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Larne RNLI Launches Five Times in a Fortnight, Incidents Include a Broken Down Yacht & Vessels Taking on Water

27th June 2017
Larne inshore lifeboat was launched following reports of an over-turned kayak at Carnfunnock Larne inshore lifeboat was launched following reports of an over-turned kayak at Carnfunnock Photo: RNLI

The most recent launch took place on Friday last, 23 June at 11pm. Larne's all-weather lifeboat Dr John McSparron and inshore lifeboat Terry launched on request of Belfast Coastguard to reports of two overdue kayakers. Both boats completed a search north from Larne with the kayakers located safe and well at Drumnagreagh.

Larne RNLI launched both lifeboats on Sunday 11 June to a 36ft yacht experiencing engine difficulties near the entrance to Larne Lough. On arrival, a volunteer lifeboat crew member was transferred onto the yacht to check the three on board were safe and well. A towline was then established before the lifeboat brought the yacht into the safety of Larne harbour.

Only 2 days later (Tuesday 13 June) Larne inshore lifeboat was launched following reports of an over-turned kayak at Carnfunnock. A multi-agency search took place but nothing was found indicating a false alarm with good intent.

The volunteer crew pagers sounded again on Sunday 18 June. Both Larne lifeboats launched to assist a vessel with two adults and two children on board that was taking on water in Drains Bay. The all-weather lifeboat was stood down by Belfast Coastguard after it was confirmed that the vessel had made it ashore. The inshore lifeboat continued to Carnfunnock to ensure no assistance was required and all onboard the vessel were safely ashore.

On Monday 19 June the lifeboat crew were requested to launch by Belfast coastguard at 8.40pm after reports that five teenagers were stranded on rocks at Blackarch. Larne RNLI immediately launched both lifeboats and was on scene within minutes. After putting the group into lifejackets, the lifeboat crew carefully transferred them onboard the inshore lifeboat. They then made the short trip out to the all-weather lifeboat where they were then transferred onboard and their condition assessed. Members of the Larne Coastguard were also on scene and provided valuable ground support during the operation.

Larne RNLI Coxswain Frank Healy said: 'This has been a busy few weeks for our volunteer crew who drop everything to answer the call when their pagers sound. Our crews are highly trained and skilled, and excellent team work ensured that all five launches were completed safely and successfully.'

Coming into the summer season the RNLI is promoting its national drowning prevention campaign, Respect the Water. It is aimed at promoting safety advice to all who visit the coast. The RNLI want everyone to enjoy the water, but also want people to recognise its dangers and never underestimate its power. This year, Respect the Water will focus on simple floating skills that could save a life. If you find yourself unexpectedly in the water, he advice is to float to increase your chances of survival. If you see someone else in trouble in the water, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.

Allan Dorman, Larne RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager advises: ‘For those who are planning to visit the sea please check the weather and tides before heading to the coast, tell someone where you're going and when you expect to be back. Wear a lifejacket and always carry a means of calling for help. And if you see someone in danger in the water, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.’

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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