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Displaying items by tag: Achill Island

Achill Island RNLI went to the assistance of a man on Clare Island off the coast of County Mayo, requiring medical evacuation on Monday, 23 January. The request from the Irish Coast Guard was the first call out for the year for the volunteer lifeboat crew and their all-weather lifeboat, the ‘Sam and Ada Moody’.

With moderate sea conditions to contend with, as well as patchy mist and fog, the lifeboat made its way to Clare Island shortly before 2 pm. The casualty had been assessed and treated by the island nurse, and he was then transferred to the care of the lifeboat crew, who brought him to Roonagh Pier, southeast of Clare Island, for onward transport to Galway University Hospital. The lifeboat then headed in a northerly direction across Clew Bay to Achill Island, passing Clare Island again on its left on the return journey.

Speaking after the call out, Maria Kilbane, Achill Island RNLI’s volunteer Deputy Launch Authority, said: ‘Achill Island RNLI has always had a very close relationship with the people on our local islands, including Clare Island. Our crew are always happy to assist, and we wish the casualty well with his recovery.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Two sailors are recovering after their yacht washed ashore on Achill Island and was beached for three days before the alarm was raised, as RTÉ News reports.

The 50-foot boat is understood to have got into difficulty amid stormy conditions in the Atlantic in the middle of last week and washed ashore near Dooega Head on the Co Mayo island after capsizing.

But it was a further three days, on Friday (11 November), when one of the two crew climbed up the cliff to seek help.

The other crew member was rescued by the Irish Coast Guard’s Sligo-based helicopter Rescue 118 and airlifted to hospital.

According to the Irish Examiner, the two sailors say they were en route from the Caribbean to Ibiza before the incident.

But it’s also emerged that neither sailor was carrying identifying documents, and that the boat had no navigation equipment, distress signal nor food or water on board.

Published in Island News
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Achill Island RNLI went to the assistance of two local fishermen whose 21ft fishing vessel was experiencing engine difficulties this morning.

The volunteer lifeboat crew were requested by Malin Head Coast Guard to go to the assistance of the two fishermen who reported difficulties with their engine close to Corrán, off Achill Island, shortly after 10am this morning. The ‘Sam and Ada Moody’ launched with Dave Curtis, Coxswain, Michael Cattigan, Mechanic, Patrick Kilbane, Terry Hogarth and Declan Corrigan on board. They quickly reached the vessel, which was located approximately two miles from the Lifeboat Station, in what was described as ideal sea and weather conditions at the time.

On reaching the vessel, both fishermen were found to be safe and well. The vessel was assessed, and a decision was made to tow it the short distance to Corrán, the nearest and safest pier.

Speaking after the call out, Ciaran Needham, Achill Island RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, said: ‘The fishermen on board this vessel did everything right and made the right call in seeking assistance. Anyone can encounter problems with their vessel, and while sea and weather conditions were perfect this morning, they can change very quickly. Our advice is never to hesitate to call the Coast Guard for help if you encounter unexpected problems while at sea. Our crew are always happy to assist.’

Published in Fishing
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Achill Island RNLI were requested by the Irish Coast Guard to assist with a swimmer who got into difficulty at Mulranny on Friday evening (19 August).

The volunteer lifeboat crew were paged shortly after 6pm to assist with a man who had got into difficulty while swimming near the village on the isthmus between Clew Bay and Blacksod Bay in Co Mayo.

The Sligo-based coastguard helicopter Rescue 118 as well as Achill Island Coast Guard and the National Ambulance Service were also requested to assist.

Sea conditions were moderate and the weather was a little overcast with good visibility at the time.

The all-weather lifeboat Sam and Ada Moody launched with a crew of seven on board, and were at Currane Point when they were stood down having being unformed that the casualty had been brought ashore by a local swimmer.

The casualty received treatment from a local GP before been stretchered to an awaiting ambulance, it was reported.

Speaking after the incident, Achill Island RNLI lifeboat press officer Eilish Power said: “While our crew were stood down before reaching the casualty, we would remind people to never hesitate to ring 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard if they see someone needing assistance in the water.

“Our volunteer crew are always happy to respond to a call for help when requested.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Four coastal locations around the island of Ireland are in the running to be named Ireland’s best place to holiday this year, with the winner to be announced this August Bank Holiday weekend.
 
Carlingford in Co Louth on the shores of Carlingford Lough joins Achill Island in Co Mayo, Inishbofin in Co Galway and Portrush and the Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland in the list of five finalists for the Irish Times Best Place to Holiday in Ireland 2022 contest.

