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Skerries Lifeboat Volunteers Rescue Nine People Over Busy Weekend

26th April 2021
Skerries RNLI’s inshore lifeboat approaches a group of children stranded on Shenick Island by the incoming tide
Skerries RNLI’s inshore lifeboat approaches a group of children stranded on Shenick Island by the incoming tide Credit: RNLI/Gerry Canning

Skerries RNLI rescued five children and four adults after responding to two separate incidents over the weekend.

Shortly after 6pm on Saturday evening (24 April), the pagers sounded following multiple 999 calls reporting that three children in the water trying to return from Shenick Island to the south beach after being cut off by the rising tide.

The Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat was launched and made its way around the headland at Red Island before heading for Shenick.

As the lifeboat approached the island, they could see the children making their way along the sand bar back towards the island.

A sea kayaker had seen the situation unfolding and landed on the island to convince the children to come out of the water and back to dry land.

The lifeboat was carefully manoeuvred into the shallow waters before the volunteer crew assisted the children, who were very cold but otherwise unharmed into the lifeboat and safely ashore where they were reunited with their parents.

Skerries RNLI towing the stricken motorboat to safetySkerries RNLI towing the stricken motorboat to safety Credit: RNLI/Gerry Canning

Then on Sunday morning (25 April), shortly before 11.30am, the lifeboat was passing Rush Harbour en route to Malahide Marina to carry out a planned training exercise when the crew received a tasking to a motorboat that had suffered engine failure near the north beach in Skerries.

The lifeboat altered course and quickly navigated back to Skerries where after a short search they located the casualty vessel, a 17ft motorboat with four adults and two children on board, anchored off the north beach.

A tow was established and the vessel was brought safely alongside the harbour in Skerries.

Speaking about the callouts, press officer Gerry Canning said: “It’s been a very busy few weeks for the station, but our volunteers are always ready to respond.

“We’d like to remind everyone out enjoying the coast in the good weather to check the tides, and always carry a means of calling for help. If you see someone in trouble, dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.”

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.

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