Displaying items by tag: Rescue
At 17.05hrs Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat launched with helm Eleanor Hooker, Peter Clarke and Ben Ronayne on board. As the lifeboat made its way to the casualty vessel, it was established that the skipper of the vessel, safe and unharmed, had been taken by a passing motor boat to Garrykennedy Harbour. It was noted that some boats, having seen the cruiser, were navigating the wrong side of the Mountaineer. The lifeboat took the skipper back to his vessel. The craft was not holed but had suffered damage to its props. With the boat's skipper and a lifeboat crew member on board, the vessel was taken off the rocks and towed to Williamstown Harbour, where it was tied up safely alongside at 18.40hrs. The lifeboat returned to station and were ready for service again at 19.00hrs.
Earlier today, at 10am Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat, Toshiba Wave Warrior, went to the assistance of 4 persons on board a 40ft cruiser that had run aground close to the mouth of the river in Terryglass Bay. The crew had hoisted their distress flag to draw attention to their dilemma.
At 10.45hrs on Sunday August 22, the crew of Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat, helm Peter Clarke, Dom Sharkey and Ben Ronayne came across a vessel aground and flying her distess flag whilst out on exercise at the northern end of Lough Derg. They alerted Valentia Coast Guard that they were going to assist. Winds were westerly force 3 and visibility was very good. The vessel, which had been aground for two hours, had four crew, two of whom were in the water inspecting the hull. They were advised to get back onboard and to change into warm dry clothes. Having establishing that the boat was not holed, the lifeboat took her off the rocks and towed her to the safety of Portumna Castle Harbour, where she was tied up alongside at 11.20hrs. The lifeboat returned to station and was ready for service again at 12.57hrs
While it might be an exaggeration to say that all of the 21 crew members of Rambler 100 owe their lives to the Irish Search and Rescue service, there are certainly five people whose future prospects were greatly improved by the operation off the Fastnet Rock on August 15th. A lot of media focus has been on Coxswain Kieran Cotter and the crew of Baltimore Lifeboat as well as lifeboat mechanic Jerry Smith, whose dive boat, on charter to the media team of one of the competitors, was on hand to search and recover the five drifting crew. There is no question that this focus is appropriate. RNLI crews all over the UK and Ireland deserve the attention, not only because of their extraordinary voluntary dedication to the cause, but also because such publicity helps swell the coffers of the charity. The service could not operate without the generosity of the donors and incidents such as these help fill the blue boat-shaped boxes held by even more RNLI volunteers.
Saved: Ireland's Rescue Services Answered the Call of the capsized Supermaxi Rambler 100 off the Fastnet Rock. Photo: Team Phaedo
The dramatic stories and pictures dominating the media show the front line of a quite wonderful resource that is Search and Rescue in Ireland today. Baltimore Lifeboat was at the coal face of an intricate network of operations, triggered by the crew's EPIRBs. Irish Coast Guard radio officers in Valentia responded almost immediately tasking the rescue resources, working the phones and computers to confirm that this was not an accidentally triggered EPIRB, contacting RORC HQ, determining search patterns and relaying the information to the scene. It was the backroom contacts between RORC and the Coast Guard in endeavouring to contact Rambler 100 using satellite phones that confirmed the possibility of a catastrophic incident involving the Supermaxi. The subsequent tasking of the Shannon and Waterford based Sikorsky helicopters led to the medevac of crew member Wendy Touton and timely treatment of her hypothermic condition, initially by the on-board paramedics and later at Tralee General hospital. And Coast Guard involvement didn't end with the successful rescue – the shoreside operation to provide food and shelter in Baltimore was coordinated by Coast Guard personnel and the salvage operation of the hull of Rambler 100 was overseen by the Irish Coast Guard.
Rambler crew are recovered from the water after a SAR operation by the Irish Coastguard Photo: Team Phaedo. More photos here.
That Ireland has probably one of the best Search and Rescue services in the world goes back to the campaign initiated in 1988 by Joan McGinley, following the death, within sight of land of Donegal fisherman John Oglesby, whose leg was severed in a trawl winch. Eamon Doherty, the late former Garda Commissioner chaired the review group established in response to the campaign and his report led to the establishment of the Irish Marine Emergency Service, subsequently the Irish Coast Guard. Under the guidance of Director Capt Liam Kirwan, the new service moved quickly to become not only the central co-ordinating body for Search and Rescue, but developed its own resources, notably the helicopters, previously tasked in from Irish Air Corps and UK SAR.
