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#RNLI - Baltimore RNLI carried out a medevac yesterday morning (Monday 21 May) from Cape Clear Island off the coast of West Cork.

The volunteer lifeboat crew were asked to launch their all-weather lifeboat following a request from the Irish Coast Guard at 7.53am to provide medical assistance and evacuation to a man living on the island.

The all-weather lifeboat arrived in Cape Clear at 8.25am and the casualty was transferred to the care of the volunteer crew onboard.

The lifeboat then returned to Baltimore lifeboat station at 8.55am and handed the casualty over to the care of HSE ambulance crew once they arrived at the station.

Conditions at sea during the shout were flat calm with a north-easterly Force 3 wind.

There were seven volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat: coxswain Aidan Bushe, mechanic Cathal Cottrell and crew members Brendan Cottrell, Micheal Cottrell, Jerry Smith, Emma Lupton and Don O’Donovan. Kieran Cotter provided shore crew assistance at the lifeboat house.

Speaking following the callout, Baltimore RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer Kate Callanan said: “Baltimore lifeboat regularly provides medical assistance and transfers for people living, working or holidaying on the islands.

“This call is the third medical evacuation for Baltimore RNLI in the past two weeks.

“Always remember, if you find yourself at sea or on an island in need of medical assistance, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Ballyglass RNLI’s lifeboat crew had an unusual callout on Monday evening (14 May) when they were launched to recover a runaway barge that had drifted to the Mayo coast across the Atlantic from Canada more than 3,000km away.

The large floating barge had broken from its moorings in Labrador in north-east Canada last November, and after six months at sea was spotted and reported by a passing fishing vessel earlier on Monday.

Ballyglass RNLI received the call to launch last night at 7.20pm. On arriving on scene, the lifeboat crew found a steel barge measuring 26 metres by 16 metres, which was unsecured and floating.

The lifeboat crew established a tow and brought the barge back to Ballyglass Harbour.

However, with no room to berth such a large barge safely, it was put on the lifeboat mooring before a more permanent solution could be found. The crew were not stood down until 2am this morning.

All in all, it took the lifeboat crew seven hours to secure the barge and and bring it safely to Ballyglass.

Commenting on the shout, Ballyglass RNLI lifeboat operations manager Padraic Sheeran said: “We were not expecting this type of callout at all. You do hear of vessels and craft breaking free of moorings but it’s unusual to have one drift thousands of kilometres and have to be rescued by lifeboat.

“On a serious note though, it represented a major navigational danger to any vessel that it collided with and it was a relief to have it safely recovered.”

The callout will remind Afloat.ie readers of the houseboat that drifted from Newfoundland to the Mayo coast in November 2016.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Carrybridge RNLI’s inshore lifeboat and rescue water craft (RWC) launched at 1.51pm yesterday afternoon (Sunday 13 May) following a request by Belfast Coastguard to assist a 35ft cruiser with four on board which was aground about a mile west of Knockninny in Upper Lough Erne, Co Fermanagh.

Weather conditions had south-westerly Force 3 winds with good visibility and part cloudy skies as the lifeboat Douglas Euan & Kay Richards, helmed by Chris Cathcart and with Nigel Carson, Kyle Boyd and Stephen McMaster on board, and the RWC with Garvan Duffy on board, made their way to the casualty vessel, where all passengers were found safe and well.

Once the cruiser was assessed and found to be not taking on water, the lifeboat crew set up a tow line and refloated the vessel into deeper water.

Following another check for damage, the cruiser was found to be in order and was able to continue on its journey. The lifeboat departed the scene at 2.40pm.

Speaking after the callout, Carrybridge RNLI deputy launching authority Stephen Scott said: “We hope the visitors have a safe onward journey and a enjoyable holiday. As we approach the summer season, we would remind all boat users to respect the water, plan your passage before setting out, and take particular care whilst navigating.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Baltimore RNLI carried out a medevac on Saturday night (12 May) from Cape Clear Island off the coast of West Cork.

The volunteer crew were requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat by the Irish Coast Guard at 8.05pm to provide medical assistance and evacuation to a man working on the island.

Arriving in Cape Clear at 8.24pm, the RNLI volunteers transferred the casualty onto the lifeboat and returned him to Baltimore lifeboat station, whee he was handed over to the care of a waiting HSE ambulance crew.

