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Displaying items by tag: Galway Bay Sailing Club

It can sometimes take quite a bit of tough windward slugging to get to the islands out in the Atlantic off the Connacht coast. But those boats that do are usually well rewarded, as rain-bearing clouds from the west will often pass over the lower-elevation islands without discharging a drop of rain. Yet when they come up against the steep and spectacular mainland peaks of Connemara such as the Twelve Bens, the in-cloud moisture content builds even further, and the taps are turned on big time.

Thus it’s said that Leenane at the head of Killary Fjord has at least twice the rainfall of Inshbofin off the north Connemara coast. And the Aran Islands across the mouth of Galway Bay can be dry with flickers of sunshine while the City of the Tribes at the head of the bay is getting hosed.

Unpromising-looking conditions as the fleet manoeuvre before starting the passage out to the islands, with rain gathering itself over The BurrenUnpromising-looking conditions as the fleet manoeuvre before starting the passage out to the islands, with rain gathering itself over The Burren

Certainly this August’s notably damp Bank Holiday Weekend put all these theories to the test. For although rainfall was general at times, the substantial fleet in Galway Bay SC’s annual Lamb’s Week jaunt out to Aran, with a pursuit rally round the islands once they’d got to Kilronan on Inishmor, not only experienced drier weather in the islands, but on their return passage they brought the sunshine with them right into the marina at Galway Docks as it emerged from that day’s precipitation quota.

With entries drawn in from as far as Clew Bay to the north and the Shannon Estuary to the south, ace handicapper Fergal Lyons of GBSC had his work cut out setting the complete range of start times aimed at bringing everyone to the finish at once. He works from times recorded going out to Kilronan from the first night stop of Rossaveal, and in 2021 he was right on the money with them all completing the islands circuit in a tight bunch with just 30 seconds between first and second.

If Atlantic sailing is your thing, then the three Aran Islands offer some interesting options. In 2021, the Lambs went round Inishmor and Inishmean. This year, the course was Inishmean and InisheerIf Atlantic sailing is your thing, then the three Aran Islands offer some interesting options. In 2021, the Lambs went round Inishmor and Inishmean. This year, the course was Inishmean and Inisheer

But last year, in more settled weather, the course was round Inishmor and Inshmean, whereas this year they’d a more inshore route round Inishmean and Inisheer, and there were boats involved which hadn’t arrived via Rossaveal. But it still provided good sport and close times generally in a brisk westerly.
The first boat got away at 12 noon, with other larger and faster craft starting up to 40 minutes later. The fleet headed south through Gregory Sound, encountering challenging seas and very poor visibility. This didn't take away from the racing with several boats engaging in close-proximity sailing as they approached the open ocean. Two options emerged at the back of the Islands, with some boats hugging the jagged coastline while others went further out to sea. The outer route proved the better choice, with steadier winds and better angles.

As the fleet approached Finis Rock at the Southeast end of Inisheer, spinnakers were flying and the skies brightened briefly. A gybe around the mark consolidated the fleet, and they embarked on a close-hauled route along the Northern coasts of Inisheer and Inismean. As they approached Straw Rock on Inishmor, the pursuit handicap format showed its successful mysteries as the main fleet caught up on the smaller boats that had a significant head start.

Winner by three minutes in 2022, second by 30 seconds in 2021 – Jackie Cronin (RWIYC, Kilrush) was entirely family crewed on his X332Winner by three minutes in 2022, second by 30 seconds in 2021 – Jackie Cronin (RWIYC, Kilrush) was entirely family crewed on his X332

In the end last year’s runner-up, Jackie Cronin (RWIYC) on Jimmy Bum, an X332 from Kilrush crewed by Caoimhe, Niamh, Jack and Donagh Cronin, had stormed his way up through the fleet and finished 3 minutes ahead at the Killeany Buoy. The next five boats finished within three minutes of each other. Anton Morrin on Viking Lass, a vintage Ron Holland-designs little Eygthene 24 from Galway Bay SC, was unlucky not to maintain the lead to the end, having started first and sailed very well. But they managed to hold on for a very respectable second place. John Gillivan in Popje, a Sigma 33 from Mayo SC in Clew Bay, came across the line third, bringing honour and glory to Westport.