Another element that will feature in the Rambler 100 incident is the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB), set up from recommendations arising from a review of the handling of investigations into marine casualties.
It might be thought that the incident is now closed, but there are many unanswered questions and the investigation will be looking at these and making recommendations that should improve safety in this sector. These questions will include EPIRB performance, liferaft deployment and grab bag usage, but perhaps the key issue yet to be determined is why the response from fellow competitors didn't appear to happen. Even if Channel 16 wasn't being actively monitored, and if not why not, shouldn't the Mayday set off by the Coast Guard have set off the DSC alerts on the radios of Rambler 100's fellow competitors? Had the incident occurred several hours later or earlier when Rambler 100 could have been up to 100 miles from the nearest land, when conditions worsened, we could be looking at much more serious consequences.
It is heartening to think that, in this small country of ours in troubled times, not only do we have a shining star in our search, rescue, recovery and restore system, involving professionals and volunteers cooperating for the greater good, we also have a system that determines the nature of incidents so that we can all learn from the experience.
And let us not forget those people and services, such as the Gardai, Navy, Army and the community of Baltimore who are outside the media spotlight who contributed to this happy ending.
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The incident was co-ordinated by the Marine Rescue Co-ordination Centre of the Irish Coast Guard at Valentia which tasked the Shannon-based helicopter this morning to travel with an A&E Registrar from Cork University Hospital to treat the injured crew member en-route. Crews on these helicopter are also trained to paramedic standard. The helicopter arrived on scene at 14:37pm this afternoon and crew and medical personnel administered treatment to the casualty. The helicopter travelled onward to Tralee Regional Hospital where it arrived at approximately 16:30pm this afternoon. The Air Corps Casa aircraft provided top-cover for the helicopter during this incident.
Antoher competing yacht in the Fastnet race captured dramatic photos of the stricken 100-footer. Team Phaedos' media personnel who were at the Fastnet Rock last night waiting for photogrpahs of their big catamaran passing 'the Rock' when they got a call from the Irish Coastguard for all ships in the area to be on standby.
The media crew immediately abandoned the photography project and called in to the Coasguard to offer help. They found all crew on the up-turned hull of Rambler were fine and well, but 5 crew had drifted off from the upturned hull and were no longer in sight. They searched the area were they had received a personal EBIRB transmission from and miraculously found the missing 5 crew after they had been in the water for 3 hours.
"We pulled aboard our dive vessel owner George David and his four crew members who had all been strapped together, cold, but healthy, happy, safe, and well" said Team Phaedo's Rachel Jasperson. Dramatic Photos below.
Baltimore RNLI lifeboat crew were involved in the major rescue operation this evening (Monday 15 August 2011) when a 100 ft yacht capsized during the famous Fastnet race with a crew of 21 onboard. Five of the crew were missing when the lifeboat arrived on scene while the remaining sixteen were huddled together on the upturned hull.
Baltimore lifeboat finds crew clinging to a daggerboard. Photo: RNLI
The Baltimore RNLI lifeboat was out on exercise near the Fastnet rock when they were alerted by Valentia Coast Guard that an emergency signal had been picked up. The lifeboat volunteer crew under Coxswain Keiron Cotter proceeded to the area and started a search. About sixteen miles southwest of Baltimore and five miles south of the Fastnet the lifeboat crew spotted the upturned yacht with the sixteen crewmembers on the hull. They told the lifeboat volunteers that five of their crew had drifted away from the yacht. After a short search the Coxswain returned to the scene and recovered the casualties onboard. They had been there for approximately three hours since their yacht capsized shortly after 5.30pm.
The other five crewmembers who were missing had managed to tether themselves together and were spotted in the water by the Baltimore deputy mechanic Jerry Smith who had taken out his own Dive boat to join in the search. One of the five was airlifted by the Irish Coast Guard helicopter to receive medical attention.
Rescued crew rejoice that all are safe, some spent three hours in the water. Photo: RNLI
The remaining twenty were brought ashore at Balimore Harbour and taken to the local sailing club to be assessed.
Baltimore RNLI Coxswain Keiron Cotter said, "We had no idea what we were looking for and it was extremely hard to spot the upturned yacht in the water. They had been there for about three hours with other vessels in the race passing nearby but not being able to see them. We were out on exercise in the area where they capsized and we must have just missed them by minutes.
