Displaying items by tag: Lifeboats
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
They were called out again on Monday to assist three teenagers on an inflatable dinghy, and on Wednesday to investigate a kite surfer in distress.
Shortly before 2pm last Friday afternoon (19 July), one of the Skerries RNLI volunteer crew spotted a small fishing boat that appeared to be drifting quite close to the shoreline.
The volunteer crew launched their Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson and made their way out to the fishing boat.
There was one man on board and he confirmed that the boat had suffered engine failure. A tow was established and the boat was towed safely into Skerries Harbour.
On Monday evening (22 July), just after 6pm, Skerries RNLI were tasked after Dublin Coast Guard received a call expressing concern for three teenagers in an inflatable dinghy who were drifting off the headland at Red Island.
Just as the crew reached the station, the lifeboat was stood down as the teenagers had managed to make it back to shore.
The pagers sounded once again on Wednesday evening (24 July) at 6.30pm after what appeared to be a kite belonging to a kitesurfer was spotted, semi-submerged, south of Shenick Island off Skerries.
The lifeboat was launched and proceeded directly to the area indicated by the caller. A search of the area was carried out and the object was spotted on the shore of the island.
A crew member entered the water and swam ashore to investigate the object, which turned out to be a discarded tent.
With the crew member safely back on board the lifeboat, the helm updated Dublin Coast Guard and the lifeboat was stood down.
Speaking about the busy week, volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: “With the great weather we’ve been having here has been an increase in callouts all around the coast, particularly involving inflatables.
“We all love to enjoy the water, but we’d advise people to check out the RNLI and Water Safety Ireland websites (RNLI.org and WaterSafety.ie) for tips on how to enjoy yourself while staying safe at the beach.”
Conditions were poor, with fog and rain and a southerly Force 3 wind with a 1-2m swell when the all-weather lifeboat reached the stricken boat some 14 miles off Newcastle at 10pm.
All eight on board were found safe and well, and prepared for the rough conditions with foul weather clothing and lifejackets.
Speaking afterwards, Newcastle RNLI coxswain Nathan Leneghan said: “We would like to commend the actions of the yacht’s crew for having the correct lifesaving equipment on board and for calling for assistance at the earliest opportunity as the situation could have deteriorated with weather conditions worsening.”
Weather conditions were good with a 1.5m swell and a force 4-5 southerly wind as coxswain Mairtín O’Flaithearta and a full crew approached the pier at Inis Meain, where a teenager requiring further medical attention was taken aboard the lifeboat.
The crew then proceeded to Inis Oirr, where a young child also requiring further medical attention was taken aboard.
Both casualties were then taken straight to Rossaveal Harbour where they were transferred to hospital for further treatment.
Speaking after the callout, O’Flaithearta said: “A call can come at any time, and often like today where we had get two call outs at once. In situations like this, our regular crew training helps with a quick response time.
“We would like to wish both casualties a speedy recovery.”
The medevac came just days after Aran Islands RNLI were called to assist a yacht with engine difficulty off Straw Island.