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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

Lough Derg RNLI assists a family of four on a 32ft cruiser that ran aground by Parker’s Point, on the Tipperary shore.

At 5.35 pm today, Wednesday, July 1, Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI to go to the assistance of four people on a 32ft cruiser that ran aground by Parker’s Point, on the Tipperary shore. At 5.53 pm the lifeboat Jean Spier launched with helm Eleanor Hooker, and crew members Keith Brennan, Joe O’Donoghue and Doireann Kennedy on board. The wind was north-easterly, Force 3. Visibility was good.

Initially, there was some uncertainty regarding the casualty vessel’s location. The first report was that it was aground off Cribby Island, near Mountshannon on the County Clare shore. However, as the lifeboat approached the search area, the crew spotted a boat fitting the description of the casualty vessel close to the Tipperary shore, off Parker’s Point.

As the approach to the casualty vessel was particularly rocky, the lifeboat crew used navigation charts and depth soundings as it neared the cruiser, and was alongside at 6.10 pm. The four people on board, two adults, an infant and a child, were all safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets.

An RNLI crew member was transferred to the casualty boat and once he was satisfied the boat was not holed, set up for a tow. The lifeboat towed the vessel from the stern as rocks off the bow were visible above water.

Once in safe water and with the assistance of the RNLI crew member on board, the skipper made sure all drives and the propeller were in good working order.

The lifeboat accompanied the cruiser to Garrykennedy, the safest, closest harbour, where, at 7 pm, an RNLI volunteer helped to secure the boat safely alongside the quay.

Jeremy Freeman, Deputy Launching Authority at Lough Derg RNLI advises boat owners to ‘ensure you study your charts and remain within the navigation channels’.

The lifeboat returned to Station and was ready for service once more at 7.30 pm.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Dr John Killeen of Galway, noted engineer, businessman, national administrator and sailing enthusiast, has been elected as Chairman of Irish Lifeboats in succession to David Delamer of Howth, with the Galwayman also continuing in his role as a member of the main board of the parent body, the RNLI.

Apart from his significant and varied contribution to sailing administration, which has included Chairing the Committees which oversaw the two visits to Galway of the Volvo Ocean Race, Dr Killeen’s own special sailing project – working with innovative boat-builder Dan Mill in Galway – has been the building of the elegant and successful 70ft fast sailing cruiser Nimmo from scratch, a highly-complex construction operation which has been rewarded with the completion of many successful voyages.

70ft Nimmo newly-launched in Galway Docks, after being built by Dan MillGalway built, Galway sailed – the 70ft Nimmo newly-launched in Galway Docks, after being built by Dan Mill in close co-ordination with innovative owner John Killeen. Photo: Jim Grealish

In addition, Dr Killeen’s special administrative abilities saw him being appointed last year for a second five year term as Chairman of the Marine Institute, Ireland’s highly-regarded oceanographic research and analysis organisation, which is based in impressive premises at the head of Galway Bay, and leads in extensive Atlantic discoveries through research vessels based in Galway Docks.

RV Celtic Explorer is one of the Irish Marine Institute’s Galway-based oceanographic research shipsRV Celtic Explorer is one of the Irish Marine Institute’s Galway-based oceanographic research ships

Originally from Roscommon, John Killen made his mark as an innovative civil engineer, based in Galway and completing many major infrastructural projects, often using techniques and materials which were revolutionary at the time. His personal professional hero is the 19th Century engineer Alexander Nimmo (1783-1832), who did so much to improve the harbours and roads of the west of Ireland, and apart from naming his cruiser in honour of Nimmo, John Killeen also supported the production of the definitive biography of Nimmo by Noel Wilkins, first published in hardback in 2009, and since brought out in paperback in 2016.

Dr John Killeen at the conferring of his Honorary Doctorate at NUIG in 2010 Dr John Killeen at the conferring of his Honorary Doctorate at NUIG in 2010

His remarkable administrative talents have been deployed at local, regional and national level, with his voluntary input ranging from serving as a Flag Officer of Galway Bay Sailing Club (of which he is now an Honorary Member) to his longtime contribution to running the lifeboats, while he also serves as Chairman of five charities and is the active President of the Timoney Leadership Institute, which functions at both national and international levels.

