Displaying items by tag: Lifeboat
The most recent launch took place on Friday last, 23 June at 11pm. Larne's all-weather lifeboat Dr John McSparron and inshore lifeboat Terry launched on request of Belfast Coastguard to reports of two overdue kayakers. Both boats completed a search north from Larne with the kayakers located safe and well at Drumnagreagh.
Larne RNLI launched both lifeboats on Sunday 11 June to a 36ft yacht experiencing engine difficulties near the entrance to Larne Lough. On arrival, a volunteer lifeboat crew member was transferred onto the yacht to check the three on board were safe and well. A towline was then established before the lifeboat brought the yacht into the safety of Larne harbour.
Only 2 days later (Tuesday 13 June) Larne inshore lifeboat was launched following reports of an over-turned kayak at Carnfunnock. A multi-agency search took place but nothing was found indicating a false alarm with good intent.
The volunteer crew pagers sounded again on Sunday 18 June. Both Larne lifeboats launched to assist a vessel with two adults and two children on board that was taking on water in Drains Bay. The all-weather lifeboat was stood down by Belfast Coastguard after it was confirmed that the vessel had made it ashore. The inshore lifeboat continued to Carnfunnock to ensure no assistance was required and all onboard the vessel were safely ashore.
On Monday 19 June the lifeboat crew were requested to launch by Belfast coastguard at 8.40pm after reports that five teenagers were stranded on rocks at Blackarch. Larne RNLI immediately launched both lifeboats and was on scene within minutes. After putting the group into lifejackets, the lifeboat crew carefully transferred them onboard the inshore lifeboat. They then made the short trip out to the all-weather lifeboat where they were then transferred onboard and their condition assessed. Members of the Larne Coastguard were also on scene and provided valuable ground support during the operation.
Larne RNLI Coxswain Frank Healy said: 'This has been a busy few weeks for our volunteer crew who drop everything to answer the call when their pagers sound. Our crews are highly trained and skilled, and excellent team work ensured that all five launches were completed safely and successfully.'
Coming into the summer season the RNLI is promoting its national drowning prevention campaign, Respect the Water. It is aimed at promoting safety advice to all who visit the coast. The RNLI want everyone to enjoy the water, but also want people to recognise its dangers and never underestimate its power. This year, Respect the Water will focus on simple floating skills that could save a life. If you find yourself unexpectedly in the water, he advice is to float to increase your chances of survival. If you see someone else in trouble in the water, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.
Allan Dorman, Larne RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager advises: ‘For those who are planning to visit the sea please check the weather and tides before heading to the coast, tell someone where you're going and when you expect to be back. Wear a lifejacket and always carry a means of calling for help. And if you see someone in danger in the water, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.’
Larne RNLI launched their all-weather lifeboat Dr John McSparron and inshore lifeboat Terry this afternoon (Sunday 11 June) to a 36ft yacht experiencing engine difficulties near the entrance to Larne Lough.
The all-weather lifeboat under Coxswain Frank Healy launched at 1.15pm and made its way to the scene north of the Port of Larne’s number one buoy. On arrival, a volunteer lifeboat crew member transferred onto the yacht where he first checked that the three on board were safe and well. The gear box onboard the yacht was broken and weather conditions presenting a force 3-4 southerly wind meant the crew of the vessel were unable to sail safely back to their mooring in Larne Lough.
The lifeboat crew established a towline before the lifeboat brought the yacht into the safety of Larne harbour. The all-weather lifeboat was met by the station’s inshore lifeboat which assisted to place the boat safely on the mooring.
Speaking following the call out, Larne RNLI Coxswain Frank Healy said: ‘All the crew training was put into action today to carry out a safe and efficient rescue. An excellent team effort ensured that the tow line was set up speedily and the yacht with two adults and a child onboard was safely on its mooring without delay.’
The Duke of Kent visited Kilrush RNLI yesterday afternoon as part of a two-day tour of lifeboat stations in Tipperary, Clare and Kerry. The Duke has been President of the RNLI since 1969.
