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#RNLI - Arklow RNLI was launched yesterday evening (Tuesday 17 October) following a call for assistance from the crew of a sailing vessel reporting mechanical failure.

The volunteer crew on board Arklow's all-weather lifeboat proceeded to the reported position approximately 12 miles south of Arklow in Co Wicklow. Weather conditions were calm and dry at the time, 24 hours after Storm Ophelia passed over Ireland.

Once the yacht had been located, it was decided to put a lifeboat crew member aboard the 10m sailing vessel to assist the crew of two.

Once a tow line was established, the vessel and her crew were towed back to Arklow where all came ashore safely.

Following the callout, Arklow RNLI volunteer press officer Mark Corcoran said: “Thanks to all of our volunteers on this shout who are always ready 24 hours a day to drop what they are doing in their own lives to go to sea to assist others.”

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 - A volunteer crew from Portaferry RNLI were preparing for a training exercise yesterday morning (Saturday 14 October) when they received a call to go to the aid of a man who had been thrown from a small motor boat which was subsequently spinning out of control in Strangford Lough.

The call was received at 10.53am and the volunteer lifeboat crew were on the water and on their way to the casualty by within two minutes, heading for a location roughly half a mile from Don O’Neill Island.

Weather conditions were cloudy with fair visibility, a Force 3 southerly wind and calm sea conditions.

On arrival at 11am, the volunteer crew learnt that the man had been thrown clear of the small dory when the craft had developed steering problems and started spinning in circles.

He was then lifted on board another boat which had been at the scene at the time, and taken ashore by them.

With the help of other boats attending a regatta in the area at the time, the Portaferry RNLI crew eventually brought the spinning craft under control, after which they attached tow lines to the vessel and towed it back into Portaferry Marina.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Skerries RNLI launched yesterday afternoon (Thursday 12 October) for the second time in less than 24 hours.

Shortly after 12pm, Dublin Coast Guard received information that a RIB with one person on board had suffered engine failure north of the harbour at Lambay Island.

Skerries RNLI were tasked and the lifeboat was launched with volunteer Eoin Grimes at the Helm and crewed by Joe May, David Knight and Jack Keane.

Arriving at Lambay, the lifeboat crew spotted the vessel which had put out an anchor. A tow was established and the boat was towed safely to port.

Just hours before, shortly before 9pm on Wednesday (11 October), the lifeboat escorted a razor fishing vessel into Skerries Harbour.

The vessel had contacted Dublin Coast Guard for clarification on a navigational issue while approaching Skerries for an unscheduled stop. They were also having some slight mechanical problems with their steering.

It was decided as a precaution to request the lifeboat to escort the vessel to shore. On that occasion Joe May was on the helm, and the crew consisted of Conor Walsh, Jack Keane and JP Tanner.

Gerry Canning, lifeboat press officer for Skerries RNLI, said: “Both these call outs were to experienced seagoers who were just unlucky. Things can go wrong at sea no matter how prepared you are.

“Our volunteer crew are ready to respond 24/7 and it’s great to see some of our new volunteers gaining invaluable experience.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Clifden RNLI’s all-weather and inshore lifeboats were launched shortly before 1pm on Sunday 8 October when a boat with six on board got into difficulty in the Killary Harbour area.

The location of the craft was unclear in the early stages as Clifden’s inshore D class lifeboat was driven by road to Renvyle by driver Neil Gallery and launched at Lettergesh Beach, while the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat was launched in Clifden.

The D class lifeboat, crewed by Alan Pryce, Kenneth Flaherty and Kieran Folan, swiftly located the boat and six passengers near Frehill island. They had been out for a fishing trip when their engine failed.

Shortly after, the Atlantic 85 lifeboat crewed by Joe Acton, Owen Hayes and Alvin Bell as the D Class already had the casualty boat under tow.

Four of the six passengers were transferred to the Atlantic 85, Joyce King, and returned to shore at Rossroe from where they had originally set out.

The other two remained onboard their own boat, which was towed back to shore by the D Class lifeboat, Granuaile.

Clifden’s all-weather lifeboat Fisherman’s Friend was also launched to provide additional cover for the rescue operation, but was stood down when the two inshore lifeboats had the situation under control.

Speaking following the callout, Clifden RNLI helm Alan Pryce said: “Luckily the weather conditions were calm at the time and due to our launch site we were able to locate the boat quickly.

“The area is known for its rip currents in the area and can be dangerous so we were glad to have been able to attend and assist as quickly as possible once the alarm was raised."

Pryce added: “We remind anyone planning a trip to sea to always go prepared and respect the water.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - The RNLI is looking for “an experienced and dynamic leader” to run its 24-hour search and rescue on-call lifesaving service in Ireland and the Isle of Man.

The lifesaving manager heads a team of area managers and dedicated lifesavers and is responsible for the delivery and assurance of the lifeboat service, along with the lifeguard service in Northern Ireland and a flood rescue team.

The role requires “strong leadership skills, innovative working and the ability to identify new and exciting partnerships and opportunities” for the lifesaving charity.

Full details of the job description and how to apply are available on the RNLI website HERE.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Baltimore RNLI’s inshore lifeboat Patricia Jennings was called on Sunday (1 October) to go to the assistance of a 28ft yacht with one person on board.

The yacht had lost power near the West Cork harbour's west pier and was in danger of drifting ashore amid Force 7 westerly winds.

The skipper of the yacht had thrown out his anchor which was holding it in position, but without power was unable to get away from the vicinity of the shore.

