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Displaying items by tag: Lough Ree

Lough Ree RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew responded to a call for assistance to two fishermen in a lake boat who got into difficulties on the River Shannon in Athlone yesterday afternoon (Saturday 18 March). 

Responding to a request from the Irish Coast Guard, following an alarm raised by a member of the public, Lough Ree RNLI was tasked to assist two men on board a 19ft lake boat which was taking on water south of the Weir Wall on the River Shannon in Athlone town. 

Lough Ree RNLI inland lifeboat ‘Tara Scougall’ under volunteer helm Liam Sheringham, launched at 5.20 pm and reached the fishing boat in fifteen minutes. Following a rapid survey of the scene the lifeboat drew alongside the stricken fishing boat and volunteer crew Patrick Walsh, Paul Kelly and Billy Henshaw Jnr were rescued the two young men and took them on board the lifeboat. The two men were then transferred to the care of emergency services on the riverbank, and neither man suffered any ill effects from the ordeal.

Lough Ree RNLI volunteer helm Liam Sheringham thanked An Garda Siochana for their assistance in the rescue and reminded the general public that ‘the circular motion created in the water over the Weir Wall, especially when the river is in spate or flood creates a very difficult and dangerous environment for people and craft in the vicinity.’

Earlier on Saturday, Lough Ree RNLI had joined with Athlone Sub Aqua Club and Athlone River Safety Awareness just upstream of the weir wall to demonstrate emergency response procedures to the public.

This was the second call out of the year for Lough Ree RNLI; earlier this month (Friday, 3 March) the charity assisted two people on board a lake cruiser which had run aground after losing steerage near the N6 motorway bridge.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels and waterway users on Lough Ree on the Shannon Navigation that the port-hand lateral marker on the south side of Inchmore Island is now back on station.

The temporary red buoy installed in early January has now been removed, the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways says.

Published in Inland Waterways

Following the pre-Christmas warning over an off-station marker on the Shannon Navigation, Waterways Ireland advises that a temporary red marker has now been installed in the relevant area north of Athlone.

The temporary marker is in place of the port-hand lateral marker on the south side of Inchmore Island on Lough Ree.

Masters of Vessels should proceed with additional caution in the vicinity of the island, the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways says.

Published in Inland Waterways

The year just ended was a significant one for Lough Ree RNLI, both on and off the water. 2022 witnessed the opening of the charity’s ‘state of the art’ lifeboat station while on the water the volunteer crew responded to 47 call-outs during the year.

Launching in all types of weather, daylight and darkness, the crew assisted 153 people in 2022 on board 45 boats. In two cases, assistance was given to members of the public who encountered difficulties in the waters of Lough Ree.

Lough Ree RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, Kevin Ganly, said: ‘the good news is that all of the calls to assistance had a positive outcome with all members of the public and the volunteer crews coming home safely.’ He concluded that: ‘the charity is entirely dependant on the public to support the operation on Lough Ree.’

Lough Ree RNLI welcomed 16 new volunteers in the past year and now has almost 50 people giving their time and skills to the charity’s operation at Coosan Point.

With 19 volunteers on the boat crew, the cost of equipment and training is a significant annual expense. While the initial cost of the charity’s lifeboat ‘Tara Scougall’ was €339k, to keep the boat in service for its lifetime will incur a total cost of €797k. The cost of kitting out a crew member is €4,167, while annual training for each volunteer on the crew is €1,667.

Lough Ree RNLI Treasurer, Vincent Rafter, said: ‘the charity is most grateful to the members of the public who made donations and organised fund-raising events for Lough Ree RNLI in 2022, especially the €100k raised locally for the new lifeboat station.’ He added that: ‘the continued support of the community around the lake, visitors to the midlands and annual donors to the RNLI in 2023 remained critical to the provision of the lifesaving service.’

This coming Thursday (5 January), Lough Ree RNLI hosts a fund-raising table quiz in The Bounty at Buccaneers R.F.C., Athlone at 7.30pm. Tables of four cost €40 and the charity looks forward to welcoming back friends and supporters after the hiatus caused by the pandemic.This coming Thursday (5 January), Lough Ree RNLI hosts a fund-raising table quiz in The Bounty at Buccaneers R.F.C., Athlone at 7.30pm. Tables of four cost €40 and the charity looks forward to welcoming back friends and supporters after the hiatus caused by the pandemic.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels and waterway users the Shannon Navigation at Lough Ree that a port hand lateral marker on the south side of Inchmore Island is currently off station.

