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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

As the RNLI continues to operate as normal during the Covid-19 pandemic, the charity is still unable to fundraise out in person in the community.

With more people needing the lifeboat crews as they stay home, support from the public is more important than ever — and Carrybridge RNLI in Northern Ireland is one unit that has risen to the challenge by making it easier for people to back their vital work.

The RNLI operates two lifeboat stations for Upper and Lower Lough Erne, at Carrybridge and Enniskillen respectively, and has seen a drop in funds raised locally in 2020 as traditional fundraising activities had to be cancelled.

In many cases, when the lifeboat pager goes off, volunteers will need to abandon homeschooling or work and head to the lifeboat station to answer the call for help.

Stephen Scott, lifeboat operations manager at Carrybridge RNLI, says: “We couldn’t do what we do without the support of the public. The RNLI has experienced a drop in funds locally, but we are rescuing more people than ever before.

“We are facing challenging times and are calling on people to consider making a donation this year to ensure we can continue saving lives on inland waters.

“We have moved our fundraising online in these challenging times and set up a JustGiving page for the lifeboat station where people can donate directly to their local lifeboat station in Carrybridge.”

To support the RNLI at Carrybridge, helping to ensure the charity’s brave volunteers can continue saving lives on Lough Erne, visit their JustGiving page HERE.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Castletownbere RNLI were launched last night (Tuesday 10 February 2021) just after 11.00 pm to go to the assistance of a seriously ill skipper on board a fishing vessel off the West Cork Coast.

Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat was tasked by Valentia Coastguard Radio last night to go to the assistance of a 30-metre Spanish-registered fishing trawler, located south west of Castletownbere which reported that the skipper had suddenly become seriously ill.

The lifeboat was launched within minutes under the command of Coxswain Dave Fenton with crew Marney O’Donogue, John Paul Downey, Kyle Cronin and Donagh Murphy and located the vessel at 12.09 nineteen miles south-west of Ardnakinna lighthouse. Conditions on-scene were challenging with a 3-4 metre swell and gusting east northeast winds up to Force 6.

The lifeboat then escorted the trawler to just inside the mouth of Castletownbere harbour where local pilot went aboard and took command of the vessel. The casualty, a man in his late fifties, was transferred to the lifeboat in calmer waters. The lifeboat then took the casualty to Castletownbere RNLI station where he transferred a waiting ambulance at 2.10 a.m. He was taken to hospital for medical assessment and treatment. Meanwhile, the fishing was safely berthed at Castletownbere Pier. The lifeboat was made ready for service again by 2.20 a.m.

Commenting on the callout Castletownbere RNLI Lifeboat Deputy Launching Authority, Felix O’Donoghue, complimented the crew on its rapid response, maintaining strict COVID-19 protocols and the safe transfer of the ill casualty’.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Galway RNLI Lifeboat recovered a casualty from the Seaweed Point causeway off Blackrock, Salthill tonight.

The alert was raised after a member of the public contacted the authorities at about 5 pm.

The caller reported seeing a casualty at Seaweed point, off Blackrock, while out walking in the area.

The Irish Coast Guard requested the assistance of Galway RNLI Lifeboat and a member of the shore crew drove to the scene. Members of Galway Fire Service also assisted.

The lifeboat launched from Galway Docks a short time later and two crew members together with the Fire Service crew went ashore and carried the casualty on to the vessel.

He was transported back to the lifeboat station at Galway docks, where Gardai and the RNLI lifeboat medical officer assisted.

Published in Galway Harbour
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Crosshaven RNLI Lifeboat crew in Cork Harbour went to the assistance of two anglers today (Saturday, 6 February) after their vessel had mechanical problems, one and a half miles South East of Roches Point.

The volunteer lifeboat crew were paged at 9.42 am this morning and made their way to the 32' angling vessel in reasonably calm seas, before attaching a tow line for the four-mile journey back to Crosshaven. The vessel was made secure at Salve Marine pontoons before the crew returned to station at 11.35 am.

