Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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The Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School have launched their Autumn recruitment campaign. While the Summer programmes in the Dun Laoghaire Sailing School are still in full swing preparations are underway for the September – November period which requires an increase in the school's workforce.

Operations Manager Glyn Williams reports a continued upswing in beginner course demand matching that seen during the latter half of 2021 and a new demand for these new sailors now wanted to undertake training at the next level. There’s such a demand that a new recruitment campaign is underway with watersport and instructor roles for all levels and qualifications. The team at the school are focusing in particular on Dinghy Instructors for their weekday school programmes, powerboat instructors for weekend courses right up to the end of November and Cruising Instructors for the 2023 season.

Speaking as the recruitment campaign got underway, Chief Instructor Kenneth Rumball describes the schools’ plans for the remainder of 2022 and into 2023 ”We’ve set out to assist newcomers to the sport as well as providing upskilling opportunities for those who took up watersports during the pandemic”.

To help fulfil their ambitions, a recruitment campaign is currently underway for Irish Sailing Dinghy Instructors, Irish Sailing Powerboat Instructors and Cruising Instructors. All roles have the benefit of a full time admin and operations support team, “allowing instructors to focus on what they do best – the teaching” according to Kenneth Rumball. 

The school's dedicated recruitment section can be viewed here

Glyn Williams is available for enquiries and submissions of CVs on [email protected]

Published in INSS
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Here's a May update from the Offshore Academy, it's been a bumper month so let’s get you caught up! This month was primarily focused around the Allmer Cup in Le Havre but that’s not to mention, there were plenty of adventures along the way! Feel free to send on our adventures to others that may be interested!

Offshore racing is all about the racing, well yes but what can be lost behind the fanfare, flags and most reports is the logistical challenges that are there behind these projects…. For the Le Havre Allmer Cup this year, we were faced with the necessity to move the boat, van trailer and assist three other Figaros to get from Port La Foret, our home port, up around North Western France, across the Cherbourg peninsula and to Le Havre, a 300nm delivery, 5 hours by road or nearly 3 days on the boat, not ideal rest before a solo offshore event.

Faced with light winds for the delivery, it was obvious we would be spending a lot of time under the engine so with extra diesel cans on board, we left Port La Foret in the early hours of the morning with the intention of heading directly to Le Havre, with the potential to stop in Roscoff or Cherbourg for a pit stop. We had a convoy of myself, Conor Fogerty of Ireland on his boat RAW, Tiphaine and Ahmad on Pier Cophams boat, Voile Des Agnes and Sanni Beucke would be joining us along the way as she was coming from Lorient, about 30 miles south of Port La Foret.

Those who sail regularly will know the potential risk of lots of time under engine due to light and fickle winds, there is the huge risk of runner over and getting fouled in Lobster pot markers, this risk is increased ten fold when at night when it is impossible to see the markers. As our delivery had seen little to no wind, we had as a group decided to make a pit stop in Roscoff to get some rest and top up on diesel. About midnight in the pitch-black dark of night, thankfully only 2 miles from Roscoff but very close to the island of Ile De Batz the engine came to a very sudden and abrupt stop! Being in the dead of night it was very hard to see how badly the propellor was wrapped but worryingly there were two narrow aluminium, staffs running out from the back of the propellor, this was no simple wrap! Here we were in the dead of night, disabled in no wind but close to Roscoff but in notoriously fast-flowing and dangerous tides. My training group from La Rochelle had pulled into Roscoff a day earlier so thankfully Alexi Thomas and Swann answered my desperate phone call for help and came out in a RIB to tow me into the safe haven of Roscoff. Tired, relieved, frustrated but most importantly in a safe haven it quickly became apparent that the best course of action was to get some sleep and deal with it in the morning…

