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Enniskillen RNLI’s inshore lifeboat John and Jean Lewis was launched at the request of Belfast Coastguard on Wednesday afternoon (9 August) to assess a boat breakdown near Portoa Lock.

The Shetland cruiser with two people onboard had reported encountering mechanical issues, and was found adrift when the lifeboat arrived on scene.

The lifeboat crew assessed those onboard and found them to be safe and well and wearing lifejackets.

After its mechanical issues were remedied, the vessel made its way to the Round ‘O’ jetty followed by the lifeboat crew and it was safely secured at its berth.

Speaking following the call-out, Alan Shaw, volunteer helm at Enniskillen RNLI had advice for all boat users in the summer season.

“Carry out regular maintenance checks on your vessel. Make sure you have the relevant charts required before starting your journey, lifejackets for all on board and a means of calling for assistance if you find yourself in trouble.

“If you see someone in trouble on the water or are in difficulties yourself the number to dial is 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

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Just hours after the conclusion of their station’s open day on Sunday (6 August), Wicklow RNLI’s volunteer crew members responded to the first of two call-outs in 24 hours.

Pagers sounded just after 9.30pm on Sunday night and within 10 minutes the all-weather lifeboat Ruth and David Arthur was making best speed to a position just south of Greystones to attend a six-metre fishing vessel with one person on board which was adrift after suffering engine failure.

Arriving on scene 30 minutes after launch, the lifeboat coxswain assessed the situation and decided that the safest option was to tow the vessel to the nearest port.

The fishing vessel’s lone crew was safely landed ashore at Greystones Marina shortly after 10.35pm.

The second call-out came at 5.40pm on Monday (7 August) when a concerned member of the public reported a small inflatable dinghy with four people on board appeared to be struggling to get back to shore due to the turning tide and westerly offshore wind.

The D-class inshore lifeboat was launched within minutes under helm Paul Sillery and it quickly located the the dinghy and its occupants just as they were making it ashore at Travelahawk beach.

Once it was ascertained that no further assistance was required, the lifeboat was stood down by the Irish Coast Guard.

Speaking later, Sillery emphasised the dangers of using inflatables in the sea: “Inflatables can pose significant risks, as they are susceptible to changing tides, offshore winds and currents.

“We would urge everyone to leave the inflatables at home and not bring them into the sea. If you see someone in trouble in the water, please call 112 or 999 and ask for the coastguard.”

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Skerries RNLI were tasked just before 10pm on Friday night (4 August) following a 999 call to report that two teenagers were stranded on Shenick Island, having been cut off by the incoming tide.

The volunteers in Skerries launched their Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson and proceeded to make their way around the headland at Red Island in Skerries towards Shenick Island.

Arriving on scene, the lifeboat crew quickly spotted the two teenagers on the shoreline on the island. The lifeboat was manoeuvred into shallow water near the bar between the mainland and the island and a crew member made their way ashore.

Having confirmed that no medical assistance was required, the crew member helped the teenagers make their way out the lifeboat and brought to the station where they were given some dry blankets and refreshments to warm themselves while they waited for someone to collect them.

Weather conditions at the time had a Force 2-3 south-easterly wind with a calm sea and good visibility.

This was the second day in a row that the lifeboat was tasked to people stranded on Shenick, having responded to a similar call as they finished training on Thursday evening. In that instance the people made it ashore themselves.

Speaking about the call-out, volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: “When [the teenagers] realised that they had gotten their timing wrong and were not going to get back to shore as the water was getting deeper, they absolutely made the right call in returning to the island and calling for help and we always encourage anyone in difficulty on or near the water to dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

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The Wicklow RNLI Lifeboat Station opened its doors and lifeboats to the public on the August Bank Holiday Monday for the first time in four years due to Covid-19.

Despite the mixed weather, it turned out to be a hugely successful day.

