Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: RNLI

The arrival of Courtmacsherry's new Shannon Class lifeboat, "Val Adnams," originally due in this Sunday, has been cancelled due to predicted severe weather on the crossing from RNLI Headquarters in Poole to West Cork.

The RNLI decision to postpone the arrival was announced tonight.

RNLI Courtmacsherry said: "Crew training will continue for the Lifeboat Crew on site in Poole this week and from Saturday in Courtmacsherry on a relief Lifeboat.

The new date for the arrival of the "Val Adnams" will be agreed and communicated as soon as possible. We very much look forward to its arrival but safety on passages is always a priority.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

The RNLI will always remain an independent voluntary service.

That is according to Anna Classon, RNLI Head of Region, Ireland, who is the first woman to lead the lifeboat organisation in Ireland.

It is important that the RNLI should always remain independent and that is going to continue she says in the January edition of the Maritime Ireland Podcast presented by Afloat Correspondent, Tom MacSweeney.

She says it is part of the trust between the public who support the RNLI and the organisation.

Interview below and the full Podcast can be heard on all major Podcast services.

Published in Tom MacSweeney
Tagged under

The West Cork community of Courtmacsherry are set to welcome the latest RNLI lifeboat to be based in Ireland to their village next Sunday, 15th January.

This Shannon class lifeboat is unique in the RNLI's fleet as it has been designed by an Irish engineer and is the first Lifeboat class to be called after an Irish river.

The Lifeboat named “ Val Adnams” is due to arrive in Courtmacsherry, led by a flotilla of local boats, at exactly 13.45, which is also the operational number of the lifeboat.

Its arrival marks the start of a new chapter in the story of search and rescue on the south coast.

The Shannon lifeboat is the latest in a long line of search and rescue boats provided by the RNLI to Courtmacsherry over the past 198 years. Courtmacsherry, along with Arklow are the oldest Lifeboat Stations in Ireland, having been founded in 1825. It’s 27 years since the last new Trent class Lifeboat arrived in 1995, and it's only the 11th Lifeboat to be stationed in Courtmacsherry since the arrival of the first RNLI boat, “The Plenty” in 1825.

A significant proportion of the funding for the new Courtmacsherry Lifeboat has been provided through a very generous donation from Val Adnams, who grew up in Preston and Weymouth in the UK and now resides in Idahoe in the USA.

From a young age, Val Adnams was an avid sailor and sportsperson who possessed an early interest in the Lifeboat Service, as she witnessed the callouts of the local Weymouth Lifeboat going to the help of others in distress at sea. At the age of 23, she moved to Washington DC where she worked on Capital Hill for some years before meeting her lifelong partner in Bandera, Texas, and she now resides in Idahoe. Val Adnams and some of her family intend to travel to Courtmacsherry in September for the Naming Ceremony of the Lifeboat. 

Members of the Courtmacsherry Crew under Coxswain Sean O'Farrell departed on Sunday for Poole in Dorset, where they will continue their extensive training and passage journey home.

Of note is that the Shannon class was designed by Derry man Peter Eyre who, as a child, was rescued himself by Lough Swilly RNLI in Donegal. The Shannon class lifeboat is the most modern all-weather lifeboat propelled by water jets instead of traditional propellers, making it the most agile and manoeuvrable all–weather lifeboat in the RNLI’s fleet.

Courtmacsherry voluntary Lifeboat Operations Manager Brian O'Dwyer said, 'We want the people of Courtmacsherry and the surrounding areas to come on Sunday to welcome the new lifeboat home. The station has been looking forward to this day for a long time, and there is huge excitement. The past few weeks and months have been spent in preparation and training by all the crew to receive this incredible piece of kit from the RNLI. It is the most technologically advanced lifeboat in the fleet, and it will proudly serve the southwest coast for many years to come.'

'We are incredibly honoured to receive it, and we are grateful to our donor “Val Adnams” and to all those involved at our Station down through the years who have made this day possible. We hope to bring many loved ones safely home in this new lifeboat.'

