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Bundoran Lifeboat Rescues Teen After Jet Ski Capsize

12th April 2015
Bundoran Lifeboat Rescues Teen After Jet Ski Capsize

#RNLI - Bundoran RNLI rescued a teenager who fell from a capsized jet ski on Thursday afternoon (9 April).

The volunteer crew was requested to launch their inshore lifeboat by Malin Head Coast Guard at 1.24pm following a report that a jet ski had capsized a short distance from Bundoran Pier.

The lifeboat, helmed by Daimon Fergus and with crew members James Cassidy and Elliot Kearns on board, launched and made its way to the scene just a couple of hundred yards from the shore. Weather conditions at the time were described as good with the sun shining and the sea flat calm.

On arrival, the crew observed two males, one of whom had managed to get back on to the jet ski and a second who was still in the water.

The lifeboat crew pulled the teenager from the water and brought him back to shore where he was treated for hypothermia and the effects of having swallowed some sea water. He was subsequently transferred to Sligo General Hospital via ambulance as a precautionary measure.

"Thankfully, the lifeboat crew were able to assist this afternoon and bring this young man to safety," said Bundoran RNLI lifeboat operations manager Tony McGowan after the callout.

McGowan also encouraged anyone taking to the water "to enjoy themselves but be mindful that while the sun is shining and the weather is warm, sea temperatures are still very cold and it is important to dress appropriately bearing that in mind."

Bundoran's lifeboat crew were tasked again on Friday night (10 April) to reports of a red flare spotted over Rossnowlagh.

Following a call to Malin Head Coast Guard, the crew were paged just after 9pm and launched a short time later under cover of darkness, arriving at Rossnowlagh just before 9.30pm to commence a search of the area near Smugglers Creek. They were also joined by the Sligo-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter.

The search continued for approximately one hour before both crews were stood down and returned to base having found nothing.

Speaking on their return to the lifeboat station, volunteer helm Elliot Kearns said: "We would class this a false alarm with good intent and the member of the public who made the call was exactly right to call the coastguard. We would always rather be called to something that somebody was unsure about rather than a life be lost."

However, Kearns also urged anyone setting off Chinese lantern or lighting fires near the coast "to call the coastguard in advance to advise them. Of course if you see anyone in trouble at the coast please dial 999 or 112 immediately."

The callout was the third in a week for the Bundoran station, beginning with the rescue of a surfer in difficulty off Tullan Strand on Monday 6 April.

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.


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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