The Allmer Cup at Le Havre marinaThe Allmer Cup at Le Havre marina

What came next is just the pinnacle display of kindness and help to a solo sailor in need. Tired and urgently looking to get on the way to Le Havre, I wandered up to the Captainerie (Harbour Master) to explain my plight and look for help. The lady behind the counter immediately understood the situation I was in, faster than I could think, there was a RIB alongside my boat towing me over to the travel hoist to lift the boat out where the staff of the marina and yard were on hand, tools at the ready to free my propellor, before I knew, it, my baot was back in the water on a berth alongside my friends and fellow Figarists, propellor free an dready to continue my delivery when I chose. Somehow I had managed to mow over the flag staff of a lobster pot marker wrapping the aluminium staff of the lobster pot, the equivalent of an Optimist sprit, around my propellor shaft 3 times…. I cannot thank the staff of marina in Roscoff for their immediate help and gratuity to a foreign solo sailor. I was bowled over when I went into pay for everything and they waived all the bills!!! Tahnkyou!

After all this drama, I quickly came to the realisation it would be best to forgo continuing my delivery that day and spend a night on the marina, have a good meal with my friends from La Rochelle and leave as part of a bigger convoy the next day. A great decision as the rest of the delivery was painless and we arrived in Le Havre incident free 28 hours later. We arrived on the 18th of May, with plenty of time to rest ahead of the Le Havre Allmer Cup.

The Le Havre Allmer Cup is a challenging event with a long offshore stage and two coastal races mixing offshore strategy and sailing with inshore boat handling and intensity. Due to weather complexities and the potential of the Royal Navy practising live firing off the south coast of the UK, our offshore course was subject to change. Yann Chateau was our director of racing and is one the best, he is the model of race director who is totally on top of his game, in touch with competitors and spectators alike and someone I would place full trust in for any offshore race management. Yann gave us an excellent course that would take us out of Le Havre, North to the Needles fairway buoy off the Solent, westerly to Eddystone Lighthouse and the south to a buoy in the channel of the entrance to Roscoff before heading east, through the challengine tides in the channel islands, up over the Cherbourg peninsula and back to le Havre, some 450 miles! The weather forecast was relatively stable which would see light in fickle winds as far as the Needles fairway buoy before and building upwind leg to Eddystone followed by largely downwind reaching and running conditions back to home.

We started the race well rounding in light conditions the first top mark in the top 10 before having a disastrous downwind leg and getting clear to head towards the UK in the bottom 10!!!! In light winds, it became a speed test in reaching conditions with lots of peeling (sail changing) between the gennaker (Code 0) and big spinnaker with no sleep to cross the English Channel north to the Needles Fairway buoy just west of the entrance to the Needles. Despite my best efforts in fleet where there was a lot of expansion and compression of the fleet, I rounded the fleet in the bottom end ahead of a long beat westwards to the Eddystone lighthouse.

Our upwind slog Westwards was long with the complexities of the tide on the South Coast of the UK and the fact that we managed to hit almost every headland against the tide which made the best long, very long, almost 24 hours to the minute to get from the Needles Fairway to the Eddystone lighthouse. There is very little to report on this leg, inshore to get out of the tide, then offshore to get into the tide when preferable to make way west along our route, there was a change to the sailing instructions forcing us to go south of a line between two waypoints as the Royal Navy were using the area for some target practise which caused some fun and amusement along the way.

Finally around 0800 French time after short tacking in off Start Point through the night, we rounded Eddystone lighthouse to be able to make our way south towards what was originally supposed to be a mark off Roscoff but a change in the course meant we were heading slightly further East to a mark called La Jument des Héaux which is about 30 miles east of Roscoff and a mark I remember well from rounding during the Solitaire 2 years ago on the legs in and out of St Breuic! Downwind sailing, sun out, 12-15kts of steady wind allowed time to dry the boat, get some rest and eat some food…. The leg was very straight forward, 145 True Wind Angle the whole way to the mark. Despite the simplicity of the leg, by the bottom mark I had regained 4 places!