He was popularly acclaimed as an Honorary Freeman of Galway City in 2013, and today his quietly-made yet very effective contribution to Irish life at a national level is widely recognised. John Killeen is the embodiment of the old saying that if you want anything done, and done well, then ask a busy many to do it.

This video of Dr John Killeen discussing the work of the Timoney Leadership Institute tells us much:

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI rescued an angler who had slipped and fallen into the water at Dun Laoghaire’s West Pier today (Tuesday 30 June)

The volunteer lifeboat crew were paged following a report made to the Irish Coast Guard that an angler was in difficulty after falling into the water. The man was with a group who alerted them of the incident.

The inshore lifeboat was launched immediately at 13:44 pm and made its way to the scene arriving at 13:49 pm, just minutes after launching. Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard shore unit also attended the scene.

Weather conditions at the time were described as good with a calm sea, light wind, and good visibility.

On arrival, the lifeboat crew assessed the situation and quickly transferred the man on board the lifeboat. They carried out a casualty care assessment and with the casualty deemed in good health, they returned to Dun Laoghaire Harbour where the casualty was placed into the care of an awaiting HSE ambulance crew for a secondary medical assessment.

Speaking following the call out, Mark McGibney, Dun Laoghaire RNLI Lifeboat Coxswain said: ‘ The outcome of this incident was a positive one and the group of anglers who were with the man when the incident happened did the right thing by calling the Irish Coast Guard and asking for help. It is important that shore anglers remember that should they get into difficulty or see someone getting into difficulty to dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Irish Coast Guard.’

Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat was requested to launch on Monday afternoon to a horse that had bolted into the water off Murvagh beach in County Donegal.

The call was made by lifeguards on duty at the beach to Malin Head Coast Guard just after 5:40 pm on Monday (29th June) and the lifeboat was requested to launch.

On arrival at Murvagh, the lifeboat crew came across the horse over one mile from the shore and gradually coaxed it back to the shore where its owner was waiting.

After almost one hour the horse was eventually reunited with its owner.

Helm Killian O’Kelly speaking on return to the station said “this was another callout with a good outcome. Animals are as prone as people to get in trouble in the water and we were glad to be able to help out on this occasion. Remember if you see someone in difficulty on the coast call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Portrush RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat ran aground temporarily as it assisted an angling boat in difficulty in the Foyle Estuary yesterday afternoon (Sunday 28 June).

The volunteer crew had launched at 3.40pm to reports of a 24ft angling boat in difficulty at the entrance to the Foyle Estuary.

Weather conditions at the time were near gale-force with winds gusting from the west, which made the rescue challenging.

On arriving at the scene, the lifeboat crew established a tow line with the fishing vessel at around 4.27pm and proceeded at a slow speed back to Portrush Harbour in Co Antrim where it arrived about an hour later.

In the extreme weather conditions, the lifeboat temporarily went aground while assisting the casualty vessel to reach the pontoon.

As a safety precaution, the all-weather lifeboat was taken off service to allow a full inspection take place today. Portrush RNLI’s inshore lifeboat remains on service.

The volunteer lifeboat crew acknowledged the help given by local fisherman Richard Connor and the local coastguard team in assisting the lifeboat to get onto the pontoon.

Both the lifeboat crew and the crew of the angling boat were unharmed.

However, it’s understood that a member of the coastguard sustained a hand injury in helping at the scene. Portrush RNLI sends him their best wishes for a full recovery.

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Portaferry RNLI launched twice in three days to reports of broken down boats in the same area of Strangford Lough.

Portaferry’s volunteer crew launched initially on Thursday evening (25 June) at 9.50pm to assist a five-metre cabin cruiser at the entrance to Strangford Lough which had suffered engine failure after a fishing trip.

The inshore lifeboat towed the vessel to Portaferry Marina, handed the vessel to the local coastguard and assisted with berthing.

