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Volunteers at Oban and Tobermory’s RNLI lifeboat stations in eastern Scotland have been recognised for their invaluable service in this year’s Excellence in Volunteering Awards.

Oban’s four deputy coxswains — Mark Scott, Finlo Cottier, David Isaac and James Hardie — have all been recognised by the RNLI for their dedication to the station.

The certificates awarded by the RNLI’s chairman and council recorded their “sincere thanks” for “giving time to help provide full time coxswain cover at the station” and for their “commitment and leadership”.

In addition, the Argyll station’s press officers Iain Fulton and Leonie Mead also received awards for their “invaluable support to Oban Lifeboat Station”.

Meanwhile, Tobermory Lifeboat Station — nearby, on the Isle of Mull — received an Excellence in Volunteering Award earlier in the autumn following an operational evaluation carried out by an independent RNLI team of assessors.

The award recognised the crew’s “invaluable service to the institution” and that “with a committed management team and crew fully engaged in all aspects of the station, your focused team efforts, camaraderie and professionalism are greatly appreciated”.

Tobermory lifeboat operations manager Dr Sam Jones also received an award in recognition of her “invaluable service” to the station, of her “outstanding contribution” and for “making a positive impact at the station, engaging the crew and providing safe and effective leadership”.

Full-time coxswain David McHaffie and mechanic Paul Gunn have also received staff awards in recognition of their leadership and dedication at the station.

The RNLI’s prestigious Excellence in Volunteering Awards recognise both staff and volunteers who have gone above and beyond what is expected of them.

Members of both stations attended a celebratory dinner at the Playfair Library in Edinburgh on Saturday 16 November, hosted by the RNLI’s chairman Stuart Popham and Scottish chairman Roger Lockwood.

Tobermory crew and partners with RNLI chairman Stuart Popham | Photo: RNLI/TobermoryTobermory crew and partners with RNLI chairman Stuart Popham. From left: Annette Stirling, Mick Stirling, Eug Thomasson, Simon Thomasson, Will Thorne, RNLI chairman Stuart Popham, Kirsty Blackhall, Iain Malcolm, Mhairi McAdam and Ian McAdam | Photo: RNLI/Tobermory

The dinner rounded off a busy week for Tobermory RNLI. Members of the crew represented the station at the previous weekend’s Remembrance events in Tobermory, including the community commemoration, ‘Mull Remembers’, on Saturday 9 November and Sunday’s service at Tobermory Parish Church and wreath-laying at the war memorial.

Tobermory’s RNLI shop and fundraising branc,h along with some members of the crew, also hosted a mince pie and coffee morning at the Aros Hall on Saturday 16 November. This well-attended annual event took over £600 in shop sales and an incredible £508 from a raffle and donations.

McHaffie said: “The awards to the station recognise the hard work of everyone involved, particularly our volunteers who give up so much of their free time, not only for training and carrying out rescues, but also for helping to make the station run effectively and efficiently.

“I’m pleased that some partners of the crew were also able to attend the celebratory dinner in Edinburgh as we couldn’t operate without the support of our families and friends.”

Published in Scottish Waters

Valentia RNLI volunteers, family and friends gathered last Saturday 23 November to honour two outstanding volunteers.

The Kerry lifeboat station team honoured and thanked Richard Foran for his 20 years of dedicated voluntary service to Valentia RNLI. Richard took up the role of Honorary Secretary in 1999 with the station, later becoming the what is now known as the Lifeboat Operations Manager.

It was a night of double celebrations as the station also honoured Timothy Lyne for his 37 years of service. Timothy took up the role of Deputy Launching Authority in 1982 and later taking up the role of Treasurer in 1999.

Both gentlemen surrounded by family and friends were presented with a personalised craved Valentia Slate plaque in appreciation of their service to the Valentia RNLI.