A gybe at the mark and then it was a tighter reach along the French coast towards Guernsey, where we thankfully were fighting tide as we approached the channel islands but the good news is that we were then to have the notorious tides around the Cherbourg peninsula with us as we crossed the top of the peninsula, to head back towards le Havre!

The remainder of the race was very straight forward after this with a few gybes over the top of Cherbourg, reaching and running all the way home! In this race I finished up 20th which I was reasonably happy about. The placing was not the most important thing, what was more important was to prove to myself that I had the speed in the relevant areas to be able to sail with the pack and pick off a few places from time to time! Bed time was followed the next day by a Pro-Am day where the two Irish skippers Tom Dolan and Kenny Rumball took some winners or a radio competition racing in J80s off Le Havre, great fun and a fantastic opportunity to get sailing in a relaxed environment!

A Pro-Am day where the two Irish skippers Tom Dolan (second from right) and Kenny Rumball (left)A Pro-Am day where the two Irish skippers Tom Dolan (second from right) and Kenny Rumball (left)

Friday and Saturday were coastal race days, a race a day of about 30 miles. Race one was. A simple loop around the end of the shipping channel in Le Havre and back to a finish line similar to where we finished the offshore. This race was in 15kts of wind mostly, dying to 12kts at the end. A silly mistake at the first windward mark cost a lot of places, however a solid 18th kept me content despite losing a lot of places initially! The final coastal day race on Saturday started with a windy reach and then a long tactical challenging upwind to the nearby port entrance of Antifer before a long run home. I sailed well in this race to post my best result of the series, with a great result of 9th which I was content with but my coach stated that it was about time I sailed to my potential.

With no time to spare, as soon as we hit the dock, it was time to swap sails and get the boat delivered to Ireland for the Round Ireland Race. Luzerne Under 25 team from Ireland had arrived to bring the boat back to Dublin. This is a key component of the Academy. Here we are supporting four U25s in their ques to compete in the SSE Renewables Round Ireland race. The Academy is supporting the team in terms of boat charter, coaching on the water, navigation preparation, food selection etc, exactly what the Academy was setup to do.

A final shakedown race on the J121 DarkwoodA final shakedown race on the J121 Darkwood

No rest for Kenny, I was home for a only a short few days before it was off to the UK for a final shakedown race on Darkwood the J121 which I will be onboard for the Round Ireland this year!

Published in INSS

Coming up next on the solo calendar of the French Classe Figaro circuit in Le Havre is the All Mer Cup, running from the 20th to the 28th of May.

Similar to the recent Solo Maitre Coq, competitors will face a long offshore leg of around 340 nautical miles, which sends the fleet in a rectangle around the English Channel, starting and finishing in Le Havre. A day of rest before two coastal races in and around le Havre to wrap up the series!

For this fifth edition, there is a fleet of around 30 Figaro Bénéteau 3 expected at the fleet of the Société des Régates du Havre. And for this edition, there is a new race officer, Yann Château.

The last edition of this event was held in 2018; due to Covid and other factors, the previous editions have not been possible. As with all events in the Championship Elite, there will be full festivities and a social calendar for skipper and their support teams.

Ireland will be represented by three skippers, including Tom Dolan, who has already competed in the Allmer Cup in previous editions. Kenny Rumball and Conor Fogerty, are competing in the event for the first time. All 3 Irish boats are already in the race village, with the official days for boat arrival, safety, security and inspections starting on the 20th.

Kenny Rumball's offshore support van Kenny Rumball's Offshore Academy support van

It was a busy time for all boats having to complete a near 300 mile delivery from their home ports of Port La Foret. Thankfully Marcus Hutchinson, who is supporting several boats was on hand to move the support van and trailer to the event for the teams.

It is pre-event rest and recovery, planning and weather analysis ahead of the start on Sunday!

The 340nm offshore course of the All Mer CupThe 340nm offshore course of the All Mer Cup

The first race, 340nm offshore, is scheduled to start at 1600hrs French time on Sunday the 22nd. Tracking the race and event updates will be possible on the official event website here.