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Kinsale RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew along with the assistance of four coastguard units rescued two stranded dogs on Bank Holiday Monday (2 January).

The dogs had gotten into difficulty at the bottom of a cliff near Nohoval Cove in West Cork and were last seen by their owners the previous day.

Kinsale RNLI’s lifeboat Miss Sally Ann Baggy II, helmed by Jonathan Connor, was launched just before 10am and reached the bottom of the cliff near New Foundland Bay shortly after in difficult sea conditions.

Irish Coast Guard units from Oysterhaven, Kinsale, Summercove and Crosshaven were also tasked.

Due to a southwesterly surge, it proved challenging to veer the lifeboat in, so a decision was made to hold position and send two crew members into the water and swim to the base of the cliff.

With the help of the coastguard units and a specialist tracking device that was on the dogs’ collars, the two dogs were rescued uninjured and reunited with their owners shortly after midday at Oysterhaven Coast Guard station.

Speaking following the callout, Kinsale RNLI helm Jonathan Connor said: “This was a multi-agency response from our volunteers and our colleagues in the coastguard. Unfortunately, one of the three dogs involved died but we were glad to be able to reunite the two others with their owners.

“We would remind dog owners to ensure to look after their own personal safety and don’t get into danger trying to attempt a rescue themselves. We would advise keeping dogs on a lead if close to cliff edges.

“If your dog does go over a cliff and into the water or gets stuck in mud, don't go in after them. Instead move to a place your dog can get to safely and call their name and they may get out by themselves.

“If you're worried about your dog, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI rescued a kite surfer who had drifted offshore and become entangled in the kite's lines. The rescue occurred off Dollymount Strand, one mile northeast of Bull Island, this afternoon (Sunday, 1 January).

The Irish Coast Guard requested the volunteer lifeboat crew to assist in the rescue of the young man in his early 20s, the call coming in from his parents, who had been tasked with keeping an eye on his progress from ashore.

The crew were alerted by the RNLI pager at 1.43 pm, launched within five minutes, and made the best speed arriving on the scene moments before 2 pm. Two of the volunteer crew were in their homes, with the third working nearby when the emergency call came in.

The weather was fine, with a slight breeze and minimal swell.

Dun Laoghaire RNLI Helm Paul Cummins said: ‘the young man got into difficulty when the wind dropped, and he drifted a mile offshore. In the process, he became entangled in the kite rigging.’

When the RNLI crew arrived, volunteers Ailbhe Smith, and James Traynor (who was also on his first callout since formally passing out as a full lifeboat crew member), assessed the casualty's condition and freed him from his rigging equipment, bringing him safely aboard the lifeboat. Within ten minutes, he was returned to his parents ashore safe and well, and thankfully required no medical assistance.

‘We were delighted to see the kite surfer reunited with his parents. In this instance, all preparations were followed — the surfer wore a heavy winter wetsuit, had a buoyancy aid, and had a shore contact looking on,’ Paul added.

‘Anyone taking to the water at any time of the year should always check weather and tide times before venturing out and always carry a means of calling for help should you need to use it. Should you get into difficulty or see someone else in trouble, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’

Published in Kitesurfing
Tagged under

It was a swift start to the New Year this afternoon (Sunday 1 January) for the team at Howth’s Irish Coast Guard unit as they were tasked to a kitesurfer who was blown offshore after the wind dropped near Dollymount Strand.

Dun Laoghaire RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was also called to the scene from across Dublin Bay and brought the kitesurfer ashore to the Howth coastguard team, who assessed the casualty and found they needed no further assistance.

Howth Coast Guard Unit said: “The kitesurfer was well prepared. They had a shore contact who was keeping an eye on them (who ultimately called the coastguard); a heavyweight winter weight wet suit [and] a buoyancy aid.

“Remember if you see someone in difficulty on or near the coast, dial 112/999 and ask for Irish Coast Guard.”

