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Three Callouts in 24 hours for Skerries Lifeboat Before Hot Weather Weekend

14th August 2022
Skerries RNLI standing by at Loughshinny as Howth Coast Guard, assisted by the Skerries unit, successfully carried out a cliff rescue
Skerries RNLI standing by at Loughshinny as Howth Coast Guard, assisted by the Skerries unit, successfully carried out a cliff rescue Credit: RNLI/Stephen Crowley

Skerries RNLI responded to their third emergency in 24 hours on Friday evening (12 August) when they were tasked by Dublin Coast Guard to stand by a small boat on Donabate Strand as it refloated after running aground earlier in the day.

Shortly after 8pm, the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson was launched by the volunteers and a course was set to navigate through the islands and south towards Donabate.

As the lifeboat was en route, the crew received an update from the coastguard that the vessel had begun to float. There was one man on board, and he had managed to start his engine and was proceeding towards Malahide.

The lifeboat was requested to escort him to Malahide. However, as they were nearing the scene, they received a further update that the vessel was taking on water.

Oon scene, the lifeboat crew found that the boat was now fully submerged in shallow water, with the man standing on the deck waving his torch to try and attract their attention.

The helm manoeuvred the lifeboat as close as possible and a crew member made their way on to the boat to assess the man’s condition.

While he did not require medical assistance, it was decided that it would be unsafe to attempt to tow the boat, or to transfer him to the lifeboat in the dark, and that the safest course of action would be to walk him back to the beach.

The volunteer crew escorted him safely to the shore where he was greeted and further assisted by Skerries Coast Guard Unit.

Earlier in the day, shortly after 11am, Skerries RNLI were tasked to assist when a person had become trapped on the cliff face at Loughshinny.

The lifeboat was on scene in a matter of minutes and stood by in case the man slipped and entered the water at the base of the cliffs.

Howth Coast Guard Unit, with the assistance of Skerries Coast Guard Unit, successfully carried out a cliff rescue and brought the man to safety at the top of the cliffs. The lifeboat was stood down and returned to base.

On Thursday evening, as the volunteer crew were conducting their scheduled training, they received a VHF radio call from Dublin Coast Guard asking them to investigate reports of people in the water trying to make their way back from Shenick Island.

The lifeboat proceeded towards the island immediately, and as they rounded the headland at Red Island they spotted the group wading towards the shore in chest-deep waters.

They were confident that they could make their own way ashore and declined to be taken into lifeboat. The lifeboat stood by until they reached the safety of the beach before returning to the training session.

Speaking about the callout, volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: “As the warm weather continues we are seeing a huge increase in the number of people enjoying themselves on the water. Unfortunately we are also seeing an increase in the number of launches for our volunteers.

“We would just like to remind everyone to be conscious of their safety. Check the local tides and weather, wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid if you are going afloat, and always carry a means of calling for help. If you see someone in difficulty on or near the water, dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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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