Published in INSS
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The Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School in Dun Laoghaire Co.Dublin is expanding their office team with a new part-time position for the weekday mornings.

The team is growing in line with increasing participation numbers and demand for sailing and powerboat training.

The office team plays an integral part in all the aspects of the busy training centre, supporting a team of 80 instructors delivering training to over 8,000 participants annually.

Full details of the role can be viewed below.

  • Role: Office Administrator
  • Start Date: Immediate
  • Role Type: Part Time

We’re looking for an Office Administrator to join our team. The Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School operates year-round running sailing and powerboating training courses for children and adults.

About the Role
We are looking for a part-time candidate (mornings) to join our busy office team for approximately 20 hours per week.

General Information
Knowledge, Qualifications and Experience required:

  • Competent with Microsoft Office packages, outlook, excel, word
  • Experience of reception duties
  • Previous customer service experience
  • Previous experience with telephone bookings, ideal but not essential

Personal Qualities:

  • Mature approach and attitude to work
  • Good phone manner
  • Ability to solve problems and work under pressure
  • Approachable, welcoming, friendly, and enthusiastic
  • Able to communicate well with clients and staff of all ages
  • Self-motivated, Punctual & Organised
  • Knowledge of sailing is an advantage but is not essential. Full training will be provided.

Application Process
Please submit a CV to [email protected] with “Office Administration Role” in the subject line.

If you're a suitable candidate an interview will be organised.

The position is for an immediate start.

Published in INSS
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Getting involved in Offshore Racing can be tricky if you don't know where to start. There's a fantastic offshore racing programme offered by ISORA, the skippers are very welcoming and everyone aboard had to start at the beginning sometime, so why don’t more sailors join in?

To help, the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School is teaming up with the Irish Sea Offshore Racing Association on Wednesday 6th of April to introduce their yacht course graduates, and other sailors, to ISORA racing, with an opportunity to meet a couple of skippers and ask the burning questions about starting off in offshore racing.

In addition to meeting skippers, there’ll be an introduction to what’s involved in ISORA racing and Kieran Tarbett will speak about his NCB Round the World Racing experiences.

Chief Instructor Kenneth Rumball says “it’s exciting to see the continued interest in offshore racing and this partnership with ISORA creates a route for more people to get involved”. Commenting on the reasoning behind the initiative, Kenneth describes how perceived barriers to getting involved can be broken down “We find that many newer sailors are simply not sure of what steps to take, this initiative lays out a pathway to follow for our graduates, and indeed any sailor interested in offshore racing”.

INSS course graduates and sailors with an interest in joining ISORA crews this year are invited to this event, taking place on Wednesday 6th of April at 8 pm.

Attendance is free, but you’re asked to contact the school on [email protected] to let them know you’re coming along.

Published in ISORA

The Yacht Week is looking for talented skippers and hosts to work in the Mediterranean next summer. Dun Laoghaire Sailing School, the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School has teamed up with the Yacht Week and Quarterdeck to assist Irish sailors with this exciting opportunity.

Quarterdeck – Training Academy

Quarterdeck provides a tailored Academy that polishes current cooking or sailing skills in order to work with their sister companies The Yacht Week, along with several other private charter partners, in destinations such as Croatia, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, British Virgin Islands, French Polynesia and many more.

Destinations include Croatia, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, British Virgin Islands, French Polynesia and many moreDestinations include Croatia, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, British Virgin Islands, French Polynesia and many more

This is the perfect opportunity if you're looking for your next steps after or during university, looking for your next adventure or a student with a spare summer off.

What does a Quarterdeck host do?

A Quarterdeck host cooks delicious meals, shows guests the incredible local delights, and dances the night away with them under the stars in our world-class locations.

Discover hidden bays for swim stopsDiscover hidden bays for swim stops

What does a Quarterdeck skipper do?

A quarterdeck Skipper guides guests through their adventure. They sail from island to island, discovering hidden bays for swim stops and share their expert local knowledge.

