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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

Skerries RNLI carried out a medical evacuation of a crewman from a survey vessel six miles north of Skerries last night, Wednesday 10 March.

Shortly after 8pm, the lifeboat crew were tasked by Dublin Coast Guard following a call from the skipper of the vessel requesting assistance for a crew member who had been feeling unwell for a number of hours and was showing no signs of improvement.

On arrival at the survey vessel amid Force 5-6 winds, the lifeboat was carefully manoeuvred into position on the starboard side where a boarding ladder was lowered for the casualty to disembark.

The lifeboat crew carried out an initial assessment of the casualty and tried to keep him as comfortable as possible on the way back to the station and the care of the waiting paramedics, who transferred him to hospital for further assessment.

Speaking about the callout, volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: “It wasn’t a particularly pleasant evening to be out on a lifeboat, but our volunteers are always ready to go when they get the call.

“It was great to have the ambulance waiting on arrival and we wish the gentleman a speedy recovery.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Arklow RNLI’s new station mechanic responded to his first callout yesterday afternoon (Wednesday 10 March) when the lifeboat was tasked to assist a fishing vessel off Arklow Pier.

The volunteer crew left their lunch and were under way aboard the all-weather Trent class lifeboat Ger Tigchlearr within minutes of the request.

In challenging conditions and rising winds and seas, the lifeboat made its way to the reported position around a quarter of a mile north-east of Arklow Pier.

Once on scene, it was confirmed the casualty vessel with three people aboard had lost propulsion. A towline was established and the fishing boat was towed back to Arklow where all hands came ashore safely.

Following the callout, Mark Corcoran, community safety officer at Arklow RNLI, said: “Whether you are a professional fisherman or a leisure boat user, we would remind people to respect the water and always wear a lifejacket and carry a means of calling for help like a marine radio.

“This was also our first callout for our new station mechanic James Russell. On behalf of all at Arklow RNLI, we wish to congratulate James on his new role at Arklow lifeboat station.”

James takes over the role from Michael Fitzgerald, who recently retired after 40 years of dedicated service to the charity that saves lives at sea.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Arklow RNLI marked the end of an era last Friday 5 March when Michael Fitzgerald, the station’s full-time mechanic retired after 40 years of dedicated service to the charity.

Michael, who grew up on Harbour Road in Arklow, first joined the RNLI in 1980 when he was just 16. At the time, the station had a wooden lifeboat.

It was his uncle, also Michael, a second mechanic on the crew, who inspired the then young Michael with a love for all things lifeboating.

While not eligible to officially join the crew until he was 17, Michael’s early passion shone through and to his delight, his name was registered a year early when the late coxswain Michael O’Brien made a plea on his behalf during a station inspection.

A former electrician, Michael volunteered for 19 years before being appointed Arklow RNLI’s full-time station mechanic, a position he held for the last 21 years.

His role involved a wide range of duties and evolved with time, with Michael serving on and maintaining six different classes of lifeboat including the station’s current all-weather Trent class lifeboat, the Ger Tigchlearr, which arrived in 1997. Michael was also a key member of the team when the call for help came and the lifeboat was put to sea.

‘A man of humility, integrity and passion, he has made a significant contribution to saving lives at sea off the Arklow coast’

Paying tribute to Michael this week, Peter Harty, RNLI area lifesaving manager, said: “Michael is the living embodiment of the RNLI’s values.

“A man of humility, integrity and passion, he has made a significant contribution to saving lives at sea off the Arklow coast for more than four decades and we are extremely grateful to him for his dedication and selfless service throughout that time.

“Thankfully, Michael will not be lost to us as he will remain on as a volunteer mechanic but we want to wish him every good health and happiness in the next chapter of his life.”

John Tyrell, Arklow RNLI lifeboat operations manager, added: “Over the course of four decades, Michael has worked tirelessly to ensure the operational effectiveness of our station here in Arklow through the operation, maintenance and repair of our lifeboat and its associated machinery and equipment.

