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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

Howth RNLI was tasked by Dublin Coast Guard to recover an upturned RIB tender that fell off the rear of a powerboat.

Howth RNLI pagers sounded at 1.00 pm Saturday 21st August 2021 after being tasked by Dublin Coast Guard to recover an upturned rigid inflatable boat that had fallen off the rear of a powerboat.

The powerboat owner had tried to retrieve the RIB but was unsuccessful. They called Dublin Coast Guard and asked for assistance.

The Howth RNLI all-weather lifeboat and volunteer crew launched 12 minutes later and made its way to the scene.

Weather conditions at the time were calm seas with a 6-7 knot southeast breeze and localised thundery downpours.

Howth RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew righted the upturned vessel and took the RIB in tow to the safety of Howth harbour.

Howth RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew righted the upturned vessel and took the RIB in tow to the safety of Howth harbour

Howth RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew righted the upturned vessel and took the RIB in tow to the safety of Howth harbour

Howth RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew righted the upturned vessel and took the RIB in tow to the safety of Howth harbour

Speaking following the callout, Fred Connolly, Howth RNLI Coxswain said: ‘The powerboat owner did absolutely the correct thing, to call for assistance before the RIB drifted into shipping lanes. We were pleased to be tasked and be able to retrieve the RIB before it became a danger to other vessels’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Dunmore East RNLI’s lifeboat volunteers leapt into action on the report of a dog that fell over a 30m cliff near the Co Wexford town yesterday afternoon (Thursday 19 August).

The inshore lifeboat was launched at 2pm at the request of the Irish Coast Guard to locate the little pooch, which had gone over the cliff edge a half a mile to the east of Portally Cove.

Eight minutes later the lifeboat arrived on scene and signed the dog on a ledge at the bottom of the cliff.

Two crew launched the lifeboat’s XP boat and made their way to the cliff base, where one of them was able to climb onto the rocks and rescue Ellie the dog.

Thankfully Ellie was unharmed after her ordeal, and was swiftly brought back to Dunmore East Harbour where she was happily reunited with her family.

Roy Abrahamsson, Dunmore East RNLI coxswain, said: “Weather conditions were good at the time and our volunteer crew did a great job in rescuing little Ellie.

“Our concern with incidents like this is that dog owners may try to get down the cliff after the dog while endangering themselves. Thankfully this was not the case this time; the owners did the right thing in calling for help.”

Yesterday’s callout marks one of the last in Dunmore East for the Trent class lifeboat Elizabeth and Ronald, which is set to be replaced by a new €2.4 million Shannon class vessel next month. Afloat.ie has more on that story HERE.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Achill Island RNLI’s Tony McNamara retires as Lifeboat Operations Manager after 32 years of service to the charity.

Achill Island RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, Tony McNamara has retired after three decades of volunteering for the charity in an operational role. Tony will, however, continue to volunteer with the Achill Island RNLI Fundraising Branch.

Tony has been involved with the RNLI in Mayo since 1989 when a new lifeboat station opened at Ballyglass, the first all-weather lifeboat station to be opened in Ireland since 1929. Tony was stationed in Belmullet Garda Station where he worked as a Garda Sergeant at the time and where he was later promoted to the role of Garda Superintendent. He was further promoted to Chief Superintendent in 2005 before retiring from that role in Castlebar in 2009.

Tony was involved with Achill Island RNLI from its outset in 1994 when the Achill Lifeboat Committee was set up to work towards the establishment of a permanent lifeboat station on Achill Island in 1997. Tony was the Second Coxswain at Ballyglass RNLI until 2002 when he was appointed Honorary Secretary on the retirement of the late Paddy Leech, a role he held until 2005. Tony had at the same time been a committee member at the Achill Island Lifeboat Station since its inception in 1997.

Having moved back to Achill, Tony was appointed Deputy Launching Authority for the station before taking up the role of Lifeboat Operations Manager in 2017 on the retirement of Tom Honeyman. This role saw him managing all operational activities at the lifeboat station, authorising the launch of the lifeboat and the day-to-day management of the station.

As Lifeboat Operations Manager, Tony was also a key link to the fundraising branch where he now continues to volunteer his time to raise the essential funds needed to help save lives at sea. Like all lifeboat stations, Achill Island RNLI relies on donations from the public to operate and Tony very much enjoys the camaraderie and social aspect that comes with being a member of the branch.

Reflecting on the last three decades, Tony who is also a keen angler and a former scuba diver said: ‘The story of the RNLI encompasses the spirit of the volunteer - the crew, the fundraisers and the public who value that commitment and support it so generously.’