Portaferry’s lifeboat volunteers launched again yesterday afternoon (Saturday 27 June) at 5.07pm to tow to safety a seven-metre RIB which had suffered engine failure at the south end of Rock Angus, at the beginning of Strangford Lough.

Commenting on the callouts, lifeboat helm Colin Conway said: “As this is a busy period for Portaferry RNLI, we ask you to remember to have all your communication devices in good working order, to follow safety advice to stay as safe as you can, and always to respect the water.”

Skerries RNLI volunteers towed a jet ski with a man and woman on board to safety after they broke down near Barnageeragh beach in North Co Dublin.

Shortly after 5pm yesterday evening (Friday 26 June), the volunteers launched the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat following a 999 call to Dublin Coast Guard from a jet ski that had broken down.

They located the casualty in shallow water near a large rocky outcrop between Barnageerah and Balbriggan.

The man and woman were taken on board the lifeboat while the jet ski was taken under tow, and they were returned safely to the slipway at the lifeboat station in Skerries.

Speaking about the callout, volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: “You never know when something is going to go wrong, so we’d like to remind anyone going to sea to carry a means of contacting the shore to call for help.”

Elsewhere, Wicklow RNLI brought three fishermen to safety on Thursday afternoon (25 June) after their 12-metre vessel developed mechanical problems off the Wicklow coast.

The alarm was raised after the vessel which was fishing for whelk broke down and lost all propulsion.

Crew on the all-weather lifeboat Jock & Annie Slater located the stricken vessel about nine miles north of Wicklow Harbour, and towed it back to the harbour where it was brought safely alongside the South Quay.

Published in Jetski

This morning Newcastle RNLI were tasked along with their colleagues from Newcastle and Kilkeel Coastguard to assist a casualty who had trapped his foot under the vehicle with an incoming tide while in the process of trying to launch their boat.

On arrival at the scene, the crew found the casualty had managed to free his foot and Newcastle RNLI tractor assisted the vehicle, which had now become bogged in the soft sand along with boat and trailer back off the shore to safety.

Newcastle NIFRS were also tasked along with PSNI and Belfast CGOC co-ordinated the incident.

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Donaghdee RNLI volunteer crew launched their all-weather lifeboat this afternoon at the request of UK Coastguard after reports of a person in the water following a jetski incident at Millisle, Co. Down.

At 1.45 pm UK Coastguard requested Donaghadee RNLI all-weather lifeboat launch after reports from a member of the public that a person had come off their jetski and was in the water approximately 200 yards from the lagoon in Millisle and being carried further out to sea.

Launching at 1.53 pm the volunteers of lifeboat Saxon, made full speed in slight sea conditions with a light northwesterly wind and excellent visibility. A local kayaker assisted the casualty while the lifeboat was en route. Two members of the public also attempted to swim out and assist but conditions prevented them from doing so.

Arriving on-scene at 2 pm with the inflatable daughter lifeboat at the ready, Saxon got as close as possible in shallow waters with close proximity to rocks, the crew attracted the attention of the kayaker who brought the casualty alongside the lifeboat where he was stabilised and brought onboard. He was assessed by a crew member and given casualty care as he was feeling the effects of the cold water. He was transferred to the care of the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service in Donaghadee Harbour. Air Ambulance was also on scene.

Philip McNamara, RNLI Coxswain at Donaghadee said ‘ We would not advise the public to attempt a rescue themselves in these situations as it puts them at risk also, the best thing you can do is always dial 999 and ask for the coastguard as quickly as possible. We extend our thanks to the kayaker who undoubtedly was instrumental in keeping the gentleman afloat while we were en-route. We cannot stress enough the importance of wearing a properly fitted lifejacket and suitable clothing when going out onto the sea – they can safe your life when the unexpected happens. We wish the gentleman a speedy recovery'.

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Union Hall RNLI in West Cork was requested to launch last night (Wednesday) at 9.01 pm to reports of a yacht with engine difficulty in very light winds.

