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Fethard RNLI Aid Four People on Yacht Aground off Wexford coast

3rd May 2022
Fethard Lifeboat Station operates a D-class lifeboat, which is launched from multiple sites on the Hook peninsula. The station reopened in 1996 after being closed for 80 years
Fethard Lifeboat Station operates a D-class lifeboat, which is launched from multiple sites on the Hook peninsula. The station reopened in 1996 after being closed for 80 years

Volunteer lifeboat crew at Fethard RNLI were requested to launch their lifeboat by the Irish Coast Guard on Sunday afternoon (1 May) at 3pm, to the aid of four people on board a yacht south of Duncannon Fort in the Waterford Estuary.

Fethard RNLI’s inshore lifeboat crew were attending the Shine A Light Festival at Hook Lighthouse where the crew were offering sea safety advice to the locals and visitors in the area, when Irish Coast Guard requested their assistance. Fully prepared with shore crew and boat crew, they proceeded straight to Duncannon launching the lifeboat from Duncannon strand. Conditions were good with a force 4 south-westerly wind and a flood tide.

The lifeboat proceeded to the vessel in difficulty and established that the crew of the casualty vessel were all ok. Irish Coast Guard Helicopter, Rescue 117, stood by overhead until Fethard lifeboat crew carried out an assessment of the situation. The lifeboat crew then established a tow line, brought the yacht to deeper safe water, where the yacht made its way under its own power.

Speaking about the incident Fethard’s Volunteer Helm Eoin Bird said, ‘We’d like to thank the member of the public who dialled 999 or 112 to raise the alarm with the Coast Guard.’ Eoin also went on to say, ‘As a general reminder, as this year’s leisure boat season gets underway, it is recommended to those taking to the water, to ensure that their maritime charts are up to date, that they have relevant tide tables, at least one means of communication and that all equipment on their vessel is fully operational and in date. And most importantly, that all crew on board always wear a lifejacket.’

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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