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Displaying items by tag: Courtown

At a special naming ceremony and service of dedication held on Saturday 28 May, Courtown RNLI officially named its inshore D class lifeboat, Frank.

As Afloat reported previously, the honour of handing over the lifeboat and officially naming her went to Martin and Liz Bandey, close friends of the late Frank Watkin who the lifeboat is named after. The couple were representing Frank’s wife Kathleen who was unable to attend the ceremony.

The lifeboat which went on service in January 2020 is funded by Frank and Kathleen, who together shared a love for the sea and sailing in particular.

Frank and Kathleen were married in Bishopstoke in England after Frank’s work took him from the Ford Motor Company office in Essex to the Ford Transit manufacturing factory in Southampton. He soon decided he preferred Hampshire to Essex and when the couple were married, they bought a yacht which was kept in Chichester Harbour where they spent many happy and exciting ventures both around the harbour and into the Solent.

After Frank died and with no immediate known relatives, Kathleen had a decision to make with what she wanted to do with her inheritance. With a passion for the sea and sailing, she visited the RNLI Support Centre in Poole and after what she described as an educational and exciting trip, she was captivated and decided she wanted at that point to put some funds into the charity that saves lives at sea rather than wait until she passed away.

Courtown RNLI D class naming ceremony Courtown RNLI D class naming ceremony

At the same time, the next lifeboat being built was waiting for funds and was partially constructed at the RNLI boatyard in East Cowes on the Isle of Wight. It was arranged for Kathleen to visit and see the lifeboat she would later name Frank, in the final stages of its construction.

During the naming ceremony, Anna Classon, RNLI Head of Region for Ireland, accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the charity from Martin Bandey, before handing her over into the care of Courtown Lifeboat Station.

During her address she said: ‘This D class lifeboat is the thirteenth lifeboat on station here in Courtown since the lifeboat was re-established in 1990. The original lifeboat station began operations in 1865 and closed in 1925. Since the station reopened, our inshore lifeboat crews have answered over 240 calls for help, bringing 515 people to safety, 46 of whom were lives saved, while operating these D class lifeboats.’

She then praised the efforts of all those who supported the work of the station: ‘We are immensely proud of all our volunteers who give up their time here at Courtown Lifeboat Station and throughout the organisation and we thank you for the dedication, commitment and sacrifice made by each of you to help others. Whatever your role – crew, station management, fundraiser, donor, you are the embodiment of the RNLI - willingly and selflessly helping others in need.’

Courtown RNLI D class naming ceremony

Lifeboat Operations Manager Sam Kennedy accepted the lifeboat on behalf of Courtown RNLI ahead of Frank being blessed in a service of dedication led by Father Tom Dalton, the station’s Lifeboat Training Coordinator, and the Reverend Margaret Sykes. The lifeboat was then officially named by Liz Bandey.

Sam said the event was a special occasion for the lifeboat station adding that the crew were most grateful to Kathleen for her generous gift in memory of her husband which had funded this lifeboat, Frank.

‘As Lifeboat Operations Manager along with the deputy launching authorities, part of my job is to authorise her launch when requested. It’s my job to send a message to the volunteers, asking them to get down to the station as quick as possible.

‘When the crew arrive here, and get kitted up, and head out to sea, we’ll have peace of mind because this lifeboat will help to keep them safe, as they save others. So, on behalf of all the station volunteers, I would like to thank Kathleen and the late Frank. Your generosity has given Courtown a lifesaver.’

At the end of the ceremony, a specially commissioned painting of Frank at its new home in Courtown Harbour by local artist Kate Kos, was presented by the station to Liz and Martin to give to Kathleen on their return to England.

The D class Frank replaces the Caird Au Chuain which served Courtown RNLI for over 10 years. During that time, the lifeboat launched 50 times bringing 61 people to safety, four of whom were lives saved.

Courtown RNLI D class naming ceremony

The D class inshore lifeboat has been the workhouse of the RNLI for over 50 years.

First introduced into the RNLI fleet in 1963, the design of the inflatable D class continues to evolve to meet changes in demand and technology.

The lifeboat is highly maneuverable and usually operates closer to shore than all-weather lifeboats. It comes into her own for searches and rescues in the surf, shallow water and confined locations – often close to cliffs, among rocks and even inside caves.

A lifeboat station was originally established in Courtown in 1865 when a station was opened at the request of local residents and a boathouse was constructed at a cost of £200. A new Peake class lifeboat Alfred and Ernest which was built in 1852, was placed on service. The station was closed in 1925 before the RNLI established an inshore lifeboat station in 1990 with the placing of a D class lifeboat for evaluation purposes. The old boathouse was later repurchased, and a new D class lifeboat was placed on service the following year.

A crowd of well-wishers turned up to see the lifeboat officially named with a bottle of champagne poured over the side of the boat before it launched at the end of the ceremony.

Among the guests on the platform party were Mark Chambers, Courtown RNLI Deputy Launching Authority, who welcomed guests and opened proceedings, Martin and Liz Bandey, close friends of Frank and Kathleen who handed over and named the lifeboat, Anna Classon, RNLI Head of Region for Ireland, who accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the RNLI and handed it over into the care of Courtown Lifeboat Station, Sam Kennedy, Courtown RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, and Courtown RNLI Helm Yvette Deacon who gave a vote of thanks and closed proceedings.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

An inshore D class lifeboat for Courtown RNLI is to be officially named Frank during a ceremony at the lifeboat station in the Wexford town at 3pm tomorrow, Saturday 28 May. The lifeboat which went on service in January 2020 is funded by the late Frank Watkin, and his wife Kathleen, who together shared a love for the sea and sailing in particular.

Frank and Kathleen were married in Bishopstoke in England after Frank’s work took him from the Ford Motor Company office in Essex to the Ford Transit manufacturing factory in Southampton. He soon decided he preferred Hampshire to Essex and when the couple were married, they bought a yacht which was kept in Chichester Harbour where they spent many happy and exciting ventures both around the harbour and into the Solent.

After Frank died and with no immediate known relatives, Kathleen had a decision to make with what she wanted to do with her inheritance. With a passion for the sea and sailing, she visited the RNLI Support Centre in Poole and after what she described as an educational and exciting trip, she was captivated and decided she wanted at that point to put some funds into the charity that saves lives at sea rather than wait until she passed away.

At the same time, the next lifeboat being built was waiting for funds and was partially constructed at the RNLI boatyard in East Cowes on the Isle of Wight. It was arranged for Kathleen to visit and see the lifeboat she would later name Frank, in the final stages of its construction. She was joined by good friends Martin and Liz Bandey who Frank and she met via their local Rotary Club and with whom the couple had enjoyed their love for the sea.

Talking about that trip and the lifeboat’s subsequent arrival in Courtown, Kathleen said: ‘It was very interesting and one of the best things I had done in years, and I am glad she (Frank) has arrived safely in Ireland. I have a love for Ireland – I used to work for Aer Lingus many, many years ago.’

While Kathleen won’t be able to travel to Courtown tomorrow, her wish to have a lifeboat named after her husband Frank will be granted. She will be represented at the ceremony by the couple’s good friends Martin and Liz.

The D class Frank replaces the Caird Au Chuain which served Courtown RNLI for over 10 years. During that time, the lifeboat launched 50 times bringing 61 people to safety, four of whom were lives saved.

Speaking ahead of the naming ceremony, Sam Kennedy, Courtown RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘This is a very special occasion for our station and we are most grateful to Kathleen and her late husband for this generous gift in his memory which has funded this lifeboat, Frank.

‘Frank and Kathleen had a love for the sea and sailing and while she can’t be here today, it is important to us to know that Kathleen was able to see the lifeboat before she arrived here at her new home in Courtown.’

The D class inshore lifeboat has been the workhorse of the RNLI for over 50 years.

First introduced into the RNLI fleet in 1963, the design of the inflatable D class continues to evolve to meet changes in demand and technology.