Conditions at sea during the shout were calm with a south-westerly Force 3 wind and half-metre sea swell.

“So far this year medical evacuations make up a high percentage of the call outs for Baltimore lifeboat,” said Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer.

“Acting as an ambulance between the islands off the coast of West Cork is a vital service and our volunteer crews are trained to a high standard in first aid and casualty care.

“If you find yourself at sea or on an island in need of medical assistance, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Hours later, Wicklow RNLI’s inshore lifeboat crew were alerted by pager shortly after 3.10pm yesterday afternoon (Sunday 13 May) to assist in the medic of an injured sailor in the town’s harbour.

The sailor was being treated on a yacht by first responders and HSC paramedics at the East pier after he sustained injuries while sailing in Wicklow Bay.

The lifeboat was requested to launch in case the casualty was seriously injured and needed to be evacuated from the yacht to a more suitable location for transfer to an ambulance.

The lifeboat, with helm Alan Goucher and crew Terry Sillery and Paul Sillery, was about to launch when lifeboat operations manager Des Davitt was made aware that the casualty was assisted up a ladder onto the pier after being treated by paramedics, and no further assistance was required.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Lough Derg RNLI launched yesterday evening (Thursday 10 May) following a request by Valentia Coast Guard to assist a person on a 23ft speed boat broken down by The Goat Road on the eastern shore of the River Shannon lough.

The lifeboat, with helm Dom Sharkey, Eleanor Hooker and Ger Egan onboard, arrived on scene at 6.28pm where a passenger vessel, the Shannon Princess, was waiting by the speedboat.

Weather conditions had south-easterly Force 3/4 winds, with very good visibility.

The skipper of the speedboat had dropped anchor, but it was dragging and bringing the vessel close to rocks on the Clare shore.

An RNLI volunteer was transferred across to the casualty vessel, where the person on board were found to be safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejacket.

After a thorough check of the cruiser, it was determined that the issue was most likely an electrical failure.

The lifeboat volunteer got the casualty vessel ready for tow, lifeboat brought it to Portumna Harbour, where it was safely tied up by 6.50pm.

Dom Sharkey, volunteer helm on the Lough Derg lifeboat, said: “The skipper did the correct thing to drop anchor and to call for help immediately.

“We would like to thank the skipper of the Shannon Princess for standing by in safe water until we arrived on scene.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Dun Laoghaire RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat was called out twice in quick succession this afternoon (Wednesday 9 May) to two separate vessels fouled on fishing pots.

The volunteer crew of Dun Laoghaire launched to assist one boat that had been fouled by pots.

Once safely ashore, the crew’s pagers sounded again with a call to assist a yacht that had also become fouled on pots, and towed it into harbour.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Baltimore RNLI launched on Monday evening (7 May) to carry out a medical evacuation for a man from Sherkin Island off the West Cork coast.

The volunteer lifeboat crew arrived on scene at 7.40pm, just eight minute after launch, and provided casualty care before transferring the patient to the all-weather lifeboat and returning to Baltimore, where he was handed over to the HSE ambulance crew at 8.30pm.

Weather conditions were good at the time, with a south-westerly Force 2-3 wind and calm sea conditions within the harbour.

The volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat were coxswain Kieran Cotter, mechanic Cathal Cottrell and crew members Pat Collins, Aidan Bushe, Jerry Smith, Eoin Ryan, Don O’Donovan and Ronnie Carty.

Speaking following the callout, Baltimore RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer Kate Callanan said: “The RNLI and other rescue agencies around the coast provide a vital service to those living or holidaying on islands. If you require assistance, please call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Carrybridge RNLI’s inshore lifeboat launched yesterday morning (Sunday 6 May) following a request by Belfast Coastguard to assist a 37ft cruiser taking on water on the lough near Belturbet, Co Cavan.

The lifeboat Douglas Euan & Kay Richards, with helm Chris Cathcart, David Reid, Kyle Boyd and Colin Beacom on board, launched at 7.28am from Upper Lough Erne in Co Fermanagh and arrived shortly after in Belturbet.

Winds were southerly, Force 1 and visibility was good with sunny skies.