The event made for a 24-minute radio documentary. John Mulligan of Galway Bay FM interviews the Galway Harbour Master, Captain Brian Sheridan The fleet went on in due course to round out the Cruise-in-Company in Galway Docks, bringing that cheering evening sunshine with them, and coming in to a welcome from Galway Bay FM’s John Mulligan who put together a 24-minute radio documentary about it all, well boosted by Q&A sessions with such folk as Galway Harbour Master Brian Sheridan and GBSC Commodore Johnny Shorten, who both made full use of the opportunity to promote sailing and the need for improved facilities at all the main centres around Galway Bay.The event made for a 24-minute radio documentary. John Mulligan of Galway Bay FM interviews the Galway Harbour Master, Captain Brian Sheridan 

The fleet went on in due course to round out the Cruise-in-Company in Galway Docks, bringing that cheering evening sunshine with them, and coming in to a welcome from Galway Bay FM’s John Mulligan who put together a 24-minute radio documentary about it all,  well boosted by Q&A sessions with such folk as Galway Harbour Master Brian Sheridan and GBSC Commodore Johnny Shorten, who both made full use of the opportunity to promote sailing and the need for improved facilities at all the main centres around Galway Bay.

 Promoting the recreational sailors’ point of view - GBSC Commodore Johnny Shorten (right) is interviewed by John Mulligan of Galway Bay FM Promoting the recreational sailors’ point of view - GBSC Commodore Johnny Shorten (right) is interviewed by John Mulligan of Galway Bay FM

Published in Lambs Week

Now in its third year, the Lambs’ Week festival hosted by Galway Bay Sailing Club will welcome boats of all sizes and inclinations from next Thursday 28 July to Bank Holiday Monday 1 August.

Held over five days, Lambs’ Week is a mixture of casual racing, cruising and fun along the shores of Galway Bay with one night in Ros á Mhil, two nights in Cill Rónáin on Inís Mór in the Aran Islands and the final night in Galway Marina for the Commodore’s Ball at the Bill King Clubhouse.

The highlight of the weekend is a pursuit rally where the boats sail a challenging circuit around Inis Oírr and Inis Mean and return to Cill Rónáin for food, music and plenty of craic. Last year over 40 boats participated, and organisers at Galway Bay Sailing Club are hopeful for similar numbers this year.

Event sponsors include Corio Generation, a leader in the development of offshore wind farms; Gaeltacht na hÉireann; and the Port of Galway, who are instrumental in making the event possible.

The organisers are also keen to promote the excellent cruising grounds of the West Coast while highlighting the need and opportunity for better facilities for the many visiting boats at the Aran Islands and other anchorages.

For more information see www.gbsc.ie/lambsweek2022

Published in Galway Harbour

The country’s young sailors treated observers to a feast of sailing action on Galway Bay last weekend for the Optimist dinghy Connacht Championships.

98 competing boats with sailors ranging in age from 7 to 14 took to the water against the backdrop of gloriously sun-kissed inlets, hills and beaches.

The maritime and sailing community from a whole range of clubs, community groups and institutions around the Bay who came together to provide the logistical, management and safety support for such a significant event were well rewarded with top-quality sailing on display in really competitive races and some strong showings from local sailors.

The event was hosted by Galway Bay Sailing Club, near Oranmore, and visiting sailors camping at the club were woken on Saturday morning by bright sunlight streaming into the tents. The fresh westerly breeze provided ideal conditions for racing and there was a buzz of excitement and anticipation as competing boats were rigged and the safety and race management teams finalized preparations and took to the water. Shortly after 11 o’clock, everything was ready, the D flag was hoisted at the front of the clubhouse and the fleet took to the water.

