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Members of the Connemara/Clifden RNLI Lifeboats Fundraising Branch gathered at the Station House Hotel in Clifden recently to acknowledge the contributions and retirements of some longstanding members.

Area fundraising manager Tony Hiney, who is himself set to retire this year, joined with Clifden RNLI fundraising manager AnnMarie Bennett and chairman Pearse Hyland to present the awards.

Geraldine Heanue of Letterfrack received an award in recognition of her retirement after more than 20 years service as a fundraising officer.

Stuart Freeman of Ballynahinch was presented with an award for long service on his retirement, having volunteered as an RNLI box collector and fundraiser for over 40 years.

A posthumous award was presented to Ann and Catherine Coyne in recognition of Clifden man Owen Coyne’s longstanding support of the lifeboats during Flag Day and church gate collections.

Margaret Wallace was also recognised for her volunteering for collections and retirement from the fundraising team.

Bernie Davis received an award for excellence in volunteering for her long-running annual participation in the Dublin Women’s Mini Marathon in support of Clifden RNLI.

Although unable to attend on the day, Michael Mullen also received an award for excellence in fundraising for his annual darts competition in memory of his son Mikey Mullen, who was tragically lost at sea.

Mikey’s mother Laurence Inglebach also received an award for excellence for her annual fundraising Clifden Lifeboat 10k Run earlier this year.

‘Without the time and energy of our fundraising volunteers, the crew would simply not be able to carry out the lifesaving work that they do’

Speaking at the gathering, AnnMarie Bennett thanked everyone in attendance for their consistent and long standing support of the lifeboats in Connemara.

“The Clifden RNLI has grown and developed hugely over the years and the generosity and dedication of all our fundraising volunteers is what helps this to happen,” she said.

“Without the time and energy of our fundraising volunteers, the crew would simply not be able to carry out the lifesaving work that they do, and we are all extremely grateful for everything you have done in support of the lifeboats.

“Your generosity and time has saved lives and helped families and our community in so many different ways over the years.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Youghal RNLI was tasked at 11.58 am on Friday 8 November by the Coast Guard to help assist them in recovering a yacht that had gone aground at Harvey’s Dock after becoming loose from its moorings.

In calm and clear conditions, the volunteer crew of, Helm Liam Keogh, Alan Revins, Ivan Bryan and Noel Joyce launched the Atlantic 85, Inshore Lifeboat on the rising tide and reached the yacht within 2 minutes.

A tow line was established and as the yacht moved back onto the water it became submerged. The Lifeboat continued to tow the vessel until they reached a place where it could be secured. With the help of Youghal Coast Guard Unit the yacht was tied to the end of the pier. The lifeboat was then stood down and asked by the Coast Guard to return at low tide.

"The lifeboat was then stood down and asked by the Coast Guard to return at low tide"

Launching again at 9 pm in dark and cold conditions, the inshore lifeboat under the Helm of John Griffin Jr, Joe O’Connor, James Hanna and Thomas Brooks returned to the yacht to assist the Coast Guard in the water. Two volunteer crew members entered the water where they secured numerous buoys and barrels to the yacht to help to re-float it on the rising tide.

Mark Nolan, Youghal RNLI Deputy Launching Authority said: ‘The success of the call outs today was due to the teamwork with our colleagues in the Youghal Coast Guard unit. Thankfully the yacht is now secure and drying out to relief of the owner. I would also like to thank all the volunteer shore and boat crew who assisted today’.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The popular Cork RNLI fundraising lunch and auction, which took place at the Maryborough Hotel last week (Friday, 1 November), proved a huge success, raising €15,100 for the life-saving charity. The event was attended by two hundred guests who came to support Baltimore, Crosshaven and Kinsale RNLI in their work, saving lives at sea.

The room was full of many familiar faces with 210 people dining to raise funds for the lifeboats. RNLI Council member, Ian Venner, opened proceedings and spoke about the work of the RNLI and where the funds raised will be spent.

