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RNLI Lifeboat News From Ireland
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…
Skerries Lifeboat Tows Five To Safety
#RNLI - Skerries RNLI towed a group of four adults and one child safely to shore after their motorboat developed engine difficulties. Skerries RNLI volunteer crew launched their Atlantic 85 lifeboat Louis Simson shortly after 4.30pm yesterday afternoon (Monday 1…
Kinsale Lifeboat Crew Called Out Four Times in Three Days
#rnli – Volunteer crew of Kinsale RNLI were called out on four separate occasions over a three-day period last week. On Thursday 28 August at 12.44pm, Miss Sally Ann (Baggy) went to the aid of pleasure craft, The Spirit of Kinsale,…
Lough Swilly RNLI to Get First €2.4M Shannon Class Lifeboat in Ireland
#rnli – The RNLI has today announced that Lough Swilly lifeboat station in Buncrana, County Donegal is to be the first in Ireland to receive the new Shannon class lifeboat. The €2.4M lifeboat is the first class of lifeboat to…
Courtmacsherry Lifeboat Tows Kinsale Passenger Vessel with 30 Onboard Back to Shore
#rnli – Courtmacsherry RNLI All Weather Lifeboat was called out at 12.36 this afternoon to go to the aid of a 46 ft Passenger Pleasure boat which encountered difficulties off Kinsale Harbour by Charles Fort. The Lifeboat with a crew…
Join In The Fun At Howth Lifeboat Open Day This Sunday
#RNLI - For a free, fun, family day out, look no further than Howth this Sunday 31 August for the annual Open Day at Howth RNLI. Between 2pm and 5pm the public can meet the volunteer crew, see the lifeboats…
Clogherhead Lifeboat Crewman Rescues Two After Fishing Boat Sinks
#RNLI - A lifeboat crewmember from Clogherhead RNLI has been praised for his swift actions in rescuing two men from a fishing vessel that sank at the weekend. Sean Flanagan and his son were fishing approximately two miles away from…
Howth Lifeboat Brings Two Motorboats To Safety As Busy Season Continues
#RNLI - Howth RNLI had a busy start to the weekend, towing two motorboats to safety in separate incidents between Friday night and Saturday morning. Pagers sounded at 7.15pm on Friday evening (22 August) with a launch request for the…
Crosshaven RNLI Lifeboat Searches for Missing Power boat
#corkharbour – A major rescue operation swung into action early yesterday after reports of a speedboat crashing into a channel marker buoy en route from Cork city to Crosshaven. Crosshaven lifeboat were paged at 45 minutes past midnight yesterday morning…
Galway Lifeboat Rescues Three From Vessel Adrift Off Barna
#RNLI - Galway RNLI came to the rescue of two men and a child whose boat got into difficulty off Barna Pier in Galway Bay yesterday afternoon (Friday 22 August). The 18ft bayliner was about half a mile off Barna…
Rosslare Lifeboat's Double Callout Marks Fitting Farewell For Manager
#RNLI - Rosslare RNLI was called out twice yesterday afternoon (Friday 22 August) to help two separate boats with ropes wrapped around their propellers. In the space of two hours, both boats – a RIB with two people on board…
Crosshaven Lifeboat Joins Major Search For Missing Speedboat
#RNLI - A major rescue operation swung into action early this morning after reports of a speedboat crashing into a channel marker buoy in Cork Harbour en route from Cork city to Crosshaven. Crosshaven's volunteer lifeboat crew were paged at…
Naming Ceremony For Helvick Head RNLI's New Lifeboat Next Saturday
#RNLI - The naming ceremony and service of dedication of Helvick Head RNLI’s new Atlantic 85 lifeboat Robert Armstrong will take place at the lifeboat station on Helvick Pier on the south side of Dungarvan Bay at 11am on Saturday…
Arklow Lifeboat Tows Local Fishing Vessel To Safety
#RNLI - Arklow RNLI’s volunteers were alerted by pager at 9.22am yesterday morning (Wednesday 20 August) and launched the lifeboat Ger Tigchleaar within minutes to a call for help from a local fishing vessel with engine problems. In a moderate sea,…
Lough Derg Lifeboat Assists Five On Broken-Down Boat
#RNLI - At 7.25pm on Saturday evening (16 August) Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI to launch to assist five people on board a vessel reported broken down soon after setting out from Garrykennedy Harbour to Mountshannon Harbour. The…
Arranmore Lifeboat On All-Night Callout To Stranded Yacht
#RNLI - Arranmore RNLI lifeboat crew had a long callout in the early hours of this morning to a 30ft yacht in trouble off Gola Island. The pagers went off just before 2am, when the lifeboat crew – along with…

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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