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Carrybridge RNLI Lifeboat Respond to 35 Foot Cruiser on Fire on Upper Lough Erne

22nd June 2022
Carrybridge RNLI’s inshore lifeboat
Carrybridge RNLI’s inshore lifeboat

At 8.15pm on Monday 20 June, Carrybridge RNLI’s inshore lifeboat, Douglas Euan & Kay Richards was launched at the request of Belfast Coastguard, to assess a 35 foot cruiser which was reported by a member of the public to be on fire, in the vicinity of Tamlaght Bay.

Winds were Westerly, Force 1. Visibility was good with clear skies.

Once on scene, the lifeboat located the casualty vessel which had a well-established fire on board, and it was resting against the reed line close to the shore. No people were to be seen close to the vessel, so the volunteer Helm placed two crew members from the lifeboat ashore to carry out a land search whilst the lifeboat continued to carry out a water-based search around the location of the vessel.

The volunteer crew carrying out the shore-based search established further information from a member of the public that the owner of the burning vessel had managed to disembark from it and get onto another passing vessel. This information was relayed to the Coastguard who were trying to establish contact with the owner.

Sligo-based Coastguard rescue helicopter “Rescue 118” which had also been requested to launch and was on route to the location was then stood down.

Due to the vessel still rapidly burning, and where it was situated at the edge of a main navigation channel, the Coastguard requested for the volunteer crew of the lifeboat to remain on scene until the fire had burned itself out, to make sure it did not move from its current position and cause a further hazard to water users. The lifeboat crew monitored for other vessels moving in the vicinity and keep them at a safe distance from the burning vessel.

Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) who were in attendance, assessed the burning vessel, but due to the extent and progression of the fire they were not able to tackle the fire and they decided to allow it to burn itself out. Also, attending the scene were the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) via the shoreline.

Speaking following the call out, Stephen Scott, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Carrybridge RNLI advised all boat users: ‘‘Now we are in the summer season we would urge all boat owners to make sure you have suitable fire extinguishers on board that have been regularly serviced, and a means for calling for assistance. Thankfully in this case the owner was able to evacuate quickly from their vessel. Fires onboard can escalate rapidly, and you should have a means of evacuation from your boat if this were to happen to you.

If you have a fire onboard or any other emergency, or see someone else in similar difficulties, the number to dial is: 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.’’

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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