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Displaying items by tag: Sei Whale

#MarineWildlife - The Belfast Telegraph has video of a 30ft whale that washed up on Portstewart Strand yesterday morning (Monday 6 October).

Confirmed as the remains of an adult female sei whale, the enormous marine wildlife remains took three diggers to lift it off the beach onto a trailer for removal in an operation that lasted several hours.

The sight has astounded onlookers due to the balloon-like protrusion from its mouth – but experts say it's common for the tongues of whale carcasses to inflate with gas after they strand.

What's more, marine science PhD student Suzanne Beck says the stranding is a great opportunity for marine education. The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MarineWildlife - Following Friday's news of a rare whale sighting off the continental shelf, BBC News reports on a sadder whale story in Co Antrim, as a juvenile Sei whale died after it was was found beached early yesterday (14 September).

The deep ocean whale, said to be "incredibly rare" in Irish waters, was discovered on the sand beside Red Bay pier near Waterfoot on the North Antrim coast.

Despite being at least 8.5 metres long, it was still only a calf, "so the likelihood is that it would have still have been attended by its mother" before it got lost in the shallows, according to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group's Ian Enlander.

Sadly, refloating the whale was not an option as it was stuck deep into the soft sand, and it died before a vet could attend. It's expected that an autopsy tomorrow will shed some light on the cause of death.

The upsetting news comes seven years after the last Sei whale seen in the region, a 10m juvenile that was euthanised after swimming into Larne Lough and beaching. That had been the first recorded stranding of the species in Ireland since 1914.

Published in Marine Wildlife
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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.

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