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#Rescue - A lone sailor whose yacht ran aground on Scariff Bay over the weekend had difficulties again just hours after his rescue.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Lough Derg  RNLI launched its lifeboat on Saturday evening (14 April) to assist the 30ft yacht after it had left its mooring at Mountshannon Harbour.

The Killaloe unit of the Irish Coast Guard was also on scene, helping to remove the yacht from a sandy bank and returning it to Mountshannon.

But the evening did not end there, as BreakingNews.ie reports, as the same yacht required coastguard assistance just a few hours later.

It emerged that the sailor was attempting to tie up his vessel at an anchor point in deeper water when it grounded in the shallows once more, and the coastguard was alerted by a concerned onlooker around 11.30pm.

The yacht was once again towed to Mountshannon Harbour and the coastguard unit returned to base at 1.30am.

Published in Rescue

#RNLI - Three-and-a-half months after setting out from her Arklow home, 65-year-old marathon runner Mary Nolan Hickey has completed her ‘lap of the map’ visiting RNLI lifeboat stations around the Irish coast, as TheJournal.ie reports.

Hickey received a hero’s welcome at Arklow lifeboat station yesterday (Saturday 14 April) at the end of her fundraising challenge, for which she inspired donations amounting to more than €36,000 for the lifesaving charity.

Hickey covered over 1,507 miles - the equivalent of 57 marathons - across 18 counties since she began on 1 January, deliberately choosing to run anti-clockwise in the winter months, as a nod to the tough conditions RNLI crews often face on the water.

“Once I started, there was no other thought in my mind other than ‘I will get this done.’ I could think of no better organisation to do this for,” Hickey told TheJournal.ie, which has more on her story HERE.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

At 6.29pm on Saturday April 14, Lough Derg RNLI was requested to launch by Valentia Coast Guard to assist a lone sailor on a 30–ft yacht aground in Scariff Bay

At 6.40pm, the lifeboat launched with helm Dom Sharkey, Eleanor Hooker and Ger Egan on board. The RNLI volunteers located the vessel at 6.57pm. Winds were south-southeasterly, Force 5. Visibility was good.

Killaloe Coast Guard was also on scene and took the yacht off the sandy bank. Lough Derg RNLI volunteers stayed on scene until satisfied that all was well and no further assistance required.

The lifeboat departed the scene at 7.17pm, and was ready for service again at 7.59pm

Lifeboat helm Dom Sharkey advises boat users to ‘enjoy the lake, but make sure you check weather forecasts for Lough Derg, and to let someone know when you expect to reach harbour. Remember always to carry a means of communication, such as VHF marine radio and/or mobile phone.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Pagers sounded yesterday (Wednesday 11 April) for the volunteers from Portaferry  RNLI to assist a man onboard an 18ft yacht experiencing problems off the Co Down coast.

The yachtsman was two miles from the entrance to Strangford Lough when he got into difficulty.

Portaferry’s volunteer crew launched their inshore lifeboat at 2.33pm in cloudy conditions, with good visibility and a Force 4-5 easterly wind.

Sea conditions at the time of launch were moderate, but when the RNLI crew arrived on scene at 2.50pm, they were met by very rough seas and large swells.

Having assessed the situation, the lifeboat helm deemed that it would be too dangerous to attempt a tow due to the extremely challenging conditions they were experiencing. Instead, a volunteer crew member was put on board the casualty vessel to help sail it into Ardglass  Harbour.

Also in attendance were a volunteer crew from Newcastle RNLI onboard their all-weather lifeboat, standing by to offer assistance if required.

The Portaferry lifeboat then escorted the casualty vessel to the safety of the pontoons at Ardglass and into the hands of the Newcastle Coastguard team.

Commenting on the rescue, Portaferry RNLI lifeboat operations manager Simon Rogers said: “Our volunteer crew faced challenging conditions during this rescue, encountering extremely rough sea conditions. The man onboard the casualty vessel did the right thing calling for help before things got out of hand.

“We would like to stress at this time, when more and more boats are returning to the water, that everyone planning any sea trip [should] respect the water and take all necessary precautions.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The Irish Mirror reports that a man has died after a fishing boat capsized off the Mayo coast yesterday afternoon (Tuesday 10 April).

It’s understood that the deceased was a man in his 50s from North Mayo. He was one of three men recovered from a life raft some 16 miles off Eagle Island after their vessel sank.

Ballyglass RNLI and the Irish Coast Guard’s Sligo-based helicopter Rescue 118 were immediately tasked to search the area when a Mayday broadcast was picked up shortly after 12.30pm.

Rescue 118 spotted flares less than an hour later and proceeded to airlift the casualties for transfer to Sligo University Hospital.

Published in News Update

Lough Derg RNLI launched yesterday afternoon following a request from Valentia Coast Guard to assist two people after their 40ft–cruiser grounded inside the red navigation mark by Hare Island.

The lifeboat, with helm Ger Egan, Owen Cavanagh and Delia Ho on board located the vessel at 1.50pm. Winds were southeasterly, Force 5. Visibility was good.

Both passengers were found to be safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets.

An RNLI volunteer was transferred across to the casualty vessel where he checked that the vessel was not holed or suffered damage to its propellers or rudder.

The cruiser was taken off the rocks and continued its onward journey without further assistance from the lifeboat.

‘Enjoy the lake, but make sure you plan your trip and ensure you stay the correct side of navigation marks on the lake’

The lifeboat departed the scene at 2.11pm, and was ready for service again at 2.36pm

Lifeboat helm Ger Egan advises boat users to ‘enjoy the lake, but make sure you plan your trip and ensure you stay the correct side of navigation marks on the lake’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Larne RNLI launched their inshore lifeboat Terry yesterday afternoon (Sunday 25 March) to a 21ft motor vessel experiencing engine difficulties near Browns Bay.

The inshore lifeboat launched at 3.22pm and quickly made its way to the scene at Skernaghan Point, north east of Brown’s Bay.

On arrival, the volunteer lifeboat crew secured a line to the motorboat and assessed the two people onboard to ensure they were safe and well. Both casualties were in good spirit and both had lifejackets on.

Weather conditions were good with a light wind and good visibility. There was a slight swell running into Skernaghan Point and although the men onboard had deployed an anchor it was not holding. The motorboat was drifting towards the rocks so the lifeboat crew quickly established a towline. The lifeboat brought the motorboat into the safety of Ballylumford harbour where they were met by Portmuck Coastguard team.

Speaking following the call out, Larne RNLI Helm Chris Dorman said: ‘All the crew training was put into action today to ensure that our first call out of 2018 was carried out safely and efficiently. While you can be equipped for most situations there is always that one event to crop up and thankfully these responsible men called the lifeboat immediately, saving both them and their boat from running aground. An excellent team effort ensured that the tow line was set up speedily and the two men onboard were brought to the safety of shore without delay.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Dun Laoghaire RNLI has rescued seven teenagers this afternoon after they got into difficulty when walking on Sandymount Strand on Dublin Bay.

The volunteer lifeboat crew was requested to launch their inshore lifeboat at 2.24pm at the request of the Irish Coast Guard after one of the group of students raised the alarm.

The inshore lifeboat helmed by Mark McGibney and with crew member Adam O'Sullivan onboard, launched in four minutes and made their way to the scene some four nautical miles out from the station, in what were described as flat calm weather conditions.

The Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 from Dublin was also tasked.

Once on scene the crew observed the seven casualties dry, safe and well on a sandbank but surrounded by water. The group had got into difficulty when caught by an incoming tide.

The lifeboat crew proceeded to walk the lifeboat into the shallow area where the teenagers then transferred themselves onto the lifeboat. The helicopter meanwhile hovered over and stood by as the casualties were safely taken onboard the lifeboat. The lifeboat was brought into deeper water before the engine was started and it made its way back to the lifeboat station escorted by the helicopter overhead.

Speaking following the call out, Dun Laoghaire Helm Mark McGibney said: 'We would like to commend the group for raising the alarm when they got into trouble, that was the right thing to do. As the weather picks up and as we begin the Easter holidays, we would remind everyone to enjoy themselves but to always respect the water. Check the weather conditions and tide times before planning your activity and if you do get into difficulty dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Baltimore RNLI were called out in the early hours of yesterday morning (Friday 23 March) to a fishing trawler with five people on board which had broken down close to shore.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 5.20am after the Irish Coast Guard requested  assistance for a 22m fishing trawler that had suffered engine failure close to the shoreline off the West Cork harbour’s mouth. 

Arriving on scene six minutes later, the lifeboat found the casualty vessel had an anchor shot and the crew, all in lifejackets, were working to resolve their mechanical difficulties. Weather conditions at the time had a south-westerly Force 5 wind and a 1.5m sea swell with good visibility.

Within 20 minutes, the trawler was underway by its own power, under escort of the Baltimore lifeboat, to the safety of Baltimore Harbour.

Speaking following the callout, Baltimore RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer Kate Callanan said: If your boat is in danger close to the shoreline, always remember to try not to panic. 

“Use the resources available such as deploying an anchor, ensure all people aboard are in lifejackets and seek assistance as soon as possible. If you get into difficulty at sea or on the coast, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

The volunteer crew on this callout were coxswain Kieran Cotter, mechanic Cathal Cottrell, Pat Collins, Davie Ryan, Colin Whooley, Aidan Bushe, Emma Lupton and Don O’Donovan. Sean McCarthy assisted at Baltimore lifeboat station.

Elsewhere on the Irish coast, Skerries RNLI launched to reports of individuals in distress on two separate occasions earlier this week.

Shortly after 4am on Monday morning (19 March), Skerries volunteers launched their Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat after Dublin Coast Guard received a call that a person in distress had entered the water near Laytown.

The lifeboat, with Emma Wilson at the helm and crewed by Steven Johnson, JP Tanner and Paddy Dillon, had just launched the boat when they were stood down as a garda had managed to help the person ashore to a waiting ambulance.

The lifeboat launched again on Tuesday evening (20 March) shortly after 11.30pm, this time helmed by Peter Kennedy with volunteers Jack Keane, JP Tanner and Paddy Dillon on board. 

Concerns had been raised about a person who was in danger of entering the water near Bettystown. Again the lifeboat was stood down shortly after launching as shore-based emergency services had taken the person into their care.

Speaking about the callouts, Skerries RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: “It’s been a restless start to the week for our volunteers, but they are always ready to answer any call for help. 

“The most important thing is that there wasn’t a tragic outcome in either case and we hope that the casualties make a full and speedy recovery.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and marine clothing giant Helly Hansen have today announced a new strategic partnership that will support the lifesaving charity’s aim of defeating drowning.

Helly Hansen, the global technical sailing brand founded in Norway in 1877, has committed to supporting the RNLI for the next five years through a variety of life-saving activities. These include delivering drowning prevention messages to their customers, generating income, supporting fundraising and safety campaigns, product innovation and supplying the very best kit to the RNLI’s lifesavers.

Combining almost 350 years of rich heritage, innovation and expertise at sea, the RNLI and Helly Hansen share core brand values, history and experience – making this the perfect partnership for both organisations.

Supplying the RNLI with new all-weather lifeboat crew kit, Helly Hansen has worked with the lifesaving charity to ensure the professional-grade gear will meet the demanding needs of the RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crews. The new clothing is due to go on service from September 2018.

RNLI Chief Executive, Paul Boissier, said: ‘We are delighted to announce this partnership with Helly Hansen, a highly respected and trusted global technical apparel brand. Through this new alliance, we’ll be able to reach even more people with our vital safety messages, with Helly Hansen committed to helping us achieve our ambition of reducing drowning.

‘Helly Hansen will provide our lifesavers with the very best kit to wear when they’re saving lives at sea. Our new all-weather lifeboat kit is due to start going on service from September and our beach lifeguards will receive their new kit next year.

‘In addition to sharing our drowning prevention advice and supplying lifesaving kit, Helly Hansen has pledged to generate income, fundraise for us, provide us with preferential financial terms and make a very generous gift in kind donation, to which we are extremely grateful.’ 

Paul Stoneham, Chief Executive Officer, Helly Hansen, said: ‘As a brand that defines itself through its work with professionals for over 140 years, Helly Hansen has a tremendous amount of respect for the RNLI’s mission, heritage and the individuals that have built and continue to sustain this critical institution.

‘We are both proud and humbled by the serious nature of supporting those who willingly help others in their time of need, and we are motivated by the shared ambition of broadening water safety awareness and the reduction of drownings. We look forward to our work together and the continued development of a long-term partnership that we can all be proud of.’

Designed to allow greater freedom of movement, the new all-weather lifeboat kit provides better endurance levels and comfort for the charity’s crew members 

Waterproof, breathable and considerably lighter than the kit it will replace, the technical layering system will ensure crew members will keep warm and dry when they’re out saving lives in all conditions. The kit comes in a wide range of sizes, with versions tailored to fit male and female crew members. 

Kieran O’Connell, lifeboat mechanic at Dun Laoghaire RNLI was one of 60 crew members from six lifeboat stations across Ireland and the UK who trialled the new Helly Hansen gear. He said: ‘The new all-weather lifeboat kit is fantastic. It’s much lighter than the old kit and uses breathable fabric, which is ideal for the more demanding tasks we often need to carry out. While trialling the kit it was reassuring to find that it kept you both warm and dry, even while out at sea in harsh conditions.’ 

The new kit also has a version tailored for female crew members. This ensures the clothing is a better fit and is comfortable to wear for hours spent at sea.

The new kit will be rolled out to all RNLI stations with an all-weather lifeboat including the twenty-five based in Ireland.

As well as the new all-weather lifeboat crew gear and the lifeguard kit, Helly Hansen will also supply corporate clothing and uniforms for RNLI staff.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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