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RNLI Lifeboat News From Ireland

Stanley Tomkins, treasurer for the Kilkeel RNLI volunteer crew, is to retire after 25 years’ service at the Co Down lifeboat station.

Tomkins, a retired bank manager, was recently awarded the British Empire Medal for his charitable work in the local community.

Over the past 25 years he been the treasurer for Kilkeel RNLI, and he has now decided to step down to devote more time to his other interests.

John Fisher, Kilkeel RNLI lifeboat operations manager, said: “We thank Stanley for his dedication and his energy over the past 25 years. We shall miss his steady hand on the financial rudder and wish him well for the future.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#Lifeboats - Youghal RNLI were honoured to receive two generous donations from members of the community in one day recently.

On Saturday 16 February, the East Cork lifeboat station welcomed sisters Aisling and Leanne Hehir who recently celebrated their birthdays, with Aisling turning 18 and Leanne 21.

Instead of gifts, they asked their family and friends to make a donation to Youghal RNLI. In total they raised €590.

Patsy O’Mahoney, helm at Youghal RNLI, said: “We are all very touched by such a generous and thoughtful donation, we would like to sincerely thank Aisling and Leanne and everyone who helped them to celebrate their birthdays.”

The station also received a donation of €1,358 from Youghal Rotary Club, who in conjunction with the Regal Cinema, organised a fantastic fundraising night at the movies.

Filmgoers were treated to delicious canapes, a glass of wine and a screening of award-winning documentary The Camino Voyage.

Derry Walsh, Youghal RNLI’s lifeboat operation manager, said: “We would like to express our deep gratitude to Youghal Rotary Club, the Regal Cinema and to all who came along on the night.

“This donation will enable our volunteers to continue saving lives at sea.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#Lifeboats - It was a different kind of ‘surf and turf’ when three teenagers and a horse were rescued in two separate callouts by Kinsale's RNLI volunteers yesterday (Sunday 17 February).

Late in the afternoon the lifeboat launched following reports that a swimmer had sustained a knee injury after entering the water near cliffs off Sancycove Island, a popular site with open-water swimmers.

When the lifeboat arrived on the scene, the crew lifted the casualty and two other swimmers into the lifeboat where they were assessed.

They were brought back to the station where a further medical assessment was conducted by trained RNLI personnel and nurse Emer Scannell, who was at the station visiting a crew member.

The casualty was later taken by ambulance to hospital.

Earlier in the day, the Kinsale lifeboat crew races to the rescue of a horse named Paddy that got into difficulties in the Bandon River.

The horse’s hoof was trapped in the framework of an oyster bed, requiring a member of the volunteer crew to dive under the water and release the panicked animal.

After several attempts, Paddy was safely returned to the shore, much to the relief of his owners.

Kevin Gould, lifeboat operations manager at Kinsale RNLI, said: “We urge everyone to exercise extreme caution on or near the water, particularly at this time of year.

“On days like today our RNLI training proves invaluable and we are all relieved that both call-outs ended well.

“Today’s rescues give a new meaning to the expression ‘surf and turf’.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#Lifeboats - As noted by Tom MacSweeney in his latest podcast, Wicklow is the last RNLI station with a Tyne class lifeboat in service.

Before the current Tyne lifeboat Annie Blaker is officially taken off service later this year, it will be replaced by a relief Shannon class lifeboat — the fastest and most technologically advanced class in the fleet.

The Shannon class Jock and Annie Slater is due to arrive in Wicklow on Sunday 24 February at 2:30pm.

Annie Blaker has been the busiest all-weather lifeboat in the history of the station, being involved in over 340 services, rescuing over 400 people.

It will be a bittersweet time for the crew, station management and fundraisers with the arrival of the new lifeboat and the departure of Annie.

The relief lifeboat, which will eventually be replaced by a permanent Shannon for Wicklow in a few years’ time, will have a temporary berth at the South Quay.

Each lifeboat class has a unique slip to launch from and as the Shannon is very different to the Tyne class, this temporary mooring near the station will support it until Wicklow receives its permanent Shannon lifeboat.

Work will need to be undertaken to support the changes at Wicklow and this will be undertaken in full consultation with relevant stakeholders.

Commenting on the changes, Wicklow RNLI lifeboat operations manager Des Davitt said: “The confidence displayed by the RNLI Council and trustees, who have given the go-ahead for this major investment, is a testament to the service of all crew, committees and fundraising teams, past and present.

“History is in the making as the newest, fastest, state-of-the-art lifeboat is about to arrive. Already our coxswains and mechanics have attended training in Poole and a crew from our station has been tasked with bringing the Shannon class lifeboat into Wicklow on Sunday 24 February where the rest of the crew will receive training from the fleet staff coxswains.

“Over the next three years major work will be carried out on the station and slip to accommodate the arrival of our own Shannon in early 2022. None of this would be possible without the magnificent support of the people, businesses and organisations of Wicklow and environs.

“It is an exciting time for all involved and indeed for the people of Wicklow.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#Lifeboats - RNLI volunteers at Lough Ree have launched their sixth Lap of Lough Ree charity cycle which will take place this year on Sunday 28 April.

The annual 85km cycle raising funds for the lifesaving service in Athlone will go anti-clockwise around Lough Ree starting and finishing at The Bounty at Buccaneers Rugby Club, with a pit-stop in Lanesborough at the north of Lough Ree.

Speaking at the launch, Sarah Bradbury, Lough Ree RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer, said: “We are delighted with the support that the cycle has received each year and that it’s becoming a favourite in the cycling calendar.

“This is a relatively relaxed route for cyclists to ease themselves back into the saddle while taking in the stunning views of Lough Ree.

“Those who participate in the cycle do so knowing they are raising vital funds for Lough Ree RNLI and we would like to thank them in advance for that.

“Funds raised will maintain and equip our inshore lifeboat and will allow our volunteer crew to continue to train and develop their lifesaving skills so when the need arises they can help those who get into difficulty on the lake.”

Registration for the event (entry fee €20) will start at 9am on 28 April in The Bounty. Further information on the cycle and updates can be found on Facebook.com/loughreernli or by emailing [email protected]

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#Lifeboats - Bangor RNLI was delighted yesterday (Tuesday 29 January) Yesterday afternoon, Bangor RNLI was delighted to welcome a delegation led by Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, Chairman of the RNLI Operations Committee.

Sir Tim and other top RNLI officials met volunteers who run the Bangor lifeboat station as part of the charity’s coastal review.

Together, they spent more than two hours discussing the running of the lifeboat station, the views of management, crew members and fund-raisers, as well as their hopes for the future.

Sir Tim, who is chairman of the RNLI’s operations committee, explained that he and his colleagues visit every lifeboat station in the country in a rolling series of visits to ensure the RNLI remains relevant to each station’s unique needs.

He thanked all the Bangor RNLI volunteers for their commitment to keeping the local waters and shores safe and said how impressed he was to see the high standards set by Bangor are being maintained.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#Lifeboats - Dun Laoghaire RNLI responded to a stand-up paddle boarder who got into difficulty between Bray Head and Greystones yesterday afternoon (Sunday 27 January).

The volunteer lifeboat crew were requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat at 12.03pm and were on the water at 12.20pm.

The Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 and Wicklow RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat were also tasked to the incident south of Bray Head.

Weather conditions were not good, with strong gale-force winds.

Dun Laoghaire’s crew of seven spotted the casualty who was clinging to his board and appeared in trouble.

Thirty-nine minutes after launch, the crew had the casualty onboard their lifeboat and quickly assessed he was suffering from “serious hypothermia”.

The casualty was airlifted to hospital by the coastguard. Wicklow RNLI recovered the paddle board and stood by as the casualty was winched onto the helicopter.

Commenting after the callout, Dun Laoghaire RNLI second coxswain Eamon O’Leary said: “The paddle boarder had suffered serious hypothermia when we arrived on the scene.