“He always ensured everything was working to the highest standard and he did so with great passion and pride. Michael’s passion for his role extended to his ability to impart his knowledge to others.

“Over the years Michael has experienced all sorts of callouts and braved all sorts of weather and challenges at sea to help bring those in difficulty to safety.

“A humble man and a friend to all, Michael has always been at the core of our lifesaving team, working to keep our lifeboats and our crews safe and we are so thankful to him for that.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Lough Derg RNLI have announced the appointment of Dr Christine O’Malley as lifeboat operations manager.

Dr O’Malley, who took up the post on 8 January this year after the retirement of Liam Maloney, is now responsible for all activities at the lifeboat station on the Shannon Navigation.

The retired consultant geriatrician, and regular columnist for the Medical Independent, joined Lough Derg RNLI in 2019 as a volunteer deputy launching authority — a role that she now hands over to Maloney.

In her new position, Dr O’Malley is receiving support and guidance from Owen Medland, RNLI regional lifesaving lead for Ireland; Peter Harty, RNLI area lifesaving manager for the East of Ireland, and RNLI crew assessor trainer Helena Duggan, as well as the dedicated volunteers at Lough Derg RNLI.

“Already a highly respected member of the station, Christine brings a wealth of leadership and management experience from her medical career,” Harty says.

“Christine has come onboard as we progress towards a year in which we anticipate a high volume of ‘staycationers’ enjoying Lough Derg.”

Lough Derg RNLI operates from the premises of Lough Derg Yacht Club at Dromineer, midway down the east shore of the lake in Co Tipperary.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Since Sir William Hillary founded the RNLI in 1824, women have had a role in the service — initially working in the background by helping to launch and recover the lifeboats, fundraising for the voluntary service and supporting their husbands and sons when the lifeboat went to the rescue.

Today, women are taking their place at the forefront of the RNLI, serving as crew members, leading fundraising campaigns and of course still supporting their family who crew the lifeboats.

Arranmore RNLI off mainland Donegal was founded in 1883 and although it was only men with a knowledge of the sea who crewed the lifeboats, without the support of their female family members they would have had difficultly manning the vessels while looking after young families.

The women of Arranmore were always very resilient, from dealing with the hardships and tragedies of island living in their every day lives, to playing a vital role in supporting the lifeboat families when the crew were responding to a difficult rescue in horrendous weather conditions.

An example of the type of rescues the Arranmore RNLI were involved in was in December 1940, when they rescued 16 crew members of The Stolwyjk in the most challenging weather conditions. The crew were awarded gold, silver and bronze medals for the very memorable rescue.

Today, as in every lifeboat station throughout Ireland and the UK, Arranmore RNLI is proud to have women crew members. Lifeboat press officer Nora Flanagan was the first woman to join the Arranmore RNLI crew, and four more women have since joined the crew in this vital lifesaving service.

Nora Flanagan was the first woman to join Arranmore RNLI’s crew (Photo: RNLI/Arranmore)Nora Flanagan was the first woman to join Arranmore RNLI’s crew | Photo: RNLI/Arranmore

These women are Karen McGowan, a registered advanced nurse practitioner in Beaumont Hospital and president of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO); round-the-world sailor Sharon O’Donnell; Erin McCafferty, a student at NUI Galway; and primary school teacher Aisling Cox.

Karen McGowan joined the Arranmore RNLI crew at age 17 and continued to serve throughout her nursing training. Speaking to Karen about why she joined the RNLI, she said: “I enjoyed the adrenaline rush and I knew I wanted to train as a nurse; as a crew member on the lifeboat I gained a huge amount of experience with the excellent training the RNLI provides. Dealing with medical emergencies on a callout served me well in my student nurse training.

“I had quite a few memorable rescues during my time as a crew member but the most poignant was rescuing the crew of a sinking trawler. As soon as the crew were brought on board the Lifeboat the trawler sank very quickly. It was very hard to watch somebody’s livelihood sink beneath the waves and witness the raw emotion on the faces of both the lifeboat and the trawler crews.