Published in Rescue

The year just ended was a significant one for Lough Ree RNLI, both on and off the water. 2022 witnessed the opening of the charity’s ‘state of the art’ lifeboat station while on the water the volunteer crew responded to 47 call-outs during the year.

Launching in all types of weather, daylight and darkness, the crew assisted 153 people in 2022 on board 45 boats. In two cases, assistance was given to members of the public who encountered difficulties in the waters of Lough Ree.

Lough Ree RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, Kevin Ganly, said: ‘the good news is that all of the calls to assistance had a positive outcome with all members of the public and the volunteer crews coming home safely.’ He concluded that: ‘the charity is entirely dependant on the public to support the operation on Lough Ree.’

Lough Ree RNLI welcomed 16 new volunteers in the past year and now has almost 50 people giving their time and skills to the charity’s operation at Coosan Point.

With 19 volunteers on the boat crew, the cost of equipment and training is a significant annual expense. While the initial cost of the charity’s lifeboat ‘Tara Scougall’ was €339k, to keep the boat in service for its lifetime will incur a total cost of €797k. The cost of kitting out a crew member is €4,167, while annual training for each volunteer on the crew is €1,667.

Lough Ree RNLI Treasurer, Vincent Rafter, said: ‘the charity is most grateful to the members of the public who made donations and organised fund-raising events for Lough Ree RNLI in 2022, especially the €100k raised locally for the new lifeboat station.’ He added that: ‘the continued support of the community around the lake, visitors to the midlands and annual donors to the RNLI in 2023 remained critical to the provision of the lifesaving service.’

This coming Thursday (5 January), Lough Ree RNLI hosts a fund-raising table quiz in The Bounty at Buccaneers R.F.C., Athlone at 7.30pm. Tables of four cost €40 and the charity looks forward to welcoming back friends and supporters after the hiatus caused by the pandemic.This coming Thursday (5 January), Lough Ree RNLI hosts a fund-raising table quiz in The Bounty at Buccaneers R.F.C., Athlone at 7.30pm. Tables of four cost €40 and the charity looks forward to welcoming back friends and supporters after the hiatus caused by the pandemic.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) volunteers have been recognised in His Majesty The King’s New Year Honours for their roles in helping the charity save lives at sea.

Five RNLI volunteers with nearly 240 years of service between them – including a lifeboat volunteer of 62 years, and a fundraiser of 52 years who has helped raise nearly £2 million – and a campaigner who, after losing her son to drowning, has relentlessly supported water safety education, are among those who have been recognised by His Majesty The King for their incredible contribution to the charity and drowning prevention.

RNLI Chief Executive Mark Dowie said: ‘In 2022, the RNLI has seen a welcome return to volunteer recognition events following the pandemic, with hundreds being recognised for long service and excellence in volunteering awards. These six individuals represent the icing on the cake as we commemorate the contribution all our people have made in another busy year for our frontline services.

‘I have found you can never make assumptions about the people you meet in all roles within the RNLI; they all have fascinating back-stories and I often leave a visit feeling profoundly humbled. The stories behind these six are no exception, epitomising the RNLI’s values in all they do to save lives at sea. They richly deserve this national recognition – my congratulations to them all.’

Denis Brophy - 55 years of unbroken voluntary serviceDenis Brophy - 55 years of unbroken voluntary RNLI service

During 55 years of unbroken voluntary service, Denis Brophy has undertaken a wide range of roles at Walmer Lifeboat Station, including Crew, Coxswain, Deputy Launching Authority and Lifeboat Operations Manager, a position he has held since 2001.

In this time, Walmer Lifeboat Station has been involved in 1,257 launches, aided 1,429 people and saved 313 lives. Now, in recognition of his years of supportive and diplomatic leadership, he has been awarded an MBE.

Denis said: ‘The news was a great shock and very unexpected and I was moved, humbled and surprised that I was considered worthy of such an honour. I have only ever tried to do my best for Walmer lifeboat and the RNLI, and to see the station thrive and everyone there develop in their roles has been a reward in itself.