The crew on this shout were Ian Venner in command with Molly Murphy, Peter Lane and Richie Leonard. Commenting after the event, Helm Ian Venner said, ‘The casualty crew
did exactly as they were meant to, and called the Coast Guard as soon as they had a problem.. The engine problems meant they were dead in the water and at the mercy
of the tides. Fortunately, there was only a 10 to 12 Knot Northerly wind blowing them away from the land.’

The lifeboat was recovered, washed down, refuelled and declared ready for service once more at 12.15 pm

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

A dog and his walker were rescued after they got cut off by the tide at Sandymount this afternoon (Thursday 4 February).

Dun Laoghaire RNLI’s inshore lifeboat assisted with recovering the duo from the water and bringing them to safety at Poolbeg beach.

National Ambulance Service paramedics arrived to give the owner a medical check-up.

At the same time, an Irish Coast Guard member and a paramedic gave Hugo the dog some TLC after his dramatic experience, as Hugo can’t swim.

Dun Laoghaire’s coastguard unit reminds the public if you see anyone in difficulty in or near the water, dial 112/999 immediately and ask for the coastguard.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Portrush RNLI’s volunteers rescued two surfers who got into difficulty while surfing at Co Antrim’s East Strand earlier today (Monday 1 February).

The inshore lifeboat launched before 1.30pm following a number of 999 calls to both the coastguard and the lifeboat station, and arrived on scene within four minutes amid fair weather conditions.

It emerged that the two surfers had got caught in a rip current and despite repeated attempts to get back to shore, they realised they couldn’t as they were becoming very tired. They attracted the attention of a number of onlookers who dialled 999.

Once on scene, the RNLI crew quickly recovered the two surfers into the lifeboat and returned with them to Portrush Harbour, where they were handed off to the care of the waiting coastguard team.

Beni McAllister, lifeboat operations manager at Portrush RNLI, said: “Surfing during lockdown has become extremely popular on both our beaches here in Portrush and it is a great pastime both mentally and physically.

“However, rip tides can be treacherous, and we would ask people to take care and check on conditions before entering the water.

“These two surfers did the right thing in alerting onlookers and we are relieved that people reacted very quickly and dialled 999, which allowed us to get onto scene very quickly.

“Remember if you see someone in trouble, dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.”

The crew on this callout were helm Ben Wilson and volunteers Christy Bradley and Daniel Thorne.

Published in Surfing
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The retirement of Kieran Cotter, after 45 years of distinguished service with the Baltimore RNLI Lifeboat, puts the focus on a remarkable individual who combines a busy life afloat with solid community and commercial activity ashore in playing a key role towards the building of Baltimore's prosperity and vitality.

His lifeboat service, as revealed here is probably unrivalled in its variety, and it's no exaggeration to say that he is one of Ireland's best-known lifeboatmen.

His contribution has been augmented by his keen awareness of the lifeboat's larger role in every aspect of an enthusiastic maritime community like Baltimore, and it was during his time as cox'n that the Baltimore Lifeboat sent forth a racing crew which sailed to second place overall in the Inter-services Racing for the Beaufort Cup in Cork Week at Crosshaven.

Published in Sailor of the Month

The Courtmacsherry All-Weather Trent Class RNLI Lifeboat was called out this afternoon at 4.10 pm at to go to the immediate aid of a windsurfer who got into difficulty over one kilometre from shore off Garrylucas Strand near the Old Head of Kinsale in West Cork.

The Courtmacsherry lifeboat under Coxswain Sean O'Farrell and crew of four were underway within minutes and proceeded at full speed to the area of the casualty in rough conditions at sea this afternoon. The lifeboat reached the casualty, who was being blown out to sea, within 15 minutes, and the crew immediately plucked him from the choppy seas to the safe surround of the lifeboat. Once onboard the Lifeboat and assessed by the crew, he was immediately wrapped in blankets etc and brought back at speed to the Courtmacsherry Harbour Pontoon where he was transferred to the RNLI Station House for some further observation in a warm surrounding. He was really glad to be safely ashore and appreciated some hot drinks from Station Crewman Micheal Hurley, after a difficult 45 minutes in the cold rough water. The conditions at sea this afternoon were difficult with offshore winds haven risen in the afternoon and a rough sea developing.

