Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Displaying items by tag: RNLI

Tobermory RNLI’s deputy second mechanic Tony ‘Kiwi’ Spillane has been announced as World Mince and Tatties Champion for 2020.

After the All Blacks' disappointing run in the Rugby World Cup last year, the New Zealander made his home country proud by emerging victorious in the contest at the Mishnish in Tobermory yesterday, Saturday 25 January.

‘Kiwi’ has continued in a tradition of world champions at the lifeboat station, on the Isle of Mull in western Scotland, with operations manager Dr Sam Jones winning the title in 2007 and former coxswain Phil Higson being champion in 2008 and 2011.

Competitors submit their best plate of mince and tatties to a panel of judges, with the winner being declared world champion.

But there was controversy when it emerged that coxswain David McHaffie and Dr Sam Jones had been two of the three judges, and some of the audience claimed that there had been ‘a fix’.

But Dr Jones dismissed the accusations. “Kiwi won his world title absolutely fair and square,” he said. “It was a blind tasting and none of us had any idea whose mince we were sampling.

“We’re hoping that at our next training night, Kiwi will cook up his championship dish to warm up the volunteer crew when they come back from exercise.”

Published in Scottish Waters

Two very generous cheques was presented from supporters of Portree and Kyle of Lochalsh lifeboat stations in western Scotland last Friday 17 January.

Mr Rodger Harvey-Jamieson made the very generous donation of £10,000 cheque from his family to each station when he visited Kyle of Lochalsh RNLI.

Mr Alfie Edwards, representing the Applecross Boat Pull Team, also handed over to each station a cheque for £1,000. The team have been fundraising for local charities and the RNLI for several years.

Thanking Mr Harvey-Jamieson and Mr Edwards were Portree coxswain Hamish Corrigall and operations manager John Ellis, as well as Emma Noble and Daniel Elliot representing Kyle station.

Published in Scottish Waters

A cardiac defibrillator has been installed outside Lerwick RNLI’s lifeboat station, to provide essential lifesaving treatment to anyone suffering from a heart attack.

The defibrillator is fitted in a highly visible protective cabinet outside the station door next to the small boat harbour, which is a popular spot for locals and visitors in Scotland’s Shetland Islands throughout the year.

Accessible 24 hours a day, providing an emergency asset for the area, the automated external defibrillator (AED) can monitor the heart rhythm and, if necessary, deliver an electric shock to the heart, which is the most effective treatment for a heart attack.

AEDs can be used by anyone, without the need for any specialist training, as any rescuer will be guided through what to do by the voice commands and display panel.

The defibrillator has been part-funded by a grant from the British Heart Foundation, and a local crowdfunding effort raised the extra money required to purchase the equipment and stainless-steel cabinet necessary to house it.

Lerwick lifeboat crew are particularly thankful to one anonymous donor who gave £900 to the appeal.

Scottish charity Lucky2BHere, which has helped to provide many defibrillators in Shetland, has also provided AED training to the lifeboat crew.

It is thought that next nearest public access defibrillator is around 400 metres away, outside the Stewart Building, while the nearby Lerwick Boating Club has a defibrillator located in their premises.

Darren Harcus, coxswain of RNLI Lerwick, said: “Installing this defibrillator fits well with our function as the charity which saves lives at sea. This will be an important lifesaving asset for the Lerwick waterfront, partly paid for by the local community.

“We’d like to thank all those who have made donations for this defibrillator, the British Heart Foundation who have provided grant funding, Lucky2BHere who have provided support, and our RNLI Estates Team who have dealt with the necessary paperwork to install and provide electrical power to the defibrillator on the building.”

Published in Scottish Waters

Country music stars Robert Mizzell and Kieran McAree are set to perform at the annual Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat Dance next Friday 31 January.

The dance, held this year at the Allingham Arms Hotel in Bundoran, is the flagship fundraising event of the volunteer crew and has been a staple of the annual event calendar for more than 40 years.

Award-winning country music singer Robert Mizzell, originally from Louisiana and now based in Ireland, will perform on the night and is looking forward to playing the event.

“Since I’ve moved to Ireland I’ve become very aware of the amazing work the volunteers of the RNLI do so selflessly,” he said. “It is my great pleasure to be invited back to play at their annual dance this year. I look forward to seeing many of the supporters of this great charity on the night.”

Event director Cormac McGurren is reminding supporters that not only is it a great night of music, but there are some great prizes in the monster raffle, too.

“Local businesses have once again been so generous in donating prizes for us for the raffle and we would like to thank traders in Bundoran and Ballyshannon for their great support. A special thanks to Mr Oilman who is donating €250 worth of oil for our door prize on the night, too.”

The dance will take place on Friday 31st January with Kieran McAree on stage from 9pm and Robert Mizzell on stage from 11pm.

Proceeds from the dance will fund ongoing training of the volunteer crew based at Bundoran Lifeboat Station, who are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, serving the entire Donegal Bay area for marine emergencies.