The Duke of Kent arrived at Kilrush Lifeboat Station shortly after 03:00pm, where His Royal Highness was greeted by the volunteer lifeboat operations team, lifeboat crew members and the local fundraising branch.
As part of the visit, Kilrush RNLI showcased local Irish dancing, the Irish Whale & Dolphin Group, handcrafted traditional Irish Currach building, and a selection of local pottery from the Brothers of Charity. Also, in attendance were representatives from Kilrush GAA which focused on the partnership between the GAA and RNLI working together to prevent drowning.
To conclude, a beautiful Irish Yew tree was planted at Kilrush lifeboat station to honour the visit, followed by a brief launch and recovery of Kilrush RNLI’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat.
Commenting on the event, Pauline Dunleavy, Kilrush Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘It was an honour to welcome His Royal Highness to Kilrush lifeboat station. We are very proud of our station delighted to host the President of the RNLI. We showcased our great team, as well as great community spirit. In particular, I would like to thank Kilrush GAA for attending. Much like a lifeboat station, a GAA club is at the heart of community life, and through this partnership we all can both play a major role in preventing deaths by drowning.”
Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat launched to assist 2 people after their 26ft–yacht went aground below Coolbawn on Lough Derg
At 8.30pm Saturday, May 27, Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat to launch to assist 2 people after their 26ft yacht went aground below Coolbawn on the Tipperary shore of Lough Derg.
At 8.40pm, the lifeboat launched with helm Eleanor Hooker, Owen Cavanagh and Delia Ho on board. Winds was north-westerly, Force 4/5. Visibility was good but with dusk imminent.
The lifeboat located the casualty vessel at 8.55pm. Two RNLI volunteers waded in to the casualty vessel, which was on a rocky shoal in 2ft of water. Both passengers were found to be safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets. The RNLI volunteers checked the boat and once satisfied that it was not holed, set up bridle and tow. One RNLI crew member remained on board and the other returned to the lifeboat. The vessel was taken gently off the rocks and towed into deep water, where the lifeboat removed the tow and the yacht made way using its outboard motor.
However, after a short period, their outboard motor failed. The lifeboat came alongside and transferred a crew member across, where he helped refuel, prime and vent their fuel tank. The lifeboat remained with the yacht and her crew until she was tied safely alongside at Kilgarvin Harbour.
Liam Maloney, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat, advises boat users to ‘bring charts with you and identify the areas close to shore and islands marked as not navigable’. He commended the crew of the yacht for carrying a spare tank of fuel on board.
The lifeboat returned to station and was ready for service again at 11.00pm.
Rosslare Harbour RNLI all weather was launched by the volunteer lifeboat crew yesterday morningat 11.45am to respond to an EPIRB distress signal (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon).
The Irish Coast Guard alerted Rosslare Harbour RNLI to immediately launch following an EPIRB alarm, which usually indicates a vessel in serious danger. The signal was traced to an 18m yacht close to Carnsore Point off the Wexford coast, which was competing in the offshore Normandy Channel yacht race, as reported by Afloat.ie here.
The RNLI lifeboat and Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117 were quickly on the scene. It was soon established that the 18m yacht was not in trouble and the EPIRB alarm had accidentally activated. Volunteer RNLI crew aboard Rosslare Harbour lifeboat deactivated the alarm system, returned the device to the yacht which then continued on with its race.
Conditions at the time were reasonably favourable with a brisk southerly wind.
Speaking after the incident Rosslare Harbour RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer Jamie Ryan praised the skill of the coxswain who brought the lifeboat alongside the yacht and the efforts of the RNLI volunteers who fixed the EPIRB and returned it to the 18m yacht.
Ballycotton RNLI launched in the early hours of this morning (Wednesday 10 May) to assist in the medical evacuation of a fisherman 20 miles south of Ballycotton Lighthouse.
The volunteer lifeboat crew was requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat by the Irish Coast Guard at 12.33am.
The lifeboat under Coxswain Eolan Walsh and with six crew members onboard launched to meet the fishing vessel which had five crew members onboard and was making its way to Ballycotton.
The Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117 from Waterford was also tasked.
Weather conditions at the time were described as good with a easterly Force 1-2 wind blowing.
Arriving at 1.20am, two lifeboat crew members were immediately put on board the casualty’s vessel where they proceeded to assess the man and administer casualty care.
The man was then transferred onto the lifeboat and brought back to Ballycotton where he was transferred into care of a waiting ambulance crew on the pier.
Speaking following the call out, Ballycotton RNLI Coxswain Eolan Walsh said: ‘We were glad the fishermen, all of whom were wearing lifejackets, were able to raise the alarm when one of their crew members began to feel unwell and required medical assistance. We would like to wish the man a speedy recovery following his ordeal early this morning.
‘As we approach the summer months, we would remind anyone taking to the sea to always carry a means of calling for help or signalling should you need assistance. It is also important to let someone on the shore know when you set sail and when you are due back.’
At a special ceremony held yesterday (Saturday 6 May), Wicklow RNLI officially named its new D class lifeboat, Dennis-Audrey.
David Delamer, chair of the RNLI Council in Ireland, accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the RNLI before handing her over into the care of Wicklow Lifeboat Station.
The funding for the new lifeboat came from Gladys Audrey Deakin, known as Audrey, who lived in Coventry, and left her residuary estate to the RNLI.
Audrey and her late husband Dennis loved holidays by the sea and were impressed by the work of the charity’s volunteers. It was their dream that their bequest be used to fund a lifeboat and that it would be named after them.
The couple were represented at the ceremony by Audrey’s solicitor Michelle Gavin who handed the lifeboat to the RNLI.
In his address, Mr Delamer said that one may be forgiven for thinking that we knew little about Audrey as Michelle’s relationship with her began posthumously as executor of her will.
‘But,’ he continued, ‘we know a great deal about her through one simple action; she has provided us with this life-saving vessel. That vessel has found a home here in Wicklow and will go on to save many lives and bring countless loved ones home. That one fact says a great deal indeed about Audrey and we will remember her for her generosity and her humanitarianism for many years to come.’
Phylis Whyte, former chair of the Wicklow RNLI fundraising branch had the honour of officially naming the lifeboat during the ceremony.
Des Davitt, Wicklow RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said the naming ceremony and service of dedication was a wonderful occasion in the history of the lifeboat station, and paid tribute to the generosity of Dennis and Audrey Deakin.
Speaking following the ceremony he said: ‘This new craft which will be housed and work alongside our all-weather lifeboat, gives our volunteer crew the power, equipment and rescue platform they need to keep those who use the sea safe.
‘Every rescue is powered by our generous supporters, people like Dennis and Audrey. Their kind and selfless gift will help ensure we in Wicklow are ready for the next call, wherever and whenever it comes. For that, the RNLI and everyone at Wicklow lifeboat station will be forever grateful to them.
Mr Davitt paid tribute to the volunteers at Wicklow RNLI saying it was they who would give the new boat life: ‘Their commitment and ongoing attendance for training means that they are highly proficient in the operation of both our lifeboats. Further testament of the dedication of the crew is their knowledge that they may risk their own lives in the service of others. There is nothing greater that a person could offer and they deserve nothing less than the best lifeboat, equipment and training that money can buy.’
He thanked the local fundraising branch too, for their untiring work and praised the generosity of the people of Wicklow and further afield for helping to raise funds to enable the station to continue to save lives at sea.
He added that while this was a time for celebration it was also a time to acknowledge the risks taken by all emergency service personnel in the service of others. A minutes silence was observed at the start of the ceremony in remembrance of five brave members of the Irish Coast Guard who lost their lives in the past year, Catriona Lucas, Dara Fitzpatrick, Mark Duffy, Ciaran Smith and Paul Ormsby.
Last year, Wicklow RNLI which also has an all-weather lifeboat launched 37 times and rescued 38 people. The all-weather Tyne class lifeboat Annie Blaker launched 21 times bringing 28 people to safety while the inshore lifeboat launched 16 times bringing 10 people to safety.
The new inshore lifeboat is replacing the Sheringham Shantymen, which was on service for 10 years at Wicklow RNLI. The lifeboat which was named after the Sheringham Shantymen was funded by money raised at their concerts. During its time in Wicklow, the lifeboat rescued 96 people, seven dogs and a farmer’s sheep.
