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RNLI Lifeboat News From Ireland
Dun Laoghaire RNLI volunteer crewmember Rory Bolton receives his 20-year service medal. L-R: Dun Laoghaire RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Edward Totterdell, Dun Laoghaire RNLI volunteer lifeboat crewmember Rory Bolton and RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager Peter Harty with Rory’s children James (3) and Alice (7)
The RNLI has awarded volunteer lifeboat crewmember Rory Bolton with a medal recognising his twenty years’ service to the charity at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. Over the course of two decades, Rory has been a volunteer crew member on both the…
Helvick Head RNLI launch on their first shout of 2022
Helvick Head RNLI of County Waterford came to the aid of two fishermen yesterday (Wednesday 12 January) after their 29ft fishing boat broke down at Ballyvoyle. On what was described as a sunny and calm day on the water, the…
Lough Derg “Lap the Lake” Cycle Will Raise Funds for RNLI
A Lough Derg “Lap the lake” 130 km cycle is raising funds for RNLI Lough Derg this May  Starting and finishing at the well-known harbour of Dromineer, parking and showers will be available at nearby Lough Derg Yacht Club.  Lough…
File image of Youghal RNLI’s inshore lifeboat
Youghal RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat launched yesterday morning (Tuesday 4 January) to a report from a member of the public who saw a boat drifting out to sea. The lifeboat crew located the 12ft punt at 10.15am drifting from Youghal Bridge…
Tommy Kehoe (11) with fellow charity swimmers and some of the volunteer crew of Kilmore Quay RNLI
Eleven-year-old Tommy Kehoe was one of around 60 sea swimmers who completed a fundraising challenge on the Little Beach in Kilmore Quay on New Year’s Eve in aid of the Co Wexford village’s RNLI lifeboat. Organised by local women Melinda…
The volunteer lifeboat crew of Howth RNLI had their first launch of 2022 yesterday (Sunday 2 January) to paddleboarders in difficulty off the coast of Portmarnock Beach. Immediately after that, they were tasked to rescue a group of kayakers who…
File image of the RNLI flag
The RNLI has recorded a bumper year in donations driven largely by public support for its humanitarian work in the English Channel, as the Guardian reports. Online donations to the charity that saves lives at sea have risen by 50%…
The Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat
The volunteer crew of the Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat was called out to reports of a surfer in difficulty on New Year’s Day afternoon. The emergency call was placed to Malin Head Coast Guard just after 3 pm on Saturday (1st…
File photo of Baltimore RNLI lifeboat
Baltimore RNLI were called out to provide a medical evacuation yesterday (Thursday 30 December) from Cape Clear Island off the coast of West Cork. The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 9.26 am, following a request to bring…
Skerries RNLI volunteers with their long-service awards
Over the course of 2021, volunteers with Skerries RNLI were presented with long-service awards totalling 190 years of volunteering with the charity that saves lives at sea. Due to restrictions on gatherings, the north Co Dublin lifeboat station was unable…
RNLI partners with The Boat Race for 2022
The RNLI recently launched its partnership as the official charity partner of The Gemini Boat Race 2022, which is set for Sunday 3 April. Since 2002, the RNLI’s Chiswick lifeboat station has supported The Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge…
Air Ambulance NI in the skies above a HM Coastguard search and rescue vehicle
Two open water swimmers who got into difficulty during their Christmas Day swim near Bangor in Northern Ireland have been praised for wearing kit that made it easier to find them. The pair were reported to be having problems in…
Rescue teams recover residents from their homes in flooded Bridgetown, Co Wexford on Christmas Day
Fethard RNLI joined Kilmore Quay’s coastguard unit in a multi-agency operation to rescue local residents trapped in their homes by heavy flooding on Christmas Day, according to RTÉ News. It’s reported that a number of people in the village of…
The short service at the end of the East Pier commemorated all lives lost around our coasts and on inland waters in 2021
The annual Dun Laoghaire RNLI Christmas Eve ceremony was held this afternoon to honour the memory of 15 lifeboat volunteers who died on service 126 years ago. This year’s ceremony also marked the 200th anniversary of the death of four…
File image of Wexford RNLI’s inshore lifeboat
Volunteering for the RNLI is truly a family affair for lifeboat crews in Co Wexford. While Robbie Connolly is looking forward to his first Christmas on call since becoming a helm at Wexford RNLI earlier this year, his father-in-law Eugene…
From left: Simon Kidney, Matthew Nelson, Brian Sammon, John Sammon and Simon Carson are five of Carrybridge RNLI’s latest recruits
A father and son from Bellanaleck are among eight new lifeboat crew members who will carry pagers for the first time this Christmas at Carrybridge and Enniskillen RNLI in Northern Ireland. As the RNLI continues its Christmas Appeal, Brian and…

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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