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Displaying items by tag: Skerries

#RNLI - Skerries RNLI volunteers launched for their third callout within seven days yesterday (Saturday 04 July) following reports of a kayaker in distress off Gormanston beach.

The pagers sounded shortly after 11.30am this morning, with the lifeboat – launched with volunteer Joe May at the helm and crewed by volunteers Emma Wilson and Paddy Dillon – proceeding directly to Gormanston.

Once on scene it was established that the casualty had abandoned his vessel and his belongings and swam to shore. The crew located an inflatable kayak nearby and recovered it onto the boat to prevent any hazard to other vessels. Conditions at the time were fair with a Force 3-4 northerly wind.

On the previous Thursday evening (2 July), while on a scheduled training exercise, Skerries RNLI were tasked by Dublin Coast Guard to investigate reports of a personal water craft in difficulty near Colt Island in Skerries.

The lifeboat was on scene very quickly as they were on exercise in the area. They located the casualty and took him on board the lifeboat, towing his vessel to the safety of Skerries Harbour. After a routine assessment he was deemed to require no further assistance.

Four days before that, Skerries RNLI brought four people to safety after their racing yacht was holed when they struck rocks near Colt Island, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - Skerries RNLI brought four people to safety on Sunday afternoon (28 June) after their racing yacht began taking on water after striking rocks near one of the islands off Skerries.

Volunteers launched their Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson shortly after 4pm when reports were received by Dublin Coast Guard that a yacht had struck rocks near Colt Island.


The lifeboat, with Philip Ferguson at the helm and crewed by Eoin Grimes, Simon Shiels and Emma Wilson, made its way directly to the area reported, where the casualty vessel was quickly located.

Having freed themselves from the rocks, the yacht and its crew were making their way towards Skerries Harbour, though water was leaking into the yacht through damage to the hull.

The lifeboat was positioned alongside and a crew member boarded, bringing the salvage pump carried aboard the lifeboat.The yacht was then taken under tow and brought to the safety of Skerries Harbour, where several more volunteer crew joined the others and assisted in getting the yacht on to a trailer and taken out of the water.


Speaking after the callout, Skerries RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: "The RNLI spends a lot of time and effort making sure that our volunteers have exactly the equipment they need to cater for any kind of emergency.

"In emergencies such as this, the salvage pump can be invaluable."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#rtir – It's not the first time that Italian marine technical ace Giovanni Belgrano (he was the nuts-and-bolts man on the Italian America's Cup challenges) has surprised the fleets of modern boats on his adopted home waters of the Solent with an ace performance with his exquisitely-restored 1939 Laurent Giles 39ft centreboard sloop Whooper.

Nevertheless his overall win in Saturday's Round the Island Race was a sweet victory to be savoured with joy. Even more so, writes W M Nixon, when you realise it was all done with a boat from Skerries, County Dublin....

Yes indeed, folks. Through the 1960s and the early 1970s, Whooper was based in Skerries under the ownership of the great Christy Fox and his son Joe.

And here's the Lloyds entry from the register of 1970 to prove it:

who1.jpg
Lloyds Register of 1970, with Whooper at home in Skerries

They'd chosen this unusual boat because her centreboard configuration gave them the shallow draft needed to be able to berth her alongside Skerries pier, rather than having to keep her in that dreadful anchorage out in the open bay. Having been built by Woodnutt's, she was a quality job, full of character, and well able to give a reasonable account of her herself in local races when they were able to get enough of a crew together to make the best of her.

In time she was sold away. But then a couple of years ago the Classic Yacht Regattas in the Solent area started featuring a beautifully-restored Whooper scoring serious wins. It speaks volumes for her owner's joy in sailing that he's at the sharp end of technological development around advanced boats in the day job, yet in his spare time he goes sailing in a very interesting old boat on which he has clearly lavished much loving attention.

who2.jpg
Whooper's hull profile showing how the centreplate was incorporated into the hull without undue intrusion on the accommodation. In that same accommodation, many a boisterous party was held alongside Skerries pier, and in other ports too.

who3.jpg
Whooper's hull lines. She was conceived as a comfortable shoal draft cruise to provide reasonably good performance, but no-one could have imagined that 77 years after she was designed, she'd be overall winner of the Round the Island Race.

who4.jpg
Whooper's rig was an early version of the Laurent Giles "slutter". which could be both fractional and masthead, though during her time in Skerries she was always sailed as a masthead sloop. She also had one of the earliest Laurent Giles' versions of the new-fangled doghouse to give added headroom and better light in the aft part of the saloon.

In all, there were something like 14 boat with Irish links in the 1800-strong fleet which raced round the island, and it seems that the best-placed was Ben Daly's Quarter Tonner Cobh Pirate in 202nd place. That is, of course, if we don't just reclaim Whooper as one of our own.....

Published in News Update

#RNLI - Skerries RNLI saved a man from drowning yesterday afternoon (Wednesday 22 April) as they responded to an emergency call on their pagers.

Volunteer crew member Stephen Crowley was giving one of his fellow volunteers, helm David Knight, a lift ashore from his own boat shortly after 5pm when the pagers were set off.

As they made their way to the slipway at the back of the harbour to get to the lifeboat station, they encountered a man in the water who had become separated from his personal watercraft and was struggling to stay afloat.

They managed to get a rope around the man and help him onto the side of their boat and began bringing the man to shore, where they were joined by two more volunteers, helm Philip Ferguson and crew member Emma Wilson, who were already fully suited up and preparing the boat for launch when they saw the situation unfolding from the lifeboat station.