Masters of vessels should proceed with additional caution in the vicinity of Inchmore Island north of Athlone until further notice.

Published in Inland Waterways

As the festive season draws near, the volunteers at Lough Ree RNLI are throwing open the doors of the lifeboat station at Coosan Point for a special Christmas sale next Saturday afternoon (26 November).

RNLI Christmas cards are central to the charity’s fundraising drive at this time of year. Always high on the shopping list of supporters, the Christmas cards and other RNLI merchandise will be on sale at the new lifeboat station on Saturday afternoon next from 1pm.

Lough Ree RNLI treasurer Vincent Rafter said: “The public support of the charity and its volunteers are crucial for the organisation. So far this year Lough Ree RNLI volunteer crew has responded to 47 call outs on the lake.

“Over the past two years RNLI fundraising in the Midlands has been focussed on the provision of the new lifeboat station which opened in June. The facility itself is fast becoming a major attraction in the area with volunteers hosting planned visits every month.”

Recently the volunteer crew were pleased to receive an encouraging note of thanks, following a visit from a young girl in Athlone.

Eliza Crosbie (9) from Retreat Heights was part of a group from St Ciaran’s NS, Baylin who visited the lifeboat station recently. In her letter she expressed an interest in helping the charity in any way and perhaps making use of her life saving skills. The letter was accompanied by a colourful drawing of the lifeboat on the water.

Station visits officer at Lough Ree RNLI, Paul Kelly said: “The visits are a new initiative for us and this is one of the first responses we have received. The future of the RNLI is assured with the enthusiasm Eliza and her friends have expressed for the organisation.“”

So impressed were the Lough Ree RNLI volunteer crew with the letter that they invited Eliza to the station this week for a personal tour. Paul and Lough Ree RNLI operations manager Kevin Ganly made a small presentation to Eliza to mark the occasion.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels and waterway users on the Shannon Navigation that jetty upgrade works at Coosan Point on Lough Ree are under way as of Tuesday 25 October.

Originally set to continue to next Wednesday 2 November, the works were completed ahead of schedule on Friday 28 October.

The jetty lights that were turned off to facilitate these works have now operating again, the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways confirmed.

Elsewhere, re-decking of the floating jetties in Dromineer on Lough Derg will commence on Tuesday 1 November.

Security fencing will be erected around the front of the gangway to restrict access onto the floating jetties for the duration of the works, which are expected to take around six weeks to complete.

This story was updated on Friday 28 October to note the early completion of works at Coosan Point.

Published in Inland Waterways

Lough Ree RNLI marked a significant milestone on Monday (17 October) when a cheque for €100,000 was presented as the local community contribution to the overall €1.2m cost of the new lifeboat station on a site donated by the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland.

The presentation was made by Michael Ganly, chairman of the Lough Ree RNLI Appeal Committee to Anna Classon, the RNLI’s regional head for Ireland.

On her first visit to the new lifeboat station, which was opened this past June, Classon said she was “really impressed by the partnership between the RNLI and the IWAI and to see two great organisations sharing resources for the benefit of the community”.

The community contribution was the result of a fundraising campaign which ran for more than 12 months and was supported by community groups, the corporate sector and a host of individuals for the lakeside community and beyond.

Presenting the cheque, Ganly said: “The work of people like committee secretary Pauline Irwin and all others involved was crucial to the success of the venture.”

The new lifeboat station has been very active this year and has been a particular asset to the 46 volunteer crew as the charity and its lifeboat Tara Scougall have responded to 46 callouts in the year to date.

Reflecting on the successful fundraising campaign, Lough Ree RNLI treasurer Vincent Rafter thanked “all the GoFundMe campaigns, tests of endurance and anonymous donors who contributed amounts large and small to this special community initiative”.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Waterways Ireland advises all masters of vessels and users on the Shannon Navigation that the Coosan Point jetties on Lough Ree will be closed from Monday 3 to Thursday 6 October for improvement works.

Published in Inland Waterways

The volunteer crew of Lough Ree RNLI were involved in the rescue of 133 people in 42 different incidents on the lake and River Shannon so far this year.

The charity’s volunteers embarked on their first callout of 2022 on the afternoon of St Patrick’s Day and have since gone to the assistance of 40 boats in difficulty on the inland waterways.

Fortunately, all 133 people who needed the charity’s assistance were rescued safely and no injuries were reported.

