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Volunteers from Ballyglass RNLI spent 11 and half hours at sea today to bring three fishermen to safety off the Donegal coast.

The lifeboat crew were requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat at 4 am yesterday morning  following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to go to the aid of three fishermen onboard a 10m vessel that had got into difficulty 38 miles from Ballyglass. 

The lifeboat under Coxswain James Mangan and with four crew members onboard launched immediately into the darkness and made its way to the scene and into Donegal Bay.

The fishing boat had got into difficulty when it fouled its propeller.

Weather conditions at the time were good and when the lifeboat crew arrived on scene they assessed that all on board were safe and well before working with the fishermen to establish a towline and then begin the slow journey to Killybegs where they arrived at 10.30am.

Following a short break for breakfast, the lifeboat crew then began the return journey back to Ballyglass, arriving at the lifeboat station and preparing the lifeboat for service again at 3.30pm.

Speaking following the call out, Padraic Sheeran, Ballyglass RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘The fishermen did the right thing this morning raising the alarm when they got into trouble and we were delighted to be able to help them return to shore safely.

‘This was an early morning call out for our volunteers who got out of their beds to respond to their pagers and make their way to the scene. Given where the boat had got into difficulty into Donegal Bay, by the time we reached the scene and towed the vessel safely into Killybegs and made the passage back, our crew had spent 11 and a half hours at sea. This is what they are trained for and prepared to do but their efforts today are commendable, and I would like to thank our volunteer team for their willingness, time and dedication.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

All In A Row 2018 comes to the River Liffey this Saturday 1 December, challenging teams rowing 40 skiffs, kayaks, canoes and currachs to exceed a 1,000km target in eight hours.

The organisers are hoping to beat last year’s target during the event from St Patrick’s Rowing Club at the Tom Clarke Bridge (formerly the East-Link Bridge) and finishing at the Ha’penny Bridge.

While showcasing the River Liffey as one of Dublin’s best amenities, the challenge also aims to raise funds for water-related charities, namely the RNLI and the Irish Underwater Search and Recovery Unit.

The event will start at 8am this Saturday and at noon all boats will gather in front of the Sean O’Casey footbridge. A wreath-laying ceremony, attended by the Lord Mayor of Dublin Nial Ring, will also take place to commemorate all those who have lost their lives through drowning.

The event remembers particularly the crew of the currach rowed and sailed from the Liffey to Santiago de Compostela and who later lost a valued crew member in Danny Sheehy.

The RNLI will have an Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat on display for people to view during the day, berthed alongside the Jeanie Johnston replica famine ship.

The event is also being used as an opportunity to engage with inner city Dublin schools whose pupils have been invited to the Dublin Docklands offices to learn about water safety through the RNLI’s Respect the Water campaign, and how they can volunteer in their communities to help save lives at sea. The city’s Sea Scouts will also be participating in the event.

Many Dublin rowing clubs have their home on the River Liffey and are a regular sight on the water. At the port end of the river is St Patrick’s Rowing Club, Stella Maris Rowing Club, East Wall Water Sports Group and Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club.

Ringsend Basin is home to the Plurabelle Paddlers (Dragon boats) and the Dublin Viking Dragon boat club. At the other end of the city, beyond Heuston Station, there are many river rowing clubs and kayaking clubs, including Phoenix Rowing Club.

This Saturday the many boating clubs of the Liffey will be joined by rowing clubs from other parts of Ireland.

“Everyone knows the River Liffey but most people don’t know how far it stretches and how many rowing groups use it regularly,” organisers said.

“There is a vibrant boating community on the River Liffey and these clubs regard it as the living artery of the city and one of Dublin’s great and undervalued amenities.

“After the beautiful summer we’ve had, we know that people are drawn to the water, whether on the coast or inland to enjoy different water sports.

“The Liffey is an undervalued and underused resource that is right under people’s noses and we want to encourage them to use it and to use it safely. From school children right up to seasoned rowers, this is a great opportunity to draw people down to the Liffey and learn about water safety and the fun activities they can do on the water all year round.”

Competitors are asked to raise sponsorship for the event, and for those not competing and supporters, there is a GoFundMe page for donations.

Published in Rowing

Volunteers from Lough Ree RNLI launched during Storm Diana to assist one person near St Johns Wood.

At 10.35 this morning (Wednesday, 28 November 2018), Lough Ree RNLI volunteers were contacted by a gentleman who had sought refuge the previous evening, due to failing light at the floating jetty, off the shore of St John’s Wood on the Roscommon side of Lough Ree. Due to worsening conditions overnight and this morning he requested our assistance. Our Inshore Lifeboat, The Eric Rowse was launched at 10.48 and the crew made their way to the scene. Conditions on the lake were extremely rough with Storm Diana in full strength. Winds were storm force 8 from the south with 2m waves, making for a very bumpy trip up the lake.

Upon arrival on scene, the crew found the casualty to be uninjured, wearing his lifejacket and wet weather clothing and in good form. Having ensured the casualty vessel was well secured, the gentleman was brought onto The Eric Rowse and brought back to the Station in Coosan Point.

Speaking after the call out volunteer Lifeboat Helm, Tom Bradbury said; ‘Conditions can change on the lake very quickly, especially at this time of year. This gentleman did exactly as we advise, when light started failing last night he sought a suitable mooring for the night and when he awoke to worsening conditions this morning he requested assistance. We would always advise people using the lake to check the weather forecast before heading out on the water and to always wear a lifejacket’.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

A man who fell overboard from his vessel near Cork Harbour was lucky to escape relatively unscathed after his lifejacket failed to inflate.

Crosshaven’s volunteer RNLI crew were requested to launch their inshore lifeboat at 5.20pm yesterday evening (Tuesday 27 November) to reports of a person shouting for help at Drakes Pool, a mile upriver from the lifeboat station.

On arrival, it was found the casualty had managed to remove himself from the water and onto another moored vessel after being in the water for up to 30 minutes, and was extremely cold and hypothermic.

The casualty was immediately evacuated to the lifeboat station where he was assessed by Dr John Murphy, Crosshaven RNLI’s doctor, and put into a hot shower before being taken by ambulance to Cork University Hospital for further evaluation.

Speaking following the the callout, Phil Maguire, Crosshaven RNLI Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer said: “We wish the casualty well following what must have been a frightening experience.”

The casualty was wearing a lifejacket, but this failed to inflate — highlighting the importance of getting your safety equipment checked and kept in good order.

Published in Cork Harbour

One of the Kinsale RNLI volunteers honoured for their role in the rescue of 30 crew from the tall ship Astrid in July 2013 has been jailed for seven years on drug distrubution charges.

As The Irish Times reports, Liam O’Connell was sentenced to 10 years with three suspended after pleading guilty to possession of cannabis, cocaine and MDMA for sale or supply at his home just over a year ago.

At sentencing, the judge said O’Connell has exploited his status in the Kinsale community as an RNLI volunteer to participate in the drugs trade.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Dun Laoghaire's RNLI inshore lifeboat was tasked to a swimmer this morning by Dublin Coastguard in choppy conditions on Dublin Bay.

Launching into rough conditions on Scotsman's Bay, the small D class boat, with three RNLI lifeboat crew onboard, made its way to a position off the Forty Foot bathing spot on the south side of Dublin Bay where a number of swimmers and canoeists were braving the Winters waters in the relative shelter of Sandycove Harbour.

DBSC Turkey shoot sailing 0481Rough conditions at the Forty Foot bathing place Photo: Afloat.ie

Dun Laoghaire's D class lifeboat is highly manoeuvrable and usually operates closer to shore than the RNLI all-weather lifeboats that is also on station at Dun Laoghaire. The D class 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.

On scene, off the Forty Foot, the RNLI boat assisted a swimmer in difficulty to the shore and the outcome could have been more serious without their intervention.

As noted by Dun Laoghaire Coastguard, the experienced swimmer put into action the advice given by the Irish Coast Guard and RNLI in recent PR campaigns, in which the swimmer did not panic, did not fight the water & floated on their back, while awaiting for assistance.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Last Thursday evening (15 November) Larne RNLI lifeboat crew and station management welcomed Geoff Johnston and his wife Caroline to the station.

Geoff’s hobby is painting and the artist presented the lifeboat crew with an incredible painting of their all-weather lifeboat, Dr John McSparran.

Geoff said his interest in the lifeboats started when he visited Donaghadee’s station when he was younger.

Having done paintings for Newcastle, Donaghadee, Portrush RNLI and now Larne, Geoff says he isn’t stopping.

“I’d like to try and do a painting for every station in Northern Ireland,” he said. “Next time I’d like to attempt one of the inshore lifeboats.”

Larne RNLI coxswain Frank Healey said: “The painting is absolutely amazing. The work and detail that Geoff has put into it, is remarkable.

“It will look fantastic hanging in our station for all the crew and any visitors to see.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Lough Ree RNLI assisted two people on a barge that had run aground in Hudson Bay.

At 6.03pm yesterday (Monday,12 November) Lough Ree RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew were tasked by the Irish Coast Guard in Malin Head to a barge, with two people onboard, that had gone aground in Hudson Bay on the Roscommon shore of the lake. Conditions at the time were dark, with poor visibility and a southeasterly force three breeze.

The volunteer crew on the station’s lifeboat The Eric Rowse were quickly on scene. Having established that the two people onboard were not injured, and the boat was undamaged, they safely brought the barge back to deeper waters and then guided them into Hudson Bay Harbour. 

Speaking after returning to the Lifeboat Station, Stan Bradbury, Lough Ree RNLI Inshore Lifeboat Helm said ‘Water levels on Lough Ree are currently below their normal summer levels making navigation trickier than usual, especially in the dark’.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Lough Derg RNLI’s new lifeboat, the Atlantic 85 B911 Jean Spier arrived at the Station yesterday. 

On Saturday, November 10, the Naming Ceremony for the new lifeboat, the Jean Spier, took place at the RNLI Lifeboat College at Poole in the south of England. The new lifeboat was donated to the charity by Robert and his late wife Jean Spier and, having identified Lough Derg RNLI as a station in need of a new lifeboat, the RNLI have put the lifeboat on service on Lough Derg.

Naming Ceremony

Volunteer crew from Lough Derg RNLI and members of the Lough Derg RNLI Fundraising Committee travelled to Poole for the ceremony. Remaining crew stayed at home to provide cover the lifeboat in the event of a Shout.

John McCallion, Head of Internal Construction opened the ceremony with a warm welcome to all guests. Robert Spier, the donor and wife of Jean Spier then handed the lifeboat into the care of the RNLI.
In 2016 Robert and Jean Spier, active supporters of the RNLI, intended that together they would donate a new lifeboat to the charity, and were delighted when the Lough Derg B class became available to support. Sadly, Jean died in October 2017 and Robert Spier is dedicating the new lifeboat, an Atlantic 85 B911 'Jean Spier' in her name. Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat Station is the fortunate recipient of this new boat.
Niamh McCutcheon, an RNLI Irish Council Member and Chairperson of Lough Derg Fundraising Committee, accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the RNLI before handing it into the care of Lough Derg RNLI. Mrs. McCutcheon thanked Robert and Jean for “so generously agreeing to fund this lifeboat following your many years of fundraising for the RNLI” and extended an open invitation to Mr. Spier to come to Dromineer to visit the station and crew.

To the delight of everyone present The Wareham Whalers, The Dorset Shanty Crew performed ‘Home from the Sea’, a song beloved by all lifeboat crew, as part of their performance.