Leo Houlihan, Valentia RNLI Mechanic, said on the night: ‘On behalf of everyone in the station we would like to thank you both for the support and dedication you provided to the station as Lifeboat Operations Manager, Deputy Launching Authority and Treasurer. These two men will be greatly missed at the station.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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A volunteer crew member at Fethard RNLI lifeboat station has had a vital part of their crew training funded by Lloyd’s Register Foundation.

Diarmaid Bird recently travelled to the RNLI College in Poole, Dorset, to complete the charity’s Crew Emergency Procedures course. With strong lifeboat links in his family and the community, Diarmaid was inspired to join up as a volunteer crew member for the charity approximately four years ago.

The course sees volunteer crew being trained in a variety of crucial subjects such as how to deal with fires aboard lifeboats, how to ‘abandon ship’ in the event of an emergency (with a 4m jump into water), team survival swimming, coping in a life-raft in simulated darkness, how to right a capsized inshore lifeboat, and the importance of lifejackets. It also includes sessions on the correct use of flares, fire extinguishers and throw bags.

Talking about the training, Diarmaid said: ‘It was a great course, really hands-on and practical.’

Diarmaid’s training took place in the Sea Survival Centre at the RNLI College, where he was joined by other RNLI volunteer crew members from around Ireland and the UK.

The training was funded by Lloyd’s Register Foundation, a charitable foundation that helps to protect life and property by supporting engineering-related education, public engagement and the application of research. The Foundation has committed to funding the RNLI’s Crew Emergency Procedures course for a second five -year period until December 2020. This additional funding of €1,208,400 brings their total support for RNLI crew training to just over €2,804,400* since 2008. More than 3,000 RNLI volunteer crew members have now received the training thanks to Lloyd’s Register Foundation’s funding.

Alex Evans, Lifesaving Training Manager at the RNLI said, ‘We are so grateful to Lloyd’s Register Foundation for funding this vital part of our volunteer crews’ training.

‘Their support is very important to us and it’s fantastic how, so far, over 3,000 of our crew members have benefitted from Lloyd’s Register Foundation funding this part of their training. As only one in ten of our volunteer crew members comes from a professional maritime background, the Crew Emergency Procedures course is crucial in giving our volunteers the training they need and helping keep them as safe as possible while carrying out rescues. It gives volunteers the confidence to save lives even in the most challenging conditions.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Crosshaven RNLI volunteers were paged at 1.50 pm this afternoon to reports of a dismasted yacht with injuries off Fort Camden in Cork Harbour.

According to the RNLI, the 32’ yacht with five persons onboard was a participant in a race when they had a crash gybe which resulted in the yachts mast and sails 'collapsing' and one person sustaining a suspected neck injury.

The crew of James Fegan, Alan Venner Norman Jackson and Jonathan Birmingham made best speed to the casualty vessel.

On scene, Alan Venner gave casualty care to the injured person, before the lifeboat headed to Crosshaven with the casualty and handed her Into the care of the National Ambulance Service. Meanwhile, James Fegan stayed on board the casualty yacht and helped retrieve the sails and mast back onto the yacht before it was towed by a yacht club RIB back to the marina.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Invergordon RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew launched at 8.36pm last night (Saturday 23 November) to reports of a vessel with no power drifting towards oil rigs in the Cromarty Firth.

The all-weather Trent class lifeboat Douglas Aikman Smith made best speed to the location of two anchored oil rigs — iconic fixtures in the firth — with the two male occupants of the stricken RIB signalling their location by head torch.

After suffering engine trouble shortly after setting off from Nigg, the RIB had drifted a considerable distance with the incoming tide, coming close to the unmanned structures before the lifeboat arrived on scene five minutes after launching.

With no medical issues and the casualties assessed, the lifeboat took the 10ft RIB under tow to Nigg slipway to be recovered and escorted its two crew safely ashore in the lifeboat’s XP boat.

Published in Scottish Waters

It was a sad day this week as Stonehaven RNLI said goodbye to the last Atlantic 75 lifeboat in service in Scotland.