The man was helped ashore and was assessed for any first aid requirement.

Speaking after the callout, volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: "Fortunately our volunteers were on hand almost instantly. It is important to remember that whatever your activity, wearing a well-fitted and suitable lifejacket or buoyancy aid could save your life."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#CoastalNotes - TheJournal.ie might not take the news entirely seriously, but it's true – Skerries has been named among the 10 most beautiful cities in Europe.

The North Co Dublin coastal town and fishing port might only have a population of 10,000, but Eating Europe Food Tours saw fit to include it alongside perennial continental favourites such as Amsterdam and Barcelona.

And TheJournal.ie has collected a few images that show exactly why Skerries is a jewel to be treasured, even if it isn't really a city!

Published in Coastal Notes
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#RNLI - Skerries RNLI was requested for the first time in 2015 yesterday morning (Thursday 8 January) following a report of a swimmer in difficulty.

The volunteer crew launched their Atlantic 85 lifeboat Louis Simson at 11.30am following a call to Dublin Coast Guard from a concerned member of the public about a swimmer in the water off Red Island headland.

The lifeboat, with Joe May at the helm and crewed by David Knight, AJ Hughes and Stephen Crowley, launched and proceeded directly to the area indicated by the coastguard.

Arriving on scene, it was discovered there was a local swimming group ashore after returning from a swim. After speaking to the group, the volunteer crew were assured that everyone was accounted for.

The lifeboat performed a precautionary sweep of the area before being stood down and returning to station.

The Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 was also on scene and carried out a search before returning to base.

Speaking after the callout, Gerry Canning, volunteer lifeboat press officer for Skerries RNLI, said: "Thankfully in this case our assistance wasn’t required. 

"However, the member of public had good intentions and we would always advise people to dial 999 and ask for the coastguard if they think they see someone in difficulty at sea."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - Skerries RNLI assisted three periwinkle pickers who were in danger of being completely cut off by the rising tide on their return from Shenick Island last Friday evening (24 October).

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their Atlantic 85 Inshore lifeboat Louis Simson at 6.30pm following reports to Dublin Coastguard from members of the public that several people appeared to be stranded on Shenick Island, just off the North Co Dublin town.

With David Knight at the Helm and crew Eoin Grimes, Peter Kennedy and Stephen Crowley, the lifeboat proceeded directly to  the island and carefully manoeuvred into the shallow waters nearby.

Two crew members made their way ashore to assess the situation. The three periwinkle pickers were then assisted in wading through the water back to shore by the crew, with Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 providing illumination from its powerful search lights.

In addition, the Skerries Coast Guard unit was waiting ashore to offer any further assistance required.

Speaking after the callout, Knight said: "We would remind anyone planning on walking along the shore or around the coast to make sure that they check the local tidal information before setting off."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - Skerries RNLI towed a motorboat with four people on board to safety on yesterday morning (Sunday 7 September) after they developed electrical problems and were unable to start their engine.

Shortly after 11am, Dublin Coast Guard requested the Skerries RNLI volunteer crew to launch their Atlantic 85 lifeboat Louis Simson after receiving a report from another vessel of a motorboat in difficulty on the eastern side of Lambay Island.

The lifeboat, with Eoin Duff at the helm and crewed by Conor Walsh, Peter Kennedy and Rob Morgan, proceeded directly to the last known position of the craft to begin a search. At the time of the launch there was a Force 3 northeasterly wind with calm seas.

The motorboat was quickly located at anchor close to the island. A tow was established and the boat, with four people on board was brought safely to Rush Harbour. 



Speaking after the callout, volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: "Sometimes, no matter how well prepared you are, things can go wrong at sea.

"Thankfully another boat spotted the danger and called the coastguard."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - Skerries RNLI towed a group of four adults and one child safely to shore after their motorboat developed engine difficulties.

Skerries RNLI volunteer crew launched their Atlantic 85 lifeboat Louis Simson shortly after 4.30pm yesterday afternoon (Monday 1 September) following reports to Dublin Coast Guard of a motorboat adrift near the Perch marker off Skerries.

The crew could see the casualty vessel almost immediately after exiting the launching trolley and proceeded directly to them.

Once alongside, it was discovered that the outboard engine would not start. A tow was established and the boat was returned safely to shore.



At the time of the launch there was a Force 1 easterly wind with calm seas. 



Speaking after the callout, volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: "This was a good result – most importantly, everybody on board was wearing a lifejacket and the alarm was raised quickly."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - The annual raft race in aid of Skerries RNLI, which has been growing in popularity since its return two years ago, will take place on Saturday 13 September.

The raft race is a great day out for all the family, and the fundraising committee is hard at work to ensure the event is an even bigger success this year. The venue will, as before, be the south strand in Skerries.

Registration for the race will take place at the Skerries RNLI station house on the Harbour Road in Skerries on Sunday 7 September from 2pm to 4pm. The entry fee will be €50 per raft and each raft must be crewed by four to six people.

Lifejackets are mandatory for the event. Mechanical propulsion systems are not allowed and the entry must be a raft. Surfboards, boats, carved foam, etc will be disqualified. All competitors must be over 18.

Speaking ahead of the event, Skerries RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: "The raft race is a great attraction to everyone young and old. Every year the competitors outdo themselves with their creations and we are looking forward to more of the same this year."

Keep an eye on the Skerries RNLI website for regular updates, so keep an eye on the website, as well as the Skerries RNLI Facebook page and Twitter account @SkerriesRNLI.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Page 8 of 13

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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