In the most significant incident, 10 people were escorted to safety when a small boat capsized near the N6 motorway bridge in August, while nine people were on board a cruiser which ran aground on the Hexagon Shoal in June.

Groundings of boats on the Hexagon Shoal accounted for a quarter of all callouts this year.

Speaking at the charity’s headquarters at Coosan Point this week, Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat operations manager Kevin Ganly said: “It appears that the provision of additional markers around the Hexagon Shoal in recently by Waterways Ireland has improved safety in that area of the lake. Nonetheless the charity and its volunteers remain always ‘on call’ to respond to any emergencies.”

The new lifeboat station, which was operational for the first time this summer, has proven to be a particular asset, Lough Ree RNLI says.

In recent weeks volunteer crew from across the Midlands and West have used the facility for casualty care training. The station’s designated slipway at Coosan Point has also contributed to more efficient launches of the charity’s lifeboat Tara Scougall.

The lifeboat station is base for more than 40 volunteers who along with their families generously give of their time and expertise to assist the local community.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) in Ireland Information

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is a charity to save lives at sea in the waters of UK and Ireland. Funded principally by legacies and donations, the RNLI operates a fleet of lifeboats, crewed by volunteers, based at a range of coastal and inland waters stations. Working closely with UK and Ireland Coastguards, RNLI crews are available to launch at short notice to assist people and vessels in difficulties.

RNLI was founded in 1824 and is based in Poole, Dorset. The organisation raised €210m in funds in 2019, spending €200m on lifesaving activities and water safety education. RNLI also provides a beach lifeguard service in the UK and has recently developed an International drowning prevention strategy, partnering with other organisations and governments to make drowning prevention a global priority.

Irish Lifeboat Stations

There are 46 lifeboat stations on the island of Ireland, with an operational base in Swords, Co Dublin. Irish RNLI crews are tasked through a paging system instigated by the Irish Coast Guard which can task a range of rescue resources depending on the nature of the emergency.

Famous Irish Lifeboat Rescues

Irish Lifeboats have participated in many rescues, perhaps the most famous of which was the rescue of the crew of the Daunt Rock lightship off Cork Harbour by the Ballycotton lifeboat in 1936. Spending almost 50 hours at sea, the lifeboat stood by the drifting lightship until the proximity to the Daunt Rock forced the coxswain to get alongside and successfully rescue the lightship's crew.

32 Irish lifeboat crew have been lost in rescue missions, including the 15 crew of the Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) lifeboat which capsized while attempting to rescue the crew of the SS Palme on Christmas Eve 1895.

FAQs

While the number of callouts to lifeboat stations varies from year to year, Howth Lifeboat station has aggregated more 'shouts' in recent years than other stations, averaging just over 60 a year.

Stations with an offshore lifeboat have a full-time mechanic, while some have a full-time coxswain. However, most lifeboat crews are volunteers.

There are 46 lifeboat stations on the island of Ireland

32 Irish lifeboat crew have been lost in rescue missions, including the 15 crew of the Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) lifeboat which capsized while attempting to rescue the crew of the SS Palme on Christmas Eve 1895

In 2019, 8,941 lifeboat launches saved 342 lives across the RNLI fleet.

The Irish fleet is a mixture of inshore and all-weather (offshore) craft. The offshore lifeboats, which range from 17m to 12m in length are either moored afloat, launched down a slipway or are towed into the sea on a trailer and launched. The inshore boats are either rigid or non-rigid inflatables.

The Irish Coast Guard in the Republic of Ireland or the UK Coastguard in Northern Ireland task lifeboats when an emergency call is received, through any of the recognised systems. These include 999/112 phone calls, Mayday/PanPan calls on VHF, a signal from an emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) or distress signals.

The Irish Coast Guard is the government agency responsible for the response to, and co-ordination of, maritime accidents which require search and rescue operations. To carry out their task the Coast Guard calls on their own resources – Coast Guard units manned by volunteers and contracted helicopters, as well as "declared resources" - RNLI lifeboats and crews. While lifeboats conduct the operation, the coordination is provided by the Coast Guard.

A lifeboat coxswain (pronounced cox'n) is the skipper or master of the lifeboat.

RNLI Lifeboat crews are required to follow a particular development plan that covers a pre-agreed range of skills necessary to complete particular tasks. These skills and tasks form part of the competence-based training that is delivered both locally and at the RNLI's Lifeboat College in Poole, Dorset

 

While the RNLI is dependent on donations and legacies for funding, they also need volunteer crew and fund-raisers.

© Afloat 2020