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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

Baltimore RNLI was called out to provide a medical evacuation in the early hours of this morning (Monday 3 May) from Sherkin Island off the coast of Baltimore, West Cork.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 00.28 am, following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to provide medical assistance and evacuation to a man living on the island.

The Baltimore all-weather lifeboat crew arrived at Sherkin Island pier at 00.39 am. Three voluntary lifeboat crew members proceeded to the casualty’s location where they administered casualty care and then transferred him by stretcher back to the lifeboat. The lifeboat departed Sherkin at 01.19 am and handed the casualty over to the HSE paramedics who were waiting at Baltimore lifeboat station.

There were seven volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat, Coxswain Aidan Bushe, Mechanic Cathal Cottrell and crew members Micheal Cottrell, Colin Whooley, Brian McSweeney, Jerry Smith and Don O’Donovan. Conditions in the harbour during the call out were calm with a south-westerly force 2-3 wind and no sea swell.

Speaking following the call out, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘Baltimore RNLI often provide medical evacuations to residents of islands off the coast of West Cork.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Baltimore RNLI was called out to provide assistance to a yacht in difficulty in Baltimore harbour, West Cork this afternoon (Monday 3 May) in a second callout of the day.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their inshore lifeboat at 12.05 pm, following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to provide assistance to a yacht with two people on board that was in difficulty in strong wind and rough seas in Baltimore harbour.

The Baltimore inshore lifeboat crew arrived at the casualty vessel at 12.09 pm and discovered it had broken free from a mooring and was caught by its rudder on a line in the harbour. Voluntary lifeboat crew member David Ryan went aboard the casualty vessel to establish a tow. The Baltimore inshore lifeboat towed the vessel through rough conditions in the harbour and put the boat on a mooring in the shelter of Sherkin Island. An anchor was also dropped from the yacht for added security. The occupants of the yacht were then brought back to Baltimore, and the lifeboat returned to station, arriving at 12.43 pm.

There were four volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat, Helm Micheal Cottrell and crew members Pat O’Driscoll, David Ryan and Ian Lynch. Also assisting at the boathouse were Jerry and Rianne Smith. Conditions in the harbour during the call were very windy with a south-westerly force 7-8 wind and 1.5m sea swell.

Speaking following the call out, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘The crew of the yacht did the right thing in alerting the Irish Coast Guard as soon as they knew they were in trouble as it could have escalated very quickly in the poor weather conditions in the harbour at the time.

This is the second call of the day for Baltimore RNLI who were called out to a Medevac on Sherkin Island in the early hours of this morning. 

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Irish water safety organisations have welcomed the first-ever UN Resolution on Global Drowning Prevention which was adopted by the UN General Assembly last week.

The UN adopted a historic Resolution on drowning prevention, acknowledging the issue for the first time in its 75-year history. Drowning cost the world over 2.5 million lives in the last decade. The vast majority of these deaths could and should have been prevented.

The Resolution, which was passed by the General Assembly, establishes drowning as an important international issue, recognised by all 193 Member States of the UN, sets out the actions that every country should take to prevent drowning and calls for a coordinated UN approach to drowning prevention. It also establishes an annual ‘World Drowning Prevention Day,’ which will be marked for the first time on July 25, 2021.

The Resolution (A/75/L.76) provides a framework for an effective response to the unacceptable toll of drowning deaths worldwide.

Chairman of Water Safety Ireland, Martin O’SullivanChairman of Water Safety Ireland, Martin O’Sullivan - UN Resolution is an historic step for Global Drowning Prevention

In welcoming the Resolution, the Chairman of Water Safety Ireland, Martin O’Sullivan reflected on the drowning burden worldwide and in Ireland: “In the last decade, drowning was responsible for over 2.5 million* preventable deaths worldwide and for 1,200** deaths in Ireland. It is a significant, preventable public health issue. This first-ever UN resolution on global drowning prevention provides a framework for an effective response to this unacceptable toll of drowning deaths.”

The new Resolution, an initiative by Bangladesh and Ireland which was co-sponsored by 79 countries, recognises that drowning affects every nation of the world – through its impact is disproportionate. 90 per cent of drowning deaths occur in low-and middle-income countries, with Asia carrying the highest burden.

Mark Dowie, Chief Executive of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) - Resolution highlights  the immediate need for strategic and significant international action to save lives   Mark Dowie, Chief Executive of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) -the UN Resolution highlights the immediate need for strategic and significant international action to save lives  

Mark Dowie, Chief Executive of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), said: “As an organisation dedicated to saving lives on and around the water, we are thrilled to have supported Member States in efforts to secure a UN Global Drowning Prevention Resolution.In addition, the Resolution proclaims the 25th of July each year as ‘World Drowning Prevention Day’ to raise awareness of the importance of drowning prevention and the need for urgent coordinated multisectoral action to improve water safety, with the aim of reducing preventable deaths.

Published in Water Safety
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For the third time this week, Youghal RNLI responded to their pagers on Saturday, May 1 at 3.08 pm to a report of a 17ft angling boat with engine trouble, half a mile south of the Eastern Cardinal in Youghal Bay.

The lifeboat crew under the Helm of Liam Keogh launched the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat in calm, sunny conditions and arrived on scene in less than 10 minutes.

They established a stern tow with the casualty vessel and towed it safely to the pontoon in Youghal quay.

The lifeboat returned to the boathouse where with the help of the shore crew, the lifeboat was washed down and refuelled.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The RNLI and the Irish Coast Guard are expecting a busy May Bank Holiday weekend on the coasts and inland waters, with more people enjoying the warmer weather and the brighter evenings. The two organisations are asking people to plan ahead for any water based or coastal activities by taking some simple steps. The call comes following an increase in the number and a broadening in the type of incidents requiring RNLI and Coast Guard intervention.

Key water safety tips to remember when beside or on the water are: 

  • Check the weather and tide and familiarise yourself with local currents before you participate in any open water or coastal activity.
  • Always carry a reliable means of raising the alarm with you.
  • Tell someone where you are going and when you will be back.
  • Wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid on or near the water.
  • Never ever swim alone and always ensure that somebody ashore is monitoring your progress.

RNLI Lifesaving Manager Sean Dillion said, ‘Our volunteer lifeboat crews around the coast and on our inland waters are expecting a busy season as more people are out enjoying the water. Many of the callouts we deal with could have been avoided with some simple preparation and planning. We want people to be safe on the water and enjoy themselves. Whatever activity you are planning please take a few minutes to check the relevant safety advice and always dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard if you see someone in trouble on the water.’

Coast Guard, Head of Operations Gerard O’Flynn added: “Don’t assume that just because we have clear skies and warmer temperatures it is safe to engage in all coastal activities. Please familiarise yourself with weather and tidal information and take the time to observe prevailing conditions before you commence”.

He added that the Coast Guard has noted (on year to date basis), a very significant increase in the number of incidents being coordinated, in comparison with previous years. Activity levels have not only exceeded 2020 but are also at a five-year high.

For anyone intending to take a walk along the coast, it is important to check the times of high tide to avoid being stranded on a cove or sandbank that becomes cut off by the rising tide.

Open water swimming has become increasingly popular and there has been a notable increase in the number of people taking part, whether with a short dip or going for longer swims. Wear a brightly coloured swim cap to be visible and consider using a tow float. Never swim alone and always ensure that your activity is monitored by a colleague ashore. Water temperatures are still relatively cold at around 10 degrees making Cold Water Shock a danger. It is also important to acclimatise when entering the water.

If going on the water make sure the craft and equipment are in good condition, especially if this is the first time back on the water. Always wear a Lifejacket or PFD (Personal Floatation Device) and carry a reliable means of calling for help should the need arise. Check the weather and tides or currents before setting off.

Published in Coastguard
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Arklow RNLI’s volunteer crew launched their lifeboat within minutes of receiving a report that a sailing vessel was in danger and aground at Clogga Bay last Tuesday afternoon, 20 April.

Upon entering the bay south of Arklow Harbour, the crew on the Trent class lifeboat Ger Tigchlearr quickly identified the casualty vessel — a 24ft sailing yacht with one person aboard — and made best speed to the area.

Coxswain Ned Dillon and crew made their way up as close to the casualty vessel as possible. Given it was aground in shallow waters, the lifeboat’s inflatable XP boat was deployed for the crew to check the casualty vessel and pass on a towline.