Despite sailing into the wind, the main fleet quickly made their way from the slip at Rinville to the race area south of Renmore. With the fresh breeze, race officer John Leech and his team were able to set the marks for the course over a broad area and the racing got underway amidst the usual jostling for position on a busy start line. In the senior fleet, the early races went the way of the Dublin clubs, with Louise Hanley of the National Yacht Club taking the first race, Jules Start of the Royal St. George Yacht Club taking the second. On a day which celebrated camaraderie, volunteerism and community spirit, it was poignant to see Sasha Bezpalyi, flying the flag for Ukraine, take the winning position in the third race. With the forecast wind looking uncertain for Sunday, the decision was taken to sail a fourth race on Saturday, where Jules Start again took the honours in the senior fleet.

There was a larger spread of winners in the Junior fleet for the younger sailors. Juliet Ryan from Malahide took the first race, Lily Donagh from Lough Derg took the second, while Loughlann Terdange Devaux from Lough Ree finished strongly, winning the final two races.

Just south of the Marine Institute, the less experienced sailors also got a taste for competitive action. Guided by the GBSC coaching team, they sailed a triangular course closer to shore. Race officer Margot Cronin also opted to run four races on Saturday. The visiting Cork boats had a stronger showing in this fleet, with two wins for Charlie McKibben of Monkstown Bay and one each for Dylan O’Sullivan from Royal Cork and Alex Butcher from Malahide.

With the appetites whetted after a great day on Saturday, sailors were again woken by bright sunshine on Sunday. However, the breeze had dropped off significantly and what remained of it had swung around to the south east. Nonetheless, the fleet took to the water and made their way to the race area. Despite scouting all around the inner Bay, the race officer eventually sounded three signals and hoisted the N flag above A to signal an end to racing for the day. It was a popular decision amongst the fleet, who cheered the winners before making their way back to shore for a well-earned meal.

Once back on land, the final checks and balances were applied to the results. Prior to the prize giving, IODAI president thanked all the volunteers who had come together to make the event possible. The co-operation between all of the sailing clubs and enthusiasts around the Bay, users of the facilities at Rinville, community groups and local institutions demonstrated the strength of community spirit and volunteerism in the region. Before getting to the prizes, team manager Ross Gorman also presented their kit bags to the sailors travelling to France this week as part of the International Development Team.

Once all the scores were counted, the overall winner of the Senior Gold Fleet was Jules Start, Loughlann Terdange Devaux won the Junior Gold Fleet and Charlie McKibben took the honours in the Regatta Fleet. The weekend also proved a great opportunity for local sailors with 10 local boats taking part. Kate Barry and Rian Baynes were amongst the prize-winners in the Senior Bronze Fleet while Aisling Morrin won Best Local Sailor in the Regatta Fleet and the youngest sailor on the water was Darragh Baynes.

Published in Optimist

Galway Bay Sailing Club is celebrating an overall win for its Tribal crew at the WIORA championships hosted by the Royal Western Yacht Club on the Shannon Estuary last weekend. 

The well campaigned Farr 31 took home first place in Class One IRC for the second year in a row.

The GBSC Tribal crew is skippered by Liam Burke.

The breezy championships at Kilrush survived some strong breezes but it was not without incident with a J24 keelboat sinking on the first day.

Afloat's report of the championships is here.

Published in Galway Harbour

The 420 dinghy Connacht Championships take place at Galway Bay Sailing Club this weekend from 4th-5th June.

Currently, 12 boats are registered for the event which is the first of the regionals on the National Calendar. Seven boats from GBSC are participating along with visiting boats from Cumann Seoltóireachta An Spidéil, Lough Ree Yacht Club, Wexford Harbour Boat and Tennis Club, Waterford Harbour Sailing Club and Malahide Yacht Club.

Race Officers Margot Cronin and Aoife Lyons will be running the event out on the water with light easterly winds forecast for both days.

In Gold Fleet the local pairing of Adam McGrady and Alastair O'Sullivan who won Silver Fleet at the same event in 2021 will be hoping to build on their recent performance at the RYA Youth National Championships held in Pwllheli, Wales in April while five of the other GBSC boats started their season at the 420 Class Association Spring Training Camp at Kinsale Yacht Club in February

Published in 420

The Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton TD, recently visited Galway Bay Sailing Club headquarters for the official sod-turning ceremony to inaugurate the club’s latest development. The Minister, who is a native of Oranmore, has a special interest in the Rinville area, and has been very supportive of GBSC over the years.

Galway Bay Sailing Club has been in the location since 1979, and has undergone many expansion programmes over the past 43 years. This latest development consists of the completion of the ground floor training rooms/kitchenette and wetsuit storage areas whuch are also multipurpose meeting and training rooms designed with maximum flexibility in mind.

The second part of the new development is a large and secure equipment storage unit and repair area. This linear building is clad in timber, and is for storage everyday use sailing support and safety vessels, and their equipment.

During her visit the Minister said: “I was particularly pleased to be able to assist Galway Bay Sailing Club in securing significant Sports Capital funding this year. The Club does magnificent work in supporting all ages and abilities in learning to sail, and this new development will help secure their position as the largest sailing club in the West of Ireland.”

GBSC is delighted to have received Sports Capital funding of €140k which will go a long way towards funding these developments.

This allocation allows the Club to proceed immediately, as full planning permission has been granted for the development, and the members we would like to thank the Minister for supporting this initiative which will allow GBSC to expand its junior, adult and sailability training programmes for the future.

Minister Hildegarde Naughton TD in the clubhouse with GBSC officers Pat Irwin (Vice Commodore, left), Johnny Shorten (Commodore) and Honorary Treasurer Andrew Flanagan.Minister Hildegarde Naughton TD in the clubhouse with GBSC officers Pat Irwin (Vice Commodore, left), Johnny Shorten (Commodore) and Honorary Treasurer Andrew Flanagan.

Published in Galway Harbour

Galway Bay Sailing Club is emerging from the final constraints of the pandemic with a hyper-busy programme in line for 2022, and the added confidence – announced last week - of a Sports Capital Grant of €140,000. This will provide further support for a busy club which approaches each development opportunity with ingenuity and vision, combined with a fresh enthusiasm that belies the fact that GBSC recently celebrated its Golden Jubilee.

The members will be both hosting major happenings, and sending forth fleets of their own keelboats and dinghies for cruises-in-company or racing participation elsewhere. The vigour of western life around Galway city is reflected in the fact that in late May, Galway is the first stopover in the Round Britain & Ireland Race from Plymouth, with the special appeal of the initial Plymouth to Galway leg being such an attractive challenge that some crews will see it as a new stand-alone race in itself.

Then slightly later in the season, GBSC will be organizing one of its long-distance Cruises-in-Company. Pre-pandemic, the Club had a very successful fleet venture to Lorient in Brittany, but in 2022 they’re going to be heading the other way, north up the west coast of Ireland for a venture which has the working title of Galway to Galloway, as it will have a Scottish theme.

Thus the first fleet assembly – with numbers already being talked of as reaching thirty boats-plus – will be with the Royal Ulster YC at Bangor on Belfast Lough, as Scotland’s Galloway coast is nearby across the North Channel.

However, it hasn’t been forgotten that during the brief relaxation of restrictions in 2021, GBSC members organised their “Lambs Weekend” cruising-racing-in-company to the Aran Islands and Connemara in the early August Bank Holiday weekend, and it was one of the most successful events of the entire season in Ireland.