The volunteer crew in Aberdeenshire watched as Miss Berry was winched out of the water to be transported to Poole.

A brand new Atlantic 85, Jamie Hunter, is due to arrive on station in the next few weeks. At the moment the crew are training hard on a relief Atlantic 85.

The new lifeboat has some advancement on its predecessor. The Atlantic 85 design allows room for four crew members and more kit than the Atlantic 75 lifeboat, which only had room for three crew.

It is powered by two 115hp engines and has a stronger hull and greater top speed of 35 knots. The added radar allows the crew to operate more effectively in poor visibility and there is also VHF direction-finding equipment.

The Atlantic 85, which was introduced to the RNLI fleet in 2005, also carries a full suite of communication and electronic navigation aids, as well as a searchlight, night-vision equipment and flares for night-time operations.

Stonehaven lifeboat operations manager Andy Martin said: “We are all sorry to say goodbye to Miss Betty. The Atlantic 75 has been a great lifeboat and kept many people safe, but we are proud to be the custodians of this new lifeboat that will allow our volunteers to save many more lives in the years to come.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Lough Ree RNLI together with Athlone Sub Aqua Club have been honoured by the Municipal District of Athlone-Moate on behalf of Westmeath County Council.

The recognition was awarded to the volunteers of Lough Ree RNLI and Athlone Sub Aqua Club as a symbol of acknowledgement of their lifesaving contribution to the community.

Lough Ree RNLI has been operational since 2012 and to date has assisted over 1,000 people, 300 boats and one cow in over 370 call outs.

"Assisted over 1,000 people, 300 boats and one cow in over 370 call outs"

Speaking at the ceremony of recognition, Lifeboat Operations Manager, Tony McCarth thanked the Council for this honour, together with the support they have shown over the years, most especially in providing a location for the Lifeboat Station to call home until the new boathouse is built.

He paid special tribute to his predecessor, Damien Delaney who undertook setting up the operation in Lough Ree. Tony closed his speech with a special word of appreciation for Derry McMahon from Athlone Sub Aqua Club for his many years of service in the community as a diver.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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All In A Row 2019 comes to the capital’s River Liffey on Saturday week, 30 November, challenging teams rowing 40 skiffs, kayaks, canoes and currachs to exceed a 1,000 km target in eight hours.

The organisers are hoping to exceed last year’s target of rowing 1,000km during the event on the river, starting from St. Patrick’s Rowing Club at the Tom Clarke Bridge (formerly the East Link Bridge) and finishing at the Ha’penny Bridge.

The challenge is being undertaken with the aim of showcasing the River Liffey as one of Dublin’s best amenities while raising funds for the RNLI and the Irish Underwater Search and Recovery Unit.

The event will start at 8 am on Saturday 30 November and at 1 pm all boats will gather in front of the Sean O’Casey footbridge. A wreath-laying ceremony, attended by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Paul McAuliffe, will also take place to commemorate all those who have lost their lives through drowning.

The RNLI, the charity that saves lives at sea, will have an Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat on the river during the day. Fast, manoeuvrable and reliable, the B class lifeboat operates in rough weather conditions, capable in daylight up to force seven and at night, to force six winds. The lifeboat is ideal for rescues close to shore, near cliffs and rocks and can also be beached in an emergency without causing damage to its engines or steering gear. The Atlantic 85 carries a full suite of communication and electronic navigation aids, as well as a searchlight, night-vision equipment and flares for night-time operations.

The lifeboat will be berthed alongside the Jeanie Johnston replica famine ship. The event is also being used as an opportunity to engage with inner-city Dublin schools whose pupils have been invited to the Dublin Docklands Offices to learn about water safety through the RNLI’s Respect the Water campaign and how they can volunteer in their communities to help save lives at sea. The city’s Sea Scouts will also be participating in the event.