The lifeboat then proceeded to slowly pull the sailing vessel to deeper water. Once it was established the boat was dry and not taking on water, it was taken under tow back to Arklow within 40 minutes.

Following the callout, Dillon said: “Thanks to our crew, this was an excellent successful service, where we got to deploy and use very many of the safety critical tools and lifesaving equipment we carry aboard the lifeboat.

“In all my years I’ve never seen all these items being deployed at once and never so successfully. It’s a real testament to our crew and the excellent training we get from RNLI.”

Bringing the casualty vessel ashore in Arklow HarbourBringing the casualty vessel ashore in Arklow Harbour Credit: RNLI/Mark Corcoran

In other recent RNLI news, the Skerries lifeboat was tasked on Monday evening (26 April) after a report of a person stranded on Shenick Island and trying to make their way ashore in the rising tide.

On approach to the island, the lifeboat crew were notified by the coastguard that the individual has made it safety to the beach at Skerries.

But as a number of other people were spotted on the island, the lifeboat put two crew ashore to check on their wellbeing and confirmed they were not planning on returning to shore until the next day.

It followed a busy weekend for Skerries RNLI which saw the North Co Dublin volunteers rescue nine people in two separate incidents.

In the Aran Islands, meanwhile, a late-night medevac for a woman on Inis Mór saw the local lifeboat crew paged in the early hours of yesterday, Tuesday 27 April.

The patient was transferred safely aboard the lifeboat by the volunteer crew, following all strict COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. The lifeboat then headed straight for Rossaveal Harbour and the waiting ambulance.

Speaking after the callout, Aran Islands RNLI coxswain John O’Donnell said: “Time is always of the essence and the volunteer crew are ready to go when called upon. We would like to wish the patient well.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Portrush athlete David McGaffin is taking the RNLI Mayday Mile challenge to a whole new level to raise funds for his local lifeboat station.

The McGaffin family has a long association with Portrush RNLI on Northern Ireland’s North Coast. David’s late father Tom was an integral part of the fabric and was one of the crew on the famous shout in 1989 when the lifeboat was launched to reports of two Spanish trawlers in difficulty.

David, a Springwell Running Club member and long-time supporter of Portrush RNLI, shared his story and why he is setting himself this gruelling challenge.

“The first marathon I took part in was Belfast on 6 May 1985 and was in aid of the RNLI. There was a lot of blistering, some bleeding and an amount of distress so the fact that the race is always held on May Day, which is also an international distress signal, is not lost on me.

”Growing up in Portrush, especially if you fish and mess about in boats, you are very aware of the work that the RNLI does and the amount of money that it takes to keep the service operating.

“My father Tom, who was a RNLI member for many years, initially as a shoreline member, then lifeboat crew and latterly as the deputy launch authority, spent many years fundraising for the RNLI and was one of the founder members of the Portrush Raft Race.

”The RNLI, especially the boat crews, can be a self-deprecating bunch and do not take praise well. To them it’s just a job they do, and once a mission is over, they get ready for the next one.

‘To complete this challenge I will have to run more miles in a month than I have ever done before and week four will be the most miles I will have ever run in a week’

“I have been fortunate to know many crew members, including some who served on the Portrush lifeboat in the 1960s. I have been on boats running for the cover of the harbour in bad weather as the lifeboat launches to someone in distress, and have stood safely on the harbour wall watching the lifeboat head out into the worst weather that the North Atlantic can deliver.

”What I do know about the RNLI is that they are ordinary people doing extraordinary things and deserving of all the medals, commendations and plaudits they receive.“

David added: ”In the absence of the Raft Race I will be taking part in the RNLI May Day Mile challenge, but taking it just a bit further.

“The challenge is simple: set an exercise goal, raise some sponsorship and then complete it. Those of you that know me will know that it’s not going to be that straightforward, there’s no point doing easy if you’re asking for money. I know that you expect some degree of pain, suffering and sacrifice to part you from your hard earned cash, and to that end I will be running the date each day. That’s one mile on the first, two on the second, three on the third and so on.

”To save you from doing the maths the first week is handy enough, week two is alright, it’s tougher going in week three, week four is insane and the last three days just mad. To complete this challenge I will have to run more miles in a month than I have ever done before and week four will be the most miles I will have ever run in a week.“

Portush RNLI press officer Judy Nelson praised David’s dedication to the lifeboat station, especially at a time when the station’s fundraising activities have been severely curtailed by the pandemic while crews have been busier than ever.