Dublin Open Day Event

Subject to the expected updated public health advice, Quarterdeck is hosting an open day event on Saturday the 11th of December in Dublin. The team from the INSS will be on hand to help explain any prior training requirements and offer solutions.

Sign Up for this event is via this form:

Those interested in getting a better insight into what Quarterdeck and The Yacht Week involve can check out the following links:

Quarterdeck Website:

The Yacht Week:

What a typical day at work looks like…

Published in INSS
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Dun Laoghaire based Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School reports a strong demand to get afloat as the country continues to reopen.

There’s such a demand that a new recruitment campaign is underway with watersport and instructor roles for all levels and qualifications. The team at the school are focusing in particular on Dinghy Instructors for their weekday school programmes, powerboat instructors for fully booked weekend courses right up to the end of November and Cruising Instructors for the 2022 season.

Speaking as the recruitment campaign got underway, Chief Instructor Kenneth Rumball describes the schools’ plans for the remainder of 2021 and into 2022 as “shifting from keeping afloat due to COVID-19 towards a busy and fulfilling set of expanded programmes that support the entire marine community through informative and entertaining beginner and intermediate courses”. The school is determined to make the most of a significant increase in interest in watersports and predicts a busy 2022.

The INSS's First 36.7 LulabelleThe INSS's First 36.7 Lulabelle

Glyn Williams has moved from a communications and marketing role in the school to run the busy operation and describes one of the main objectives as “creating regular employment opportunities for instructors, that fit their schedule and allow us to work as a team to increase sailing and powerboating participation”. Glyn was recently joined in the school office by Vonnie Airey, who heads up the Sales and Administration team following the retirement of Wicklow Sailor Dave Ballasty. The school wanted to publicly put on record their thanks and appreciation to Dave who spent the last few years overhauling administration and sales procedures, as well as significantly expanding the weekday primary and second level school programmes.

Part of the INSS's RIB fleet departing Dun Laoghaire HarbourPart of the INSS's RIB fleet departing Dun Laoghaire Harbour

To help fulfil their ambitions, there is a recruitment campaign underway currently for Irish Sailing Dinghy Instructors, Irish Sailing Powerboat Instructors and Cruising Instructors.

All roles have the benefit of a full-time admin and operations support team, “allowing instructors to focus on what they do best – the teaching” according to Kenneth Rumball.

Full details on the roles here

The INSS's sailing waters at Dun Laoghaire HarbourThe INSS's sailing waters at Dun Laoghaire Harbour 

Published in INSS

The Irish National Sailing Club is pleased to announce the election of Dun Laoghaire Laser sailor and dinghy instructor Patricia Kelly to the position of the first Commodore of the six-year-old club at their AGM held online on Monday the 21st of December 2020.

Patricia is a relatively recent convert to sailing, having taken a beginner course roughly five years ago onboard a keelboat before trying out dinghy sailing after joining the Irish National Sailing Club. Patricia embodies the ethos of the INSC, which promotes pay as you go sailing in a fun and safe way and becoming totally immersed in all things small boat sailing.

Patricia Kelly (right) with fellow INSC dinghy instructors Alex Wan, James Linton, Nick Smith and Joan Sheffield (R-L)Patricia Kelly (right) with (right to left) fellow INSC dinghy instructors Alex Wan, James Linton, Nick Smith and Joan Sheffield 

After a short while using the INSC Laser fleet, Patricia took the plunge and bought her own Laser, and was immediately an enthusiastic sailor and progressed quickly. She was instrumental in organising a small group of INSC members to get out on the water for a series of mid-week lessons with various coaches from Dun Laoghaire. This flare for making things happen was a natural asset when the club teamed up with the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School to develop a group of adult dinghy and keelboat instructors in 2019.

Patricia flew through the various assessment and training modules qualifying as a dinghy instructor and was straight out onto the water that Summer introducing many new sailors to the sport, and most importantly encouraging them as they took their first steps after their courses while sailing with the club.