Accepting the lifeboat on behalf of the volunteer crew of Lough Derg, Liam Maloney, Lifeboat Operations Manager said ‘how proud we are to get this state of the art lifeboat for our station and also to express how grateful and humbled we are by the extremely generous gift from you Robert and your late wife Jean’. Of the lifeboat, Mr. Maloney commended the designers and builders and said that the new lifeboat ‘promises quicker response times with more space for casualty recovery and is able to carry more crew during training exercises. But most importantly for Launch Authorities waiting anxiously at the station, we have radar to guide our crews home on dark nights and in foggy conditions’. Mr. Maloney read a poem, ‘Lifeboat’ especially composed for the occasion by Eleanor Hooker, a volunteer helm and poet.
Lifeboat

for Robert Spier, i.m. Jean Spier

We drop anchor off Vikings Landing,
run engines astern ‘til Elsinore holds fast
due east of Inis Cealtra. Against standing
waves, and wind that harps the masts
pitched in the harbour – crew name land in sight,
list the ways of water, recount Ophelian acts that bore
us to the lake’s darkest stage, and, in failing light,
as a low mist rolls over the Hare, and hounds rain before
a squall, we weigh anchor and make for home one final time
in Elsinore, grateful for a new Atlantic to this inland sea –
no longer will we fear the fog’s fret, that mimes
a snow-blind clime inside our eyes, now, when we leave the quay,
four up, our Jean Spier will signal those in peril, or in strife,
that we her volunteers may do our work – carry home, save a life.

Later, Liam presented Robert Spier with a framed chart of Lough Derg, and showed him the location of the lifeboat station and places referenced in the poem.

On behalf of all at Lough Derg RNLI, Aoife Kennedy, Administrative Officer for Lough Dergh RNLI, presented Robert Spier with a card made for the occasion and signed by all the volunteers at the Station, and a commissioned woolen throw, embroidered with 'Lough Derg RNLI Jean Spier' in one corner, made by Brian Hanly (a former Deputy Launching Authority) at his Hanly's Woollen Mills.

John McCallion, Head of Internal Construction and Refit of the RNLI ALB fleet, gave the volunteers from Ireland a great tour of the lifeboat factory.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Fenit and Kilrush RNLI were involved in a major multi-agency search and rescue operation last night for a windsurfer who was missing at sea for seven hours.

Fenit RNLI was requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat at 5.34pm yesterday evening (Sunday 11 November) following initial reports from the Irish Coast Guard that there was a person reported overdue off the Ballybunion coast in County Kerry.

The alarm had been raised after the windsurfer who was last seen at approximately 4pm, had not returned to shore.

The all-weather lifeboat under Coxswain Tony Stack launched immediately and the volunteer crew made their way to the scene.

The Irish Coast Guard helicopter, Rescue 115 from Shannon was also tasked along with the Irish Naval vessel, the Le Niamh, which was in the area at the time. The inshore lifeboat from Kilrush RNLI was subsequently requested to launch and join the search.

Weather conditions at the time were blowing Force 6-7 and there were 3m swells. Despite it being dark, visibility was good for searching.

The search continued until approximately 11pm when news came that the windsurfer had managed to make it ashore and raise the alarm with a member of the public. He was subsequently transferred by ambulance to University Hospital Limerick. The windsurfer had managed to travel by sea the 25 nautical miles from Ballybunion in County Kerry to Kilkee in County Clare.

Speaking following the call out, Charlie Glynn, Kilrush RNLI crew member and Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘This is such good news this morning and we are delighted that after the windsurfer was missing for so long yesterday evening, that this man is alive. While we don’t have the details from the casualty’s perspective, he had to have been an experienced windsurfer who was wearing the correct clothing and gear and who knew what to do when he got into difficulty. He stayed with his board and managed somehow to travel the long distance to shore. All in the RNLI wish him well for a full and speedy recovery following what must have been a frightening experience for him. 

‘We would remind everyone taking to the sea to always respect the water. Always carry a means for calling for help, such as a personal locator beacon, especially if you are on your own, it could be a lifesaver. Always tell someone you are going out and when you will be back. Make sure they know where you are sailing and who to call if you are not back in time.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Page 1 of 165

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