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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Displaying items by tag: Fethard

Fethard RNLI launched its inshore lifeboat on Friday afternoon last (22 October) to conduct a sea search. A concerned member of the public out kayaking reported seeing a body like object floating in the sea off Baginbun Beach in County Wexford.

The volunteer crew was requested to launch their inshore lifeboat by the Irish Coast Guard just after p.m. The crew proceeded to Fethard Dock, launched the lifeboat, and made their way to an area east of Baginbun beach to carry out a search. Weather conditions at the time were good with a light south-westerly breeze, calm sea conditions and good visibility.

The multi-agency response involved Fethard RNLI, Fethard Coast Guard, The National Ambulance Service, An Garda Siochana and Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue 117. An extensive sea search of Baginbun Bay was carried out by Fethard RNLI lifeboat, with Rescue 117 assisting from the air. Fethard Coast Guard ground units carried out a shoreline search.

After two hours, the search was stood down by the Irish Coast Guard, when nothing was found.

Speaking after the call out, Pete Barry, Fethard RNLI Deputy Launch Authority said “Even though the call turned out to be a false alarm, we would like to commend the member of the public who did the right thing by calling 999 to report what they saw. They thought someone had gotten into trouble and had good intent calling the authorities. We would rather launch to investigate what was seen and put everyone’s mind at ease. This call also highlights the importance of always carrying a means of communication when involved in water activities by the sea.”

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Fethard RNLI lifeboat was requested to launch today (Saturday 25 September) by the Irish Coast Guard shortly before 12.30 pm, following a call for help from two stranded fishermen in a small open punt. Their craft had outboard engine difficulties in thick fog off Creadan Head in the Waterford Estuary.

The volunteer crew of Fethard Lifeboat launched at Duncannon Strand and proceeded to the coordinates given by the men on the broken-down vessel. The water was flat calm; there was a light breeze. However, visibility was less than 4 metres in a thick fog. The fishermen were located off Woodstown, where they tied up to a lobster pot marker buoy. There, the lifeboat crew assessed the situation, and it was decided to tow the fishermen back to the safety of Duncannon Harbour.

Commenting about the callout Thomas Stafford, Volunteer Helm, said, "The two lads did everything right. They wore their lifejackets, they tied up to a marker when the engine failed, and they had the means to call for help and give their coordinates when things went wrong. All this led to a positive outcome with the two lads being returned to safety."

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Over the weekend Fethard RNLI marked the 25th anniversary of the reopening of their lifeboat station, with an impressive search and rescue display off Baginbun Beach in Wexford. The search and rescue demonstration involved Fethard RNLI and their flanking lifeboat stations, Dunmore East RNLI and Kilmore Quay RNLI along with Fethard Coast Guard and Rescue 117. The Wexford based lifeboat station had been off service for a period of 82 years before locals were successful in getting the historic lifeboat station reopened with an inshore lifeboat in 1996.

As the weather held off, a crowd gathered to observe lifeboat crews from Fethard, Dunmore East and Kilmore Quay, carry out a scenario which saw the three RNLI lifeboat crews work as a team to form search patterns to locate survivors of a fictional light aircraft, which had reportedly come down just off Baginbun Head. When located, the casualties were brought ashore where the volunteer crew of Fethard Lifeboat administered casualty care and transferred them into the care of Fethard Coast Guard. In the final part of the exercise, Waterford based Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117 flew overhead; in this scenario the helicopter crew would have airlifted the casualties onboard to receive more urgent medical care and transport to hospital.

Also present on the day were members of the RNLI’s Water Safety team, who provided advice and handed out waterproof pouches to water sports enthusiasts for the safe keeping of their mobile phones when they are out on the water.

Speaking about the joint exercise to mark the 25th anniversary, Volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager for Fethard RNLI, Walter Foley said, ‘This major exercise between the three RNLI lifeboat stations, Fethard Coast Guard and Rescue117 shows the public the services that are available to them when things go wrong. It highlights the importance of always carrying a means of calling for help on your person and to call 999 or 112 if you or someone else gets into trouble.’

Walter continued saying ‘We, at Fethard RNLI, would like to thank all the volunteers who gave up their time to take part in the exercise, and we would especially like to thank the public, our supporters, who came out even when the weather was not looking too great. It’s been an incredible 25 years and we look forward to serving our community for many more years to come.’

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Fethard RNLI came to the aid of two adults and a child yesterday evening (Thursday 26 August) after their 17ft Dory boat suffered engine failure and was in danger of verging into a nearby shipping lane.

The volunteer crew were requested to launch their inshore lifeboat shortly after 5pm after the Irish Coast Guard was notified that a boat with three people onboard was in difficulty east of the fairway buoy near Loftus Hall.