For those of us from the rest of Ireland, it would be more readily comprehended if they simply called it the Connemara Cruise, but you’d be wasting your time trying to wean Galway men off their own private joke. And anyway, on Valentine’s Day of all days, a rose is still a rose by any other name, so we can be sure that the GBSC Lamb’s Weekend/Connemara Cruise or whatever will find itself even more firmly established as a pillar event of the west coast programme in early August 2022, with fleet numbers pushing towards the 50 mark.

Galway Bay SC clubhouse at Renville will benefit from the new €140,000 Sports Capital Grant.Galway Bay SC clubhouse at Renville will benefit from the new €140,000 Sports Capital Grant.

Published in Galway Harbour

Tributes have been paid among the west coast’s sailing community to former RTÉ western editor Jim Fahy who died late last week at the age of 75.

The journalist’s association with Galway Bay Sailing Club (GBSC) since its foundations were recalled at the weekend by Pierce Purcell.

“The early days were noted for the lunchtime gatherings at the Lenihan family ‘Tavern’ on Eyre Square,” Purcell said.

“It was here that so many of those younger members got to know each other, learn about people who had sailed from the docks and on the Corrib,” he said.

“Dickie Byrne who was an early contributor to The Galway Advertiser with the column “There Ye Are Again”, and had some interest in sailing, introduced the local face of the RTÉ to us,” Purcell recalled.

“Jim became a lunchtime contributor to the interests of the enthusiast sailors whose club was developing at a rake of knots, expanding its dinghy and cruiser racing calendar and organising boat shows,” he said.

“By the time Tavern closed and the club group moved down town, John Killeen had recruited Jim to join a few adventures afloat including the “Spirit of Galway” campaign in the Round Ireland Sailing race which listed Government minister Bobby Molloy amongst the crew,” Purcell said.

Bobby Molloy was needed back in Dublin by Taoiseach Charlie Haughey for an important Dail vote and had to jump ship off Westport. Our man Jim was on the spot to inform the nation and GBSC’s involvement in the race in an age before mobile phones,” he said.

“Jim Fahy clocked up more miles cruising with his wife Christina than most members have ever done sailing, with on average 1500 miles a season over the last fifteen years researching places to visit and often imparting local history to the interested crew,” Purcell added.

“Jim became an important member of the Volvo Ocean Race communications team in 2009 and 2012, impressing the Volvo teams with the hourly updates from a small dockside office which was put together on a shoestring,” he said.

Jim Fahy, who began his journalistic career with The Tuam Herald newspaper, was RTÉ’s longest-serving regional correspondent when he retired in 2011.

He reported on national and international events, ranging from his "Looking West" series of interviews to issues affecting Irish emigrants in Britain to famine in Somalia and the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in New York in September 2001.

President Michael D Higgins had described him as "one of Ireland's finest broadcasters, a fact attested to by the over 40 national and international awards which he won over the course of his outstanding career".

"For generations of people he was a familiar voice, indelibly associated with the reporting of events across the west of Ireland during his 38 years as RTÉ’s first western news correspondent,” the president said.

"It will be as RTÉ's voice of the west of Ireland that Jim will be most fondly remembered," he said.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that his "distinct voice and eye for a story uncovered every facet of life in the west of Ireland, as well as major international events like 9/11".

Purcell said that “Jim’s many sailing friends extend their deepest sympathy to Jim’s wife Christina , his son Shane and daughter Aideen”.

Published in Galway Harbour

Galway Bay Sailing Club are looking forward to organising the first stopover for the enlarged four-stage Round Britain and Ireland Race, which starts from Plymouth on May 29th 2022. In time past, the race has been based on two-handed crews. But the interest from fully-crewed boats is such that, with nearly 30 entries already made for the two-handed division including eight multi-hulls, the organisers feel the time is right to add a fully-crewed vision, details from [email protected]

The course is Plymouth to Galway, Galway to Lerwick in the Shetland Isles, Lerwick to Blyth in Northumberland, and Blyth to Plymouth - a seriously demanding offshore and oceanic challenge by anyone’s standards.

