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A woman living on Cape Clear Island off the coast of West Cork was evacuated by the Baltimore RNLI on Wednesday night. The Irish Coast Guard had requested the medical evacuation, and the volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 11:07 PM. The Baltimore all-weather lifeboat crew arrived at North Harbour on Cape Clear Island at 11:33 PM, where the casualty was assessed by some of the Casualty Care lifeboat crew members. After the assessment, she was transferred via stretcher onboard the lifeboat and taken back to Baltimore station, where she was handed over to the HSE Ambulance crew. 

The call out was made under fresh conditions with a southwesterly force 5-6 wind and a choppy sea, but the seven-strong volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat, including Coxswain Aidan Bushe, Mechanic Cathal Cottrell, and crew members Micheal Cottrell, Colin Whooley, Stuart Musgrave, David Ryan, and Don O’Donovan, managed to complete the mission safely. 

Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, said, “Baltimore RNLI often provides medical evacuations to residents and visitors to the islands off the coast of West Cork, including Cape Clear, Sherkin, and Heir. If you find yourself in a medical emergency while on an island, call 999 or 112.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The former Glenans Sailing Centre in the West Cork coastal village of Baltimore has been sold to a private developer, despite the local community's campaign to preserve it for a maritime heritage centre.

The long saga of Baltimore Railway Station, which had been a Glenans centre for many years, has ended in disappointment for the coastal village community’s efforts to get the dilapidated but historic building on the waterfront acquired as a maritime heritage and community amenity centre.

The building had been used for several years as a sailing centre by the French Glenans organisation.

A local community sign erected at Baltimore Railway StationA local community sign erected at Baltimore Railway Station

It was owned by Fáilte Ireland.

One of the community leaders, Mary Jordan, told me of the local disappointment from the sale to developers.

“We are devastated,” she says. “Minister for Heritage Malcolm Noonan tried his best with Fáilte Ireland, but it was all sewn up. Where does our maritime heritage and history stand in this country? Just trampled on.”

Published in West Cork
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A resident of Cape Clear Island off the coast of West Cork was evacuated for medical assistance following an accident on Sunday.

Baltimore RNLI's volunteer lifeboat crew received a call at 12.39 pm and launched their all-weather lifeboat to provide medical assistance.

The crew arrived at North Harbour on Cape Clear Island at 12.59 pm and transferred the casualty aboard the lifeboat via stretcher after assessment by a Casualty Care lifeboat crew member.

The lifeboat departed Cape Clear Island at 1.09 pm and returned to the station in Baltimore at 1.39 pm.

The casualty was then handed over to the HSE ambulance crew. The call out was the second medical evacuation from Cape Clear Island in two days.

On Friday, a man living on the island also required medical assistance and was evacuated to the mainland by the lifeboat crew, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

The crew consisted of five volunteer members, including Coxswain Aidan Bushe, Mechanic Cathal Cottrell, and crew members Sean McCarthy, Brian McSweeney, and Micheal Cottrell.

The weather conditions during the call out were good, with a northwesterly force 2 to 3 wind, a 2m sea swell, and good visibility.

Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer expressed satisfaction over the evacuation and the team's efforts in providing medical assistance to the residents of Cape Clear Island.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Baltimore RNLI were called out to provide a medical evacuation on Friday morning (28 October) from Cape Clear Island off the coast of West Cork.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat The Alan Massey at 10.44am following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to provide a medevac for a resident of the island.

The Baltimore crew arrived at North Harbour on Cape Clear Island at 11.08am where the casualty and the island nurse were waiting. The casualty was transferred onto a stretcher and then onboard the lifeboat, which departed at 11.30am and arrived in Baltimore half an hour later.

The casualty was then transferred from the lifeboat to the waiting ambulance and care was handed over to the HSE ambulance crew.

Conditions during the call-out were windy with a south-westerly Force 4-5 wind and a large sea swell.

Speaking later, Baltimore RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer Kate Callanan said: “Baltimore RNLI often provide medical evacuations to residents of islands off the coast of West Cork. If you find yourself in need of medical assistance whilst on an island, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

There were seven volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat: coxswain Aidan Bushe, mechanic Cathal Cottrell and crew members Micheal Cottrell, Jerry Smith, Pat Collins, Stuart Musgrave and Emma Geary.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The Baltimore RNLI lifeboat crew carried out a rescue mission during storm Agnes on September 27th.

The Irish Coast Guard called for assistance to rescue a yacht in trouble in the Ilen River in West Cork. At 3.48 pm, the Baltimore lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat and reached the yacht at 3.59 pm.

Despite the storm-force winds gusting to force 12 (65 knots), the volunteer lifeboat crew managed to tow the yacht to safety. The yacht with one person on board had gone aground and required a tow to the nearest safe and suitable port in Baltimore Harbour.