While many of Achill Island RNLI’s call-outs are to medical evacuations from Mayo’s inhabited islands, Tony, as Lifeboat Operations Manager, has over the years set off his crew’s pagers for a range of other incidents too including to swimmers, surfers and boat users who found themselves in difficulty.

Some call outs are etched in Tony’s memory. These include the tragic Rescue 116 accident in March 2017 off Blackrock Island which claimed the lives of all four crew members onboard. Tony was the first point of contact at Achill Island RNLI by the Irish Coast Guard and this request was one which would see the all-weather lifeboat, Sam and Ada Moody, and her volunteer crew search for 28 consecutive days. Tony also sadly recalls the tragic drowning of two young siblings, also his neighbours, in Blacksod Bay in July 2001 when he responded with the Ballyglass RNLI crew.

There are better memories too including back in December 1993 when four surfers were miraculously rescued over two miles off Easkey having spent several hours in the freezing, dark sea. Tony was the Ballyglass RNLI Coxswain that night and he remembers the euphoria onboard the lifeboat when all four were found alive.

Following Tony’s retirement, Ciaran Needham has taken up the helm as the new Lifeboat Operations Manager at Achill Island RNLI: ‘I am delighted to be handling the baton to Ciaran and I wish him well in that role’ Tony added. ‘I have no doubt that Ciaran will be very successful in leading the station into the future as we approach the 200th anniversary of the founding of the RNLI in 2024.’

Married to Anastasia for 48 years with three daughters, Ruth, Claire and Lucy, and six grandchildren, Tony said he is looking forward to retirement: ‘I look forward to the freedom from the pager and mobile phones which have been a constant in my life since I joined the Ballyglass crew in 1989 but I will miss the RNLI family and the contact I had with our friends in Malin Head Coast Guard Radio Station who monitor the emergency radio channels day and night.’

When speaking about his lifeboat family, Tony said: ‘I would like to thank my Deputy Launching Authority, Marie Kilbane, herself a former crew member, who covered for me in my absence. Likewise, our Honorary Medical Advisor, Doctor Noreen Lineen Curtis who has always been there for us and was always ready to go to sea when needed. I want to thank all the team at the coalface - our crew who never seek the limelight but who carries a pager day and night to answer the call, I will miss the regular contact with them.

Rob King, RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager, paid tribute to Tony: ‘I would like to thank Tony for his years of operational service with Ballyglass and Achill Island RNLI stations and for his guidance and leadership during his tenure as Lifeboat Operations Manager. I am delighted that he will remain involved with our fundraising team, and I wish him well.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Preparations are well underway to bring the RNLI’s latest lifeboat for the Irish fleet to its new home at Dunmore East next month. The €2.4 million vessel will be the first Shannon class lifeboat to be based in the south-east. It’s a bittersweet moment for the lifeboat crew and fundraisers at Dunmore East RNLI, as the arrival signals the end of the station’s current Trent class lifeboat, Elizabeth and Ronald, which has been saving lives at sea there since October 1996.

The name of the new lifeboat will be William and Agnes Wray 13-41. Dunmore East RNLI crew will bring the lifeboat home the week commencing 20th September, with arrival expected in Dunmore East Harbour on Sunday 26th September at 13.41hrs to coincide with the lifeboats number.

William and Agnes Wray entered the water for the first-time last month at the RNLI college in Poole, where the charity’s All-Weather Lifeboats are built. During the build the station are kept up to date on the progress of their lifeboat, although the Coxswains and mechanics have been unable to visit due to Covid restrictions. The arrival of the new lifeboat means a demanding training schedule for the entire station as they learn how to launch and operate the new vessel. The first crew to be trained onboard the new lifeboat will depart for Poole on the 23rd of August, with the mechanics following in September. Training will continue for some weeks until the entire station is familiar with their new lifeboat and they officially inform the Coast Guard that the William and Agnes Wray is on service and the Elizabeth and Ronald has been stood down.

Say Hello to Dunmore East RNLI's New Shannon Class Lifeboat

The Shannon class lifeboat is the first modern all-weather lifeboat to be propelled by waterjets instead of traditional propellers, making it the most agile and manoeuvrable all-weather lifeboat in the RNLI’s fleet. The naming of the Shannon class of lifeboat follows a tradition of naming lifeboats after rivers but it's the first time an Irish river has been chosen and was done so to reflect the commitment and dedication of Irish lifeboat crew for generations.