The lifeboat is highly manoeuvrable and usually operates closer to shore than all-weather lifeboats. It comes into her own for searches and rescues in the surf, shallow water and confined locations – often close to cliffs, among rocks and even inside caves.

A lifeboat station was originally established in Courtown in 1865 when a station was opened at the request of local residents and a boathouse was constructed at a cost of £200. A new Peake class lifeboat Alfred and Ernest which was built in 1852, was placed on service. The station was closed in 1925 before the RNLI established an inshore lifeboat station in 1990 with the placing of a D class lifeboat for evaluation purposes. The old boathouse was later repurchased and a new D class lifeboat was placed on service the following year.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Members of Courtown/Arklow Coast Guard were recently presented with medals of tenure, as the Gorey Guardian reports.

And chief among them was Benjamin Murphy, who was recognised for his 40 years’ service prior to his recent retirement.

“Pulling off 40 years of service is nearly impossible to do and it’s a massive achievement as a volunteer,” David Swinburne of Courtown/Arklow Coast Guard said.

The Gorey Guardian has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastguard

Larne RNLI’s volunteers launched to the aid of three people in difficulty off the Antrim coast between late Monday evening (17 May) and early Tuesday morning (18 May).

Both the all-weather and inshore lifeboats were requested to launch around 11pm following a report that a man had fallen on rocks and sustained possible wrist and head injuries in the Ballygally area of the East Antrim coast.

The all-weather lifeboat Dr John McSparron went alongside providing support and helping to illuminate the area for the Larne Coastguard and Northern Ireland Ambulance Service crews already on scene.

With the location of the casualty presenting access issues, he was moved to the inshore lifeboat in a basket stretcher and ferried to the slipway near Ballygally beach where he was transferred to the waiting ambulance.

Just a couple of hours later, the lifeboat crew were called out again to assist two sailors on a 35ft yacht on passage from Argyll with reported engine failure some 15 nautical miles off Larne Harbour.

After checking both sailors were safe and well, the volunteers set up a tow for the vessel to its destination of Carrickfergus Marina, where it was secured for maintenance.

Larne RNLI’s deputy launching authority Philip Ford-Hutchinson described the night as a busy one “with little rest between callouts”.

He added: “The first call demonstrated great teamwork between the RNLI, Larne Coastguard and the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service.

“Callouts like these are something that our volunteer crew regularly train for and the skill and professionalism was evident last night. We wish the gentleman a speedy recovery.”

Arklow RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat takes a stricken fishing vessel under tow on Friday 14 MayArklow RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat takes a stricken fishing vessel under tow on Friday 14 May | Credit: RNLI/Arklow

Elsewhere, Arklow RNLI and Courtown RNLI launched their respective all-weather and inshore lifeboats to reports of a fishing vessel in danger of sinking near Courtown last Friday morning (14 May).

As the Courtown crew arrived on scene, they found a number of other fishing boats attempting to tow the stricken vessel to safety as its crew managed to stem the flow of water on board.

Arklow RNLI then set up their own tow to bring the casualty vessel into Arklow Harbour amid calm seas.

Mark Corcoran, Arklow RNLI community safety sfficer, said: ”It’s great to see all of the various agencies working together helping to save lives at sea and in our communities.

“Thankfully this callout became lower risk due to the actions of the vessel’s own crew.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Courtown RNLI braved difficult sea conditions to recover a small boat that ran aground north of Cahore Harbour in Co Wexford yesterday, Sunday 21 February.

Lifeboat volunteers were called at 3.45pm to the vessel with three on board, which had reportedly lost power around a mile north of Cahore Harbour at Glasscarrig Beach.

Courtown RNLI reports that arriving at the scene in the inshore lifeboat, its crew learned that the boat had lost power soon after launch, and had subsequently washed up on the beach and rocks.

All three occupants had managed to get safely ashore in the meantime. But recovery of their boat proved difficult due to the choppy conditions at sea.

A tow line was eventually secured and the boat was towed back to Cahore Pier by Cahore Inshore Rescue, who also attended the scene.

Speaking after the callout, Courtown RNLI lifeboat operations manager Sam Kennedy said: “It was great to see that the three people managed to get to shore safely.

