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Displaying items by tag: Kilkeel

#RNLI - Kilkeel RNLI's volunteer lifeboat crew launched at 9.20am yesterday morning (Monday 14 March) to go the aid of a fishing vessel rapidly taking in water about 25 miles southeast of Kilkeel, Co Down.

The vessel was in a heavy swell when water was seen in the fish room. The boat’s pump was unable to cope with the water entering and at one stage the fish room was three-quarters full of water. It had begun to affect the stability of the boat when the alarm was raised and help was dispatched.

When Kilkeel RNLI arrived on scene, the lifeboat was carefully manoeuvred by its volunteer crew alongside the vessel in an increasingly heavy swell, and two of the lifeboat crew went aboard the fishing vessel with a salvage pump. Newcastle RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat was also on scene to render assistance.

The Kilkeel lifeboat then transferred a further pump from the Newcastle lifeboat, and with all the pumps working the boat was kept afloat. The two lifeboats then escorted the fishing boat under her own steam safely into Kilkeel Harbour, arriving at about 12.45pm.

John Fisher, Kilkeel RNLI lifeboat operations manager, said: "If the incident had happened further out to sea then the operation would have been more difficult, but with the Kilkeel and Newcastle lifeboats co-operating well together, the fishing boat and its crew were brought safely ashore.

Kilkeel RNLI's volunteer lifeboat crew on this callout were Raymond Newell, Alan Henning, Andrew McConnell and Wayne Marshall.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Kilkeel RNLI went to the aid of the fishing boat which reported a fire in its engine room on Wednesday evening (24 February).

The 14m fishing vessel, with two men on board, was 11 miles south-east of Kilkeel when the incident was reported at 5.20pm.

Arriving on the scene, the lifeboat crew found that the fire had been extinguished but there was a problem with the steering.

Kilkeel RNLI volunteer crew member Alexander McCauley boarded the stricken vessel to assess the damage and address the steering issues.

Once repaired, the fishing vessel headed for Kilkeel but after about two miles under her own steam the steering broke down again, with the rudder locked to port.

The vessel was then taken under tow by the Kilkeel lifeboat for the remaining five miles to Kilkeel Harbour.

Another local fishing boat, Oceanus with skipper Neil McKee, followed the vessels to Kilkeel, while the Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 was also in attendance till the vessel was safely under tow.

The Clogherhead RNLI lifeboat was also dispatched to the scene but was released from duty once the team's Kilkeel colleagues had the situation under control.

Weather conditions during the callout were described as good.

"Putting a crew member aboard another vessel and towing the vessel is something that we practice regularly and everything went smoothly," said Kilkeel RNLI helm Gerry Smyth. "With the conditions being good the rescue went exactly as planned.’

John Fisher, Kilkeel RNLI lifeboat operations manager, added that the successful rescue demonstrated the excellent working relationships that have been developed between the coastguard, Clogherhead RNLI, Rescue 116 and the Kilkeel lifeboat crew.

Kilkeel RNLI's crew for the callout comprised helm Gerry Smyth and crew members William Charleton, Alexander McCauley and Sam Graham.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - Kilkeel RNLI's volunteer lifeboat crew have been recognised for their professionalism by a nearby business.

Mark Forkin of NuTech Renewables in Warrenpoint visited Kilkeel Lifeboat Station on Tuesday (1 December) to present a boat maintenance hamper to the crew in recognition of their positive and selfless attitude, their willingness to drop everything at a moment's notice to help other people, and their strong commitment to training and achievements in continuous improvement.

Forkin said that he and the rest of his team watched a yacht rescue in Carlingford Lough and all were impressed by the excellent teamwork and professionalism displayed.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#dinghycapsize – Volunteer lifeboat crew with Kilkeel RNLI launched yesterday evening at 6.30pm following reports of two people in the water off Killowen Point on Carlingford Lough. It is understood a member of the public raised the alarm on seeing two people in the water after their dinghies capsized.

Conditions at the time were choppy with a force four north westerly wind and good visibility. On arriving at the scene the lifeboat crew recovered the two exhausted casualties onto the lifeboat and took the two dinghies, which were drifting, under tow. The two were very cold but conscious. The lifeboat crew returned to Killowen Yacht club and was met by members of the South Down coastguard team and awaiting ambulance.

Commenting on the rescue John Fisher, Kilkeel RNLI said; 'This was a challenging callout for the lifeboat crew. The capsize happened near a sandbank and the lifeboat helm had to manoeuvre the lifeboat very carefully to safely recover the two people. The casualties were exhausted and very cold and our crew gave them warm blankets before returning them to shore.'

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - Kilkeel RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew Ernest McKee (helm), William Charleton, Suzanne McCullough and Gerry Smyth responded to a call at 8pm last night (Sunday 10 May) to go to the aid of the 25ft yacht Sundancer in difficulty south of the Hellyhunter Buoy, off Carlingford Lough.

The Sundancer, which had left Howth with a crew of three, had suffered a ripped headsail along with reported engine failure and an exhausted crew. There was a Force 6 northerly wind with a moderate sea and moderate visibility.

On coming alongside, Kilkeel RNLI crewmember Charleton managed to get onboard the yacht and assessed the state of health of the crew, one of whom was suffering from violent seasickness. He gave appropriate assistance to the casualty, making him as comfortable as possible using the ripped sail to keep the wind off. 

