Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Lough Derg Lifeboat Investigates Drifting Dinghy

3rd June 2014
Donaghadee RNLI party balloons
Donaghadee RNLI recovers the party balloons that triggered their callout on 31 May RNLI/Donaghadee
Lough Derg Lifeboat Investigates Drifting Dinghy

#RNLI - Lough Derg RNLI's lifeboat launched on Sunday 1 June to investigate reports of a dinghy adrift off Parker's Point on the Clare shore.

At 6.35pm Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI to investigate reports of a dinghy adrift in open water in the direction of Meelik Bay.
 


The lifeboat launched three minutes later with helm Eleanor Hooker and crew Ger Egan and Liam Knight on board. Winds were south-westerly Force 3 to 4 and visibility was fair to good, with frequent line squalls.

Coastguard staff gave the lifeboat crew the co-ordinates at which the dinghy was seen, and a description of the boat. 

The lifeboat reached the location at 7pm and its crew calculated the drift of the dinghy given its size and the wind direction. 

On the shore where the dinghy would have landed, a remote location, the RNLI crew could detect an oar being raised and lowered above the reeds, and went to investigate. 



It was soon discovered that a local family of five a fishing trip had seen the dinghy and had towed it to shore, where they safely moored it up. The dinghy did not have an engine and there was no evidence of it having been occupied. 

Reporting these findings to Valentia Coast Guard, the lifeboat was stood down and returned to station. Later, the owner of the dinghy made contact with Valentia explaining that his tender had broken free from his cruiser in rough weather earlier in the day.



Lough Derg RNLI deputy launching authority Pat Garland said: "A small craft adrift in the middle of the lake has implications other than the boat might have slipped its moorings, which, thankfully, is the case today."

He commended the boat users on the lake for their "diligence on their watch and for reporting the dinghy".



In another false alarm, Donaghadee’s all-weather Lifeboat Saxon launched around 8.00pm on Saturday 31 May after reports of an object in the water off the coast of the Copeland Islands in Co Down.

A witness described what appeared to be people in the water, and the lifeboat was on scene within 15 minutes - to find nothing more than a bunch of helium-filled party balloons that had come down in the sea.

Lifeboat coxswain Philip McNamara said: "While this was a preventative operation, the lifeboat volunteers prefer to attend at an early stage to avoid any risk to life. An object in the water can be a danger to shipping.”

The same day saw Courtown RNLI's volunteer lifeboat launch to the aid of a small angling boat that had suffered engine failure.

However, the launch was delayed by a car and boat trailer that had been parked across the launching winch area for the lifeboat.

Thankfully the lifeboat – crewed by Glen Deacon, Fergus Slevin and Robert Ireton Jr – was launched by other means and was quickly alongside the casualty, towing the boat back into harbour. 


Courtown lifeboat operations Manager Sam Kennedy said: "We urge people not to park across the launching area or to block up the slipway in Courtown. We were lucky that this was not a more serious incident and the delay didn't cause loss of life."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
MacDara Conroy

About The Author

MacDara Conroy

Email The Author

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

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading Afloat.ie than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open.

Afloat.ie is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

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

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Car Brands

subaru sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton dob
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

quantum sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating