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Fethard Lifeboat Rescues Man In Difficulty While Moving Between Boats

24th August 2016
Fethard RNLI's inshore lifeboat Fethard RNLI's inshore lifeboat Credit: RNLI/Fethard

#RNLI - Fethard RNLI assisted a man who got into difficulty off the Wexford coast yesterday evening (Tuesday 23 August) as he attempted to move between two boats.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their inshore lifeboat at 9.35pm following a request by the Irish Coast Guard that a man had entered the water at the Coal Yard in Cullenstown.

The lifeboat, helmed by John Colfer and with crew members Thomas Stafford, Finola Foley and Cathal O'Connell onboard, launched immediately from Fethard and proceeded five nautical miles to the scene.

Weather conditions at the time were described as calm with a Force 3 west to north-westerly wind.

The casualty, who was wearing a lifejacket at the time, had been manoeuvring from one vessel to another when he entered the water and got into difficulty. A member of his party who had already come ashore raised the alarm.

Shortly before arriving on scene, the crew received communication from the coastguard that the casualty had managed to swim ashore. On arrival, the lifeboat crew safely transferred the man into the D class inshore lifeboat Trade Winds and administered first aid.

The crew brought the casualty straight ashore at the Coal Yard, where members of the local coastguard unit were also on site. The volunteer crew continued first aid until the arrival of an ambulance that transferred the casualty to hospital as a precautionary measure.

Speaking following the callout, Fethard RNLI deputy launching authority Tony Molloy said: "Every minute counted this evening due to the period the casualty had spent in the water and the external temperature.

"The bar of the lough at Cullenstown can be quite a treacherous to manoeuvre in darkness, so the knowledge and skill set of the crew who know the area and the manoeuvrability of the D class inshore lifeboat was essential in getting to the scene where the crew was able to respond rapidly.

"We would like to commend the casualty for wearing his lifejacket and the member of his party who raised the alarm when they started to experience problems. We wish them both well following their ordeal."

Molloy added: "Tonight’s callout was a fine example of good team work with our crew putting their training and skills into practice working alongside our colleagues in the local Irish Coast Guard unit."

This weekend sees the inaugural Waves Music Festival to raise funds for Fethard RNLI to secure a new inshore lifeboat, a major boost for which they received recently from host venue Loftus Hall.

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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