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#RNLI - Larne’s volunteer RNLI crew are throwing open the doors of the lifeboat station as they host a coffee morning to raise funds for Macmillan, the cancer support charity, from 10.30am to 2pm on Saturday 29 September.

The crew are already planning a ‘bake off’ to entice the public along and to dig deep for Macmillan.

There will also be tours of the station, demonstrations of its vital lifesaving kit and talks to give an insight into lifeboat launches in and around Larne.

Eleganze Hair & Beauty, Marty’s Catering, Curran Court Hotel and Allan Dorman & Son are among the local businesses that have already shown their support with raffle prizes for the day.

“This will be a fundraiser with a difference for us here,” said lifeboat mechanic Derek Rea. “As a charity we are thankful to the people of Larne for supporting the lifeboat but we also want to help others and raise funds for this worthy cause.

“There is hardly a person whose life has not been touched by cancer, either through battling it themselves or seeing someone they care about suffering with it. Support for cancer sufferers and research into treatment is ongoing and the Macmillan coffee morning is a great way to raise awareness and funds for this work.”

The lifeboat station is situated at 11 Olderfleet Road in Larne and people wishing to learn more about the Macmillan coffee morning fundraisers can visit macmillan.org.uk.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - A small angling boat with one person on board was towed to safety by Wicklow RNLI after it got into difficulty near Wicklow Head on Wednesday evening (8 August).

The angler had earlier departed from Wicklow Port for a day’s fishing along the coast, but was unable to get the engine into gear to return to the harbour.

The inshore lifeboat launched shortly after 6pm with helm Vinnie Mulvihill and crew David O’Leary and Graham Fitzgerald, and located the drifting craft near Wicklow Head eight minutes later. Weather conditions at the scene were calm with a northerly wind force three.

The angling boat was taken in tow back to Wicklow Harbour and the angler was landed safely ashore.

Elsewhere, Clifden RNLI continued what’s been a busy August when the volunteer lifeboat rescued a boy separated from his kayak at Omey Island earlier on Wednesday afternoon.

The youngster and his friend were holidaying on the island in Claddaghduff with their families, who raised the alarm when one of the boys was seen in the water with his friend trying to help him.

Following the coastguard request after 2.30pm, the Atlantic 85 lifeboat launched from Clifden while the D Class lifeboat travelled by road and was launched at Claddaghduff. Winds were Force 6 and gusting to 7 at the time.

When the Atlantic 85 reached the scene, they found people waving from the eastern shore of the island and saw that the two boys involved had made it ashore to another beach in the area, where some other visitors were assisting them.

Clifden RNLI helm Thomas Davis manoeuvred the lifeboat close to the shore and crew member James Mullen then swam to attend to the boys before reuniting them with their families. They were cold and shaken after the ordeal but otherwise unharmed.

Speaking after the callout, Mullen said: “We were really glad to have been able to assist these lads and their families today and always encourage anyone concerned to raise the alarm as quickly as possible.

“Conditions at sea in this area can change rapidly even for experienced water users and we are always on hand to help where we can.”

The RNLI advise all kayakers to always carry a means of calling for help and to keep it in reach at all times.

More recently, Carrybridge RNLI’s rescue water craft and inshore lifeboat Douglas Euan & Kay Richards, were requested to launch by Belfast Coastguard to assist a man who was disorientated whilst navigating Tamlaght Bay in Upper Lough Erne in the early hours of this morning, Friday 10 August.

And Larne RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat and inshore lifeboat crews recently carried out a training exercise to simulate a casualty care and extraction scenario.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Bundoran RNLI responded to two calls for assistance yesterday (Sunday 22 July) by an angling boat with a fouled propeller and a yachtsman suddenly taken ill.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched after 10am following a call to go the aid of an angling boat, with two men onboard, which had got into difficulty when the boat’s propeller got tangled in lobster pots just off Bundoran.

The lifeboat, helmed by Killian O’Kelly and with three crew members onboard, launched in good weather conditions and made its way the short distance to the scene.

Having assessed that those onboard were safe and well, the lifeboat crew worked with the two men to free the boat and tow it safely back to shore.

Later in the day, the pagers sounded once more at 4.30pm, following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to assist a man who had taken ill on a yacht off Mullaghmore.

The lifeboat, helmed on this occasion by Brian Gillespie and with three crew members onboard, launched immediately and made its way to the scene. The Sligo-based coastguard helicopter Rescue 118 was also tasked.

On arrival, the lifeboat crew assessed the man before taking him onboard the lifeboat and administering casualty care. Once ashore, the man was treated for the effects of sea sickness but was otherwise safe and well.

Speaking following the callouts, Bundoran RNLI volunteer lifeboat operations manager Tony McGowan said: “We were delighted to be of assistance to both groups yesterday and glad that the outcomes resulted safely.

“We would remind everyone visiting the sea and enjoying Bundoran this summer to always respect the water. Always wear a lifejacket, always carry a means of communication and always let someone ashore know where you are going and when you are due back. Should you get into difficulty, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Elsewhere, Larne RNLI was called to assist the crew of a small motorboat with engine difficulties at the entrance to Larne Harbour yesterday morning.

Larne’s volunteer lifeboat crew were preparing for a training session when the call came through at 10.10am. Both the all-weather lifeboat and inshore lifeboat launched to the casualty vessel.

Larne RNLI’s all-weather relief lifeboat the Duke of Windsor was was quickly on scene just north of the entrance to Larne Harbour. The crew quickly established a temporary tow to move the vessel out of the shipping lane to allow a P&O ferry to exit the harbour.

A line was then passed from the lifeboat and secured to the casualty vessel to tow the vessel back to Larne Boat Club.

In the shallow waters of Larne Lough the tow was passed to the inshore lifeboat Terry in order to guide the vessel onto the slipway for recovery.

Speaking after the callout, Larne RNLI coxswain Frank Healy said: “We are glad that the crew on the motor vessel knew to contact the coastguard when they got into difficulty, this is always the right thing to do. If we can be of assistance to anyone, our volunteers are here to help.”

This was the second launch for Larne RNLI in the last five days.

On Wednesday 18 July, the station's all-weather lifeboat launched with their colleagues at Bangor and Donaghadee as a precautionary measure for an aircraft inbound to Belfast City Airport that was experiencing technical difficulties.

The aircraft landed safely and all three lifeboats were stood down and returned to station.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Larne RNLI launched to the aid of two people on Monday morning (18 December) after their 33ft motorboat had engine difficulties en route from Carrickfergus to Greencastle.

The all-weather lifeboat Dr John McSparran was requested to assist the casualty vessel west of the Maidens and launched at 8.44am under coxswain Frank Healy and with five crew members.

Weather conditions at the time were described as dry with little swell.

Once on scene, volunteer crew member Michael Kane went aboard the casualty vessel and worked with the two sailors to establish a towline so that it could be brought into the shelter of Larne Harbour.

As the lifeboat was approaching the harbour, the inshore lifeboat Terry also launched to assist in bringing the vessel alongside Wymers Pier at East Antrim Boat Club.

Speaking following the callout, Healy said: “Both of the men onboard were fine and we were pleased to see they were both wearing their lifejackets.

“We would remind anyone using a motorboat to always have a means for calling for help, to always check the weather and tide times and to make sure someone ashore knows where you are going and who to call if you don’t return on time.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Both Larne and Bangor RNLI were requested to launch last night (Monday 16 October) by Belfast Coastguard during Storm Ophelia.

The volunteer lifeboat crew pagers sounded at 9.25pm following reports of a person in the water at Whitehead off the Antrim coast.

Sea conditions at the time were very rough with winds gusting up to 60mph (97kmh).

As the Larne RNLI crew assembled and made preparations to leave the Port of Larne, Belfast Coastguard cancelled the launch following confirmation from the PSNI that two women were ashore safe and well.

Larne Coastguard, Portmuck Coastguard and the PSNI were also tasked to the incident.

Speaking later, Larne RNLI Coxswain Frank Healy said: “During what is extremely challenging weather conditions, I am proud to say 18 volunteers answered the call immediately. This demonstrates our crew dedication to help those in distress at sea.

“Our volunteer lifeboat crews will always launch to rescue those in danger at sea, but to launch into conditions like these could also put their lives at risk.

“I strongly urge people to respect the water and stay away from the coastline during the storm. If you do see someone else in trouble in the water, call 999 and ask for the coastguard. Don’t enter the water yourself as you could also end up in serious danger.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Two couples who volunteer with Larne RNLI were chosen to represent the Co Antrim lifeboat station at the recent Hillsborough Garden Party where HRH Prince Harry was special guest.

Lifeboat crew Fiona and Barry Kirkpatrick attended the event at Hillsborough Castle in Co Down with deputy lifeboat launching authority Phil Ford-Hutchinson and his fundraiser wife Alison.

While there, the two couples were presented to Prince Harry by the Deputy Lieutenant of Co Antrim, Col Neil Salisbury OBE, and they chatted for a while about the busy lifeboat station and its work in the community.

“We were honoured to be asked to represent our lifeboat station and we met some incredible people at the event,” said Fiona Kirkpatrick. “We were introduced to HRH Prince Harry and of course took the opportunity to discuss our station and the work of our volunteer lifeboat crew and fundraisers in Larne.

“The prince was interested to know how many volunteers we had at our station and commented on how voluntary groups like the RNLI require a lot of hard work and commitment from a team.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - It was a busy week for the volunteer crew at Larne RNLI last week with three launches for the Co Antrim lifeboats in three days.

On Tuesday 22 August, Larne’s all-weather lifeboat and inshore lifeboat were launched following a request from Belfast Coastguard after a small motor boat was reported overdue, having launched the previous day and making no contact since.

