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Six Rescued in Two Separate Call Outs for Clifden RNLI

29th August 2016
Clifden RNLI rescued six people in two separate call outs Clifden RNLI rescued six people in two separate call outs Photo: RNLI

Clifden RNLI rescued six people in two separate call outs off the Connemara coast last week.

On Friday afternoon, the volunteer lifeboat crew was requested to launch their all-weather and inshore Atlantic 85 class lifeboats following a report that two people were in the water after their 6ft boat had ran aground and hit rocks.

The lifeboat helmed by Joe Acton and with crew members Dermott Clancy, Alvin Bell and Kenneth Flaherty onboard, launched within minutes and made its way to the scene on the south east side of Davillaun.

With a report that two people had entered the water, the Irish Coast Guard’s helicopter Rescue 118 from Sligo was also tasked and a pan-pan was put out to all vessels in the area to assist in the operation.

Weather conditions at the time were described as dry but blowing a Force 5-6 gale with a choppy sea and a good ground swell.

Clifden’s inshore lifeboat was the first vessel to arrive on scene where the crew observed that the two men had managed to get themselves on the rocks. They were cold and wet and holding on to their boat to keep it afloat.

Lifeboat crew member Alvin Bell was put onto the rocks where he assessed the casualties and ensured they were ok. With no injuries sustained he then proceeded to help them on to the lifeboat where they were further assessed and made comfortable. A towline was then set up and the casualty vessel was pulled off the rocks and brought alongside the lifeboat to prevent further damage.

Following an hour long tow, the two men and their vessel were brought safely back into Derryinver Pier.

Earlier in the week, the lifeboat was called upon on to assist the crew of a 35ft trawler that had got into difficulty on Clifden Bay.

The Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat was requested to launch at 11.30am on Tuesday (23 August) after gear got tangled in the prop of the trawler resulting in no steerage and no propulsion.

The lifeboat helmed by Joe Acton and with crew members Alvin Bell, Kenneth Flaherty and Eoin Hayes onboard, made its way to scene where they worked with the four crew onboard to set up a towline.

Weather conditions were good with a flat calm sea. However, with the boat running against the tide, helm Joe Acton called on the assistance of Clifden’s D class inshore lifeboat which on arrival helped with the safe manoeuvre of the trawler into the quay at Clifden.

Speaking following the two call outs, Clifden RNLI helm Joe Acton said: ‘We were happy to be of assistance on both occasions last week. Friday’s call out was a bit more challenging following the initial report that two people were in the water but thankfully they had managed to make it on to rocks where they were waiting safe and well if not cold and wet following their ordeal.

‘We would encourage anyone taking to the sea for work or pleasure, to enjoy it but to always respect the water. Always wear a lifejacket and carry a means of calling and signalling for help. Always check the weather forecast and tide times. Make sure someone ashore knows where you are going and who to call if you don’t return on time. Learn how to start, run and maintain your engine before taking to the water.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

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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.

© Afloat 2020

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