For more details and to find out the winner, see the Irish Times website HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

Achill Island RNLI were involved in a 14 hour rescue overnight, (Sunday/Monday 22/23 May), to a lone sailor on board a yacht which had lost power almost 40 nautical miles west of Achill Island.

The volunteer crew were requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat by the Irish Coast Guard to assist the sailor and their racing yacht which was in difficulty almost 40 miles off the west coast, having lost all power. The loss of power meant that the sailor onboard had no means of communication. A fixed wing aircraft located the yacht’s position which was then provided to Achill Island RNLI to assist with planning what became an overnight passage.

The Trent class lifeboat launched at 8.30 pm under Coxswain Dave Curtis with a crew of six onboard including mechanic Michael Cattigan, Terry Hogarth, Ken Quinn, Ivan Swarbrigg, Stephen McGreal and Thomas Ruddy. The Sligo based Irish Coast Guard Helicopter, Rescue 118 was later tasked so that they could confirm the location of the yacht and provide light for the lifeboat crew who arrived in fading light. There were north westerly winds at the time with Force 3-4 sea conditions which began to calm during late morning.

The lifeboat located the yacht at approximately 11pm with the sailor on board. The man was physically well, but tired from his ordeal. Once on scene, Rescue 118 departed and the lifeboat crew carried out an assessment of the yacht, which was found to be in good condition. However, without power, the sailor could not lower his sail, so he had no steering control and was at the mercy of the wind. A risk assessment was carried out and it was decided to tow the yacht to nearest safe port at Clare Island.

Establishing a tow proved challenging with the sail remaining up amid 1.5-2m swells, but the efforts of the crew meant that a safe tow was eventually established and a tow commenced in the early hours of the morning and continued overnight. The lifeboat and the yacht reached Clare Island at 8.55am this morning, where the yacht was safely moored. Happy that the sailor was well and recovering from is ordeal, the volunteer crew left Clare Island at 9.10am and arrived back in Achill Island shortly before 10am this morning, having spent almost 14 hours at sea.

Speaking after the call out, Ciaran Needham, Achill Island RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, said: ‘We were delighted to be able to assist in this multi-agency rescue during the night, which thankfully resulted in the safe rescue of a lone sailor. Our crew worked hard in difficult conditions throughout, and we want to thank all those who helped make their task easier than it might otherwise have been. The Irish Coast Guard at Malin Head excellently coordinated the rescue and we are grateful to the crew of Rescue 118 for their help and assistance when we reached the lone sailor, who thankfully, is safe and well.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Usually, it’s the lifesavers of the RNLI who answer Mayday calls – it’s the most serious call for help. But this May, they need the public’s help.

The charity is calling on the people of Achill and its diaspora to support Achill Island RNLI lifeboat crew’s Mayday Mile to help raise vital funds to keep people safe this summer.

Organised by the island’s lifeboat crew, the Mayday fundraiser will see the volunteers rowing a distance of one mile from their lifeboat station in a small flotilla including a currach, some kayaks and other watercraft commonly seen in the pristine waters around Achill Island.

The crew will be carrying their pagers with them so they can respond to a call for help, should the need arise.

Funds raised through Mayday fundraising events will make sure that RNLI lifesavers have everything they need to keep families safe on the water and RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews will drop whatever they’re doing when a call for help comes in.

Eilish Power, Achill Island RNLI’s press officer says: “Summer is our busiest time of year, with thousands of people visiting the area and enjoying the water. A call for help can come from anywhere, from people enjoying days out with family or friends or the medical evacuations on our surrounding islands that our volunteer crew facilitate.

“Mayday is our own call for help, as we rely on the generosity of the public to support events like the Achill Island RNLI lifeboat crew’s Mayday Mile, and raise the funds that allow us to be there when we’re needed most.

“But we need to be ready. Training, kit, stations, fuel: these are just some of the things we need to save lives, and that your fundraising can help provide.”

The RNLI’s Mayday national fundraiser begins on Sunday 1 May and will run for the whole month across Ireland and the UK.

You can show your support for the Achill Island RNLI lifeboat crew’s Mayday Mile by giving what you can via the donation page, and visit the station’s Facebook page for details.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Achill Island RNLI medically evacuated a man from Clare Island on Friday afternoon (28 January), in what was their first call out of 2022.

The volunteer crew launched their all-weather lifeboat, Sam and Ada Moody, at 3.26 pm on Friday following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to evacuate the man who was in need of medical assistance, from the island. Sea conditions were moderate at the time with 1½-2 metre swells in southeasterly winds with mist and fog.