Meanwhile, McCullough maintained contact with the yacht's crew to reassure them they were safe. When the sails were lowered, a towline was established and the vessel was towed to Carlingford Marina.

Following the callout, Smyth stated that "the rescue was carried out under difficult and trying conditions and helm Ernest McKee did a great job manoeuvring the lifeboat into position to allow William to get onboard the yacht.

"It was a textbook location and recovery operation; we train regularly for such tasks and everything went smoothly."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - Roy Teggarty has retired as lifeboat operations manager at Kilkeel RNLI in Co Down.

At a social evening in the local British Legion on Friday 27 March, Teggarty was pleased to greet fellow Kilkeel RNLI colleagues as well as staff and volunteers from neighbouring stations.

Coming from a fishing and nautical background, Teggarty was an obvious choice when in 1994 the lifeboat crew in Kilkeel were looking for a deputy landing authority (DLA).

He brought hard work, dedication and excellent organisational skills to the station ensuring, with the help of others in management, that the building and the equipment were always up to the required tasks.

In the year 2000, all his experiences were recognised when he was appointed as lifeboat operations manager (LOM). Over the years he has ensured that the crew have maintained the high professional standards they have always set for themselves.

Commenting on his years of service, Teggarty stated that the majority of callouts have been routine but, as always with this role, some have been very very dark tragic days.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as DLA and LOM of Kilkeel RNLI, working with a dedicated team of volunteers, not only on the operational side but also with the excellent team of fundraisers," he said.

"Although I am standing down as LOM, I am sure that the station will continue to provide an excellent and professional service under the leadership of their new LOM John Fisher. I wish them all the best for the future in continuing to save lives at sea."

Thanking him for his many years of service, Leslie Campbell, Kilkeel RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer, said: "The crew and fundraisers would like to wish Roy a long and rewarding retirement free from early morning alarm calls and thanks for your dedication, loyalty and years of faithful service."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Kilkeel RNLI's volunteer lifeboat crew responded early yesterday morning (29 June) to a 40ft two-masted glass fibre yacht reported to be burning out of control.

The owner of the yacht, anchored south south-east of Rostrevor Pier on Carlingford Lough, had been contacted and it was confirmed there were two gas cylinders aboard the yacht.

The Kilkeel lifeboat Frank William Walton was launched at 2.20am and quickly reached the stricken yacht, which very quickly was ablaze from bow to stern. There was a slight sea and good visibility with light and variable northerly winds.

One of the propane gas cylinders had already exploded so the lifeboat, with four firefighters from Warrenpoint and a mobile firefighting pump aboard, stood off at a safe distance.

When the fire had somewhat subsided the lifeboat returned to the yacht and the flames were extinguished. The lifeboat left the firefighters and the pump ashore at Warrenpoint and returned safely to the boathouse in Kilkeel at 6.45am.

Lifeboat helm Gerry Smyth said: "It was vital that the lifeboat crew, the firefighters and the lifeboat were kept out of danger whilst there was the possibility of the gas cylinders exploding.

"The yacht was extensively damaged and still afloat when we left the scene but importantly no lives were lost."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#Coastguard - The chief executive of the UK's Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) was in Northern Ireland yesterday (4 March) to discuss future collaboration with the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen.

As reports, the charity - also known as the Fishermen's Mission - provides emergency support to fishermen and their families in times of need.

Sir Alan Massey of the MCA was in Kilkeel, Co Down to meet with the charity's CEO David Dickens to find out how best to work together on their common ground of safety at sea.

"We want to encourage a culture where it becomes normal practice for all fishermen to wear a lifejacket or personal flotation device (PFD) when out at sea," said Massey.

Dickens added that the Fishermen's Mission is "keen to engage with all agencies and organisations that seek to reduce the number and severity of incidents in fishing".

Published in Coastguard

#RNLI - Kilkeel RNLI rescued a windsurfer who got into difficulty in Carlingford, Co Louth yesterday (Tuesday 29 January).

The charity’s volunteer lifeboat crew was requested to launch by the Irish Coast Guard shortly after 2pm following a report that a windsurfer had got into difficulty in Carlingford Lough.

Launching their inshore lifeboat immediately, the crew encountered very unfavourable weather, with strong westerly winds of between force six and seven.

The lifeboat proceeded up the lough where they found and retrieved the windsurfer who had stayed by his board. The crew then attempted to retrieve the sail and board but couldn’t due to the windy weather conditions. They instead proceeded to tow the board into Greenore where the local coastguard took over.

Despite being in the water for approximately an hour, the casualty was described as being in reasonably good health.

Roy Teggarty, Kilkeel RNLI lifeboat operations manager, paid tribute to the lifeboat crew for their efforts in what was a challenging rescue:

"This was a day with difficult conditions because of the strong winds," he said. "It was mainly difficult to keep the lifeboat steady when retrieving the casualty so this rescue involved expert boat handling by all involved."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RESCUE - The Evening Herald reports that a body recovered 14km off the coast of north Dublin on Sunday is believed to be that of a missing fisherman.

The grisly find was made by the fishing vessel Rath Eilte in the waters off Skerries. A post-mortem was set to be carried out yesterday to determine the cause of death.

Found fully clothed in black and yellow oilskins, the remains are thought to be those of a Ukrainian in his 30s, a crewman on the Kilkeel-registered Zenith who was reported missing some 14.5km off Clogherhead in Co Louth on 29 January.

Published in Rescue
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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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