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Four Callouts in Busy Friday For Newcastle Lifeboat Crew

19th July 2021
File image of Newcastle RNLI’s inshore lifeboat
File image of Newcastle RNLI’s inshore lifeboat Credit: RNLI/Nicholas Leach

Newcastle RNLI in Northern Ireland had a busy Friday (16 July) with four callouts within a span of 20 hours.

The volunteer crew were first requested to launch their inshore lifeboat at 2.36am on Friday morning to assist two men on a small boat which had broken down after experiencing difficulties off the Co Down coast. The vessel was towed back to its mooring at Newcastle Harbour.

At 12.40pm on Friday, the station’s all-weather lifeboat crew were requested by Belfast Coastguard to conduct a search after a number of personal possessions, including a swimmer’s robe, were discovered a short distance from the lifeboat station.

Shortly after the lifeboat was launched, it was stood down when it was ascertained the items had been on the rocks for several days.

Later at 6.53pm, both the inshore and all-weather lifeboats were requested to launch following a report to Belfast Coastguard from a member of the public that they had lost sight of a man that had entered the water after his dog at Murlough Beach in the Dundrum area.

As the lifeboats were about to launch, they were stood down as the man had managed to make it ashore.

At 9.14pm on Friday, both lifeboats were again requested to launch following a report that a parachutist had lost control and crashed into the water, south of Newcastle Harbour.

Extensive searches were carried out, with assistance from a coastguard helicopter from Wales, as well as local coastguard teams. During the search, lifeboat crew spotted a large deflated helium balloon which was retrieved from the sea. The search was subsequently stood down.

Speaking following the callouts, Newcastle RNLI lifeboat operations manager Lisa Ramsden said: “It has been a busy period for the station and I would like to commend our volunteer team and our colleagues in the various emergency services for their efforts.

“Some of these callouts transpired to be false alarms with good intent and we want to thank those who raised the alarm. We would always much rather launch and find that all is well than not launch at all.

“As we continue to enjoy some glorious weather, we would like to remind everyone to enjoy themselves but to always respect the water as they do. Always wear a lifejacket or personal flotation device and always carry a means of communication.

“Always let someone on the shore know where you are going and when you are due back and should you get into difficulty or see someone else in trouble, dial 999 or 112 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.

© Afloat 2020

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