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Displaying items by tag: Lifeboats

Don’t believe everything you read, the RNLI advises, after the lifesaving charity was forced to debunk claims it was recently billed for an inflatable toy lost during the rescue of a child.

According to The Independent, there appear to have been some crossed wires after an RNLI event in Britain’s south west at the weekend at which an anecdote from the 1980s was recounted.

The alleged story of how the family of a girl rescued from the water off Porthleven in Cornwall sent an invoice for £7 for the girl’s missing lilo was reported as a recent incident by a number of news outlets.

The story came with a sting in the tale for the family in question, with the alleged response from the lifesavers being the suggestion of a bill of their own for the £7,000 cost of the rescue.

But the RNLI has since been moved to clarify that the incident took place more than three decades ago, if it ever took place at all.

The Independent has more on the story HERE.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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A cow named Ghost was saved from Kinsale Harbour at the weekend after slipping down a cliff from the field above — in what also marked a second animal rescue this year for Kinsale RNLI.

Kinsale’s lifeboat volunteers launched on Saturday afternoon in Force 7 winds and choppy seas to the scene, where the year-old Holstein Friesian cow had dropped some distance and was in an agitated state, Kinsale RNLI says.

Attempts to lasso the cow from the inshore lifeboat failed as the animal panicked and resisted the lifeboat crew’s efforts.

But after bringing out the cow’s owner — local farmer Brian Hayes — to assist, they were able to fit a halter and tow Ghost back to shore.

“She’s always been hyper since she was a calf,” Hayes said back on the farm. “She’s out in the shed now drinking and eating normally, thankfully. The lads were great and I really am fierce grateful to the RNLI.”

This is the second animal rescue for the Kinsale crew in 2019. In February, they assisted a horse that had become trapped in local oyster trestles.

“While we are delighted to save animals, our primary concern is always for human life,” lifeboat helm Jonathan Connor says.

“We were eager to prevent the farmer, who was a non-swimmer, and other bystanders from entering the water and attempting the rescue themselves, and were also conscious of a number of people on the nearby beach who could have been put in danger.”

If you see anyone in danger on or near the water, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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There are 15 Community Rescue Boats around Ireland.

These are a nationwide group of independent, voluntary rescue boats, which reflect the concern of local communities for water safety in their areas and which were generally established following local drowning tragedies.

They provide additional safety coverage in addition to the RNLI and the Coast Guard. Over my years in journalistic work, I’ve met many of those involved and heard how the local communities fund their operations.

They have worked with the Coast Guard and the RNLI.

BALLINSKELLIGS COMMUNITY RESCUE BOATBallinskelligs Community Rescue Boat

Following the announcement of the new national search-and-rescue plan to underpin coordination and conducting of all search-and-rescue activities in Ireland I have had a few contacts from people involved in the operation of community lifeboats. They expressed the opinion that they “should not be forgotten” in the overall context of national search-and-rescue operations.”

These lifeboats are trained and administered by Irish Water Safety and are a “declared resource” available to the Coast Guard for search-and-rescue, responding on a seven-day round-the-year availability.

There are another 28 locations where communities also operate rescue and recovery craft that are not a Coast Guard “declared resource.”

The voluntary rescue boats local groups have a VAT exemption allowing them to reclaim this tax on the operation and running costs. This was provided through a Ministerial Statutory Instrument signed in the 80s by then Minister for Finance, Alan Dukes.

“It is important, vital to our funding,” it was stated to me.

From what I have been told there is some concern amongst these voluntary independent community boats as to how they are regarded within the new national search-and-rescue plan. I have even heard that some civil servants have been querying the continuance of VAT exemption on their operations.

They are entirely voluntary operations which demonstrate the commitment of local communities and their concern for safety on the water. Their presence is an additional water safety element that has proved its worth

• On my Podcast this week below, John Leech, CEO of Water Safety Ireland, explains the role of the community lifeboats, speaking on THIS ISLAND NATION radio and how the Government gave VAT exemption to their operations.

Published in Tom MacSweeney
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Courtmacsherry RNLI was among the search and rescue agencies who responded yesterday morning (Thursday 8 August) to reports that a man had taken ill during a diving expedition to the wreck of the Lusitania.

As reported by The Irish Times, it is suspected that the diver, one of a group of eight, developed the bends as he returned to the surface from the wreck site some 18km off the Old Head of Kinsale.