Due to the severity of the storm, Coxswain Pat Collins requested the launch of Baltimore's inshore lifeboat to assist the all-weather lifeboat in berthing the casualty vessel to a secure mooring within Baltimore Harbour.

(Above and below) Baltimore RNLI lifeboats assist yacht during Storm Agnes - RNLI/Gerald O'Brien(Above and below) Baltimore RNLI lifeboats assist yacht during Storm Agnes - RNLI/Gerald O'Brien

The inshore lifeboat was launched at 4.23 pm and attached a line to the mooring to expedite the attachment of the yacht. The all-weather lifeboat arrived at the mooring with the casualty vessel in tow, and the volunteer lifeboat crew on the inshore lifeboat passed a line to the two volunteer lifeboat crew on the yacht, who then secured the vessel to the mooring.

(Above and below) Baltimore RNLI lifeboats assist yacht during Storm Agnes - RNLI/Gerald O'Brien

The rescue mission was carried out by seven volunteer crew members on board the all-weather lifeboat, including Coxswain Pat Collins, mechanic Cathal Cottrell, and crew members Jerry Smith, Michael Cottrell, Don O'Donovan, Colin Whooley, and David Ryan. Four volunteer crew members were on board the inshore lifeboat, which included Helm Kieran Collins and crew members Kieran O'Driscoll, Rob O'Leary, and James Kitt.

Baltimore RNLI lifeboat volunteer crew Photo: RNLI/Gerald O'BrienBaltimore RNLI lifeboat volunteer crew Photo: RNLI/Gerald O'Brien

The rescue operation was also assisted by Rianne Smith, Marion MacFeely, Seamus O'Driscoll, Brian McSweeney, and Sean McCarthy.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Baltimore RNLI were called out on Monday night (31 July) for the second time in two days to provide a medical evacuation, this time from Cape Clear Island off the coast of West Cork.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 9.08pm following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to medevac a visitor from the island.

Conditions during the call-out were good, with a north-westerly Force 5 wind, smooth sea and good visibility.

Arriving at North Harbour on Cape Clear Island at 9.33pm, the lifeboat crew performed a care assessment of the casualty before transferring him onboard the lifeboat and taking him to the station in Baltimore, where he was handed over to the care of a waiting HSE ambulance crew shortly after 10.10pm.

Speaking following the call-out, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat press officer said: “This is the second medevac carried out from an island within two days. On 30 July a man on Sherkin Island who had suffered an injury required the lifeboat to bring him out to the mainland for treatment.

“Baltimore RNLI provides a vital service to those living, working or holidaying on an island who are in need of medical assistance. If you find yourself in a emergency whilst on an island, call 999 or 112.”

There were seven volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat during Monday night’s call-out: coxswain Aidan Bushe, mechanic Jerry Smith and crew members Kieran Collins, Brian McSweeney, Colin Whooley, Emma Geary and Stuart Musgrave.

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The Baltimore RNLI provided a medical evacuation on Sunday morning, July 30th, from Sherkin Island located off Baltimore in West Cork. The request for assistance came from the Irish Coast Guard to evacuate an injured man from the island.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 8:09 am and arrived at Sherkin Island pier at 8:18 am. Once there, the casualty was assessed by the Casualty Care lifeboat crew member before being transferred onto a stretcher and taken onboard the lifeboat.

The crew returned to the Baltimore station at 8:47 am, and the casualty was handed over to the care of the HSE Ambulance crew.

The crew consisted of seven volunteers, and the conditions in the harbour during the call-out were choppy with a westerly force four wind and reasonable visibility.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Baltimore RNLI responded to a distress call on Thursday, 27 July, to assist a 12m sailing yacht with engine failure near Baltimore Harbour, West Cork.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their inshore lifeboat at 7 pm after the Coast Guard requested their assistance.

The inshore lifeboat arrived at the vessel at 7.15 pm, and the crew decided to tow the yacht.

The inshore lifeboat, with the casualty vessel under tow, returned to Baltimore Harbour and arrived at 8.45 pm. There were four volunteer crew members onboard the lifeboat.

The conditions at sea were calm with a westerly force 3 wind, no sea swell and good visibility.

Pat O’Driscoll, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Helm, advised the public to call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard in case of an emergency at sea.

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Baltimore RNLI were called out to a medical emergency on Thursday evening (20 July) to Heir Island off the coast of West Cork.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 5.06pm following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to provide medical assistance to a woman who had sustained an injury while visiting the island.

Arriving at Heir Island within 15 minutes, coxswain Aidan Bushe requested the immediate launch of the lifeboat’s Y-boat with two volunteer lifeboat crew, Rob O’Leary and Don O’Donovan, on board in order to quickly access the beach where the casualty was.

Due to the nature of the injury, and having spoken to a medical professional who was also assisting on the beach, Bushe felt that a medical evacuation by air was necessary and contacted the Irish Coast Guard to request a helicopter.

