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Howth Lifeboat Crew Aid Fishing Vessel

5th February 2012
Howth Lifeboat Crew Aid Fishing Vessel

#RESCUELifeboat crew with Howth RNLI spent over ten hours on Saturday (4 February 2012) assisting a 17 metre fishing tralwer, with seven crew onboard, 36 miles north east of Howth, which was rapidly taking on water.

Howth RNLI were requested to launch their all weather lifeboat to the fishing vessel at 1.08 pm on Saturday afternoon and it would be nearly ten and a half hours later when they returned to the harbour with the casualty vessel under tow.

The Irish Coast Helicopter were also on scene to help the stricken vessel and a winchman delivered a salvage pump onboard to help the crew try and staunch the water.  With the lifeboat on scene the Coast Guard helcopter returned to base and the lifeboat crew worked quickly to establish a tow in difficult conditions.  Weather was force six with a strong southerly wind.

Keeping the casualty vessel under tow in bad conditions proved challenging and the rope parted a couple of times.  Sixteen miles north east of Howth the fishing crew reported that the water coming into the vessel was increasing and the tow was stopped.  A lifeboat crewmember was transferred onto the fishing trawler and a new salvage pump was put onboard.  The source of the leak was identified and action taken to stem the flow of water.  The lifeboat once again undertook the tow and eventually arrived into Howth harbour at 10.25pm.  All crew onboard the fishing vessel were unhurt.

Commenting on the callout Howth RNLI crewmember Dave Howard said, " This was a long callout for our all weather lifeboat crew.  Condtions were not great offshore and going from the lifeboat onto the casualty vessel in a two to three metre swell was very challenging.  However when a fishing vessel reports taking on water, it is vital to make sure that the crew are safe and that the tow does not part.  We are relieved that all crew got home safe."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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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.

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