Tickets are just €15 and are on sale now from all crew members, the Allingham Arms, Bundoran Tourist Office, BMG Hardware Bundoran, O’Neill’s Next Door Off Licence Ballyshannon and on the door on the night.

More information on the lifeboat service in Bundoran can be found on the station’s Facebook page.

robert mizzell and kieran mcaree to play annual bundoran lifeboat dance2

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Larne RNLI launched at 3.50pm on Saturday (18 January) to assist a RIB which had lost engine power half a mile south of Muck Island.

The volunteer crew were requested to launch by Belfast Coastguard to the nine-metre RIB with three people on board which had been losing engine power.

The all-weather lifeboat, Dr John McSparran, launched into a slight swell with light levels decreasing as the night closed in.

The lifeboat reached the anchored casualty boat and a volunteer crew member was put on board to establish a tow rope so that the lifeboat could bring the casualty boat into Carrickfergus Harbour.

One of the casualties from the boat was transferred to the lifeboat for some respite from the cold conditions of the open water.

Upon reaching Carrickfergus, the casualty boat was handed into the care of the Portmuck Coastguard team.

Larne RNLI lifeboat operations manager Allan Dorman said: “The casualty boat did the right thing by dropping their anchor and calling for help at the earliest opportunity.

“Being able to find the boat in daylight made it much easier for our volunteer crew to establish the tow and bring them into the safety of Carrickfergus Harbour.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat crew are to be honoured by the charity for a dramatic rescue of a fishing crew that took place in challenging conditions and resulted in the lives of six fishermen being saved. Coxswain Dean Hegarty is to be awarded a Bronze Medal for Gallantry by the Institution and Lifeboat Mechanic Martin O’Donoghue, lifeboat volunteers Seamus Harrington, John Paul Downey and David Fenton, along with Deputy Launching Authority Michael Martin-Sullivan, will all receive a framed Letter of Thanks from the Chairman of the RNLI.

As Afloat reported at the time, the rescue of the six men who were the crew of the 25-metre fishing vessel, Clodagh O, took place on the evening of 10 October 2018 at an area known as ‘The Pipers’ immediately south-west of the harbour entrance at Castletownbere. Answering an urgent ‘Mayday’ from the fishing crew, the charity’s lifeboat launched in darkness into a force 9 gale, driving rain and heavy squalls, to rescue the crew who were in grave and imminent danger due to their vessel having lost all power after their propeller became fouled on their fishing gear.

Arriving on scene, the lifeboat crew saw that the fishing vessel was located in a precarious position and the Coxswain made the decision not to take the crew off the boat but instead establish a towline in breaking four to five-metre swells.

Coxswain Dean HegartyCastletownbere RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Paul Stevens (left) congratulates Coxswain Dean Hegarty on the news of his Bronze Medal for Gallantry by the RNLI

With the weather deteriorating, there was only a short window of opportunity to save the men before the vessel would hit the rocks or cliff face and be lost. With the Coxswain skilfully manoeuvring the lifeboat into position and holding it steady in mountainous seas, the lifeboat crew on deck established a tow on first attempt. The Coxswain had to initially steer the lifeboat out to sea to gain a safe separation between the rocks and cliffs before he could then turn the lifeboat and start the journey back to the harbour. The tow was carried out at a speed of a half a knot in case it parted, only gathering speed as they found shelter. Once inside the safety of the harbour two local tugboats helped to secure the boat alongside the pier.

The lifeboat crew were informed of the decision at a crew meeting in the station last night (Thursday 16 January) by RNLI Lifesaving Manager Sean Dillon, who delivered a letter from RNLI Chief Executive Mark Dowie. Both Owen Medland, RNLI Lifesaving Lead and Brian O’Driscoll, Area Lifesaving Manager were also in attendance.

In informing the station of the award Mr. Dowie said, ‘In making the awards, the RNLI Trustees recognise the complexity of the service, the level of risk and the quality of decision making by all involved in the service. These awards mark the courage, skill and dedication shown by the Coxswain, crew and officials involved, and are a testament to outstanding teamwork and seamanship in perilous conditions which resulted in the successful rescue of six people.’

Castletownbere RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Paul Stevens, who was formerly the Coxswain’s school principal, commented, ‘We are extremely proud of our lifeboat crew for their incredibly brave actions that night, which resulted in the saving of six lives. The RNLI does not give out awards for gallantry lightly and to receive one is a great privilege. We are a strong fishing community here and we have seen too much loss at sea. This rescue was relatively fast in lifeboat terms but carried out in extremely challenging conditions and relying on absolute precision and split-second decision making by our Coxswain. The skill and expertise of the lifeboat crew onboard meant that every action was well-executed and successful along with the sound judgement of the Launching Authority. I look forward to a great day out with our crew when they receive their honours in front of their proud families.’

This is the first RNLI Medal for Gallantry to be awarded in Ireland in ten years. The last one was a Bronze Medal for Portrush RNLI station mechanic Anthony Chambers, for his rescue of two boys trapped in a cave near Castlerock with a rising tide.

