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Fenit RNLI Rescue Missing Swimmer After Extensive Search off Castlegregory

23rd August 2021
Fenit RNLI were tasked to a search for swimmer at 12.40 pm, following the discovery of clothes on a beach
Fenit RNLI were tasked to a search for swimmer at 12.40 pm, following the discovery of clothes on a beach

Volunteer lifeboat crew from Fenit RNLI rescued a swimmer last night (Sunday 22 August) following an extensive search after clothes had been found on a beach at Castlegregory earlier in the day. Fenit RNLI and Rescue 115 had been requested to launch by the Irish Coast Guard yesterday morning at 11 am after the discovery of clothes on a beach in Castlegregory. At 8.30 pm volunteer lifeboat crew with Fenit RNLI spotted a head above the water and took the swimmer onboard the All-Weather Lifeboat. It is not known how long the swimmer had been in the water but the casualty was brought to Fenit Harbour to be met by ambulance and brought to hospital.

Early yesterday, Fenit RNLI All-Weather Lifeboat crew were on exercise when they were tasked to a search for swimmer at 12.40 pm, following the discovery of clothes on a beach. Fenit RNLI Inshore lifeboat and Rescue 115 also joined the search. Conditions were excellent with calm waters and low tide and a search was undertaken of the area. With nothing found and no further information, the search was stood down in the afternoon.

At 6 pm the search was reactivated at the request of An Garda Siochana with the two lifeboats searching the original area and the bay nearer to Tralee and again joined by Rescue 115 overhead. At 8.30 pm, volunteer lifeboat crew with Fenit RNLI spotted a pod of dolphins and a head above the water about two and a half miles off Castlegregory beach. The casualty was conscious and immediately recovered onto the lifeboat and brought Fenit Harbour to be taken to hospital. Fenit RNLI’s medical advisor was also on scene.

Commenting on the rescue Fenit RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Gerard O’Donnell said, ‘ After a long and exhaustive search, members of the lifeboat crew were overjoyed to sight the missing swimmer in the water. They had been scanning the water for any sign of movement and were worried with light fading would not find anyone. Even at this time of year, the water can be very cold and as yet we don’t know how long this person was in the water and when they entered it. When the lifeboat crew found them they were a good distance from the shore and were exhausted.’

‘We would advise that anyone undertaking a swim lets people know where they are going and when they expected back. This was a very lucky individual.’

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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