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Displaying items by tag: Lifeboat

Volunteers at Union Hall RNLI are celebrating the news that their lifeboat station in West Cork is to be formally established following a successful trial.

The recommendation subject to the provision of a long term shoreworks solution was approved at a recent meeting of the RNLI Trustees.

The RNLI’s 45th lifeboat station in Ireland had been officially put on service at Union Hall in 2014 for a trial period that has lasted three years.

This followed representations that were initially made to the RNLI for a declared search and rescue asset to be established at Union Hall in February 2013.

Since then, the station has operated Maritime Nation, a B class Atlantic 75 lifeboat, from temporary station facilities, launching from a slipway adjacent to Keelbeg pier. Work will now commence towards establishing a permanent building and facilities for the station.

Since going on service, Union Hall RNLI has launched 26 times, saved one life and rescued 42 people.

The station’s lifeboat operates approximately eight miles to the west and 14 miles to the east of the greater Glandore Bay area. It is a popular spot for fishermen and visitors including anglers, rowers, swimmers and sailors. The station is flanked by Courtmacsherry RNLI to the east and Baltimore RNLI to the west.

John Kelleher, Union Hall RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager confirmed that the station had received word from the RNLI Trustees that the trial had been a success and the station, subject to a shoreworks solution, will be made permanent.

‘We have been waiting for this news and to finally get confirmation that the trial has been a success is great - I am delighted not just for our volunteer crew and station management but for everyone who has been involved and supported the setting up of a station here in the locality.

‘I would like to commend the commitment and dedication of our volunteer crew members who have devoted their time to training and to learning and developing new skills to help them save lives at sea. It is thanks to their efforts and those working so hard on the shore - be it to prepare the lifeboat to go to sea or washing it down after a call out, or to educate people about the dangers of water, or to fundraise - that we are now able to provide this service permanently to the community in West Cork and to anyone who may find themselves in distress at sea.’

Paddy O’Donovan, Union Hall Chairman added: ‘I was delighted with the news, it is a vote of confidence in our local volunteers. We wish to thank all the RNLI personnel who visited and helped in this project. We look forward to the next phase in making the station permanent.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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A new Atlantic 85 class lifeboat has gone on service at Carrybridge RNLI. The lifeboat which arrived at the Upper Lough Erne lifeboat station on Tuesday (7 November), replaces Duckhams 2001, which has been used to rescue people on Lough Erne in County Fermanagh since 2015.

Volunteer lifeboat crew began a period of familiarisation training on Tuesday afternoon with their first exercise on the Douglas, Euan and Kay Richards.

The new lifeboat has been funded by The John and Elizabeth Allan Memorial Trust. Professor James Allan’s interest in the RNLI began as a child when he went to Fraserburgh in Scotland, on holiday with his family. Along with his sister Elizabeth, he met the volunteer lifeboat crew and on returning a year later, Professor Allan was delighted that the crew remembered them.

The new lifeboat for Carrybridge is to be named Douglas, Euan and Kay Richards after the children of Professor Allan’s doctor. The lifeboat will be officially named at a special naming ceremony and service of dedication at Carrybridge RNLI’s lifeboat station next year. Carrybridge RNLI also has a Rescue Water Craft.

During her time at Carrybridge, Duckhams 2001 launched 64 times, with its volunteer lifeboat crew rescuing 113 people.
The new lifeboat has some advancement on its predecessor. The Atlantic 85 design allows room for four crew members and more kit than the Atlantic 75 lifeboat, which only had room for three crew members.

The lifeboat is powered by two 115 horse power engines and has a stronger hull and greater top speed of 35 knots. The added radar allows the crew to operate more effectively in poor visibility and there is also VHF direction-finding equipment.

The vessel also has a manually operated self-righting mechanism which combined with inversion-proofed engines keeps the lifeboat operational even after capsize. The lifeboat can also be beached in an emergency without causing damage to its engines or steering gear.
The Atlantic 85 which was introduced to the RNLI fleet in 2005 also carries a full suite of communication and electronic navigation aids, as well as a searchlight, night-vision equipment and flares for night-time operations.

Speaking following the arrival of the new lifeboat, Tom Bailey, Carrybridge RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘We are extremely grateful to Professor James Allan for his generous donation which has funded our new lifeboat. As we welcome a new lifeboat, there is also a sense of nostalgia too as we bid a fond farewell to Duckhams 2001, a lifeboat that provided us with almost three great years of service. Her time here in Fermanagh brought many people safely to shore and we hope her donor family will be just as proud as we are, of her many achievements.