The station's volunteers had worked hard in the months leading up to the event to ensure that the facilities were ready to welcome the public. The fundraising team provided endless supplies of tea, coffee, and sweet treats, while the volunteer RNLI lifeboat crew provided tours of the lifeboats and answered any questions asked by children and adults alike.

Two Shannon Class lifeboats on display at the Wicklow RNLI Lifeboat Station Open DayTwo Shannon Class lifeboats on display at the Wicklow RNLI Lifeboat Station Open Day

The public was given the opportunity to explore both Shannon class lifeboats, the RNLB Ruth and David Arthur, and RNLB Joanna & Henry Williams, along with the D class Denis Audrey. The volunteer crew were happy to answer any questions, discuss the equipment onboard, and inform the public of the roles they have within the station.

During a simulated rescue in the harbour, the public was shown the capabilities of the lifeboats, including slow speed transfers between the lifeboats, man overboard drills, and the manoeuvrability of the boats.

The RNLI lifeboat demonstration in Wicklow HarbourThe RNLI lifeboat demonstration in Wicklow Harbour

The station's mascot, Stormy Stan, also made an appearance, meeting, greeting, and posing for photos with all the children that were down for a look. The crew also took the opportunity to take a crew photo.

In addition to the RNLI lifeboat station's open day, the Gardaí, the Garda Sub Aqua Unit, Civil Defense, and the Coast Guard were also present, demonstrating their equipment and answering questions from the public.

 Some of the activities during the Wicklow Harbour RNLI Lifeboat Open Day Crowds gathered for the Wicklow Harbour RNLI Lifeboat Open Day

Volunteer lifeboat press officer Connie O’Gara spoke about the event, saying, "We’d like to thank the public for visiting us for the open day. Considering the torrential rain at times, it was great to see so many people come down and have a look around. It takes a lot of time to organize, but it is a nice way for the crew to say thanks for all the support and donations we receive throughout the year."

The open day was a great success, allowing the public to gain insight into the vital work carried out by the RNLI lifeboat station and other emergency services.

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In the late hours of Friday, August 4th, 2024, the volunteer crew of the Donaghadee RNLI lifeboat station in Northern Ireland received a call from HM Coastguard.

The Coastguard reported an emergency medical issue involving a female passenger on a visiting cruise ship. The Donaghadee All Weather Lifeboat Macquarie was immediately launched to address the situation.

The lifeboat crew, consisting of seven members, including a seagoing lifeboat medical advisor, Dr Courtney Roberts, worked with HM Coastguard and the cruise ship to determine the best course of action for the distressed passenger. In reasonable sea conditions, the lifeboat approached the cruise ship's port side pilot door, where the casualty was transferred by stretcher to the lifeboat along with the cruise ship's paramedics.

Once onboard the lifeboat, the casualty was assessed by Dr Roberts, who administered oxygen to make her more comfortable. The ship's paramedics simultaneously gave the casualty intravenous fluids and adrenaline. Upon return to Bangor Harbour, the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service and the Coastguard Rescue Team took custody of the casualty.

Dr Roberts stated, "The casualty was certainly very ill and did require immediate emergency medical attention. We were able to administer high-flow oxygen and monitor her vital signs while she was been transferred from the ship to the shore and into the care of the ambulance service. Of course, we all wish her a speedy recovery." Thanks to the quick and efficient response of the Donaghadee RNLI lifeboat crew, the situation was resolved without further incident.

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The Cowes RNLI lifeboat was kept busy during Cowes Week racing earlier this week with incidents on Monday and Tuesday.

On Monday morning (31 July) the lifeboat crew were called out to two yachts involved in a violent collision, and then assisted a yachtsman knocked into the water.

In all cases the boats involved were competing in the Daring Class event.

On the first occasion one Daring collided with the hull of another, holing it. The damaged boat was eventually towed to a Cowes boatyard by a harbour launch, escorted by the lifeboat.

Then the lifeboat went back out into the Solent to assist a Daring yachtsman who was knocked into the water near the Bramble Bank, after being struck by a boom when the boat broached.