The volunteer lifeboat crew helmed by Chris Collins, with Cathal Deasy and Jordan Limrick were quickly underway to the yacht which was half a mile east of high island just outside Glandore harbour with four persons on board.

A tow line was quickly established between the yacht and the inshore lifeboat Margaret Bench of Solihull, and the yacht was towed back into the pier at Union Hall. The conditions at sea were calm but with little or no wind.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Irish Coast Guard

The Irish Coast Guard is Ireland's 4th Blue Light service (along with An Garda Síochána, the Ambulance Service and the Fire Service). It provides a nationwide maritime emergency organisation as well as a variety of services to shipping and other government agencies.

The purpose of the Irish Coast Guard is to promote safety and security standards, and by doing so, prevent as far as possible, the loss of life at sea, and on inland waters, mountains and caves, and to provide effective emergency response services and to safeguard the quality of the marine environment.

The Irish Coast Guard has responsibility for Ireland's system of marine communications, surveillance and emergency management in Ireland's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and certain inland waterways.

It is responsible for the response to, and co-ordination of, maritime accidents which require search and rescue and counter-pollution and ship casualty operations. It also has responsibility for vessel traffic monitoring.

Operations in respect of maritime security, illegal drug trafficking, illegal migration and fisheries enforcement are co-ordinated by other bodies within the Irish Government.

Introduction

On average, each year, the Irish Coast Guard is expected to:

  • handle 3,000 marine emergencies
  • assist 4,500 people and save about 200 lives
  • task Coast Guard helicopters on missions around 2000 times (40 times to assist mountain rescues and 200 times to carry out aeromedical HEMS missions on behalf of the HSE), Coast Guard volunteer units will respond 1000 times and RNLI and community lifeboats will be tasked by our Coordination Centres about 950 times
  • evacuate medical patients off our Islands to hospital on 100 occasions
  • assist other nations' Coast Guards about 200 times
  • make around 6,000 maritime safety broadcasts to shipping, fishing and leisure craft users
  • carry out a safety on the water campaign that targets primary schools and leisure craft users, including at sea and beach patrols
  • investigate approximately 50 maritime pollution reports

The Coast Guard has been around in some form in Ireland since 1908.

List of Coast Guard Units in Ireland

  • Achill, Co. Mayo
  • Ardmore, Co. Waterford
  • Arklow, Co. Wicklow
  • Ballybunion, Co. Kerry
  • Ballycotton, Co. Cork
  • Ballyglass, Co. Mayo
  • Bonmahon, Co. Waterford
  • Bunbeg, Co. Donegal
  • Carnsore, Co. Wexford
  • Castlefreake, Co. Cork
  • Castletownbere, Co. Cork
  • Cleggan, Co. Galway
  • Clogherhead, Co. Louth
  • Costelloe Bay, Co. Galway
  • Courtown, Co. Wexford
  • Crosshaven, Co. Cork
  • Curracloe, Co. Wexford
  • Dingle, Co. Kerry
  • Doolin, Co. Clare
  • Drogheda, Co. Louth
  • Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin
  • Dunmore East, Co. Waterford
  • Fethard, Co. Wexford
  • Glandore, Co. Cork
  • Glenderry, Co. Kerry
  • Goleen, Co. Cork
  • Greencastle, Co. Donegal
  • Greenore, Co. Louth
  • Greystones, Co. Wicklow
  • Guileen, Co. Cork
  • Howth, Co. Dublin
  • Kilkee, Co. Clare
  • Killala, Co. Mayo
  • Killybegs, Co. Donegal
  • Kilmore Quay, Co. Wexford
  • Knightstown, Co. Kerry
  • Mulroy, Co. Donegal
  • North Aran, Co. Galway
  • Old Head Of Kinsale, Co. Cork
  • Oysterhaven, Co. Cork
  • Rosslare, Co. Wexford
  • Seven Heads, Co. Cork
  • Skerries, Co. Dublin
  • Summercove, Co. Cork
  • Toe Head, Co. Cork
  • Tory Island, Co. Donegal
  • Tramore, Co. Waterford
  • Waterville, Co. Kerry
  • Westport, Co. Mayo
  • Wicklow
  • Youghal, Co. Cork

The roles of the Irish Coast Guard

The main roles of the Irish Coast Guard are to rescue people from danger at sea or on land, to organise immediate medical transport and to assist boats and ships within the country's jurisdiction.