‘It’s a true honour to accept the award on behalf of everyone at Walmer Lifeboat Station both past and present.’

Also in receipt of an MBE is Dupre Strutt, Mechanic at RNLI Kirkwall Lifeboat Station and retired Area Lifesaving Manager for Scotland.

Part of the fabric of Kirkwall Lifeboat Station, Dupre followed in his father’s footsteps in joining the lifeboat, having grown up in the station. Since joining in 1983, Dupre has given 39 years of service to the RNLI, in which time he has been directly involved in over 300 rescues, saving over 60 lives.

Dupre said: ‘I feel proud of what we’ve achieved and like I’ve made a difference to the seafaring community. Knowing that there’ll be some families together that wouldn’t have been because of that contribution makes me proud.

‘I feel very honoured to have been given this award, but I also feel that it’s a reflection on the RNLI itself and all the volunteers. If it wasn’t for all the volunteers and the support of their families, we wouldn’t have the service we have.

‘I’m a part of a team, and if it wasn’t for the operational volunteers at sea, the fundraising volunteers that raise money and the public that support the RNLI we couldn’t continue and I wouldn’t have been able to make the difference that I’ve been able to make.’

Edwin ‘Ted’ Luckin joined the RNLI in 1960 when he was invited to join Cromer lifeboat as Tractor Driver and Mechanic. He has since held wide-ranging roles at the station including being appointed Senior Helm of the station’s new inshore lifeboat in 1965, taking part in more than 70 shouts, in which he is credited with saving many lives.

Ted Luckin (far left) Photo: RNLITed Luckin (far left)  and below Photo: RNLI

Ted LuckinTed Luckin

Now 93 years old, having given 62 years of dedicated service to the RNLI, he has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM). He retired from operational duty on the lifeboats in 2000 but remained as Boathouse Manager until he retired in September 2022 when he had a hip replacement, but plans to be back in the station before long.

Ted said: ‘It came as a bombshell when I got the letter – I was very surprised and very pleased to accept the honour.

‘There’s not many of us who’ve been able to be with the RNLI for as long as I have, and I feel proud for what I’ve been able to do. I’ve enjoyed 60 years on the station and I’ve had some lovely times.’

Following the tragic loss of her son, James, in 2005, Andrea Corrie has campaigned tirelessly for improvements in water safety and in support of water safety education.

Now, in recognition of the work she has done to help prevent others from facing the grief she has, she has been awarded a BEM.

Andrea said ‘I was amazed when I found out the news; it was so unexpected and was an amazing surprise. To get recognition is wonderful but it doesn’t change the reason why I do any of it.

‘All the work that I do and have done since we lost James honours his memory. It helps me try to process something awful that happened and to try to make a difference to prevent other people going through what we have gone through in losing a child.’

Since 2014, she has volunteered her time and shared her story to support the RNLI’s Respect the Water campaign, making a significant contribution to fundraising, awareness and training within the organisation.

She said: ‘One of my proudest times was in 2014 when I became involved in the Respect the Water campaign, and realising the impact that James’s story had. It helps me to be able to share what happened to try to make something positive out of something really negative.’

Also awarded a BEM is the Fundraising Secretary at Penlee Lifeboat Station, Rosalie Whitlock. Rosalie has been an integral part of the RNLI lifesaving community in Penlee, Mousehole and Newlyn since joining as a fundraiser in 1970 with a collection box on the main street of Penzance.

She then began selling souvenirs from her own home before setting up the RNLI’s first shop in Penzance, and then quickly became Fundraising Secretary at Penlee, a position she has held for 47 years. Since she joined, the Penlee Fundraising Branch is credited with raising nearly £2 million through souvenir and shop sales and local events.

Rosalie said: ‘I am thrilled and delighted about this award; it’s quite overwhelming, though none of it would have been possible without the team of dedicated volunteers.

