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RNLI Lifeboat News From Ireland
Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat Launches For Cruiser With Engine Failure
#rnli – Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat launched yesterday to assist two people on board a 24ft cruiser, broken down and drifting across the lake near Portumna. The lifeboat launched at 4.45pm with Helm Eleanor Hooker, Jason Freeman and Keith Brennan…
Lucky Seven as Larne RNLI Lifeboat Clocks Up the Call Outs
#rnli – The lifeboat crew with Larne RNLI have not had much time to relax over the summer, as their lifeboats have been launched seven times since the end of June. The call outs were to a variety of incidents,…
Rory Gallagher Donation Keeps Ballycotton RNLI Lifeboat Afloat
#rnli – Dónal Gallagher, brother of the late blues guitarist Rory Gallagher has presented Ballycotton RNLI with a generous donation of €11,000 to help them continue their work of saving lives at sea. This phenomenal donation was raised through the…
RNLI's 190 Years of Saving Lives At Sea to be Marked With Knock Ecumenical Service
RNLI – A special Ecumenical Service will be held at Knock Shrine in county Mayo next weekend to mark the 190th anniversary of the RNLI The service which will take place in the Basilica at 12 noon on Saturday 9 August…
Belgian Schooner Crew Rescued By Courtmacsherry Lifeboat
#lifeboat – The Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat has now completed its rescue of the Stricken 66 Ft Belgium Yacht "Tom" that sought help at 3.20pm this afternoon 23 miles south east of Courtmacsherry Bay. The Lifeboat took the casualty in tow…
Lough Ree RNLI's Action-Packed Weekend As Station Awaits New Lifeboat
#RNLI - A busy weekend for the volunteer crew with Lough Ree RNLI began on Friday evening 25 July when the lifeboat launched at 6.30pm for a cruiser with engine problems near marker no 9 north of the Quaker Island.…
Dunmore East RNLI Help Lifeboat Man Say 'I do' In Style
#rnli – Dunmore East volunteer RNLI lifeboat crewmember, Roy Abrahamsson, married Tramore native, Caroline Kiely, in Dunmore East this weekend and Roy's lifeboat colleagues turned up in full life-saving kit to wish the couple every happiness in their married life.…
Portrush Lifeboats Kept Busy As Summer Arrives On North Coast
#RNLI - Summer certainly hit Ireland's North Coast with a bang this week as temperatures topped 27 degrees, and the volunteer crew of Portrush RNLI experienced one of their busiest weeks. On Monday 21 July, the all-weather lifeboat William Gordon Burr…
Lough Derg Lifeboat Assists Two On Grounded Cruiser
#RNLI - Lough Derg RNLI's lifeboat launched last night (Saturday 26 July) to assist two people on board a cruiser aground at Drominagh, at the northern end of Lough Derg. Valentia Coast Guard requested the launch at 9.45pm and the…
Capsized Yacht Crew Rescued By Ballycotton RNLI Lifeboat off Cork Coast
#rnli – Lifeboat crew at Ballycotton RNLI launched this afternoon (Saturday 26 July 2014) after the alarm was raised by a local ferry that a yacht with two people onboard had capsized 300 metres from Ballycotton Lighthouse off the Cork…
Wicklow RNLI Lifeboat Launches to Assist Sinking Motor Boat
#rnli – Both Wicklow RNLI lifeboats launched at 1.40pm (Saturday 26 July) this afternoon after a small boat with four occupants sank eight miles north east of Wicklow harbour. The 17ft motor boat with two adults and two young children…
Wicklow Lifeboats Rescue Five From Grounded Vessel
#RNLI - Both Wicklow RNLI lifeboats launched after 4.15pm yesterday afternoon (Thursday 24 July) to assist a vessel aground near Travelahawk beach south of Wicklow Harbour. The alarm was raised after the owner of a motor boat put out a…
Wicklow Inshore Lifeboat Rescues Sheep Trapped In Cave
#RNLI - Wicklow RNLI's inshore lifeboat launched at 3pm on Wednesday afternoon (23 July) to rescue a sheep trapped in a cave and in danger of drowning as the tide rose. Two attempts had already been made to recover the…
Howth RNLI Lifeboat Rescue Four After Boat Takes On Water Off Ireland's Eye
#rnli – Lifeboat crew at Howth RNLI launched their inshore lifeboat yesterday afternoon (Thursday 24 July) at 12.17pm following a call to the Coast Guard from a member of the public reporting that a boat with four people onboard was…
Portaferry Lifeboat Assists Family On Stranded Yacht
#RNLI - Portaferry RNLI received a request to launch their inshore lifeboat at 10.40am this morning (22 July) to the aid of a family on board a stranded yacht. The lifeboat launched at 10.47am and arrived at the scene just…
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…

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.

© Afloat 2020

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