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Howth RNLI Launch Lifeboats to Three Incidents on Dublin’s Hottest Day on Record

18th July 2022
Howth RNLI lifeboat station
Howth RNLI lifeboat station

The volunteer lifeboat crew of Howth RNLI launched both their inshore and all-weather lifeboats to three separate incidents today (Monday 18 July), the hottest day on record in Dublin.

The inshore lifeboat was launched at 2.20pm to reports of a missing child on Portmarnock beach. The Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 from Dublin and the Howth Coast Guard unit were also tasked to assist.

As the first incident was unfolding, a ‘Pan-Pan’ or urgent message was broadcast from a yacht with three people onboard that was in difficulty five miles North East of Howth. The Howth all-weather lifeboat which was launching to the missing child at the time was re-directed to this incident.

Once on scene at Portmarnock beach, the crew of the inshore lifeboat were informed the missing child was located on the beach and was placed into the care of the Howth Coast Guard team. The inshore lifeboat was then requested to accompany the all-weather lifeboat to the yacht in difficulty.

The yacht was located five miles offshore with rigging problems and unable to make way due to the moderate winds . The crew of the yacht were directed to hold the boat steady on a particular compass heading while the Coxswain of the all-weather lifeboat manoeuvred the lifeboat alongside to transfer a crew member on board.

The RNLI crew member worked with the yacht’s crew to secure the rigging. Once safe, the all-weather lifeboat escorted the yacht to Howth harbour.

While on its way to the yacht in difficulty, the inshore lifeboat was again requested by Dublin Coast Guard to another incident. A powerboat with a family of four onboard had suffered engine failure and was being blown ashore off Portrane. Once on scene a passing boat had come to the family’s assistance and secured a tow. The crew of the inshore lifeboat then escorted the boat to the safety of Malahide marina.

Speaking following the three incidents, Howth RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, Colm Newport said: 'Thankfully the outcome of all of these incidents was positive with the missing child located safe and well and the crews of both the yacht and powerboat returned safely ashore.

Our volunteer crew train regularly to deal with all types of incidents on the water. As the sun shines and more people spend time on the water it’s the charity's busiest time for its lifeboat crews.

When going to the beach, it’s important to swim where lifeguards are present and to swim between the red and yellow flags.

For boat owners, it’s important to ensure you have undergone the right training so that you can develop your skills to be prepared for when things go wrong. Your engine should be well maintained and if you do get into difficulty, make sure you have an anchor on board and a means of calling for help.

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.

© Afloat 2020

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