“It was a close call but he did the right thing in calling the coastguard who were quick to send out 116 along with Wicklow RNLI. It was fantastic teamwork by all involved.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#Lifeboats - Hundreds gathered on the high wall in Dunmore East on Sunday evening (20 January) to welcome the town’s all-weather lifeboat Elizabeth and Ronald back home after more than a year out of service.

On 1 December 2017, Dunmore East RNLI’s all-weather Trent class lifeboat sustained damage overnight while moored alongside its pontoon. Afterwards, the lifeboat was moved to Falmouth Boat Yard in the UK for repair.

Last week the lifeboat went through extensive sea trials before it was allowed to return on service in Dunmore East.

At 5pm on Sunday evening, people gathered on the high wall in Dunmore East to catch the first glimpse of the lifeboat as it returned home. Refreshments were served to all at the station house after in celebration of the lifeboat’s return.

The service has been maintained in Dunmore East with relief lifeboat 14-06 Windsor Runner on station.

The volunteer crews are having a busy period responding to three separate incidents this week alone. On Wednesday 16 January, the lifeboat crew assisted a 26m fishing vessel with engine trouble 10 miles South of Dunmore East.

And on Sunday afternoon, the crew assisted a 26m fishing vessel with engine trouble six miles South East of Dunmore East, as well as a 15m fishing vessel on rocks a mile north of Hook Head.

Ciaran O’Muaillain, RNLI lifeboat operations manager for Dunmore East RNLI, said: “It is fantastic to have our own lifeboat back again, our volunteer crew are very attached to Elizabeth and Ronald.

“It was a very emotional evening and I would like to thank everyone for coming out to support our lifeboat crew on this special evening.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#Lifeboats - The RNLI's all-weather lifeboat from Courtmacsherry rescued a fishing vessel which got into difficulty today with two people onboard yesterday afternoon (Monday 21 January).

The lifeboat was called out at 1.15pm to go to the aid of the 40ft vessel which had got into difficulties off the Seven Heads peninsula in West Cork and required assistance.

Under coxswain Sean O'Farrell and a crew of six, the lifeboat was quickly away and made its way at full speed to the area of the casualty.

Conditions at sea were fresh, with winds blowing Force 6 as the cold snap of weather finally hit the South Coast.

The lifeboat reached the casualty at 1.45pm and immediately took the boat, which had two crew members, in tow.

After a slow tow in lumpy conditions, the lifeboat and the casualty arrived to the safe surrounds of the Courtmacsherry Pontoon at 3.15pm.

This is the second callout so far of 2019 and voluntary lifeboat operations manager Brian O’Dwyer praised all the crew who responded so quickly today on a cold January Monday.

The crew on yesterday’s callout were coxswain Sean O’Farrell, mechanic Stuart Russell and crew members Mark Gannon, Dara Gannon, Ken Cashman, Austin McKenna and Evin O’Sullivan.

Brian further commented that there were four more crew that turned up quickly: “I am really proud that 11 crew members reacted swiftly today in the help of local fishermen who required assistance at sea.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#Lifeboats - Youghal RNLI is looking for new volunteer crew members to join its search and rescue service in East Cork.

The lifeboat station will be hosting an open day at the lifeboat station in Youghal this coming Sunday 27 January between 2pm and 5pm where interested candidates can visit to find out more.

Youghal currently has approximately 20 volunteers but is now calling on new volunteers to come forward and find out how they can get involved.

Speaking ahead of the open day, Derry Walsh, Youghal RNLI lifeboat operations manager, said: “We are looking for anyone aged 17 years and over who is willing to offer some of their free time to join the RNLI.

“Every volunteer receives first-class training from the RNLI and learns new skills which can benefit them in many walks of life. Lifeboat crew members need to have a reasonable level of fitness, have good eyesight and not be colour-blind.

“Anyone who would like to volunteer but feels they would not meet the requirements for lifeboat crew should in no way be put off, as shore crew also play an essential role in the launch and recovery of the lifeboat when it goes on service.”

If you cannot make the open day but are still interested in finding out more, contact the station directly or email [email protected]

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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