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RNLI Lifeboat News From Ireland
Oban RNLI approaching the broken down fishing boat in Loch Etive
As Storm Aiden brought its gale-force winds and driving rain from Ireland to western Scotland, Oban RNLI launched to assist a fishing vessel in distress in Loch Etive. The 22ft fishing boat, with four on board, had broken down west…
Baltimore RNLI on this morning’s medevac call
Baltimore RNLI were called out to provide a medical evacuation this morning (Friday 30 October) from Heir Island off the coast of West Cork. The volunteer crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 9.22am following a request from the Irish Coast…
Skerries RNLI approaching Shenick Island
A father and son were rescued by Skerries RNLI after they were stranded on Shenick Island by the rising tide yesterday afternoon (Tuesday 27 October). Pagers sounded for the lifeboat volunteers at 3pm and within minutes the Atlantic 85 inshore…
The busiest lifeboat station has been Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin, with nearly 100 call outs for this year so far, according to the RNLI
Rescue agencies are reporting a record year for incidents on the water as thousands of people turned to the coastline, lakes and rivers during Covid-19. The Irish Coast Guard, RNLI and Water Safety Ireland have all been under pressure to…
Youghal RNLI inshore lifeboat
The RNLI has issued a plea for the public to take heed of important water safety advice as schools begin the mid-term break and the Government has introduced Level 5 restrictions to deal with Covid-19. With the Government restriction on…
Rory Nagle with his restored steam engine Old Mac
Like most other charities, the volunteers of Kinsale RNLI have had their fundraising activities curtailed due to Covid-19 restrictions. So it came as a welcome surprise to learn that local steam engine enthusiast Rory Nagle had launched a special mission…
RNLI lifeboat crews from Dunmore East, Kilmore Quay and Rosslare Harbour were requested to launch yesterday afternoon (Tuesday 20 October) to assist a cargo vessel that had lost power off Hook Head and was close to rocks.
RNLI lifeboat crews from Dunmore East, Kilmore Quay and Rosslare Harbour were requested to launch yesterday (Tuesday 20 October) after reports that a 4,000-tonne cargo vessel, the Lily B, had lost all power and was in danger of hitting rocks…
Coastguard & Lifeboats Assisting Drifting Cargo Vessel off Waterford
In a major mobilisation of rescue services off the south-east coast this evening, the Irish Coast Guard is coordinating assistance being provided to a cargo vessel that has lost power off the Waterford Harbour. The Coast Guard said in a…
File image of Aran Islands RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat
Aran Islands RNLI’s volunteers were called twice in succession to aid two people in need of medical attention in the Galway Bay islands yesterday morning, Monday 19 October. The lifeboat crew were tasked to launch their all-weather vessel David Kirkaldy…
Baltimore RNLI preparing to depart the lifeboat station
Baltimore RNLI was called out to provide a medical evacuation late last night (Sunday 18 October) from Sherkin Island off the coast of Baltimore, West Cork.  The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 11.39 pm, following a request…
Loch Ness RNLI’s crew approach the flying boat with engine trouble
The RNLI recorded one of their more unusual launches yesterday evening (Saturday 17 October) after a World War II-era seaplane made a distress call from Loch Ness. It emerged that the aircraft, the PBY Catalina, had experienced engine issues while…
Skerries RNLI towing the yacht into Rogerstown
Skerries RNLI recently launched to the rescue of a yacht with one person aboard that was adrift in the Skerries Islands. The incident occurred on Thursday morning 15 October, when the yacht made a VHF distress call that was relayed…
The scene at Skippingstone Beach
Skippingstone Beach is a popular swimming venue a short distance to the west of Bangor Harbour on Belfast Lough and sadly was the scene this morning (13th October) of a fatality. It is only a few hundred yards from the…
Fenit RNLI offshore lifeboat
The team at Fenit RNLI in County Kerry is calling for new volunteers to help them to save lives at sea. The charity is looking for volunteers to take up the Deputy Launching Authority role at the station. This role…
Fethard RNLI inshore lifeboat
Fethard RNLI responded to two incidents in a 24-hour period over the weekend after two vessels, each with two people onboard, got into difficulty in the Waterford estuary. The first call-out came on Friday evening (9 October), when the volunteer…
Dun Laoghaire RNLI tows the yacht back to harbour
The Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI all-weather lifeboat was launched this afternoon (Saturday 10 October) following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to assist four people on board a 36ft yacht, which had reported having mechanical issues while anchored just…

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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