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#RNLI - The volunteer crew with Fethard RNLI were requested to launch their inshore lifeboat shortly before noon yesterday (Thursday 10 August) following a call from a vessel with two on board who had got into difficulty when their engine failed.

The 17ft boat had lost engine power about two miles out from Fethard Quay in Co Wexford. 

Fethard’s lifeboat launched at 12.17pm and was on scene shortly after. Weather conditions at the time were good with a north-westerly Force 2 wind and calm seas.

Having assessed that the two people on board were safe and well and with both wearing lifejackets, the lifeboat crew worked with them to establish a tow line at the front of the boat before it was successfully brought back to harbour and moored at Fethard Quay.

Fethard RNLI deputy launching authority Hugh Burke commented: “We would remind anyone planning a trip at sea to go prepared and respect the water.

“Communication is vital and it is important that you always carry a means of calling or signalling for help should you get into difficulty and need to contact the emergency services. If you do find yourself in trouble or see someone else in difficulty call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Burke also warned: “Mobile phones are not a reliable source of communication as signal can be weak at sea.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Fethard RNLI launched its inshore lifeboat yesterday evening (Thursday 6 July) to conduct a search after a member of the public reported seeing a kayak floating in the sea off Duncannon Beach in County Wexford.

The volunteer crew was requested to launch their inshore lifeboat at 7.50pm. They quickly assembled at the station and the lifeboat immediately proceeded to an area north of Broom Hill to carry out a search.

Weather conditions at the time were good with a light northerly Force 3 wind and a slight to moderate sea.

The crew located the kayak with no one onboard before continuing a search from Broomhill north to Duncannon, west to Woodstown, and back south to Creaden Head and east to Templetown. This was followed by a search from Templetown to Dollar Bay.

Meanwhile, the Fethard Coast Guard unit carried out a search of the shore while the Irish Coast Guard helicopter, Rescue 117 from Waterford conducted a search from the air.

The search was stood down after it was confirmed that the owner of the kayak had been safely located after swimming back to shore.

Speaking following the call out, Hugh Burke, Fethard RNLI Deputy Launching Authority said: ‘While the call out turned out to be a false alarm with good intent, we would like to commend the member of the public who raised the alarm when they saw the kayak. They thought someone was in difficulty and that was absolutely the right thing to do.
‘The search proved to be a great example of interagency work between ourselves and our colleagues in the Irish Coast Guard.
‘We would remind anyone planning a trip to sea this summer to always respect the water. Always wear a lifejacket and carry a means of communication. Should you get into difficulty call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard. If you lose a kayak or a board, please report it to the Coast Guard or the Gardaí.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Following its successful fundraising appeal, which saw locals raise the €65,000 needed to fund a new lifeboat, Fethard RNLI is asking the community to choose the name of their new lifesaving vessel.

The naming of an RNLI lifeboat is a special honour given to the donor of the boat — and in this case, that is the people of the Hook Peninsula.

Since 1885, Fethard RNLI’s lifeboats were provided centrally by the lifesaving charity from donors across Ireland and the UK. The current Fethard lifeboat, Tradewinds, was funded through the generosity of Bríd Mulhern of Dunmore.

The new lifeboat represents the first time in the station’s history that Fethard RNLI have funded a replacement locally. Incredibly, the money needed was raised in under 12 months.

Commenting on the new naming appeal, Oonagh Hearne from Fethard RNLI said: “Our community generously gave the money for our very own lifeboat. Now we need a name that represents our community and their generosity.

“It needs to reflect the seafarers that our lifeboat serves, be respectful of the work the volunteer lifeboat crew carry out and echo our community’s long history and tradition of saving lives at sea.

“We’re looking for more than just a name; we are looking for an identity that conveys the importance of the work that this lifeboat will be carrying out.”

Submissions should be made to Fethard RNLI lifeboat operations manager Walter Foley by email to [email protected] before Sunday 30 April.

A small committee representing the Fethard RNLI Lifeboat Management Group will consider all suggestions and put that name forward to the RNLI.

The new lifeboat is scheduled to arrive in December 2017 with the official naming ceremony to follow in summer of 2018. An announcement on the name will be made shortly after Easter.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - In an unusual callout for Fethard RNLI recently, the volunteer lifeboat crew came to the aid of two bulls that had fallen from cliffs in the Broomhill area.

In difficult conditions, with an incoming tide and a large sea swell, the two animals in distress were brought to safety by the incredible efforts of the lifeboat crew on the day.

Fethard RNLI was already out on exercise with their neighbours in Kilmore Quay RNLI on Friday 24 February when the lifeboat was tasked to the Broomhill area at Waterford Harbour to a report of two bulls that had fallen from a cliff.

On scene at Broomhill by 11.20am, the lifeboat crew assessed each animal and decided to attempt a rescue as one was stranded in the gully with the incoming tide.

The second animal was 10 feet above the water on rocks further north and was relatively safe at that time.

The helm veered the lifeboat down into the gully and crew member Eoin Bird entered the water with a rope, swimming 50 yards in dangerous and difficult conditions to reach the stranded animal that had fallen some 15 metres.

Bird made a halter and placed it around the animal, then swam back to the lifeboat, which then towed the animal clear of the rocks.

The bull was brought alongside the lifeboat and one of the crew held its head safely above water for the 1.5km journey to Templetown Bay, where it was safely landed ashore to be taken into the care of the owner.

The lifeboat crew then returned to the scene where a halter and rope had already been placed on the second animal, which was then towed off the rocks and brought ashore.

Commenting on the callout, Fethard RNLI deputy launching authority Hugh Burke said: “This was a rescue with a difference for our volunteers, but we do train for every type of scenario. Nobody wants to see animals in distress or difficulty and we are happy to launch to bring them to safety.

“Conditions on the day were fairly lively with a two metre swell. The rescue involved excellent boat handling by our lifeboat helm John Colfer and great work by Eoin and Finola to bring the two animals to safety. It was one we won’t forget in a hurry.”

The lifeboat crew on this callout were helm John Colfer and crew members Eoin Bird and Finola Foley. Shore crew were Thomas Nolan and Tim Bradley.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Fethard RNLI was presented with a cheque for €1,140 following a Gala Evening of Music & Song towards the charity’s special appeal in aid of a new inshore lifeboat, which is due on service at the end 2017.

The latest fundraiser was held at Colfers Pub in Carrig-on-Bannow, Co Wexford on Friday 21 October and was arranged by a local man in support of Fethard lifeboat station who were involved in his rescue this past summer.

Pat Murphy, spokesperson for the event, said: “I had need to call on the services of the Fethard RNLI in August of this year. The service the volunteer lifeboat crew provide is outstanding. In return it is with delight that I can support the station with their appeal in aid of a new inshore lifeboat.

“I wish to thank the musicians and sponsors without their support the night could not have happen. The night was kindly hosted in Colfers Pub, Carrig-on-Bannow and we wish to extend our thank you to John and Kate Murphy, together with Marcus Redmond for providing the sound and Deskin Design for designing posters, all of which ensured a tremendous evening of enjoyment for all who attended.”

Oonagh Hearne Messette, Fethard RNLI fundraising chair, added: “The community support behind our appeal is truly outstanding. Pat Murphy and his team created a night to remember all in aid of supporting his local lifeboat station.”

This latest fundraiser comes just weeks after charity cyclists presented a cheque for over €5,700 to the Co Wexford lifeboat station, not long after the Waves Music Festival raised some €35,000 towards the costs of the new lifeboat.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Fethard RNLI launched yesterday afternoon (Thursday 29 September) to assist a man whose pleasure craft broke down off the Wexford coast.

The volunteer lifeboat crew were requested to launch their inshore lifeboat at 4.07pm following a report that a 21ft pleasure boat, with one onboard, had sustained engine failure in an area known locally as the Horseshoe.

Helmed by Eoin Bird and with crew members Patrick Byrne and Damian Murphy onboard, the lifeboat made its way to the scene 1.5 nautical miles from Fethard Harbour. Weather conditions at the time were described as good with a Force 5 westerly but sheltered wind blowing.

Once on scene, the lifeboat crew observed that the boat had washed up on the sand due to the tide.

The crew beached their D-class lifeboat before working to set up a towline with the casualty vessel. Once this was set up, the lifeboat proceeded to tow the pleasure boat back to Fethard Harbour, where it arrived at 5.10pm.

Speaking following the callout, Fethard RNLI deputy launching authority Hugh Burke said: “The area in which the man got into difficulty today is one where our lifeboat crew has to train regularly due to the sandbanks and sandbars which change regularly with each gale of wind.

“We would always encourage anyone planning a boat trip to always respect the water – make sure you wear a life jacket and carry a means of communication should you get into trouble and need to make contact.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Fethard RNLI was presented with a cheque for €5,749 last Friday 16 September by Ring of Kerry cyclists towards the charity’s special appeal in aid of a new inshore lifeboat which is due on service at the end of 2017.

A team of nine cyclists came together in March and set their sights on completing a 160km Ring of Kerry challenge on Saturday 27 August.

The team, comprising Paddy Kehoe, Philip and Richard Roche, John Summers, Jim Mernagh, Nicky Walsh, Renee Mullens, David Curtis and Damian Cahill, also undertook to fundraise in aid of the Fethard RNLI special appeal.

"This was a once in a lifetime achievement," said Kehoe. "Each member of the team are overwhelmed and extremely thankful for the support received.

"We all have families living on the coast and could call on the services of the lifeboat at any time, therefore it was important for us to support our local station."

Oonagh Hearne Messette, Fethard RNLI fundraising chair, said: "To have raised this amount of money on our behalf is outstanding and has had an unbelievable impact on our appeal. Without this community support we would not be able to seek to fundraise €65,000 for our new lifeboat appeal.

