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RNLI Lifeboat News From Ireland
Howth RNLI in the Malahide estuary
Howth RNLI launched both the all-weather lifeboat and the inshore lifeboat in two separate callouts over the weekend to rescue eight people who found themselves in difficulty. One callout saw a teenager’s life saved when the lifeboat crew found him…
A video still of Wicklow all-weather lifeboat and Inshore lifeboat with the Jet ski off Brittas
Wicklow lifeboat volunteers responded to four incidents during a 24-hour period as the Station resumed crew training over the weekend. The first callout on Saturday afternoon (August 8) and involved both the Inshore and all-weather lifeboat, they diverted from a…
Coastguard and lifeboat volunteers stretcher the casualty from the cave in Smuggler’s Cove on Friday 7 August
Coastguard units from Coleraine and Ballycastle were tasked to rescue a man in his 70s who had fallen in a cave close to the Giant’s Causeway on Friday (7 August). The casualty had sustained a knee injury and was being…
File image of Larne RNLI’s inshore lifeboat Terry
Two adults and a child were rescued this morning (Sunday 9 August) by Larne RNLI after their small RIB broke down near Magheramore in Co Antrim. The volunteer crew launched the smaller in-shore lifeboat, Terry, at 11.05am and made their…
Baltimore RNLI lifeboat
Baltimore RNLI was called out earlier this evening (Friday 7 August) to provide assistance to a motorboat in difficulty at Sherkin Island, off the coast of west Cork. The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their inshore lifeboat at 6.50 pm, following…
Arklow RNLI brings the distressed yacht alongside at Wicklow Harbour
It was a long night at sea for Arklow RNLI on Tuesday evening (4 August) as its volunteers launched to assist three people on a yacht in difficulty in the Irish Sea some 25 miles off the Co Wicklow town.…
File image of Portaferry RNLI’s inshore lifeboat
Portaferry RNLI rescued a kayaker who got into difficulty on Strangford Lough on Wednesday night (5 August). The volunteer crew were on the scene with the inshore lifeboat just eight minutes after launch, following an alert from passers-by who heard…
The 23ft cruiser towed to safety by Lough Derg RNLI
Lough Derg RNLI launched last night (Thursday 6 August) to the aid of four people on a 23ft cruiser aground on rocks in Scarriff Bay. The lifeboat Jean Spier launched at 9.20pm, in fading light with a low mist and…
File image of Arranmore RNLI’s all-weeather lifeboat
Two people were rescued by Arranmore RNLI’s volunteer crew in Co Donegal after reports of a RIB in difficulty over the weekend. The all-weather lifeboat launched on Saturday (1 August) and headed south to the scene in the Portnoo area,…
Youghal RNLI’s inshore lifeboat on a previous launch
Youghal RNLI’s volunteer crew were paged this morning (Sunday 2 August) at 8.03am to help a one-person fishing boat with engine trouble, six miles south of Capel Island off East Cork. Operating safely within the RNLI and Government Covid-19 guidelines,…
File image of Portrush RNLI’s inshore lifeboat
Portrush RNLI’s inshore lifeboat launched to the rescue of a 50-year-old woman who fell into the water while with a coasteering group at Dunseverick near the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland yesterday afternoon (Saturday 1 August). The volunteer crew applied…
The Courtmacsherry Lifeboat crew after today's call out
The Courtmacsherry All Weather Trent Class RNLI Lifeboat was called out at 12.54 pm this Saturday afternoon to go to the aid of two Kayakers who got into difficulties, in breezy conditions, off the headland of Dunworley Point on the…
Wicklow RNLI Launch to Assist Yacht with Mechanical Problems
Wicklow all-weather RNLI lifeboat launched shortly after 12:45 pm today (Saturday 1 August) following a Coast Guard launch request, to assist a 14-metre ketch with four people onboard near Greystones. The drifting yacht was located 30 minutes later by Coxswain…
RNLI all-weather Achill lifeboat in Co Mayo
RNLI stations are reporting a busy season as more people stay at home for holidays due to the Covid-19 restrictions. As The Irish Examiner reports, new standard operating procedures (SOPs) to adhere with Covid-19 public health and safety guidelines have…
Larne RNLI’s inshore lifeboat Terry
Larne RNLI rescued a jet skier who had fallen into the water off the Co Antrim coast and couldn’t get back onto his craft. The volunteer crew launched the in-shore lifeboat Terry just after 8pm on Tuesday evening and reached…
The new water safety logo
Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton TD today (31 July) launched the newly updated Safety on the Water website.  This is a collaboration between the Coast Guard, RNLI, Water Safety Ireland, Irish Sailing and BIM, and…

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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