Patricia Kelly trials the INSC’s new RS Zest dinghy, before designing a training programme for new club members on these new craftPatricia Kelly trials the INSC’s new RS Zest dinghy, before designing a training programme for new club members on these new craft

Elected onto the INSC committee, Patricia was instrumental in driving numerous projects to help the Club develop a pathway and strategy to get more people afloat, and was a contributor to all club activities including putting in a number of shifts at the RS Super Series in the depths of Winter.

Patricia is regularly found on race courses, both in safety boat duties such as the 2019 Laser Masters and is also a regular competitor in her Laser in DBSC Summer and DMYC Frostbite series.

Patricia Kelly (helm) providing safety cover at a RS Super Series Event in Dun LaoghairePatricia Kelly (helm) providing safety cover at a RS Super Series Event in Dun Laoghaire

A contribution of particular note was the heading of a subcommittee tasked with developing a training programme for INSC member for the 2020 season. A comprehensive and truly ambitious programme was developed, drawing on her own experience. The programme was full of specific actions all linked to a measurable outcome and had total support from the entire INSC committee as well as a very supportive and excited membership. Alas, the pandemic has postponed some of the plans, however Patricia did lead the INSC women afloat programme, developing a coaching day with support from Irish Sailing as part of the Women at the Helm initiative that saw one of the busiest and most successful days afloat for the INSC in 2020.

Not a tough choice for Club members, Patricia was elected unanimously, and the Club is looking forward to an exciting 2021 under Commodore Patricia Kelly’s leadership.

Published in INSS

The Irish National Sailing School has produced end of the year summary of its sailing highlights at Dun Laoghaire Harbour in County Dublin, a season like no other due to COVID-19.

"We don't want to forget 2020, the goodwill, support and friendship from staff and customers that can never be diminished", says the centre's Glynn Williams.

Unfortunately, COVID restrictions meant that participation figures fell dramatically in 2020 at the country's biggest sailing school.

The INSS says it has seen around half of the 2019 participation levels of 8,000 students and while that obviously has been a financial challenge, the level of appreciation we have for each of our participants in 2020 is unmeasurable.

The INSS also says it regards itself as 'beyond lucky' because, as an outdoor operator, they’ve been able to safely operate more of our courses and programmes than most would imagine. However, this wouldn’t have been possible without the overwhelming support of all our customers and students, who fully cooperated with every measure, change due to restrictions and direction. Read Williams full report here.

INSS Video

The go-ahead school and club located at the town's West Pier have produced a video again but this year centre Principal Kenny Rumball says the theme of 2020 is on 'giving a huge thank you to the INSS staff, for all the work they have put in, and to the INSS customers for their understanding, cooperation and trust during the COVID-19 pandemic'.

"We're looking forward to getting your afloat in 2021 when its safe to do so" he adds. 

Check out the vid below

2021 Restrictions

Meanwhile, with the extension to Level 5 measures running until the end of January INSS says, unfortunately, it is unable to run quite a number of programmes but is hoping to do in the near future when government guidelines permit it and it is safe to do so.

Published in INSS

The Irish National Sailing and Powerboat School (INSS) is looking forward to the return of the Saturday Sailing programme for kids aged seven to 17.

After a successful summer implementing new measures in accordance with coronavirus restrictions, the programme will be structured to meet social distancing and group size requirements.

Friends will still be permitted to sail together — however, that pod will work together for the whole programme.

Single-handed sailing will be an important part of the programme, and small group sizes should enhance the learning opportunities. Children are also asked to come changed in wetsuits and head home in them.

Despite these adjustments, the INSS says it aims to keep the core aspects of the programme familiar, allowing for kids to have great fun afloat while learning and progressing one's sailing skills being the core elements — as the school’s video from earlier this summer shows.

For more details Saturday Sailing for juniors in the autumn and winter terms, see the INSS website HERE.

Published in INSS
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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.


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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