”To have someone like David who is not only running to raise funds but also raising awareness of the work our volunteers do is fantastic — we wish him all the best."

If you want to donate to David and the station you can do so via the JustGiving link HERE.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The RNLI is launching its Mayday Mile fundraiser today (Tuesday 27 April) as the charity’s rescue figures for 2020 show that over half (53%) of its 945 lifeboat launches took place in the months of June, July and August. Volunteer lifeboat crews are getting ready for what they expect will be a busy summer with people continuing to holiday at home.

Cork man Peter Connon, who last Easter Monday was rescued by the RNLI, along with four young members of his family, when their two sailing craft capsized in a squall off the coast, is urging people to sign up online to do the Mayday Mile which will raise funds for the lifeboat charity.

Last year, with the country dealing with restrictions put in place to fight the pandemic, lifeboat crews were still busy, bringing 1,145 people to safety. Thirteen of those people were classified as lives saved by the RNLI, meaning that without the actions of the lifeboat crew, they would not have survived. Most of those lives saved, 10 in total, happened over the summer period and lifeboat crews are expecting an even busier summer this year with people staying home and holidaying in Ireland. Last summer 747 people were aided by volunteer lifeboat crews during the summer months, an increase of 13% on the previous year’s callouts.

The RNLI’s Mayday campaign begins on Saturday 1 May and runs throughout the month. Lifesavers are calling on supporters to join the Mayday Mile and cover the distance for the charity in any way they chose to raise vital funds to help lifeboat crews continue their work. Sign up at RNLI.org/SupportMayday

The RNLI’s Mayday campaign begins on Saturday 1 May and runs throughout the month

Peter Connon, a keen sailor, was out with four young members of his family when they encountered a squall that resulted in one of their craft capsizing. In trying to aid the group the second craft also capsized and with the weather worsening they were unable to right the vessels. Their mobile phones were rendered useless, but they managed to set off a personal locator beacon and kept calm until help arrived. Members of the group had attended sailing courses in the past and thankfully knew what to do in an emergency. Their equipment and quick thinking kept them safe until the RNLI lifeboat crew were able to rescue them.

Commenting on why he is supporting Mayday and doing his own Mayday Mile walk on the Youghal boardwalk when it opens, Peter spoke about the day he was rescued, ‘That day we took every precaution, but the weather turned, and we quickly found ourselves in serious trouble. We didn’t hesitate to raise the alarm and our equipment and knowledge kept us safe until help arrived. I can’t describe the feeling of joy when you see those big orange lifeboats come into view. I’m a big man but we were scooped into that lifeboat like we weighed nothing. They were so professional and reassured us that we had done everything right. My family are so grateful to Youghal and Ballycotton RNLI and to the paramedics and Coast Guard crews who attended to us that day. What might have happened only hit me much later. I’m doing the Mayday Mile fundraiser to thank the RNLI and hopefully by sharing my story other people will know that anyone can get into difficulty and it’s important to have a means of calling for help.’

Figures released by the RNLI for Ireland last year (which includes all 46 lifeboat stations on the island) show that lifeboats are launching to a range of activities. Twenty-two lifeboat callouts were to swimmers in difficulty, another 22 were to kayakers and canoeists, while 20 launches were for anglers, 15 were to jet-ski related incidents and there were 26 launches to people who were walking or running near the coast.

Owen Medland, RNLI Lifesaving Lead said: ‘As another summer approaches, we know that our lifesavers face challenges in keeping everyone safe, which is why we’re now the ones sending out our own Mayday call and asking for help. Our lifeboat crews have been operational throughout the pandemic and have had to operate in a different way and wearing PPE. Our annual Mayday fundraising campaign, which looks a little different this year, is launching on Saturday 1 May and running for the month. This year, the charity will be calling on supporters to join the Mayday Mile and undertake to cover a distance in any way they like in order to raise vital funds. It can be a mile, a 5km or a few laps of your estate. You can do it in runners or wearing lifeboat wellies. It can be serious or a fun activity for the family.’