The RNLI Bronze Medal for Gallantry and the Institution’s Framed Letter of Thanks from the Chairman will be presented at a ceremony to held in the near future. Details of the arrangements will be released nearer the date.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Five years into his remarkable and challenging project to photograph all RNLI lifeboat station in the UK and Ireland with a Victorian-era camera, Jack Lowe has visited 147 stations and met more than 2,000 volunteers.

And it’s not over yet, as the West of Ireland and Scotland’s Western Isles are among those locations yet to be covered by The Lifeboat Station Project between now and the end of 2022.

They will add to the more than 35,000 miles he’s already covered with his trusty converted ambulance, ‘Neena’, which also serves as his mobile darkroom for the 19th-century wet plate collodion process he used to produce his distinct, monochrome images.

Last September, Lowe toured Northern Ireland to complete that 10-station leg of his mammoth undertaking.

Neena, the converted ambulance Jack Lowe uses as a mobile darkroom (Photo: RNLI)Neena, the converted ambulance Jack Lowe uses as a mobile darkroom | Photo: RNLI

That came almost a year after he reached the half-way mark in his project, shortly following his 100th station visit at Valentia — and at a time of self-doubt, before crowdfunding support provided the boost needed to see the rest of the task through.

At the same time, he’s expanded the scope of the project — including images of station mechanics and other key volunteers, as well as making sound recordings that go ‘behind the scenes’.

“Ultimately, I’m honoured beyond words to be making this archive,” Lowe says. “It’s a privilege spending time with so many lifeboat volunteers, preserving their bravery and devotion for future generations.”

The Lifeboat Station Project’s dedicated website has links to Lowe’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds, as well as his Patreon campaign.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

It’s been a busy start to the New Year with multiple callouts for Scottish RNLI lifeboat crews at Aberdeen on the east coast and Oban in the west.

Aberdeen’s all-weather lifeboat was called for a medevac from an oilfield platform supply vessel (PSV) at anchor in Aberdeen Bay on Friday evening (3 January).

The casualty complained of chest pain and numbness in one side of his body – symptoms typically associated with heart attack — and the lifeboat launched immediately, navigating through an unusually busy bay anchorage.

Coxswain Michael Cowlam said: “Conditions were excellent — perfect visibility and a gentle swell from the gentle offshore breeze. The challenge was finding the right vessel in the densely crowded anchorage. None of us had ever seen it so busy.”

Once the casualty’s vessel had been located, however, he was swiftly returned to shore and the care of the Scottish Ambulance Service.

Less than 24 hours previously, Aberdeen’s D-class inshore lifeboat and the all-weather vessel’s Y-boat were launched to assist in a river bank search of the River Dee after concerns were raised for the safety of an elderly man missing in the area.

The crews searched extensively but were stood down when, happily, a member of the public found the missing man in the city centre.

Lifeboat operations manager Bill Deans later commented: “For all three of Aberdeen’s lifeboats to be called out on service in the first three days of a New Year is exceptional. I can’t remember a start to the year like it in my 40-plus years’ service at Aberdeen Lifeboat Station.”

The yacht aground at Connel Bay in Oban (Photo: RNLI/Stephen Lawson)The yacht aground at Connel Bay in Oban | Photo: RNLI/Stephen Lawson

Elsewhere, in Oban, the lifeboat Mora Edith MacDonald was launched twice to two separate incidents between Friday and Saturday (3 & 4 January).

The first call came at 7.26pm on Friday following reports of a red flare sighting in Loch Melfort. A thorough search was conducted by the lifeboat, Oban’s coastguard team and HM Coastguard’s rescue helicopter but with nothing found, the search was stood down.

Just hours later, shortly before 10am on Saturday morning, the volunteers were called again, this time to a yacht that had broken its morning in Connel Bay and run aground.

Given the nature of the tides in the area, near the Falls of Lora, the decision was made to refloat the vessel, which has no persons on board at the time, and secure it to a nearby morning.

Published in Scottish Waters
Tagged under

Wicklow RNLI held its annual Service of Remembrance on New Year’s Day (Wednesday 1 January) in memory of all deceased lifeboat volunteer members, sailors from the town and all those associated with the sea from Wicklow.

The ceremony began with a short religious prayer conducted by Fr Donal Roche and Rev Jack Kinkead, who blessed the flowers and wreaths.

After the blessing, coxswain Nick Keogh and the lifeboat crew took the floral tributes out into the bay and placed them on the water.

A minute’s silence was also held in memory of all the former members of Wicklow lifeboat who have risked everything to save the lives of others ever since the RNLI lifeboat station was established in 1857.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

RTÉ News reports that one man has died as the search continues for a second man after a fishing vessel is understood to have sunk off Hook Head last night (Saturday 4 January).

A man in his 60s was recovered in the early hours of this morning (Sunday 5 January) but died at University Hospital Waterford.

The Irish Coast Guard and RNLI lifeboat crews are involved in the search for a second individual believed to have been on the trawler south of Dunmore East.

Published in Fishing
Page 1 of 191
Who is Your Sailor Sailor of the Year 2019?
Total Votes:
First Vote:
Last Vote:

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events 2020

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating