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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Displaying items by tag: Clifden

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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#RNLI - An unusual training exercise took place on Sunday (14 August) off the Connemara coastline involving the Naval Service vessel LÉ Orla and the volunteer crews of the Clifden RNLI lifeboats.

In calm conditions, RNLI volunteers and naval crew co-operated on a number of training exercises, beginning with a 'man overboard' scenario, in which the casualty was transferred by hoist from the LÉ Orla to the Mersey class all weather-lifeboat Fishermans Friend.

A RIB from the naval vessel was then recovered in the water and towed by the Atlantic 85 lifeboat helmed by Daniel Whelan with crew John Mullen, Gerry Claffey and Michael Carey.



Next up was a salvage operation exercise, where the lifeboat crew used their salvage pump onboard the Naval vessel which was supposedly adrift at the time.

"It was at this point it occurred to me that as part of a salvage operation we would normally tow the vessel in question," said Clifton RNLI coxswain David Barry, who requested and was granted permission to tow the 750-tonne OPV at 1,500 revs and 3.2 knots.

"Admittedly, conditions were very calm at the time, but we were all really delighted to have been able to successfully carry out a brief tow," he added. "In poorer conditions, we might have been able to at least keep the ship nose to sea.

"Overall, the day's exercises were a huge success for the whole crew and we are really grateful to the Irish Naval Service for facilitating these invaluable exercises."

To round off the exercise session, three Naval Service divers were recovered from the water by both lifeboats.

Since the introduction of the all-weather lifeboat to Clifden, the volunteer crew have undertaken many hours of advanced and innovative exercise scenarios intended to give the crew experience and competence.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Skerries RNLI's volunteer crew headed to the West of Ireland this month as they paid a visit to their colleagues in Clifden RNLI.

Once a year the volunteers in Skerries undertake a team-building and fact-finding trip to other rescue services and lifeboat stations.

Despite being located on opposite sides of the country, Skerries RNLI and Clifden RNLI had previously exercised together, along with Clogherhead RNLI, off the East Coast back in 2014.

On that occasion the Clifden crew were being trained on the Mersey-class all-weather lifeboat that the station took on for a 12-month trial.

Last Saturday (16 April), Clifden RNLI launched all three of their lifeboats – a Mersey-class, an Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat and a D-class inshore lifeboat – to take the volunteers from Skerries afloat and give them a taste of the challenges they faced on the West Coast and at their own station in particular.

Skerries RNLI would like to thank volunteers Philip Ferguson and Laura Boylan for organising the trip; Irish Rail, who very generously subsidised the travel costs; and most importantly all, the volunteers at Clifden RNLI for giving up their time and extending a warm welcome.

Speaking about the exercise, Skerries RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: "It’s always a great learning experience for our volunteers to see the challenges that face other crews around the coast, and how they deal with them.

"The guys from Clifden RNLI were fantastic and really pulled out all the stops to make sure we went afloat and got a good insight into why they require each of their boats."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Bright sunshine and a much appreciated donation was a great start to St Patrick’s Day for the crew of Clifden RNLI.

Longtime supporters and fundraisers Jacqueline Hannon and Nancy Duffy of Claddaghduff, Co Galway presented a cheque for €1,820 to the Clifden volunteer lifeboat crew, the proceeds of a Christmas concert and fundraising event held in Joyce’s Bar in the fishing village of Cleggan on 16 December.

John Brittain, Clifden RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: "We are really delighted to welcome Jacqueline and Nancy to Clifden station once again and would like to thank them most sincerely for the hard work and organisation of this fantastic fundraiser.

"Special thanks also to the people of Cleggan and Claddaghduff who generously supported the event."

After the cheque presentation, the volunteer crew participated in both the Clifden and Roundstone annual St Patrick’s Day parades.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - Clifden RNLI's inshore lifeboat Granuaile launched yesterday afternoon (Saturday 9 January) to assist a walker and her six dogs who had been stranded on Omey Island on the Connemara coast by the rapidly incoming tide.

The popular walking destination is widely accessible by car and on foot at low tide, but the speed of the incoming tide is notoriously deceptive and strandings of this kind are not uncommon in the area.

Clifden RNLI helm Joe Acton, who recently received an award of long service for 20 years as a volunteer, said: "When we arrived on the scene, the lady and her six dogs had already abandoned her van and made their way back to the shore. We were more than happy to return them all safely to the shore."

Also on the callout were Clifden RNLI volunteers Alvin Bell, David O'Reilly, shore crew Ian Shanahan and driver Neil Gallery.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - Clifden RNLI's all-weather lifeboat Pride and Spirit was launched shortly after 4pm on Tuesday (24 November) to undertake an urgent medical evacuation from the island of Inishturk North.

This was the second such callout in a fortnight, after a medevac from Inishbofin on 15 November, with severe weather conditions once again facing the volunteer crew, who have had a busy year to date trialling the Mersey-class lifeboat.

With winds blowing north-west Force 7 to 8 and a swell warning issued by Met Éireann, a round trip of almost 50 nautical miles was required to bring the casualty to shore for urgent medical attention.

"The swell was over five metres at times and it took us around an hour and 45 minutes to reach the island," said Clifden RNLI coxswain John Mullen, "but thankfully the Pride and Spirit is well equipped for such conditions.

"We brought the casualty into Cleggan Harbour shortly after 7pm and would like to wish her a speedy recovery."

The volunteer lifeboat crew consisting of Owen Hayes (navigator), Robert King (mechanic), David O Reilly, Daniel Whelan and coxswain Mullen returned to Clifden Bay shortly before 9pm.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - The crew of Clifden RNLI had an early start in dark and dangerous conditions yesterday morning (Sunday 15 November) when an emergency medical evacuation was required from Inishbofin.

