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#RNLI - Hours after rescuing a family of five from their grounded yacht, Skerries RNLI launched to the aid of a teenager blown out to sea on a stand-up paddle board yesterday evening (Tuesday 14 August).

Skerries RNLI was tasked along with the Dublin-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 after a 999 call from a member of the public reporting a person in the water off Gormanston beach who appeared unable to get back to shore.

The volunteer crew in Skerries launched their Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson and proceeded directly to the Gormanston area. The rescue helicopter arrived on scene just before the lifeboat and was able to pinpoint the casualty’s location.

There were two people clinging to the paddle board when the lifeboat arrived: a teenage male who was in difficulty, and an experienced sea swimmer who swam out to the teenager in order to assist him and keep him calm.

The crew helped both people on board and then took the paddle board into the lifeboat. The swimmer was insistent that he was okay and asked to be dropped to shore. However, he had been in the water for a considerable amount of time and was very cold.

It was decided that the best course of action would be to bring him back to the lifeboat station, where the lifeboat was greeted by Skerries RNLI honorary medical Officer Dr Seamus Mullholland and an awaiting ambulance, both of whom had been called as a precaution.

The teenager was treated for symptoms of mild hypothermia and monitored closely for a period of time before he was reunited with his mother by the Skerries Coast Guard unit.

Speaking about the callout, Skerries RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: “The young man in this case was caught out by a sudden change in the conditions. Thankfully he was wearing a lifejacket and someone on shore knew to dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.

“And while we would recommend that you never enter the water to help someone, we would like to thank the swimmer who assisted the boy for keeping him calm and encouraging him to stay with his board until help arrived.”

The incident came hours after the Skerries lifeboat rescued a French family of five from their yacht that ran aground at the town’s harbour, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Clifden RNLI’s D class lifeboat Celia Mary was on exercise at Glassilaun Beach for the annual sports day on Sunday (12 August) when it was alerted to a group of people cut off by the tide.

The inshore lifeboat proceeded to Illamore Island after the alert at 3.50pm. On approaching the island, they saw a woman up to her chest in the water holding onto a child who was visibly in distress.

The six-year-old child was immediately brought onboard the lifeboat followed by her mother. Both were wet, cold, frightened and extremely happy to finally be in safe hands.

Both casualties were given survivors lifejackets and a crew member gave the child his warm helmet. Her mother had a jacket which she wrapped around her to keep the wind off.

The lifeboat crew spotted one more adult and four children stranded on top of some rocks. They were also cut off by the rising tide, but not in immediate danger.

The woman recovered to the lifeboat indicated that she was the mother of two of the children still on the rocks. The crew brought another child on board the lifeboat, placing a lifejacket and helmet on her.

After that the lifeboat proceeded to the beach where the crew collected the casualties’ belongings, leaving crew member David O’Reilly with the four still cut off by the tide.

The casualties on board the lifeboat were then returned to the safety of the shore, and went back for the remaining four. The callout was complete at 5pm and the lifeboat was ready for service from Clifden at 7pm.

Elsewhere, Arklow RNLI’s lifeboat was launched at 2.04pm yesterday (Monday 13 August) following a pager alert to a kitesurfer and windsurfer both reported to be in difficulty south of Mizen Head.

With strong tides in the area, Arklow RNLI proceeded to the scene. Upon arrival, the lifeboat crew were made aware that the casualties had made it ashore safely and the lifeboat was stood down.

Following the callout, Mark Corcoran, Arklow RNLI’s volunteer press officer and community safety officer, said: “Thanks to the quick thinking of the local beach lifeguard, our lifeboat was launched early enough to be on scene to assist if necessary.

“People should never hesitate in calling us out. Before going out people need to check the tides and weather and make themselves aware of local hazards and always carry a mean of calling for help.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Last Wednesday evening (8 August), two men enjoying an evening’s fishing on their speedboat near Groomsport in Co Down hit rocks and lost their propeller.

Bangor RNLI were quickly called to the scene for what was described as “a textbook tow-in” on the part of the volunteer lifeboat crew helmed by John Bell.