We saw a light in the distance and did not know what it was so we went closer to investigate it. When we got nearer we saw that it was a torch the casualties were flashing to attract attention. Our priority was to get them back to shore as quickly as possible."
More photos and latest news in our Fastnet Coverage here
RORC's Racing Manager Ian Loffhagen said tonight a further statement will be released when more information becomes known.
A 35-year-old woman died after being swept out to sea while swimming at a beach in Co Clare yesterday, the Irish Independent reports.
The Limerick woman, named locally last night as Julie Burke, was caught in a strong current at a beach across the bay from Lahinch around 3pm yesterday afternoon.
It is understood that a number of people on the beach attempted rescue, but the woman was washed away.
Shortly afterward she was located unconscious by crewmembers from the Irish naval offshore patrol vessel LE Aisling, who took her to waiting paramedics and a rescue helicopter waiting on shore.
The woman was airlifted to Galway's University Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 5.45pm.
The Irish Times reports that the Courtmacsherry RNLI lifeboat went to the aid of divers at the wreck of the Lusitania yesterday.
The divers had been operating at the wreck site when their boat developed mechanical issues.
The lifeboat responded immediately in windy conditions and removed the crew to safety, towing the boat to Courtmacsherry.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, divers led by the wreck's American owner hope to uncover the last big secrets of the stricken cruise liner, which was torpedoed by a German U-boat during the First World War.
A volunteer lifeboat crewmember from Newcastle in County Down and his brother rescued two children and four adults from the freezing water after their boat sank off the coast of Donegal yesterday (Tuesday 12 July). The two brothers, Richard and Samuel Burgess were out fishing on a six metre RIB Blue Haven at around 4.30pm when they heard a call from Malin Head Coast Guard on their VHF radio seeking urgent assistance for an 18 ft cruiser that was taking on water and sinking off Port na Blath in Sheephaven Bay, county Donegal.
Rescuers Richard and Samuel Burgess and their Red Bay Stormforce RIB
Realising they were near the area they immediately made contact with the Coast Guard and made their way to the scene. On arrival they saw debris and a small part of the bow of a vessel protruding from the water. Two children and four adults were nearby in the water and wearing lifejackets. The brothers immediately went to their aid and recovered all six onboard their RIB. The men also took their fleece and jacket off to wrap around the two children to keep warm. They then made their way back to land and the group were met by representatives from the Downings Coast Guard with the children taken on to hospital to be checked out.
Commenting on the rescue Newcastle RNLI lifeboat volunteer Richard Burgess said, "I can't believe that on my holidays with my brother Samuel in Donegal, we were involved in the rescue of six people from the sea. I didn't expect to be using my RNLI training away from Newcastle but I am delighted we were close by and were able to help these people. I have been on the lifeboat crew for twenty months and the minute we arrived on scene my lifeboat training kicked in.
Conditions on the day were good and the group were about half a mile out from the shore but the area is very rocky and they would have been unable to make it to shore on their own. It could have been a very different ending to the day and we are just delighted that everyone is safe."
The RNLI recommends that people always have a proper marine VHF radio onboard their vessel in case of emergency.
Belfast Coastguard immediately tasked Southdown Coastguard Rescue Team and requested the launch of the Newcastle RNLI Inshore Lifeboat. Northern Ireland Ambulance Service also responded to the incident.
Whilst search and rescue units were proceeding to the incident, a gentleman who has formally served as a volunteer Coastguard and lives nearby assisted in the rescue. He managed to get his dinghy into the water and get to the teenagers who were showing signs of hypothermia and were complaining of the cold.
After recovering all four teenagers with his dinghy, he made shore to be met by members of Southdown Coastguard Rescue Team and NI Ambulance Service paramedics. The four were transported to hospital by two ambulances for further assessment.
Gary Young, Watch manager, Belfast Coastguard said:
These teenagers are extremely lucky to have been rescued this evening. I would like to pay tribute to the quick thinking of a former Coastguard who's actions certainly made for a happy ending to this potentially life threatening incident. Southdown CRT also showed their professionalism throughout this incident which was co-ordinated by MRCC Belfast.
We would like to remind anyone visiting the coast to take great care near water. Do not put yourselves at risk and if you find yourselves in trouble, dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.