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RNLI Lifeboat News From Ireland
Rory Gallagher's Family Donate Guitar & Amp To Raise Funds For Ballycotton RNLI
#RNLI - The family of late musician Rory Gallagher have generously donated a replica Fender Stratocaster guitar, along with his original Oberheimer warm-up amplifier and stencilled flight case, to raise funds for Ballycotton RNLI. The items will be auctioned later…
Bangor, Donaghadee Lifeboats Assist Stricken Fishing Boat
#RNLI - A fishing vessel that developed steering trouble in Belfast Lough was towed to safety by Donaghadee RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat Saxon, assisted by Bangor RNLI’s inshore lifeboat. The Donaghadee lifeboat launched at 3.20pm yesterday (Friday 9 May) after a request…
Courtmacsherry Lifeboat Towing 75–foot Trawler Estimates Return to Shore at 7.30pm
#lifeboat – Courtmacsherry RNLI All Weather Lifeboat continues to tow a 75–foot fishing vessel that had got into difficulties earlier today 35 miles off Courtmacsherry in West Cork. It is now proceeding to take the trawler to the safefy of…
Red Bay Lifeboat Involved In Rescue Of Man Overboard
#RNLI - Red Bay RNLI was involved in the rescue Sunday afternoon (4 May) of a man who fell overboard from a boat near Cushendall in Co Antrim. The man had fallen from the vessel near Waterfoot pier and was…
INSC Sail-A-Thon Raises €1800 for Dun Laoghaire RNLI Lifeboat
#sailathon – Had you been walking the East or West Pier of Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Saturday morning around 9pm you would have seen an INSC 1720 rigged as a committee boat make its way out into Dun Laoghaire Harbour's…
Wicklow Lifeboat Tows Cabin Cruiser To Safety
#RNLI - Wicklow RNLI's second call-out this bank holiday weekend – after Friday's early morning tow of a stricken yacht - saw two on board a 13m cruiser brought to safety early today (4 May) after their vessel suffered engine…
Wicklow Lifeboat Brings Yacht To Safety In Early Morning Call
#RNLI - Wicklow RNLI launched in the early hours of yesterday morning (Friday 2 May) to bring a yacht and its crew of three to safety. The volunteer crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 2.57am in response to a call…
99th Anniversary of Sinking of Lusitania to be Marked by Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat
#lusitania – The Courtmacsherry Lifeboat Lusitania Centenary Committee is appealing to anyone or any organisation that may have Lusitania artefacts, stories and memorabilia or know of any family members of those lost or saved in the tragedy to get in…
Legendary Lifeboat 'Mary Stanford' Returns To Spiritual Home
#Lifeboat - The famous lifeboat Mary Stanford, which was saved from being scuttled earlier this year, has returned to her spiritual home in Ballycotton, as the Irish Examiner reports. Afloat's Jehan Ashmore previously recounted the story of the Barnett-class lifeboat…
Dun Laoghaire Sailing School 'Sail–a–thon' to Raise Funds for RNLI Lifeboats
#rnli – The Irish National Sailing School's (INSS) Sail-a-thon 2014 in aid of the RNLI is taking place this Saturday the 3rd of May. The first question readers of this may have is what is a sail-a-thon? Effectively, it's a…
Rescued Sailors Join Kinsale RNLI Mayday Campaign
#RNLI - Crew members from the training ship Astrid that sank on 24 July 2013 visited Kinsale RNLI lifeboat station to thank volunteer crew and support the RNLI’s Mayday campaign. Some 30 young people were brought to safety by RNLI…
Youghal Lifeboat Radio Doc Traces 175 Years of East Cork Rescues
#rnli – A new radio documentary on CRY104fm entitled "Saving Lives At Sea" airs tomorrow night (Tuesday the 29th of April) at 7pm tracing the history of the Youghal RNLI as it celebrates 175 years in existence. Beginning with one…
Kian Egan Gets His Welly On to Raise Funds for Irish Lifeboats
#kianegan – Voice of Ireland judge and former Westlife member Kian Egan has teamed up with the RNLI's volunteer lifeboat crews to lend his support to their Mayday campaign. From Thursday 1 May until Monday 5 May the charity's volunteers…
Skerries Lifeboat Rescues 3 From Grounded Fishing Vessel
#RNLI - Skerries RNLI rescued three men last night (Thursday 24 April) after their 30-foot fishing vessel ran aground on rocks north of Balbriggan harbour in extremely poor visibility. The volunteer crew launched their inshore lifeboat shortly after 9pm with…
‘Give It Some Welly’ For The RNLI This Mayday
#RNLI - The RNLI is calling on the public to ‘give it some welly’ and support Mayday, the charity’s major fundraising campaign in Dublin. People are being asked to buy and wear a yellow welly pin badge or keyring which…
Donaghadee Lifeboat Rescues Crew On Becalmed Yacht
#RNLI - Donaghadee RNLI rescued a yacht and crew when they became becalmed in the Irish Sea on Good Friday last. The Co Down coastal town's all-weather lifeboat Saxon was at sea within 10 minutes of the request for assistance…

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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