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RNLI Lifeboat News From Ireland
Sligo Bay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat
Sligo Bay RNLI volunteers launched last night just hours before the arrival of Storm Ellen to reports of a lone surfer heading out to sea in the fading light. The inshore lifeboat was joined by the Sligo-based Irish Coast Guard…
Baltimore Inshore RNLI Lifeboat
Baltimore RNLI was launched this afternoon following the activation of an alarm from a positioning beacon off the coast of West Cork. The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their inshore lifeboat at 4.04 pm following a request from the Irish Coast…
File image of Youghal RNLI’s Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat
Youghal RNLI’s volunteer crew were paged yesterday evening (Tuesday 18 August) to reports of a swimmer in difficulty around half a mile off shore at the East Cork town’s Front Strand. As they launched the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat in…
The fishing boat towed by Donaghdee RNLI
The all-weather RNLI lifeboat from Donaghadee on the North Down coast launched at 3 am this morning (Tuesday18th) to the Belfast Coastguard's request to assist a 15m fishing boat with one person onboard. The boat, which was on passage from…
File image of Portrush RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat
Portrush RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat launched late yesterday afternoon (Sunday 16 August) to reports of two missing divers just off Rathlin Island. The divers were part of an organised party with a diving school, and the dive leader immediately raised the…
The RNLI All weather boat at Clifden
Clifden RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat was tasked by the Coast Guard last weekend (Saturday 15 August) to assist with the medical evacuation of a 10-year old girl with a suspected broken leg, on Inishbofin. The calm conditions made for a gentle…
File image of Youghal RNLI’s inshore lifeboat
Youghal RNLI’s volunteer crew were paged Friday evening (14 August) to reports of two kayakers in difficulty — with one thought to be in the water on the northern side of Capel Island. On arrival, the inshore lifeboat confirmed that…
Baltimore inshore lifeboat tows the yacht into harbour
Baltimore RNLI was called out earlier this morning (Saturday, 15 August) to provide assistance to a yacht in difficulty off Baltimore Harbour in West Cork. The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their inshore lifeboat at 8.05 am, following a request from…
The female casualty is transported to Rescue 118 following a fall at Mullaghmore Head
A woman rescued after falling from a cliff at Mullaghmore Head yesterday afternoon (Thursday 13 August) was “very lucky that she was spotted”. The casualty was found unconscious at the bottom of the cliff on the Co Sligo headland by…
File image of Fenit RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat
In the latest of a busy week of callouts, Fenit RNLI’s volunteer crew launched last night (Thursday 13 August) to reports of unidentified items near the coast off Ballyheigue Beach. Both the all-weather and inshore lifeboats launched with full crews at…
The lifeboat attempted to take the casualty vessel astern off the rocky shelf. However, it was stuck fast on the rocks
At 9.28 pm last night, Thursday, August 13, Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI to go to the assistance of 8 adults on a 45ft cruiser aground by Ryan’s Point, inside the Mountaineer Bouy at Barrack Bay. At 9.42…
Galway lifeboat assisted in the search for the two paddleboarders
Following a major search and rescue operation on Galway Bay overnight and this morning (13 August 2020), two women have been found safe and well off Inis Oir after spending 15 hours out at sea. Former Galway RNLI lifeboat crew…
The all-weather lifeboat towed the yacht safely back to shore
Clifden RNLI has rescued a sailor who got into difficulty on a 36ft yacht this afternoon. The volunteer lifeboat crew were requested to launch at 3.20 pm by the Irish Coast Guard following a report that a yacht was in difficulty…
Baltimore's RNLI all weather lifeboat
Baltimore RNLI was called out to provide a medical evacuation this afternoon from Sherkin Island off the coast of Baltimore, West Cork. The volunteer lifeboat crew, under Coxswain Kieran Cotter, launched their all-weather lifeboat at 3.06 pm, following a request…
A stricken yacht was taken in tow to Dun Laoghaire Harbour
Dun Laoghaire RNLI launched both their lifeboat’s this afternoon (Tuesday 11 August) at the request of the Irish Coast Guard assisting two vessels in two separate incidents. At 12:55 pm today, the all-weather lifeboat was launched under Coxswain Mark McGibney…
File image of Youghal RNLI’s inshore lifeboat
A woman was evacuated for medical attention by Youghal RNLI yesterday evening (Monday 10 August) after she slipped and fell on rocks below the East Cork harbour’s lighthouse. The volunteer lifeboat launched at 5.07pm in perfect sea conditions and on…

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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