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Displaying items by tag: Clifden

#RNLI - In the East Cork lifeboat station’s first callout of 2018, Youghal  RNLI was requested to launch at 1.02pm on Wednesday 10 January to reports of a fishing vessel that was taking on water.

The lifeboat proceeded to the location of the fishing boat, with one onboard, near Whiting Bay. Conditions saw a choppy sea state at the time, with a moderate southeasterly breeze.

Helmed by Erik Brooks and with crew members Liam Keogh, Mick Brooks and Eddie Hennessy onboard, the lifeboat reached the vessel and quickly assessed the situation to find a good deal of water onboard.

Two of the crew boarded the boat with a salvage pump and started to pump the water overboard.

Waterford’s Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117 arrived on scene to give air assistance and stayed in the area until the vessel was returned safely to Buttimer’s Quay and Youghal Coast Guard.

Speaking following the callout, Youghal RNLI helm Erik Brooks said: “The skipper did the right thing by calling for help quickly today and we were delighted to bring the fisherman and boat to safety.

“We would remind anyone planning a trip to sea to always respect the water. Always carry a means of communication with you when you are on the water and remember to let someone ashore know when you leave and when you are due back.”

In other Irish lifeboat news, Clifden RNLI's all-weather lifeboat Fisherman’s Friend was requested to launch at 8.50am on Tuesday morning (9 January) to investigate reports of a white light west off Eeshal Island in Co Galway.

At 9.10am, the all-weather lifeboat was underway to investigate with six volunteer crew on board and in difficult weather conditions of 3-4 metre seas and a south easterly Force 7-8 wind.

The boat proceeded to Eeshal Island and conducted a thorough search around Omey Island, Aughris Point and Cruagh Island.

When nothing was found after some time, Malin Head Coast Guard was satisfied that the light seen was most likely from a 25m fishing vessel that had passed by the area that morning and did not indicate a vessel in difficulty.

Clifden RNLI coxswain James Mullen said later: “This call was reported with good intent and we would like to thank the member of the public for their vigilance.

“Given the prevailing weather conditions this morning, the all-weather boat was an excellent asset and well done to all the crew for assembling and launching so quickly.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - Clifden RNLI officially named its new D class lifeboat Celia Mary at a special ceremony and service of dedication held yesterday (Saturday 21 October) in the Connemara coastal town.

The honour of handing over the lifeboat and officially naming her went to the donor Peter Ross, husband of the late Celia.

He was accompanied at the ceremony in the Station House Hotel by his family and Celia’s best friend Rea Hollis, who has made a generous donation towards the running costs of Clifden Lifeboat Station.

Celia, who was from East Sussex but was of Irish descent, died three years ago shortly after her 79th birthday. She had always wanted to fund a lifeboat.

A much-loved wife and mother of five children, Celia spent many years living self-sufficiently and keeping cows and sheep. She had a great sense of humour and her kitchen was the focal point of her village.

Her idyllic life came to an end when rheumatoid arthritis took hold. But despite suffering from subsequent ill health, this did not stop her from becoming a respected antiques dealer until what has been described as her indomitable spirit succumbed and she passed away.

During the ceremony, Niamh McCutcheon, a member of the Irish Council of the RNLI, accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the charity from Peter Ross, before handing her over into the care of Clifden Lifeboat Station.

During her address, McCutcheon praised the efforts of all those who supported the work of the station.

“In 2017, Clifden RNLI has been requested to respond to 17 call outs, with a total of 26 launches, bringing 18 people to safety between the three different lifeboats on station here. You cannot put a price on the impact that has on people’s lives, whether they are volunteers or casualties.

“Our lifesavers could not have answered those calls for help without the support they receive from fellow volunteers on the shore: the fundraisers, the launch crew and the station management. In fact the whole of the RNLI depends on those people who represent our charity in the community.”

Lifeboat operations manager John Brittain accepted the lifeboat on behalf of Clifden RNLI ahead of the blessing in a service of dedication led by Father James Ronayne and the Very Reverend Stan Evans. The lifeboat was then officially named by Peter Ross.

Brittain said the event was a special occasion for the lifeboat station, adding that the crew were most grateful to Peter for his generous gift in memory of his wife which had funded the lifeboat.

“Celia always wanted a lifeboat, and now she has one in Clifden,” he said. “While her lifeboat may be a little far from her family, we have been told by her loved ones that Celia, who was of Irish descent, would have revelled in the beauty of Galway, Connemara and the Atlantic coast.”

The D class Celia Mary replaces the Grainne Uaile which served Clifden RNLI for the last 10 years. During that time, the lifeboat launched 62 times, bringing 20 people to safety.

