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Red Bay RNLI Rescues Three After a Fishing Boat is Grounded on Rocks Near Glenarm

24th April 2021
The Red Bay lifeboat launching on the callout this morning from Cushendall
The Red Bay lifeboat launching on the callout this morning from Cushendall

Red Bay RNLI launched their B class Atlantic 85 lifeboat at 9.20 am this morning (Saturday 24 April) after reports that a small fishing boat with three crew onboard was grounded on rocks one mile south of Glenarm Marina on the Antrim Coast. Glenarm is about 14 miles south of Red Bay.

Red Bay RNLI operates out of Cushendall at the foot of the table topped Lurigethan Mountain and at the meeting point of three of the Glens of Antrim; Glenaan, Glenballyemon and Glencorp. The Mull of Kintyre in Scotland is only 16 miles away across the North Channel.

In a strong easterly wind and choppy waters, the lifeboat crew were on the scene in twenty minutes and all three men were safely rescued from the craft and brought ashore.

On arrival at the scene the lifeboat crew saw the vessel stuck fast on the rocks and with visible damage to its hull. Deciding it would be too dangerous to move the vessel and with the tide dropping, the decision was taken to evacuate the crew off their vessel. Two lifeboat crew swam ashore and with the assistance of Ballycastle and Larne shore-based Coastguard units, two men were safely taken off the boat. The third man needed the aid of a stretcher and the agencies worked together to safely move him.

Commenting on the callout Red Bay RNLI Helm Connor McLaughlin said, "The fishing vessel was stuck fast on the rocky coastline and the crew were unable to move. With the tide dropping fast and visible damage to the vessel, we needed to bring them to safety as quickly as possible. Working with the local coastguard agencies, two of our crew swam to shore and brought all three of the men to safety, with one needing a stretcher to be evacuated off the small craft. The weather can turn in an instant and it's important to take note of tide times. Thankfully, all of the men were wearing lifejackets and the outcomes was a successful one".

Betty Armstrong

About The Author

Betty Armstrong

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Betty Armstrong is Afloat and Yachting Life's Northern Ireland Correspondent. Betty grew up racing dinghies but now sails a more sedate Dehler 36 around County Down.

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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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