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RNLI Lifeboat News From Ireland

Howth RNLI launched its all-weather lifeboat this morning to reports of a sailing vessel with 2 people aboard taking on water and starting to sink 7 miles east of Howth.

The pagers sounded at 8.24am and the all weather lifeboat launched at 8.33am to reports of 48ft–ketch sailing vessel which was taking on water and in danger of sinking. The all weather lifeboat located the casualty vessel seven miles east of Howth with two people aboard.

The wind was Force 5 westerly and the sea state was a metre a half swell at the time.

Speaking following the call out, Ian Sheridan, Howth RNLI deputy Coxswain said: ‘We were delighted to be able to launch so quickly and locate the sailing yacht fast enough to be able to save the vessel from sinking and bring them back to the safety of Howth Marina.

‘We remind everyone going to sea to always respect the water and always have a means of communication aboard. The casualty vessel in this instance was able to make immediate contact as soon as they discovered a problem and we were able to act accordingly.’

Published in Howth YC

#Lifeboats - Crosshaven RNLI launched to the aid of an injured fisherman off Graball Bay yesterday morning (Thursday 14 March).

The volunteer crew of the Crosshaven inshore lifeboat, John and Janet, were paged at 10.27am to assist a 10m fishing vessel with an injured crewman onboard.

With Aidan O’Connor in command and Norman Jackson, Georgia Keating and Molly Murphy onboard, the lifeboat met with the incoming casualty boat off Graball Bay some 12 minutes later.

Two of the lifeboat crew transferred to the fishing boat to administer casualty care to the injured man, who was in severe pain from a suspected broken arm and a head injury.

As it was deemed too dangerous due to the sea state, and too painful for the casualty, to be transferred back to the lifeboat, the fishing vessel continued to Crosshaven under escort before the injured man was handed into the care of paramedics for transfer to hospital.

Speaking following the callout, Crosshaven RNLI deputy launching authority Hugh Mokler said: “The volunteer crew responded quickly and made the casualty, who was in a great deal of pain as comfortable as possible until they were able to hand over to the ambulance service. Today, their casualty care training made a difference.”

Elsewhere, the body of a West Cork fisherman was recovered from the shoreline at Killybegs, shortly after he was reported missing yesterday afternoon.

As BreakingNews.ie reports, the man in his 50s had been working on a Cork-based boat that was docked in the Donegal fishery harbour.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Kinsale’s RNLI lifeboat volunteers have a very special guest joining them in the town’s St. Patrick’s Day parade this Sunday 17 March.

Paddy the horse, rescued by the RNLI crew in dramatic circumstances on Sunday 17 February, will lead the RNLI float in the parade.

Paddy’s hoof became wedged in the trestles of a submerged oyster bed when his owner, Paul Crowley, was washing him down in the Bandon River.

With the tide rising fast, the lifeboat crew was in a race against time.

Not wishing to further spook the distressed animal, the lifeboat remained at a safe distance while RNLI volunteers Jonathan Connor and Michael P Sullivan entered the water and successfully set Paddy free.

When they called to check on Paddy a few days later, they received a generous donation from the Crowley family and took the opportunity to offer Paddy a starring role in Kinsale’s St Patrick’s Day parade.

RNLI volunteer Jonathan Connor said: “We asked Paddy straight up did he want to do it — yay or nay? He didn’t neigh, so we took it as a yes!”

Paul will ride Paddy in the parade alongside his daughter Lauren on her pony Bailey.

Paul believes Paddy would have been lost had the lifeboat not been launched, and says the entire family wants to help promote the lifesaving work of the RNLI.

Kevin Gould, lifeboat operations manager at Kinsale RNLI, said: “We are honoured to have Paddy lead us in the parade and we thank the Crowley family for supporting the RNLI.

“Paddy’s rescue shows how quickly you can get into difficulty, even close to the shore. It reinforces the RNLI’s message to always respect the water.

“We want people to enjoy the water, but we also want you to recognise its dangers and never underestimate its power.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

A new Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat has officially gone on service at Lough Derg RNLI. The volunteer crew at Lough Derg have had intensive training over recent months in preparation for the new lifeboat Jean Spier to be officially declared a search and rescue asset.

The lifeboat will now replace Elsinore, the station’s outgoing Atlantic 75 lifeboat which while on service on Lough Derg since November 2015, launched 51 times with her crews coming to the aid of 163 people.

Fast, manoeuvrable and reliable, the Atlantic 85 operates in rough weather conditions, capable in daylight up to force seven and at night, to force six winds. 