The lifeboat helmed by Thomas Stafford and with crew members Nadia Blanchfield and Mick Roche onboard, launched immediately and made its way to the scene approximately 10 minutes away.

Weather conditions at the time were good with a light sea breeze and an incoming tide.

Arriving on scene, the lifeboat crew assessed the situation before making the decision to tow the vessel with its occupants onboard to the nearest safe port at Duncannon.

Speaking following the call out, Walter Foley, Fethard RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘While everyone was safe and well and not in any immediate danger, the crew on the vessel made the right decision to call for help when they did as the broken-down boat could have entered the nearby shipping lane. We would remind anyone planning a trip to sea to always wear a lifejacket and to always carry a means of calling for help like the group onboard did yesterday evening, that is always the right thing to do.’

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Volunteer lifeboat crew at Fethard RNLI were requested to launch their lifeboat by the Irish Coast Guard yesterday afternoon (Saturday 17 July) at 5.34 pm, to assist a person in difficulties on their jet ski.

The crew launched the D-Class lifeboat Naomh Dubhán on the beach under Duncannon Fort. Duncannon beach lifeguards and Rescue 117 Helicopter were also involved in the rescue.

The conditions were calm with a light breeze on the hottest day of the year.

As the lifeboat proceeded to the area where the jet ski was located, it was established from communications with the Irish Coast Guard that the male was assisted ashore by the lifeguard and locals and was receiving casualty care at Duncannon Harbour. Fethard lifeboat crew recovered the beached jet ski, towing it into the harbour and then rendered assistance with the care of the casualty.

Speaking about the incident Fethard RNLI Volunteer Helm John Colfer said, "It was a very positive outcome showing the teamwork achieved by the lifeguards, the Coast Guard helicopter and ourselves."

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Fethard RNLI commemorated an important anniversary on Saturday (10 July 2021). It was 25 years to the exact day (10 July 1996) that the RNLI re-established a lifeboat station at Fethard-On-Sea, following an absence of 82 years. The milestone was marked by a solemn ceremony at sea, where current lifeboat crew laid a wreath to remember all those involved with the station, who had passed away over the last 25 years.

The anniversary was originally to involve a large-scale exercise at sea, viewed by the public from Baginbun beach and involving Fethard RNLI, Kilmore Quay RNLI, Dunmore East RNLI and the Irish Coast Guard. Unfortunately, the display was postponed due to the ongoing restrictions for Covid and it is now planned to take place on Sunday the 12 September.

Fethard RNLI has a rich history in the Institution. A previous RNLI lifeboat based in Fethard, called the Helen Blake, was lost and 9 of her 14 crew on 20 February 1914. The station was then closed, and it was not known if a lifeboat would ever again be on service in the area. However, the local community came together years later to raise the funds needed to establish a new station. After a lot of hard work and determination, their dream of having a Lifeboat was realised.

That same community spirit was also present in 2016 when the community funded the station’s current lifeboat the Naomh Dubhan.

Commenting on the 25th anniversary, Fethard RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Walter Foley said, ‘All of us involved with Fethard RNLI would like to sincerely thank our wonderful community who have supported this lifeboat station for the past 25 years. There are so many people involved with our station and we appreciate every one of them and the work they do.’

‘Having a lifeboat station re-established after suffering such a loss as we did in 1914 is an incredible achievement. In the intervening years our community decided they wanted their lifeboat back and campaigned and raised the funds necessary to return one to the area. There is a special bond between Fethard RNLI, and its community and it is the reason why we are still going strong today.’

An official event to mark the 25th anniversary of the reopening of Fethard RNLI is due to take place on Baginbun beach on Sunday 12 September.

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Volunteer lifeboat crew at Fethard RNLI were requested to launch their lifeboat by the Irish Coast Guard yesterday morning (Thursday 1 July) at 11.20 am, to assess the situation where a fisherman reported difficulties with his boat’s outboard engine.

Fethard RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was launched and arrived on scene at Loughlin’s Hill, east of the Hook Peninsula, where the helm and crew began to assess the situation prior to undertaking a tow.

The weather was fine, with good visibility and a Force 2-3 south-westerly wind. The fisherman’s anchor on his 18ft open punt was ineffective and he was drifting towards the rocks. The decision was made to undertake a tow as it was necessary and the safest way to assist the casualty. The vessel was returned to the safety of the nearest port at Fethard Harbour.

Commenting on the call out Pat Wallace, Fethard RNLI Deputy Launching Authority said: ‘The fisherman did the absolute right thing by raising the alarm before things got out of hand. This call out highlights the importance of carrying a means of calling for help and having it at hand as a means to contact someone for help.’

