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Displaying items by tag: Wicklow

It was a long night at sea for Arklow RNLI on Tuesday evening (4 August) as its volunteers launched to assist three people on a yacht in difficulty in the Irish Sea some 25 miles off the Co Wicklow town.

The yacht was intercepted just north of the Arklow Bank amid swells of up to five metres, and its crew were suffering from fatigue and sea sickness.

Worsening conditions meant the yacht was not able to make headway either by sail or its own engine tower, so it was taken under tow by the lifeboat to Wicklow Harbour as the safest and shortest option — eventually arriving at 1.15am, more than six hours after launch.

Lifeboat coxswain Brendan Dillon commented: “Given the prevailing conditions at sea, this could have ended very differently.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Wicklow all-weather RNLI lifeboat launched shortly after 12:45 pm today (Saturday 1 August) following a Coast Guard launch request, to assist a 14-metre ketch with four people onboard near Greystones.

The drifting yacht was located 30 minutes later by Coxswain Doyle and the volunteer crew three miles south of Greystones harbour.

The engine had failed and there was not enough wind to use the sails to get to shore, so the skipper contacted the Coast Guard for assistance. Conditions on scene were calm with good visibility.

A towline was quickly established, and the yacht was towed into Greystones Marina, where the three adults and a child were landed safely ashore.

The crew on the call out were (2nd) Coxswain Ciaran Doyle, Mechanic Brendan Copeland, Carol Flahive, Paul Sillery, Mark Kavanagh and Peter Byrne

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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A 20ft sailing yacht with two people onboard was brought to safety by Wicklow RNLI this afternoon (Sunday 12 July).

The inshore lifeboat launched at 11:45 am with Graham Fitzgerald (helm) and crew Alan Goucher and John Stapleton to reports of a small yacht in difficulty.

The yacht was located four minutes later one mile east of Wicklow harbour, weather conditions at the time were described as sea state slight with force three southerly wind.

Volunteer crew member Alan Goucher was transferred onto the yacht to assist the two sailors after they experienced problems with the mast and their outboard engine failed.

A towline was established and the yacht with two sailors was brought safely alongside the East pier at Wicklow harbour at 12:15 pm.

Second Yacht in Difficulty off Wicklow

This was the second callout for Wicklow RNLI volunteers over the weekend. On Saturday evening Wicklow all-weather lifeboat launched shortly after 7 pm under the command of Coxswain Nick Keogh, to join Arklow lifeboat and the Dublin based Coast Guard helicopter ‘Rescue 116’ in a search for a yacht in difficulties.

The initial reports suggested the yacht's position was nine miles south between Wicklow head and the Arklow wind farm.

Wicklow lifeboat was stood down by the Coast Guard and returned to station at 7:45 pm after the stricken yacht was located by Rescue 116 near Courtown and assisted by Arklow lifeboat.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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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

Portrush RNLI’s lifeboats aided in the rescue of a young man who fell 30 feet onto rocks on the north coast last night (Wednesday 10 June).

Both the inshore and all-weather lifeboats were launched as a precaution due to the nature of the incident, after reports that the man had fallen at Port-Na-Happle just off the Convent Walk, a popular scenic coastal path in Portstewart.

Volunteer lifeboat crew member Dr Colm Watters, who is a consultant at Causeway Hospital’s emergency department, was transferred ashore to assist the local coastguard with the treatment of the casualty before he was passed into the care of the NI Ambulance Service.

Lifeboat operations manager Keith Gilmore said later: “We had the opportunity to do some training with our coastguard colleagues last year and this has paid off in terms of our joint working procedures.

“We are fortunate to have a volunteer with Colm’s expertise on crew and this was invaluable in this incident. We wish the casualty well and hope he has a speedy recovery.”

Earlier in the day, Wicklow RNLI brought three fishermen to safety at lunchtime after their 12-metre vessel got into difficulties off the Wicklow coast.

The alarm was raised earlier in the morning after the fishing boat’s propeller got fouled in ropes near the Codling Buoy.

Crew of the all-weather lifeboat Jock & Annie Slater located the drifting fishing vessel 14 miles east of Wicklow Harbour and quickly established a tow. The boat was safely tied alongside the South Quay at 12:30pm.

Wicklow RNLI brought four fishermen to safety yesterday evening (Monday 27 April) after their vessel got into difficulties off the Wicklow coast.

The all-weather lifeboat Jock and Annie Slater put to sea shortly before 7pm under the command of coxswain Nick Keogh and a volunteer crew, following a launch request from the Irish Coast Guard.

