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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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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
Page 4 of 96

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