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Displaying items by tag: Lifeboats

Carrybridge RNLI’s inshore lifeboat Douglas Euan & Kay Richards was launched at the request of Belfast Coastguard shortly after 6.33pm on Friday evening (12 August) to a vessel which had got into difficulties in shallow water close to Naan Island.

It proved to be the start of a busy evening for the Lough Erne lifeboat volunteers in Northern Ireland who assisted 11 people in total across four boats.

Once on scene, the volunteer crew located two vessels in close proximity, both of which had got into difficulties in shallow water.

The first vessel, with one person onboard, was assessed and the decision made with the owner’s permission to safely tow it into deeper water.

With the first vessel in safe water, attention turned to the second boat, with five people and a dog on board, which was further aground.

The crew transferred four people from this vessel to the first vessel as they were travelling together. A safe route was established for the lifeboat crew to tow the casualty into deeper water with the owner’s permission. Both vessels then proceeded on their onward journey.

Meanwhile, a third vessel was spotted by the lifeboat crew entering the same very shallow area of water. The lifeboat approached this vessel, which had two people onboard, and then after speaking with the owner was safely escorted back to deeper water where they were able to continue their journey.

As the lifeboat crew were making their way back to the station, they observed a fourth vessel with four people onboard which had encountered engine difficulties after getting caught in weeds around one mile North West of Knockninny. The lifeboat crew, with the owner’s permission, set up a tow and brought the vessel back to its private berth.

Speaking later, Stephen Scott, lifeboat operations manager at Carrybridge RNLI said: “Now we are in the summer season we would urge all boat owners to make sure you have the relevant charts required before starting your journey, lifejackets for all on board and a means of calling for assistance if you find yourself in trouble.

“If you see someone in trouble on the water or are in difficulties yourself the number to dial is: 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Youghal RNLI in East Cork were called on Friday evening (12 August) to assist two people on a pleasure craft that had suffered engine failure on the River Blackwater.

The Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat launched at 7.17pm and arrived on scene at the casualty boat, a 13ft Rigiflex boat some half a mile north of Youghal Bridge at Ballynatray, around 10 minutes later.

There were two people onboard wearing lifejackets. Both were in good spirits and did not require medical assistance. Weather conditions were described as ideal and a filling tide.

After the lifeboat crew conducted a situation assessment, the casualty vessel was safely towed back to the ferry point in Youghal Harbour from where the boat was launched.

All were safe ashore and the lifeboat returned to the station where it was washed down, refuelled and readied for service.

Deputy launching authority Mark Nolan said: “Always wear a lifejacket and carry a means of communion like the casualties in this rescue. If you find yourself in difficulty, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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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
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Two people sleeping on a boat on Lough Derg had a rude awakening this morning (Friday 12 August) when the local lifeboat alerted that their vessel was adrift in Youghal Bay.

Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI to launch to investigate a report from a member of the public that a 25ft vessel was adrift in Youghal Bay at the southern end of the lake.

At 8.23am the inshore lifeboat Jean Spier launched with helm Steve Smyth, Joe O’Donoghue and Chris Parker on board. The lake was calm with a Force 2 northeasterly breeze and excellent visibility.

Nine minutes later the lifeboat arrived on scene, having located the vessel midway between Garrykennedy Harbour and Ryan’s Point at Youghal Bay.

The two people on board the vessel had been sleeping and unaware that their anchor had dragged their boat from its original location. The skipper weighed anchor and made way for harbour.

Aoife Kennedy, deputy launching authority at Lough Derg RNLI advises boat users to “ensure you have sufficient anchor warp and chain for the area in which you anchor. Remember to carry up-to-date charts of the lake and do not anchor in the main navigation channels.”

Lough Derg RNLI is currently recruiting new volunteers to join the lifesaving team for shore duty in roles as deputy launching authority, additional lifeboat mechanic and tractor driver.

Shore crew have a central role in securing the safety of the lifeboat and the men and women launching their craft to rescue those in peril on the water. They ensure the successful and smooth operations of the RNLI’s lifesaving work within the station. For more details visit the above links.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The volunteers at Union Hall RNLI received a cheque recently for over $500 from a group of Irish emigrants in the USA.