Commenting on the news Dunmore East RNLI Coxswain Roy Abrahamsson said, ‘This is a very proud moment for the crew and the community of Dunmore East. While we have huge affection for our current Trent class lifeboat, which has served us so well and brought many people home, we are thrilled to receive a state of the art Shannon class lifeboat, the first of its type to be based in the South-East. It’s a huge investment by the RNLI in lifesaving for this area. This will help us to continue to save lives at sea for generations to come.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Lough Derg RNLI assisted five people on vessels in difficulty across two back-to-back shouts on the lough today, Monday 16 August.

In the first callout, the lifeboat was alerted by Valentia Coast Guard to a 30ft cruiser reported aground close to Mountshannon Harbour in the southwestern part of Lough Derg.

With Eleanor Hooker at the helm and crew Owen Cavanagh, Joe O’Donoghue and Chris Parker on board, the inshore lifeboat Jean Spicer launched at 11.40am in moderate conditions with Force 4 north-westerly winds blowing.

Within 15 minutes the lifeboat had sighted the casualty vessel, which was aground on a sandbar in the bay east of Mountshannon Harbour. The lifeboat took frequent soundings on a cautious approach to the casualty vessel, located in an area known for its sudden shallows.

The cruiser’s skipper was found to be safe and unharmed and wearing his lifejacket.

Given the vessel’s location close to a navigation channel to a small marina, it was decided the safest plan was to take the cruiser off the sandbar and out into safe water. The skipper was asked to drain his water tanks to lighten the vessel.

Soon the lifeboat had the cruiser off the sandbar and under tow to safe water, where drives and rudder were found to be undamaged and in good working order. The cruiser made way under its own power to Mountshannon Harbour.

Upon departing the scene at 12.32pm, the lifeboat crew were requested by Valentia Coast Guard to attend a family of four on a 40ft cruiser broken down by Navigation Mark E at the Goat Road at the lough’s north-eastern shore.

The cruiser had suffered an electrical failure, and the skipper had dropped anchor to prevent being pushed onto a rocky shore.

The lifeboat was alongside within half an hour, finding all on board safe and unharmed and wearing lifejackets.

One of the lifeboat crew transferred across and confirmed that none of the systems on board were working. Given the location and weather conditions, the helm decided to take the cruiser under tow to Kilgarvan Harbour, the safest close harbour.

Liam Maloney, deputy launching authority at Lough Derg RNLI, advises water users to “check the weather forecast for inland lakes and always carry a means of communication. Dial 999 or 112 and ask for marine rescue if you find yourself in difficulty on the water.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Achill Island RNLI was involved in the medical evacuation of a patient from Clare Island at the weekend.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched at 9.29 am on Saturday (14 August) under Coxswain Dave Curtis and with five crew members on board. It followed a request from the Irish Coast Guard to assist with the evacuation of a patient from the island. Sea conditions were flat calm at the time and the weather was overcast with some drizzle.

The all-weather lifeboat Sam and Ada Moody arrived at Clare Island at 9.51 am. Four crew members proceeded to go ashore and prepare a safe landing site for the Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 118 from Sligo which was also tasked to the scene. The lifeboat crew then assisted the island nurse and the crew of Rescue 118 with transferring the patient to the aircraft before they were airlifted to the hospital.

Speaking after the call out, Achill Island RNLI Coxswain Dave Curtis: ‘We were happy to help and would like to wish the casualty well. We train regularly for situations like this and this call out was a good example of a good inter-agency response from our own volunteers here in Achill and our colleagues in the Irish Coast Guard.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The volunteer crew of Youghal RNLI were tasked yesterday (Sunday 15 August) by the Coast Guard to reports of a number of kayakers in trouble near the floating pontoon in Ardmore Bay.

Launching at 3.26 pm under the Helm of Liam Keogh, the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat arrived on scene to discover that the group of eight kayakers had been helped safely to shore by local boat users. The lifeboat crew spoke to those involved and were satisfied that everybody was ok and no further assistance was required.

The Coast Guard then asked Youghal RNLI to check the area for any further water users due to high levels of water activity in the area, as sea conditions were not ideal, with a blustery North East, Force 5 wind and a falling tide.

Speaking after the call out Mark Nolan, Youghal RNLI Deputy Launching Authority said:’ Before embarking on any form of water-based activity be sure to check the local tide and weather conditions, wear a personal floatation device, tell someone where you are going and when you’ll be back and carry a means of calling for help’.

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Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat was launched last night (Friday 13th August 2021) at 8.20 p.m to go to the immediate assistance of a yacht that had broken away from its mooring at Trafrask on the shores of the Beara peninsula in West Cork.