“Our crew responded readily today and adhered to all Covid-19 guidelines currently in place at Courtown RNLI.”

The inshore lifeboat on this callout was helmed by Peter Browne with crew members Fergus Slevin and Cormac Kinsella.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

#RNLI - Courtown’s RNLI lifeboat volunteers feature in the new series of Saving Lives at Sea on BBC Two this week.

Now on its third year, Saving Lives at Sea puts the spotlight on the RNLI’s army of unpaid volunteers around the UK and Ireland who out their lives on the line to save others.

Using footage shot on the crews’ own cameras, the maritime TV series takes viewers into the heart of the action, capturing the unpredictable work of the RNLI in unique detail.

The 10-part third season begins tonight (Tuesday 21 August) at 8pm, following the crew of Salcombe lifeboat station in Devon on two vital callouts — to a fisherman pulled to the bottom of the sea in his own fishing gear, and a devastating fire on a boat 15 miles out in the English Channel.

Over 200 miles away in the waters off Anglesey, meanwhile, the crew of Moelfre station uncover a story of survival and heroism as they go to the rescue of a father and his 13-year-old son missing at sea.

Courtown RNLI in Co Wexford will be a part of episode two this Thursday evening (23 August) at 8pm on BBC Two, as they face one of their most challenging missions — keeping a teenage girl with suspected spinal injuries immobile and afloat until she can be airlifted for treatment.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#Rescue - The Arklow lifeboat joined Courtown RNLI and the Irish Coast Guard in a multi-agency rescue on Friday evening (11 August) after a teenage girl fell from an inflatable ‘doughnut’ being towed by a jet ski in Courtown Harbour.

Once on scene, around a mile east of Ardamine Beach south of Courtown, the Arklow lifeboat volunteers assisted their Courtown colleagued who were already in the water dealing with the casualty, a 13-year-old girl with suspected spinal injuries.

Arklow RNLI worked to clear the area of other vessels to allow for a safe airlift by the Waterford-based coastguard helicopter Rescue 117.

In the process, they picked up three other casualties — kayakers who had entered the water to assist in the rescue but found themselves adrift.

Independent.ie and The Irish Times have more on the story.

Published in Rescue

#MarineWildlife - The Seal Rescue Centre in Courtown is appealing for new sponsors to fund supplies for the marine wildlife in its care, as the Gorey Guardian reports.

The sanctuary recently took on its first sponsor in Gorey’s Amber Springs Hotel, which now has its name displayed over one of the 12 kennels available.

More than 60 seals are being kept at the Co Wexford centre that has a busy winter period taking in rescued seals and seal pups, the latest of them brought in from Clogherhead in Co Louth at the end of January.

But the Seal Rescue Centre is also celebrating successful releases back into the wild of seals it has treated — like Nala, an orphaned seal found in distress at Union Hall in West Cork last October, according to the Southern Star.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MarineWildlife - Courtown's seal sanctuary has been saved from closure after Dutch counterparts stepped in to help fill a key vacancy over maternity leave.

As the Wexford People reports, Sonja Ciccaglione has now been seconded as temporary manager of Seal Rescue Ireland's Wexford base.

And she joined the group's volunteers at the latest release of rehabilitated seals last weekend.

Luckily for the staff-strapped marine wildlife centre, it's a quiet period with only a couple of seals remain in residence – but donations from the public are always welcome.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MarineWildlife - After last week's good news of a seal pup rescue in Northern Ireland, on the other end of the island a number of similar rescue seals got a fresh start for the New Year.

The Gorey Guardian reports on the release of five seals - named Flotsam, Misty, Skipper, Marina and Ariel - by the Courtown Seal Rescue Centre from the Wexford town on 2 January.

The marine mammals in question were picked up from beaches along the east coast from Ballinesker to Rosslare in various states of injury and distress, and rehabilitated over a number of months.

In the case of Skipper in particular, it was cheering to see him return to the waves fighting fit months after he was discovered emaciated with propeller wounds.

The Gorey Guardian has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife
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