After a 5.43am pager alert, the volunteer lifeboat crew consisting of Alan Pryce, Robert King, David Barry, Daniel Whelan, Brian Ward and David Coyne set out for the island in the all-weather lifeboat Pride & Spirit.

Clifden RNLI deputy launching authority Saul Joyce described the conditions at the time as "extremely challenging and certainly the most severe weather the crew have experienced in the all-weather Mersey class lifeboat to date."

On arriving at Inishbofin Harbour, the crew met with the district nurse who helped transfer the casualty onto the waiting lifeboat. The patient, a woman experiencing severe abdominal pain, was then taken by lifeboat to Cleggan where an ambulance was waiting.

Clifden RNLI coxswain Alan Pryce said of the launch: "With winds consistently Force 8 and above at times and a heavy five- to six-metre swell, this proved a challenging call for our crew, particularly setting off in darkness. We wish the patient a speedy recovery."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - Clifden RNLI launched to an emergency medical situation at 12.50pm yesterday (Thursday 17 September) in Clifden Bay.

A male angler had become unwell and as a result sustained a head injury, leaving him in need of urgent assistance.

The Irish Coast Guard requested the immediate launch of both Clifden RNLI’s Atlantic 85 and all-weather lifeboats.

Clifden RNLI volunteer crew members Kenneth Flaherty and Barry Ward boarded the angling boat and administered first aid to the casualty. Oxygen was administered and the casualty was placed in the recovery position.

Lifeboat helm Thomas Davis then requested two more crew members from the all-weather lifeboat, which was standing nearby, to assist in the transfer of the casualty to a stretcher.

Speaking after the callout, Clifden RNLI helm Thomas Davis said: "The lifeboat crew responded quickly and calmly to this situation, in which the casualty was seriously unwell.

"Having the additional crew members nearby in the second lifeboat was vital and the total time between the pagers going off and recovery to shore was around 38 minutes."

The casualty and another angler were transferred to shore where an ambulance was waiting. At this point the coastguard helicopter Rescue 118 had also landed and with the assistance of Cleggan Coast Guard, he was transferred to University College Hospital Galway.

Clifden RNLI lifeboat operations manager John Brittain added: "Well done to the Clifden volunteer crew members for a seamless rescue and for once again working well in conjunction with the coastguard and other emergency services."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Clifden RNLI carried out its first medical evacuation off Inishbofin island today (Thursday 21 May).

In what was the fourth callout this week for the station, the volunteer lifeboat crew was paged shortly after 11.30am following a report that a casualty required assistance.

The inshore Atlantic 85 lifeboat helmed by Bernard Whelan and the all-weather Mersey class lifeboat under coxswain John Mullan launched immediately and made their way to the scene. The Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 115 from Shannon was also tasked.

Weather conditions at the time were foggy and visibility was poor. There was a Force 4-5 south westerly wind and a heavy swell.

The Atlantic 85 with crew members James Mullan, Daniel Whelan and Dermot Clancy onboard arrived on scene first. Mullan, a first aider with Clifden RNLI, went ashore and assisted the island nurse who was attending to the casualty.

When the all-weather lifeboat arrived at 1pm, the casualty was transferred to this lifeboat and brought to the mainland at Cleggan Pier where there was an ambulance waiting.

Speaking following the callout, Mullan said: "We have assisted with many medical evacuations in the past but today was the first time that our crew transported someone from Inishbofin island and brought them safely to the mainland.

"Both lifeboat crews worked well together today and we were happy to assist the island nurse in bringing this person to safety."

This was the fourth callout for Clifden RNLI this week. The crew assisted with two other medical evacuations and also went to the assistance of a yacht which got into difficulty on the shore.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - A woman was recovering in hospital in Galway last night (Wednesday 6 May) after being rescued by Galway RNLI lifeboat.

The alarm was raised by members of the public who spotted the woman in the River Corrib being swept out to sea.

They alerted the emergency services and a 'blanket' callout was made to the lifeboat, Garda, Irish Coast Guard, Galway Fire Brigade and the ambulance service at around 11.41pm.

Galway RNLI launched within minutes with helm Shane Folan and crew Dan King, Emma Hennessy and David Badger, and the woman was quickly located near waters at the Galway Enterprise Park at Galway Docks.

She was taken on board the lifeboat and brought ashore where she was transferred to a waiting ambulance and taken to University Hosptial Galway.

Galway RNLI shore crewmember John Byrne said: "The new emergency service plan for river rescues worked very well with all rescue services on the scene very quickly."

The rescue came a day after Clifden RNLI aided two lobster fishermen yesterday after their boat got into difficulty on the Connemara coastline.

At approximately 10.30am on Tuesday 5 May, Clifden RNLI's volunteer lifeboat crew was requested to launch by the Irish Coast Guard and go to the aid of two lobster fishermen in difficulty off the Aughrus peninsula.

Having experienced engine failure, the boat was drifting dangerously close to the rocks when its crew raised the alarm.

The Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Benjamin Downing Fairbridge was launched and was on the scene within 10 minutes of leaving shore.

Lifeboat helm Bernard Whelan and volunteer crew members Kenneth Flaherty, Joe Acton and Owen Hayes then towed the two fishermen in their boat back to Rossadillisk pier in Cleggan.

Speaking following the callout, Clifden RNLI lifeboat press officer Catherine Pryce said: "The crew responded rapidly and were delighted to be able to assist the fishermen."

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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