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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Displaying items by tag: Wicklow

Wicklow RNLI volunteers Graham Fitzgerald and Alan Goucher have been passed out as deputy coxswains by an RNLI Trainer Assessor, after undertaking months of training and completing a rigorous exercise on the all-weather lifeboat in Wicklow bay.

Graham Fitzgerald who has been a volunteer crew member for the past eleven years, and Alan Goucher who joined Wicklow RNLI in 2011, launched on an operational exercise with an RNLI Assessor during the week. The exercise involved boat handling tests and various emergency situations to test their skills. Both volunteers successfully carried out the tasks and were passed out as deputy coxswains by RNLI Trainer Assessor Alan Pryce after completing the exercise.

Over the last decade, Alan Goucher and Graham Fitzgerald have been involved in many rescues and in July 2014 they were praised for their bravery when they pulled a woman from the water and saved her life at the Silver Strand Beach. Graham and Alan received letters of commendation from the Operations Director of the RNLI George Rawlinson, for their actions during the rescue in 2014.

In the letter to Alan, Mr Rawlinson wrote: 'Your willingness to swim into the cave and use of your local knowledge to extricate the casualty safely ensured a good outcome on this rescue. I commend your commitment and professionalism.'Mr Rawlinson commended Graham Fitzgerald on his quick decision making, saying: 'During the rescue, you demonstrated calm and sound command of the incident, quickly gaining the required information and assessing the risks involved in committing your crew to enter the water.'

Wicklow RNLI Operations Manager, Mary Aldridge said: ‘Alan and Graham have over 22 years’ service between them as volunteers at RNLI Wicklow, and we are delighted with their achievement this week. Both have grained a lot of experience and have been involved in numerous rescues resulting in the saving of many lives. They have both worked extremely hard during the assessment to become deputy coxswains. This was made more difficult in recent times with Covid-19 and the suspension of training for a time. Great credit for Alan and Graham’s achievement is also due to the support from their families, trainers, assessors, and the crew who generously shared their knowledge and experience to prepare Alan and Graham as deputy coxswains.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The Wicklow all-weather lifeboat RNLB Joanna and Henry Williams launched at 4:10 pm this afternoon following a launch request from the Coast Guard, to assist a 10-metre fishing vessel in difficulties ten miles offshore.

The lifeboat crew located the stricken vessel with three crew eight miles east of Wicklow Head thirty minutes after launching. The vessel was found to have a rope fouled in the propeller. Conditions on scene were moderate sea with wind north-easterly force 5 and good visibility.

Speaking after the callout, Coxswain Nick Keogh said: ‘We managed to cut the rope away from the propeller and the vessel was able to get underway again. The fishermen wanted to continue fishing and no further assistance was required.’

The lifeboat returned to Wicklow harbour and was alongside the South quay by 5:30pm.

The crew on the callout were Coxswain Nick Keogh, Mechanic Lisa O Leary, Tommy Murphy, Paul Sillery, John Stapleton and Ian Heffernan.

Published in Fishing
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The all-weather relief fleet lifeboat RNLB Joanna and Henry Williams put to sea shortly after 1:30 pm this afternoon (Wednesday 24 March) under the command of Coxswain Nick Keogh and a volunteer crew, following a launch request from the Coast Guard.

The alarm was raised after the skipper of a 10-metre fishing vessel contacted the Coast Guard to say his vessel was caught up in ropes and unable to steer.

The lifeboat crew located the stricken vessel with two crew about four miles south-east of Wicklow harbour twenty minutes after launching. Conditions on scene were moderate sea with wind south-westerly force 5 and good visibility.

Speaking after the callout, Coxswain Nick Keogh said: ‘The crew made repeated attempts to cut the rope free from the jammed rudder, but it was decided the best option was to tow the fishing vessel back into Wicklow harbour.’

A towline was quickly established, and the fishing vessel with two crew was brought safely alongside the East pier at 2:45 pm.

The crew on the callout were Coxswain Nick Keogh, Mechanic Brendan Copeland, Lisa O’ Leary, Carol Flahive, Graham Fitzgerald and Peter Byrne.

Published in Fishing
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TechWorks Marine has scheduled the deployment of a wave buoy off the coast of Wicklow on Tuesday 8 December, weather allowing.

The buoy will be a yellow DB 500 and have a flashing light sequence of five flashes every 20 seconds, with a range of three nautical miles. The buoy will be marked with a St Andrew’s sross and radar reflector.

The wave buoy will be deployed at 53° 2' 35” N, -5° 41' 17” W by the the AMS Retriever (Callsign MEHI8) with an AIS system on board which has a provisional callsign of CWPW01.

If the deployment is delayed due to the weather, it will be carried out on the next viable tide and weather window. Once deployed, the wave buoy will remain on site for a minimum of six months.

Further details can be found in Marine Notice No 57 of 2020, a PDF of which is available to download below.

Published in Marine Warning

 Operations Manager at Wicklow lifeboat Station since 2004, has retired after 27 years volunteering with the RNLI.

Des joined the RNLI Wicklow committee in 1993, becoming vice chairman in 1995 and taking charge of all fundraising for the branch with support from the Ladies Guild.

Des was chairman of the appeal committee who raised funds for the provision of a new inshore lifeboat and an extension to the boathouse to house the new lifeboat in 1996.

The appeal was so successful that the target figure was reached with 6 months still to run. In all £64,000 was raised by Des and the Committee, which covered the cost of the D Class lifeboat Inbhear Deas and the extension to the boat house.

