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Red Bay Lifeboat Rescues Three From Drifting Speedboat

2nd November 2015

#RNLI - Red Bay RNLI has rescued three men yesterday afternoon (Sunday 1 November) after they got into difficulty on a 4m speedboat which was drifting out to sea off the North Coast.

The volunteer lifeboat crew was alerted by Belfast Coastguard just before noon and requested to go the aid of three people on a broken down vessel which was lost somewhere off Cushendun.

One of the casualties had managed to raise the alarm with a relative using his mobile phone.

The inshore lifeboat, helmed by Kevin Allen and with crew members Stephen Conway, James McLaughlin and Owen McKinley onboard, launched within minutes and made its way to towards Cushendun.

Despite an extensive search on scene the lifeboat crew could not locate any vessel in distress in the specific search area.

The lifeboat crew widened their search and requested the assistance of the Sligo-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 118.

After searching for two-and-a-half hours in what were described as difficult weather conditions, the lifeboat crew finally located the vessel some four miles off Garron Point at Red Bay. The boat was drifting out in blustery sea squall conditions.

The three men, who were not in immediate danger but suffering from shock, were taken onboard the lifeboat and brought safely back to Red Bay where they were made comfortable.

Speaking following the callout, Red Bay RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer Paddy McLaughlin said: "These three men were extremely lucky this afternoon as their small vessel had broken down and was rapidly drifting out to sea.

The callout was particularly challenging for the lifeboat crew as the casualties were unsure of where they were lost and it took a considerable amount of time to find them.

"Our crew is highly trained and using their navigation skills particularly, they were able to locate the casualties, all of whom were relieved to see the lifeboat, and bring them safely back to shore this afternoon."

McLaughlin added: "We would remind anyone taking to the water to carry a means of communication and plan your trip in advance so you are familiar with the area should you get into any difficulty and need to request assistance."

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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