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Displaying items by tag: Lifeboats

This past Saturday 22 June, Larne RNLI opened its doors to the public to celebrate 25 years of saving lives at sea in the local area.

Since the station opened in in 1994, Larne lifeboat volunteers have launched 514 times, saving 34 lives and rescuing 454 people, with an average of 21 shouts per year.

Larne RNLI celebrated this 25th Anniversary milestone with its supporters who have made their work possible on a fun-filled family day with visitors from far and wide taking the opportunity to see the inshore lifeboat up close and meet the local crew.

Visitors — which included Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Maureen Morrow — also had the chance to see a video of recent rescue launches and training to get a real feel for what the Larne volunteers do on a weekly basis.

RNLI lifeguards also attended with their rescue boards and sea safety messages, teaching young and old how to enjoy a trip to the beach safely this summer.

“JuniorJunior crew Isla Kirkpatrick and Megan Ford-Hutchinson helming the inshore lifeboat | RNLI/Larne

Two Northern Ireland Ambulance Service paramedics brought along an ambulance allowing people to step inside, see the equipment they carry and try out being a patient.

Pets as Therapy UK also kindly attended with their dogs allowing peoples of all ages to hear about their work and meet the animals.

The open day was also a fundraiser for the lifeboat, and a total of £772.48 was kindly donated by visitors on the day. This money will go towards the work of Larne RNLI allowing the charity to continue to save lives at sea in the local area.

Phil Ford-Hutchinson, Larne RNLI’s deputy launching authority, said: “We would like to thank everyone who attended, very generously donated and helped make it a very special day.

“We would also like to thank all the local businesses who supported us and helped make our 25th anniversary open day such a success.”

Food was provided by Asda, Woodland Woodies, Creed, McDowells, Bake, Ann’s Pantry and Upper Crust. Got U Covered Gazebos provided shade from the sun, DJ Stephen Snoddy provided music, and Larne Port Ltd provided free parking for visitors. The event was also supported by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and East Antrim Boat Club.

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Kilkeel RNLI’s volunteer crew launched at 1.20pm yesterday (Sunday 23 June) to go to the aid of the 44ft French yacht with two people onboard that was stranded two miles off Annalong Harbour in Co Down.

In fresh conditions with good visibility, the lifeboat volunteers found that the yacht had become stranded due to a rope in the propeller.

The crew, with Gary Young as helm, managed to retrieve the rope and free the yacht.

A crew member went aboard the yacht to check everything was well and finding everything was in order, he returned to the lifeboat and the yacht went on its way to continue its journey north.

Speaking following the callout, volunteer press officer Leslie Campbell said: “As we approach the summer months, we would remind all sea users regardless of their activity to always respect the water.

“Always wear a lifejacket, always carry a means of communication and always let someone on the shore know where you are going and what time you will be due back.

“Should you get into difficulty or see someone in trouble dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

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Crosshaven RNLI has came to the aid of a sailor after his yacht got into difficulty off Cork Head on Friday (21 June).

The UK-registered yacht en route from Kinsale to Crosshaven broadcast a PAN PAN alert after its skipper spotted smoke in his engine bay.

Crosshaven’s crew of Warren Forbes, Denis Cronin, Aidan O’Connor and Derek Moynan were paged at 4.13pm and launched their inshore lifeboat to the reported position.

Once on scene, they assessed that there was no fire in the engine bay, but that the engine was disabled.

The casualty vessel was then towed to Crosshaven boatyard and safely berthed.

Crosshaven RNLI helm Warren Forbes said: “A fire onboard a vessel is a sailor's worst nightmare but fortunately no fire was observed when we arrived on scene.

“The yachtsman made the correct decision by not opening the engine bay and calling for help.”

More recently in Cork, Youghal RNLI launched in poor weather conditions yesterday (Sunday 23 June) to reports of a swimmer in trouble some 500m off Claycastle.

