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Lough Ree Lifeboat Assists 19 People Across Six Incidents in a Week as Season Reaches Its Peak

19th July 2022
Lough Ree RNLI heading out in calm waters on Monday morning 18 July
Lough Ree RNLI heading out in calm waters on Monday morning 18 July Credit: RNLI/Tom McGuire

Just after 8am on Monday morning (18 July), Lough Ree RNLI was requested to go to the aid of four people on board a stranded cruiser near Clawinch Island.

It brought to 19 the total number of people assisted across six incidents this week for the Co Westmeath lifeboat station.

The lifeboat crew located the 32ft cruiser which had run aground on rocks south of the island. After confirming that all four people on board were well and following a hull inspection, the stricken vessel was towed to safe water and continued under its own power.

The rocks around the Hexagon Shoal claimed another casualty when on Sunday (17 July) the inshore lifeboat Tara Scougall with her volunteer crew was called to the assist five people on board a speedboat on the rocks.

Launched at 2.42pm under helm Kieran Sloyan, the lifeboat reached the scene in minutes and found that three people had been taken on board a passing vessel while the remaining two were rescued by the lifeboat crew.

The speedboat, which was holed and taking water, was towed to Coosan Point where it was beached.

While this callout was continuing, the lifeboat station was alerted to an incident at Coosan Point where a member of the public had been injured while jumping into the lake. The casualty was assisted by Shane McCormack, a volunteer helm and casualty care specialist.

In a double callout last Thursday (14 July), Lough Ree RNLI responded to a call for assistance at midday to five people on board a stranded cruiser on the Hexagon Shoal. The cruiser was towed to safe water and headed north towards Lanesboro.

While returning from this call, the volunteer crew were diverted to another incident near Inchclearaun where a 27ft cruiser with one person on board was stranded on rocks. Following inspection, the boat was towed off the rocks and continued north.

Last Monday (11 July) Lough Ree RNLI’s volunteer crew were called to assist a 40ft cruiser with five people on board which was stranded on rocks at Kids Island. After safety checks, the boat was towed to safe water.

Following this busy week and weekend on and off the water, Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat operations manager Kevin Ganly appealed for anyone using amenities around Coosan Point to “stay well away from the slipway and launch area for the charity’s lifeboat. At busy times congestion in the area can hamper the launch of the lifeboat responding to an emergency call.”

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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