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Fethard RNLI Responds to False Alarm with Good Intent

8th July 2017
Fethard Inshore lifeboat Fethard Inshore lifeboat

Fethard RNLI launched its inshore lifeboat yesterday evening (Thursday 6 July) to conduct a search after a member of the public reported seeing a kayak floating in the sea off Duncannon Beach in County Wexford.

The volunteer crew was requested to launch their inshore lifeboat at 7.50pm. They quickly assembled at the station and the lifeboat immediately proceeded to an area north of Broom Hill to carry out a search.

Weather conditions at the time were good with a light northerly Force 3 wind and a slight to moderate sea.

The crew located the kayak with no one onboard before continuing a search from Broomhill north to Duncannon, west to Woodstown, and back south to Creaden Head and east to Templetown. This was followed by a search from Templetown to Dollar Bay.

Meanwhile, the Fethard Coast Guard unit carried out a search of the shore while the Irish Coast Guard helicopter, Rescue 117 from Waterford conducted a search from the air.

The search was stood down after it was confirmed that the owner of the kayak had been safely located after swimming back to shore.

Speaking following the call out, Hugh Burke, Fethard RNLI Deputy Launching Authority said: ‘While the call out turned out to be a false alarm with good intent, we would like to commend the member of the public who raised the alarm when they saw the kayak. They thought someone was in difficulty and that was absolutely the right thing to do.
‘The search proved to be a great example of interagency work between ourselves and our colleagues in the Irish Coast Guard.
‘We would remind anyone planning a trip to sea this summer to always respect the water. Always wear a lifejacket and carry a means of communication. Should you get into difficulty call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard. If you lose a kayak or a board, please report it to the Coast Guard or the Gardaí.’

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.

SSE Renewables are the sponsors of the 2020 Round Ireland Race.

Wicklow Sailing Club in association with the Royal Ocean Racing Club in London and The Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dublin.

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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