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Displaying items by tag: Australia

Reports have come from Australia that a Ker 40 was sunk off the coast of New South Wales on Sunday (5 January) following last week’s Rolex Sydney Hobart.

All crew were reportedly picked up safe at Port Kembla after the incident in the ears hours of Sunday local time, in which the boat’s keel was said to have been damaged amid strong winds and smoke from the bushfires that have been ravaging much of the country in recent weeks.

Further details cannot be confirmed as of this time.

Published in Sydney to Hobart

Royal Irish Yacht Club cadet member Niall Malone has sent the club an update of his recent competitions in New Zealand, where he currently lives and races.

First up was two weeks of racing in Sydney, Australia last month — at the Harken International Youth Match Racing Championships hosted by the Royal Prince Alfred from 18-22 November, and the Musto Youth Match Racing Internationals at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia from 26-29 November.

“We had a good two weeks racing in a very close fleet in Sydney,” Niall says, hailing the “extremely high level of sailors” at both events.

Musto was his team’s first ever Grade 1 event, the helm says, so it was “a great opportunity just to be among such a good fleet and we were able to learn a lot”.

Despite neither event seeing him get the results hoped for, the young Irishman is proud that he “had some very close races, finishing less than half a boat length behind the world number two [New Zealand youth Nick Egnot-Johnson] and taking two wins of the Musto Youth International defending champion Frankie Dair”.

Next up for Niall will be the first ever New Zealand Foiling Match Racing Championships, being held at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron from 13-17 January, in which he will be representing the RIYC.

Published in Youth Sailing

#Drone - Beach lifeguards in Australia used a drone to rescue two swimmers in distress in what RTÉ News hails as a world first.

The ‘Little Ripper’ was launched from Lennox Head near Brisbane earlier today (Thursday 18 January) as lifeguards were readying for a training session in the use of such drones in rescue scenarios.

When two teenagers were caught in a swell outside the safety flags, the drone flew out to the swimmers and dropped an inflatable ‘rescue pod’ and were pulled back to shore in just over a minute.

The rescue was a first for the remote-piloted mini aircraft that’s more commonly used to spot sharks off Brisbane’s popular beaches.

Drones have also been hailed as a potential revolution for coastal rescues in Ireland, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Rescue
Tagged under

#Surfing - An Irishman has been praised for his heroism after saving his best friend from an attack by a great white shark in Australia just over a year ago.

As Independent.ie reports, Shane de Roiste leapt into action when his friend Dale Carr was bitten by the ferocious ocean predator while the pair were surfing off Port Macquarie in New South Wales.

"It really is like you see in the Jaws movies," said Wexford man de Roiste recalling that fateful day in August 2015. "The person is just shaken around in the water.”

Carr finally fought off the shark by jamming a thug into one of its eyes, but we was left with a severe bite on his thigh and was losing a lot of blood.

De Roiste remained with his friend throughout, paddling him back to shore and using laces from the fins of Carr's body board to keep the wound closed till help arrived.

The Irishman has now been nominated by his friend for a Pride of Australia award, the winners of which will be announced this November.

The attack just over a year ago was one of a number of incidents reported in the eastern Australian state in the latter half of 2015.

Independent.ie has more on the story HERE, while de Roiste shared his story with Matt Cooper on Newstalk's The Last Word yesterday evening.

Published in Surfing
Tagged under

An Irish tourist has died after a fall from a houseboat in Australia earlier today (Saturday 23 January), as RTÉ News reports.

The 27-year-old man, who has not yet been named, is understood to have fallen from the top deck of the houseboat on the Murray River between New South Wales and Victoria, and may have hit his head as he fell.

RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update

#MarineWildlife - Airborne drones will soon be used to patrol stretches of the Australian coast popular with Irish emigrants and holidaymakers that have seen numerous great white shark attacks over recent months.

According to BBC News, the New South Wales government will deploy drones with GPS and cameras providing a live feed to operators who can recommend action to close beaches to bathing and watersports as necessary.

The drones will work in tandem with a 'smart' drum line that will alert officials on the shore as soon as a shark is snagged on its baited hooks.

"We are delivering on a commitment to test the best science available, including new technologies, as we try to find a long term-term solution to keep our beaches safe," said NSW minister for primary industries Niall Blair.

BBC News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MarineWildlife - Great white sharks that could "bite a person in half" have seen the closure of a stretch of beaches north of Sydney for more than a week, as TheJournal.ie reports.

One shark in particular, thought to be some five metres in length, is the largest ever spotted in the waters off Newcastle, some 160km north of Australia's biggest city.

Similarly sized sharks have also been witnessed nearby feeding on dolphins, with one of the ocean predators described as being "as big as a car".

For safety reasons, all beaches in these areas have been closed to bathing and surfing – popular activities for Irish expats and locals alike – until 24 hours have passed with no sightings.

TheJournal.ie has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#Surfing - An Irish surfer who went missing off the east coast of Australia last summer underestimated the dangerous conditions, an inquest has heard.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Stuart Butler was swept out to sea in a rip current while surfing with friends near Tallow Beach, south of the Gold Coast in New South Wales on 19 July. His body has not been found.

According to ABC News, neither Butler nor his friends were experienced surfers, and the survivors told the inquest that they did not appreciate the dangers till they had already paddled out.

"[Butler] was pretty panicky, had frozen up a bit... was pretty scared to be honest," said Michael Fuller, who himself was found by rescuers on rocks at the base of Cape Byron with minor injuries.

ABC News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing

#Surfing - The family of an Irish surfer in Australia who went missing after he and two friends were pulled out to sea by a rip current have expressed their hope that he will be returned to them.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the incident prompted a major search and rescue effort in treacherous conditions off Tallow Beach on Byron Bay, south of the Gold Coast in New South Wales last Saturday morning (19 July).

The missing man has since been named by Independent.ie as 20-year-old Stuart Butler from Santry, who had joined two friends, Levi Fahrenholtz (25) from the US and Mike Fuller (19) from England to go boarding at the popular surfing spot.

Fuller managed to reach nearby rocks when the rip current pulled them away from the beach, and Fahrenholz was later rescued after he was swept around Cape Byron, but all trace of Butler's whereabouts was lost.

The North Dubliner is officially listed as a missing person, though it's been confirmed that the search effort is "now a body recovery operation".

Independent.ie has more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing

#Surfing - The Irish Times reports that the search for an Irish surfer missing since Saturday morning (19 July) off Cape Byron in Australia was suspended earlier today in fading light and treacherous conditions.

The 19-year-old was surfing with two friends when they got caught in a rip current near Tallow Beach, south of the Gold Coast in New South Wales.

One of the two rescued, aged 26, was helped from the water unharmed, while the other, aged 20, was found on nearby rocks with minor injuries.

Local surf clubs have joined in the search and rescue operation attended by helicopters and jet ski crews. The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing
Tagged under
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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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