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Clifden RNLI Launch to Fire on Diver's RIB in Roundstone

22nd September 2020
The Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) caught fire in Bertraghboy Bay near Roundstone The Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) caught fire in Bertraghboy Bay near Roundstone Photo: RNLI

Three divers were rescued by the RNLI Clifden lifeboat yesterday after their rigid inflatable boat (RIB) caught fire in Bertraghboy bay near Roundstone, Co Galway.

Shortly before 3 pm yesterday (Monday, Sept 21st) Clifden RNLI launched their Shannon class all-weather lifeboat in response to a Mayday call to the Coastguard from a Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) that had caught fire in Bertraghboy Bay near Roundstone.

The three people on board had inflated their life raft, evacuated the RIB and were taken under tow by a local fishing vessel. They had been diving approximately 3 miles offshore when the incident happened.

Clifden RNLI said that the three people on board had inflated their life raft, evacuated the RIB and were taken under tow by a local fishing vessel. They had been diving approximately three miles off shore when the incident happened.

The Shannon class lifeboat Brianne Aldington arrived at the scene approximately 55 minutes after launch, it said.

Aran Island RNLI, which had also been requested to launch, was stood down shortly afterwards - as was Clifden’s Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat, once it was clear the situation was under control, it said.

The Irish Coastguard helicopter Rescue 115 from Shannon was on scene while the lifeboat escorted the casualties into Inishnee pier, where they were met by members of Cleggan Coastguard. 

Coxswain James Mullen said ‘“While this was obviously a very upsetting thing to happen, the boat was very well equipped and the sailors had taken every safety precaution to deal with an emergency scenario like this. “ 

“We wish them well and commend their quick actions and also of course the local vessel that went to their aid as quickly as possible, in what have could otherwise have been a disastrous incident, “ Mr Mullen added.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Lorna Siggins

About The Author

Lorna Siggins

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Lorna Siggins is a print and radio reporter, and a former Irish Times western correspondent. She is the author of Everest Callling (1994) on the first Irish Everest expedition; Mayday! Mayday! (2004) on Irish helicopter search and rescue; and Once Upon a Time in the West: the Corrib gas controversy (2010).

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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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