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#RNLI - Lough Derg RNLI launched to assist two adults on a 30ft cruiser with electrical failure deep in Youghal Bay off Garrykennedy yesterday afternoon, Monday 16 July.

Valentia Coast Guard requested the lifeboat to launch at 2pm to the casualty vessel, which was reported to be on the eastern shore of Lough Derg.

Winds were westerly Force 4 and gusting 5 with frequent heavy squalls, but visibility was good.

The lifeboat launched at 2.10pm with helm Eleanor Hooker, Ger Egan and Edel Knight on board. The casualty vessel was located 10 minutes later and both adults on board were found to be safe and unharmed, wearing their lifejackets, having dropped anchor to prevent drift.

One of RNLI volunteers, a marine engineer, found that the vessel had an electrical fault and prepared the cruiser for tow to Garrykennedy Harbour, where it was safely tied alongside by 3.10pm.

Volunteer helm Ger Egan said: “Given the changeable conditions on the lake today, the skipper did the correct thing to drop anchor and immediately call for help.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Volunteer lifeboat crew with Bundoran RNLI rescued three swimmers last night (Monday 16 July) from the sea off Bundoran Beach after they got caught in a rip current. Sea conditions changed suddenly when the father and his two sons went swimming and the call for help was made.

Bundoran RNLI was called by Malin Head Coast Guard at 8.07pm and proceeded immediately to the scene, a short distance from the lifeboat station. The father and his two sons had been swimming off the main beach in Bundoran when conditions changed. The sea state was showing two to three-metre broken swells and the water was described as choppy. 

The three people were immediately recovered onto the lifeboat and brought back to the station where they were met by an ambulance and taken to Sligo General Hospital. The father and his sons were all wearing wetsuits with one of the group also wearing a personal floatation device. 

Twenty minutes after the lifeboat crew returned to the station, they received another callout to swimmers in difficulty but were stood down when they had managed to get to shore safely.

Commenting on the callout Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Captain Tony McGowan said, ‘Conditions in the sea had been good before the callout but had taken a sudden turn for the worse. It is understood the three casualties got caught in a rip current and were in some difficulty. Thankfully there were able to walk from the lifeboat to the waiting ambulance.’

‘For anyone caught in a rip current the advice is not to try to swim against it or you’ll become exhausted. If you can stand, wade don’t swim. If you can, then you should swim parallel to the shore until free of the rip and then head for shore. Always raise your hand and shout for help. We wish the three people involved in last night’s rescue a full recovery.’

Rips are strong currents running out to sea, which can quickly drag people and debris away from the shallows of the shoreline and out to deeper water. Rip currents can be difficult to spot, but are sometimes identified by a channel of churning, choppy water on the sea's surface. They can flow at 1–2mph but can reach 4–5mph, which is faster than an Olympic swimmer.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Volunteer lifeboat crew at Wexford RNLI were called out three times over the weekend. On Saturday (14 July), the crew were launched at 6:25 pm to a motorboat adrift with engine failure in the Slaney Estuary. The second callout came on Sunday morning at 10:05 am for a yacht aground near the Fort sandbank at the entrance to Wexford Harbour. The final callout was at 7:14 pm on Sunday when the lifeboat launched to attend to the same yacht that had gone aground earlier in the day.

For the first call out the lifeboat crew comprised Peter Scallan (Helm), Frank O’Brien and Robbie Connolly, who took the five-metre powerboat under tow delivering it back to Wexford Quay with the two people on board safe and well. The Coast Guard was alerted by friends of the motorboat’s crew becoming concerned and calling the Coast Guard. Conditions were good with a moderate south-westerly breeze and good visibility. 

The callout to the grounded yacht at the entrance to Wexford Harbour saw the lifeboat under the command of John Michael Murphy with crew Frank O’Brien, Robbie Connolly and Joanna Reid. An eight-metre sailing yacht with five people on board was hard aground on a sandbank just north of the navigation channel. The lifeboat transferred four of the yacht’s crew to the fishing vessel Laura Anne which was standing by to assist. Given the falling tide, it was not possible to tow the yacht successfully off the sandbank. The yacht’s skipper and the lifeboat crew secured the anchor on a long chain leading into deep water and left the yacht in position to await high tide later in the day.

The third callout with helm Frank O’Brien and crew Peter Scallan, Robbie Connolly and Joanna Reid on board, set out from the RNLI station at Wexford Bridge to the sounds of French football fans celebrating their World Cup win on the street outside the Lifeboat Station. The rising tide presented an opportunity to free the yacht from the sandbank, as leaving it there would present a hazard to navigation and a danger to other users of the harbour. With fishing vessels Laura Anne and Aisling J in attendance, the lifeboat put the skipper of the yacht back on board, along with volunteer lifeboat crew Peter Scallan. With some manipulation of the anchor and the assistance of the lifeboat, the yacht eventually broke free of the sandbank and was able to motor back to Wexford Quay under its own power. 

Volunteer RNLI helm Frank O’Brien said ‘thankfully nobody was injured in either incident due to the lifeboat being called promptly, preventing unpleasant experiences becoming emergencies. If you are in difficulty or see somebody in difficulty on or near the water, call 112 or 999 and ask for the Coast Guard’.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The Courtmacsherry RNLI All Weather Lifeboat was called out at 2.20pm this afternoon to go to the aid of a 41ft–yacht that had got into difficulties and sought help just off the Seven Heads in West Cork. 

The Courtmacsherry Lifeboat under Coxswain Sean O'Farrell plus a crew of six launched the All Weather Trent class Lifeboat immediately and proceeded to the area of Cotton Rock where the casualty with five crew fouled its propeller off the rocky shoreline of Travera.

Arriving at the scene at 2.50pm the Lifeboat immediately secured a tow line to the stricken vessel as it was near the rocky shoreline.

Conditions at sea this afternoon were poor with a strong swell and poor visibility.

The Lifeboat brought the casualty into the safe surrounds of Courtmacsherry Harbour and is now safely berthed at the Pier Pontoon. The yacht was on passage from Cobh to Baltimore when the call out for assistance was raised with Valentia Radio Coastguard.

The Crew of the lifeboat on this callout were coxswain Sean O Farrell, mechanic Stuart Russell and crew members Mark Gannon, Micheal O Donovan, Ciaran Hurley, Paul McCarthy, and Evin O Sullivan.

Second Yacht in Difficulty

The soccer-mad Lifeboat crew returned to watch the second half of the World Cup final at 5pm but were soon interrupted again by the sound of their bleepers at 5.10pm as a 35ft Yacht got into difficulty 3 miles off The Old Head of Kinsale.

The Lifeboat was underway immediately and has now reached the lone sailor at 5.40pm. The yacht has now been taken in tow and is proceeding back to Courtmacsherry.

The Lifeboat crew on this callout are Coxswain Sean O'Farrell, Mechanic Stuart Russell and crew members Ciaran Hurley, Micheal O'Donovan, Austin McKenna, Evin O'Sullivan and Sean Maxwell.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Valentia RNLI volunteers launched their all-weather lifeboat yesterday afternoon (Saturday 14 July) to assist a 37ft motor cruiser with three people on board, which had caught fire.

At 1.00pm the Valentia Coast Guard requested Valentia RNLI all-weather lifeboat to assist a motor cruiser on fire four miles south of Dingle harbour. Weather conditions at the time were described as good with clear visibility, force 3-4 with a 3–metre swell.

cruiser fireNearby vessels went to the aid of the cruiser upon seeing smoke billowing from it Photo: RNLI

The motor cruiser was on a passage from Cahersiveen Marina to Dingle harbour when the engine caught fire. Nearby vessels went to the aid of the cruiser upon seeing smoke billowing from it. The three casualties had left their vessel and entered an inflatable craft, prior to being picked up by a local fishing trawler. Arriving on scene our crew members quickly assessed the cruiser which was completely alight. They then proceeded to bring the three casualties on board the lifeboat for a medical assessment. Two of the casualties suffered smoke inhalation and one of which had minor burns.

All were treated on board the lifeboat by our medical trained crew members and were then transported to Dingle harbour were they met by an awaiting ambulance. All three were taken to University Hospital Kerry for further treatment.

Speaking following the call out, Valentia RNLI Coxswain John Patrick Murphy said: ‘The three casualties were very lucky to have suffered only minor injuries. We would remind anyone to ensure they always have a means for calling help if in difficulty or they see someone else in difficulty and to always were a lifejacket.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Friday 13 July was an unlucky one for a 26ft sports cruiser with engine trouble close to Naan Island on Upper Lough Erne.

Carrybridge RNLI’s inshore lifeboat Douglas Euan & Kay Richards launched at 3.23pm yesterday to the cruiser which had six on board, all found to be safe and well.

After a towline was set up, the lifeboat took the casualty vessel back to Knockninny Jetty and was set to return to station within an hour.

Speaking after the callout, Carrybridge RNLI lifeboat operations manager Tom Bailey said: “As we enjoy this current spell of good weather, we would remind all boat users before going afloat to carry out regular checks of their vessels.

“Also now that the summer holiday season is in full swing, we would ask all users to enjoy themselves but also to respect the water whilst out on the lake.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Yesterday afternoon (Sunday 8 July), Dun Laoghaire RNLI responded to a 31ft yacht with two onboard when their vessel became stranded just off Bray Head.

The volunteer lifeboat crew was requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat at 2.18pm following a report from the coastguard. Weather conditions were near perfect with flat, calm seas.

Once on scene, the lifeboat crew of six checked that the two people onboard the stricken yacht were safe and well before successfully towing the vessel back to Greystones Harbour.

Shortly afterwards, on return to Dun Laoghaire Harbour, the lifeboat stopped to help free a small yacht with two onboard that had become entangled on a pot marker.

Commenting after the callout, Dun Laoghaire RNLI cox Mark McGibney said: “In this incident, the skipper of the 31ft yacht had no choice but to call for assistance, which was the correct thing to do. Both onboard had lifejackets.”

Wearing a lifejacket while on or near the water is part of the advice in the recent joint appeal from the RNLI, Irish Water Safety and the Irish Coast Guard to highlight the risk of drowning during the summer months.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Bangor RNLI’s volunteer crew headed to the shore in front of Royal Belfast Golf Club early yesterday afternoon (Saturday 7 July) to assist in the rescue of a young woman who had fallen to the rocks below.

Members of the coastguard rescue teams from Bangor and Portaferry and a paramedic from the NI Ambulance Service were already in attendance.

However, due to the inaccessibility of the site for vehicles, the inshore lifeboat was requested to move the casualty, a South African national, to a place where she could be evacuated safely.

Arriving at the scene, due to the shallow waters, members of the crew jumped into the water to walk the boat closer to shore.

Coastguard rescue team members then carried the stretcher with the woman out to the boat, where it was laid across the bow of the boat.

The lifeboat then made its way safely to the slipway at Royal North Yacht Club, where the casualty was transferred to an ambulance and onward to hospital.

Bangor RNLI helmsman James Gillespie thanked his volunteer crew of Russel McKeague, Johnny Gedge and Ian Browne, and said: “This was an excellent example of the RNLI, the coastguard rescue team and the ambulance service working together, and we all wish this young woman a speedy recovery.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Enniskillen RNLI brought two people to safety on Wednesday afternoon (4 July) after their boat they were on showed signs of catching fire.

The two people on board quickly used their fire extinguishers while also phoning 999 to ask for the coastguard.

Belfast Coastguard quickly requested the launch of Enniskillen’s inshore lifeboat Joseph and Mary Hiley, which launched with the rescue water craft to the casualty vessel close to Castle Cauldwell, three miles east of Belleek in Co Fermanagh.

On arrival, Enniskillen RNLI were joined by a passing vessel offering assistance. Conditions at the time were warm and calm and no wind.

The volunteer crew checked that the casualty boat and the owners had extinguished the source of the fire and carried out necessary precautions.

The lifeboat set up a towline and brought the boat and passengers to Magho jetty, where they were met by Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service personnel based in Belleek. The boat was checked over again and all were satisfied that the fire was well extinguished.

Following the callout, Enniskillen RNLI helm Adrian Kelly said: “We were happy to assist the vessel back to Magho jetty after the owner had safely deployed his fire extinguishers and prevented serious damage.

“It was encouraging to see that the vessel had adequate safety equipment on board.”

Elsewhere, Dun Laoghaire RNLI responded to a jetskier when his engine failed in Scotsman’s Bay on Tuesday evening (3 July).

The request to launch came in at 7pm after a member of the public alerted the coastguard.

The lifeboat crew of three on Dun Laoghaire’s in-shore lifeboat successfully towed the jetskier safely back to Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

Commenting after the callout, Dun Laoghaire RNLI helm Alan Keville said: “‘It was great to see the jet skier was wearing a lifejacket but he had no means of alerting the coastguard himself. It is essential to always carry a means of communication.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

After four call-outs in three days to help fifteen people, reported earlier by Afloat.ie here, Lough Ree RNLI station has issued a warning to boat users that water levels may be lower than usual and to take more care writes Tom MacSweeney.

Sarah Bradbury, the Station’s Press Officer said that while it was great to see so many people enjoying Lough Ree and all that it has to offer, there was a need to respect the water and to keep to the main navigation channels where the water is deeper.

On Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, the lifeboat crew assisted boats which got into difficulty in incidents which included grounding and losing power.

Lough Ree RNLI Station was set up six years ago, in 2012 and operates an inshore rigid inflatable lifeboat. With a high level of call-outs, it is due to get a bigger boat and a new station building.

I was there in the past few weeks to meet Sarah Bradbury and the Lifeboat Operations Manager, Tony McCarth, who outlined to me, with what has proved to be great foresight, the particular problems of lake and lough boating.

Listen into the Podcast below

Published in Tom MacSweeney
Page 1 of 158

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