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RNLI Lifeboat News From Ireland
The RNLI is sharing some advice and top tips to help people stay safe on the water
This bank holiday weekend, with more people expected to take part in water-based activities, the RNLI is sharing some advice and top tips to help people stay safe on the water, whether travelling to the coast or visiting inland waters.…
File image of RNLI chief executive Mark Dowie
In response to media reports on the RNLI’s humanitarian work in the English Channel, chief executive Mark Dowie has spoken of his pride in the efforts of the charity’s lifeboat volunteers. “I could not be prouder of our amazing volunteer…
Skerries RNLI’s inshore lifeboat en route to Rush
Skerries RNLI were tasked by Dublin Coast Guard yesterday afternoon (Wednesday 28 July) following a 999 call from a member of the public reporting paddle boarders in difficulty in Rush Harbour. Shortly before 3pm, the volunteer crew at Skerries RNLI…
The RNLI lifeboat crew rescued three kayakers stranded on rocks at Kilmurrin Cove
Volunteer lifeboat crew from Helvick Head RNLI in Waterford, rescued three kayakers stranded on rocks at Kilmurrin Cove yesterday afternoon (Wednesday 28 July) when a sudden squall capsized one of the kayaks and the group were forced onto the rocks…
Enniskillen RNLI’s inshore lifeboat John and Jean Lewis
In a busy Tuesday afternoon (27 July) for Enniskillen RNLI, the volunteer lifeboat crew launched on two callouts in the vicinity of Castle Archdale. The first came at 4.30pm after a passer-by alerted the coastguard to a person who went…
File image of Baltimore RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat
Baltimore RNLI launched on back-to-back callouts in West Cork on Sunday evening (25 July), including a medevac and a motorboat taking on water. The first launch was at 8.15pm to reports of a 23ft motorboat taking on water at Church…
Skerries RNLI returning to shore with the kayakers on board
Skerries RNLI rescued two adults and two children on Sunday afternoon (25 July) after their inflatable kayak had been pulled out to sea by strong currents. Just before 2pm, Dublin Coast Guard requested Skerries RNLI to launch their Atlantic 85…
The old pier at the village of Dunleary
This month the Oireachtas Library has been displaying an 1807 pamphlet by Reverend William Liddiard (1773–1841), calling for the establishment of an organised lifeboat service along the Irish coast. Rev Liddiard was writing in response to the sinking of two…
Wicklow all-weather lifeboat RNLB Joanna and Henry Williams
Wicklow all-weather lifeboat RNLB Joanna and Henry Williams launched shortly after 11 pm tonight (Friday 23 July) following a Coast Guard pager alert, to investigate reports of a yacht in difficulties off the Wicklow Coast. The Shannon class lifeboat located…
The inshore RNLI lifeboat Jean Spicer on Lough Derg as a thunderstorm looms overhead on Friday 23 July
Lough Derg RNLI’s volunteers were called out twice yesterday afternoon (Friday 23 July) to assist two separate cruisers with engine issues as a thunderstorm brewed. At 3pm the inshore lifeboat Jean Spier launched with helm Eleanor Hooker and crew Keith…
The RNLI Lifeboat Station at Galway was established in 1995 because of the increasing number of search and rescue incidents in the area. Today the station operates an inshore B class Atlantic 85 lifeboat
Galway RNLI towed a 20-foot half-decker that got into difficulty off Barna to safety last evening. The pleasure/fishing vessel experienced mechanical issues after it left Galway docks and started drifting. The crew contacted the Irish Coastguard which then tasked the…
File image of Portaferry RNLI’s inshore lifeboat
Portaferry RNLI launched to the aid of two people early yesterday afternoon (Wednesday 21 July) after their leisure boat broke down and was left adrift at the Narrows on Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland. The volunteer lifeboat crew’s pagers sounded…
Ballyglass RNLI launch to capsized jet ski in Blacksod Bay
Ballyglass RNLI’s inshore lifeboat in northwest Mayo was requested to launch yesterday afternoon (Tuesday 20 July) by the Irish Coast Guard to assist two people on a jet ski in difficulty between Doolough and Claggan in Blacksod Bay. The volunteer…
Aran Islands RNLI all-weather Severn class lifeboat
Aran Islands RNLI's volunteer crew came to the aid of a cyclist who fell off his bike today (Monday 19 July). The crew were asked to launch their all-weather Severn class lifeboat at 12.19 pm. A male visitor to the…
Lough Ree RNLI crew are busy as several craft experience difficulties on lake
Lough Ree RNLI volunteer crew has had a busy five days coming to the rescue of 24 people and a dog on five boats that ran aground on the lake in the past week. After 9 pm last evening (Monday…
File image of Newcastle RNLI’s inshore lifeboat
Newcastle RNLI in Northern Ireland had a busy Friday (16 July) with four callouts within a span of 20 hours. The volunteer crew were first requested to launch their inshore lifeboat at 2.36am on Friday morning to assist two men…

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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