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Two Callouts Within 12 hours for Baltimore RNLI Lifeboat

5th September 2021
Baltimore all-weather lifeboat approaches casualty vessel. The photo was taken by a taken by a crew member on the capsized yacht
Baltimore all-weather lifeboat approaches casualty vessel. The photo was taken by a taken by a crew member on the capsized yacht

Baltimore RNLI were called out twice within 12 hours today (Saturday 4 September), firstly to provide assistance to two people when their vessel went aground, and secondly to provide assistance to a sailing boat that had capsized.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 6.16 am, following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to go to the assistance of a 50 foot converted trawler, with two people on board, which had run aground in the Ilen River, near Old Court in West Cork.

The Baltimore all-weather lifeboat crew arrived at the casualty vessel at 6.45 am and Coxswain Aidan Bushe immediately assessed the situation. There was no obvious damage done to the trawler and given the fact the tide was falling and she was hard aground, the decision was made not to attempt to refloat her. Baltimore Lifeboat volunteer crew members launched their y-boat and crew members Jerry Smith and Colin Whooley made their way over to the casualty vessel and took two people off the vessel and brought them back to the lifeboat. The lifeboat crew then retrieved the y-boat and the lifeboat made its way back to Baltimore, dropping the two people at the pier before returning to Baltimore lifeboat station at 8.07 am.

At high tide this afternoon the skipper of the casualty vessel managed to refloat the vessel without any further assistance from Baltimore RNLI.

There were six volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat this morning, Coxswain Aidan Bushe, Mechanic Cathal Cottrell and crew members Sean McCarthy, Don O’Donovan, Jerry Smith and Colin Whooley. Conditions during the call were calm with a north easterly force 2-3 wind, no sea swell and good visibility.

Baltimore all-weather lifeboat pumps out the Y boat  Photo: RNLI/Micheal Cottrell Baltimore all-weather lifeboat pumps out the casualty dinghy  Photo: RNLI/Micheal Cottrell

The volunteer lifeboat crew were also called to launch their all-weather lifeboat at approximately 4.18 pm, following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to go to the immediate assistance of an 18ft sailing sloop, with three people on board, which was sinking in Baltimore Harbour.

When Baltimore all-weather lifeboat crew arrived at the casualty vessel at 4.24 pm the three people on board had been taken off by the Baltimore Sailing Club crash boat, and the vessel was full of water. The volunteer lifeboat crew immediately readied their onboard salvage pump and proceeded to pump the vessel dry. A local rib that was also in the vicinity at the time assisted in stabilising the casualty vessel whilst it was being pumped out. Once all the water was pumped out the assisting rib towed the casualty vessel back to its mooring within the harbour. Baltimore lifeboat then returned to station arriving at 4.54 pm.

There were five volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat during the second callout, Coxswain Aidan Bushe, Mechanic Cathal Cottrell and crew members Jerry Smith, Jim Griffiths and Conor Harrington. Conditions within the harbour during the second call were calm with an easterly force 4 wind, no sea swell and good visibility.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Afloat.ie Team

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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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