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Courtmacsherry Lifeboat Launches to Surfer in Difficulty

22nd February 2021
File image of Courtmacsherry RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat File image of Courtmacsherry RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat Credit: RNLI/Courtmacsherry

Courtmacsherry RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat was called out yesterday afternoon (Sunday 21 February) to a surfer in difficulty off Garrettstown Beach near the Old Head of Kinsale.

The Trent class lifeboat with a crew of five was under way within minutes of the 3.40pm call.

However, upon reaching the scene less than 15 minutes later, they learned that the surfer had managed to get ashore with the help of family members.

“It was great to see the fast response of so many of our volunteer crew again today, when their bleepers activated, which ensured that we were at the scene very quickly,” said Brian O'Dwyer, Courtmacsherry RNLI volunteer lifeboat operations manager.

Elsewhere, Fenit RNLI’s volunteer crew were tasked around 1pm to reports of two upturned kayaks in the Banna Strand area.

The station launched both its all-weather and inshore lifeboats, with a full crew on both vessels.

File image of Fenit RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat (Photo: RNLI/Fenit)File image of Fenit RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat | Photo: RNLI/Fenit

On arrival at the scene of the reported sighting, the lifeboat crews were advised that the occupants of the kayaks were safe and accounted for, and their kayaks washed ashore shortly afterwards.

Fenit lifeboat press officer Jackie Murphy said the volunteers “were delighted that there was a safe and positive outcome for all concerned”.

Meanwhile, the RNLI stresses to all those taking part in any water activities or planning a visit to the coast during this extended lockdown to follow its water safety advice below, along with all new Government regulations, and stay safe in these different times for all rescue services:

  • Have a plan — check the weather forecast, tide times and read local hazard signage.
  • Keep a close eye on your family — on the beach, on the shoreline and in the water.
  • Don’t allow your family to swim alone.
  • Don’t use inflatables at all, at all on the sea.
  • Make sure to wear a lifejacket at all times when taking to the sea in a boat.
  • If you fall into the water unexpectedly, FLOAT TO LIVE. Fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs, and float.
  • In an emergency dial 999 or 112 immediately and ask for the coastguard. The rescue services are there to help you all.
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.

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