The new lifeboat, an Atlantic 85 is the latest version of the B class, introduced into the fleet in 2005. The lifeboat is 8.5 metres in length and weighs 1.9 tonnes. Improvements on its predecessor include a faster top speed of 35 knots, radar, provision for a fourth crew member and more space for casualties.

She is powered by two 115 horsepower engines and has a stronger hull and greater top speed than her predecessor. The added radar allows the crew to operate more effectively in poor visibility and she also has VHF direction-finding equipment. 

The vessel also has a manually operated self-righting mechanism which combined with inversion-proofed engines keep the lifeboat operational even after capsize. The lifeboat can also be beached in an emergency without causing damage to its engines or steering gear.

The Atlantic 85 carries a full suite of communication and electronic navigation aids, as well as a searchlight, night-vision equipment and flares for night-time operations. 

The new lifeboat was donated to the RNLI by Robert Spier and his late wife Jean Spier. In 2016, Robert and Jean who were active supporters of the RNLI, intended that together they would donate a new lifeboat to the charity, and were delighted when the Atlantic 85 became available to support. Sadly, Jean died in October 2017. The new lifeboat is named Jean Spier in her honour.

 Speaking following the new lifeboat going on service, Liam Moloney, Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘We are delighted following the excitement of our lifeboat arriving and now after months of preparation and intensive training by our committed volunteer crew, that our lifeboat is officially on service.

‘While we had an excellent search and rescue asset in the Atlantic 75 lifeboat, the 85 has the improvements of four stroke engines, radar, room for four crew and an extra metre of length. We are confident this will be a great resource on the lake and appreciate the RNLI's investment in our lifeboat station.

‘The crew would like to express a special thanks to Helena Duggan, the RNLI’s Trainer Assessor and her training colleagues for their continued dedicated support and specialist guidance over the last few months in preparation for the lifeboat to go live.’ 

Niamh McCutcheon, Lough Derg RNLI Fundraising Chair added: ‘I welcome the arrival of the Atlantic 85 kindly donated in memory of the late Jean Spier to Lough Derg.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Wicklow RNLI's inshore lifeboat was launched at 4:40pm yesterday afternoon (Friday 8 March) to search for a missing dog.

The alarm was raised by the anxious owner after her dog, named Otis, chased some seagulls down over the cliff edge at Wicklow Head and disappeared.

The lifeboat — with helm Graham Fitzgerald and crew Ian Thompson and John Stapleton — was on scene eight minutes after launching and the crew began a sweep of caves and the shoreline at a location known as the Pond, near Wicklow Head lighthouse.

During the search the dog could be heard barking from a cave, so crew member Stapleton was put ashore near the opening and, with some persuading, the dog was coaxed out to climb back up the cliff and into the arms of his grateful owner.

Elsewhere, a young man was recovered from the River Corrib by members of the emergency services in Galway in the early hours of Friday morning following a major rescue operation involving the Galway RNLI lifeboat.

The man has got into difficulty in a canal beside the river around 3.30am, and during the rescue both the casualty and rescue personnel ended up entering the fast-flowing Corrib towards the Spanish Arch, where the casualty was recovered for transfer to Galway University Hospital.

Mike Swan, Galway RNLI lifeboat operations manager, said: “We would encourage all members of the public to respect the water at all times regardless of their activity.

“Be wary of all edges around the sea and watersides. Slips and falls happen in all locations.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#Lifeboats - The RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat based in Rosslare Harbour was launched at 10.38pm on Saturday night (2 March) to assist a passenger onboard an Irish Ferries vessel bound for Pembroke in Wales.

The passenger ferry Oscar Wilde, which was located 20 miles off the Wexford coast at the time, asked for assistance in evacuating a passenger who had become ill.

Sea conditions were unfavourable for the volunteers on the Rosslare Harbour lifeboat to go alongside the ferry.

The Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117 from Waterford was also tasked and quickly arrived on scene. After attempts to airlift the casualty it was deemed too dangerous.

The Oscar Wilde returned to Rosslare Europort at 1am, where an ambulance was waiting to bring the casualty to hospital. The RNLI volunteers in their Severn class lifeboat stood by the passenger ferry for the duration.

Sea conditions were very poor at the time, with a strong Force 7 to 8 gale and heavy rain.

Coxswain Eamonn O’Rourke commented that the volunteer crew of the lifeboat had to endure very challenging conditions.

Speaking afterwards, Rosslare Harbour RNLI lifeboat operations manager David Maloney said: “Conditions at sea tonight were challenging for our coxswain and lifeboat crew and I would like to commend them for their efforts in enduring a rough passage in the dark, and late at night on a Saturday evening, to be of assistance.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#Lifeboats - Youghal RNLI’s first callout of 2019 came on Sunday (3 March) while out on a morning training exercise.