Thanks to their skill, it wasn’t long until they were able to hand the rescued vessel over to the Bangor Coastguard Rescue Team and make their way back to Bangor to enjoy what remained of their evening.

More recently, volunteer crew from Bangor launched to a report of a person in the water on the Carrickfergus side of Belfast Lough yesterday, Monday 13 August.

On arrival, however, the crew determined that it was just a cluster of helium-filled balloons, and returned to base.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - A family of five were rescued by Skerries RNLI in the early hours of this morning (Tuesday 14 August) after their yacht ran aground at the North Co Dublin town’s harbour.

As RTÉ News reports, the family, who are understood to be French nationals, sent a Mayday after their vessel broke its moorings.

The Skerries lifeboat crew were quickly on scene and retrieved the family — two adults and three children aged 12 to 16 — in a dinghy.

RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#WaterSafety - RNLI volunteers from lifeboat stations across Ireland will be taking to the pitch in Croke Park this afternoon (Sunday 12 August) for the All-Ireland Senior Championship Football Semi-Final to share the ‘Float to Live’ message.

The charity is working with the GAA to share drowning prevention advice with their clubs around the country with the aim of saving lives.

The RNLI’s drowning prevention campaign ‘Respect the Water’ is being supported by the GAA’s Healthy Clubs programme. On the pitch later today, RNLI volunteers will unfurl two giant flags for ‘Respect the Water’ and ‘Float to Live’ to highlight the campaign and give people a single survival skill in the water: floating.

The display will be accompanied by the 30-second ‘Float to Live’ video and a halftime interview with the RNLI, featuring comedian, broadcaster — and Dun Laoghaire RNLI lifeboat volunteer — PJ Gallagher.

Volunteer ambassadors have been recruited and trained from RNLI lifeboat stations to deliver short talks and demonstrations to GAA clubs in their local communities so that young men and women can understand the risks of drowning and how a simple action could save a life. The ambassadors are RNLI volunteers who are also passionate about GAA and include, players, coaches, referees and supporters.

‘Float to Live’ is the key safety message of the ‘Respect the Water’ campaign. Even the strongest swimmers can be caught out by the power of the water. The survival message is to fight your instinct to panic, and instead stay calm and float until you can control your breathing. Then a decision can be taken on the next step, to shout for help or try and swim to safety.

The senior football semi-final features two land-locked counties but the RNLI says it is delighted to have the opportunity to share its safety messages with an audience that may not be traditionally associated with lifeboats. The charity adds that the advice applies to everyone whether on the coast or enjoying inland waters and loughs.

“We are extremely grateful to the GAA for giving us the opportunity to highlight the work our two organisations are doing together to try and raise awareness of the risks of drowning and what action to take that could save a life,” said RNLI head of community engagement Gareth Morrison.

“We are looking forward to visiting many more clubs in the weeks and months ahead to share the message.”

PJ Gallagher added: “I know it might come as a surprise to some but I am an RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew member. It will also be less of a surprise to many that I am a passionate and dedicated GAA supporter.

“Being on the pitch during an All-Ireland semi-final is a bit of a dream come true and I’m delighted that it is for such an incredible partnership. I just hope the message will help save lives and I’d encourage everyone to talk about it and share it.”

To find out more about the campaign, visit RespectTheWater.com.

Published in Water Safety

#RNLI - Portaferry RNLI’s volunteer crew were paged yesterday afternoon (Saturday 11 August) to go to the aid of two people stranded on Guns Island off Co Down.

The lifeboat launched at 3:20pm in overcast weather with good visibility and a Force 4 south-easterly wind but a rough sea state, and on arrival on scene 20 minutes later it was raining with poor visibility.

Newcastle, Bangor and Portaferry coastguard rescue teams were also in attendance, assisting from the shore.

The RNLI crew approached the scene where they rescued the two people and their dog from the island, where they were stranded after their six-metre punt got into difficultly and was destroyed on nearby rocks.