Each year the Irish Coast Guard co-ordinates the response to thousands of incidents at sea and on the cliffs and beaches of Ireland. It does this through its Marine Rescue Centres which are currently based in:

  • Dublin
  • Malin Head (Co Donegal)
  • Valentia Island (Co Kerry).

Each centre is responsible for search and rescue operations.

The Dublin National Maritime Operations Centre (NMOC) provides marine search and rescue response services and co-ordinates the response to marine casualty incidents within the Irish Pollution Responsibility Zone/EEZ.

The Marine Rescue Sub Centre (MRSC) Valentia and MRSC Malin Head are 24/7 centres co-ordinating search and rescue response in their areas of responsibility.

The Marine Rescue Sub Centre (MRSC) Valentia is the contact point for routine operational matters in the area between Ballycotton and Clifden.

MRSC Malin Head is the contact point for routine operational matters in the area between Clifden and Lough Foyle.

MRCC Dublin is the contact point for routine operational matters in the area between Carlingford Lough and Ballycotton.

Each MRCC/MRSC broadcasts maritime safety information on VHF and, in some cases, MF radio in accordance with published schedules.

Maritime safety information that is broadcast by the three Marine Rescue Sub-centres includes:

  • navigational warnings as issued by the UK Hydrographic Office
  • gale warnings, shipping forecasts, local inshore forecasts, strong wind warnings and small craft warnings as issued by the Irish Meteorological Office.

Coast Guard helicopters

The Irish Coast Guard has contracted five medium-lift Sikorsky Search and Rescue helicopters deployed at bases in Dublin, Waterford, Shannon and Sligo.

The helicopters are designated wheels up from initial notification in 15 minutes during daylight hours and 45 minutes at night. One aircraft is fitted and its crew trained for under slung cargo operations up to 3000kgs and is available on short notice based at Waterford.

These aircraft respond to emergencies at sea, inland waterways, offshore islands and mountains of Ireland (32 counties).

They can also be used for assistance in flooding, major inland emergencies, intra-hospital transfers, pollution, and aerial surveillance during daylight hours, lifting and passenger operations and other operations as authorised by the Coast Guard within appropriate regulations.

The Coast Guard can contract specialised aerial surveillance or dispersant spraying aircraft at short notice internationally.

Helicopter tasks include:

  • the location of marine and aviation incident survivors by homing onto aviation and marine radio distress transmissions, by guidance from other agencies, and by visual, electronic and electro-optical search
  • the evacuation of survivors from the sea, and medical evacuees from all manner of vessels including high-sided passenger and cargo vessels and from the islands
  • the evacuation of personnel from ships facing potential disaster
  • search and or rescue in mountainous areas, caves, rivers, lakes and waterways
  • the transport of offshore fire-fighters (MFRTs) or ambulance teams (MARTs) and their equipment following a request for assistance
  • the provision of safety cover for other search and rescue units including other Marine Emergency Service helicopters
  • pollution, casualty and salvage inspections and surveillance and the transport of associated personnel and equipment
  • inter-agency training in all relevant aspects of the primary role
  • onshore emergency medical service, including evacuation and air ambulance tasks
  • relief of the islands and of areas suffering from flooding or deep snow

The secondary roles of the helicopter are:

  • the exercise of the primary search, rescue and evacuation roles in adjacent search and rescue regions
  • assistance to onshore emergency services, such as in the evacuation of high-rise buildings
  • public safety awareness displays and demonstrations
  • providing helicopter expertise for seminars and training courses

The Irish Coast Guard provides aeronautical assets for search and rescue in the mountains of Ireland. Requests for Irish Coast Guard assets are made to the Marine Rescue Centres.

Requests are accepted from An Garda Síochána and nominated persons in Mountain Rescue Teams.

Information courtesy of Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (July 2019)

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