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The body of an off-duty garda who was swept away by floodwater in Co Wicklow during Monday's torrential rain has been recovered.
The Irish Times reports that 25-year-old Garda Ciaran Jones was pulled into the River Liffey at the Ballysmuttan Bridge around 7pm on Monday while warning motorists not to cross the bridge.
A search and rescue operation was immediately launched involving the Irish Coast Guard, the Garda helicopter and mountain and river rescue teams, according to the Irish Examiner.
His body was eventually found at 9am yesterday morning some 4km downstream.
Supt Eamon Keogh of Blessington Garda Station noted that Garda Jones had been crossing the bridge to warn an oncoming car when he was swept into the swollen river by a sudden surge of water.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny led tributes to the young garda as well as a woman who died at her home in Dublin during the flooding that caused chaos across the east of Ireland on Monday evening, with several inland waterways bursting their banks.

The body of an off-duty garda who was swept away by floodwater in Co Wicklow during Monday's torrential rain has been recovered.

The Irish Times reports that 25-year-old Garda Ciaran Jones was pulled into the River Liffey at the Ballysmuttan Bridge around 7pm on Monday while warning motorists not to cross the bridge.

A search and rescue operation was immediately launched involving the Irish Coast Guard, the Garda helicopter and mountain and river rescue teams, according to the Irish Examiner.

His body was eventually found at 9am yesterday morning some 4km downstream of the incident.

Supt Eamon Keogh of Blessington Garda Station noted that Garda Jones had been crossing the bridge to warn an oncoming car when he was swept into the swollen river by a sudden surge of water.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny led tributes to the young garda as well as a woman who died at her home in Dublin during the flooding that caused chaos across the east of Ireland on Monday evening, with several inland waterways bursting their banks.

Published in News Update
Irish Water Safety has today warned about the increased risk to the public in our current and forecast flood conditions this weekend. Ireland will experience the largest tides this year with Galway being worst hit with a high tide of 5.3 metres and the low water receding to -.1 metre below chart datum, which is unusual. During this coming Saturday & Sunday morning and evening it will become windy with heavy rain and strong south to westerly winds. There will be a full moon tonight which creates these large tidal ranges, in addition there are large areas of low pressure out in the Atlantic which further increase the height of our tides tides especially in our estuaries and bays exposed to the south and west coasts. The periods of rain over the weekend further increase flooding levels.

Flood conditions expose the public to hazards they need to be aware of. Fast moving water can exert pressure of up to four times its speed against the legs of someone attempting to cross it. Because water displaces bodyweight, the deeper a person becomes immersed the less the person weighs so the more difficult it is to remain upright. Never put ones feet down if swept away in floodwater, because foot and body entrapments and pinning are the leading cause of accidental death in rivers and fast flowing water.

Motorists need to be vigilant to avoid flooded areas on roads but particularly near rivers; with poor light and short days it is not possible to determine the depth of floods easily.  Swift water will carry cars and other vehicles away and there have been very tragic drownings in the past as a result.

Children are naturally curious about water, therefore parents should caution them that floodwater hides the true depth and that manhole covers may be open and that small streams when swollen are very fast and deeper than normal.

What should I do when I hear a Flood Warning?
·              Listen to the national and local radio for met eireann updates and AA Road watch updates
·              Check on neighbours particularly if they are elderly, infirmed or families with young children
·              Move your vehicles to higher ground
·              Move animal stock to higher ground
·              Check your small craft to ensure they are well secured or moored
·              Make sure you have warm clothes, food, drink, a torch and radio.
·              Block doorways and airbricks with sandbags or plastic bags filled with earth. Floodgate products will also work effectively.
·              Switch off gas and electricity supplies if flooding is imminent.
·              Check the time of High Water in the Newspaper or on http://easytide.ukho.gov.uk/EASYTIDE/EasyTide/SelectPort.aspx
·              Check out www.flooding.ie for more detail on General flooding

Personal Safety
·              Avoid flood waters at all times
·              carry a mobile phone at all times in case you need to call for help - call 112  in emergency
·              Wear suitable protective clothing & a lifejacket on or around water
·              Do not enter fast flowing water.
·              Never put your feet down if swept away by fast flowing waters
·              Flooding on roads will be deeper at dips and around bridges.
·              Stay away from sea and flood defences.
·              when walking or driving, be aware of manhole covers and gratings that may have been moved due to the heavy flow of water.
·              Take care when using electric appliances in damp or flood conditions.
·              Remember that during the hours of darkness the dangers are multiplied.

After the flood
·              Avoid eating food that has been in contact with flood water.
·              Run water for a few minutes and wash your taps.
·              Check gas and electricity supply.
·              Leave wet electrical equipment alone to dry and have it checked prior to use.
·              Ventilate your property well.
·              Check on elderly neighbors.
Published in Marine Warning

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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