A HSE ambulance crew had arrived at the lifeboat station so while the two lifeboat crew remained on the beach, the lifeboat returned to the station in Baltimore, collected the two paramedics plus an additional lifeboat crew member and quickly returned to Heir Island.

The two paramedics were then transferred onto the beach by the Y-boat and care was handed over as they awaited the arrival of the coastguard’s Shannon-based helicopter Rescue 115, who airlifted the casualty to hospital for further treatment.

Conditions during the call-out were relatively calm with a northeasterly Force 2 wind and very little sea swell.

Speaking following the call-out, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer said: “This is a great example of a multi-agency rescue with Baltimore RNLI, the Irish Coast Guard and the National Ambulance Service all working together to assist in this medevac.

“We would like to wish to casualty a speedy recovery. If you find yourself in a medical emergency whilst on an island, call 999 or 112.”

There were six volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat: Coxswain Aidan Bushe, Mechanic Sean McCarthy and crew members Pat Collins, Don O’Donovan, Stuart Musgrave and Rob O’Leary.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Both Baltimore RNLI lifeboats were called out on Thursday morning (6 July) to assist a sailor whose yacht ran aground on rocks near Sherkin Island within Baltimore Harbour in West Cork.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched both their all-weather lifeboat and inshore lifeboat shortly after 11.30am, following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to go to the assistance of a yacht which had run aground on Great Globe Rock near Sherkin Island.

Both lifeboat crews arrived at the yacht at 11.35am and after helm Jerry Smith and coxswain Aidan Bushe assessed the situation, it was decided a tow was necessary as the casualty vessel was unable to float free due to the strong southerly wind.

Volunteer inshore crew member Eoin O’Driscoll was put aboard the casualty vessel to assist rigging a tow from the all-weather lifeboat, and the yacht was towed off the rocks at 11.53am.

The all-weather lifeboat continued to tow the casualty vessel to Baltimore, the nearest safe and suitable shelter, arriving at the pier at 12.09pm. The tow was then passed to the inshore lifeboat for berthing, and the casualty vessel was secured alongside the pier in Baltimore Harbour at 12.12pm.

Conditions during the call-out were very fresh with a Force 6 southerly wind, a slight sea swell and poor visibility.

Baltimore RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat press officer Kate Callanan said: “This call-out was a great example of both our lifeboats and volunteer crews working together in difficult weather conditions, and being able to assist this sailor very quickly.

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

The all-weather lifeboat crew included coxswain Aidan Bushe, mechanic Cathal Cottrell and crew members Sean McCarthy, Pat Collins, Emma Lupton and Brendan Cottrell. On the inshore lifeboat were helm Jerry Smith and crew members Eoin O’Driscoll and John Kearney. Assisting at the lifeboat station were Rianne Smith, Seamus O’Driscoll and Micheal Cottrell.

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Every Year Ireland's Search & Rescue Services deliver emergency life saving work on our seas, lakes and rivers.

Ireland's Water Safety Agencies work hard to provide us with the information we need to keep safe, while enjoying all manner of water based activities.

There's no better fun than getting out on the water but being afloat is a responsibility we all need to take seriously.

These pages detail the work of the rescue agencies. We also aim to promote safety standards among pleasure boaters, and by doing so, prevent, as far as possible, the loss of life at sea and on inland waters. If you have ideas for our pages we'd love to hear from you. Please email us at [email protected]

Think Before You Sink - Wear a Lifejacket

Accidents can happen fast on water and there may not be time to reach for a lifejacket in an emergency therefore don't just carry a lifejacket - wear it; if it's not on you, it can't save your life.

Irish Water Safety's Safe Boating Alert:

Check condition of boat and equipment, hull, engine, fuel, tools, torch.

Check the weather forecast for the area.

Check locally concerning dangerous currents and strong tides.

Do not drink alcohol while setting out or during your trip.

Carry an alternative means of propulsion e.g. sails and oars or motor and oars.

Carry a first aid kit on board and distress signals (at least two parachute distress rockets, two red hand flares).

Carry a fire extinguisher, a hand bailer or bucket with lanyard and an anchor with rope attached.

Carry marine radio or some means of communication with shore.

Do not overload the boat - this will make it unstable.

Do not set out unless accompanied by an experienced person.

Leave details of your planned trip with someone ashore - including departure and arrival times, description of boat, names of persons on board, etc.

Wear a Lifejacket at all times.

Keep an eye on the weather - seek shelter in good time.

In Marine Emergencies, call 999 or 112 and ask for Marine Rescue.

Lifejackets Checklist

Ensure Cartridges have not been punctured and are secured firmly.

Ensure all zips, buckles, fasteners and webbing straps are functioning correctly and adjusted to fit the user.

Check that fitted lights are operating correctly.

Ensure that Automatic Inflation devices are fully serviced and in date.

Check that the valve or lifejacket is not leaking.