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RNLI Lifeboat News From Ireland
Lough Derg RNLI’s inshore lifeboat Jean Spicer
Lough Derg RNLI volunteers were tasked to the aid of two people on a cruiser which engine failure near Mountshanon Harbour yesterday afternoon, Sunday 6 September. The inshore lifeboat Jean Spicer diverted from a training exercise just before 2pm and…
The yacht stranded in the Irish Sea yesterday evening
Howth RNLI launched to the rescue of a solo sailor whose yacht got into difficulty in the Irish Sea off Dublin yesterday evening, Thursday 3 September. Pagers sounded at 7.10pm and the all-weather lifeboat was launched, its crew locating the…
Skerries RNLI crew launch their inshore lifeboat in the rapidly fading light on Tuesday evening
Skerries RNLI volunteers responding to a reported flare sighting off Rush were tasked to the rescue of a cliff fall casualty in Balbriggan on a busy Tuesday night (1 September). Shortly before 8.30pm, the Skerries lifeboat crew were tasked to…
Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI rescued a kayaker who had capsized
While out on their first training exercise since COVID-19 restrictions were put in place in March, Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI yesterday evening (Monday 31 August) was requested by the Irish Coast Guard to respond to a kayaker who had capsized.…
The RNLI lifeboat en route to the dismasted yacht
Galway RNLI has rescued a man whose yacht got into difficulty on Galway Bay this morning. Galway RNLI says that the yacht was sailing from Barna to Ballyvaughan in Clare when the forestay broke and the mast crashed onto the…
Union Hall RNLI Launches Fishing Vessel with Engine Difficulty
The RNLI lifeboat crew was requested to launch their inshore lifeboat Margaret Bench of Solihull, this morning at 5.37 am to a fishing vessel, with two people onboard, that was just west of Glandore harbour in West Cork. The lifeboat…
Fenit lifeboat volunteers come to the aid of the solitary dolphin
It was a most unusual callout for Fenit RNLI yesterday evening (Tuesday 25 August) as they were tasked to a dolphin in the shallows near Fenit Pier in Co Kerry. Locals out for a stroll in blustery conditions that trailed…
Baltimore RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat called out to Crookhaven during Storm Francis
Baltimore RNLI’s volunteer crew launched to the aid of two yachts in difficulty in Crookhaven Harbour as Storm Francis passed over West Cork this morning (Tuesday 25 August). The two vessels, one with four on board and the other with…
Portaferry RNLI assessed the situation and observed that the yacht was drifting close to shore off Taggart Island
Portaferry RNLI came to the aid of two sailors whose 36ft yacht got into difficulty on Strangford Lough this morning (Tuesday 25 August). The volunteer crew were requested to launch their inshore lifeboat at 9.55 am following a report from…
File image of Lough Ree RNLI’s inshore lifeboat
One of Ireland’s busiest lifeboat units is seeking the public’s help to upgrade its home base and carry on its lifesaving mission. Lough Ree RNLI’s volunteers have been rescuing people from the lough’s 29km stretch of inland waterway since 2012,…
Crosshaven Inshore RNLI lifeboat
The volunteers of Crosshaven RNLI lifeboat were tasked this evening to a report of a person in the water in the Ringabella/Fountainstown area. The crew received the pager alert at 7.32 pm and were en route when information was received…
Dunmore RNLI escorting the dismasted yacht Red Alert
At 7.26 am Dunmore East RNLI Lifeboat launched on service to assist a stricken yacht in the Fastnet 450 Race which had suffered a dismasting 36 miles South of Dunmore East on the County Waterford coast. On reaching the Greystones-based…
File image of Portrush RNLI’s inshore lifeboat
Portrush RNLI’s volunteers launched to the aid of a family cut off by the rising tide on cliffs yesterday evening, Saturday 22 August. Local lifeguards raised the alarm for the two adults and three young children who were trapped between…
Galway RNLI station
Galway RNLI lifeboat has rescued a kite surfer who got into difficulty in inner Galway Bay on Saturday evening. The man, who is in his early thirties, had set off from Ballyloughane beach near Renmore at about 4.50 pm as…
File image of Enniskillen RNLI’s inshore lifeboat returning to station
Six people were rescued from their boats on Lough Erne as Storm Ellen swept over Northern Ireland in the early hours of Thursday (20 August). Enniskillen RNLI said the vessels, which were moored at the Devenish West jetty, were breaking…
Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat
Castletownbere RNLI were launched this morning (Friday 21st August 2020) at 09:03 to assist a yacht which had broken away from its moorings off the Bere Island in West Cork. The yacht was spotted drifting in the channel between Bere…

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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