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RNLI Lifeboat News From Ireland
Rosslare Lifeboat Tows Stranded Cruiser To Safety
#RNLI - Rosslare Harbour RNLI towed to safety an 8-metre motor cruiser that was stranded off the Wexford coast with three on board on Thursday evening (18 September). The volunteer crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 9pm to go to…
Crosshaven Lifeboat Assists Two Fishermen On Disabled Trawler
#RNLI - Crosshaven RNLI assisted two fishermen yesterday morning (Wednesday 17 September) after their trawler got into difficulty off the Cork coast. The Cork Harbour volunteer crew was alerted at 11.48am to a report of a fishing vessel with two…
Red Bay Lifeboat Rescues Lone Sailor
#RNLI - The volunteer lifeboat crew with Red Bay RNLI in Co Antrim were paged on Friday evening (12 September) at 6.55pm to a lone sailor on a 22ft yacht who got into difficulty in strong tides off the North…
Isle Of Man Lifeboat Launches To Person In Irish Sea
#RNLI - Lifeboat volunteer crewmembers with Douglas RNLI on the Isle of Man were paged at 9.24pm on Thursday evening (11 September) to a report of a person in the Irish Sea off Victoria Pier. The all-weather lifeboat Sir William…
Rosslare Harbour Lifeboat Launched To Stranded Yacht Off North Wexford Coast
#RNLI - Rosslare Harbour RNLI has assisted three crew onboard a 20m yacht which got into difficulty off the north Wexford coast yesterday evening (Thursday 11 September). The volunteer crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 5pm to go to the assistance…
Artist To Auction 'Regatta at Roundstone' Oil Painting For Clifden RNLI
#rnli – Fans of master artist Kenneth Webb will have the opportunity to get their hands on a new painting he will start during Clifden Arts week and auction to raise funds for Clifden RNLI. Work on the 20'x 24'…
Bundoran Lifeboat Launches To 'Red Flare' Sighting
#RNLI - Bundoran RNLI has urged anyone planning on setting off fireworks or anything similar that could be mistaken for a distress flare to inform the coastguard in advance after a false alarm on Saturday night (6 September). At 10.40pm…
Skerries Lifeboat Tows Motorboat To Safety Off Lambay
#RNLI - Skerries RNLI towed a motorboat with four people on board to safety on yesterday morning (Sunday 7 September) after they developed electrical problems and were unable to start their engine. Shortly after 11am, Dublin Coast Guard requested the…
Lough Swilly RNLI Lifeboat Rescue Six Men from Sinking Fishing Vessel
#rnli – Lough Swilly RNLI has rescued six men from a sinking fishing vessel off the Donegal coast in the early hours of this morning (Monday 8 September). The volunteer lifeboat crew was requested to launch both their inshore and…
Crosshaven RNLI Lifeboat In Search for RIB in Collision with Navigation Buoy
rnli – Two men had a very narrow escape yesterday evening ( Saturday 6 Sept ) when their Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) collided with a navigation buoy near the Spit lighthouse and threw them from the boat into the water.…
RNLI Participate in Frontline Emergency & Security Services Parade
#rnli – The RNLI will be recognised this weekend during a frontline emergency and security services spectacular in Dublin. Volunteers from the charity which saves lives at sea will take part in a unique parade aimed at raising awareness of…
Wicklow Lifeboat Rescues Swimmer Off Brides Head
#RNLI - Wicklow RNLI rescued a male swimmer who got into difficulty yesterday afternoon (Thursday 4 September). The rescue followed a request from the Irish Coast Guard for the volunteer lifeboat crew to search for a missing swimmer at Silver Strand…
Lough Derg Lifeboat Called to Boat with Damaged Driveshaft After Hitting Rock
#rnli – Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat launched to assist two people on board a 40ft cruiser, adrift by Crow Island, south of the Scilly Islands on Lough Derg yesterday. On Wednesday afternoon, September 3, Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg…
Union Hall RNLI – The 45th Lifeboat Station in Ireland is Now Operational
#rnli – The RNLI's 45th lifeboat station in Ireland has officially been put on service at Union Hall for a trial period of two years. The station boat is now a declared search and rescue asset based at Keelbeg Pier…
Baltimore Lifeboat Aids Drifting Fishing Boat
#RNLI - Baltimore RNLI launched within minutes of being alerted to a drifting fishing boat off Yokane Point, west of the Stags in West Cork. The two men on board the 30-foot motorboat had set out for a peaceful day's…
Courtmacsherry Completes 31–Mile Tow of Broken Down Fishing Vessel
#rnli – The Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat completed its tow of the 33 ft–Fishing Vessel 'Michelle' back to the pier in Courtmacsherry after earlier today going to its rescue 31 miles offshore near the Kinsale Head Gas Fields. The four hour…

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.


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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