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RNLI Lifeboat News From Ireland
Skerries RNLI returning to station with the paddle boarders on board
Skerries RNLI rescued two stand-up paddle boarders after strong currents and Force 6 offshore winds prevented them from making their way back to shore. Shortly before 2.30pm yesterday afternoon (Sunday 28 March), a retired Skerries RNLI volunteer noticed a man…
Dundrum Inner Bay
Newcastle RNLI volunteer crew launched the inshore D class lifeboat 'Eliza' at the request of Belfast Coastguard to assist three kayakers who were in difficulties in Dundrum Inner Bay yesterday morning. The bay lies on the south County Down coast…
Wicklow all-weather lifeboat RNLB Joanna and Henry Williams
The all-weather relief fleet lifeboat RNLB Joanna and Henry Williams put to sea shortly after 1:30 pm this afternoon (Wednesday 24 March) under the command of Coxswain Nick Keogh and a volunteer crew, following a launch request from the Coast…
Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI assist a small boat in Dalkey Sound
One of the RNLI’s busiest lifeboat stations has urged the public to be water safety aware as they anticipate the increased demand for their services to continue. Lifeboat crew at Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI have seen their launch requests significantly…
 The RNLI charity will deliver their usual lifeguard service across the Causeway Coast and in County Down this year
The RNLI has been working with partners behind the scenes through the challenges of lockdown to recruit, train and prepare their lifeguards for what is expected to be another busy summer on Northern Ireland’s beaches. The charity will deliver their…
File image of Aran Islands RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat
Aran Islands RNLI’s volunteer crew were asked to launch their all-weather lifeboat from Inis Mór last night (Sunday 21 March) for a local man on the neighbouring island of Inis Meáin who sustained a facial injury and was in need of…
Dun Laoghaire RNLI's inshore Lifeboat assisting a broken down RIB in Dalkey Sound
Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI’s volunteer crew launched both lifeboats this weekend to assist seven people in two separate incidents Dun Laoghaire RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat was launched this afternoon (Sunday 21 March) following a request from the Irish coast guard at…
Newcastle RNLI crew in PPE gear on their all-weather lifeboat
The volunteer crew at Newcastle RNLI in Co Down returned to sea recently after normal training exercises had to be curtailed due to Covid-19. While the station has remained fully operational throughout the pandemic and volunteers have remained on call…
File image of Aran Islands RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat
Aran Islands RNLI was tasked for a medevac from Inis Mór as a scheduled patient transfer by air was cancelled due to poor visibility yesterday morning, Monday 15 March. Due to poor visibility, a scheduled patient transfer by air was…
Larne RNLI bring 17 fishermen to safety after Spanish trawler breaks down
Red Bay and Larne RNLI came to the aid of 17 fisherman last night (Thursday 11 March) after their 35m Spanish trawler got into difficulty 11 miles east of Cushendall. The volunteer crews at both stations were requested to launch…
Skerries RNLI approaching the survey vessel
Skerries RNLI carried out a medical evacuation of a crewman from a survey vessel six miles north of Skerries last night, Wednesday 10 March. Shortly after 8pm, the lifeboat crew were tasked by Dublin Coast Guard following a call from…
Arklow RNLI’s newly appointed station mechanic James Russell
Arklow RNLI’s new station mechanic responded to his first callout yesterday afternoon (Wednesday 10 March) when the lifeboat was tasked to assist a fishing vessel off Arklow Pier. The volunteer crew left their lunch and were under way aboard the…
Michael Fitzgerald with his retirement gifts
Arklow RNLI marked the end of an era last Friday 5 March when Michael Fitzgerald, the station’s full-time mechanic retired after 40 years of dedicated service to the charity. Michael, who grew up on Harbour Road in Arklow, first joined…
Dr Christine O’Malley took up the new position in January
Lough Derg RNLI have announced the appointment of Dr Christine O’Malley as lifeboat operations manager. Dr O’Malley, who took up the post on 8 January this year after the retirement of Liam Maloney, is now responsible for all activities at…
Arranmore RNLI crew member Erin McCafferty with station president Majella O’Donnell
Since Sir William Hillary founded the RNLI in 1824, women have had a role in the service — initially working in the background by helping to launch and recover the lifeboats, fundraising for the voluntary service and supporting their husbands…
Jude Kilmartin (left) and Tony McCarth of Lough Ree RNLI
Lough Ree RNLI begins 2021 with the appointment of Jude Kilmartin as the station’s new volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager. He succeeds Tony McCarth who held the post since 2017. During his tenure, Tony McCarth led the volunteer crew of one…

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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