“I would encourage anybody to join their local RNLI, it really helps you think outside the box and the crews are very supportive and helpful to new recruits”.

All crew members are required to serve a probationary period where they learn all the skills involved in saving lives. Learning is competence-based and crew members must prove their competency in one skill before taking on another. This training enables all volunteers, many of whom have little or no knowledge of boats or the sea, to become first-class lifesavers.

The first RNLI women’s award was to honour Grace Darling, a lighthouse-keeper’s daughter who helped rescue nine people in 1838.

Aisling Cox with her dad and fellow crew member Kieran (Photo: RNLI/Arranmore)Aisling Cox with her dad and fellow crew member Kieran | Photo: RNLI/Arranmore

Voluntary fundraising committees are an essential part of the RNLI and women are very much to the fore in raising funds to keep the lifeboats afloat.

As the charity celebrates International Women’s Day, it salutes the selflessness and dedication of the many women of the RNLI involved in saving lives at sea.

Grace Gallagher has been a member of the Arranmore fundraising committee for over 25 years. She has been honoured and recognised by the RNLI as the longest-serving member of the fundraising committee and has raised thousands of euro for the RNLI.

Grace said: “I can’t believe I’ve been fundraising for the RNLI for over 25 years. Living by the sea and with many of our families involved in the fishing industry, we rely on the lifeboat and the contribution of the public to continue with this essential voluntary service. It has been a pleasure to be part of it.”

Other remarkable women connected with Arranmore RNLI include Sadie Bonner, a former postal worker who started supporting the RNLI by collecting fundraising buckets from shops and selling badges, and who is now treasurer of the fundraising committee; and Arranmore RNLI station president Majella O’Donnell.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Lough Ree RNLI begins 2021 with the appointment of Jude Kilmartin as the station’s new volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager. He succeeds Tony McCarth who held the post since 2017.

During his tenure, Tony McCarth led the volunteer crew of one of the country’s busiest lifeboat stations, welcoming the delivery of a new inshore lifeboat, the Tara Scougall, and most significantly overseeing the start of construction of a new €1.2m lifeboat station at Coosan Point in Athlone which is nearing completion.

Jude Kilmartin is not a stranger to the station, having served in the role of Deputy Launching Authority prior to his new position.

Taking over at the helm, Jude is looking forward to building on the work and leadership of his predecessor. He said: ‘On behalf of all the volunteers at Lough Ree RNLI, I would like to Tony for his leadership and dedication to the station over the last few years. I am now looking forward to taking up this role at a very exciting time for Lough Ree with our new station build nearing completion.

‘The most important thing for us at Lough Ree RNLI is to always be available to come to the assistance of visitors to Lough Ree and to those in the community who live around the lake in Longford, Westmeath and Roscommon.’

From its base near Athlone, Lough Ree RNLI’s volunteer crew responded to more than 40 call-outs last year helping people who got into difficulty on the lake.

The station has recently launched a major fundraising drive to raise €100,000 as a local contribution to the new boathouse which will greatly enhance the services to the community.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The Dun Laoghaire Harbour Squib fleet is making its plans for the 2021 season. Assuming that levels of Covid will drop sufficiently Dublin Bay Sailing Club have agreed to provide racing for a combined fleet of three-man wooden Mermaids and two-man GRP Squibs.

The Squibs give the Mermaids an allowance of one minute in the hour to make for fair racing.

The Dun Laoghaire Squib Fleet have reassessed their financial needs and realise they had enough money in their fleet bank account to buy a very good second-hand Squib.

Second-hand Squibs change hands for anything between €500 and €12,000 depending on manufacturer and condition.

Squibs (above) will give the Mermaids (below) an allowance of one minute in the hour to make for fair racing in DBSC racing this Summer. Photos Bob Bateman

mermaid racing

At an AGM held on Zoom last autumn, it was decided to make a substantial presentation to the Dun Laoghaire lifeboat.