A member of the public spotted the stricken yacht from the shore and was concerned that the vessel would be washed against the rocky shoreline and become damaged. They telephoned the Coast Guard’s Marine Research Coordination Centre in Valentia to raise the alarm.

Castletownbere lifeboat, ‘Annette Hutton’, was tasked at 8.10 p.m. and launched within ten minutes under the command of Coxswain Dave Fenton with crew Marney O’Donoghue, Martin Cronin, John Paul Downey and Aaron O’Boyle.

The yacht was located at 8.45 p.m. in a small inlet known as Trafrask Bay near Adrigole – the boat was aground with no persons on board. Coxswain Fenton described the conditions onscene as ‘calm’. The lifeboat launched its inflatable Y-boat with two crew members and attempted to tow the yacht. However, the grounded yacht would not move so then a tow was then attached to the lifeboat. The yacht was pulled clear and reattached securely to the mooring.

Commenting on the callout, Lifeboat Operations Manager, Paul Stevens stated that: ‘However minor the problem may seem at the time, members of the public should never hesitate to call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard - an early response from the emergency services ensures that situations such as this can be dealt with quickly and effectively’.

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Kilmore Quay RNLI rescued four people early this morning (Thursday 12 August) after their yacht got into difficulty and subsequently sank 50 miles off the Wexford coast.

The volunteer crew were requested to launch their all-weather Tamar class lifeboat Killarney at 2.44am to attend to the 14m yacht which had sustained a damaged rudder 50 miles south of Kilmore Quay while on passage from Dublin to Vigo in Spain.

Under coxswain Eugene Kehoe and with four crew onboard, the lifeboat immediately launched and made its way to the scene. They were updated on the way that the yacht’s crew had made the decision to turn back and slowly make their way to Kilmore Quay.

Arriving at the location at 5.30am, the lifeboat crew checked that all onboard the yacht were safe and well before assessing its situation. It was decided to set up a towline and return the vessel to the nearest port which was Kilmore Quay.

As the yacht began to take on water, the lifeboat crew placed a salvage pump on the vessel. But such was the speed at which the vessel was taking on water, it was not enough to deal with the situation.

A second salvage pump was requested by the Irish Coast Guard helicopter from Waterford, Rescue 117, which was also tasked to the scene.

However, it was decided at this stage to remove the four people from the yacht and transfer them safely onto Kilmore Quay RNLI’s lifeboat. The yacht subsequently sank.

The lifeboat brought the four casualties safely back to Kilmore Quay where they arrived at around 11am.

Speaking following the call out, Kilmore Quay RNLI’s lifeboat operations manager John Grace said: “It is always sad when a vessel is lost at sea but thankfully the crew onboard the yacht was safely rescued and are now back on shore.

“The casualties did the right thing in raising the alarm when they encountered problems in the early hours of this morning which helped to prevent the situation from becoming much worse.

“Despite the best efforts of everyone on scene, the vessel took on a lot of water. Our priority then was to ensure that the casualties were taken off the yacht and transferred safely on to the lifeboat.

“We would like to wish the casualties well following their ordeal this morning and we would like to commend our volunteers who despite the early call and darkness of night, did not hesitate to respond.”

The lifeboat crew involved in this callout were coxswain Eugene Kehoe, mechanic Philip Walsh and crew members Aidan Bates, Sean Furlong and Nigel Kehoe.

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Courtmacsherry RNLI’s all-weather Trent class lifeboat Frederick Storey Cockburn was called out yesterday morning (Monday 9 August) to go to the aid of a 40ft pleasure boat that sought assistance three miles off the Seven Heads in West Cork.

The lifeboat, under coxswain Mark Gannon and a crew of six launched at at 11.40am and reached the casualty vessel 35 minutes later.

Once on scene, the coxswain assessed the situation. As the casualty vessel — with 12 people on board — was completely disabled, it was decided to establish a tow and bring the vessel to the nearest port of Courtmacsherry.

Weather conditions at sea were reasonable and the lifeboat proceeded at a safe towing speed back to safe surrounds of the Courtmacsherry pontoon, arriving there at 1.30pm.

Lifeboat operations manager Brian O’Dwyer said: “It was very prudent to be alerted so quickly of the difficulties onboard the pleasure boat this morning and great that the lifeboat was able to bring the casualty back smoothly to Courtmacsherry Harbour on this, our 19th call out of 2021.”

The Courtmacsherry RNLI lifeboat crew involved in this callout were coxswain Mark Gannon, mechanic Stuart Russell and crew members Mark John Gannon, Ciaran Hurley, Jim O’Donnell, Dave Philips and Conor Tyndall.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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