The lifeboat crew had been practising casualty recovery in the area of Youghal Harbour when at 11.33am they became aware of a small pleasure craft that had started to take on water.

There was no one on board the pleasure craft the time.

In heavy rain and squally conditions, the inshore lifeboat crew pumped the water from the vessel, then towed it safely back to the pier head in Youghal and handed it over to the awaiting coastguard. The lifeboat returned to the station at 12.07pm.

Youghal RNLI helm Patsy O’Mahoney said: “We went out this morning to practice our skills and ended up having to use them in a real situation.

“The water can be unpredictable at the best of times, but it is particularly dangerous during bad weather. We urge everyone to respect the water at all times.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Volunteer crew members at Bundoran RNLI recently undertook an intensive casualty care course, receiving specialised training to enhance their lifesaving skills at sea.

The course ran by RNLI trainer Jen Forsyth, focused on effective hands-on treatment rather than complex theory or diagnosis and provided crew with the skills to confidently treat casualties.

Maritime search and rescue medicine is a specialised field and the RNLI’s unique course prepares lifeboat crew to manage the situations that are encountered in the operational environment.

"Maritime search and rescue medicine is a specialised field"

During the training each participant had to pass both a written and a practical scenario to demonstrate their individual skill. At the end of the course all crew took part in final practical scenarios where teams of casualty carers treated multiple casualties.

Speaking following the training, Shane O’Neill, Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat Training Coordinator, said: ‘Our crew is prepared to drop everything and risk their lives to save others at a moment’s notice. Their lifesaving work is essential, often difficult and sometimes dangerous. And with only one in 10 volunteers joining the RNLI from a professional maritime occupation, training is especially important. Here in Bundoran, our lifeboat crew train together every week, both at sea and ashore.

‘Casualty care is a crucial link in the search and rescue chain of survival that allows lifeboat crews to save lives at sea. Casualties have to be treated and kept alive often in a sometimes unforgiving and hostile environment until the casualty can be handed into the care of our emergency services colleagues. Our crew will continue to practice and hone these skills on a regular basis through scenario based training.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#Lifeboats - The volunteers with Bundoran’s RNLI lifeboat had a long night on Tuesday (26 February) when a routine training exercise turned into a five-hour rescue.

The Co Donegal lifeboat crew received the call for help at 8.30pm to a 30ft fishing vessel with three people onboard that had suffered engine failure seven miles off Innismurray.

Immediately diverting to the scene, the lifeboat crew — helm Brian Faulkner and crewmembers Mark Vaughan, Fergal Muller and Chris Fox — reached the vessel at 9.10pm and established a tow.

Conditions were ideal for the callout with a low swell and little wind. However, due to the size of the fishing vessel, the tow took a number of hours.

On reaching Mullaghmore, the volunteer lifeboat crew were replaced by their colleagues after spending the evening at sea in cold conditions. It was after 1.30am before the lifeboat crew reached home.

Commenting on the callout, Bundoran RNLI lifeboat operations manager Captain Tony McGowan said: “Our exercise night turned into a long callout for the crew and I want to thank them for their great work.

“Towing a vessel to safety can be a long and arduous job for a lifeboat crew but it’s an important one and we are happy to be able to assist.

“I also want to thank our volunteer lifeboat crew’s families who wait patiently at home and support the work of the RNLI.”

Published in Rescue

#Lifeboats - Skycam Ireland has released some breathtaking drone video from the arrival of the relief Shannon class lifeboat Jock and Annie Slater in Wicklow on Sunday afternoon (24 February) after travelling from RNLI headquarters in Poole, Dorset.

A large turnout of family, friends and supporters gathered as the Wicklow all-weather lifeboat Annie Blaker and the inshore lifeboat escorted the relief Shannon into the harbour, while a lone piper on the East Pier played a musical tribute to signal the arrival.

Staff Coxswain Pete Hanscombe accompanied the crew on the training passage, but Coxswain Nick Keogh had the honour of bringing the relief Shannon into Wicklow harbour. A short impressive display of the boats speed and agility was greeted with applause from the crowd, before it came alongside the pier.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the relief Shannon class will replace the last remaining Tyne class lifeboat in active service — and the busiest in the history of Wicklow RNLI — when it is retired in the next few months.

“TheThe relief Shannon lifeboat Jock and Annie Slater arriving at Wicklow on Sunday 24 February | Photo: RNLI/Wicklow

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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