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Clifden Lifeboats Launch To Pleasure Boat Broken Down In Cold Fog

27th July 2017
Clifden RNLI’s lifeboats on exercise Clifden RNLI’s lifeboats on exercise Photo: RNLI/Nicholas Leach

#RNLI - Clifden RNLI launched their inshore and all-weather lifeboats on Tuesday night (27 July) to reports of a pleasure boat in difficulty east of Davillaun Island.

The eight people on board had been to Inishbofin for the day and were returning home when the weather turned, becoming wet and foggy.

The volunteer lifeboat crew was requested to launch by Malin Head Coast Guard at 6.58pm to assist the broken down pleasure craft. 

Once the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat was on scene, one of the RNLI crew boarded the pleasure boat to assist the casualties and to secure a tow line. 

Four of the casualties were then transferred onto the lifeboat where they received casualty care while the remaining four people stayed on the pleasure boat as it was towed towards the pier at Aughris, over an hour away.

When the Mersey class all-weather lifeboat arrived, all eight casualties were put on board and taken inside to warm up. The RNLI crew also radioed ahead to request an ambulance to meet them at Aughris as one of the group required further medical attention.

The casualty was assessed by paramedics and transferred to hospital for further treatment. The remaining seven people disembarked the lifeboat at the pier.

“This callout shows how conditions can change quite quickly at sea,” said Clifden RNLI lifeboat helm Daniel Whelan. “Visibility became poor as the weather deteriorated. Thankfully we have a fast responding Atlantic 85 lifeboat and a well-trained crew. Having the all-weather lifeboat provide cover was invaluable, providing warmth and comfort for the casualties.

Safety at sea is so important. Wear plenty of layers. Tell someone your plan and bring a suitable form of communication. The group in trouble did all of this which made it much easier to locate them.”

Clifden RNLI coxswain David Barry added: “This was a very successful callout with both lifeboat crew working well together to bring the casualties to safety. It was a beautiful day but the weather turned as the evening approached. We wish the patient a speedy recovery.”

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.

© Afloat 2020

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