Originally introduced in 1963, the D class has evolved into a highly capable modern lifeboat. It is the workhorse of the RNLI’s fleet and is ideal for working close inshore, near rocks or in shallow water in moderate conditions. It can be righted by the crew if it capsizes and is also part of the RNLI flood rescue team’s fleet of boats.

She comes into her own for searches and rescues in the surf, shallow water and confined locations - often close to cliffs, among rocks and even inside caves.

The RNLI established a lifeboat station in Clifden in early 1988 when a C class lifeboat was put on service for one season’s evaluation. The following year, Clifden RNLI became fully operational as a summer season-only lifeboat station.

In 1997, an Atlantic 21 lifeboat was placed on service and a new boathouse for the lifeboat and a tractor was completed in August 1998. A new D class lifeboat was placed on service in May 1998, and the following year it was joined by a new Atlantic 75 B class lifeboat which remained stationed until June 2013 when it was replaced by the Atlantic 85 named Joyce King.

A crowd of well wishers turned up to see the lifeboat officially named, with a bottle of champagne poured over the side of the boat before it launched at the end of the ceremony.

Among the guests on the platform party were Pearse Hyland, chair of the Lifeboat Management Group, who welcomed guests and opened proceedings, and inshore lifeboat mechanic Andy Bell, who gave a vote of thanks and closed proceedings.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Clifden RNLI’s all-weather and inshore lifeboats were launched shortly before 1pm on Sunday 8 October when a boat with six on board got into difficulty in the Killary Harbour area.

The location of the craft was unclear in the early stages as Clifden’s inshore D class lifeboat was driven by road to Renvyle by driver Neil Gallery and launched at Lettergesh Beach, while the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat was launched in Clifden.

The D class lifeboat, crewed by Alan Pryce, Kenneth Flaherty and Kieran Folan, swiftly located the boat and six passengers near Frehill island. They had been out for a fishing trip when their engine failed.

Shortly after, the Atlantic 85 lifeboat crewed by Joe Acton, Owen Hayes and Alvin Bell as the D Class already had the casualty boat under tow.

Four of the six passengers were transferred to the Atlantic 85, Joyce King, and returned to shore at Rossroe from where they had originally set out.

The other two remained onboard their own boat, which was towed back to shore by the D Class lifeboat, Granuaile.

Clifden’s all-weather lifeboat Fisherman’s Friend was also launched to provide additional cover for the rescue operation, but was stood down when the two inshore lifeboats had the situation under control.

Speaking following the callout, Clifden RNLI helm Alan Pryce said: “Luckily the weather conditions were calm at the time and due to our launch site we were able to locate the boat quickly.

“The area is known for its rip currents in the area and can be dangerous so we were glad to have been able to attend and assist as quickly as possible once the alarm was raised."

Pryce added: “We remind anyone planning a trip to sea to always go prepared and respect the water.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Volunteer lifeboat crew at Clifden RNLI are celebrating the news that their all-weather lifeboat is to be permanently allocated at the Connemara lifeboat station following a successful trial which has seen 50 launches by the lifeboat crew and 32 people rescued or assisted. They are now hoping that their good luck rubs off on their fellow countymen this weekend and that the Galway hurlers bring home the Liam MacCarthy cup.

The RNLI and the GAA have announced a major partnership this year for the charity’s Respect the Water drowning prevention campaign aimed at sharing lifesaving advice and information through the sporting organisation’s clubs. In celebrating their good news, lifeboat crew from Clifden RNLI proudly flew the Galway colours in support of the county’s hurlers who are due to play Waterford in the All Ireland final.

The volunteer lifeboat crew first took ownership of an all-weather lifeboat in August 2014 when the Pride and Spirit was officially put on service and became a declared search and rescue asset for a trial period. The lifeboat operated alongside the two inshore lifeboats at the station. The decision followed an in-depth review of lifeboat cover in the area.

John Brittain, Clifden RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager confirmed that the station had received word from the RNLI Trustees that the trial had been a success and the lifeboat will be made permanent.

‘The all-weather lifeboat has enabled us to provide lifesaving cover in all weathers up to 100 miles off the Connemara coast and it has complemented our inshore lifeboat service. During the trial period the all-weather lifeboat has enabled us to assist in and complete medical evacuations from the island of Inishbofin and Inishturk as well as providing assistance to a variety of boats and people in distress.

‘I would like to commend the dedication of our volunteer crew members here in Clifden who have devoted their time to ensure the period of change and training was a success. It is thanks to their efforts that we are now able to provide this service permanently to the Connemara community and to anyone who may find themselves in distress at sea.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - Clifden RNLI launched their inshore and all-weather lifeboats on Tuesday night (27 July) to reports of a pleasure boat in difficulty east of Davillaun Island.

The eight people on board had been to Inishbofin for the day and were returning home when the weather turned, becoming wet and foggy.

The volunteer lifeboat crew was requested to launch by Malin Head Coast Guard at 6.58pm to assist the broken down pleasure craft. 

Once the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat was on scene, one of the RNLI crew boarded the pleasure boat to assist the casualties and to secure a tow line. 

Four of the casualties were then transferred onto the lifeboat where they received casualty care while the remaining four people stayed on the pleasure boat as it was towed towards the pier at Aughris, over an hour away.

When the Mersey class all-weather lifeboat arrived, all eight casualties were put on board and taken inside to warm up. The RNLI crew also radioed ahead to request an ambulance to meet them at Aughris as one of the group required further medical attention.

The casualty was assessed by paramedics and transferred to hospital for further treatment. The remaining seven people disembarked the lifeboat at the pier.

“This callout shows how conditions can change quite quickly at sea,” said Clifden RNLI lifeboat helm Daniel Whelan. “Visibility became poor as the weather deteriorated. Thankfully we have a fast responding Atlantic 85 lifeboat and a well-trained crew. Having the all-weather lifeboat provide cover was invaluable, providing warmth and comfort for the casualties.

Safety at sea is so important. Wear plenty of layers. Tell someone your plan and bring a suitable form of communication. The group in trouble did all of this which made it much easier to locate them.”

Clifden RNLI coxswain David Barry added: “This was a very successful callout with both lifeboat crew working well together to bring the casualties to safety. It was a beautiful day but the weather turned as the evening approached. We wish the patient a speedy recovery.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - Clifden RNLI’s all-weather Mersey Class lifeboat Fisherman's Friend was launched at 1.30pm on Saturday (1 July) to go to the assistance of a fishing vessel adrift six miles off Slyne Head in Co Galway.

The 11m vessel had been en route from Baltimore to Blacksod before it suffered engine problems in challenging weather conditions, with a 2m swell and Force 6 wind blowing from the north west.

The skipper requested some water to try and get his engine going again. The lifeboat crew assisted, and this initially solved the problem. However, the engine soon stalled again, and the lifeboat crew proceeded to establish a towline.

At 3.30pm the vessel was put under tow and returned to Clifden Bay. The tow took just over two hours to complete.

Speaking following the callout, coxswain John Mullen said: “We dropped the skipper off on the visitor’s moorings in Clifden Bay with the assistance of the inshore D Class lifeboat. 

“It was a good call out for the all-weather lifeboat in challenging conditions. We would like to wish the fisherman well and thank all the crew involved.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Clifden RNLI has carried out two medical evacuations from the island of Inishbofin off Connemara since Friday (23 June).

The pagers first sounded at 11.15am on Friday in response to a call for the medevac of an elderly woman in need of hospital treatment.

Clifden's D Class inshore lifeboat and crew were already on the water in Clifden Bay carrying out a scheduled exercise when they were called to transfer to the Atlantic 85, helmed by Joe Acton, that arrived at the island before the Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 118, which was also tasked.

Lifeboat crew member Sinead Pryce assisted the casualty, and the lifeboat and helicopter worked together to ensure a seamless transfer.

The following morning (Saturday 24 June), pagers once again sounded shortly after 7.15am after a woman on Inishbofin had become suddenly unwell.

The all-weather boat Fisherman’s Friend was requested to respond and a crew was assembled including coxswain Alan Pryce, mechanic Robert King, navigator Owen Hayes and crew Brian Ward and Neil Gallery.

The casualty was transferred to the all-weather boat by the crew and island nurse and taken to Cleggan Pier where an ambulance was waiting.

Speaking following the callouts, Clifden RNLI lifeboat operations manager John Brittain said: “It has been a busy summer week for the Clifden lifeboats with three launches taking place involving our different boats in different scenarios.

“I want to thank the crew for responding to their pagers promptly in these cases so that we can continue to carry out this vital service in our local community.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Clifden RNLI prepared for launch at 7.16pm on Tuesday evening (20 June) to assist a yacht gone aground in the Clifden Bay area.

Helm David Barry, along with volunteer crew Ian Shanahan, Brian Ward and Owen Hayes on the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat, quickly located the 23ft yacht stranded on a rocky piece of shoreline.

The lone sailor on board was uninjured, and after communication with the lifeboat crew, it was agreed to tow the yacht from its location.

Clifden’s all-weather lifeboat and the Rescue 118 helicopter from Sligo were also requested to assist, but both were stood down when the yacht was successfully under tow.

