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Displaying items by tag: lifejackets

The Chief Executive of Water Safety Ireland has suggested that it may be time to introduce mandatory enforcement of wearing lifejackets.

"Perhaps it is time now to prioritise water safety in Ireland even more than ever and do as was done with road safety. In particular, the enforcement of wearing a lifejacket and making water safety and swimming skills a mandatory part of our Primary School curriculum and not discretionary as it is at present," says John Leech, CEO of, the statutory agency established to promote water safety in Ireland.

His comments follow analysis of drownings and emergency rescue incidents during the past Summer when there were more people holidaying at home due to pandemic restrictions. More calls for rescue were made on beach lifeguards, to the RNLI, the Coast Guard and Community Rescue Boats.

National Lifeguard Training Centre in TramoreNational Lifeguard Training Centre in Tramore

"There have been 47 fatal drownings so far this year, that is 14 more than for the same time last year, which is concerning, and we fear that we could end up with more drownings than last year when we had the lowest number since 1936," he says.

John Leech, Podcast guest this week, has also warned about the dangers of entanglement in weeds while swimming in freshwater, a situation which he says, has deteriorated because of the advent of invasive weed species to Irish rivers and lakes.

PODCAST here

Published in Tom MacSweeney
Tagged under

Irish people are more likely to take water safety seriously if it doesn’t involve obeying a law.

As The Sunday Independent reports, almost two decades after wearing a lifejacket first became compulsory in Ireland, legislation has proved so unenforceable that there have only been a handful of prosecutions.

However, Ireland is still at the top of the league table in lifejacket use, according to Water Safety Ireland (WSI) chief executive John Leech.

Educational campaigns, rather than legislation, may be the main reason for compliance at an average of over 80 per cent, Leech says.

Wearing lifejackets on the decks of fishing vessels became law in 2002 under a statutory instrument introduced by former Fianna Fáíl marine minister Frank Fahey.

Children up to the age of 16 years on mechanically-propelled pleasure craft, jetski operators and certain categories of commercial passenger boats were also covered by the initial legislation.

However, in 2003, then marine minister Dermot Ahern said that he would be extending mandatory wearing of lifejackets to everyone except surfers and oars people involved in competitive rowing.

The previous year, five people lost their lives in the Pisces angling boat accident off Fethard-on-Sea, Co Wexford. None of the victims had been wearing any sort of flotation device.

When the Pleasure Craft (Personnel Flotation Devices and Operation( Safety) Regulations came into effect in 2005, the Garda were automatically empowered to implement them, and other officers could be authorised by the relevant minister and other bodies including a harbour authority.

The 2005 regulations required that there must be suitable PFDs/lifejackets for everyone on board any pleasure craft of any length.

The regulations also required that PFDs must be worn by anyone on board an open craft or on the deck of a craft under seven metres (23 ft) in length and anyone under 16 years of age on any craft.

In addition, users of skis, donuts and jetskis were required to wear them.

The fine was fixed at 150 euro, and the only exceptions were made for divers, swimmers from a stationary vessel, or for those on board a vessel tied up alongside or made fast to an anchor, marina, pier or mooring.

However, legal experts warned that the regulations would be unenforceable without resources.

The Garda Press Office said that since 2006 there have been five incidents recorded under the Merchant Shipping Act relating to the “non-wearing of life vests”.

“Legislation is important, but education has proved to be more effective,” Leech said.

“This water safety awareness now starts in pre-schools, and is already well established in Irish primary schools,” he said.

Read The Sunday Independent here

Published in Water Safety

The Mullion Stream 150N is the latest addition to the range of competitively priced, Irish-produced lifejackets at O’Sullivans Marine.

The Mullion Stream 150N automatic inflatable lifejacket is a constant-wear, all-weather lifejacket for general use with foul-weather clothing.

It comes in a standard horseshoe design with a touch and close fastening cover and a single back strap, harness and crutch strap, conforming to ISO standard 12402-3.

O’Sullivans Marine stocks a large selection of lifejackets and buoyancy aids for adults and children — and recently provided a guide for choosing the lifejacket that’s right for you.

The Tralee showroom is now back open for business alongside online orders at osmarine.ie, with free shipping on eligible orders over €60.

Published in O'Sullivan's Marine

It’s hoped that five of the 23 Irish Coast Guard units whose boats were pulled from service over lifejacket safety issues could resume operations within days, as BreakingNews.ie reports.

Last month all coastguard rescue boat operations were suspended as the IRCG launched a probe into a malfunction of its standard issue lifejackets.

Community rescue boats, RNLI lifeboats and the Naval Service were called upon to provide cover for the 23 stations around Ireland that have been affected. The suspension does not apply to the IRCG’s shoreline and cliff rescue teams.

Management has now told volunteers that a new lifejacket, the Crewsaver 380N, is being introduced on a phased basis to replace the potentially affected Rescue 400.

Subject to testing and other operational requirements, this could see rescue boats back in service at the ‘priority’ stations of Mulroy and Greencastle (Co Donegal), Drogheda and Kilkee as soon as this Thursday 5 December. BreakingNews.ie has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastguard

All Irish Coast Guard rescue boat operations are suspended as of yesterday (Friday 15 November) as the organisation launches a probe into a malfunction in its standard issue lifejackets.