‘We are looking forward to being the custodians of this new lifeboat which will allow our volunteers to go on to rescue and save many more lives in the years to come.’
The RNLI is a charity which relies on voluntary contributions and legacies.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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At 2.34pm, Monday October 30, Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat launched following a request from Valentia Coast Guard to assist two people and a dog on boat a vessel reported to be on fire. The wind was south-westerly, F1 and with good visibility.

The lifeboat located the 31ft cruiser at anchor off Hare Island off the County Clare shore, the passengers and their dog were safe and unharmed. The skipper had cut his engine and dropped anchor when he noticed black smoke billowing from the engine. When the lifeboat arrived on scene, the engine was no longer issuing smoke and the situation had settled.

With an RNLI crew member on board, the cruiser with her passengers was taken under tow for the public harbour at Dromineer. As the lifeboat was towing the cruiser, volunteer crew were informed that the dog had jumped overboard. The lifeboat immediately stopped its engine and made to recover the dog from the water. However, with encouragement from his owners, the dog swam back to the casualty vessel where he was brought back on board.

After the cruiser was safely tied up alongside in Dromineer Harbour, the lifeboat returned to station and was ready for service at 5pm.

At 12.23pm on Sunday, October 29, Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat launched following a request from Valentia Coast Guard to assist 5 people on board a 40ft cruiser aground behind Illaunmore on the north eastern shore of Lough Derg. Winds were south-westerly and F1.

The lifeboat located the vessel at 12.47pm and found all passengers to be safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets. The lifeboat transferred an RNLI volunteer across to the cruiser, where he inspected the boat, and once satisfied that it was not holed he prepared the boat to be taken off the rocks. However when the casualty vessel was found to be stuck fast on the rocks, the lifeboat crew decided to take the five passengers and their belongings to Dromineer. Meanwhile RNLI volunteer shore crew made arrangements to have the boat lifted off the rocks.

The lifeboat was ready for service again at 2.35pm

Pat Garland, Deputy Launching Authority at Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat Station, advises boat users to ‘enjoy the lake, but make sure you stay on the navigation route, well clear of the shoreline’.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Two people cut-off by the rising tide at Sandymount were rescued by the RNLI Inshore lifeboat from Dun Laoghaire this evening.

The alarm was raised at 4.30pm when the two people found themselves surrounded by water with two more hours of incoming water and nightfall due.

A shore unit of the Irish Coast Guard from Dun Laoghaire spotted the pair from the road and directed the RNLI ILB that launched at 4.45pm and was on scene ten minutes later. However, the depth of water was insufficient to permit the boat to reach the casualties and a crew-member walked the remaining distance to reach the two people who were standing on a sandbank.

They were then brought to the safety of the lifeboat before a decision was made to land them at the Pigeon House Road beach at Ringsend. The pair were unharmed apart from wet clothes and they were then looked after by the Coast Guard personnel ashore.

The operation took just over 90 minutes from start to finish and the lifeboat and crew have returned to station. The Irish Coast Guard rescue helicopter R116 based at Dublin Airport was also tasked but stood-down when the casualties were located.

motorboat rescueDun Laoghaire RNLI rescue the broken down motorboat. Photo: RNLI Dun Laoghaire/Facebook
The call-out was the second service today for the inshore lifeboat. Earlier, two people on their 22–foot motorboat that had lost engine power and was at risk of grounding on rocks at the West Pier in Dun Laoghaire were brought to safety just after midday.

scottish motorboat rescueDun Laoghaire RNLI escort the broken down motorboat safely into harbour. Photo: RNLI Dun Laoghaire/Facebook
And on Saturday night, three people on a Scottish 60-foot cruising motoryacht were brought to safety at Dun Laoghaire in near gale force winds by the All-Weather (ALB) lifeboat in a two hour operation.

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Volunteer lifeboat crew with Rosslare RNLI launched this morning (Monday 16 October) during Storm Ophelia to rescue three men onboard a 10m yacht after they issued a Mayday. The crew had been trying to get to safety since the early hours and had attempted to gain entry to a few harbours but were constantly pushed back by winds and tides. Ten miles offshore from Rosslare and getting battered by the worsening weather they issued a Mayday before being rescued by the lifeboat crew.