Master of Ceremonies and well-known comedian, Barry Murphy, kept the crowd entertained throughout their lunch and during the auction. Generous sponsors, many of them local Cork businesses, provided a raft of incredible raffle prizes while some of those in attendance displayed immense generosity by providing fantastic impromptu prizes on the day for the auction. These included a signed Munster rugby jersey, premium-level tickets to see Ireland take on Denmark at the Aviva Stadium later this month in the final UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier, and a week’s free accommodation at a private luxury apartment in the Mediterranean. The auction got the guests bidding against each in good-natured fashion for the exciting lots.

Maryborough RNLI 2Claire Morgan, Gillian O'Sullivan, Ruth Cudmore McSweeney & Avril O'Brien: RNLI Fundraising Lunch Committee, alongside Mary Creedon, RNLI Committee Fundraiser Manager at the RNLI Fundraising Lunch 2019, Maryborough Hotel & Spa, Douglas, 1st November 2019

A popular part of the event was the interview with Crosshaven RNLI crewmember and also uncle and niece; James Fegan and Molly Murphy. The pair spoke about how lifeboats is a family affair for them and how they became involved in the life-saving charity. James has been lifeboat crew for fifteen years while Molly who joined when she turned seventeen and studying for her Leaving Certificate, is now over two years on the crew. The pair offered a unique insight into what it takes to run a high performing team of lifesaving volunteers and the many sacrifices each volunteer and their loved ones endure to ensure lives are saved at sea.

RNLI Community Fundraising Manager Mary Creedon said, ‘Once again the generous people of Cork have come out in support of their local lifeboat stations. We had a wonderful afternoon in the company of great people, and I hope everyone who attended got an idea of the work of the charity and of the type of incredible people who volunteer for our lifeboats.’

‘The RNLI is about to embark on a major fundraising initiative called ‘Perfect Storm’ to meet the challenges of keeping our crews trained and equipped so they can face the elements and rescue those in trouble at sea. Anyone looking to support the RNLI can do so by visiting rnli.org/support-us and donating.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Aran Islands RNLI has responded to consecutive calls for help today to carry out two medical evacuations.

The volunteer crew were first asked to launch their all-weather lifeboat David Kirkaldy, at 11.25 am by the Irish Coast Guard.

An elderly man required medical attention on the Island of Inis Meáin.

The lifeboat launched under Coxswain Pete Hanscombe and a full crew.

Weather conditions were moderate at the time with a force 3 light South-East wind.

Once alongside the pier in Inis Meain, the patient was transferred safely aboard the lifeboat and brought under the supervision of the volunteer crew members. While preparing to leave the pier in Inis Meain, the lifeboat received another call, this time to go to the aid of a woman on Inis Mór who was also in need of further medical attention.

The lifeboat headed straight for Inis Mór and once alongside the pontoon, the patient was transferred safely aboard and put under the supervision of the lifeboat crew. The lifeboat then proceeded on to Rossaveal harbour where the crew transferred the patients on to a waiting ambulance.

Speaking after the call out, Aran Islands RNLI Coxswain Pete Hanscombe said: ‘This was a busy morning for the volunteer crew members, but they responded quickly and both patients were transferred safely and quickly to the Ambulance in Rossaveal. We would like to wish both patients a speedy recovery.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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At 3.40 pm yesterday Lough Derg RNLI was requested by Valentia Coast Guard to go to the assistance of two people whose vessel had run aground near Pike Island, north of Kilgarvan Quay on the Tipperary shore.

Volunteer crew with helm, Owen Cavanagh, Eleanor Hooker and Keith Brennan launched the inshore lifeboat Jean Spier in mild weather conditions with Force 3 winds.

Upon arriving on the scene a crew member transferred to the casualty vessel and established that both people on board were wearing their lifejackets and were in no immediate danger. However, the boat had suffered damage to the rudder and the steering was not working.