First introduced into the RNLI fleet in 1963, the design of the inflatable D class lifeboat continues to evolve to meet changes in demand and technology.
It is the workhorse of the RNLI’s fleet and is ideal for working close inshore, near rocks or in shallow water in moderate conditions. It can be righted by the crew if it capsizes and is also part of the RNLI Flood Rescue Teams fleet of boats.
A highly manoeuvrable lifeboat, the D class can operate closer to shore than Wicklow’s all-weather lifeboat and comes into her own for searches and rescues in the surf, shallow water and confined locations - often close to cliffs, among rocks and even inside caves.
A lifeboat station was established in Wicklow in 1857. The first lifeboat was a 30ft rowing boat.
In 1911 the boathouse was adapted and the station’s first motor lifeboat, the first for Ireland, arrived.
In 1989, the boathouse was adapted once again and the slipway extended for the station's new Tyne class lifeboat. The adaptation to the boathouse included improved crew facilities and additional extensions for the refurbished winch and a souvenir sales outlet. The slipway was extended by 24 metres.
A D class lifeboat first went on service in Wicklow in 1995 with a new boathouse extension for housing the lifeboat completed in 1997.
A crowd of well-wishers turned up to see the lifeboat officially named with a bottle of champagne poured over the side of the boat by Phylis Whyte. Following the ceremony the crowd gathered around the harbour wall to see the lifeboat launch and watch as helm Alan Goucher, Connie O’Gara, Dean Mulvihill and Paul Sillery performed a simulated exercise.
Among the guests officiating at the ceremony were Judge Gerard Haughton, chair of the Lifeboat Management Group who welcomed guests and opened proceedings; Michelle Gavin, representative of the donor, who handed the lifeboat over to the RNLI, David Delamer, chair of the RNLI Council for Ireland, who accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the RNLI and handed her into the care of the lifeboat station and Des Davitt, Wicklow RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, who accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the station. A vote of thanks at the end was read out by Jill Clancy-Harold, Wicklow RNLI fundraising chair.
Father Donal Roche, parish priest, and Reverends Ken Ru and Jack Kinkead, led the Service of Dedication.
Sean Olohan and the Wicklow Swim for Life choir led the congregation in song
Dun Laoghaire RNLI is making a timely warning this Bank Holiday weekend to all lifejacket owners to ensure the appropriate safety checks are carried out by a competent agent ahead of the main boating season.
The safety appeal comes following the results from a free lifejacket advice clinic held in Dun Laoghaire by the RNLI’s community safety team last weekend.
Of the 131 lifejackets checked, only 21% were found to be completely fault free.
The lifejackets were brought to the free clinic by a variety of boat users and were checked by experienced RNLI volunteers. While the RNLI offers sea safety advice it does not offer a pass or fail assessment on lifejacket servicing.
Just over half the units tested had the recommended crotch straps fitted that are considered vital to ensure that a lifejacket inflates correctly on the wearer and remains in place, keeping the wearer’s head above the water and helping to prevent fatigue.
There were numerous examples of life-threatening problems detected during the checks. Ninety of the units had out of date firing mechanisms and 23 had corroded gas bottles that risk incorrect inflation in an emergency.
Speaking following the clinic, Stephen Wynne, Dun Laoghaire RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘Although we are very pleased that more than 100 lifejackets were checked, the fault rate is extremely worrying when you think that anyone taking to the water needs and relies on a lifejacket should they get into trouble. As the main boating season gets underway, we are appealing to everyone thinking of going on the water to ensure that they not only have a lifejacket but that every user has their lifejacket checked by a competent agent. This is so important and could save a life.’
Other problems identified at the clinic included lifejackets that had already been fired (3), missing gas cylinders (3), missing firing mechanisms (3), bladder abrasion (3), holed bladder (3) and one unit that was so old it didn't inflate at all.
