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Displaying items by tag: belfast coastguard

Yesterday's strong southerly wind resulted in a spate of paddleboarding incidents involving lifeboat call outs at Larne and Bangor.

Larne RNLI launched both of their lifeboats today to reports of a paddleboarder in difficulty at Ballygally, a village and holiday resort on the Antrim coast, about 3 miles north of the ferry port of Larne.

Launching at the request of Belfast Coastguard, both boats were underway when the paddleboarder was reported safe back on the shore. As the boats returned to the station, Belfast Coastguard alerted them to another boarder in difficulty in Brown's Bay, a small sandy bay on the northern tip of the Islandmagee peninsula at Larne.

Whilst making their way towards the area, reports came through that the boarder had managed to make their way ashore.

Brown's Bay, a small sandy bay on the northern tip of the Islandmagee peninsulaBrown's Bay, a small sandy bay on the northern tip of the Islandmagee peninsula

Larne lifeboat operations manager, Allan Dorman, said: 'We would like to remind people of the dangers of offshore winds and crosswinds, which can very quickly pull someone further out to sea".

The weather yesterday prompted Iain McCarthy from Suphubni who runs paddleboarding lessons in Bangor Harbour, to post a Facebook warning of the dangers of offshore winds. Yesterday he saw Bangor RNLI called out twice in the space of an hour to boarders in difficulty. He says, "Just because it looks good, doesn't mean it is good. On our stretch of water between Belfast and round the coast to Millisle and beyond, today should have been an easy day to 1. get up early before the wind picked up, 2. Choose a different location to paddle or 3 Go for a walk".

He continued " Every weather app would have told you that there were strong offshore breezes forecast this afternoon".

RNLI Bangor commented, "Wise words from our friends in Suphubni".

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Enniskillen RNLI at Carrybridge was tasked on Tuesday afternoon (2 April) by Belfast Coastguard to reports of a boat taking on water and sinking on Lough Erne.

The lifeboat travelled 4km towards Enniskillen to the last known position of the sinking vessel. On arrival at the scene, the lifeboat crew saw that the occupants of the vessel were on land and that the vessel had been secured to a tree on the bank, though it was still taking on water.

The voluntary crew checked that everyone was present and there were no injuries. Once this was established, the lifeboat crew assessed the casualty vessel and found that the bung was missing.

They located two corks and these were made into a temporary bung. A salvage pump was set up and the water was removed.

The owner of the vessel was contacted and came to the scene. The vessel was judged by the RNLI crew to be capable of making the short distance back to Carrybridge where it was recovered onto a trailer. 

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Belfast Coastguard spent two hours this evening trying to locate a missing RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) after it was reported leaving Rathlin in very poor weather conditions with four people on board, HM Coastguard report.

Concern for the occupants of the 8 metre RIB was initially raised when it was reported that it had left Rathlin harbour at 6.00pm in adverse weather conditions.  Belfast Coastguard attempted to contact the vessel on VHF radio and mobile telephone but were unsuccessful.

Further enquiries yielded that the RIB was suspected to be heading to Bangor Harbour, and so Belfast Coastguard sent the Bangor Coastguard Rescue Team out to see if they could sight the vessel.  In the meantime, Belfast Coastguard intercepted a communication from the RIB to Clyde Coastguard, whom they had contacted to inform them that they were just entering Bangor Harbour, in line with their passage plans.

In order to ensure they had safely arrived, Belfast Coastguard completed a radar search for the vessel and discovered that the occupants of the RIB were incorrect about their location, and had in fact just entered Belfast Lough, 13 miles from where they thought they were.

Belfast Coastguard finally managed to make communication with the RIB and ensured that they had sufficient fuel to complete their journey to Bangor.  When the RIB arrived in Bangor they were met by the Bangor Coastguard Rescue Team who ensured they were safe and well and offered some safety advice.

Belfast Coastguard Watch Manager Alan Pritchard said:

"We became immediately concerned for the safety of the occupants of the RIB when we were informed that they were heading out in such poor weather conditions, and our worries increased when it became apparent that they had no idea of their position and began heading into the wrong port.  The occupants of the RIB are now safely ashore and although were not in need of medical assistance they were quite badly shaken from the experience as it transpires that they had been trying to reach Bangor for several hours.

When we are informed of incidents such as these it allows the Coastguard to play a proactive role in preventing a situation from worsening by monitoring a vessel's passage.  However, this could have all been prevented by the crew preparing for their journey, advising the Coastguard of their intentions and being aware of their own capabilities and weather conditions."

Published in Rescue
A teenager was rescued from Portrush Harbour after a very cold swim out to a moored boat to collect some fishing gear.

After swimming across the harbour to the moored boat the teenager called for help. Belfast Coastguard co-ordinated the rescue and sent the Portrush ILB Lifeboat and the Coleraine Coastguard Rescue team to the scene.

The Portrush lifeboat took the teenager from the boat to the pontoon where he received first aid from the Coastguard Rescue team before being transferred to hospital by ambulance.

Belfast Coastguard Watch Manager Alan Pritchard said:
"It may be summer but the sea is chilly and the cold can seriously affect swimmers.
"If you are going to take a dip please know you're limits and remember cold water shock can be dangerous, even if you're young and fit and think you're able."

Related Safety posts

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Marine Warnings

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
The Police Service of Northern Ireland contacted Belfast Coastguard earlier this afternoon to alert them to a stranded Scottish couple near Bloody Bridge at Newcastle at the base of Slieve Donard, one of the Mourne Mountains, as heavy rains in the area had created two fast flowing streams, beyond which the two were trapped.

The 55 year old male, and 53 year old female from Falkirk were situated about 400 yards from the car park, but due to the very heavy condition of the river were unable to cross back across the bridge.

The South Down Coastguard Rescue Team were immediately turned out and the Coastguard in Dublin were contacted requesting the use of the Irish Coastguard helicopter, R116.

The man was winched with a member of the Coastguard Team, and taken to the helicopter landing site at Donard car park. The female was walked down to the Bloody Bridge car park along with members from the South Down Team.

Ian Murdock, Belfast Coastguard Watch Manager said

"We are urging visitors to have an eye on the weather forecast and the terrain into which they are entering, if they are intending to go out walking. Tourists are very welcome and the area is of outstanding natural beauty and is the most picturesque mountain district in Ireland. The twelve peaks include Slieve Donard, which at 850m is Northern Ireland's highest mountain. Some areas can be quite rugged and we are advising visitors to wear the correct footwear and ensure they have some form of communication device on them in case of unforeseen difficulty."

Published in Coastguard

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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