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RNLI Lifeboat News From Ireland
Newlyweds' Surprise Gift To Crosshaven Lifeboat
#RNLI - In a first for Crosshaven RNLI, the volunteer crew welcomed newly married couple Kieran Geasley and Patricia Lenihan to the Cork Harbour lifeboat station. Geasley, a commercial fishing skipper from Cobh and a former RNLI volunteer at Dunmore East, and…
Crosshaven RNLI LIfeboat Assist in Cliff Fall Rescue
#rnli - Crosshaven lifeboat volunteers were tasked by Valentia Coastguard to reports of a young man with leg injuries near Power Head this afternoon. The pagers were activated at midday and the lifeboat under helm Vincent Fleming with Aiden O'Connor…
Howth, Wicklow Lifeboats Aid Vessels With Engine Troubles
#RNLI - Howth RNLI continued a busy week of callouts on Wednesday evening (16 July) when the volunteer crew launched to assist a 27ft motorboat with no power drifting in the vicinity of the Nose of Howth. The crew was…
Bundoran Lifeboat Helps Six Teenagers Trapped By Tide
#RNLI - Last night (17 July) the volunteer crew of the Bundoran RNLI lifeboat were paged by Malin Head Coast Guard to the aid of six teenagers who had been cut off by the tide at the West End of…
Portaferry & Bangor Lifeboats Spring Into Action For Search & Rescue Callouts
#RNLI - Portaferry RNLI launched its inshore lifeboat yesterday afternoon (14 July) to the aid of a man who had suffered a head injury in one of the races during Portaferry Sailing Club’s annual regatta. The lifeboat launched at 2.36pm…
Busy Three Days For Dublin Lifeboats In Howth & Skerries
#RNLI - Howth RNLI rescued a party of tourists yesterday afternoon (Monday 14 July) after the passenger boat they were on got into difficulty on the north side of Ireland’s Eye. The volunteer lifeboat crew was alerted at 3.25pm following…
Lough Ree Lifeboat In Two Weekend Callouts To Grounded Cruisers
#RNLI - Lough Ree RNLI aided 10 people in two separate callouts over the weekend. The first call came just before 7pm on Saturday (12 July) following a report that two craft vessels had ran aground on the east shore…
Arklow Lifeboat Crew Boot World Cup Final To Assist Stricken Pleasure Craft
#RNLI - Arklow RNLI’s volunteers gave the World Cup final the boot last night (Sunday 13 July) to respond to a pleasure craft in difficulty with three people on board. Most of the lifeboat crew were settling down to watch the game…
Arranmore Lifeboat Rescues Two From Drifting Punt
#RNLI - Following last week's assisting of nine people in two separate yacht breakdown incidents, Arranmore RNLI were out again yesterday (10 July) to rescue a man and a woman from a 14ft punt off the Donegal coast. The volunteer…
Blackpool RNLI To Celebrate 150 Years Of Saving Lives At Sea
#RNLI - On 14 July our friends across the Irish Sea at Blackpool RNLI will celebrate 150 years of lifesaving. The station was established in 1864 – 40 years after the RNLI was founded – and has been operated by…
Portrush Lifeboat Rescues Kayakers Capsized By 'Freak Wave'
#Lifeboats - Portrush RNLI's all-weather lifeboat was launched on Saturday 5 July to reports of kayakers in difficulty at the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. Although the sun was shining and it seemed like a good day for kayaking, the weather conditions at…
Lough Ree Lifeboat Assists Seven In Two Weekend Callouts
#Lifeboats - Lough Ree RNLI assisted seven people whose vessels got into difficulty in two separate callouts over the weekend. The volunteer crew was first requested to launch their inshore lifeboat at 6.20pm on Saturday 5 July following a report…
Arranmore Lifeboat Assists Two Yachts In Poor Weather
#RNLI - Arranmore RNLI in Donegal has assisted nine people after two yachts got into difficulty within five hours earlier this week. At 12.30pm on Wednesday 2 July, the volunteer lifeboat crew responded to a call for assistance from a…
Wicklow RNLI Lifeboat Assists Four People in Difficulty at Silver Strand Beach In One Afternoon
#RNLI – Wicklow RNLI all weather and inshore lifeboats launched this afternoon (Wednesday 2 July 2014) to three incidents involving four people on Silver Strand beach in Wicklow. The alarm was raised initially for a woman who was spotted in…
Dunmore East Lifeboat Assists Vessel With Engine Failure
#RNLI - Dunmore East RNLI's volunteer lifeboat crew launched yesterday (Tuesday 1 July) to assist a 17ft vessel that suffered engine failure two miles south of the harbour. At 7:40pm the lifeboat launched at the request of the Irish Coast…
Busy Weekend For Wicklow Lifeboats
#RNLI - Wicklow RNLI's volunteers had a busy weekend answering three calls for assistance in a 24-hour period. The first callout was on Saturday afternoon (28 June) at the start of the Round Ireland Yacht Race in Wicklow Bay when…

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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