‘The RNLI is a wonderful family and one which I am proud to belong to. While I believe one should never look for thanks for doing a job that you love, when you get recognition, it means so much.’

Rosalie also played a pivotal role during the Penlee Lifeboat Disaster when, in December 1981, all eight RNLI crew on the Solomon Browne tragically lost their lives in an attempt to save the crew onboard the Union Star. She organised a team of fundraisers who worked day and night for several weeks taking calls and dealing with the sacks of mail and donations that were arriving daily.

She said: ‘My heart will always be with Penlee, having been through those dark times of the disaster, being there in the aftermath and then slowly helping to build the station up again to what we are today has been a great privilege.’

Volunteer Mechanic and Lifeboat Operations Manager (LOM) at Kirkcudbright Lifeboat Station William ‘John’ Collins has been awarded a BEM for his dedication to the RNLI and the community in the town.

He joined the station in 1991 as a mechanic, a role which he continues to this day alongside his duties as LOM. John has been an exemplary ambassador for the RNLI in engaging the local community in the work of the charity, recently spearheading the redevelopment of an unused plot of land adjacent to the station which has been transformed into the Kirkcudbright Community Garden.

John said: ‘I feel honoured to receive this award for what I’ve done for the lifeboats and the Kirkcudbright community, but we do the job because of the love of it, not for the recognition.

‘I’m part of a great crew here – everybody gets on, it’s a good atmosphere and it runs well – and this award is as much a reflection of their dedication as it is mine.’

Outside of the RNLI, John is employed as the local school bus driver and during the pandemic he extended this role to deliver essential medical supplies around the area.

RNLI Trustee Lord Mark Sedwill has been made a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George for services to British foreign policy, national security and HM Government. Lord Sedwill, former Cabinet Secretary and National Security Adviser, was elected to the RNLI Council in 2021 and appointed a Trustee in 2022.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Baltimore RNLI will host a proper send-off for its retired former coxswain Kieran Cotter this Tuesday evening 27 December from 8pm at Jacob’s Bar in the West Cork village.

As previously reported on, Cotter retired at the end of 2020 after 45 years of service with the Baltimore lifeboat, 31 of them as coxswain.

Not only an experienced lifesaver, Cotter is also a pillar of the local sailing community and was recognised as Afloat’s Sailor of the Month for January 2021.

As COVID restrictions meant the lifeboat station couldn’t mark the event at the time of his retirement, fellow crew and friends look to make up for it with Tuesday’s knees-up and all are welcome to attend.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI lifeboat crew gathered today (Christmas Eve) to lay wreaths on Dublin Bay and remember 15 of their lifeboat colleagues who were lost while on service in gale force conditions to the SS Palme that had run aground off Blackrock, back in 1895.

The event has become a Christmas Eve tradition for the station, who now remember all those who have drowned around the coast, on inland waters and abroad.

t crew who lost their lives in the 1895 Palme tragedy. The event also remembers all those who have lost their lives through drowning.The RNLI's annual Christmas Eve ceremony, held at the end of the East Pier in Dun Laoghaire, honours the 15 lifeboat crew who lost their lives in the 1895 Palme tragedy. Joe O’Donnell of ‘Wedding Pipers’ played a lament from the Lighthouse Battery and musician, William Byrne, performed the ‘Ballad of the Palme.’The event also remembers all those who have lost their lives through drowning

The ceremony saw lifeboat crew joined by members of the Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard and Civil Defence, who formed an honour guard. Both Dun Laoghaire RNLI’s inshore and all-weather lifeboats launched, and the volunteer crew laid wreaths from the lifeboat in view of the watching public. Broadcaster, PJ Gallagher, a volunteer at Dun Laoghaire RNLI, read an account of the disaster, published at the time of the tragedy.

