within minutes following the pager alert. It was also the first ‘Shout’ for our trainees Derek Byrne and Robbie Quinn as they kitted up on their first callout on the all-weather lifeboat.’

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Sligo Bay RNLI’s volunteer crew were requested to launch their inshore lifeboat to reports of sailing dinghies caught in a squall on Thursday evening (22 June).

Following reports from an onlooker on the beach at Rosses Point that there appeared to be several dinghies capsized in Sligo Bay, the inshore lifeboat Sheila and Denis Tongue launched at 8.10pm to offer assistance to the clubs’ safety boats already on the water.

Arriving on the scene at 8.15pm, the crew assessed the situation and found that most dinghies had righted themselves and were able to sail home unassisted.

However, one dinghy had turned turtle and both sailors had been picked up by the club safety boat. The lifeboat crew managed to right the dinghy and tow it back to the club.

Speaking following the call-out, Aisling Gillen, Sligo Bay RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat press officer said: “A member from the sailing club said conditions changed very quickly and even though they had their safety boats on the water, they were very grateful of the assistance provided by ourselves and that having the RNLI as their neighbours, is always a great comfort to them.

“As we enter the summer season, we would remind anyone planning a trip to sea to always go prepared, check weather and tide times, always wear a lifejacket or suitable flotation device for your activity and always carry a means of communication such as a VHF radio or a mobile phone in a waterproof pouch. Should you get into difficulty, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

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