The Naval Service vessel LÉ George Bernard Shaw diverted from patrol in the area and sent a team to bring the casualty on board, from where he was airlifted to hospital.

Later the casualty was transferred from Cork University Hospital to University Hospital Galway, which has a decompression unit.

As the emergency operation wound down, Courtmacsherry RNLI’s all-weather Trent class lifeboat Frederick Stormy Cockburn received another Mayday call, to a 30ft yacht in difficulty off the Seven Heads coast.

The lifeboat was at the scene within 20 minutes and proceeded to tow the stricken vessel back to the safe surrounds of Courtmacsherry Pier.

Commenting on the morning’s callouts, Courtmacsherry lifeboat operations manager Brian O'Dwyer praised all the crew for their professionalism and fast response.

Elsewhere, shortly after 1pm, Crosshaven lifeboat volunteers were called to a medical evaluation from Spike Island in Cork Harbour.

According to Crosshaven RNLI, crew member Aoife Dinan performed casualty care until paramedics arrived, having been brought to the Island by the Port of Cork RIB.

The Irish Community Air Ambulance also landed on the island along with Crosshaven Coast Guard.

“Very sadly, the male casualty, who was a foreign visitor, was declared deceased,” said press officer Jon Mathers. “Our sympathies are with the family of the deceased man; may he rest in peace.”

Published in Cork Harbour

It was a busy August Bank Holiday weekend on the Wexford coast with three callouts for Rosslare Harbour’s lifeboat volunteers.

The first came on Saturday evening (3 August) at 6pm, when the lifeboat readied for launch to a report of a 10m yacht entangled in fishing gear some three miles from the harbour.

The stricken yacht, with four people on board, was quickly reached by the lifeboat as the seas were calm and a fine evening, according to Rosslare Harbour RNLI.

The all-weather lifeboat’s secondary craft was launched with two volunteers, who manoeuvred into position and managed to cut the yacht free, allowing its journey to continue.

The second callout was in the early hours of Sunday morning (4 August), following a 3am Mayday sent by a 17m schooner that was taking on water.

The tall ship and its complement of 10, including a number of children, were escorted safely back to the harbour by the lifeboat.

The third request for help came later on Sunday, when a small 4m boat with a lone injured person on board was found drifting by a passing freighter around 12 miles east of Tuskar Rock Lighthouse.

The casualty was airlifted to Waterford Hospital by the Irish Coast Guard’s Waterford-based helicopter Rescue 117.

Rosslare Harbour RNLI made an attempt to tow the small boat back to port, but the casualty vessel sank shortly after beginning the tow.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Two sea kayakers were rescued from the water off Ballyconneely in western Connemara by Clifden RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew yesterday afternoon (Tuesday 6 August).

Just after 4.30pm the lifeboat station’s volunteers responded to reports via the Irish Coast Guard of kayakers in distress from a member of the public on shore, who gave detailed information of their location.

According to Clifden RNLI, the lifeboat crew were told one kayaker had entered the water and got into difficulty when they were separated from the vessel, which had also flooded and capsized.

Clifden’s Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat, helmed by Joe Acton, was first on the scene and found the two kayakers standing and waving from offshore rocks near the Connemara Golf Course.

The two women, with their the remaining kayak, were taken on board the lifeboat where they were quickly assessed and given blankets as they were returned to shore, where members of Cleggan Coastguard Unit took over their care.

Clifden’s inshore D class lifeboat was also on the scene having travelled by road and launched at a nearby beach. Helmed by Owen Hayes, this second lifeboat recovered the capsized kayak and also returned to shore.

The Mersey class all-weather lifeboat was stood down en route to the scene.

This was the third launch in a week by the Clifden lifeboat crew. The station’s operations manager John Brittain said: “The crew did very well today to get three boats on the water in a matter of minutes and thankfully we were on the scene very quickly.

“This is an example of how situations at sea can change rapidly, and the vigilance of the public is so important, especially at busy times of year and in holiday destinations.”

Published in Kayaking

Two recently recruited volunteer lifeboat crew at Bundoran RNLI have had a key part of their training funded by Lloyd’s Register Foundation, according to the lifesaving charity.

Brothers Oisin and Nathan Cassidy, from Kinlough in Co Leitrim, recently travelled to the RNLI College in Poole, Dorset, to complete its Crew Emergency Procedures course.