The alarm was raised after the skipper of the fishing vessel made contact by VHF radio to report that a rope was fouled in the vessel’s propeller and they had lost all propulsion.

The lifeboat crew located the drifting fishing vessel 30 minutes after launch, nine miles north-east of Wicklow harbour. Conditions on scene were calm, with light wind and good visibility.

A towline was quickly established, and a course was set for Wicklow Harbour where the fishing vessel with its four crew was brought safely alongside the South Quay as darkness fell shortly before 9.30pm.

The lifeboat crew on the callout were coxswain Nick Keogh, mechanic Brendan Copeland, Tom MacAulay, Carol Flahive, Connie O’Gara and Matt Doyle.

Published in Fishing
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Wicklow RNLI held its annual Service of Remembrance on New Year’s Day (Wednesday 1 January) in memory of all deceased lifeboat volunteer members, sailors from the town and all those associated with the sea from Wicklow.

The ceremony began with a short religious prayer conducted by Fr Donal Roche and Rev Jack Kinkead, who blessed the flowers and wreaths.

After the blessing, coxswain Nick Keogh and the lifeboat crew took the floral tributes out into the bay and placed them on the water.

A minute’s silence was also held in memory of all the former members of Wicklow lifeboat who have risked everything to save the lives of others ever since the RNLI lifeboat station was established in 1857.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Wicklow RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat put to sea at 1.20pm on Saturday afternoon (16 November) after being tasked to assist a whelk fishing vessel in difficulties.

The lifeboat, under the command of coxswain Nick Keogh and a volunteer crew, was alongside the drifting vessel half an hour later, some 10 miles south east of Wicklow harbour.

A rope had been fouled in the vessel’s propeller while whelk fishing and it had lost all propulsion.

Weather conditions on scene had a moderate sea state, with winds north-westerly Force 4 and good visibility.

A towline was quickly established and the fishing vessel was towed into Wicklow Harbour, where the three fishermen were landed safely ashore and the boat was secured alongside the south quay at 4.30pm.

The crew on the callout alongside Keogh were mechanic Brendan Copeland, David O’Leary, Lisa O’Leary and John Stapleton.

Published in Fishing
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Leitrim angler Bernard Kilkenny claimed the World Cup in trout fly angling on Lough Mask last weekend, as Derek Evans notes in today’s Irish Times.

His five trout at 5.73lb secured the title — as well as a boat with 15HP outboard, and a new rod and reel — in what was “the most drawn-out in the 63 years of the championships”, with poor weather meaning three attempts over a whole month were required.

Elsewhere, two anglers caused a headache for marine wildlife lovers in Wicklow yesterday (Sunday 8 September) when they were spotted fishing just meters from a protected seal colony.

According to Wicklow News, the men had ignored signs warning away from the seals, as well as the pleas of several onlookers, but left the area after they were spoken to by gardaí.

It is recommended that the public stay at least 100 metres away from seals as they enter their breeding season and seek safe space on land from September to the end of the year.

Published in Angling

Wicklow RNLI brought two people and three dogs to safety yesterday afternoon (Saturday 24 August) after their 33ft motor cruiser got fouled in ropes off the Wicklow coast.

The all-weather lifeboat Jock & Annie Slater put to sea shortly at 11am, and 35 minutes later located the stricken Welsh motor cruiser 11 miles north east of Wicklow Harbour.

A towline was established and the cruiser was taken in tow back to Wicklow Harbour, but as they approached the harbour the skipper of the cruiser reported his vessel was taking on water.

As a precaution, the crew prepared a pump and the inshore lifeboat was launched to assist. However, the water was cleared with a bilge pump and the lifeboat pump was not required, Wicklow RNLI says.

It added that the motor cruiser was brought alongside the East Pier shortly before 2pm and the two people and three dogs were landed safely ashore.

Much earlier, Baltimore RNLI in West Cork was called out to a yacht in difficulty south of Sherkin Island.

The inshore lifeboat was launched at 12.31am to assist a 30ft yacht, with two people onboard, that was in difficulty in the Gascanane Sound.

The lifeboat reached the casualty vessel within 20 minutes and found the yacht’s crew to be well before escorting their vessel to the north pier in Baltimore.

They assessed the situation and once the lifeboat crew were happy that the crew on board the vessel were okay, they escorted the vessel to the north pier in Baltimore.

Baltimore RNLI press officer Kate Callanan said: “Although they were not in any immediate danger, the crew of the yacht did the right thing in alerting the coastguard [who tasked the lifeboat].

“At the time of the call there was heavy fog, and the area they were in is notorious for strong tides.

“If you get into difficulty at sea or on the coast, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

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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