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Wicklow Lifeboat Launches To Rescue Kitesurfer

30th March 2015
Wicklow RNLI launches to assist kitesurfer
Wicklow RNLI launches to assist a kitesurfer off Wicklow Head RNLI/Tommy Dover
Wicklow Lifeboat Launches To Rescue Kitesurfer

#RNLI - Wicklow RNLI's all-weather lifeboat launched at 5.10pm on Saturday (28 March) to assist a kitesurfer in difficulty off Potters Point, south of Wicklow Head.

The kitesurfer was unable to get ashore after leaving the beach at Jack’s Hole. One of his friends saw him in the water and immediately contacted the Irish Coast Guard for help.



Conditions in the area at the time had a south-easterly Force 6 wind with a moderate sea state.


"We located the kitesurfer drifting off the south end of the Wolf Rock near Jack’s Hole," said Wicklow RNLI coxswain Nick Keogh after the callout. "He was using the floatation end of the kite equipment to stay afloat, after he got separated from his board."



A first-aid-trained member of the lifeboat crew assessed the casualty as they returned to Wicklow. He had no injuries and did not require any further medical assistance. The man was landed safely ashore at Wicklow Harbour at 6.30pm.


The crew on the callout were Keogh, mechanic Connie O'Gara, Ciaran Doyle, Terry Sillery, Graham Fitzgerald, John Vize and David Collard.

Arklow's nearby RNLI lifeboat was also requested to launch but was stood down by the coastguard as Wicklow took command of the situation.


Mark Corcoran, Arklow RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer, hailed the "lightning response by both RNLI volunteer crews at Arklow and Wicklow" which "shows the dedication our volunteers have to saving lives at sea".



Corcoran, who is also Arklow's sea safety officer, added: “All persons who take to the water over the coming summer months must always wear their lifejackets and should always have a means of raising the alarm."

Any groups or individuals who would like advice on any water safety issue from kayaking to sailing, angling, kitesurfing or windsurfing can contact Corcoran at 086 826 0439 or [email protected]

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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