"It is credit to the team and we thank each and every one together with their extended family for their support."

The recent Waves Music Festival raised €35,000 towards the lifeboat station's €65,000 target, as previously reported on

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - The Waves Music Festival on Sunday 28 August raised €35,000 towards Fethard RNLI's special in aid of a new inshore lifeboat which is due on service at the end 2017.

Some 2,500 people turned out for the family-friendly day-long music event at Loftus Hall on Hook Head, which saw Nathan Carter, Hometown, Corner Boy, Friends in Low Places and Elmore hitting the stage along with a number of local acts.

"To have raised €35,000 from a first-time event is beyond our expectations and highlights the strength of community feeling towards the charity that saves lives at sea," said Fethard RNLI press officer Rebecca Doyle.

"We were also overwhelmed with the support of Loftus Hall for providing us with the most fantastic backdrop and for their donation of €12,000 to the lifeboat appeal."

Aidan Quigley, proprietor of Loftus Hall, added: "The RNLI plays such a vital role in the lives of those who live, work and visit our coasts.

"This festival has become part of Loftus Hall’s legacy in the year where we celebrate 666 years of history, heritage and intrigue."

Quigley added that there will be another Waves event at Loftus Hall in 2017.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Fethard RNLI assisted a man who got into difficulty off the Wexford coast yesterday evening (Tuesday 23 August) as he attempted to move between two boats.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their inshore lifeboat at 9.35pm following a request by the Irish Coast Guard that a man had entered the water at the Coal Yard in Cullenstown.

The lifeboat, helmed by John Colfer and with crew members Thomas Stafford, Finola Foley and Cathal O'Connell onboard, launched immediately from Fethard and proceeded five nautical miles to the scene.

Weather conditions at the time were described as calm with a Force 3 west to north-westerly wind.

The casualty, who was wearing a lifejacket at the time, had been manoeuvring from one vessel to another when he entered the water and got into difficulty. A member of his party who had already come ashore raised the alarm.

Shortly before arriving on scene, the crew received communication from the coastguard that the casualty had managed to swim ashore. On arrival, the lifeboat crew safely transferred the man into the D class inshore lifeboat Trade Winds and administered first aid.

The crew brought the casualty straight ashore at the Coal Yard, where members of the local coastguard unit were also on site. The volunteer crew continued first aid until the arrival of an ambulance that transferred the casualty to hospital as a precautionary measure.

Speaking following the callout, Fethard RNLI deputy launching authority Tony Molloy said: "Every minute counted this evening due to the period the casualty had spent in the water and the external temperature.

"The bar of the lough at Cullenstown can be quite a treacherous to manoeuvre in darkness, so the knowledge and skill set of the crew who know the area and the manoeuvrability of the D class inshore lifeboat was essential in getting to the scene where the crew was able to respond rapidly.

"We would like to commend the casualty for wearing his lifejacket and the member of his party who raised the alarm when they started to experience problems. We wish them both well following their ordeal."

Molloy added: "Tonight’s callout was a fine example of good team work with our crew putting their training and skills into practice working alongside our colleagues in the local Irish Coast Guard unit."

This weekend sees the inaugural Waves Music Festival to raise funds for Fethard RNLI to secure a new inshore lifeboat, a major boost for which they received recently from host venue Loftus Hall.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Fethard RNLI launched last night (Saturday 20 August) on the request of the Irish Coast Guard to a vessel with one person onboard in difficulty a mile from Fethard in Co Wexford.

A member of the public raised the alarm at 7.30pm when they saw a vessel that appeared to be in difficulty off The Borrow at Grange Strand, off the Fethard coast.

The lifeboat was launched and the crew were able to secure a visual from the launching site of the blue-and-white 16ft vessel, which had a failed propeller.

The vessel had broken its mooring the previous night from Fethard Quay and had come ashore at a local area called the Windy Gap. The owner had successfully relaunched the vessel at 7pm, however a half a mile from shore the propeller got entangled in a rope.

Weather conditions were slightly overcast with a Force 4-5 south-westerly breeze and good visibility.

Arriving on scene, the volunteer lifeboat crew were able to successfully free the propeller of the rope, which allowed the inshore lifeboat to take the vessel by tow to Fethard Quay.

Speaking following the callout, Fethard RNLI deputy launching authority Tony Molloy said: "The volunteer crew responded quickly and was with the casualty within minutes. The pleasure boat was towed safely back to Fethard Quay where it was securely moored and the lifeboat returned to the station shortly after 9pm."

The Fethard lifeboat crew on this callout were helm Rory O'Connor, Cathal O'Connell, Dean Foley and Joe Dwyer, along with driver Eileen Murphy and shore crew Martin Doran, Malclom Ennis, Joey Murphy and Brendan O'Callaghan.

Fethard RNLI recently received a major boost in their fundraising efforts for a new inshore lifeboat, as previously reported on

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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