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Teamwork Helps Tramore Lifeboat Bring Bull To Safety

19th November 2014
Teamwork Helps Tramore Lifeboat Bring Bull To Safety

#RNLI - Tramore RNLI's volunteers were involved in a rescue operation with a difference recently when they worked alongside Tramore Coast Guard and Waterford Animal Welfare to bring a stranded bull to safety after he had fallen from a cliff and taken refuge on a rocky ledge.

The drama unfolded after 5pm on Sunday evening (16 November) when local gardaí contacted Tramore RNLI to inform them that a bull had fallen from a cliff near well known local landmark, the Metal Man, and had swam to a rocky ledge near Newton Cove a few hundred metres away.

Tramore RNLI were joined by the local coastguard unit on shore and Wateford Animal Welfare were contacted for their advice.

The RNLI and coastguard crews tried to approach the bull but his position was hard to access in fading light and rising tides and it was deemed by all present that it was too difficult to carry out a rescue at that time.  It was decided to wait until the following morning before trying again.

At first light the next morning, Tramore Coast Guard contacted the Tramore RNLI lifeboat crew and, along with Andrew Quinn from Waterford Animal Welfare, they were on scene in minutes with a plan to bring the bull to safety.

A rope was secured to the animal by a member of the coastguard team and passed to the lifeboat. The oars of the lifeboat were used to gently usher the bull down off his rocky ledge and into the water. Once there, he started swimming and came alongside the lifeboat before being guided by the crew and Andrew into a nearby cove.

Conditions at the time were calm, and the bull was able to exit the water unaided to be met with his owner.

Commenting on the unusual callout, Tramore RNLI helm Dave O’Hanlon said: "We have a bit of a history here in Tramore RNLI with animals. Over the last few years we have gone out to a calf, a whale, a dolphin and a group of puppies. 

"We are pleased that the animal was not too distressed by the ordeal and that working with our colleagues in the other services we were able to render assistance and bring about a happy outcome. 

"Our thoughts were to try help the poor animal but also to prevent anyone trying to carry out a rescue themselves without the correct advice or equipment. Bulls are very strong and could easily cause an injury. I was also surprised to learn they are good swimmers too!"

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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