Thankfully a happy ending as his mother travelled by car to collect him from the Station house, with both praising the swift action of the RNLI Lifeboat in carrying out the rescue.

The Coastguard Rescue 115 Helicopter was also tasked to assist in today’s incident.

Commenting on the callout, the Courtmacsherry RNLI Voluntary Lifeboat Operations Manager Brian O'Dwyer thanked all the Lifeboat voluntary crewmembers for the quick response to the Station’s second callout in 24 hours, and carrying out the Rescue so quickly in difficult conditions. He reiterated that is so important to call the rescue services at 112 or 999 quickly once any incident like this occurs and today this resulted in a very fast response to the scene by the rescue services.

The Courtmacsherry Lifeboat Crew involved in today’s callout were Coxswain Sean O Farrell, Mechanic Tadgh McCarthy and crew Paul McCarthy, Denis Murphy and Jim O' Donnell.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The Courtmacsherry All-Weather Trent Class RNLI Lifeboat was called out this Friday evening to assist a man who was in difficulty on board a boat in Ring Harbour near Clonakilty, West Cork. The Courtmacsherry Lifeboat under Coxswain Sean O'Farrell and crew of five proceeded to the area of the causality which was upstream past North Ring Pier on the Clonakilty estuary. The man on board the boat required immediate attention and both the Lifeboat and the Coastguard 115 Helicopter were on scene just after 5 pm.

Assisting in this evenings callout were the Coastguard ground Unit from Castlefreke, the Rapid Response Team and the Clonakilty Fire Brigade along with local personnel etc. In a difficult situation, on dangerous coastline terrain, the man was successfully airlifted from the Boat by Rescue 115 and taken to Cork University Hospital. The Lifeboat stood by as the operation was carried out in the shallow waters just off Inchydoney Island.

Commenting on the callout, the Courtmacsherry RNLI Voluntary Lifeboat Operations Manager Brian O'Dwyer thanked all the Lifeboat crew members for their professionalism throughout this multi-agency rescue. He praised the great dedication of the Crew Members and others who arrived and put the interests of the injured party as a priority in these difficult Covid times. He again reiterated that it is so important to call the rescue services at 112 or 999 quickly once any incident like this occurs

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Working for the Department of Agriculture Food and Marine, Dunmore East Fishery Harbour Centre and liaising closely with the RNLI, Inland and Coastal Marina Systems (ICMS) has designed, manufactured and installed a new berth for Dunmore East RNLI’s all-weather Trent class lifeboat.

Installed in December 2020, the new berthing facility has been built to service the RNLI as well as provide safe and secure access ashore for various users, including cruise ship passengers.

The shared 27m long x 7m wide steel tubular pontoon is a new product from ICMS, employing waterproofing and paint system technologies not previously used on its other projects. Moored on piles, it has a 32m access gangway and is surfaced with durable Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) decking with excellent anti-slip properties, offering all users confident footing on a stable platform.

“Weighing in at 90 tonnes, we fabricated the tubular pontoon in six pieces to make it less challenging to manoeuvre,” says Oliver Shortall, Managing Director at ICMS. “We then joined the pieces together in the dry dock at New Ross Boat Yard in Co. Wexford prior to floating the massive structure and towing it to its new home at Dunmore East.”

Cormac O Donoghue from the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine comments: “Working closely with us to fully understand the brief and what needed to be achieved, Inland and Coastal developed a bespoke solution catering for all stakeholders.

“The RNLI now has somewhere secure for its crew to launch from, allowing them to provide a safe environment for anyone out on the water in the area, while the cruise ship passengers can easily access the bustling fishing village, increasing footfall to local businesses during the tourist season.”

To find out more about Inland and Coastal’s pontoon ranges and unique decking options visit here

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The Irish Coast Guard

The Irish Coast Guard is Ireland's fourth '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.

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

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

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.

Irish Coastguard FAQs

The Irish Coast Guard provides nationwide maritime emergency response, while also promoting safety and security standards. It aims to prevent the loss of life at sea, on inland waters, on mountains and in caves; and to safeguard the quality of the marine environment.

The main role of the Irish Coast Guard is 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. It has three marine rescue centres in Dublin, Malin Head, Co Donegal, and Valentia Island, Co Kerry. The Dublin National Maritime Operations centre provides marine search and rescue responses and coordinates the response to marine casualty incidents with the Irish exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Yes, effectively, it is the fourth "blue light" service. The Marine Rescue Sub-Centre (MRSC) Valentia is the contact point for the coastal area between Ballycotton, Co Cork and Clifden, Co Galway. At the same time, the MRSC Malin Head covers the area between Clifden and Lough Foyle. Marine Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) Dublin covers Carlingford Lough, Co Louth to Ballycotton, Co Cork. Each MRCC/MRSC also broadcasts maritime safety information on VHF and MF radio, including navigational and gale warnings, shipping forecasts, local inshore forecasts, strong wind warnings and small craft warnings.

The Irish Coast Guard handles about 3,000 marine emergencies annually, and assists 4,500 people - saving an estimated 200 lives, according to the Department of Transport. In 2016, Irish Coast Guard helicopters completed 1,000 missions in a single year for the first time.

Yes, Irish Coast Guard helicopters evacuate medical patients from offshore islands to hospital on average about 100 times a year. In September 2017, the Department of Health announced that search and rescue pilots who work 24-hour duties would not be expected to perform any inter-hospital patient transfers. The Air Corps flies the Emergency Aeromedical Service, established in 2012 and using an AW139 twin-engine helicopter. Known by its call sign "Air Corps 112", it airlifted its 3,000th patient in autumn 2020.

The Irish Coast Guard works closely with the British Maritime and Coastguard Agency, which is responsible for the Northern Irish coast.

The Irish Coast Guard is a State-funded service, with both paid management personnel and volunteers, and is under the auspices of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. It is allocated approximately 74 million euro annually in funding, some 85 per cent of which pays for a helicopter contract that costs 60 million euro annually. The overall funding figure is "variable", an Oireachtas committee was told in 2019. Other significant expenditure items include volunteer training exercises, equipment, maintenance, renewal, and information technology.

The Irish Coast Guard has four search and rescue helicopter bases at Dublin, Waterford, Shannon and Sligo, run on a contract worth 50 million euro annually with an additional 10 million euro in costs by CHC Ireland. It provides five medium-lift Sikorsky S-92 helicopters and trained crew. The 44 Irish Coast Guard coastal units with 1,000 volunteers are classed as onshore search units, with 23 of the 44 units having rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) and 17 units having cliff rescue capability. The Irish Coast Guard has 60 buildings in total around the coast, and units have search vehicles fitted with blue lights, all-terrain vehicles or quads, first aid equipment, generators and area lighting, search equipment, marine radios, pyrotechnics and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Community Rescue Boats Ireland also provide lifeboats and crews to assist in search and rescue. The Irish Coast Guard works closely with the Garda Siochána, National Ambulance Service, Naval Service and Air Corps, Civil Defence, while fishing vessels, ships and other craft at sea offer assistance in search operations.

The helicopters are designated as airborne from initial notification in 15 minutes during daylight hours, and 45 minutes at night. The aircraft respond to emergencies at sea, on inland waterways, offshore islands and mountains and cover the 32 counties. They can also assist in flooding, major inland emergencies, intra-hospital transfers, pollution, and can transport offshore firefighters and ambulance teams. The Irish Coast Guard volunteers units are expected to achieve a 90 per cent response time of departing from the station house in ten minutes from notification during daylight and 20 minutes at night. They are also expected to achieve a 90 per cent response time to the scene of the incident in less than 60 minutes from notification by day and 75 minutes at night, subject to geographical limitations.

Units are managed by an officer-in-charge (three stripes on the uniform) and a deputy officer in charge (two stripes). Each team is trained in search skills, first aid, setting up helicopter landing sites and a range of maritime skills, while certain units are also trained in cliff rescue.

Volunteers receive an allowance for time spent on exercises and call-outs. What is the difference between the Irish Coast Guard and the RNLI? The RNLI is a registered charity which has been saving lives at sea since 1824, and runs a 24/7 volunteer lifeboat service around the British and Irish coasts. It is a declared asset of the British Maritime and Coast Guard Agency and the Irish Coast Guard. Community Rescue Boats Ireland is a community rescue network of volunteers under the auspices of Water Safety Ireland.

No, it does not charge for rescue and nor do the RNLI or Community Rescue Boats Ireland.

The marine rescue centres maintain 19 VHF voice and DSC radio sites around the Irish coastline and a digital paging system. There are two VHF repeater test sites, four MF radio sites and two NAVTEX transmitter sites. Does Ireland have a national search and rescue plan? The first national search and rescue plan was published in July, 2019. It establishes the national framework for the overall development, deployment and improvement of search and rescue services within the Irish Search and Rescue Region and to meet domestic and international commitments. The purpose of the national search and rescue plan is to promote a planned and nationally coordinated search and rescue response to persons in distress at sea, in the air or on land.

Yes, the Irish Coast Guard is responsible for responding to spills of oil and other hazardous substances with the Irish pollution responsibility zone, along with providing an effective response to marine casualties and monitoring or intervening in marine salvage operations. It provides and maintains a 24-hour marine pollution notification at the three marine rescue centres. It coordinates exercises and tests of national and local pollution response plans.

The first Irish Coast Guard volunteer to die on duty was Caitriona Lucas, a highly trained member of the Doolin Coast Guard unit, while assisting in a search for a missing man by the Kilkee unit in September 2016. Six months later, four Irish Coast Guard helicopter crew – Dara Fitzpatrick, Mark Duffy, Paul Ormsby and Ciarán Smith -died when their Sikorsky S-92 struck Blackrock island off the Mayo coast on March 14, 2017. The Dublin-based Rescue 116 crew were providing "top cover" or communications for a medical emergency off the west coast and had been approaching Blacksod to refuel. Up until the five fatalities, the Irish Coast Guard recorded that more than a million "man hours" had been spent on more than 30,000 rescue missions since 1991.

Several investigations were initiated into each incident. The Marine Casualty Investigation Board was critical of the Irish Coast Guard in its final report into the death of Caitriona Lucas, while a separate Health and Safety Authority investigation has been completed, but not published. The Air Accident Investigation Unit final report into the Rescue 116 helicopter crash has not yet been published.

The Irish Coast Guard in its present form dates back to 1991, when the Irish Marine Emergency Service was formed after a campaign initiated by Dr Joan McGinley to improve air/sea rescue services on the west Irish coast. Before Irish independence, the British Admiralty was responsible for a Coast Guard (formerly the Water Guard or Preventative Boat Service) dating back to 1809. The West Coast Search and Rescue Action Committee was initiated with a public meeting in Killybegs, Co Donegal, in 1988 and the group was so effective that a Government report was commissioned, which recommended setting up a new division of the Department of the Marine to run the Marine Rescue Co-Ordination Centre (MRCC), then based at Shannon, along with the existing coast radio service, and coast and cliff rescue. A medium-range helicopter base was established at Shannon within two years. Initially, the base was served by the Air Corps.

The first director of what was then IMES was Capt Liam Kirwan, who had spent 20 years at sea and latterly worked with the Marine Survey Office. Capt Kirwan transformed a poorly funded voluntary coast and cliff rescue service into a trained network of cliff and sea rescue units – largely voluntary, but with paid management. The MRCC was relocated from Shannon to an IMES headquarters at the then Department of the Marine (now Department of Transport) in Leeson Lane, Dublin. The coast radio stations at Valentia, Co Kerry, and Malin Head, Co Donegal, became marine rescue-sub-centres.

The current director is Chris Reynolds, who has been in place since August 2007 and was formerly with the Naval Service. He has been seconded to the head of mission with the EUCAP Somalia - which has a mandate to enhance Somalia's maritime civilian law enforcement capacity – since January 2019.

  • 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

Sources: Department of Transport © Afloat 2020

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