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Skerries Lifeboat Crew Rescue Stranded Kayakers From Shenick Island

26th April 2022
Skerries RNLI returning to the station with one of the two kayakers who was showing signs of hypothermia
Skerries RNLI returning to the station with one of the two kayakers who was showing signs of hypothermia Credit: RNLI/Gerry Canning

Skerries RNLI were tasked shortly before 11am yesterday morning (Monday 25 April) following a 999 call to Dublin Coast Guard from two kayakers who were stranded on Shenick Island off the North Co Dublin town.

The Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson was quickly launched and the volunteer crew navigated their way around the headland and past Colt and St Patrick’s islands before heading towards Shenick.

After its crew quickly spotted the two men on the foreshore of Shenick island, the lifeboat was carefully manoeuvred into the shallow waters on the western side of the island and two volunteers waded ashore to check on the condition of the casualties.

One of the men had been in the water for some time after his kayak capsized and he lost his paddle. As a result, he was suffering badly from the cold and was beginning to show signs of hypothermia.

The lifeboat helm decided that the best course of action was to get the man ashore and out of the elements as quickly as possible.

He was transferred into the lifeboat by the crew and in order to speed up the evacuation, one member of the crew stayed on the island with the second man, who was feeling fit and well, to assist him in recovering their kayaks from the far side of the island.

The lifeboat brought the casualty to the beach at the lifeboat station, where he was met by shore-crew volunteers who provided him with blankets and brought him into the boathouse.

In the meantime, the lifeboat returned to Shenick Island to pick up the remaining volunteer and the second man. Their kayaks and equipment were also loaded on to the lifeboat and returned to shore.

After spending some time in the station warming up, the man was soon feeling much better and did not require any further medical assistance.

An Irish Defence Forces RIB was also in the area at the time as the Air Corps are currently undergoing exercises in Gormanston. They also made their way to Shenick Island and stood by to offer any assistance if required.

Weather conditions at the time had a Force 3-4 easterly wind with a slight swell and good visibility.

Speaking about the callout, volunteer press officer Gerry Canning said: “The men made the right call in getting themselves ashore wherever they could and calling for help.

“One of the men had his mobile phone in a waterproof case which proved very important in this instance and we continue to encourage people to always carry a means of contacting the shore in case they need assistance.”

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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