Yesterday’s launch also marked the first call out for one of Fethard RNLI’s new crew members, Nadia Blanchfield. Nadia, who has undergone 18 months of training at sea, when Covid-19 regulations allowed, took part in yesterday’s rescue.

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Fethard RNLI has received a generous €37,000 donation from Integer New Ross this week, after the company’s staff and management chose the lifeboat station as its charity of the year.

Volunteers at Fethard RNLI were delighted to be considered and chosen as Integer’s charity of the year in 2020 and have been overwhelmed by the amount raised.

Receiving the funds raised from Seamus Hamilton of Integer New Ross, Sarah Bates, from Fethard RNLI’s fundraising branch said: ‘We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all the staff at Integer. As a charity, Fethard RNLI totally depends on the goodwill of the public to provide our lifesaving service. This significant donation will continue to help us save lives at sea on the Hook Peninsula and on the River Barrow up to New Ross.

‘These funds will now go towards providing the essential kit our volunteer crew needs to do their lifesaving work and to helping maintain our lifeboat and lifesaving equipment. The funds will also support our crews training. In the last two weeks alone, 12 volunteers undertook training and were awarded with casualty care certificates.’

Walter Foley, Fethard RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager added: ‘Our station has remained operational throughout the pandemic and our volunteers have continued to be on call adhering to additional safety protocols including wearing extra PPE. We are so grateful for this extraordinary donation from all at Integer during a year when our own traditional fundraising activities had to cease due to Covid-19 restrictions. We would like to thank all the staff for their hard work fundraising and their generosity.’

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Volunteer lifeboat crew at Fethard RNLI were requested by the Irish Coast Guard on Sunday evening (28 February) at 5.15 pm to reports of three walkers who had become cut off by the incoming tide with no way of getting to safety. The alarm was raised by a concerned resident of Bannow Island who knew the area well and could see the walkers were in difficulty.

Fethard RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was launched and arrived at Cocklestrand, west of Bannow Island at 5.35 pm. The Kilmore Quay Coast Guard unit was also tasked. Once on scene, the lifeboat crew began the search for the stranded walkers. An extensive search of the north and south shoreline was carried out, but the walkers were nowhere to be seen and had made their own way to safety.

Commenting on the call out Mark Brennan, Fethard RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘The member of the public did absolutely the right thing, reporting someone in difficulty. It is always better to be safe than sorry and we would much rather launch and find nothing than not launch at all, safety is always our priority. People are keen to exercise outside within government guidelines and we live in a beautiful area with lots of access to the coast. However, we would advise people to keep an eye on their surroundings, in particular, incoming tides and also to watch their footing on the shoreline. Always check the tide times and heights and keep a lookout for incoming tide. Use tide timetables or a tidal prediction app. Make sure you have enough time to return safely. If in doubt, seek local advice.

‘Fethard RNLI remain on call and fully operational during the Covid-19 pandemic. There is no crew training or exercises taking place at the moment, but we are here if people need us.’

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Fethard RNLI responded to two incidents in a 24-hour period over the weekend after two vessels, each with two people onboard, got into difficulty in the Waterford estuary.

The first call-out came on Friday evening (9 October), when the volunteer crew were requested to launch their inshore lifeboat by the Irish Coast Guard at 5.15 pm and go to the aid of a Bayliner cruiser with two people on board that had suffered mechanical issues. The vessel had lost power and found itself in difficulty.

Fethard RNLI’s D-Class lifeboat launched from Duncannon Beach and the crew were soon alongside the casualty vessel. There were calm waters at the time and a Force 3 westerly wind. The crew assessed the situation and found that those onboard were safe and well. A towline was then established, and the vessel was towed to the safety of Dunmore East Harbour.

Second call out

A second call out came on Saturday afternoon (10 October) when the Irish Coast Guard requested the lifeboat to go to the aid of a 35ft vessel that had ran aground at the spider buoy near King’s Bay. Dunmore East RNLI’s all-weather Trent class lifeboat was also requested to launch. Due to the size of the vessel, it was decided that it should stay and await a flooding tide to get it off the sandbank. The crew of Fethard lifeboat assisted the two-person crew by deploying their anchor. The vessel was secured and remained there until it was safely able to move on when there was enough water.

Speaking after the call outs, Mark Brennan, Fethard RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘We were happy to help the crew of both boats at the weekend. Situations can change very quickly at sea and mechanical failure is one of the main reasons for RNLI call outs. We would advise anyone out on the water to be prepared for an emergency by always wearing a lifejacket, checking your equipment before setting off, and always carrying some means of calling for help. Should you get into difficulty, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’

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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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