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RNLI Lifeboat News From Ireland
Lough Derg Lifeboat Investigates Drifting Dinghy
#RNLI - Lough Derg RNLI's lifeboat launched on Sunday 1 June to investigate reports of a dinghy adrift off Parker's Point on the Clare shore. At 6.35pm Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI to investigate reports of a dinghy…
Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat Celebrates Tenth Birthday
#rnli – On May 25, 2014, the Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat Station celebrated its tenth birthday. In those ten years, the lifeboat has launched 236 times, 60 of those at night. Volunteer crews have rescued 322 people and saved the…
Wicklow Lifeboat Launches To Fishing Vessel
#RNLI - The Wicklow lifeboat launched shortly after 10.30am yesterday morning (Friday 30 May) to assist a fishing vessel 13 miles off Wicklow harbour. The 13-metre vessel was fishing for whelk when a rope fouled its propeller and it was…
Four Calls In 24 Hours For Portaferry Lifeboat
#RNLI - The volunteer lifeboat crew at Portaferry RNLI responded to four separate calls in the space of 24 hours between Thursday 29 and Friday 30 May. The first call was received at 6.07pm on Thursday to help four people…
RNLI Awards Highlight NI Fisherman's Rescue
#RNLI - The RNLI Annual Presentation of Awards took place last Thursday 22 May at London's Barbican Theatre, and in an unusual move the charity departed from the awards ceremony to look at the story behind one particular rescue. On…
Prestigious Honour for Howth RNLI's Rupert Jeffares at London Ceremony
#rnli – A member of Howth RNLI was honoured at the RNLI Annual Presentation of Awards at the Barbican Centre in London last Thursday (22 May 2014). Rupert Jeffares, the Lifeboat Operations Manager with Howth RNLI, was awarded a Bar…
Skerries Lifeboat Dispatched To Kitesurfer In Distress
#RNLI - Skerries RNLI launched on Saturday evening (24 May) to reports of a kitesurfer in distress near Shenick Island off the south strand in Skerries. The volunteer crew launched their Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson shortly after 5.30pm.…
One Man And His Dog Rescued By Ballycotton Lifeboat
#RNLI - Ballycotton RNLI went to the rescue of a man and his dog from a tidal rock near the West Cork town yesterday afternoon (Saturday 24 May). The volunteer lifeboat crew was requested to launch at 12.13pm at the…
Lough Ree Lifeboat Rescues Four From Holed Cruiser
#RNLI - Lough Ree RNLI in Co Westmeath came to the aid of four people yesterday afternoon (Monday 19 May) after their cruiser got into difficulty. The volunteer lifeboat crew was requested to launch shortly before 3.30pm following a report that…
Lough Swilly RNLI in Rescue of Lone Fisherman Found Clinging to Lobster Pot Buoy
rnli – lifeboat crew with Lough Swilly RNLI were involved in the dramatic rescue of a lone fisherman yesterday afternoon (Sunday 18 May 2014) who was found clinging to a lobster pot buoy off Tullagh beach in Clonmany, County Donegal…
Portaferry Lifeboat Rescues Canoeists In Strangford Lough
#RNLI - Portaferry RNLI's volunteer lifeboat crew were involved in the rescue of 23 canoeists who got into difficulty just off Castle Island in Strangford Lough yesterday afternoon (Saturday 17 May). The call for help was received at 2.40pm and…
Crosshaven Lifeboat Rescues Crabber Boat On The Rocks
#rnli – Crosshaven RNLI lifeboat was launched from Cork Harbour at 3.35pm this afternoon to a report of a 21' open crabber boat aground on the rocks East of Trabolgan with 1 person on board. The skipper of the vessel…
Arklow Lifeboat's Early Start To Assist Drifting Fishing Boat
#RNLI - Arklow RNLI's lifeboat Ger Tigchlearr and its volunteer crew launched at first light yesterday morning (13 May) to go to the aid of a local fishing vessel. Within minutes of the pager alert at 5.45am the lifeboat was…
Wicklow Lifeboats Assist Stricken Yacht With Snapped Tiller
#RNLI - Wicklow RNLI launched to assist a yacht in difficulty before 10am yesterday morning (Sunday 11 May) just as lifeboat volunteers were preparing to launch on a crew exercise in Wicklow Bay. The call for assistance from the yacht…
Howth RNLI Lifeboat Coxswain Retires After 39 Years Service
#rnli – After 39 years of dedication to Howth RNLI, 27 years as lifeboat coxswain, Robert Duffy has retired. Thanks to his bravery and determination, he helped to save hundreds of lives at sea during his time as a volunteer…
Lough Derg Lifeboat Launches to Vessel Adrift After Engine Failure
#rnli – Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat launched in winds gusting F8 last night, to assist nine people on board a 40–ft cruiser, suffering engine failure. At 6.35pm on Saturday evening, May 10, Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat…

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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