Volunteer fundraiser Pamela Deasy travelled to Kinsale recently and met John Farley, who resides in San Francisco, and his friend John O’Mahony, a volunteer deputy launching authority at Kinsale RNLI, to receive a cheque on behalf of McCarthy’s Bar in San Francisco.

McCarthy’s Bar is owned by Eileen McCarthy from Drinagh in West Cork, and its patrons last year raised over $5,000 in aid of the Kinsale lifeboat, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

John is a lifelong supporter of the RNLI with first-hand experience of their work after he, his sister and his niece were rescued a number of years ago when their boat broke down off the Old Head of Kinsale.

Deasy said: “On behalf of all our team, we wish to thank Eileen and John for thinking of us in Union Hall. This donation will help us greatly.

“With three callouts in the last two weeks, this donation will help with training costs for our volunteers, as it costs roughly €1,557 per crew member annually.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Arranmore RNLI responded to a call at 7.15am on Wednesday morning (10 August) to assist a 25ft fishing vessel with one onboard after it sustained engine trouble.

The boat was drifting on to rocks at Calf Island which is located just metres from the Arranmore lifeboat station on the island off mainland Donegal.

On reaching the location, the lifeboat volunteers found that a neighbouring boat had secured a tow rope to the casualty vessel. The all-weather lifeboat escorted both vessels to Burtonport on the mainland.

Following the callout, RNLI relief coxswain Sean Curtin said: “We were delighted to be able to assist the boat and really pleased that they did the right thing in not delaying calling for help.

“We are a 24-hour rescue service operating 365 days of the year and we encourage the public to familiarise themselves with the safety messages from the RNLI which can be found by logging on to rnli.org/safety. We are always happy to respond to calls for assistance day and night.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Skerries RNLI were tasked in the early hours of Wednesday morning (10 August) by Dublin Coast Guard after they received a call that a razor clam fishing boat had run aground on rocks in the North Co Dublin town.

Shortly after 3am pagers sounded for the volunteer crew and the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson was launched swiftly. With the casualty vessel visible from the boathouse, they were on scene almost immediately.

The lifeboat was carefully manoeuvred alongside the vessel to check on the condition of its two crew, who were in injured. The lifeboat crew carried out a quick inspection of the outside of the vessels’ hull and there did not appear to be any significant damage.

The two men wished to stay on board the vessel and wait for the incoming tide to lift it clear of the rocks.

Skerries RNLI escorting the razor clam vessel to Skerries | Credit: RNLI/Joe MaySkerries RNLI escorting the razor clam vessel to Skerries | Credit: RNLI/Joe May

With the potential for any unseen damage to result in another call out, the decision was taken for the lifeboat to return to the vessel and stand by when it began to float.

Shortly after 6am, the lifeboat attached a line to the grounded boat and as it began to float, they towed it clear of the rocks. Once in open water the tow was released, and the boat made its own way to the safety of Skerries Harbour, escorted by the lifeboat.

Speaking about the callout, volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: “It was an early start for our volunteers this morning, and it’s been a very busy week, but we are ready to go 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you see someone in difficulty on or near the water, dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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With Met Éireann issuing an advisory for hot weather through the rest of the week and the weekend, the RNLI, Irish Coast Guard and Water Safety Ireland are urging people to plan for their personal safety when visiting the coast or when they are on or near the water.

Air temperatures are set to be in the mid to high 20s, with some parts breaking 30C today (Thursday 11 August).

All three organisations are reminding people about the dangers of cold water shock, which can seriously affect breathing and movement, and can occur in any water temperature below 15C.

In a joint statement, they said: “With the good weather and high temperatures forecast to last right through to the weekend, we want to remind everyone to attend to their personal safety.

“With so many people enjoying the water this summer, it’s important that we all know the risks. The sea can be unpredictable, and even with the temperatures soaring, the fact is that the water is still relatively cool compared to air temperatures.