The casualty was taken by the lifeboat to Trinity Landing where he was received by the coastguard for possible onward medical treatment.

Cowes RNLI on exercise on Wednesday 2 AugustCowes RNLI on exercise on Wednesday 2 August

Cowes RNLI launched again on Tuesday (1 August), helping in two Solent incidents.

The first call-out was just after 1pm in response to a report of a man overboard from a yacht, east of Cowes Harbour’s breakwater.

The lifeboat eventually delivered the man to Trinity Landing, where island coastguards handed him over to an ambulance for onward delivery to St Mary’s Hospital in Newport.

Another emergency call followed, concerning a woman with a suspected broken wrist aboard a day-boat.

The lifeboat took the woman to Trinity Landing where a doctor member of the lifeboat station was waiting to carry out a preliminary assessment before she, too, was taken to hospital.

The lifeboat then began to tow the day-boat, with its two remaining occupants, into the harbour — where a harbour launch then took over to take the craft to a local marina.

The women of Cowes RNLIThe women of Cowes RNLI

On Wednesday (2 August) all Cowes Week racing was abandoned due to high winds for a second time, but the daily lifeboat exercises continued as planned — with one launch staffed entirely by women.

“It was great to have an all-women crew on the lifeboat, all women on shore crew, a woman as our launching authority, a woman as our plant operator and the women from the shop and visits team,” said one crew member.

Mark Southwell, station operations manager added": “As far back as 15 years ago the then-independent Cowes lifeboat already had a mixed crew, which went on transfer to the RNLI service. So, from the start we have been able to demonstrate that the lifeboat it not a men’s club — and it’s not a club at all, but a serious professional service, ready at a moment’s notice.

“Today 30 per cent of the station itself is female. There are no bars or prejudices towards anyone here. Logically that’ll be a 50/50 split one day and rightly so, thus reflecting the population of Cowes. And all lifeboats should fully represent their towns.

“I have to say that I admire anyone, man or woman, who happily tuns up and launches in such foul conditions as we have experienced today, and still has a broad smile!”

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Baltimore RNLI were called out on Monday night (31 July) for the second time in two days to provide a medical evacuation, this time from Cape Clear Island off the coast of West Cork.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 9.08pm following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to medevac a visitor from the island.

Conditions during the call-out were good, with a north-westerly Force 5 wind, smooth sea and good visibility.

Arriving at North Harbour on Cape Clear Island at 9.33pm, the lifeboat crew performed a care assessment of the casualty before transferring him onboard the lifeboat and taking him to the station in Baltimore, where he was handed over to the care of a waiting HSE ambulance crew shortly after 10.10pm.

Speaking following the call-out, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat press officer said: “This is the second medevac carried out from an island within two days. On 30 July a man on Sherkin Island who had suffered an injury required the lifeboat to bring him out to the mainland for treatment.

“Baltimore RNLI provides a vital service to those living, working or holidaying on an island who are in need of medical assistance. If you find yourself in a emergency whilst on an island, call 999 or 112.”

There were seven volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat during Monday night’s call-out: coxswain Aidan Bushe, mechanic Jerry Smith and crew members Kieran Collins, Brian McSweeney, Colin Whooley, Emma Geary and Stuart Musgrave.

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A group of 26 people were rescued by Lough Ree RNLI on Monday, 31 July, after three boats ran aground north of the Black Islands.

The emergency call was made to the Irish Coast Guard, who requested the aid of the volunteer crew to launch their inshore lifeboat.

The Athlone Sub Aqua Club was also on hand to assist. The Tara Scougall lifeboat was launched from its base at Coosan Point and arrived on the scene within 10 minutes of the call.

The lifeboat found two 52ft cruisers and one 37ft cruiser hard aground on a shoal.

All 26 people on board were found to be safe and well, and the lifeboat crew set about re-floating the three vessels.

A crew member inspected each of the casualty vessels for damage or water ingress before they were successfully re-floated and continued their journey.

