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Aran Islands Lifeboat in Monday Evening Medevac for Sick Patient

11th July 2023
File image of Aran Islands RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat
File image of Aran Islands RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat Credit: RNLI/Nicholas Leach

The volunteer crew of Aran Islands RNLI were requested to launch their all-weather Severn class lifeboat at 6.05pm on Monday (10 July) to attend a person on Inis Mór who was experiencing a health issue and indeed of further medical attention.

The patient was transferred safely aboard the lifeboat at Kilronan Harbour under the supervision of the volunteer crew. The lifeboat then launched under coxswain Aonghus O hIarnáin and a full crew for the mainland.

Conditions at the time of launching were good, with a Force 3 northerly wind blowing.

It was the second call-out in three days for the Aran Islands volunteers, who were also requested to launch early on Saturday morning (8 July) after a yacht broke its mooring at Kilronan Harbour and had run aground close to a rocky beach.

Shortly after 6.30am on Saturday, the Severn class lifeboat launched under coxswain Aonghus Ó hIarnáin and proceeded towards the yacht in challenging conditions, with a strong Force 8 southerly wind blowing.

Two members of the volunteer crew then launched the Y-boat, the 3m inflatable boat aboard the lifeboat, to allow the crew to get to the yacht in shallow water.

A tow line was established to the 24ft sailing yacht and it was pulled clear of the rocks on the in coming tide before being towed safely to the pier.

The yacht, a 24ft sailing vessel was was then towed safely to the pier.

Speaking after the call-outs, Ó hIarnáin said: “There was a good outcome to the yacht rescue what could have been a tricky situation, with the weather conditions becoming increasingly challenging.

“We also want to wish the patient who took ill yesterday a speedy recovery.”

The crew on Saturday’s call-out with Ó hIarnáin were mechanic Alan O'Flynn and crew members Joe Gill, Daniel O’Connell and Caelan Cullen Quinn. On Monday’s call-out with Ó hIarnáin were mechanic Máirtín Eoin Coyne, Caelan Cullen Quinn, Daniel O’Connell and Máirtín Dé Bhailis.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats 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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