To sign up for the Mayday Mile, or to make a donation in support of the RNLI’s lifesavers, visit here

Mayday 2021

Mayday is the RNLI’s national annual fundraising event and gives the RNLI the chance to engage with supporters and give a coordinated period to focus and maximise fundraising efforts.

The Mayday Mile is our main fundraising event this year. It is a simple ask throughout the UK and Ireland for people to get active and cover at least a mile in aid of Mayday. Participants are free to choose how they do their mile, whether it is walking, running or another activity. 

Take on The Mayday Mile

Walk it. Run it. Skate it. Cover a one-mile distance (or multiple miles!) in a way that’s challenging or fun and help raise funds for RNLI lifesavers.

Try it on a treadmill, or pace around the park. Go it alone or join an organised event. Put your best boot forward and do it in wellies. However you do your Mayday Mile, you’ll be joining a vibrant community of fundraisers around the UK and Ireland, all stepping in to help keep summer safe and fun for families, holidaymakers, and the brave volunteers who answer their calls for help.

How?

  • Sign up for The Mayday Mile here
  • Create a team in our virtual event. Simply choose a name for your team, register the first participant and your team will be created as part of the registration process. Share your team name with others and encourage them to sign up.
Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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At 3.45 pm on Sunday 25 April, Carrybridge RNLI’s inshore lifeboat, Douglas Euan & Kay Richards and Rescue Water Craft (RWC) was launched to a vessel with two people on board, which had encountered engine difficulties approx. 2 miles north of Knockninny on Lough Erne.

Winds were North Westerly, Force 1. Visibility was excellent.

The lifeboat and RWC arrived with the casualty vessel which had drifted close to the shoreline. The volunteer crew checked the wellbeing of the people on the casualty boat and found they were safe and well. With the owner’s permission, a tow was established with the casualty vessel and the boat was then towed back to a private marina.

Just as the volunteer crew were returning at 5.00 pm to the lifeboat station at Carrybridge, Belfast Coastguard requested for both the lifeboat and RWC to assist a second vessel with 5 people on board which had run aground approx. 1 mile North East of Naan Island.

A second vessel with five people on board had run aground approx. one mile North East of Naan IslandA second vessel with five people on board had run aground approx. one mile North East of Naan Island

The people onboard the casualty vessel were found to be safe and well, and due to the shallow water conditions, the volunteer crew carefully transferred them all over to the lifeboat. This allowed the grounded vessel to be refloated and towed back to the Carrybridge Public Slipway.

Speaking following the call out, Stephen Scott, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Carrybridge RNLI advised all boat users: ‘‘As the Bank holiday approaches please take time to plan your journey with the relevant charts, lifejackets for all onboard and a means of calling for assistance if you find yourself in trouble. If you see someone in trouble on the water or are in difficulties yourself the number to dial is: 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.’’

Carrybridge Lifeboat Station was started in 2002 on Upper Lough Erne. It currently operates an Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat and a Rescue Water Craft

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Courtmacsherry RNLI's all-weather Trent class lifeboat Frederick Story Cockburn was called out yesterday afternoon, Sunday 26 April at 3.40pm as people reported a surfer in difficulty off Garrylucas Beach near the Old Head of Kinsale.

The lifeboat under coxswain Ken Cashman and a crew of six was under way within minutes and proceeded at full speed to the area of the casualty, where it carried to a detail search while the Old Head and Seven Heads Coast Guard unit searched from the shoreline.

The area was combed over the next 40 minutes and with nothing found, the search operation was stood down.

This was the third callout over the weekend for the lifeboat crew, beginning on Friday evening (23 April) with reports of a swimmer in difficulty off Broadstrand who was rescued by a kitesurfer, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

This was followed by another callout on Saturday morning (24 April), when the lifeboat crew were on their weekly crew training exercise, to go to the aid of four people in difficulties in the water off Garrettstown Beach. Thankfully these swimmers were rescued by nearby surfers as the lifeboat reached the area.

Philip White, Courtmacsherry RNLI’s deputy launching authority, said: “Great credit is due to all our volunteer crew members who rushed to answer the callout whenever help was required at sea this weekend.”

White also thanked the people on shore who called the rescue services at 112 or 999 as every minute is so important to people in difficulty, no matter what the outcome of a search is.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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