In 2001, he was awarded the bronze badge for his services to fundraising. Three years later, he took over the new position of lifeboat operations manager – formerly honorary secretary – from the retiring Kevin Desmond. Fundraising then became separate from Operations.

In 2016 Des was awarded inscribed binoculars in recognition of his long service to the RNLI. As lifeboat operations manager, Des was responsible for all operational activities at the station and over the years has seen the arrival of a ‘state of the art’ Shannon Class lifeboat and the retirement of the last Tyne class boat in the RNLI Fleet. Over the last year Des has ensured Wicklow Lifeboat Station remained operational at all times during the Covid-19 restrictions.

Wicklow RNLI Press Officer, Tommy Dover said: ‘We would like to thank Des for his commitment to Wicklow Lifeboat Station over the past 27 years and we wish him all the best on his retirement. Unfortunately, due to the present Covid-19 restrictions we were unable to give Des a proper send off, but the crew hope to meet up for a farewell pint with him in the not too distant post Covid future.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Wicklow RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat had a midweek launch to assist two sailors on a 14-metre yacht with engine failure off the Wicklow coast.

The Shannon class lifeboat set off shortly after 1pm on Wednesday 9 September and located the yacht 20 minutes later, six miles north of Wicklow Harbour.

Conditions on scene had a moderate sea state with northwesterly Force 4 winds.

A towline was quickly established and the yacht was towed back towards Wicklow harbour, where the two sailors were landed safely ashore at 2.30pm.

The crew on the callout were coxswain Ciaran Doyle, mechanic Brendan Copeland, David O’Leary, Carol Flahive, Ian Heffernan and Andrew Carlin.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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It was a long night at sea for Arklow RNLI on Tuesday evening (4 August) as its volunteers launched to assist three people on a yacht in difficulty in the Irish Sea some 25 miles off the Co Wicklow town.

The yacht was intercepted just north of the Arklow Bank amid swells of up to five metres, and its crew were suffering from fatigue and sea sickness.

Worsening conditions meant the yacht was not able to make headway either by sail or its own engine tower, so it was taken under tow by the lifeboat to Wicklow Harbour as the safest and shortest option — eventually arriving at 1.15am, more than six hours after launch.

Lifeboat coxswain Brendan Dillon commented: “Given the prevailing conditions at sea, this could have ended very differently.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Wicklow all-weather RNLI lifeboat launched shortly after 12:45 pm today (Saturday 1 August) following a Coast Guard launch request, to assist a 14-metre ketch with four people onboard near Greystones.

The drifting yacht was located 30 minutes later by Coxswain Doyle and the volunteer crew three miles south of Greystones harbour.

The engine had failed and there was not enough wind to use the sails to get to shore, so the skipper contacted the Coast Guard for assistance. Conditions on scene were calm with good visibility.

A towline was quickly established, and the yacht was towed into Greystones Marina, where the three adults and a child were landed safely ashore.

The crew on the call out were (2nd) Coxswain Ciaran Doyle, Mechanic Brendan Copeland, Carol Flahive, Paul Sillery, Mark Kavanagh and Peter Byrne

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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A 20ft sailing yacht with two people onboard was brought to safety by Wicklow RNLI this afternoon (Sunday 12 July).

The inshore lifeboat launched at 11:45 am with Graham Fitzgerald (helm) and crew Alan Goucher and John Stapleton to reports of a small yacht in difficulty.

The yacht was located four minutes later one mile east of Wicklow harbour, weather conditions at the time were described as sea state slight with force three southerly wind.

Volunteer crew member Alan Goucher was transferred onto the yacht to assist the two sailors after they experienced problems with the mast and their outboard engine failed.

A towline was established and the yacht with two sailors was brought safely alongside the East pier at Wicklow harbour at 12:15 pm.

Second Yacht in Difficulty off Wicklow

This was the second callout for Wicklow RNLI volunteers over the weekend. On Saturday evening Wicklow all-weather lifeboat launched shortly after 7 pm under the command of Coxswain Nick Keogh, to join Arklow lifeboat and the Dublin based Coast Guard helicopter ‘Rescue 116’ in a search for a yacht in difficulties.

The initial reports suggested the yacht's position was nine miles south between Wicklow head and the Arklow wind farm.

Wicklow lifeboat was stood down by the Coast Guard and returned to station at 7:45 pm after the stricken yacht was located by Rescue 116 near Courtown and assisted by Arklow lifeboat.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Skerries RNLI volunteers towed a jet ski with a man and woman on board to safety after they broke down near Barnageeragh beach in North Co Dublin.

Shortly after 5pm yesterday evening (Friday 26 June), the volunteers launched the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat following a 999 call to Dublin Coast Guard from a jet ski that had broken down.

They located the casualty in shallow water near a large rocky outcrop between Barnageerah and Balbriggan.

The man and woman were taken on board the lifeboat while the jet ski was taken under tow, and they were returned safely to the slipway at the lifeboat station in Skerries.

Speaking about the callout, volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: “You never know when something is going to go wrong, so we’d like to remind anyone going to sea to carry a means of contacting the shore to call for help.”

Elsewhere, Wicklow RNLI brought three fishermen to safety on Thursday afternoon (25 June) after their 12-metre vessel developed mechanical problems off the Wicklow coast.

The alarm was raised after the vessel which was fishing for whelk broke down and lost all propulsion.

Crew on the all-weather lifeboat Jock & Annie Slater located the stricken vessel about nine miles north of Wicklow Harbour, and towed it back to the harbour where it was brought safely alongside the South Quay.

Published in Jetski
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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

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