The presentation of a cheque for €4,500 was made by Jill Fleming, Derek Jago and Gillian Fletcher on behalf of the Squib Fleet in late February 2021.

Dun Laoghaire Lifeboat was delighted to receive the presentation.

Vincent Delany
Dun Laoghaire Squib Captain

Published in Squib
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 Only a few days after Carrybridge RNLI which operates on Upper Lough Erne, received a generous donation from the Enniskillen Royal Boat Club, its Atlantic 85 Inshore lifeboat answered a shout yesterday (7th) to help a vessel with two people onboard which had developed engine difficulties.

The Douglas Euan and Kay Richards and a Rescue Watercraft arrived with the casualty vessel near the Share Discovery Village on the eastern shore of Upper Lough Erne.

Winds were South Westerly, Force 2 and visibility was good with overcast conditions. The crew found that the vessel had secured to a navigation marker and the people on the casualty boat were unharmed.

With the owner's permission, a tow was established, and the boat was then towed the short distance to Corradillar Quay.

On returning to the station the crew found a 4m section of a tree floating in the main navigation channel which was posing a significant risk to other water users. The crew were able to remove this from the water to allow for safe navigation.

Speaking following the call out, Stephen Scott, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Carrybridge RNLI advised all boat users: ''At this time of year when there isn't much boat movement on the water it is especially important before setting out to plan your journey, have the relevant charts required, lifejackets for all on board 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 founded in 2002 on Upper Lough Erne

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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It’s 580 km from Malin Head to Mizen Head and this was the distance covered by members of the Enniskillen Royal Boat Club in a fund-raising virtual row in aid of the Carrybridge RNLI on Lough Erne and Action Mental Health. The boat club is part of Enniskillen Royal Grammar School and has established itself as one of the top rowing clubs in the UK and Ireland. It is set in the historic school grounds’ Lough Shore site at the Portora Boat House.

Carrybridge lifeboat station is located at the village of Carrybridge on Upper Lough Erne, providing protection for those who use that Lough and its surrounding inland waterways.

The rowers handed over a substantial donation of £3,035.03, raised by the challenge to virtually row, run or cycle the distance of 580km. Shannon Clawson also carried out the return journey.

Stephen Scott of Carrybridge RNLI praised the rowers at ERBC for all their hard work and dedication raising money for both the RNLI and for Action Mental Health. “The funds raised will have a significant impact for the crews at both Carrybridge and Enniskillen and will assist with future lifesaving operations.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Volunteer lifeboat crew at Fethard RNLI were requested by the Irish Coast Guard on Sunday evening (28 February) at 5.15 pm to reports of three walkers who had become cut off by the incoming tide with no way of getting to safety. The alarm was raised by a concerned resident of Bannow Island who knew the area well and could see the walkers were in difficulty.

Fethard RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was launched and arrived at Cocklestrand, west of Bannow Island at 5.35 pm. The Kilmore Quay Coast Guard unit was also tasked. Once on scene, the lifeboat crew began the search for the stranded walkers. An extensive search of the north and south shoreline was carried out, but the walkers were nowhere to be seen and had made their own way to safety.

Commenting on the call out Mark Brennan, Fethard RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘The member of the public did absolutely the right thing, reporting someone in difficulty. It is always better to be safe than sorry and we would much rather launch and find nothing than not launch at all, safety is always our priority. People are keen to exercise outside within government guidelines and we live in a beautiful area with lots of access to the coast. However, we would advise people to keep an eye on their surroundings, in particular, incoming tides and also to watch their footing on the shoreline. Always check the tide times and heights and keep a lookout for incoming tide. Use tide timetables or a tidal prediction app. Make sure you have enough time to return safely. If in doubt, seek local advice.

‘Fethard RNLI remain on call and fully operational during the Covid-19 pandemic. There is no crew training or exercises taking place at the moment, but we are here if people need us.’

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