RTÉ News reports that the coastguard’s rescue boats in 23 stations around Ireland have been withdrawn from service amid concerns over the Rescue 400 lifejacket used by its personnel.

“Specifically, the 275N section of the lifejacket failed to fully function when activated,” said an email to IRCG officers in charge as seen by media yesterday.

The suspension does not affect the Irish Coast Guard’s shoreline and cliff rescue teams.

Community rescue boats, RNLI lifeboats and the Naval Service are reportedly providing on-the-water cover in affected areas.

Published in Coastguard

Patrick McGurgan, a Northern Ireland coroner, has recently called for the introduction of a law to make the wearing of lifejackets compulsory in Northern Ireland, writes Betty Armstrong.

Mr McGurgan had heard two inquests following separate drowning deaths on inland waters which occurred in June and September of last year.

Kenny Andrews (31) of Bangor died in Lower Lough Erne at Muckross Bay, near Kesh, after falling from a jet ski which he and his friend Stephen Kennedy had taken out on the lough on Sunday 9 September 2018.

After turning the craft to return to shore, it capsized and both men were thrown into the water. Neither was wearing a wetsuit or lifejacket. Mr Kennedy survived, and the search continued for the second man.

A multi-agency response got underway involving the Community Rescue Service (CRS), PSNI, Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, RNLI and Irish Coast Guard helicopter from Sligo.

Searching continued throughout the evening before being stood down for the night late on Sunday. It resumed the next day.

Volunteers from Strabane CRS assisted in the search for Mr Andrews. The CRS is a charitable organisation operated by volunteers from across the community in Northern Ireland.

They managed, with the use of a multi-beam side scan sonar device, to locate Mr Andrews’ body and, in a joint operation, it was recovered by the PSNI dive team.

Muckross is situated on the north shore of Lower Lough Erne less than a mile from Kesh. It has beaches, picnic areas, a public jetty and a small marina and is said to be very popular with jet skiers.

The other incident was at Portglenone Marina on the banks of the Lower River Bann, when Edelle McGlade from Portstewart fell overboard in the early hours of Thursday 26 June last year.

The marina was in darkness as the lights automatically switch off after 11.30pm and when Ms McGlade stepped off the boat onto the pontoon, she lost her balance, causing the boat to move slightly away, and she fell into the water.

Despite efforts to rescue her she died. The CRS located her body and brought her ashore.

Published in Water Safety

As the weather gets colder, the winds get stronger and the waves get choppier, Viking Marine wants to make sure you have the best gear to keep you safe should you end up in the water.

The Dun Laoghaire chandlery is offering 15% off a new lifejacket in exchange for your old one.

The jacket must be an inflatable lifejacket and must have all its parts (gas canister, full or spent, with firing head and all straps).

Viking Marine’s team will be happy to show you your options and discuss the merits of different lifejacket types.

Be sure to drop in store at The Pavilion on Marine Road before Monday 11 November to avail of this special offer.

Published in Viking Marine
Tagged under

A new Marine Notice from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport reiterates the requirements for lifejackets on pleasure craft and personal water craft.

Superseding a previous notice from spring 2016, the new document explains personal flotation devices or PFDs (both lifejackets and buoyancy aids), the relevant regulations and legal requirements, and instructions for their safe use on the water.

Full details can be found in Marine Notice No 32 of 2019, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Published in Water Safety
Tagged under

Sweltering late summer heat in Japan has prompted sailing officials to relax rules on the wearing of lifejackets during the recent Tokyo 2020 test events, as France 24 reports.

Doctors recommended competitors in the Ready Steady Tokyo windsurfing final on Wednesday (21 August) remove their lifejackets in order to combat “dangerous” overheating, said French windsurfer Charline Picon.

This followed changes that allowed athletes to wear jackets fitted with ice packs, she added, while World Sailing is reportedly working on changes over issues with breathability in the Lycra clothing worn.

Other changes under consideration include compulsory cool-down breaks for athletes, and a limit on how hot the water temperature can be before events are halted.

Irish aquatic athletes made a strong showing this week at Enoshima on Sagami Bay, about 60km south-west of Tokyo — with Finn Lynch just narrowly missing the Laser medal race, and 49erFX sailor Saskia Tidey awaiting confirmation of a Tokyo berth with Team GB after her bronze medal win with Charlotte Dobson.

France24 has more on the story HERE.

Published in Tokyo 2020
Tagged under

Big savings on lifejackets and offshore seawear can be yours among CH Marine’s August specials.

Save nearly €30 on the price of the Zhik P2 PFD in black for a limited time only, now only €109.95.

Prices have also been slashed on Plastimo Activ’ offshore sailing jackets and hi-fit trousers for men and women.

And what’s more — buy a jacket and trousers combo and get a Plastimo Quickfit 150N Lifejacket, with a recommended retail price of €120, absolutely free.

Find more August specials and offers at CHMarine.com.

Published in CH Marine Chandlery
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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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