The casualty was taken onboard the lifeboat and received medical treatment from the crew while being transferred to Roonagh Pier. The casualty was then brought to hospital by the National Ambulance Service for further treatment.

The lifeboat crew consisted of five volunteers and included Ken Quinn, who took part in his first rescue since he re-joined Achill Island RNLI following a three-year break for work purposes. Ken, who had previously volunteered with the Achill RNLI crew for six years said: ‘The relationship between Achill Island RNLI and those on our islands has always been a special one. It is a privilege to be able to respond when the call for help comes in. We wish the casualty well with their recovery.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Inishturk islander John O’Toole will enjoy his 89th Christmas at home with his wife Mary, his children and grandchildren in the coming weeks.

He and his family won’t take this for granted. however, since John spent several weeks in hospital during the summer after his medevac by Achill Island RNLI when he became seriously unwell in June this year.

As thanks to the lifeboat crew that came to his aid, John and his family are supporting the RNLI’s Christmas Appeal.

John spent almost two months being treated for his illness in Mayo University Hospital before recuperating in a nursing home and finally becoming well enough to return home courtesy of Achill Island RNLI to Inisturk in August.

Speaking about her father’s dramatic recovery, John’s daughter Annie Maher said: “On that day in June when Dad took ill, the Achill Island lifeboat was called to transfer Dad from home to the mainland to get medical attention at Mayo University Hospital.

“Without the quick response of the lifeboat on that day, it may have been a very different outcome.”

Supporting the RNLI’s Christmas Appeal comes easy to the O’Toole family, who have been long-standing supporters of the charity that saves lives at sea.

Having John at home brings back fond memories of Christmases in the past, and that unique relationship that exits between the islanders and the RNLI.

File image of Achill Island RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat | Credit: RNLIFile image of Achill Island RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat | Credit: RNLI

Annie recounts stories of how the young children on Inisturk would donate all the money they gathered on their traditional Wren Boys Day collection to the RNLI, which they affectionally refer to as ‘the lifeboat’.

She said that the islanders were always assured that even in really bad weather conditions, ‘the lifeboat’ would always come to their aid. “What a wonderful service it is to all still living on the islands around Ireland.”

She also spoke about the RNLI collection box which was always on the counter in the local pub, and the islanders happily popped their change into it.

“Dad has made a remarkable recovery following his return home,” Annie said. “He enjoys daily short walks with mum and the dogs while keeping an eye on the sheep. He is looking forward to spending time with family and friends and maybe have a little glass or two of rum.”

She concluded: “Dad, Mum and all of us understand the commitment and dedication of the Achill lifeboat crew and all involved with the lifeboat. We wish them all a very Merry Christmas and safe New year. May God watch over them all while at sea.”

These callouts would not be possible without donations from the RNLI’s generous supporters, helping to fund the essential kit, training and equipment needed by lifeboat crews all year round.

Despite the disruption caused by the pandemic, lifeboat crews have remained on call, available to launch at any hour, day, or night, to help those in trouble at sea.

Through people supporting this year’s Christmas appeal, the RNLI can continue to operate the lifesaving service and work towards the charity’s goal, to save every one.

To make a donation to the RNLI’s Christmas Appeal, visit RNLI.org/Xmas

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Achill Island RNLI evacuated a male patient from Inishbofin late last night and into this morning, (Tuesday 5 October). The patient was brought to Cleggan Pier in Galway for further transport to University College Hospital, Galway.

The volunteer lifeboat crew of six with Dave Curtis as Coxswain, left Achill Island at 9.50 pm last night (Monday) to travel a distance of 20 nautical miles to reach their casualty on Inishbofin. The journey took the all-weather lifeboat, Sam and Ada Moody, past Clare Island and Inishturk, then south to Inishbofin in moderate sea conditions with waves of up to two metres in places.

It was a cold, dark night with westerly winds and showers. A light snow flurry greeted the crew when they arrived at Inishbofin, a journey that took the Trent class lifeboat just under an hour to complete on this particular leg. The patient was taken onboard the lifeboat which then travelled to Cleggan where the pier was lit up by members of the Cleggan Coast Guard unit who assisted with transferring the patient to the waiting HSE ambulance. The patient was then transported to University College Hospital in Galway for further treatment and the Sam and Ada Moody returned to Achill Island at 1.26 am this morning.

Speaking after the call out, Ciaran Needham, Achill Island RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘As always, it is great to see inter-agency cooperation working so well in the early hours of the morning. Our volunteers train for all types of sea and weather conditions and are ready to respond whenever their pagers go off, day or night. We were delighted to be able to assist this patient and we wish him a speedy recovery.’

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.

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