"The lifeboat crew set up an astern tow and took the boat from the rocks and into safe waters"

The lifeboat crew set up an astern tow and took the boat from the rocks and into safe waters. They then proceeded to Kilgarvan Quay where an alongside tow was used to safely bring the casualty vessel into the harbour and it was tied alongside at 4.50 pm.

Owen Cavanagh, volunteer helm at Lough Derg RNLI said: ‘Before heading out on the lake, we advise people to familiarize themselves with the correct charts and pay close attention to the markers. Ensure everyone on board knows how to call for help. If you find yourself in trouble, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard

Published in Inland Waterways
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Lifeboat crew at Castletownbere RNLI were launched early this morning just after 03.30 a.m. to assist a 19-metre fishing vessel which experienced difficulties off the Bull Rock off the Beara peninsula in West Cork.

The alarm was raised when the vessel, with four persons on board, experienced mechanical difficulties eleven miles west of the Bull Rock. The alarm was raised with Valentia Coastguard Radio requesting immediate assistance who in turn tasked Castletownbere lifeboat at 03.27 a.m.

The lifeboat was launched within minutes under the command of Coxswain Dean Hegarty and five crew and located the fishing vessel at 05.20 a.m. 28 miles west of Castletownbere Harbour. There was a 3-4 metre swell and the wind was Force 5 westerly.

The lifeboat took the fishing boat under tow shortly afterwards and brought it to safety within Castletownbere Harbour arriving at 12.00 midday.

Commenting on the callout Castletownbere RNLI Launching Authority Felix O’Donoghue said, ‘The crew are to be praised for their quick response and swift launch this morning. They spent eight and a half hours at sea and thankfully the outcome has been positive.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Carrybridge RNLI is looking for new volunteer crew members to join its search and rescue service on Lough Erne.

The station, on the River Erne between the upper and lower loughs, is now calling on potential recruits to come forward and learn how they can get involved in helping the charity continue to save lives at sea and on inland waterways.

Later this month, on Thursday 21 November from 7pm, the lifeboat station will be hosting an open evening for all interested candidates to learn more.

Originally part of Enniskillen RNLI, Carrybridge RNLI was established in 2002 due to the increase in pleasure boating activity on Lough Erne.

In October 2015, a new station was officially opened and a larger Atlantic 85 lifeboat was placed on service in November 2017, to replace the older Atlantic 75 and to join the existing rescue water craft (RWC).

To date the lifeboat, Douglas Euan and Kay Richards, and RWC have launched 41 times on service in addition to weekly training exercises.

Stephen Scott, Carrybridge RNLI lifeboat operations manager, is now calling on any potential volunteers to come along to the open evening and find out more.

“We are looking for anyone aged 17 years and over who is willing to offer some of their free time to join what I believe to be one of the most exhilarating and rewarding voluntary services that is out there,” he said.

“While experience on the water is helpful, every volunteer receives first-class training from the RNLI and learns new skills which can benefit them in many walks of life. Lifeboat crew members need to have a reasonable level of fitness.”

Anyone who feels they have the time and commitment to volunteer for the charity which is on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, is asked to email Stephen at [email protected]

Four people have been rescued from an island off the Sligo coast after their vessel washed up on rocks.

Bundoran RNLI’s volunteer crew launched to the incident at Inishmurray Island yesterday afternoon (Sunday 3 November) along with the Irish Coast Guard’s Sligo-based helicopter Rescue 118, which airlifted the casualties to hospital

The RNLI says the lifeboat made efforts to recover their boat from the rocks but due to a three-metre swell, it was decided to leave it in place.

Later, volunteer helm Rory O’Connor said: “The four casualties were lucky on this occasion and we are thankful that they alerted the coastguard when they did. This was another callout with a good outcome.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Five crew were rescued from a fishing vessel that ran aground on rocks on approach to Ardglass Harbour early yesterday morning (Wednesday 23 October).

