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RNLI Lifeboat News From Ireland
Bangor Lifeboats Rescues Four From Stricken RIB
#RNLI - Bangor RNLI received a request from Belfast Coastguard yesterday evening (1 March) to launch their lifeboat and assist four people onboard a 23ft rigid inflatable boat, or RIB, that experienced engine failure north of Ballyholme Bay on the…
Despite Storm Damage 'Happy Baltimore' Village Turns Out to Dance
#dancingRNLI – Despite its battering at the hands of the winter storms Baltimore's maritime community made the best of things by producing an upbeat video to show how resilient the little village is.Filmed on 16th February 2014 hours after storms…
RNLI Marks Centenary Of Fethard Lifeboat Tragedy
#RNLI - One hundred years ago, nine volunteer lifeboat crew from Fethard RNLI lost their lives as lifeboat crews rescued 10 people after Norwegian vessel, the Mexico, struck rocks off the Wexford coast. Hundreds of people gathered to attend events…
Portrush Lifeboat Helm Trained To Help With Flood Rescue
#RNLI - Portrush RNLI volunteer Karl O’Neill is becoming one of the RNLI's all-rounders, for as well as being helm for the Portrush inshore lifeboat and senior RNLI lifeguard, he is now a part of the lifesaving charity's Flood Rescue…
Wicklow Lifeboat Attends Fishing Boat With Engine Failure
#RNLI - Wicklow RNLI's all-weather lifeboat launched shortly before 4pm yesterday afternoon (Wednesday 19 February) to assist a fishing vessel in difficulties off Wicklow Head. The skipper of the fishing vessel contacted the Irish Coast Guard for assistance after his…
Wexford RNLI Mark Centenary of Fethard Lifeboat Tragedy
#rnli – On the 20 February 1914 fourteen volunteer lifeboat crew with Fethard RNLI set out to rescue the crew of the Norwegian Schooner the Mexico, which had lost its bearings in terrible weather and had been driven onto rocks…
Clifden RNLI Lifeboat Rescues Four Fish Farmers in Extreme Weather
#rescue – Clifden RNLI in county Galway has rescued four fish farmers after they got into difficulty in extreme weather conditions this afternoon. The volunteer lifeboat crew was requested to launch their inshore Atlantic 85 lifeboat at 1.44pm today (Wednesday…
RNLI 'Shannon' Jet Boat is 50% Faster Than Other Lifeboats
#lifeboat – The first of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution's (RNLI) newest class of lifeboat, the Shannon, goes on station in the UK this month. The Shannon is the first RNLI all-weather lifeboat to be powered by water jets instead…
Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat Rescues Kayaker After He Falls Out of Kayak
#rnli – Volunteer lifeboat crew with Lough Derg RNLI pulled a man from the Nenagh river this afternoon after they had received reports that he had fallen from his kayak and was being pushed down the fast flowing river. Members…
Smiles All Round For RNLI In SOS Day Fundraisers
#RNLI - Wicklow RNLI was delighted to welcome members of the Wicklow Kilmantin Arts Group, who presented a cheque for €500 to the station last Friday (31 January). The money was raised during a recent art auction in Wicklow, and…
Bundoran Lifeboat Station Damaged Hours After Major Fundraiser
Just hours after the annual Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat dinner dance ended on Friday night, a combination of high tide and heavy swell caused damage to Bundoran Lifeboat Station. Crew began to arrive at the lifeboat station at around 7.20am and…
RNLI In Dispute With Coastguard Over Trawler Emergency
#RNLI - The Irish Independent says that the RNLI wants a meeting with the Irish Coast Guard over an incident off Dublin last weekend that it was not called to attend. According to reports, the coastguard sent its closest rescue…
Kilmore Quay Lifeboat Rescues Fishermen Off Saltee Islands
#RNLI - Kilmore Quay RNLI came to the rescue of two fishermen after their boat sank off the Saltee Islands in Co Wexford yesterday afternoon (Thursday 30 January). The volunteer crew was requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat shortly after…
RNLI Brings More Than 1,800 To Safety Across Ireland In 2013
#RNLI - RNLI lifeboats in the Republic of Ireland launched 1,087 times in 2013 bringing 1,278 people to safety. The figures released by the charity today (Tuesday 28 January) are based on returns of service from all 44 lifeboat stations…
Baltimore Lifeboat Assists Three On Trawler Off Cape Clear
#RNLI - Baltimore RNLI assisted three crew members on board a 20m fishing trawler which got into difficulty off West Cork on Monday night (20 January). The volunteer lifeboat crew was requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat by the Irish…
Bundoran Lifeboat Called To Assist Pleasure Craft At Mullaghmore
#RNLI - The crew of Bundoran RNLI were tasked yesterday afternoon (19 January) for their first call out of 2014, to an 18ft pleasure craft with two people on board which suffered engine failure off Mullaghmore Head in Co Sligo.…

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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