The short ceremony takes place under the lighthouse at the end of the East Pier and involved both of Dun Laoghaire's RNLI lifeboatsThe short wreath laying ceremony takes place under the lighthouse at the end of Dun Laoghaire's East Pier and involved both of Dun Laoghaire's RNLI lifeboats
During the service, Irish UN peacekeeper Private Seán Rooney, was remembered.

The short ceremony took place under the lighthouse at the end of the East Pier and included an ecumenical blessing and music. Joe O’Donnell of ‘Wedding Pipers’ played a lament from the Lighthouse Battery and musician, William Byrne, performed the ‘Ballad of the Palme.’

On 24 December 1895 the 'Civil Service No. 1' Dun Laoghaire lifeboat was wrecked while proceeding to the assistance of the SS Palme of Finland. The entire crew, 15 in total, were drowned. The lifeboat capsized 600 yards from the distressed vessel and, although every effort was made to send help to the lifeboat and to the Palme, nothing could be done.

The second Dun Laoghaire lifeboat 'Hannah Pickard' also launched but it too capsized under sail, fortunately all crew returned safely. The Captain, his wife, child and 17 crew were eventually rescued on the 26th December by the SS Tearaght.

Broadcaster, PJ Gallagher, a volunteer at Dun Laoghaire RNLI, read an account of the disaster, published at the time of the tragedy. Broadcaster, PJ Gallagher, a volunteer at Dun Laoghaire RNLI, read an account of the Dun Laoghaire Lifeboat disaster, published at the time of the tragedy

Broadcaster, PJ Gallagher, a volunteer at Dun Laoghaire RNLI, read an account of the disaster, published at the time of the tragedy. 

Commenting on the event Dun Laoghaire RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Ed Totterdell said, ‘The loss of fifteen lifeboat volunteers devastated the local community at the time but the RNLI here kept going. Volunteer lifeboat crew came forward then, as they still do, to help those in trouble at sea and on inland waters. We hold this ceremony to honour their memory and also to remember all those we have lost to drowning.’

During the RNLI Service at Dun Laoghaire's East Pier, Irish UN peacekeeper Private Seán Rooney, was rememberedDuring the RNLI Service at Dun Laoghaire's East Pier, Irish UN peacekeeper Private Seán Rooney, was remembered

‘Our lifeboat crew is on call this Christmas as they are every day of the year, and we hope everyone has a safe and peaceful time. It has been a very busy year for callouts for the lifeboat crew. This ceremony is our Christmas tradition and one that is very special to us. I hope that people enjoy the water safely over the festive period and I wish our lifeboat crew and their families and safe and peaceful Christmas.’

On 24th December 1895 the number two lifeboat was wrecked while proceeding to the assistance of the SS Palme of Finland, the whole of her crew, 15 in number, drowned. Their names were John Baker, John Bartley, Edward Crowe, Thomas Dunphy, William Dunphy, Francis McDonald, Edward Murphy, Patrick Power, James Ryan, Francis Saunders, George Saunders, Edward Shannon, Henry Underhill, Alexander Williams and Henry Williams.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under
Page 12 of 291

BJ Marine has six bases; two in Ireland, three in the UK and one in the Mediterranean. The Managing Director is Bernard Gallagher and the Group Sales Manager is James Kirwan. The Irish headquartered marine firm represents market-leading brands including Beneteau Power and Sailboats, Fountaine Pajot Catamarans and Power-Cats, Sea Ray Sports Boats and Cruisers, Wauquiez Custom Yachts and Cranchi and Monte Carlo Luxury Powerboats. BJ Marine has a brokerage sales division that has delivered to every continent and a brokerage list with as many as 300 used boats for sale in Wales, across the Island of Ireland and across Europe.

At A Glance – BJ Marine Agencies

BJ Marine are agents for the following international yacht and powerboat brands in Ireland: 

  • Beneteau Sail
  • Beneteau Power
  • Monte Carlo
  • Sea Ray
  • Fountaine Pajot Sail
  • Fountaine Pajot Power
  • Cranchi
  • Wauquiez

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2023

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating