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Tramore RNLI were involved in the rescue of two swimmers who got into difficulty off Tramore Beach on Friday evening (9 June).

The volunteer crew were requested to launch their inshore lifeboat at the request of the Irish Coast Guard following a call from a family member stating that her mother and brother were in difficulty off the Ladies slip in Tramore.

Pagers alerted the crew at 5.37pm and the D-class lifeboat — helmed by Dave O’Hanolan and with crew members Ronan McConnell, Noirin Phelan and Will Palmer onboard — launched minutes later at 5.42pm and made its way to the casualties reported position.

Weather conditions at the time were described as sunny and warm with two to three feet of surf and a brisk east to northeasterly wind.

On arrival, the lifeboat crew observed both casualties in the water with the male casualty keeping the female afloat. The mother and son had got caught in a rip current while swimming.

As they were close to the beach, two members of the public who spotted the pair in difficulty had gone into the water with a life ring and assisted in the recovery of the man while the woman was subsequently rescued by the lifeboat crew.

The Waterford-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117, which was on exercise just minutes away, attended and their winchman — a paramedic — was lowered onto the beach to assess the casualties. Both were found to be shaken but otherwise safe.

Speaking following the callout, Tramore RNLI helm Dave O’Hanolan said: “Time was of the essence this evening and we would commend the family member who raised the alarm and the members of the public who with safety in mind first, used a life ring before entering the water. The efforts of everyone this evening resulted in a life saved.

“As we continue to enjoy some good weather, we would encourage anyone planning a trip to the coast or an activity at sea to always go prepared by wearing a lifejacket or suitable flotation device and to always carry a means of communication.

“For swimmers or anyone getting into the water, we would remind people that rip currents can be difficult to spot but are sometimes identified by a channel of churning choppy water on the sea’s surface. Even the most experienced beachgoers can be caught out by rips.

“The best way to avoid them is to choose a lifeguarded beach and to always swim between the red and yellow flags which have been marked based on where is safer to swim in the current conditions. This also helps you to be spotted more easily should something go wrong.

“If you do find yourself caught in a rip, don’t try to swim against it or you will get exhausted. If you can stand, wade don’t swim. If you can, swim parallel to the shore until free of the rip and then head for shore or raise your hand and shout for help.”

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Portrush RNLI was requested to launch by Belfast Coastguard at 8.13pm on Friday evening (9 June) to reports of a person cut off by the tide while climbing around the base of Benbane Head.

The all-weather lifeboat and crew under coxswain Johnny Weston launched at 8.35pm to the scene in perfect weather and sea conditions.

They were guided to the casualty by HM Coastguard who were on the cliffs above the scene.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched the Y boat from the all-weather lifeboat and were able to rescue the person from the pebble beach underneath the cliff, returning to harbour at 9.20pm.

The individual wasn’t injured and was very grateful for the speedy assistance

Charles Grossie, deputy launching authority at Portrush RNLI said: “This was a classic shout for our crew, the volunteer crew launched into a calm sea and a beautiful Portrush evening and were able to arrive on scene very quickly and rescue the person from the base of the cliff and bring him back safely to Harbour.

“As we are now entering our busy summer season, we would ask people [in Northern Ireland] if they see anyone in difficulty to dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.”

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The volunteer lifeboat crew with Arklow RNLI launched in the early hours of Thursday morning (8 June) to reports of a vessel in difficulty some 10 miles south-east of the Co Wicklow town.

In a northeasterly wind with a 1.2-metre wave height, the all- weather Trent class lifeboat Ger Tigchlear made its way to the reported position and once on scene, the lifeboat crew confirmed that the sailboat had suffered engine failure.

It was decided to put a lifeboat crew member onboard the vessel to assist the lone sailor with rigging and running the towline.

Once this was done, the lifeboat took the casualty vessel under tow and returned to the nearest port of Arklow, arriving at 9am.

The Arklow lifeboat crew on this callout were coxswain Ned Dillon and crew members Craig O’Reilly, John Tyrrell, Dave Molloy, Ken O’Toole, Josh McAnaspie and James Russell.

Following the callout, volunteer lifeboat press officer Mark Corcoran said: “It’s been a busy couple of days at Arklow. It is great to see the training that we do paying off, in the assistance we are providing.