Speaking following the callout, Barry said: “We returned the sailor and his yacht to a mooring in Clifden Bay and were glad to have been able to respond so quickly to a vessel in need of assistance.”

Meanwhile in West Cork, Union Hall RNLI were requested at 8.32pm to provide assistance to a 21ft yacht with two people on board, seven-and-a-half miles south of Adam Island at the entrance to Glandore Harbour.

The Union Hall inshore lifeboat Margaret Bench of Solihull launched within seven minutes and headed to the yacht, where sea conditions were calm but the yacht had encountered a squall, which resulted in the loss of a sail and instruments.

The lifeboat volunteers made contact with the two people on board, ensured there was no injuries, attached a tow line and towed the yacht back to the safety of Union Hall Pier.

Speaking after the callout, Union Hall RNLI lifeboat operations manager John Kelleher said: “The crew of the yacht made the right decision to contact the coastguard sooner rather than later.

“Always carry a means of communication, be it VHF or mobile phone. It is very important, especially at nighttime.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - An island medical evacuation was carried out yesterday (Monday 26 September) by the volunteer crew of Clifden RNLI on the Mersey class all-weather lifeboat Fisherman's Friend.

In calm seagoing conditions, the lifeboat was launched at 1.15pm to attend to a man who had experienced a fall at the north end of Inishturk off the Mayo coast.

On arrival at the pier in Inishturk, the casualty was taken aboard the lifeboat and transferred to Cleggan pier, where he was moved to a waiting ambulance with the assistance of the Cleggan Coast Guard Unit.

Speaking following the callout, Clifden RNLI coxswain Alan Pryce said: “We were glad to be able to transfer this man safely to shore and we wish him a speedy recovery.

“The capability of the all-weather lifeboat in carrying out long-range shouts such as this one is reassuring, both for us as volunteers and all those who live on and visit our offshore islands.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Clifden RNLI rescued six people in two separate call outs off the Connemara coast last week.

On Friday afternoon, the volunteer lifeboat crew was requested to launch their all-weather and inshore Atlantic 85 class lifeboats following a report that two people were in the water after their 6ft boat had ran aground and hit rocks.

The lifeboat helmed by Joe Acton and with crew members Dermott Clancy, Alvin Bell and Kenneth Flaherty onboard, launched within minutes and made its way to the scene on the south east side of Davillaun.

With a report that two people had entered the water, the Irish Coast Guard’s helicopter Rescue 118 from Sligo was also tasked and a pan-pan was put out to all vessels in the area to assist in the operation.

Weather conditions at the time were described as dry but blowing a Force 5-6 gale with a choppy sea and a good ground swell.

Clifden’s inshore lifeboat was the first vessel to arrive on scene where the crew observed that the two men had managed to get themselves on the rocks. They were cold and wet and holding on to their boat to keep it afloat.

Lifeboat crew member Alvin Bell was put onto the rocks where he assessed the casualties and ensured they were ok. With no injuries sustained he then proceeded to help them on to the lifeboat where they were further assessed and made comfortable. A towline was then set up and the casualty vessel was pulled off the rocks and brought alongside the lifeboat to prevent further damage.

Following an hour long tow, the two men and their vessel were brought safely back into Derryinver Pier.

Earlier in the week, the lifeboat was called upon on to assist the crew of a 35ft trawler that had got into difficulty on Clifden Bay.

The Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat was requested to launch at 11.30am on Tuesday (23 August) after gear got tangled in the prop of the trawler resulting in no steerage and no propulsion.

The lifeboat helmed by Joe Acton and with crew members Alvin Bell, Kenneth Flaherty and Eoin Hayes onboard, made its way to scene where they worked with the four crew onboard to set up a towline.

Weather conditions were good with a flat calm sea. However, with the boat running against the tide, helm Joe Acton called on the assistance of Clifden’s D class inshore lifeboat which on arrival helped with the safe manoeuvre of the trawler into the quay at Clifden.

Speaking following the two call outs, Clifden RNLI helm Joe Acton said: ‘We were happy to be of assistance on both occasions last week. Friday’s call out was a bit more challenging following the initial report that two people were in the water but thankfully they had managed to make it on to rocks where they were waiting safe and well if not cold and wet following their ordeal.

‘We would encourage anyone taking to the sea for work or pleasure, to enjoy it but to always respect the water. Always wear a lifejacket and carry a means of calling and signalling for help. Always check the weather forecast and tide times. Make sure someone ashore knows where you are going and who to call if you don’t return on time. Learn how to start, run and maintain your engine before taking to the water.’

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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