Oisin and Nathan were inspired to join up as volunteer crew by their father James, who has been a helm with Bundoran RNLI for 18 years.

The course sees new lifeboat volunteers being trained in a variety of scenarios, such as how to deal with fires aboard lifeboats, and how to ‘abandon ship’ in the event of an emergency — complete with a four-metre jump into water.

Others include team survival swimming, coping in a liferaft in simulated darkness, how to right a capsized inshore lifeboat, and the importance of lifejackets.

It also includes sessions on the correct use of flares, fire extinguishers and throw bags.

More than 3,000 RNLI volunteer crew members have received training funded by some €2.8 million

“It was inevitable that myself and Oisin would join the RNLI,” said Nathan. “Since an early age we’ve been around the lifeboat station with Dad and have seen the great work that he and all the other volunteers do week in, week out.

“We are both very proud to be part of crew at Bundoran RNLI and look forward to help save lives at sea in the Bundoran and Donegal Bay area.”

Nathan and Oisin’s training took place in the Sea Survival Centre at the RNLI College, where they was joined by other RNLI volunteer crew from around Ireland and the UK.

The training is funded by Lloyd’s Register Foundation, a charitable foundation that helps to protect life and property by supporting engineering-related education, public engagement and the application of research.

More than 3,000 RNLI volunteer crew members have received training funded by some €2.8 million from the foundation since 2008.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Carrybridge lifeboat volunteers a busy morning on Sunday (4 August), starting with two personal water craft with engine issues close to Naan Island on Upper Lough Erne.

The relief inshore lifeboat and rescue water craft were launched at 11.33am to the stricken vessels, which one person on each craft, which were floating close to thee island’s shoreline, according to Carrybridge RNLI.

Both pilots were found to be well, and once their water craft were cleared of obstructions and fund to be in working order, they were sent on their way.

Just as the lifeboats were leaving the scene, however, Carrybridge RNLI reports they observed another personal water craft, this time with three on board, entering shallow water and at risk of grounding.

This third vessel was escorted into into deeper and safer water by the rescue water craft before it was allowed to continue its onward journey.

Speaking later, Carrybridge RNLI helm and press officer Chris Cathcart had advice for all boat users on Lough Erne and elsewhere.

“Before setting out on your journey please plan your route and carry the relevant charts and have a means of calling for assistance if you find yourself in trouble.

“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.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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On Tuesday evening (30 July), Lough Derg RNLI launched to the aid of an 18ft boat with engine failure by Mountshannon Harbour on the Clare shore.

On arrival at the reported location, the volunteer lifeboat was directed by Valentia Coast Guard to new co-ordinates as the vessel had drifted two miles south and was anchored at Castlelough on the Tipperary shore.

Once alongside, the crew observed that the boat’s onboard motor had had a fire.

The crew advised the skipper to disconnect the motor’s battery and the fuel line to the engine, and to locate the fire extinguisher.

Once satisfied the engine posed no danger, the lifeboat crew took the vessel under tow to Mountshannon where it was tied alongside at 8pm.

The crew then administered minor first aid to the skipper who had a recent finger injury and had lost the dressing from his wound.

Speaking following the callout, volunteer crew member Ger Egan said: “We would remind all boat users of the importance of doing regular checks on their boat’s engine and make sure it is serviced regularly.

“As we continue to enjoy the summer, we would also like to remind all users of the lake to respect the water.

“Always wear a lifejacket, always carry a means of communication and let someone on the shore know where you are going and when you are expected back.

“Should you get into difficulty, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Wicklow RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat Jock & Annie Slater went to the assistance of two sailors yesterday evening (Saturday 27 July) after their vessel developed engine failure.

The lifeboat put to sea under the command of Deputy Coxswain Tommy McAulay, and was alongside the drifting 28ft yacht at 5.50pm, eight miles north-east of Wicklow Harbour.

Conditions at the scene were calm with good visibility. A tow line was quickly established, and the stricken yacht was towed back to Wicklow Harbour where it was brought alongside the East Pier at 7.30pm and the two sailors were landed safely ashore.

The crew on the callout were Tommy McAulay, mechanic Tommy Murphy, Brendan Copeland, Brendan Kavanagh, Graham Fitzgerald and John Stapleton.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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