The casualties were taken to Ballyhornan Beach where they were transferred to the care of the coastguard rescue teams on shore.

Elsewhere, Clifden RNLI added to their busy August with a callout to a yacht with engine trouble both of Slyne Head on Friday afternoon (10 August).

A light Force 2 north-westerly wind made the yacht’s passage to Clifden slow going under sail alone. The Clifden lifeboat crew established a tow to Clifden Bay, which took over an hour, and the D-class lifeboat aided in mooring the yacht.

“Once on the mooring, a rope could be observed caught underneath the yachts hull and an attempt was made to release it. This proved unsuccessful but explained how the yacht had lost mechanical propulsion,” said Clifden RNLI coxswain David Barry.

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 - Dun Laoghaire RNLI responded to a small powerboat with six onboard on Sunday evening (5 August) when their vessel was caught up on a fishing pot marker just off Dalkey.

The volunteer lifeboat crew was requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat at 10.49pm following a report from the Irish Coast Guard. Weather conditions were fair with a slight breeze, and visibility was good.

Two of the volunteer crew members used the XP-class lifeboat to free the vessel from the pot marker. The lifeboat then lifeboat successfully towed the vessel away from the rocks and escorted it back towards Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

Commenting after the callout, Dun Laoghaire RNLI second coxswain Eamon O’Leary said: “It was dark during the callout and in these situations it is so important to raise the alarm as soon as possible and to ensure that everyone onboard is wearing a lifejacket.”

The incident comes only a month after a small yacht with two on board became entangled on a pot marker outside the harbour, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Carrybridge RNLI’s inshore lifeboat and rescue water craft launched to assist a 23ft cruiser which had run aground close to the Share Centre on Upper Lough Erne yesterday evening, Sunday 5 August.

Winds were south-westerly Force 2 with good visibility and cloudy skies when the Carrybridge lifeboat crew were requested to launch by Belfast Coastguard at 5.20pm.

Arriving at the casualty vessel, the lifeboat crew found the cruiser aground and all four people on board to be safe and well.

On assessing the vessel, the volunteer crew found its mean of propulsion had also become damaged when it grounded.

After three of the casualty vessel’s crew were taken on board the lifeboat and transferred to the Share Centre, a tow line was set up with the assistance of the rescue water craft and the cruiser was refloated before being towedd back to its mooring at the Share Centre with its remaining crew member.

It was the second callout for Carrybridge RNLI over the weekend. On Saturday evening (4 August), the inshore lifeboat and rescue water craft launched to a 16ft rowing boat which was adrift in the main navigation channel.

The rowing boat had broken free from its moorings and drifted half a mile upstream from Carrybridge. The vessel was taken under tow by the lifeboat back to its own private mooring.

Speaking following these callouts, Carrybridge RNLI lifeboat operations manager Tom Bailey said: “As we continue to enjoy the good weather, we would remind all boat users to respect the water, plan your passage before setting out, and take particular care whilst navigating. Should you get into trouble, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Ballycotton RNLI launched their all-weather lifeboat on Saturday evening (4 August) around 7.20pm to a crew member on board the Pont-Aven cruise ferry.

The female casualty, who became injured while working on the vessel, required a medevac while 30 miles off Ballycotton Bay.

Ballycotton RNLI and its volunteer crew were launched on request by Valentia Coast Guard and proceeded to the incident.

The Pont-Aven altered its course back towards Cork Harbour and was met by Ballycotton RNLI some 16 miles out. The casualty was transferred to Ballycotton’s all-weather lifeboat and brought to Crosshaven where the ambulance service was waiting to assist.

Weather conditions were favourable, and near perfect for the task which enabled all involved to transfer the casualty quickly and seamlessly.

Speaking following the callout, Ballycotton RNLI coxswain Eolan Walsh said: “The timeliness and transfer of the casualty was made so much simpler by the professionalism of the Pont-Aven’s fast rescue boat crew.

“We would like to thank all involved that contributed to a positive outcome and we wish the casualty a speedy recover from all at Ballycotton RNLI.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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