“Just because an area looks safe for swimming it doesn’t mean that it is safe. Only swim in areas that are protected by lifeguards or in areas with which you are familiar. In the case of lifeguard -protected beaches, only swim between the red and yellow flags.”

RNLI water safety lead Kevin Rahill said: “Many people who get into danger each year never planned to enter the water — slips, trips and falls can also occur.

“The RNLI is urging people to Float to Live if they get into trouble in the water. This means leaning back and spreading your arms and legs to stay afloat, controlling your breathing, then calling for help or swimming to safety.

“In the event of any water or coastal emergency, call 999 or 112 or use marine VHF Radio Channel 16 and ask for the coastguard.”

Roger Sweeney from Water Safety Ireland added: “Rip currents are difficult to spot but common on beaches and carry you out to sea quickly.

“If you do get caught in one, the advice is to not to exhaust yourself trying to swim against it. Rather swim parallel to the beach until free of the narrow current and then head for shore.”

Gerard O’Flynn from the Irish Coast Guard also noted: “Record numbers are also taking to the water on craft such as paddleboards and kayaks, many for the first time, so it is important to always remember to wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid and to take a means of calling for help.”

Published in Water Safety

Howth RNLI’s volunteer crew launched both their all-weather and inshore lifeboats to two separate incidents on Sunday (7 August).

The larger lifeboat was launched shortly after 3pm to reports of a motorboat with three people on board which had suffered engine failure two miles north of Ireland’s Eye, the uninhabited island off the coast of Howth.

The lifeboat, under the command of second coxswain Ian Sheridan, located the broken-down vessel within 15 minutes of launching.

Once it was established that all on board were well, the crew passed a tow line from the lifeboat and the boat was towed back to Howth Harbour. Weather conditions were good with light southerly winds.

A few hours later, at 7.15pm a call came in from a concerned sailor regarding an inflatable dinghy in Howth Sound with three people on board who were attempting to row back to Burrow Beach.

Due to the southerly winds, the inflatable was being blown offshore.

The volunteer lifeboat crew were paged and the smaller inshore lifeboat was launched shortly after. The lifeboat RIB reached the inflatable in minutes, and it was observed that none of the three on board were wearing lifejackets.

The lifeboat crew took the three individuals onto the lifeboat and returned them to the safety of Howth Harbour.

Speaking following the incident, Howth RNLI inshore lifeboat helm Ian Martin said: “Although the conditions for heading out on the water were good today, things can change very quickly and with inflatables like these, even the slightest wind can take them out to sea. That is why inflatables are not suitable for Irish waters.

“It’s also really important that anyone going out on the water wears a lifejacket that is suitable for the activity they are doing and that it is in good working order and fits well.

“With the good weather forecast for the coming week, we expect a lot of people will be spending time on or near the water. If you do get into trouble, remember to Float to Live: Lean back, using your arms and legs to stay afloat. Control your breathing, then call for help or swim to safety. In a coastal emergency call 999 or 112 for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Portaferry RNLI in Northern Ireland was requested to launch by Belfast Coastguard to reports of a fishing boat aground at St John’s Point early on Friday morning (5 August).

The volunteer crew’s pagers sounded at 6.24am and they made their way to St John’s point at Ardglass, where they arrived just before 7am and were joined by Newcastle RNLI with their all-weather and inshore lifeboats.

They found the 16m fishing boat, with a crew of four, was aground on a rocky coastline off St John’s Point.

Portaferry’s inshore lifeboat crew checked the fishing boat for damage before taking the four male adults onboard the lifeboat and bringing them to safety at Ardglass Marina.

Once on land, the casualties were transferred into the care of Newcastle Coastguard Rescue Team.

Commenting on the callout, Portaferry RNLI helm Chris Adair said: “This was an early morning callout for our crew and thankfully it had a successful outcome.

“We also wish to express our thanks to our colleagues in Newcastle RNLI who launched both their lifeboats and travelled to the scene. We were grateful to have them there.

“With conditions fair, the four casualties were brought to safety quickly and we wish them well.”

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.

© Afloat 2020

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