Rosslare Harbour lifeboat, under the command of Coxswain Eamon O’Rourke launched with six volunteer crew and made the journey out to help the three men. Conditions were extremely challenging with force nine winds with a six metre sea swell. The lifeboat had to be carefully manoureved alongside the yacht by Coxswain O’Rourke to establish a tow.

The lifeboat crew made slow progress in the heavy weather but brought all three men safely ashore after 2pm at Rosslare Harbour.

Commenting on the call out, Dave Maloney, Rosslare RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘I am extremely proud of our crew. When the pagers went off this morning, as the storm was beginning to take hold, we had seven lifeboat crew down immediately to the station with a further six in reserve. Conditions were very unpleasant out there and we needed to get those three men to safety as quickly as possible.’

‘The crew of the yacht had been trying to come ashore since the early hours but were pushed back and ultimately unsuccessful. When the lifeboat crew reached them they were side on to the weather, taking a ferocious pounding and in danger of getting overwhelmed. I think if another hour had passed this story may not have had such a successful outcome.’

 

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Portrush RNLI has rescued six fishermen during what was a 15 hour call out for the volunteers in rough weather conditions after the fishing boat sustained engine failure off the Donegal coast.

The lifeboat crew was requested by Belfast Coastguard to launch their all-weather lifeboat at 10.37pm last night (Sunday 1 October) and go to the assistance of a 15m fishing vessel which had suffered engine failure approximately 10 miles north of Malin Head.

The all-weather lifeboat under Coxswain Mark Mitchell and with six crew members onboard, launched and made its way to the scene in stormy conditions. The weather was overcast with showers and moderate seas as the boat launched but conditions progressed to a force 8 south westerly gale as the lifeboat approached Malin Head.

The lifeboat arrived on scene at 0.45am and the crew assessed that the six fishermen were safe and well before working with them to establish a towline.

With a tow set up, the lifeboat proceeded to take the fishing vessel into Lough Swilly. However, with deteriorating weather conditions and with both the tide and wind against them, a decision was made to tow the boat into Greencastle.

During what was a slow tow, the lifeboat was assisted by Lough Swilly RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat which launched at 8am and assisted in bringing the fishing boat into Greencastle and putting the boat on its moorings.

The Portrush lifeboat crew arrived back at their station at approximately 1.15pm today.

Speaking following the call out, Keith Gilmore, Portrush RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘This has been a long and challenging call out for our volunteers in what were rough weather conditions but they were delighted to have been of assistance to the six fishermen who we would like to commend for doing the right thing and raising the alarm when their boat sustained engine failure. This call out is a fine example of volunteers showing their willingness to forgo a night’s sleep and the comfort of a warm bed and some food and using their skill and experience to face challenging weather conditions to help bring others to safety.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Volunteer lifeboat crew at Clifden RNLI are celebrating the news that their all-weather lifeboat is to be permanently allocated at the Connemara lifeboat station following a successful trial which has seen 50 launches by the lifeboat crew and 32 people rescued or assisted. They are now hoping that their good luck rubs off on their fellow countymen this weekend and that the Galway hurlers bring home the Liam MacCarthy cup.

The RNLI and the GAA have announced a major partnership this year for the charity’s Respect the Water drowning prevention campaign aimed at sharing lifesaving advice and information through the sporting organisation’s clubs. In celebrating their good news, lifeboat crew from Clifden RNLI proudly flew the Galway colours in support of the county’s hurlers who are due to play Waterford in the All Ireland final.

The volunteer lifeboat crew first took ownership of an all-weather lifeboat in August 2014 when the Pride and Spirit was officially put on service and became a declared search and rescue asset for a trial period. The lifeboat operated alongside the two inshore lifeboats at the station. The decision followed an in-depth review of lifeboat cover in the area.

John Brittain, Clifden RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager confirmed that the station had received word from the RNLI Trustees that the trial had been a success and the lifeboat will be made permanent.

‘The all-weather lifeboat has enabled us to provide lifesaving cover in all weathers up to 100 miles off the Connemara coast and it has complemented our inshore lifeboat service. During the trial period the all-weather lifeboat has enabled us to assist in and complete medical evacuations from the island of Inishbofin and Inishturk as well as providing assistance to a variety of boats and people in distress.

