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RNLI Lifeboat News From Ireland
Lough Ree RNLI’s Damien Delaney (left) and treasurer Vincent Rafter (right) with swimmers Karen Reynolds and Serena Friel as they present their donation cheque
Athlone open water swimmers Serena Friel and Karen Reynolds have presented Lough Ree RNLI with a cheque for €11,300 following a fundraising swim on the lake last month. Throughout this year the women, who have been swimming regularly at Coosan…
Lough Derg RNLI crew assisting one of the two cruisers that had run aground on the lake on Sunday afternoon 19 September
Lough Derg RNLI had back-to-back callouts yesterday afternoon (Sunday 19 September) to vessels that had run aground near navigation marks. At 1.35pm the Lough Derg lifeboat launched to assist seven people on a 45ft cruiser aground at Navigation Mark G.…
File image of Courtmacsherry RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat off Roches Point
A pleasure boat with mechanical issues off the Seven Heads in West Cork prompted a launch by Courmacsherry RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat at the weekend. The Trent class lifeboat Frederick Storey Cockburn — under coxswain Mark Gannon and a volunteer crew…
File image of Youghal RNLI’s inshore lifeboat
Youghal RNLI launched to the aid of a man who had fallen overboard from his yacht in the East Cork town’s harbour at the weekend. The volunteer crew were requested to launch their inshore lifeboat on Saturday afternoon (18 September)…
File image of Donaghadee RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat Saxon
Donaghadee RNLI carried out a medevac of a passenger who became ill on a cruise ship that left Belfast Lough on Friday evening (17 September). The volunteer crew were requested by Belfast Coastguard to launch their all-weather lifeboat Saxon shortly…
One of the two Valentia RNLI crew who went ashore to assist with the casualty
Valentia RNLI’s lifeboat volunteers launched to the aid of a fisherman requiring medical assistance this week. At 3.11pm on Thursday (16 September), Valentia Coast Guard requested Valentia RNLI to launch their all-weather lifeboat for the fisherman requiring medical assistance on…
Skerries RNLI returning to station with the swimmers safely on board
Skerries RNLI rescued a man and a woman who got into difficulty while swimming off the north Co Dublin town this week. The lifeboat unit was requested to launch shortly before 5pm on Thursday afternoon (16 September) after a 999 call…
Newcastle RNLI’s crew attempt to pump water from the stricken cabin cruiser
Lifeboat crews from Portaferry and Newcastle RNLI were involved in the rescue of a man whose cabin cruiser was in danger of sinking off Co Down yesterday (Thursday 16 September). The volunteers were requested to launch their lifeboats at 6pm…
Raymond “Speedy” Newell presents the cheque to Kilkeel RLNI’s volunteers
On Tuesday last week (7 September), Merwyn Hanna MBE, president of Kilkeel RNLI and chair of the lifeboat station’s fundraising branch, received a cheque for £1,347.65 from Raymond “Speedy” Newell following a successful fishing competition off the Co Down coast.…
File image of Clifden RNLI’s all-weather and inshore lifeboats
Clifden RNLI assisted six people yesterday evening (Tuesday 14 September) after their vessel broke down in Ballyconneely Bay. Just after 6pm, the Connemara town’s all-weather and inshore lifeboats launched in response to reports that a 14ft vessel with multiple people…
The search and rescue display off Baginbun Beach in Wexford
Over the weekend Fethard RNLI marked the 25th anniversary of the reopening of their lifeboat station, with an impressive search and rescue display off Baginbun Beach in Wexford. The search and rescue demonstration involved Fethard RNLI and their flanking lifeboat…
Courtmacsherry RNLI on scene with the broken-down pleasure boat Alanna near Barrels Rocks
Courtmacsherry RNLI launched their all-weather lifeboat yesterday evening (Saturday 11 September) to go to the aid of a 21ft pleasure boat with engine failure off the Barrels Rocks near Garrettstown in West Cork. Under coxswain Mark John Gannon and a…
File image of Carrybridge RNLI’s inshore lifeboat Douglas Euan & Kay Richards
Carrybridge RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was launched yesterday afternoon (Friday 10 September) to assess a cabin cruiser with two people on board which had broken down some two miles southeast of Knockninny in Co Fermanagh. Once on scene on Upper Lough…
Ciaran Needham, a native of Sáile is Achill Island RNLI station’s new Lifeboat Operations Manager
Achill Island RNLI is delighted to welcome Ciaran Needham, a native of Sáile as the station’s new Lifeboat Operations Manager. Ciaran succeeds Tony McNamara, who recently retired from the role. Ciaran is an electrician by trade and is also a…
Stephen Wynne is retiring as Dun Laoghaire RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager
Fifty-one years to the day after he was rescued from a capsized dinghy and inspired to join a lifeboat crew, Stephen Wynne is retiring as Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, a position he has held for over three…
Sligo Bay RNLI’s volunteers approach the two swimmers in distress on their inshore lifeboat
Sligo Bay RNLI reminds sea swimmers of the importance of not struggling against rip currents after two people were rescued from a strong current at the ominously named Deadman’s Point. The volunteer crew were requested to launch their inshore lifeboat shortly…

Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) in Ireland Information

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is a charity to save lives at sea in the waters of UK and Ireland. Funded principally by legacies and donations, the RNLI operates a fleet of lifeboats, crewed by volunteers, based at a range of coastal and inland waters stations. Working closely with UK and Ireland Coastguards, RNLI crews are available to launch at short notice to assist people and vessels in difficulties.

RNLI was founded in 1824 and is based in Poole, Dorset. The organisation raised €210m in funds in 2019, spending €200m on lifesaving activities and water safety education. RNLI also provides a beach lifeguard service in the UK and has recently developed an International drowning prevention strategy, partnering with other organisations and governments to make drowning prevention a global priority.

Irish Lifeboat Stations

There are 46 lifeboat stations on the island of Ireland, with an operational base in Swords, Co Dublin. Irish RNLI crews are tasked through a paging system instigated by the Irish Coast Guard which can task a range of rescue resources depending on the nature of the emergency.

Famous Irish Lifeboat Rescues

Irish Lifeboats have participated in many rescues, perhaps the most famous of which was the rescue of the crew of the Daunt Rock lightship off Cork Harbour by the Ballycotton lifeboat in 1936. Spending almost 50 hours at sea, the lifeboat stood by the drifting lightship until the proximity to the Daunt Rock forced the coxswain to get alongside and successfully rescue the lightship's crew.

32 Irish lifeboat crew have been lost in rescue missions, including the 15 crew of the Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) lifeboat which capsized while attempting to rescue the crew of the SS Palme on Christmas Eve 1895.

FAQs

While the number of callouts to lifeboat stations varies from year to year, Howth Lifeboat station has aggregated more 'shouts' in recent years than other stations, averaging just over 60 a year.

Stations with an offshore lifeboat have a full-time mechanic, while some have a full-time coxswain. However, most lifeboat crews are volunteers.

There are 46 lifeboat stations on the island of Ireland

32 Irish lifeboat crew have been lost in rescue missions, including the 15 crew of the Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) lifeboat which capsized while attempting to rescue the crew of the SS Palme on Christmas Eve 1895

In 2019, 8,941 lifeboat launches saved 342 lives across the RNLI fleet.

The Irish fleet is a mixture of inshore and all-weather (offshore) craft. The offshore lifeboats, which range from 17m to 12m in length are either moored afloat, launched down a slipway or are towed into the sea on a trailer and launched. The inshore boats are either rigid or non-rigid inflatables.

The Irish Coast Guard in the Republic of Ireland or the UK Coastguard in Northern Ireland task lifeboats when an emergency call is received, through any of the recognised systems. These include 999/112 phone calls, Mayday/PanPan calls on VHF, a signal from an emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) or distress signals.

The Irish Coast Guard is the government agency responsible for the response to, and co-ordination of, maritime accidents which require search and rescue operations. To carry out their task the Coast Guard calls on their own resources – Coast Guard units manned by volunteers and contracted helicopters, as well as "declared resources" - RNLI lifeboats and crews. While lifeboats conduct the operation, the coordination is provided by the Coast Guard.

A lifeboat coxswain (pronounced cox'n) is the skipper or master of the lifeboat.

RNLI Lifeboat crews are required to follow a particular development plan that covers a pre-agreed range of skills necessary to complete particular tasks. These skills and tasks form part of the competence-based training that is delivered both locally and at the RNLI's Lifeboat College in Poole, Dorset

 

While the RNLI is dependent on donations and legacies for funding, they also need volunteer crew and fund-raisers.

© Afloat 2020

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