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Courtmacsherry Lifeboat In Callout To Swimmer Off Kinsale

7th September 2015

#RNLI - The Courtmacsherry RNLI all-weather lifeboat was called out at 2.20am this morning (Monday 7 September) to go to the aid of a swimmer that had got into difficulty in a dangerous rip current off Garrettstown Strand near the Old Head of Kinsale in West Cork.

The lifeboat, under coxswain Sean O'Farrell and a crew of six, were away very quickly and proceeded at pace to the location of the incident. Also tasked were the coastguard unit from the Old Head of Kinsale and the Irish Coast Guard helicopter from Waterford, Rescue 117.

As the lifeboat arrived on scene within 15 minutes, under the cliffs off Garrettstown Strand, the crew used their searchlights to light up the area.

The swimmer got ashore and, with the assistance of the Old Head Coast Guard Unit, was transferred to the coastguard rescue vehicle until the HSE ambulance and Rescue 117 arrived. The casualty was then transferred by ambulance to Cork University Hospital.

It was a busy 12 hours for Courtmacsherry RNLI as earlier on Sunday evening (6 September) at 6.25pm, it was tasked by Valentia Coast Guard to go to an area where two kayakers were reported to be in difficulty off the Seven Heads in Courtmacsherry Bay.

A member of the public had reported the incident and again the lifeboat with a crew of seven were away in minutes.

They carried out an extensive search of the Seven Heads coastline and it was soon established that the kayakers had got ashore safely.

Speaking on the Strand in Garrettstown this morning, Courtmacsherry RNLI lifeboat operations manager Brian O'Dwyer said: "I want to say a hugh thanks to the fast response of the lifeboat crew and all the rescue services who rose from their beds quickly at 2.20am this morning to respond to a potentially very dangerous incident here off Garrettstown.

"We had enough for two volunteer lifeboat crews responding within minutes and great credit is due to these, who always respond immediately whether the call is by night or day and in all types of weather condition, when the lifeboat pagers alert them."

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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