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Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat Rescue Windsurfer 1km Offshore Near Old Head of Kinsale

31st January 2021
The lifeboat returning to Courtmacsherry  pontoon with casualty on board The lifeboat returning to Courtmacsherry pontoon with casualty on board

The Courtmacsherry All-Weather Trent Class RNLI Lifeboat was called out this afternoon at 4.10 pm at to go to the immediate aid of a windsurfer who got into difficulty over one kilometre from shore off Garrylucas Strand near the Old Head of Kinsale in West Cork.

The Courtmacsherry lifeboat under Coxswain Sean O'Farrell and crew of four were underway within minutes and proceeded at full speed to the area of the casualty in rough conditions at sea this afternoon. The lifeboat reached the casualty, who was being blown out to sea, within 15 minutes, and the crew immediately plucked him from the choppy seas to the safe surround of the lifeboat. Once onboard the Lifeboat and assessed by the crew, he was immediately wrapped in blankets etc and brought back at speed to the Courtmacsherry Harbour Pontoon where he was transferred to the RNLI Station House for some further observation in a warm surrounding. He was really glad to be safely ashore and appreciated some hot drinks from Station Crewman Micheal Hurley, after a difficult 45 minutes in the cold rough water. The conditions at sea this afternoon were difficult with offshore winds haven risen in the afternoon and a rough sea developing.

Thankfully a happy ending as his mother travelled by car to collect him from the Station house, with both praising the swift action of the RNLI Lifeboat in carrying out the rescue.

The Coastguard Rescue 115 Helicopter was also tasked to assist in today’s incident.

Commenting on the callout, the Courtmacsherry RNLI Voluntary Lifeboat Operations Manager Brian O'Dwyer thanked all the Lifeboat voluntary crewmembers for the quick response to the Station’s second callout in 24 hours, and carrying out the Rescue so quickly in difficult conditions. He reiterated that is so important to call the rescue services at 112 or 999 quickly once any incident like this occurs and today this resulted in a very fast response to the scene by the rescue services.

The Courtmacsherry Lifeboat Crew involved in today’s callout were Coxswain Sean O Farrell, Mechanic Tadgh McCarthy and crew Paul McCarthy, Denis Murphy and Jim O' Donnell.

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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