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Wexford, Wicklow and Courtown Lifeboats Have A Busy Few Days

28th August 2013
Wexford, Wicklow and Courtown Lifeboats Have A Busy Few Days

#RNLI - Wexford RNLI rescued two people late on Monday night (26 August) after their yacht went aground on a sandbank on the way into Wexford Harbour.

The volunteer lifeboat crew responded to the report of the yacht which had grounded near Ravens Point around midnight on Monday.
 
Weather conditions at the time were good with a calm sea state and a north westerly force three wind.

But a fast-flowing tide of four knots meant that the inshore lifeboat and crew of the yacht had to work hard to refloat that boat.

Wexford RNLI lifeboat helm Peter Scallan commended the action of the yacht's crew, who he said were experienced sailors.

"The yacht's crew had taken all the correct precautions with the appropriate equipment on board to ensure their safety. They co-operated greatly with the lifeboat crew and as a result both they and their yacht were rescued." 
 


Lifeboat crew member Alan Keville went onboard the vessel to assist in the manoeuvre to get the yacht off the sandbank, which involved using the mast to get the vessel on its side as the keel was stuck hard in the sandbank. The yacht was under tow at 1.14am and back in Wexford at 2.30am.


Elsewhere, the Courtown lifeboat launched on Sunday afternoon (25 August) to a report of a swimmer missing off Ardamine beach.

The lifeboat crew, who were in the harbour at the time, launched within minutes and commenced a search of the area. Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117 was also tasked to the scene, along with the Courtown coastguard unit.

After a thorough search of the area between Glasscarrig and Courtown pier, all rescue services were stood down as nothing was found. Courtown RNLI thanked all the members of public who helped and provided information during the call out.

The day before, the Wicklow RNLI inshore and all-weather lifeboats were launched after a member of the public reported seeing a small craft with two people drifting off Brittas Bay beach.

While the lifeboats were on route to Brittas Bay, they were requested to stand down and return to station by the coastguard as the boaters managed to make their own way ashore.

Speaking after the call-out, Wicklow RNLI lifeboat operations manager Des Davitt said: "While this turned out to be a false alarm with good intent, we are delighted that the public are being vigilant and contact the coastguard immediately when they suspect someone is in trouble on the water."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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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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