‘I would like to commend the dedication of our volunteer crew members here in Clifden who have devoted their time to ensure the period of change and training was a success. It is thanks to their efforts that we are now able to provide this service permanently to the Connemara community and to anyone who may find themselves in distress at sea.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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RNLI Lifeboat crews on the hallowed turf of Croke Park, unfurling huge flags with a message about water safety in front of 67,000 passionate football supporters seems an unlikely activity, but it was achieved just before the teams they were supporting did battle in the All-Ireland semi-final between Mayo and Kerry yesterday.

I am a dedicated supporter of the RNLI and believer in the importance of getting the message of water safety across to the public. Those involved in the marine sphere hear and see the message regularly, but getting it out to the general public is more difficult.

Though indeed, from the number of emergency calls for help necessitating the launching of lifeboats in recent weeks to yachts and other leisure craft, reinforcing that message will be of benefit.

RESPECT THE WATER RNLI AT CROKE PARKThe RNLI 'respect the water' slogan is rolled out at Croke Park

The GAA has been of great assistance to the RNLI in getting the message – Respect the Water - out through its clubs all over the country, in a partnership with the lifeboat service. At the All-Ireland semi-final the opportunity to do so, in front of the huge crowd and big media presence, including television, the GAA provided a marvellous opportunity to convey the message in the widest fashion to the public. I asked Niamh Stephenson, Public Affairs Manager of the RNLI, to describe what happened. Her report will be broadcast this week on my radio programme, THIS ISLAND NATION.

In advance, for Afloat.ie readers, this is how she describes what happened:

Published in Tom MacSweeney

Fethard RNLI rescued two people after their yacht ran aground off the Wexford coast yesterday evening.

The volunteer lifeboat crew was requested to launch their inshore lifeboat shortly after 5pm following a report from the Irish Coast Guard that a vessel with two people onboard had got into difficulty.

The 27ft yacht had run aground on a mudbank in Duncannon Harbour.

The lifeboat launched at 5.27pm and was on scene at 5.30pm. Dunmore East RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat was also launched.

Weather conditions at the time were good with a south west Force 5 wind and moderate seas.

Having assessed that the two people onboard were safe and well, the lifeboat crew proceeded to work with them to establish a tow line at the back of the yacht. However, this set up proved challenging and it was decided to tow the vessel from the front.

The yacht was successfully re-floated by Fethard’s lifeboat while Dunmore East’s all-weather lifeboat stood by in the event more power was required.

The yacht then safely continued on her own to Dunmore East.

Speaking following the call out, Hugh Burke, Fethard RNLI Deputy Launching Authority said: ‘As we continue to enjoy the summer, we would remind anyone planning a trip at sea to go prepared and respect the water. Communications is vital and it is important that you always carry a means of calling or signalling for help should you get into difficulty and need to contact the emergency services. If you do find yourself in trouble or see someone else in difficulty call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Rosslare Harbour RNLI has responded to two call outs off the Wexford coast today.

The volunteer lifeboat crew was first requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat shortly after 9am this morning following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to go the assistance of a yacht which had sustained engine failure due to fuel problems.

The Swedish yacht with a man and woman onboard had been on passage from Arklow to Kinsale when it got into difficulty off Blackwater Bank.

The lifeboat under Coxswain Eamon O’Rourke and with seven crew members onboard launched at 9.15am and made its way to the scene.

Weather conditions at the time were good with a south westerly Force 4 wind.

The vessel which had a head wind down from Arklow had fuel problems causing the engine to fail. However, the sailors managed to start it again before the lifeboat arrived. To ensure it continued safely on passage, the lifeboat accompanied the sailors for an hour as the vessel made its way to Rosslare Europort.

The lifeboat was requested to launch for a second time today at approximately 3.30pm, this time following a report from the Irish Coast Guard that a small 2.5m rigid inflatable boat, thought to be unmanned was drifting out to sea from Rosslare Strand.

The lifeboat under Coxswain Eamon O’Rourke launched at 3.38pm. Weather conditions were good with sunny skies and a brisk south westerly Force 5-6 wind blowing.

Once on scene, the lifeboat crew set up a tow line and brought the vessel safely back to its moorings.

Speaking following the call out, Jamie Ryan, Rosslare Harbour RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘It has been a busy day for the crew but our volunteers are always happy to help. We would remind anyone going to sea to respect the water. Always wear a lifejacket and harness where appropriate. Always have a means for calling and signalling for help and ensure everyone onboard knows how to use it. Always check the weather forecast and tide times. Make sure someone ashore knows where you are going and who to call if you don’t return on time. Learn how to start, run and maintain your engine and always carry tools and spares.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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