“Given the recent good weather, we are reminding everyone to stay safe and respect the water.”

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Helvick Head RNLI was requested to launch their inshore lifeboat yesterday afternoon (Wednesday, 7 June) following a report that two swimmers were in difficulty off Clonea beach.

With moderate seas and Force 4-5 east/north easterly winds, the volunteer crew launched the ‘Robert Armstrong’ lifeboat at 5.22 pm, for the first time this year, following a request by the Irish Coast Guard who had been alerted by a member of the public. 

The lifeboat, helmed by Alan Kelly and with crew members Paidi Breathnach, Simon O’Hara and Rian Kelly onboard, made its way to the reported location. On arrival at the scene at 5.27 pm, it materialised the two teenagers had been assisted from the water by another member of the public who was helping at a swim class, highly proficient in the water and wearing a buoyancy aid. 

Helvick Head RNLI inshore lifeboat  was launched for the first time this year Photo: John FoleyHelvick Head RNLI inshore lifeboat  was launched for the first time this year Photo: John Foley

Two of the lifeboat crew were tasked by the Coast Guard with swimming ashore to clear the area, which allowed the Waterford-based Rescue 117 helicopter to land safely. With local Gardai also in attendance, the situation was assessed, the casualties were found to be safe and well; however, as a precaution, they were transferred to hospital for observation.

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Wicklow RNLI brought three fishermen to safety on Wednesday Morning (7th June) after their vessel developed mechanical problems twelve miles northeast of Wicklow Harbour.

The all-weather lifeboat RNLB Ruth and David Arthur slipped its mooring at 10.45 am to reports of a fishing boat with engine failure. The lifeboat was under the command of Coxswain Nick Keogh.

The volunteer lifeboat crew located the casualty vessel forty minutes after launching in a position 12 miles northeast of Wicklow Harbour. Conditions on scene were wind from a north easterly direction force 4-5, with moderate choppy seas and good visibility.

After an assessment of the situation was carried out by Coxswain Keogh it was decided a tow was the best option given the casualty vessels engine failure.

The tow was established, and a course set for Wicklow Harbour with the casualty vessel being secured alongside at 1.45pm.

The All-Weather Lifeboat was then made ready for the next callout.

This was the first callout for RNLB Ruth and David Arthur in Wicklow. It is based in Wicklow temporarily while RNLB Joanna & Henry Williams receives some planned maintenance work.

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Baltimore RNLI responded to a mayday call earlier this afternoon. 

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 2.55pm this afternoon after the Irish Coast Guard picked up a mayday call from a yacht with five people on board which was in distress near Sherkin Island, off the coast of Baltimore, West Cork.

The Baltimore all-weather lifeboat crew arrived at the scene just south of Sherkin Island a few minutes later, where a 40ft yacht which had become caught in old fishing nets, lost steerage and had been pushed up onto rocks by a strong tide. A vessel skippered by Jerry Smith, a Baltimore RNLI crew member, had also picked up the mayday and was standing by until the lifeboat arrived. Jerry was in communication with Baltimore lifeboat and was able to report that all five people on board had managed to get off the yacht onto the rocks and were away from immediate danger.

Due to the conditions at sea and the location of the passengers, Coxswain Aidan Bushe decided the best course of action was to launch their small inflatable Y-Boat from the all-weather lifeboat with two RNLI crew members on board. David Ryan and Kieran O’Driscoll were able to manoeuvre the Y-Boat around to a more sheltered area of the rock where one by one they were able to pick up the passengers and bring them to the safety of the lifeboat.

The Irish Coast Guard helicopter, Rescue 115, arrived on scene at 3.35pm and stood by, ready to provide assistance if required. Once all the passengers were aboard, Baltimore RNLI crew members recovered their Y-Boat and the lifeboat made its way back to Baltimore, arriving back at the station at 4.16pm. After the lifeboat crew made certain that all were okay, the passengers departed the lifeboat station.

The Irish Coast Guard helicopter reported to Baltimore RNLI that at 3.50pm the yacht had sunk.

There were five volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat, Coxswain Aidan Bushe, Mechanic Nigel Kehoe and crew members Don O’Donovan, David Ryan and Kieran O’Driscoll. Conditions at sea during the call were choppy with an easterly force 5-6 wind making for a challenging rescue.

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Just two days after their back-to-back medevac shouts, the volunteer crew at Aran Islands RNLI were tasked on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon (5 June) to launch their all-weather Severn class lifeboat by the Irish Coast Guard as a person was in need of medical attention on the island of Inis Mór.

The lifeboat launched under coxswain Aonghus Ó hIarnáin and a full crew, who transferred the patient safely aboard the lifeboat and brought them straight to Rossaveal harbour. Conditions at the time of launching were good with calm seas and a light breeze.

The second call to launch came at 6.37pm for a person who needed further medical attention after a fall on Inis Mór. The patient was transferred safely aboard the lifeboat by the volunteer crew after being brought to the pontoon by members of the fire brigade.

Speaking after the callouts, Aran Islands RNLI volunteer press officer Lena O’Connell said: “This was a very busy weekend for the volunteer crew, but they never hesitate to answer their pagers and to help anyone in need, this is what they train for. We wish both patients a speedy recovery.

“As we head into the summer months, we advise the public to always pay heed to safety advice and if going out on the water, let someone know where you are going and when you are due back.”

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Baltimore RNLI was on two shouts within the hour on Sunday evening in West Cork.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at approximately 6 pm yesterday evening, following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to provide a medical evacuation for a man on Sherkin Island.

The Baltimore all-weather lifeboat crew arrived at Sherkin pier a few minutes after launching and once the casualty was assessed by the Casualty Care lifeboat crew member, he was transferred onboard the lifeboat. The lifeboat departed Sherkin Island at 6.45pm but on route back to the lifeboat station they noticed a small pleasure craft which looked to be in difficulty. The casualty vessel with four passengers on board had broken down within Baltimore harbour. Coxswain Aidan Bushe assessed the situation and decided that a tow was necessary.

Within a couple of minutes a secure tow was established and Baltimore lifeboat proceeded to the nearby piers in Baltimore Harbour. Micheal Cottrell, a Baltimore RNLI crew member, was in his own vessel and assisted in berthing the casualty vessel. The Baltimore lifeboat then returned to the station, arriving at 7pm. The medevac casualty was brought ashore and made their own way to Skibbereen for further medical assistance.

Conditions in the harbour during the call out were good but breezy with an easterly force 4 wind and a slight sea swell.

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On Saturday afternoon (3 June), Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI to launch to assist two people on a 15ft speedboat that had suffered damage to one of its propellers and was at anchor three miles south of Terryglass Bay.

At 4.03pm the inshore lifeboat Jean Spier launched with helm Owen Cavanagh and crew Tom Hayes, Chris Parker and Joe O’Donoghue on board. The wind was easterly Force 2 and visibility was very good.

At 4.18pm the lifeboat located the casualty vessel at anchor near Kilgarvan Bay. The lifeboat made a cautious approach and once alongside established that both people on board were safe and unharmed.

Given the location and hot weather, the helm made the decision to take the vessel under tow to safe harbour at Kilgarvan Quay.

Peter Kennedy, deputy launching authority at Lough Derg RNLI advises boat users “to remain with the navigation channel, and in warm weather remember to take plenty of water for your journey”.

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The volunteer crew of the Aran Islands RNLI were asked to launch their all-weather Severn class lifeboat two minutes after noon on Saturday 3 June after a gentleman visiting the island of Inis Mór for the day became unwell and was in need of further medical attention.

With the patient transferred safely aboard the lifeboat, Launched under coxwain Aonghus Ó HIarnáin and a full crew, they headed straight for Rossaveal harbour and the awaiting ambulance. Conditions at the time were good, with calm seas and a light breeze.

On return to the pontoon at Inis Mór, the crew were asked to launch again as another visitor to the island for the day had injured himself while swimming.

The crew transferred the patient safely aboard the lifeboat and headed straight for Rossaveal harbour.

Speaking after the callout, Ó HIarnáin said: “The volunteer crew didn’t hesitate to answer their pagers and get the patients on their way to the medical attention needed. We wish them both a speedy recovery.

“With the good weather forecast to continue, we advise the public to adhere to all the safety advice.”

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