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Displaying items by tag: Lifeboats

Kayakers have been urged to always carry some means of attracting attention in an emergency, such as flares or a torch.

The call from the RNLI came after an incident off Somerset in the UK last month in which two kayakers were swept out into the Bristol Channel by strong currents in choppy waters.

Lifeboat volunteers from Minehead RNLI, joined by a rescue helicopter from HM Coastguard, had difficulty determining the kayakers’ location as darkness fell fast on the evening of Wednesday 2 September.

“Even when the helicopter found them and illuminated the area we couldn’t see them until we were about 30 yards away,” said lifeboat helm Phil Sanderson.

The two casualties, clad in T-shirts, were found cold but unharmed by their ordeal amid “nasty” conditions.

Minehead RNLI’s Chris Rundle added: “We would stress the importance of kayakers preparing for all eventualities by wearing proper clothing and buoyancy aids.

“And above all they should always carry some means of attracting attention, such as a flare pack or a good waterproof torch.

“It’s only a small investment but one which could make all the difference between life and death.”

Published in Rescue
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Portrush RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat launched to reports of a yacht in difficulty off Rathlin Island in Northern Ireland last night (Friday 2 October).

The volunteer crew were in the water just before 9pm, half an hour after paging, and headed to the location of the single-handed yachtsman four miles north-west of Rathlin in moderate to rough seas.

Cox Dave Robinson and his crew arrived on scene at 10pm and established that the yachtsman was able to manoeuvre himself into Rathlin Harbour, on the island off mainland Co Antrim, but requested their guidance.

“The yachtsman did the right thing in contacting the coastguard as he was experiencing some difficulties getting into harbour, and we were glad to provide the support,” said Portrush’s new lifeboat operations manager Beni McAllister.

“We would prefer that people were safe than sorry and would ask that they dial 999 and ask for the coastguard if help is required.”

Tuesday 13 October at 8pm is the date and time for your TV diary to see the volunteer crew of Lough Derg RNLI feature in the current series of Saving Lives at Sea on BBC Two.

Viewers will see Lough Derg’s lifeboat crew rescue a man who fell overboard in rough weather and an eerie night time launch in fog, alongside rescue stories from their colleagues at other stations and beaches around our coasts.

Saving Lives at Sea features real-life rescue footage captured on helmet cameras gives a frontline view of how the RNLI’s lifesavers risk their own lives as they go to the aid of those in danger at sea.

That’s accompanied by emotive interviews from the volunteer lifeboat crews and lifeguards from around Ireland and the UK, alongside the people they rescue and their families.

Lough Derg’s upcoming profile follows on from Lough Ree lifesavers’ appearance in last year’s series of the hit TV documentary, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

And in next week's episode, the volunteer crew of Skerries RNLI will feature with their rescue of a teenage paddle boarder who was blown out to sea.

“It’s great that we can showcase the lifesaving work of RNLI volunteers in a TV programme like this,” said Lough Derg helm Eleanor Hooker.

“In recent months, the pandemic has presented RNLI volunteers with additional challenges, but we’ve continued to maintain a 24/7 search and rescue service.

“This year, due to Covid, fundraising events have been cancelled and we’ve seen a drop in our charitable income. Without the generous support and donations from the public, we wouldn’t be able to save lives at sea.

“It’s great that with the Saving Lives at Sea programme our supporters can see what we do out on a shout, and from the comfort of their own home. We need their support more than ever during these challenging times.”

Saving Lives at Sea is broadcast Tuesdays at 8pm on BBC Two, NI, and viewers in the UK can also watch the series on demand following broadcast on the BBC iPlayer.

Published in Maritime TV

Tramore RNLI’s lifeboat volunteers were tasked to the aid of a female swimmer in difficulty at the Guillamene cove in Co Waterford yesterday afternoon (Sunday 27 September).

The inshore lifeboat was lunched at 1.55pm and within eight minutes was at the scene, where three people had been swimming near the rocks.

Easily identifiable by her yellow swimming hat, as WLR FM reports, the casualty had suffered a cramp and her companions swam back to shore to raise the alarm.

The woman was recovered from the water and on further medical attention was necessary.

Fergal McGrath, one of the helms at Tramore RNLI, said later: “This was our 23rd shout this year, making it our busiest year to date.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Aberdeen’s two RNLI lifeboats launched minutes apart around 9am this morning (Sunday 27 September) to a report of two surfers in danger at the entrance to Aberdeen Harbour in Eastern Scotland.

It emerged that the surfers had paddled out beyond the surf line and were being swept further and further offshore — the tide and wind preventing them from making their way back.

First on scene was the inshore lifeboat Buoy Woody with her crew of three, having been guided to the precise location — around half a mile offshore at the Footdee end of Aberdeen Beach — by coastguard volunteers ashore.

The two experienced surfers were uninjured but said they were both exhausted, having been in the water for almost two hours. They and their equipment were taken aboard the lifeboat to be returned to shore.

However, with the tide approaching high water, violent surf running up the beach, and the lifeboat RIB loaded to capacity, it was decided to transfer the surfers to the all-weather lifeboat Bon Accord which had arrived in the calmer water beyond the surf line.

Cal Reed, Aberdeen lifeboat’s coxswain on this service, says: “The member of the public who made the initial phone call did the right thing: if you think you see someone in difficulty at sea, always call 999 and ask for the coastguard.”