Fortunately the swimmer managed to get to safely back to shore as the inshore lifeboat arrived at the scene.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Courtmacsherry RNLI’s all-weather Trent class lifeboat Frederick Stormy Cockburn was called out just after midday yesterday (Saturday 22 June) to go to the aid of a kitesurfer who had got into difficulties off Harbour View in Courtmacsherry Bay.

Under coxswain Micheal O'Donovan and a crew of six, the lifeboat was underway within minutes following the call by onlookers who saw the person in difficulty offshore with his kite.

Within 15 minutes the lifeboat crew had located the casualty and took the person from the water and into the safe surrounds of the lifeboat.

The kitesurfer was very relieved to be rescued and was assessed and brought safely ashore.

Conditions at sea were windy with a strong swell in the area, which is popular with windsurfers and kitesurfers.

Deputy launching authority Dermot O’Mahony said: “It was a fast callout today and I would like to praise the crew for assembling so quickly this morning.

“We would also like to commend the people on the shore who acted rapidly in alerting the rescue services when they observed what was happening, as every minute is important in these situations.”

On today's callout with O’Donovan were mechanic Stuart Russell and crew Kevin Young, Dave Philips, Austin McKenna, Conor Dullea and Dean Hennessey.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Aran Islands RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew were tasked to launch their all-weather lifeboat early in the early hours of yesterday morning, Saturday 22 June.

A young man visiting Inis Mór had sustained an eye injury that required further medical attention.

The lifeboat launched after 2.30am in calm seas under coxswain Tommy Dirrane and with six crew members onboard, and after collecting the young man proceeded to Rossaveal Harbour.

The patient was then transferred safely to a waiting ambulance and on to University College Hospital Galway for further treatment.

Speaking following the callout, Dirrane said: “Our volunteers had an early morning wake-up call today but that it is what they are trained, willing and prepared to do to help anyone they can.

“All at Aran Islands RNLI would like to wish the casualty a speedy recovery.”

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Ballyglass RNLI rescued two fishermen whose boat got into difficulty and ran adrift in Broadhaven Bay on Thursday afternoon (20 June).

The station’s all-weather volunteer lifeboat crew were requested to launch and locate the sea anglers drifting into danger in Broadhaven Bay after their RIB suffered engine failure.

After the anglers calling for assistance on VHF, the lifeboat was requested to launch by Malin Head Coast Guard at 4pm and was on scene within minutes, with six crew aboard.

The Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 118 from Sligo and Ballyglass Coast Guard Unit were also tasked and put on standby in the area, while a local fishing vessel assisted in the search and location of the small craft.

Once on scene, the lifeboat crew assessed the situation and deemed it necessary to launch its smaller onboard inflatable daughter boat, as the casualty vessel had drifted into shallow water.

The two anglers were not in need of medical assistance and were safely transferred to the lifeboat. The casualty craft was securely towed to Ballyglass pier.

Conditions were fair at the time with a fresh Force 4 wind and good visibility.

Speaking following the callout, Ballyglass RNLI coxswain James Mangan said: “I commend the two anglers for contacting emergency services as soon as they got into difficulty and for having VHF radio and wearing lifejackets.

“The situation could have been more serious had they not followed these precautions.”

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Lough Ree RNLI volunteers diverted from a training exercise yesterday evening (Thursday 20 June) on two separate callouts.

While carrying out their regular monthly training on board the inshore lifeboat The Eric Rowse, the RNLI crew were requested by the Irish Coast Guard to assist a person on board a 32ft motor cruiser who had reported having a fire on board.

The casualty had made his own way to Lough Ree Yacht Club, and when the lifeboat arrived on scene the crew spotted smoke coming from the engine bay.

The boat was evacuated and a tow line prepared to move the casualty vessel clear of the marina in case the fire got worse.

Athlone Fire Service were soon on scene and the two crews worked together to assess the situation, identifying an issue with the port-side engine.

When satisfied there was no further risk of fire, the fire service departed and the casualty vessel returned to its home marina using its starboard engine.

While escorting the casualty home, reports came in to the RNLI crew of two people in difficulty on board an inflatable dinghy near Yellow Island, just north of Lough Ree Yacht Club.

The two people were unharmed, but weren’t going to be able to make it ashore themselves. The lifeboat crew brought them safely ashore to Barrymore and gave them safety advice.

Conditions for the evening were dry with good visibility and a variable westerly breeze.

Earlier this week, Lough Ree’s volunteer crew went to the assistance of four people whose boat had gone aground between Carberry and Kid Island to the south of Lough Ree. The four people were uninjured and were brought to Coosan Point.

Speaking yesterday evening, Lough Ree RNLI volunteer helm Tom Bradbury said: “We would like to commend the gentleman whose engine started to smoke on his quick actions in requesting assistance.

“We would like to remind people that it is important to always wear your lifejacket when using the lake and to let someone know where you’re going and when you expect to reach your destination.”

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Portrush RNLI’s volunteer crew were requested to launch at 4.32pm on Father’s Day (Sunday 16 June) to reports of a broken-down RIB with six people on board, some three nautical miles north-east of Inishowen.

The lifeboat crew arrived on scene at 4.55pm and established a tow line to the 10m RIB. The boat was then brought back to Portrush Harbour where the coastguard were also in attendance to assist.

Speaking following the callout, lifeboat operations manager Keith Gilmore said: “This was a classic tow rescue which the crew train for on a regular basis. Conditions were very favourable which made it easier to recover the vessel and establish the tow.

“We also had two of our new crew members on the all-weather lifeboat today so this was a good opportunity for them to put their training into practice under the supervision of our more experienced crew.

“The all-weather lifeboat and the volunteer crew arrived back in Portrush at 6.10pm just in time for Father’s Day evening dinner.”

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A busy weekend for Carrybridge RNLI began at 7.39pm on Friday 14 June when the inshore lifeboat Douglas Euan & Kay Richards and rescue water craft were launched to a vessel with two people which had run aground about a mile north of Knockninny on Upper Lough Erne.

After checking that the people on the boat were safe and well, the volunteer crew checked the boat for water ingress and found none.

The vessel had refloated itself and a crew member was put on board to test the boat’s propulsion and steerage and all was found to be in working order. The vessel was then able to continue on its planned journey.

Two evenings later, at 8.59pm on Sunday, both lifeboats launched again to a vessel adrift, with the people on board waving for assistance in the area of Tamlaght Bay.

When the volunteer crew arrived on scene the vessel had managed to restart its engine and was proceeding back to Carrybridge. The craft was escorted back to the public slipway.

Shortly after arriving back at Carrybridge, the volunteer crew then assisted a person who had fallen into the water earlier in the evening.

Two crew members carried out a casualty care assessment and found the individual to be in good condition. The casualty’s vessel was escorted to its private marina with two crew members on board and safely secured to its mooring.

Chris Cathcart, helm at Carrybridge RNLI, said: “We would remind all boat users to respect the water, plan your passage before setting out, and take particular care whilst navigating.

“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.”

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Wicklow RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat brought three sailors to safety early on Friday morning (14 June) after their 35ft yacht got into difficulty nine miles east of Wicklow Harbour.

The lifeboat slipped moorings shortly after 1am and put to sea following a pager alert from the Irish Coast Guard.

The alarm was raised after the yacht which was on passage south to Cork got fouled in ropes and lost propulsion.

The Shannon class lifeboat Jock and Annie Slater was alongside the stricken yacht at 1,35am six miles east of Wicklow Head.

Volunteer crew members David O’Leary and Paul Sillery were transferred onto the yacht and managed to free the ropes from the propeller.

Weather conditions on scene had a sea state slight with wind southwest Force 2.

A towline was established, and the yacht was towed back to Wicklow Harbour where the three sailors were landed safely ashore and the yacht was secured alongside the East Pier by 3.30am.

The incident came just days after a 10m yacht with three on board was fouled on ropes off Wicklow Head, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

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