Displaying items by tag: Lifeboats
#COASTGUARD – Funding for the Coast Guard and the RNLI will be protected at existing levels in 2012, Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar confirmed today (Saturday). Speaking during a New Year's Eve visit to thank volunteers at the Coast Guard Station at Howth, Co. Dublin, Minister Varadkar also confirmed that the Coast Guard would remain within the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport.
Minister Varadkar said: 'The Coast Guard performs an essential role all year round. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to every member of staff and volunteer for their efforts during 2011. I would also like to express my gratitude to the families of all the rescuers who make it possible for the volunteers to provide this 24 hour commitment throughout the year'.
Coast Guard Director Chris Reynolds confirmed that 2011 was one of the busiest years for the Coast Guard since its foundation. The Coast Guard responded to nearly 2,000 incidents this year, resulting in 163 lives being saved and over 3,300 persons assisted. The Coast Guard helicopters alone performed 551 missions during the year. Mr Reynolds said that staying within the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport would facilitate the Coast Guard in the further development of maritime safety in Ireland, while also retaining its existing networks.
Minister Varadkar confirmed that the Coast Guard will receive €4.37 million for current purposes again this year, not including the helicopter service, and the RNLI annual grant of €150,000 will also be retained in 2012. The Minister has also allocated capital funding to allow the Coast Guard's aging fleet to be refreshed with new vessels over the next two years. New vessels have already been allocated to Coast Guard Stations at Achill, Bunbeg, Killala, Greencastle, Doolin and Killaloe.
The Minister confirmed that he has given the OPW the go-ahead to tender for a new Coast Guard Volunteer and Pollution Response Centre in Killybegs, Co. Donegal, and he re-confirmed his commitment to proceed with a similar station in Doolin within the life of the capital expenditure programme. 2012 will also see a significant improvement in the provision of helicopter rescue services with the arrival in Ireland of the new S92A Coast Guard helicopter in Shannon at the end of January.
Meanwhile, the Coast Guard's second national telecommunications network has been commissioned, providing a completely independent back-up service for the Coast Guard ship-to-shore communication network.
Mr Reynolds said: 'Ireland is a maritime nation which has rights over an area of seabed 10 times the size of Ireland. Ninety nine per cent of our trade goes by sea and it's no surprise that most of our population lives within 30km of the coast. In carrying out our goal to prevent, prepare and respond, the men and women of the Coast Guard staff, its volunteers, our helicopter crews and our partners in the Navy, Air Corps, RNLI, CRBI and mountain rescue, have continued to provide a world-class service. This has only been possible through the incredible service offered by locally-based volunteers nationwide and the commitment of this Government to maintain these essential front line services in difficult times'.
#LIFEBOAT – The crew of the RNLI lifeboat station at Dun Laoghaire will hold the traditional ceremony to remember the 15 volunteers that died on service in 1895 on Christmas Eve and for all lives lost at sea in the past year.
A short ceremony will be held at the lighthouse end of the East Pier at mid-day on Christmas Eve that will include music, an ecumenical blessing, a contemporary newspaper account of the 1895 tragedy and a piped lament. Both RNLI lifeboats stationed at Dun Laoghaire will launch and the crews will lay wreaths at sea.
The ceremony is an annual Christmas Eve tradition that remembers the lives of the 15 volunteer crew that died when their lifeboat capsized in gale force winds while attempting to rescue those on board the SS Palme that had run aground off Blackrock, Co. Dublin. All lives lost at sea in 2011 will also be included in the ceremony.
A special replica of the monument erected at the RNLI head-quarters in Poole, Dorset to remember all lifeboat crews lost while on duty, including the 15 Dun Laoghaire crew from 1895 will be presented to the station by Mr. Terence Johnson, Chairman of the Lifeboat management Group and will be on permanent display at the station.
"This event has become part of our local Christmas community tradition," said Stephen Wynne, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Dun Laoghaire. "Whether a descendant of the original lifeboat crew or simply looking for something alternative on Christmas Eve, everyone and their families are welcome to join us."
The Irish Times reports that, following the reduction of his department's budget, Minister Leo Varakdar stated that substantial cuts have already occurred in the maritime safety sector.
Moreover, he announced an increase in the maritime budget from €70.5 million to €80.3 million, due to provisions for the new Irish Coast Guard helicopter contract.
Earlier this week, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, underlined the importance of the marine sector to Ireland's coastal communities.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Minister Coveney announced a round of expenditure estimates on Monday which include increased funding for investment in processing, aquaculture and fishery harbours.
Assisted by the Waterford coastguard helicopter Rescue 117, the lifeboat stood by the Irish-registered fishing vessel as its four-man crew kept the water intake under control and headed towards Ballycotton harbour under its own power.
Once returned to port, an RNLI salvage pump was placed aboard the boat to extract the excess water, and the crew offered thanks to the emergency services for their assistance.
Commenting after the call out, deputy launching authority Patrick O'Doherty said, "It was a very unusual call out for the crew, but this is why we train for every eventually. The coastguard raised the alarm and the lifeboat was tasked to assist in the operation by providing on scene safety as electricity and water are a very dangerous combination. It is important to follow safety advice when taking to the water. Water safety information is available from the RNLI's website, www.rnli.ie
Four divers have been rescued off the coast of Co Wexford today after a search involving four volunteer RNLI lifeboat crews, the Coast Guard helicopter from Waterford and shore unit.
