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Clogherhead RNLI Aids Fishermen After 10m Boat Has Steering Difficulty Off East Coast

12th January 2023
Clogherhead RNLI Lifeboat launched under Coxswain Sean Flanagan and with four crew members onboard
Clogherhead RNLI Lifeboat launched under Coxswain Sean Flanagan and with four crew members onboard

Clogherhead RNLI lifeboat came to the aid of two fishermen this morning (Thursday, 12 January) after their 10m boat encountered steering difficulties and began to drift out to sea.

The volunteer lifeboat crew were requested to launch their all-weather Shannon class lifeboat at 10.30 am following a request by the Irish Coast Guard to go to the fishermen’s aid. The lifeboat launched immediately under Coxswain Sean Flanagan and with four crew members onboard.

Weather conditions at the time were poor, with a constant south-to-south westerly wind gusting 45 knots once the lifeboat arrived on scene some 10 minutes later, two and a half miles northeast of Clogherhead.

The crew on the Razor boat had been fishing along the shore when their boat got into difficulty and was then pushed out to sea by the challenging weather.

The Irish Coast Guard helicopter, Rescue 116 from Dublin, was also tasked along with Clogherhead Coast Guard.

Once on scene, the lifeboat crew observed that the fishermen were safe and well but that the boat was lying broadside due to the weather.

Having assessed the situation, a decision was made to establish a towline which was done successfully despite the weather. The vessel was then towed back to the nearest safe port at Port Oriel. This was done at a slow two knots for the comfort of the fishermen onboard who were facing into the weather. The lifeboat arrived in Port Oriel at 1.15 pm where they were assisted by the shore unit of Clogherhead Coast Guard in taking the ropes of the fishing boat and securing her at the pier.

Speaking following the call out, Clogherhead RNLI Coxswain Sean Flanagan said: ‘Conditions at sea were challenging today, but we were delighted to assist the fishermen and bring them safely back to Port Oriel. We would also like to thank our colleagues in the Coast Guard for their assistance.

‘We are experiencing some poor weather at the minute, so we would encourage anyone planning a trip to sea to check the forecast before venturing out and to attend to their own personal safety. Should you get into difficulty or see someone else in trouble, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard'.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats, Fishing 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.


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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