Pat Coffey, Lough Ree RNLI Deputy Launching Authority, said: ‘We were delighted to help this evening, and we were glad to find all onboard the vessels were safe and well.

We would like to commend our colleagues from the Athlone Sub Aqua Club, who also responded to this call.' Additionally, Coffey reminded the public to prioritize safety when enjoying water activities, emphasizing the importance of carrying a means of communication, wearing a lifejacket or floatation device, and ensuring boats are well-maintained and have sufficient fuel.

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Wicklow RNLI Lifeboat Station is set to open its doors to the public on Sunday, August 6th, for its annual Open Day. This much-anticipated event has been absent for the past four years due to Covid-19 restrictions, but the volunteers, supporters, and fundraisers are excited to welcome visitors back once again. From 1 pm to 5 pm, guests can participate in a behind-the-scenes tour of the station and its two lifeboats. The volunteer crewmembers will be available to discuss their specialised training, demonstrate the equipment used on the lifeboats, and answer any questions.

The Open Day will feature demonstrations and displays by the local Emergency Services, showcasing their life-saving equipment. The lifeboat shop will also be open, and visitors will have the opportunity to meet the lifeboat mascot, Stormy Stan. Children can enjoy face painting, magic acts, and fun entertainment provided by Codling Wind Farm. The Wicklow Sailing Club has also kindly provided an area for sensory play activities for younger children.

This event is an excellent opportunity for the whole family to enjoy a day out while supporting the Wicklow lifeboat station.

Arklow RNLI is also holding its Open Day on the same day, making it ideal for lifeboat enthusiasts to visit two RNLI stations in the Garden County of Wicklow.

Tommy Dover, the Wicklow RNLI Press Officer, expressed his gratitude for the community's support, stating that they "do what we do thanks to generous local support. The Open Day is our way of saying thank you."

The Open Day promises to be a great day out for all ages, and the volunteers, supporters, and fundraisers look forward to welcoming visitors to the Wicklow RNLI Lifeboat Station.

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Last week, Fethard RNLI came together to honour and bid farewell to Dr John Cox, who retired from his role as a volunteer Lifeboat Medical Advisor after over 25 years of dedicated service.

Dr Cox began his tenure as a medical advisor in 1996 when Fethard station reopened, taking care of the volunteers and ensuring their regular medical certifications were up to date. Prior to this, he had served for many years at Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI station.

During the retirement ceremony, Owen Medland, Area Lifesaving Manager for the southeast, presented Dr Cox with a framed print of Fethard's D-Class Naomh Dubhan on a chart of Ballyteige Bay, which is the station's operational area. Medland praised Dr Cox's voluntary commitment to saving lives at sea and his long-standing dedication to the RNLI. He wished the retiring doctor all the best for the future.

The Fethard RNLI crew with retiring Medical Advisor Dr John Cox Photo: Sorcha BirdThe Fethard RNLI crew with retiring Medical Advisor Dr John Cox Photo: Sorcha Bird

In response to the presentation, Dr Cox expressed his gratitude, saying, "While Fethard has done a lot for the Lifeboat by providing crews to man our D-Class lifeboat, the Lifeboat has done a lot for our community, not just in the high-profile activities of saving lives at sea but also in providing somewhere where people feel they belong and, most of all, that they feel they are doing something special and are appreciated."

Dr Cox added, "The picture of the Naomh Dubhan with the chart of Ballyteige Bay in the background is quite beautiful and will hang in our hallway for visitors to see for years to come. I wish you all continued success, and now that I do not have to go to work, I will try to take you up on your kind invitation to pop into the station for a cup of tea and a chat some evening."

Fethard RNLI station's management and crew extended their best wishes to Dr Cox and his wife, Mary, as they began the next chapter of their lives. Dr Cox's service and dedication to the RNLI will undoubtedly be missed, but his legacy will continue to inspire and guide volunteers for years to come.

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