The divers were found near the Saltee Islands just before 6am on Saturday morning (June 18), clinging to an upturned RIB boat.
The divers were expected back to shore at 10.30pm and when they didn't return a search was launched involving both the RNLI and the Irish Coast Guard. Kilmore Quay RNLI lifeboat was launched to search for the divers followed later by lifeboats from Dunmore East, Rosslare and Fethard.
The divers were spotted at first light by a Coast Guard shore team and winched to safety by the Coast Guard helicopter.
The RNLI volunteers with Kilmore Quay lifeboat station are the first to receive the new €3 million lifeboat, which is the most modern and technically advanced lifeboat in the RNLI fleet. The new lifeboat, which is named Killarney (ON 1298) was funded by a legacy from Mrs Mary Weeks of Surrey in England who passed away in 2006.
Mrs Weeks met her husband while on a cruise off the west coast of Scotland on a boat named Killarney. Mrs Weeks had a strong RNLI connection through her maiden name Distin. She was a relation of the Coxswain of Salcombe lifeboat Samuel Distin and of lifeboat crewmember Albert Distin; both men lost their lives in the Salcombe lifeboat disaster of 1916.
Mrs. Weeks' niece Mrs Betty Hull, her great niece Mrs Anne Piggford and great nephew David Hull were special guests at the ceremony. Speaking during the ceremony the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese addressed the crowds with the lifeboat alongside, " Everything that is good about human nature is gathered on this day. All the good qualities, all the things that people are capable of doing out of goodness, generosity, love, kindness, care concern; all gather around the naming of this boat this day. It comes to us by way of gift, it has been blessed and the gift itself is a blessing.
A blessing not just to those that take the boat into their ownership this day but to the people someday who will need this blessing and need its gift. For almost two hundred years now the RNLI has stories to tell of saving literally ten of thousands of lives. Tens of thousands of people who could call on the lifeboat, call on the volunteer crews and in particular without knowing it call on the generosity of people who would never get on the boat. Who like Mary Weeks would never see the boat, never live to see it but would give it as an act of generosity to future people, complete strangers who she would never know."
The new Tamar class lifeboat is 16.3 metres in length with a maximum speed of 25 knots compared to the 14.3 metres of the current Tyne class lifeboat stationed at Kilmore Quay, which has a maximum speed of 18 knots. The lifeboat is self-righting and is fitted with an integrated electronics systems and information management system, which allows the lifeboat crew to monitor, operate and control many of the boats systems from shock mitigating seats.
The Tamar also carries a Y boat (an inflatable daughter boat) which is housed under the aft deck and deployed from a hinged door in the transom. The lifeboat has room for 44 survivors.
With a vision to end preventable loss of life at sea the Royal National Lifeboat Institution are proactively engaged in delivering clear straight forward safety advice to everyone going afloat.
RNLI Volunteer Peter Bullick along with his team of presenters delivered a thought provoking sea safety message which enthralled as well as entertained all those who attended. The main message of the evening highlighted six safety tips for anyone going afloat. The RNLI use the phrase IT'S WET to help you remember this important advice.
I – Inform, Tell others where you're going.
T – Training, Knowledge of your activity is essential.
S – SOS Device, Carry a meanings of calling for help.
W – Wear a lifejacket, A life statement, not a fashion one – wear it.
E – Engine and fuel check, Have you sufficient fuel and spares?
T – Tide and weather, Check the conditions before heading out.
The RNLI's free sea safety check is offered to all boat owners.
At 0600 this morning the 17-metre fishing boat 'Lynn Marie' called Liverpool Coastguard to report a collision between their vessel and the 155 metre coaster 'MV Philip'. Although there was minimal damage to the coaster, the fishing vessel suffered extensive damage to her port side bow and began taking on water. Liverpool Coastguard requested the launch of the Port St Mary RNLI Lifeboat, and other vessels in the area including the HM Customs Cutter 'Sentinel'.
Crew from the Port St Mary Lifeboat boarded the fishing vessel with their pump, along with a pump from the Sentinel, to try and stop it from taking on water. The Port Erin RNLI Lifeboat was also launched to provide an extra pump. The Port St Mary Lifeboat then towed the fishing vessel stern first (due to the damage) into the harbour at Port St Mary.
Liverpool Coastguard Watch Manager Su Daintith said:
"The fishing vessel Lynn Marie arrived alongside at Port St Mary at 0941 with the intention to tow her into the inner harbour at high water. The coaster MV Philip proceeded on to its original destination of Greenock.
We have informed the Marine Accident Investigation Branch of this incident."
Holyhead RNLI's lifeboat was dispatched on Tuesday morning to rescue two boys from a rocky outcrop just outside Holyhead harbour.
The boys, aged 13 and 14, had ventured out to Piebio Island, which is accessible at low tide, but quickly became stranded when the water rose.
After receiving a 999 call from the boys, Holyhead Coastguard tasked Holyhead RNLI with their recovery. The boys were soon retrieved and returned to school by the coastguard rescue team.
Holyhead Coastguard watch manager Barry Priddis urged anyone going to the coast over the Easter school holidays to make sure they keep aware of the tide times.
"We want everyone to enjoy their holidays at the coast and to go home safe," he said.