As an added incentive, the fully-crewed boats can make crew changes of up to 50% in both Galway and Blyth, and the entry fee discount is available until March 1st.

Published in Galway Harbour

Flexibility has been the keynote at Galway Bay Sailing Club as they wind down their traditional season at a time when activity generally is seeing a stepping-up of the pace as the pandemic recedes. Thus when the time-honoured Junior Regatta scheduled for Sunday 26th September was faced with deteriorating weather and perhaps a fixtures clash, the lines of communication burned red-hot to transfer it to Saturday, September 25th, and despite the widespread locations of sailing clubs along the western seaboard, they were rewarded with a good turnout for four classes drawn from four different clubs.

Overall, it's reckoned the top performers were Adam McGrady and Ally O'Sullivan who scooped the 420 class, reflecting the strength of this important international junior two-person boat at sailing centres around the City of the Tribes. The Fevas were won by Isabel Schumacher and Isolde Hannon, while the Topaz group was led in by Lauren Irwin.

The GBSC Junior Regatta managed to sidestep impending bad weather with some nifty footwork in shifting the date by 24 hours.The GBSC Junior Regatta managed to sidestep impending bad weather with some nifty footwork in shifting the date by 24 hours.

The Optimists, racing in a separate course, had the Gold Fleet won by Micheal Minogue, while the Silvers were headed by Niamh Banes – full results here 

EVENING RACING

In socially-distanced evening racing throughout the season, the club was very lucky in getting an almost unbroken pattern of summery evenings for the keelboats' 12-boat Aquabroker Series, in which Joker was dominant under IRC, while Woofer came through in the final race to win on ECHO.

September in Galway is of course Oyster Festival Time afloat and ashore, and the club's cruisers raced to Galway Docks in the final race of the King of the Bay series for a nautical nosh-up sponsored by Galway Maritime. However, they'd to earn their pints and bivalves, as the course took them on a spectator-impressing circuit of the inner bay, with a final run along the Salthill waterfront until they arrived with neat timing at the finish with a flurry of sail just as the dock gates were opening.

Mark Wilson's Sigma 33 Scorpio has had a good season on Galway Bay, winning the Round Aran Race in August, and the Renville-Galway Race which concluded the King of the Bay series.Mark Wilson's Sigma 33 Scorpio has had a good season on Galway Bay, winning the Round Aran Race in August, and the Renville-Galway Race which concluded the King of the Bay series.

The Kings of the Bay – Ibaraki crew of Eugene Burke, Mike Guilfoyle, Aoife Macken, John Collins, Paddy Ryan and Ciaran Moran with Pierce Purcell Jnr and Piece Purcell III of Galway Maritime.

The winner on the day was the Sigma 33 Scorpio (Mark Wilson) which also won the hugely-successful Pursuit Race round Inismor in the Aran Islands back in August. But overall the King of the Bay series winner is John Collins' Ibaraki, with Scorpio second and Out of the Blue (Lyons brothers) third.

Celebration of this high point of the season continued in the sociable shelter of the dock, with GBSC Commodore John Shorten turning his boat Galypso into Hospitality Central for liquid dispensation, while ashore under the Galway Maritime mega-parasol, it was mussels and oysters galore. But despite these festivities, sailing at GBSC for 2021 is by no means over - their annual Sunday Series is now under way.

"The Brains of the Bay": Out of the Blue crew of Conor, Lisa and Fergal Lyons came third overall in the King of the Bay series , and it was also Fergal who proved to be the ace handicapper when setting the start times for the phenomenally successful Round Aran Pursuit Race in August."The Brains of the Bay": Out of the Blue crew of Conor, Lisa and Fergal Lyons came third overall in the King of the Bay series , and it was also Fergal who proved to be the ace handicapper when setting the start times for the phenomenally successful Round Aran Pursuit Race in August.

Published in Galway Harbour
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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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