Many Dublin rowing clubs have their home on the River Liffey and are a regular sight on the water. At the port end of the river is St. Patrick’s Rowing Club, Stella Maris Rowing Club, East Wall Water Sports Group and Poolbeg Yacht and Boat club. Ringsend Basin is home to the Plurabelle Paddlers (dragon boats) and the Dublin Viking Dragon boats. At the other end of the city beyond Heuston Station there are many river rowing clubs and kayaking clubs, including Phoenix Rowing Club.

On 30 November the many boating clubs of the Liffey will be joined by rowing clubs from other parts of Ireland, to raise funds for the RNLI and the Irish Underwater Search and Recovery Unit.

Commenting on the event, the All In a Row Team said: ‘Everyone knows the River Liffey but most people don’t know how far it stretches and how many rowing groups use it regularly. There is a vibrant boating community on the River Liffey and these clubs regard it as the living artery of the city and one of Dublin’s great and undervalued amenities.

‘After the beautiful summer we’ve had, we know that people are drawn to the water, whether on the coast or inland to enjoy different water sports. The Liffey is an undervalued and underused resource that is right under people’s noses and we want to encourage them to use it and to use it safely. From school children right up to seasoned rowers, this is a great opportunity to draw people down to the Liffey and learn about water safety and the fun activities they can do on the water all year round.’

Competitors are asked to raise sponsorship for the event, and for those not competing and supporters, there is a GoFundMe page for donations

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Howth RNLI is hosting a special Lifeboat Supporters’ Evening tonight, Tuesday 19 November, from 7.30pm at Howth Yacht Club.

Those attending will learn the latest news and updates from the Howth lifesaving volunteers, as well as see video of their vital rescue efforts.

RNLI Christmas cards and souvenirs will also be on sale to raise funs for the charity that saves lives at sea. All are welcome to attend.

This coming Thursday (21 November) there will also be a lifeboat evening at King Sitric restaurant, with a six course local seasonal menu and a lively auction in aid of Howth RNLI. Details are on Facebook HERE.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Arranmore RNLI has paid tribute to lifeboat volunteer Lee Early, who died on Sunday (17 November) after an incident at a pier on the Co Donegal island.

TheJournal.ie reports that Early (26) and another man, who survived the incident, were in a car that slipped off the pier into the sea around 5.10am.

It’s believed they had been trying to turn the car on the pier when the accident occurred.

Early’s remains were escorted back to Arranmore yesterday evening (Monday 18 November) ahead of his funeral scheduled for noon tomorrow at St Crone’s Church.

“He was a proud Lifeboatman, a skilled Skipper and a much loved friend to us all, he will be greatly missed by the whole community,” the lifeboat team said in a statement on Facebook.

“The Arranmore Community & diaspora, along with the RNLI and wider SAR community will stand with the Early family at this difficult time. Ar dhéis Dé go mbeidh a anam dilís.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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About boot Düsseldorf: With almost 250,000 visitors, boot Düsseldorf is the world's largest boat and water sports fair and every year in January the “meeting place" for the entire industry. From 18 to 26 January 2020, around 2,000 exhibitors will be presenting their interesting new products, attractive further developments and maritime equipment. This means that the complete market will be on site in Düsseldorf and will be inviting visitors on nine days of the fair to an exciting journey through the entire world of water sports in 17 exhibition halls covering 220,000 square meters. With a focus on boats and yachts, engines and engine technology, equipment and accessories, services, canoes, kayaks, kitesurfing, rowing, diving, surfing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, SUP, fishing, maritime art, marinas, water sports facilities as well as beach resorts and charter, there is something for every water sports enthusiast.

Who is Your Sailor Sailor of the Year 2019?
Total Votes:
First Vote:
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At A Glance – Boot Dusseldorf 

Organiser
Messe Düsseldorf GmbH
Messeplatz
40474 Düsseldorf
Tel: +49 211 4560-01
Fax: +49 211 4560-668
Web: https://www.boot.com/

The first boats and yachts will once again be arriving in December via the Rhine.

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