Elsewhere, on Friday afternoon (25 September) Belfast Coastguard in Northern Ireland requested Troon RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat to assist Arran RNLI with a vessel it had taken under tow to Ardrossan in Western Scotland with its Atlantic 85 inshore vessel.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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A new video from Dun Laoghaire RNLI explains the importance of checking the weather and tides before going out for a walk along the coast.

With Ireland's coastal areas getting a lot quieter as autumn begins and as we head towards winter, this can decrease the chances of someone near by spotting you in danger or in difficulty, such as getting caught out by the rising tide.

So, it’s more crucial than ever to plan ahead — and bring a means of communication to call for help if needed.

If you get caught out while walking on the coast, or see someone else getting into difficulty, always call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.

In other news, the RNLI has joined up with the RYA for a new series of videos with advise on how to safely enjoy being on the water.

Yachts and Yachting reports that the water safety videos — which will also cover topics such as electronic navigation, the shipping forecast and best practice when riding a personal watercraft — will be shared on the RYA and RNLI’s social media channels.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

A man has died after getting into difficulty while swimming of the cast near Youghal last Friday (18 September).

Youghal RNLI was called to the scene at Caliso Bay in Co Waterford on Friday afternoon after the man was reported missing to the coastguard.

A lifeboat crew member quickly spotted the casualty in the water and he was brought on board. Volunteers started CPR while the lifeboat returned to station.

CPR continued in the boathouse until paramedics arrived. However, the man was pronounced dead by a doctor shortly after.

“All members of Youghal RNLI would like to offer their sincere condolences to the man’s family and friends at the sad time,” said the station’s press officer Lou Stepney-Power.

“I would like to thank all the lifeboat and medical crew involved today for their efforts in a difficult situation.”

Youghal RNLI’s inshore lifeboat (Photo: Kevin Daly)Youghal RNLI’s inshore lifeboat | Photo: Kevin Daly

Youghal RNLI launched three times the following day, Saturday 19 September.

The first was in the morning, to assist two people on a small boat with engine trouble in Youghal Harbour.

Just after noon, the crew were paged to reports of a person on the rocks at Easter Point. But on scene it was established the person was a kayaker exploring the area and did not need assistance.

Later, the lifeboat launched to reports of a child in the water of Ardmore but was stood down as the crew of the Irish Coast Guard’s Waterford-based helicopter Rescue 117 airlifted the casualty for treatment.

Lifeboat operations manager Derry Walsh thanked the crews for their efforts. “We have responded to four callouts in 24 hours, I think that could be a station record,” he said.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Arranmore RNLI volunteer Nora Flanagan has been recognised for 25 years of service to the charity that saves lives at sea.

The retired nurse, who serves as the Donegal island station’s press officer, first got involved with the RNLI in 1995 when she became the first female crew member to join Arranmore’s all-weather lifeboat crew.

“I remember my first call out well,” Nora recalls. :We were involved in an all-night search for a fisherman who fell overboard a trawler and I remembering finding that challenging.

“The next day my pager went off again, this time for a medical evacuation. I was more confident on this callout when I was helping the injured person. It was then I realised and understood that there is a role for everybody who wants to join a lifeboat crew.”

Nora also got involved with the local fundraising team and later became the station’s volunteer lifeboat press officer, a role she still holds.

“This involves writing news releases and doing local radio interviews after callouts and keeping in touch with the local media about any activity that is going on at the station such as safety awareness and education, fundraising and events.”

One of the highlights over the years was a visit to the RNLI College in Poole, where Nora was asked to represent the RNLI in Ireland for the launch of Volunteer Spirit, a lifeboat which was funded by selling badges.

“That was a huge honour for me personally, but overall, I have had an exceptional 25 years with the RNLI and I love being part of an organisation that is one big family.”

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Nora could not be presented with her medal in person but said she was delighted to receive the recognition from the RNLI, which came with a warm word of thanks from the charity for having achieved over 20 years of extraordinary service.

Published in Island News
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Wicklow RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat had a midweek launch to assist two sailors on a 14-metre yacht with engine failure off the Wicklow coast.

The Shannon class lifeboat set off shortly after 1pm on Wednesday 9 September and located the yacht 20 minutes later, six miles north of Wicklow Harbour.

Conditions on scene had a moderate sea state with northwesterly Force 4 winds.

A towline was quickly established and the yacht was towed back towards Wicklow harbour, where the two sailors were landed safely ashore at 2.30pm.

The crew on the callout were coxswain Ciaran Doyle, mechanic Brendan Copeland, David O’Leary, Carol Flahive, Ian Heffernan and Andrew Carlin.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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A busy week for Lough Derg RNLI’s lifeboat volunteers continued on Tuesday night (8 September) after a 20ft cruiser suffered engine failure at the lough’s northeastern end.

The lifeboat Jean Spicer launched just before 9.20pm and used all onboard electronic navigation aids to locate cruiser, which was adrift by Bellevue Point.

On request, the three people on board the cruiser flashed a light for the lifeboat crew as they approached, and great care was taken to bring the lifeboat alongside the casualty vessel which had drifted into reeds close to the shore.

All on board were dafe and unharmed, and the motorboat was brought under tow to Dromineer Harbour.

Deputy launching authority Peter Kennedy advises boat users to “make sure your engines are fully serviced, and that you have sufficient fuel for your journey.

“Always carry enough lifejackets for everyone on board and that they are worn.”

The callout marked the third to a cruiser in difficulty in as many days for the Lough Derg crew — following a 35ft cruiser aground by the Silver Islands on Monday evening (7 September) and a vessel with engine failure near Mountshannon Harbour on Sunday (6 September).

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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