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Portaferry Lifeboat Rescues Man Caught Out By Tide

23rd December 2014
Portaferry Lifeboat Rescues Man Caught Out By Tide

#RNLI - Portaferry RNLI has rescued a man who got caught out by the tide yesterday afternoon (Monday 22 December).

The volunteer lifeboat crew was requested to launch their inshore lifeboat at 2.24pm following a report of person in the water on Strangford Lough.

A kayaker who was in upper parts of the lough at the time raised the alarm after he saw a man waist-deep in the water.

The lifeboat launched and headed towards Rainey Island at the north end of Strangford Lough, arriving on scene at 2.50pm, and the crew began a search of the area around Rainey and Sketrick Islands.

When nothing was found, the lifeboat carried on up into Watson Island on Ardmillan Bay, where the crew located the casualty.

The man, who was a wildfowler, had set off walking to the island earlier in the morning when the tide had been out but then got caught out by the rising tide.

It was when he was attempting to return to the mainland that he was spotted by the kayaker waist deep in the water.

With the water getting deeper the man decided to return to the island for his own safety, where he was waiting when the lifeboat located him.

In what is a muddy area that can be dangerous, the Portaferry crew carefully manoeuvred in shallow water to get to the man and bring him on board the lifeboat.

The casualty, who was cold and fatigued but who didn’t require any further medical attention, was then transported to Ballydorn.

Speaking following the callout, Portaferry RNLI lifeboat operations manager Brian Baille commended the kayaker who had raised the alarm.

"The kayaker spotted the casualty, raised the alarm and then stayed with the man until the lifeboat arrived on scene and brought him to safety. Had the alarm been raised later it would have been much trickier to locate the casualty in the dark.

"We would remind anyone planning to go out on the lough to be mindful of the weather and tide times."

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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