Portaferry and Newcastle RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crews launched to assist after a Mayday call from the 24-metre vessel, which had been drifting towards Phennick Point outside the harbour.

The Belfast Telegraph reports that the boat, the Cork-registered Dillon Owen, was attempting to enter the harbour to land its herring catch when it quickly lost powe

As the lifeboats proceeded towards Ardglass, the fishing vessel was stuck on the rocks and had begun taking on water. The Dublin-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 was also scrambled to the scene carrying extra pumps.

Following a dynamic risk assessment between the lifeboats and fishing boat skipper, an attempt was made to tow the vessel off the rocks.

But due to worsening weather and tidal conditions, it was decided after numerous attempts by the Newcastle lifeboat coxswain to evacuate the crew of the vessel instead — with Rescue 116 airlifting them to safety upon its arrival.

Speaking after the rescue, Newcastle RNLI coxswain Nathan Leneghan said: “This morning's rescue was a success due to multi-agency teamwork with our colleagues in the Irish Coast Guard, volunteers at Portaferry RNLI and Portaferry and Newcastle coastguard teams. Thankfully this was positive outcome, and all five fishermen are safe and well.”

Kevin Quigley of the NI Fishery Harbour Authority said the fishing vessel remained listing “very badly” at the harbour and further attempts would be made to refloat it.

Published in Rescue

The great and the good of Kilmore Quay turned out on Friday night (18 October) last weekend to dine on a fish supper with a difference which raised €2,518 for saving lives at sea. Overseeing the cooking was Michelin Star Chef Derry Clarke, who had travelled down from his famous restaurant in Dublin, L’Ecrivain. Derry and a small number of volunteers served up suppers of fresh fish, chips and mushy peas to 120 lucky people who had packed into the Stella Maris Community Centre. The night was held to raise funds for Kilmore Quay RNLI and was part of the charity’s Fish Supper campaign.

Derry has a great love of the sea and is lifesaving charity’s official ‘Fish Supper Ambassador’. He often shares delicious fish recipes on the RNLI website for people to use when holding their own fish supper for the lifeboat crews. He has held RNLI fundraisers in both West Cork and Wexford in the past and was delighted when he received a call from Kilmore Quay RNLI Treasurer Anne McMorris to ask if he would host a fish supper in the village to raise funds for the lifeboat crew.

Derry pictureDerry in Kilmore Quay

One hundred and twenty portions of fresh fish were donated by O’Flaherty’s Fish along with bags of chips from Fortune’s potatoes. The oil used to cook the dinners was kindly donated by Kehoe’s Pub and Mace gave the wine at a generous reduction. The kitchen volunteers worked alongside Derry to ensure the guests had a delicious and hot meal served to perfection and the event was a huge success.

Following the meal, Derry came out to thank the diners and received huge applause. He was presented with a mounted photograph of the local harbour by Kilmore Quay RNLI Treasurer Anne McMorris who thanked him for giving up his time to come down and cook for the guests.

CrowdThe great and the good of Kilmore Quay turned out for Derry Clarke and the RNLI

Speaking to a packed hall, Derry added, ‘A few months ago I was asked to do a Fish Supper in Kilmore Quay for the RNLI and I couldn’t say no. Both my close friend Paschal Ryan and I keep our boats here in the summer and we have a great love and fondness for the place. It is a beautiful village and the people are so kind. We always have a great time here, as is shown by tonight’s crowd.’

‘I am always delighted to support the RNLI. I know how important a lifeboat is to a community, it brings everyone together. There are a lot of the lifeboat crew here tonight and I want to thank them for everything they do. I would also like to wish the outgoing mechanic, Brian Kehoe, a very happy and well-deserved retirement. He has left an incredible legacy’

When Derry was pressed for the recipe of his fabulous batter, he admitted he had added a lot of beer and a dash of water.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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