The alarm was raised by a another vessel, also with one on board, which was standing by but unable to assist.

Under helm Kieran Collins and crew Jerry Smith and Colin Rochford, the lifeboat immediately launched and was in scene within 15 minutes of alarm being raised.

One crew member was put on board to assist the casualty. A tow was then rigged and the yacht was towed to safety.

Also responding to the callout were Ian Lynch and Youen Jacob. Ronnie Carthy, Kieran Cotter and Colin Whooley acted as shore crew.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Wicklow RNLI’s all-weather and inshore lifeboats launched yesterday afternoon (Sunday 1 October) after a 9m yacht with three people on board was reported to have lost its mast and rigging while racing in Wicklow Bay.

The all-weather lifeboat was alongside the dismasted yacht four minutes after launching at 3.30pm. Three lifeboat crew boarded the yacht and, as a precaution, two children were transferred from the stricken vessel onto the lifeboat.

Meanwhile, the inshore lifeboat crew were tasked with recovering the mast and sail from the sea, which were still connected by rigging to the yacht.

Once the mast and sail were recovered and secured, a tow line was established and the yacht was returned to Wicklow Harbour, where it was safely secured alongside the South Quay. Thankfully no one was injured during the incident.

Conditions at the scene had a westerly Force 3 wind with good visibility and a slight sea state.

The crew on this callout on the all-weather lifeboat were second coxswain Ciaran Doyle, mechanic Connie O'Gara, David O’Leary, Graham Fitzgerald, Vinny Mulvihill, Peter McCann, Joe Hanlon and John Stapleton. On the inshore lifeboat were helm Alan Goucher, Lisa O’Leary and Dean Mulvihill.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Derry Clarke, owner and chef at the renowned L’Ecrivain restaurant, turned Valentia Lifeboat Station in Kerry into one of the country’s top dining sports on Friday (29 September) as he treated the volunteer lifeboat crew to a delicious Fish Supper to promote the RNLI’s latest fundraising initiative.

Clarke, who is also star of RTE’s Lords and Ladles, is supporting the RNLI’s Fish Supper campaign for 2017 from 13-15 October — and is calling on people across Ireland to sink their teeth into a delicious fish dish to raise vital funds for the lifesaving charity.

The menu for the lifeboat crew comprised a number of mouth-watering seafood dishes including cured salmon with cucumber, apple and dill; seafood chowder; Flaggy Shore oysters and Lambay Island scallops with cauliflower and raisins.

Local hotel and restaurant The Royal also got involved when chef Ryan Walsh added a surprise extra course of fish gratin.

Speaking while cooking al fresco at the lifeboat station, Clarke said: “It is an absolute pleasure to cook for the Valentia lifeboat crew. I love cooking for the RNLI, and seafood dishes are always a crowd pleaser.

“I do an annual BBQ for the RNLI with my wife Sallyanne on Sherkin Island and at Courtown in Wexford, so it’s about time I got out to the West Coast. The only issue is that you never know if you have enough food as lifeboat crew are always hungry.”

Clarke also urged anyone who hasn’t tried cooking with fish to give it a try and impress your friends and family while raising vital funds for the RNLI’s brave lifeboat crews.

“We are lucky enough to live on an island with a beautiful array of fish on our doorstep. It’s a wonderful idea for a fundraiser.”

The occasion was captured by photographer Jack Lowe, who is travelling around the UK and Ireland photographing RNLI lifeboat volunteers through a Victorian process that captures the stunning images on glass. Jack’s visit to Valentia RNLI marked his 100th lifeboat station.

Valentia RNLI coxswain Richard Quigley added: “Our pagers can go off at any time and many a meal has been interrupted for a lifeboat launch. Holding a fish supper is a great way for people to support us. They can sign up for a free fundraising pack and then enjoy hosting a fun evening with friends and family.

“If like us, you’re not Derry Clarke in the kitchen, then you can always serve up something simple like a fish finger sandwich or fish and chips. We really don’t mind.”

To receive a free Fish Supper fundraising pack, and to see some mouth-watering recipe inspiration, visit RNLI.org/FishSupper.

RNLI lifeboat crews across Ireland launched 1,136 times in 2016, rescuing 1,649 people. Kerry lifeboat stations launched 38 times and rescued 47 people in that same period, spending a total of 393 hours at sea on service.

Last year, chef Clodagh McKenna visited Howth RNLI to support the charity, which relies on donations from the public to continue its lifesaving service.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Both Wicklow RNLI lifeboats launched yesterday afternoon (Sunday 24 September) to assist a swimmer in difficulty at Brittas Bay.

The Dublin-based Irish Coast Guard rescue helicopter, the local coastguard shore unit and an ambulance crew were also tasked to the incident at the popular tourist beach.

The first report stated the man was swimming a short distance off the beach, but further reports stated he managed to get ashore.

The inshore lifeboat crew located the man at the South end of Brittas Beach, where they administered initial casualty care and first aid until he was handed over to paramedics.

Speaking after the callout, lifeboat press officer Tommy Dover said: “Thankfully the swimmer was okay after his ordeal and required no further medical attention after being assessed by the paramedics.”

The crew on the callout with the all-weather lifeboat were second coxswain Ciaran Doyle, mechanic Tommy Murphy, Tommy McAulay, David O’Leary, Lisa O’Leary, Kevin Rahill and Terry Sillery. Crew with the inshore lifeboat were helm Dean Mulvihill, Ian Thompson and John Stapleton.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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