Following further information from Belfast Coastguard, the Larne inshore lifeboat made way to a motor boat north-west of the Number 1 buoy.

On making contact, it was confirmed the crew on board were those reported missing. All were well, with no engine difficulties, and they were able to make their way back to shore.

“It’s essential to have a clear plan when going to sea including checking the weather and tides before you leave and telling someone where you’re going and when you expect to be back,” said Larne RNLI helm Barry Kirkpatrick.

“If vessels do not return at the expected time we would urge members of the public to contact the coastguard by phoning 999 as soon as possible.”

The pagers sounded again on Wednesday 23 August at 6.15pm with reports of a 15ft motor boat with engine difficulties near Ballygally Head.

Larne RNLI’s inshore lifeboat crew were quickly on scene but no motor boat was visible in the Ballygally area. A search commenced and the vessel, with two men on board, was located three miles north-east of Ballygally head.

A tow was established and the boat taken to the safety of Tweeds Port in Carnfunnock.

“The casualty [vessel and crew were] located some distance off shore, unable to make their own way to safety,” said Larne RNLI deputy launching authority Philip Ford-Hutchinson. “We were pleased to see them wearing lifejackets and they made the correct decision in calling for help.

“We would encourage everyone going to sea to ensure your craft is in good condition, always wear a lifejacket and have a means of calling for help.”

On Thursday 24 August, both lifeboats were on exercise in Larne Lough with Mid and East Antrim Mayor Paul Reid and his wife Carol onboard when Belfast Coastguard tasked the all-weather lifeboat on service.

A member of the public reported an overturned vessel with four people on board in Drains Bay.

The lifeboat visitors were returned to shore and the all-weather lifeboat made its way to the scene, where the upturned vessels were found to be sea cadets performing capsize drills. This was a false alarm with good intent.

“This has been a busy week for our volunteer crew who drop everything to answer the call when their pagers sound,” said Larne RNLI coxswain Frank Healy. “Our crews are highly trained and skilled, and excellent team work ensured that all three launches were completed safely and successfully.”

Larne RNLI is currently looking for new volunteer crew members. If you have good general fitness, can work well in a team and have the ability to learn new skills, this role could be for you.

For further information and online application details, see the Larne Lifeboat Facebook page.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#ferry- The Isle of Man Steam Packet has conducted berthing trials with Ben-my-Chree at Larne in Northern Ireland.

A similar exercise reports IOM Today was conducted with fast craft Manannan at Larne earlier this year and both vessels carried out berthing trials at Holyhead last year.

The Steam Packet said the trials have been carried out at part of general contingency planning.

Saturday night’s trial involved no disruption to services as the Ben-my-Chree was not scheduled to operate sailings that night.

For more on the story click here  

Published in Ferry

#RNLI - Larne RNLI encourages the public to always call for help if they believe someone is in trouble on the coast, following a callout this week that turned out to be a false alarm.

The Larne volunteer crew launched their inshore lifeboat Terry on Thursday afternoon (20 July) following reports from a member of the public of an 8ft punt with two on board having engine difficulties in Drains Bay, Co Antrim.

Terry and crew were quickly on scene and found the vessel making way near Larne Promenade. The crew checked that the two people on board were not in distress and had a means of calling for help if need be.

“This incident proved to be a false alarm with good intent and we would like to thank the concerned member of the public who alerted the coastguard,” said Larne RNLI deputy launching authority Philip Ford-Hutchinson.

“We would encourage anyone taking to the water to always wear a life jacket, ensure your vessel and equipment are in good working order, check the weather and tide and always carry a means of calling for help. If you see someone in trouble on the coast always dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Larne RNLI was involved in a multi-agency rescue yesterday afternoon (Sunday 16 July) after a cyclist fell between as much as 15 feet from the Coast Road north of Ballygally in Co Antrim.

The volunteer crew were requested to launch both their all-weather and inshore lifeboats at 10.15am following a report from Belfast Coastguard that the cyclist had fallen down a steep slope onto a rocky shore half a mile north of Ballygally.

Larne and Ballycastle Coastguard also responded along with personnel from both the fire and rescue service and the ambulance service.

Weather conditions were good at the time of the launch, with a north-westerly wind and a calm sea.

Once on scene, two crew members from the all-weather lifeboat went ashore with the inshore lifeboat crew to help with moving the the casualty from the beach.

The cyclist was assessed by a doctor and paramedic from the ambulance service, and a decision was made to transfer him from the beach via the inshore lifeboat to the care of ambulance personnel.

Speaking following the callout, Larne RNLI helm Pamela Leitch said: “Due to the nature of the cyclist’s fall, the position for extraction was challenging via land and the best decision was to remove him from the beach side. 

“We would like to wish the cyclist a speedy recovery following what must have been a frightening experience for him. Today’s call out was a great example of different agencies working well together to bring someone to safety.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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