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RNLI Lifeboat News From Ireland
Donaghdee RNLI lifeboat
Donaghdee RNLI volunteer crew launched their all-weather lifeboat this afternoon at the request of UK Coastguard after reports of a person in the water following a jetski incident at Millisle, Co. Down. At 1.45 pm UK Coastguard requested Donaghadee RNLI…
The Union Hall RNLI crew
Union Hall RNLI in West Cork was requested to launch last night (Wednesday) at 9.01 pm to reports of a yacht with engine difficulty in very light winds. The volunteer lifeboat crew helmed by Chris Collins, with Cathal Deasy and…
Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI inshore lifeboat
Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI lifeboat came to the assistance of two anglers who were at risk of becoming cut off by the incoming tide today. The volunteer lifeboat crew were paged at 12:10 pm following an initial report from the…
File image of Portaferry RNLI’s inshore lifeboat
As Father’s Day (Sunday 21 June) wound down, Portaferry RNLI’s lifeboat volunteers were paged following reports of an upturned boat off Ardglass in Co Down, Northern Ireland. The crew launched promptly at 9.17pm in cloudy but good visibility conditions and…
The RNLI were able to return the three teenagers safely to the beach and hand them over to the Bangor Coastguard Rescue Team
Answering what was the Bangor Coastguard Rescue Team’s third shout of the day yesterday (Sat 20th), after a telephone call from former Lifeboat Operations Manager Kevin Byers, a volunteer RNLI crew was tasked with rescuing three kayakers in Ballyholme Bay…
File image of Portrush RNLI’s inshore lifeboat
Both Portrush RNLI lifeboats were requested to launch by HM Coastguard yesterday afternoon (Saturday 20 June) to reports of person on an inflatable paddleboard in difficulty in the sea just off Portstewart on Northern Ireland’s North Coast. The inshore lifeboat…
File image of Courtmacsherry RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat off Roches Point
Courtmacsherry RNLI’s lifeboat volunteers were called out at 3.50pm yesterday afternoon (Saturday 20 June) to go to the aid of a lone windsurfer who had got into difficulty just offshore of Harbour View in Courtmacsherry Bay. The alarm was raised…
Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat takes on severe conditions
Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat assisted two people on a 21ft motorboat suffering engine failure in severe weather conditions. At 5.02 pm today, June 20, Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI to go to the assistance of two people on…
The Nissan Almera reversed over the pavement at Salthill promenade and fell about six metres (20 ft) down towards the beach.
An elderly couple had a narrow escape when their car left the road and tumbled over rocks towards the sea at Galway’s popular Blackrock diving tower on Wednesday evening. Emergency services including the Galway Fire and Ambulance Service, Gardai, Irish…
Wexford RNLI leaving Killurin after bringing five people to safety
Wexford RNLI came to the rescue of five people on Monday afternoon (15 June) after the jet ski they were on lost power and began to sink. The four teenagers and an adult had managed to get on top of a nearby…
Bangor’s lifeboat comes alongside the stricken motorboat in Belfast Lough
Bangor's lifeboat rescued four people aboard a motorboat from Carrickfergus after the boat broke down off Whitehead, and the group risked drifting into a shipping lane in Belfast Lough in fading light. A volunteer crew from Bangor RNLI was requested…
Youghal RNLI’s inshore lifeboat and volunteer crew
Youghal RNLI’s inshore lifeboat and her volunteer crew responded to their pagers yesterday (Sunday 14 June) when the alarm was raised by two people aboard a fishing vessel with steering failure. Helmed by Liam Keogh, The lifeboat launched just before…
Kevin O’Sullivan covering the last few metres of his round Ireland solo circumnavigation
Sea swimmer and experienced kayaker Kevin O’Sullivan has presented Skerries RNLI with a donation of €1,200 from monies raised while kayaking solo around the island of Ireland. Kevin’s three-year venture started in 2016 and was spurred by his love of…
Castletownbere RNLI Medal rescue crew
A new book providing a collection of first-hand accounts of some of the most dramatic rescues carried out by RNLI lifesavers around Ireland and the UK over the past 20 years, features an incredible feat of bravery by a Cork…
File image of Portrush RNLI’s inshore lifeboat
Portrush RNLI’s lifeboats aided in the rescue of a young man who fell 30 feet onto rocks on the north coast last night (Wednesday 10 June). Both the inshore and all-weather lifeboats were launched as a precaution due to the…
File image of the Portaferry RNLI inshore lifeboat
Portaferry RNLI came to the aid of two people on jet skis who got into difficulty at Cloughy Bay in Co Down yesterday afternoon (Sunday 7 June). Portaferry’s volunteer crew launched the inshore lifeboat promptly at 3.14pm and made their…

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.

FAQs

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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