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Portaferry RNLI Rescues Two Sailors after 36ft Yacht Gets into Difficulty on Strangford Lough

25th August 2020
Portaferry RNLI assessed the situation and observed that the yacht was drifting close to shore off Taggart Island Portaferry RNLI assessed the situation and observed that the yacht was drifting close to shore off Taggart Island

Portaferry RNLI came to the aid of two sailors whose 36ft yacht got into difficulty on Strangford Lough this morning (Tuesday 25 August).

The volunteer crew were requested to launch their inshore lifeboat at 9.55 am following a report from Belfast Coastguard that a 36ft yacht with two people onboard was dragging its anchor and drifting towards the shore.

The lifeboat helmed by Fergal Glynn and with crew members Ian Sands, Josh Boyd, and Rosalind Watret onboard, launched immediately and made its way to the scene.

Weather conditions at the time were poor with heavy rain, a southeasterly Force 7 wind and a choppy sea. Visibility was fair.

Due to the weather conditions, a decision was made to also request the all-weather lifeboat from Donaghadee RNLI. A local vessel also offered its assistance.

Once on scene, Portaferry RNLI assessed the situation and observed that the yacht was drifting close to shore off Taggart Island. The man and woman onboard were safe and well. A lifeboat crew member was transferred to the yacht where they took a line to the vessel to take the weight off the anchor. Once this was completed the inshore lifeboat proceeded to tow the yacht back to Killyleagh. Donaghadee RNLI was subsequently stood down.

Speaking following the call out, Philip Johnston, Portaferry RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘Weather conditions at sea were not good this morning and the crew onboard the yacht did the right thing calling for help when they knew they were in difficulty and we would like to wish them a safe onward journey.

‘Ahead of sailing, we would remind people to always respect the water. Always wear a lifejacket and always have a means of calling for help or signalling and ensure everyone onboard knows how to use it. Always check the weather forecast and tide times. Make sure someone on the shore knows where you are going and when you are due back. Should you get into difficulty, dial 999 or 112 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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