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Lough Derg RNLI Features In Latest Series Of BBC’s ‘Saving Lives At Sea’

1st October 2020
Lough Derg RNLI’s inshore lifeboat Jean Spicer Lough Derg RNLI’s inshore lifeboat Jean Spicer Photo: Eleanor Hooker/RNLI

Tuesday 13 October at 8pm is the date and time for your TV diary to see the volunteer crew of Lough Derg RNLI feature in the current series of Saving Lives at Sea on BBC Two.

Viewers will see Lough Derg’s lifeboat crew rescue a man who fell overboard in rough weather and an eerie night time launch in fog, alongside rescue stories from their colleagues at other stations and beaches around our coasts.

Saving Lives at Sea features real-life rescue footage captured on helmet cameras gives a frontline view of how the RNLI’s lifesavers risk their own lives as they go to the aid of those in danger at sea.

That’s accompanied by emotive interviews from the volunteer lifeboat crews and lifeguards from around Ireland and the UK, alongside the people they rescue and their families.

Lough Derg’s upcoming profile follows on from Lough Ree lifesavers’ appearance in last year’s series of the hit TV documentary, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

And in next week's episode, the volunteer crew of Skerries RNLI will feature with their rescue of a teenage paddle boarder who was blown out to sea.

“It’s great that we can showcase the lifesaving work of RNLI volunteers in a TV programme like this,” said Lough Derg helm Eleanor Hooker.

“In recent months, the pandemic has presented RNLI volunteers with additional challenges, but we’ve continued to maintain a 24/7 search and rescue service.

“This year, due to Covid, fundraising events have been cancelled and we’ve seen a drop in our charitable income. Without the generous support and donations from the public, we wouldn’t be able to save lives at sea.

“It’s great that with the Saving Lives at Sea programme our supporters can see what we do out on a shout, and from the comfort of their own home. We need their support more than ever during these challenging times.”

Saving Lives at Sea is broadcast Tuesdays at 8pm on BBC Two, NI, and viewers in the UK can also watch the series on demand following broadcast on the BBC iPlayer.

MacDara Conroy

About The Author

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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