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RNLI Lifeboat News From Ireland
Distress Whistle Prompts Launch of Lough Derg Lifeboat
#rnli – Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat was launched at the request of Valentia Coast Guard to investigate whether anyone was in difficulty on the lake, after they were informed that three sustained blasts from a whistle were heard from shore…
'Fact Finders' Visit Dun Laoghaire RNLI for RTÉ's 'Elev8'
#RNLI - Dun Laoghaire RNLI will feature on RTÉ‘s youth programme Elev8 next week. A number of the lifeboat station’s volunteer crew took time out on Monday to spend the afternoon filming a segment for the show, which will be…
Donaghdee RNLI Remembers Princess Victoria Tragedy 60 Years On
#RNLI - The sinking of the Princess Victoria on 31 January 1953, with the loss of 135 lives, was the worst maritime disaster in the waters of the British Isles. The Donaghadee lifeboat Sir Samuel Kelly rescued 34 from the disaster…
Lifeboat Rescues Windsurfer In Stormy Conditions
#RNLI - Kilkeel RNLI rescued a windsurfer who got into difficulty in Carlingford, Co Louth yesterday (Tuesday 29 January). The charity’s volunteer lifeboat crew was requested to launch by the Irish Coast Guard shortly after 2pm following a report that…
Lough Swilly RNLI Featured On 'Ear to the Ground'
#RNLI - RTÉ’s popular agricultural programme Ear to the Ground paid a visit to Lough Swilly RNLI recently which will feature on this week's episode on Thursday evening. Set to feature is local man Francis Burns, who along with running…
RNLI Answers More Than 400 Calls in NI in 2012
#RNLI - Lifeboats in Northern Ireland launched 255 times to a variety of call-outs in 2012 in a year that saw the institution's lifeboats and lifeguards answer 413 calls for help. RNLI search and rescue operations saw 236 people brought…
Dun Laoghaire Lifeboat Has Highest Number of Rescues as 46 Call Outs Save 76 People
#rnli – Dun Laoghaire RNLI brought the highest number of people to safety with 76 individuals rescued by their volunteer lifeboat crews during 46 callouts in 2012. RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager for Dun Laoghaire Stephen Wynne commented:  "The two RNLI…
Irish Lifeboats Launched Over 900 Times in 2012
#RNLI - Irish lifeboats from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) launched 939 times in 2012, bringing 1,041 people to safety. The figures are being released by the charity following returns of service from all 44 lifeboat stations in Ireland.…
Lifeboat Rescues 49er Dinghy Crew on Dublin Bay
#rescue – The crew of an Olympic 49er skiff dinghy that capsized off Dun Laoghaire in strong winds this morning has been brought to safety by Dun Laoghaire lifeboat. The two dinghy sailors got into difficulties in strong winds on…
Portrush Lifeboat Gets Identified
#rnli –  Thanks to the generosity of local man Willie Gregg, Portrush Lifeboat has now been fitted with and Automatic Identification System (AIS). The AIS is an automatic tracking system used on ships to enable them to be identified and…
RNLI Gallantry Medal Comes Home
#portrush – Tim Nelson's interest in all things connected with the RNLI has paid dividends in relation to the return of a silver gallantry medal presented to a local man for saving the life of a boy in Portrush in…
Lifeboat Crews Tow Vessel From Rocks Off Waterford
#Lifeboats - TheJournal.ie reports that RNLI lifeboat crews from Dunmore East and Fethard rescued two fishermen from their vessel off the Waterford coast yesterday (14 January 2013). Rescuers sped to the scene after the 10-metre fishing boat got into difficulty…
Suspected Engine Fire Leads to Yacht Rescue off Dun Laoghaire
#RNLI – Lifeboats at Dun Laoghaire were called out yesterday following a distress call from a yacht with a suspected fire on board. The incident took place shortly after mid-day while a second call for a kitesurfer in difficulty was…
Sea Trials Won't Weather New Shannon Class Lifeboat
#Lifeboats - The video above shows off a prototype of the RNLI's new lifeboat class, the Shannon, as it undergoes sea trials to determine how it handles the rough weather all too common to the seas around the UK and…
Lough Ree Locals Praise New RNLI Lifeboat Station
#Lifeboats - RTÉ News has a video report on a memorial to lives lost on the Shannon recently installed at the location of Lough Ree's new lifeboat station. Relatives of those lost to the waterway spoke of their appreciation for…
Fishermen Rescued off Hook Head, County Waterford
#rnli – Lifeboat crew from Dunmore East and Fethard RNLI were involved in the rescue of four fishermen whose vessel got into difficulty in county Waterford early this morning. Shortly after 8am, volunteer lifeboat crew from Dunmore East and Fethard…

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.

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