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RNLI Lifeboat News From Ireland
Canoe Found Drifting on Dublin Bay Shore Prompts Emergency Call Out
#dunlaoghairelifeboat – Both RNLI lifeboats at Dun Laoghaire on Dublin Bay were called out yesterday afternoon following a 999 emergency call that a two-person canoe was drifting close to shore off Dalkey. The Irish Coast Rescue 116 helicopter at Dublin…
Family Rescued by RNLI After Cruiser Engine Failure on Lough Derg
#lifeboat – Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat launched to assist a family of three on board a 36ft cruiser, suffering engine failure. At 7.15pm on Tuesday evening, March 22, Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat to launch to assist…
Red Bay Lifeboat Rescues Two From Vessel Drifting Off Antrim Coast
#RNLI - Red Bay RNLI's lifeboat launched on service early on Easter Sunday morning to go to the aid of a support boat with two people on board near Glenarm, Co Antrim. The boat had suffered engine failure and was…
Baltimore Lifeboat Rescues Grounded Yacht From West Cork Rocks
#lifeboat – On a sunny Easter Sunday Morning, 20th April 2014, both the all weather lifeboat and inshore lifeboat were called upon to give assistance. A yacht had grounded on rocks at a treacherous stretch between Cunnamore Pier and Heir…
More Honours For Kinsale Lifeboat Crew Over 'Astrid' Rescue
#RNLI - Last Friday (11 April) was a busy night for the volunteer crew of Kinsale RNLI as they collected two West Cork community awards for bringing to safety the 30 crew members of the training ship Astrid that sank…
Donaghadee Lifeboat Rescues PWC Rider From Rocks
#RNLI - The volunteer lifeboat crew from Donaghadee RNLI rescued a personal watercraft (PWC) enthusiast from rocks near Millisle in Co Down on Saturday evening (12 April). A member of the public reported the craft in difficulty south of Millisle…
Crosshaven RNLI Rescues Four People from RIB Aground in Cork Harbour
#rnli – Crosshaven RNLI lifeboat was requested to launch to a 6m Rib (Rigid Rib) that had run aground last evening in Lough Mahon in Cork Harbour. Crosshaven lifeboat launched shortly after 10pm last evening after receiving reports that the RIB with…
Historic Anglo-Irish Events Reflects Special Shared 'Royal' Relationships
#ByRoyalAppointment - This week's historic first Irish state visit of President Michael D. Higgins to the United Kingdom, also saw the arrival of Royal Navy inshore fast patrol-boats of the First Patrol Squadron call to Dublin Bay ports within the…
New Lifeboat Pontoon Berth for Aran Islands will Mean Faster Launch Times
#rnli – RNLI lifeboat crew with Aran Islands RNLI will be able to launch their all weather Severn Class lifeboat faster following the installation of a 24 metre pontoon, which will enable the lifeboat crew to board the lifeboat from a…
Jet Skiers Spark Portush RNLI Call Out
#rnli – Portrush RNLI volunteer All Weather Lifeboat Crew got their first service of 2014 today, after receiving reports of two jet skiers in difficulties at Benone Beach near Magillian. The RNLI were alerted by a friend of the two…
Arklow Lifeboat Rescues Two From Sinking Yacht
#RNLI - Arklow RNLI's all-weather lifeboat Ger Tigchelaar was launched yesterday afternoon (Saturday 5 April) to a report of a sailing vessel in danger of sinking off the Wicklow coast. With challenging seas and with visibility deteriorating, the lifeboat proceeded…
Campaign Launched to Save Historic Donaghadee 'Sir Samuel Kelly' Lifeboat
A major fund-raising campaign will be launched (April 2, 2014) to save a famous lifeboat which rescued survivors from the Princess Victoria in 1953 and the Fastnet yacht race disaster in 1979. It's the second lifeboat with Irish connections to…
Lough Ree RNLI Rescue Two Men, Search For Third Continues
#rnli – Volunteer lifeboat crew with Lough Ree RNLI were stood down at this evening (Thursday 20 March 2014) following a major search for a man believed missing when a boat carrying three men set off for Carnagh, from Hodson…
Arklow Lifeboat Volunteers Scoop Top Prize In Local Paddy's Day Parade
#RNLI - Arklow RNLI’s dedicated volunteers were delighted to be awarded the top prize at this year's St Patrick's Day Parade in Arklow. This year saw the highest number of parade entries for the Co Wicklow town, including three floats…
Volunteers Needed for RNLI's Mayday
#rnli – The RNLI is issuing its own call for help, appealing for volunteers to help with 'Mayday' – the charity's forthcoming national fundraising event in Ireland – which will be taking place from 1–5 May this year. The charity…
Courtown Lifeboat Rescues Driver From Submerged Dump Truck
#RNLI - Courtown RNLI's lifeboat was launched on Saturday evening (1 March) to reports of a dump truck submerged off Ardamine Beach in the Wexford town. The driver of the 25-tonne dump truck had managed to get out of the cab 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.

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