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Displaying items by tag: Lifeboats

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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Dunmore East RNLI launched yesterday (Tuesday June 11) in what turned out to be a nine-hour mission to assist a 24m fishing trawler with six crew on board.

The vessel had suffered a fouled propeller 40 miles south of the Co Waterford village — meaning a lengthy round-trip for the volunteer crew of the Trent class lifeboat Elizabeth and Ronald that began at 8.40am.

Yet despite the time — and some difficult weather at sea — there were few complications in the long tow with the strict vessel back to the safety of Dunmore East harbour, where they arrived just before 6pm.

“It was a long day for our volunteer crew and the conditions offshore today were challenging, which highlights the value of the training our crews conduct on a regular basis,” said lifeboat coxswain Roy Abrahamsson.

 

“DunmoreDunmore East RNLI taking the stricken trawler under tow | Photo: RNLI/Roy Abrahamsson

 

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Clifden RNLI were tasked by the Irish Coast Guard on Saturday afternoon (8 June) to a distress signal received from a personal locator beacon (PLB) registered to a 50-foot yacht that had been activated some 13 miles west of Slyne Head.

Clifden’s all-weather and Atlantic 85 lifeboats both launched along with the Aran Islands lifeboat and the Shannon-based coastguard helicopter Rescue 115.

En route the lifeboats received updated information that the lone sailor had become trapped in his generator room. The boat had rolled hard to her beam and the door slammed shut.

He had already spent approximately two hours trying to open it and was very worried as the boat was on autopilot so he activated his PLB to raise the alarm.

Shortly afterwards he managed to free himself and immediately called Clifden Coastguard to inform them that he was okay, and that he had activated his PLB as at the time he had been in grave and imminent danger as he was not in control of his boat.

The lifeboats were requested to proceed to the casualty’s location and make verbal/visual contact with the skipper. He confirmed that he had been in a perilous position when he was trapped and the boat was indeed adrift and heading towards hazardous shoreline.

He was very relieved to learn that the rescue services were coming to his aid and he then made his own way into Clifden Bay.

Coxswain James Mullen said after the launch: “This really showed the value and importance of wearing a PLB as this skipper was totally trapped aboard his own boat and in grave danger.

“Luckily, his decision to carry this vital piece of safety equipment and then to activate his PLB meant that we were able to go to his aid and thankfully a much worse scenario was avoided.”

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Wicklow RNLI brought three sailors to safety yesterday morning (Sunday 9 June) after their 10-metre yacht got fouled in ropes off Wicklow Head.

The all-weather lifeboat Jock and Annie Slater put to sea shortly before 10am under the command of coxswain Nick Keogh, following a launch request from the Irish Coast Guard.

The yacht, with three people on board, was located at 10.12am about two-and-a-half miles south-east of Wicklow Head. Conditions on scene had a slight sea state and good visibility.

Lifeboat volunteer Alan Goucher was transferred onto the yacht to assess the situation and assist with the towline.

The yacht was taken in tow back to Wicklow Harbour and brought safely alongside the East Pier at 11.10am.

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Baltimore RNLI carried out a medevac last night (Friday 7 June) from Cape Clear Island off the coast of Baltimore in West Cork.

The volunteer crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 6.20pm, following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to provide medical assistance and evacuation to an islander living on Cape Clear.

The lifeboat arrived at North Harbour in Cape Clear within 20 minutes, and was headed back to the mainland with the casualty on board after just a two-minute turnaround.

By just after 7pm the casualty had been handed over to the care of a HSE ambulance crew in Baltimore.

Conditions at sea during the call out were good, with a north-westerly Force 4-5 wind, a one-metre sea swell and very good visibility.

Speaking following the callout, lifeboat press officer Kate Callanan said: “If you find yourself in a medical emergency whilst on an island call 999 or 112 and explain to the operator what the nature of the call is.

“The operator will then make sure that the call is directed to both the coastguard and the National Ambulance Service. We wish the casualty a full recovery.

“Our thoughts today are also with the family, friends and colleagues of the crew members of the French lifeboat service SNSM who lost their lives yesterday during a rescue.”

There were seven volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat on this callout: coxswain Kieran Cotter, mechanic Cathal Cottrell and crew members Jerry Smith, Kieran Collins, Pat Collins, Colin Rochford and David Ryan. Assisting at the boathouse in Baltimore were Gerald O’Brien, Aidan Bushe and Don O’Donovan.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

New Clifden lifeboat volunteer Ashling Sweeney has her first callout earlier this week to a fisherman whose boat drifted out to sea after engine failure.

At 3.40pm on Tuesday 4 June, Clifden RNLI was requested to launch its all-weather and inshore lifeboats to assist the nine-metre fishing vessel with one onboard just east of Turbot Island in Co Galway.

Clifden’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat Joyce King, helmed by Daniel Whelan and with four volunteer crew onboard, launched first and made good time to the fishing vessel, which was drifting south.

The fishing vessel was quickly taken under tow back to Clifden pier as Clifden RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat launched to provide backup.

Weather conditions on scene had a north-west winds of Force 5-6 with a slight sea.

Speaking following the callout, new volunteer Ashling Sweeney said: “This was my first callout for Clifden RNLI today and I was happy to gain the experience of putting my training into action.”

Around the same time on Tuesday, Youghal RNLI in East Cork were requested to launch to an eight-metre yacht adrift in the harbour with no people onboard.

The volunteer crew launched their inshore lifeboat in a moderate north westerly breeze and were with the yacht within minutes.

On arrival, the crew determined that the yacht was dragging its mooring. A crew member boarded the yacht and cut the mooring line before the crew established a tow and bought the yacht safely back to the pontoon were the coastguard were waiting to assist.

Derry Walsh, Youghal RNLI lifeboat operations manager, said: “As we approach the summer season, we would remind sailors and boat owners to ensure the appropriate safety, engine and fuel checks are completed ahead of any trip as well as ensuring vessels are safely secured on their moorings.”

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Larne RNLI has a close-knit group of volunteers, both crew members and fundraisers, with a strong family ethos and team approach to ensure everyone plays their part to help saves lives at sea on the east Co Antrim coast.

Recently, one of these volunteers — Barry Kirkpatrick, a local teacher — completed his assessments to qualify as an RNLI all-weather lifeboat coxswain.

“Being an RNLI volunteer is a big commitment but working alongside like-minded people, to help those in distress at sea, is very rewarding,” Barry said.

“It’s very much a team approach at Larne RNLI with a fantastic camaraderie within the crew.”

The commitment to the lifeboat isn't only measured in the time spent involved in rescues, but also in the essential weekly training scenarios.

The volunteers in Larne RNLI, who come from all walks of life, train six times per month to ensure they are fully trained on all aspects of rescues including keeping up to date with new and evolving equipment.

With only one in 10 lifeboat crew members having professional maritime experience, the charity’s comprehensive competency-based crew training is vital to saving lives at sea.

And when the pagers do go off, volunteers are ready to drop everything as they’re called away from their families, their beds and their work, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

“Our crews train extensively across a broad spectrum to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to be a member of the lifeboat crew,” says Larne RNLI coxswain Frank Healy. “This means giving time and dedication to meet the requirements.

“This was realised recently when Barry, after long, intensive and wide-ranging training, was passed out successfully as an all-weather lifeboat coxswain. A great achievement for Barry who is a very valuable asset to Larne station.”

In 2019 Larne RNLI is celebrating 25 years of local volunteers providing its rescue service to the Larne area. Over the last 25 years, Larne lifeboats have launched 514 times, saving 34 lives and rescuing 454 people, with an average of 21 shouts a year.

To celebrate the work of volunteers and the support the local community have provided, Larne RNLI are holding an open day at the lifeboat station on Olderfleet Road on Saturday 22 June from 12pm-4pm.

Everyone is welcome to come along, meet the volunteers and enjoy a fun-filled day with a BBQ, bouncy castles, our mascot Stormy Stan and lots more.

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This weekend’s Bundoran RNLI Soapbox Race will no longer be going ahead on Sunday 2 June due to poor weather forecast for the region.

In a statement, the organisers said: “It is with regret that we have decided to cancel this Sunday’s soapbox race event.

“Following consultation with weather charts and Met Éireann, the forecast is not favourable to run an event outdoors. For the comfort and safety of our volunteers, participants and spectators the organising committee has made the difficult decision to cancel the event.

“We are sorry to cause any disappointment, particularly to those who have already built soapboxes. We would like to thank those who had volunteered their time to help out at the event.

“Our annual flag day street collection will go ahead on Sunday and we thank you in advance for your generosity and continuing support of Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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