‘It is essential that the correct type of lifejacket is used depending on the planned activity’, added Peter Richardson, Dun Laoghaire RNLI Community Safety Officer. ‘Specialist activities such as offshore racing or cruising need lifejackets fitted with a spray hood, light and space for a personal locator beacon (PLB). People who do not fit a crotch strap to their lifejacket or who do not use it when fitted is risking their lives should they end up in the water’.
The grandnephew of an RNLI bowman who was awarded the charity’s bronze medal for gallantry for his part in the daring rescue of 12 people from a Greek freighter back in 1938, has made a visit from the UK to Galway this week to present the Aran Islands lifeboat crew with a precious gift.
John Harwood’s grand uncle Patrick Flaherty was the bowman of the Galway Bay (now Aran Islands RNLI) motor lifeboat which was called out on the night of the 16-17 August 1938. He was subsequently awarded in recognition of his meritorious conduct when together with four other men he courageously manned a small boat and rescued the crew of 12 of the steam trawler ‘Nogi’ which had run aground near Straw Island Lighthouse, Aran Isles, during a strong westerly-south westerly wind with a very heavy sea.
An online article describes how a boat from the Hatano with four men went to her rescue and at once got into difficulties. The lifeboat went first to the small boat, the rowlock of which caught in the fender of the lifeboat, and there was danger of a serious accident. The motor mechanic jumped aboard the boat and smashed the rowlock with a hatchet. The four men were rescued and their boat towed away. It was impossible for the lifeboat to get alongside the Nogi but five of her crew manned the small boat; it was lowered by a rope down to the Nogi and in two journeys rescued the 11 men on board her. A member of the Nogi's crew had been swept away in the trawler's boat when she struck. His boots were found on an island, but it was only after eight hours' search that the man was found dazed and exhausted. The whole rescue had taken over 14 hours.
When John’s uncle Paddy who lived in the north west of England and worked most of his life as a miner, died in 1998, he left John his father’s citation for the bronze medal which is written on vellum.
‘This always had pride of place in my uncle’s house,’ John explained, ‘and as a child he often told me the story about how his father and I think his older brother took part in the rescue. He also regaled me with tales of his life on Aran, particularly his connection with the sea. This influenced me in later life to love the sea and along with my wife I have had a 30 year passion for the sea as a diver and yachtsman.’
John’s visit to Galway yesterday evening (Wednesday 19 April) follows his decision to return the citation to Aran Islands RNLI.
‘As time marches on, I realise that there will be no one to appreciate the award when my wife and I are no longer here, so I think it is high time that the award is returned to the Aran Islands where it belongs. I believe that my uncle may still have family on the Islands. I think the award should lie with them or with the lifeboat station.’
John and his wife Mary met members of both Aran Islands and Galway RNLI in Rosaveal yesterday evening before John presented the citation on vellum to Aran Islands RNLI Coxswain John O’Donnell.
‘We are extremely touched by John and Mary’s generous gesture to place what is their precious heirloom into the care of Aran Islands lifeboat station. RNLI medals for gallantry are rare and are presented for acts of bravery and this was certainly the case on the night the lifeboat carried out the rescue of the Nogi in 1938. We are very grateful to receive this award from John and Mary and can assure them it will take pride of place in his granduncle Patrick Flaherty’s lifeboat station.’
An RNLI lifejacket worth £458 has been stolen from Portaferry lifeboat station in County Down.
The lifejacket, a vital part of a volunteer crew member’s kit, is thought to have been stolen sometime between 2 March and 10 April.
The unique lifejacket is designed specifically for search and rescue and is fitted with a water activated emergency light and integral flare pockets for day and night distress flares.
Brian Bailie, Portaferry RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘The lifejacket is an expensive and essential piece of our volunteers’ crew kit. It was innovatively designed with search and rescue in mind which means it provides increased safety, efficiency and effectiveness for crew when they respond to a call out. On top of its features, it also holds zipped pockets for items including casualty care kit, torches and gloves and has a spray hood to protect against sea spray.
‘It will cost the RNLI almost £500 to replace this lifejacket which is a significant loss to the charity which relies on the public’s generosity to save lives at sea.’
Anyone with any information is asked to get in touch with the PSNI by calling 101 and quoting CC2017041700737.