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RNLI Lifeboat News From Ireland
Bushmills Anglers Raise Funds For Portrush Lifeboat
#RNLI - Portrush RNLI's volunteer lifeboat crew received a cheque for £1,052 (€1,249) from Bushmills District and Angling Club recently. The club, which collects donations throughout the year or the lifesaving charity, made the presentation to Portrush lifeboat operations manager…
Festive Cheer At RNLI's Dublin Reindeer Run
#RNLI - Nearly 1,000 people from all over Leinster and beyond took part in the annual RNLI Reindeer Run at Marlay Park on Sunday 1 December. It was a sea of festive red as entrants in the 5K, 10K and…
Wicklow Lifeboat Aids Fishermen, Courtown Volunteers Recognised
#RNLI - Wicklow RNLI's all-weather lifeboat launched shortly after 12.20pm on Friday 29 November to go to the assistance of a stranded fishing vessel. The lifeboat crew located a vessel drifting nine miles south east of Wicklow Head after 1pm. The…
Two Cancer Survivors Who Sailed Round Ireland Raise €8,255 for the RNLI
Two incredible Limerick men who have both battled cancer have presented the RNLI and two cancer charities with a cheque for €8,255 each after they successfully sailed round Ireland. The two friends Chris Egan and Dave Bevan from Foynes Yacht…
Search Resumes For Lobsterman Missing Off Wexford Coast
#RNLI - The search for a lobster fisherman missing off the Wexford coast was set to resume this morning after it was suspended at sunset last night. RNLI lifeboats from Kilmore Quay, Rosslare and Fethard launched yesterday afternoon (Monday 25…
'Safety Sunday' With Lifeboat Launches In Wicklow And Skerries
#RNLI - Wicklow RNLI went to the assistance of three fishermen whose 36ft fishing boat suffered engine failure near Wicklow Head yesterday afternoon (Sunday 24 November). The alarm was raised after the crew were unable to start the engine and…
Book Charting History Of Arklow RNLI Launches This Friday
#RNLI - Olympic gold medallist and son of Arklow, Ronnie Delaney, will be on hand this Friday 22 November for the official launch of a new book that charts the history of the Wexford town's lifeboat station. As previously reported…
Courtown Lifeboat Assists Stranded Angling Vessel
#RNLI - The Courtown RNLI lifeboat was launched yesterday afternoon (Sunday 17 November) to assist and tow a small 19ft angling boat. The angling boat had suffered engine failure and required a tow to Courtown Harbour. The lifeboat, with volunteer…
Enniskillen RNLI Launch After Light Aircraft Ditches in Upper Lough Erne
#lifeboat – Lifeboat crew at Enniskillen RNLI launched this afternoon (Friday 15 November) when a small aircraft reported that it was in trouble and about to ditch in Lough Erne. The lifeboat crew based at Carrybridge on Lough Erne launched…
Clifden RNLI Names New Atlantic 85 Lifeboat
#RNLI - Clifden RNLI officially named its new Atlantic 85 lifeboat, Joyce King, at its station in the Connemara coastal town of Clifden in a special ceremony yesterday (Saturday 9 November). John Coyle, chairman of the Irish council of the…
Howth RNLI Award Crew Members & Fundraisers at Annual Ceremony
#rnli – Volunteer lifeboat crewmembers and fundraisers were awarded certificates at the Howth RNLI's Supporter's Meeting last Wednesday in Howth Yacht Club (6 Nov). Fundraisers who took part or organised wide range of activities from barbeques to kayaking, cycle rides…
Stunning Sea Rescue Photography Exhibition Coming to Dublin
#rnli – An outdoor exhibition showcasing striking photos of the lifesaving work of the RNLI in Ireland and the UK will be displayed on Grand Canal Square Dublin from Friday 15 November to Monday 2 December. The unique display will…
RNLI to Trial New Lifeboat Station at Union Hall in Cork
#rnli – The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has announced that it is to trial a new lifeboat station at Union Hall in south west Cork. At a meeting of the RNLI Board of Trustees the decision was taken to…
Arklow Lifeboat Crew Comes To Aid Of 'Sammy The Seal'
#RNLI - Arklow RNLI’s volunteers were involved in an unusual rescue yesterday (5 November) at Arklow Harbour's boat slipway when they came to the aid of a seal pup. Lifeboat crew were alerted to the marine mammal's plight by a…
End Of An Era At Wicklow Lifeboat Station
#RNLI - It was the end of an era on Friday night 1 November as Wicklow RNLI held a retirement presentation to mark 46 years of service to Wicklow lifeboats by one of its greatest servants, Kit Dunne. Dunne first…
Howth, Kilrush Lifeboats Launch In Gale Force Winds At Weekend
#RNLI - Howth RNLI has brought six people to safety on Saturday evening (2 November) after their 37ft yacht got into difficulty north of Dublin Bay. The volunteer crew was requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat by the Irish Coast…

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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