The lifeboat crew located the casualty vessel moored alongside the public jetty, but still taking on water. Belturbet Fire and Rescue Service were also in attendance. The owner and his dog were unharmed.

The RNLI volunteer crew set up their salvage pump, and started to pump the water out of the casualty vessel. Once the water level started to lower, the access point of the water was located and a temporary seal put in place. 

The casualty vessel was then pumped out dry, and the lifeboat towed it to the public slipway where it was beached to avoid it sinking. The lifeboat departed the scene at 9.40am.

Following the callout, Cathcart said: “The crew were glad to be able to assist the owner this morning with his vessel, and hope he continues to have an enjoyable holiday.”

Much earlier on Sunday, the Portrush all-weather lifeboat crew in Co Antrim happened upon a casualty on land after a callout was stood down.

Three volunteer crew — Karl O’Neill, Jason Chambers and Ben Durrant — were returning home after the 1.40am call when they discovered a man who had fallen and had suffered significant injures to the face. 

The crew dialled 999 to request assistance. O’Neill, who is also an RNLI lifeguard supervisor, had his responder bag to hand and was able to administer first aid to stop the bleeding from the casualty’s face. Durrant then took the casualty to the local emergency department for further treatment.

Keith Gilmore Portrush RNLI lifeboat operations manager, commented: “Once again our volunteer crew have shown that the skills and training they have received as lifeboat crew members can be applied to assist in any situation. 

“I am very proud that the men on their way home at 2am stopped to help a member of the public who was obviously injured and in distress. We wish him a full recovery.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Rosslare Harbour RNLI launched yesterday afternoon (Saturday 5 May) to help a Dutch tourist when his motorboat lost power 10 miles north of the Co Wexford port.

The sole occupant of the 33ft motorboat was a Dutch man who was travelling from Dun Laoghaire to Cork when his vessel lost power and he ran into difficulty.

The lifeboat crew responded to the call at 1.55pm and were quickly on scene to establish a tow.

Conditions were good for the journey back to land; there was a slight haze but the sea was calm.

The lifeboat crew towed the vessel back to the Fisherman’s Wall in Rosslare Harbour and the tourist was welcomed ashore.

Commenting on the callout, Rosslare Harbour RNLI lifeboat operations manager Dave Maloney said: “It was perfect conditions for a callout. As the man was travelling on his own we put one of our lifeboat crew onboard to help establish the tow and to check everything was okay.

“Thankfully it was nothing too serious and we were able to bring him safely to Rosslare where he could get his vessel seen to and hopefully continue on with his journey.”

The RNLI and Irish Coast Guard issued a joint call earlier this week for people to stay safe on or near the water this May Bank Holiday weekend, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - For more than 100 years, the crews of Courtmacsherry Harbour Lifeboat Station have laid a wreath over the site of RMS Lusitania.

In Courtmacsherry Bay, the old British Royal Navy watch tower of the Seven Heads peninsula is the closest point of land to the Lusitania tragedy at 11.2 nautical miles.

Courtmacsherry Harbour is also home to a one of the earliest established lifeboat stations in Ireland, founded in 1825, and at the time of the Lusitania tragedy located at Barry’s Point in Courtmacsherry.

On 7 May 1915, the Lusitania, a British Cunard line ocean liner, was on passage from New York when she was torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat south of Courtmacsherry Bay, with the loss of 1,201 lives.

The Courtmacsherry RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew was alerted to the tragedy and due to the fine weather that day, the sails were of no use, so they rowed the Kezia Gwilt lifeboat to the scene of the sinking.

The sea was strewn with the dead, some with lifebelts on, others holding on to pieces of rafts. The volunteers of the Kezia Gwilt spent six hours on scene, taking bodies from the water.

In 2015, the present lifeboat crew and residents of Courtmacsherry village, many of whom are related to the original 1915 lifeboat crew who were called to service, staged a re-enactment of that heroic row by the then lifeboat crew to the site of the Lusitania.

Since that ill-fated day in 1915, the crew of Courtmacsherry RNLI annually pay tribute to those lost by laying a wreath over the wreck of RMS Lusitania.

If anyone would like the crew to lay a wreath on their behalf for those lost on the Lusitania, they can bring it to Courtmacsherry Harbour Lifeboat Station before 12.30pm on Monday 7 May.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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