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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

#rnli – A young Irishman has played a significant role in developing the RNLI's most advanced class of lifeboat - the Shannon class.  Named after the River Shannon and almost 50% faster than the lifeboats it will replace - the Shannon will help the charity's volunteer crews reach those in need even quicker.

Capable of 25 knots, the Shannon is the first modern RNLI all-weather lifeboat to be powered by water jets, not propellers. Over 50 new Shannons will need to be built within the next ten years to replace the older classes of lifeboat and the charity estimates that the 50+ Shannons in their class will rescue over 56,000 people and save the lives of over 1,500 in its lifetime.

Peter Eyre, an RNLI Naval Architect from Derry in Northern Ireland was instrumental in the development of the new lifeboat, designing the hull form at the age of 24 in his spare time. Four years after Peter's original design, the prototype of the Shannon class lifeboat is undergoing sea trials around the coasts of the UK and Ireland, with the first lifeboat going into service in 2013.

Peter Eyre, RNLI Naval Architect says:

'I kept the design under wraps in the early stages. After a while my boss could see I was working on something and encouraged me to continue. My job was to find the design by working with other naval architects, not to design it. I was the youngest in the team and before long I had designed the new lifeboat hull.

'I'm chuffed it was named after an Irish river and the strong connection the boat now has with Ireland. I think the moment it first goes out on a service will be the high point of my career. My parents will be so proud. It's a great legacy to be a part of, especially at this age. I think it will sink in gradually. When the first life is saved I think that's when it will really hit home.'

The Shannon class is expected to make up almost a third of the RNLI's all-weather lifeboat fleet and once rolled out all RNLI all-weather lifeboats will be capable of at least 25 knots. The Shannon class will also improve the safety and welfare of the charity's volunteer crews, thanks to its shock absorbing seats and computer monitoring and operating system.

While Peter was not to become actively involved with the RNLI till later in his life, he had a brush with the charity in 1998 when the Lough Swilly RNLI Lifeboat came to his aid.

Peter explains:

'I was just 14-years-old at the time when my family's 30ft cruiser racer yacht was dismasted in rough seas and force 7 winds. The yacht lost its mast and was escorted back to shore by the volunteer lifeboat crew. We were so relieved'

Owen Medland, RNLI Training Divisional Inspector for Ireland says:

'This is the first time that the RNLI has named a class of lifeboat after an Irish river – which is very fitting considering that Peter has been so fundamental in its design. All of the crews who have tested the new lifeboat have been thrilled with its speed, manoeuvrability and the improved crew safety features. We don't know yet which Irish lifeboat stations will receive a Shannon class lifeboat, but the Shannon is designed to replace the majority of Mersey and some Tyne class lifeboats. We look forward to seeing the Shannon here in the near future.'

The RNLI has launched a €6M fundraising campaign across the UK and Ireland to fund two Shannons and their launch and recovery vehicles designed by Supacat for the relief fleet. These 'relief lifeboats'  will be used to replace station boats when they go for maintenance or repair and will therefore operate at many places around the UK and the RoI.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#rnli – Baltimore RNLI have officially named the new €3m Tamar class lifeboat Alan Massey at a harbour ceremony yesterday.

The lifeboat was substantially funded by a legacy from Ms Dorothy May Massey in honour of her late brother Alan.  It was named by Mrs Sue Windsor, a close family friend of Ms Massey, before being handed over to Baltimore RNLI.

Mr. Declan Tiernan, Chairperson of the Baltimore Lifeboat Station stated that the lifeboat has already proved its worth.  He told the crowd about a recent callout which involved the new lifeboat and its Y boat (an inflatable boat carried on the deck of the lifeboat).  Last month two teenagers were trapped in a cave and conditions were making it impossible for rescuers to get close, the lifeboat crew deployed the small Y boat from the lifeboat to bring the lifeboat volunteers as far into the narrow cave as they could safely go before a crewmember then swam the rest of the way and brought them to safety.

RNLI Operations Director Michael Vlasto OBE, who travelled to Baltimore to accept the lifeboat into the care of the Institution commented, " Baltimore's lifeboats have a proud history of lifesaving dating back to 1919 and since then have launched 718 times and in so doing have rescued 661 people.  Ten medals have been awarded, the last being voted in 1992 to the current Coxswain Kieran Cotter.

In the RNLI, the safety of our volunteer crew is paramount.  We strive to ensure they have the best lifeboats, excellent training and first class equipment to carry out their often difficult tasks.  This Tamar lifeboat is state of the art and has proven to be a thoroughly reliable and capable lifesaving craft since its arrival here at Baltimore."

Tom Bushe, Baltimore RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager accepted the lifeboat into the care of the Baltimore Lifeboat station.  The new lifeboat has already launched 14 times and rescued 17 people since its arrival in February.  Tom added, " We are very proud to be the custodians of this lifeboat. The crew in Baltimore provide an exceptional service to their community. These are ordinary people who are ready to risk their own lives in the service of others."

The lifeboat was officially named in the traditional way of breaking a bottle of champagne over the bow.Mrs Sue Windsor then named the lifeboat Alan Massey.

Ms Dorothy May Massey was born in 1906 and lived in Watford.  She was the youngest of three children.  It was her wish to fund a lifeboat and she passed away in 2003 aged 97.  The Baltimore Tamar lifeboat has been substantially funded by her legacy together with the generous bequests of Henry and Joan Jermyn, John Noel Harvey Ward and John Heath.

The new Tamar class lifeboat is 16.3 metres in length with a maximum speed of 25 knots compared to the 14.3 metres of Baltimore RNLI's former Tyne class lifeboat, which had a maximum speed of 18 knots.  The lifeboat is self-righting and is fitted with an integrated electronics systems and information management system, which allows the lifeboat crew to monitor, operate and control many of the boats systems from shock mitigating seats.  It has room for 44 survivors.

The event included local school children from Rath National School who sang the lifeboat anthem Home from the Sea and groups and musicians including the Rathmore Church Choir, The Baltimore Singers and HX Brass.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RESCUE - The Irish Examiner reports that a man has been airlifted to hospital after taking ill on a fishing vessel off Galway yesterday Friday 21 September.

The man reportedly experienced chest pains on board the fishing boat off the coast of Spiddal.

Galway RNLI's lifeboat was dispatched to the scene to attend to the man before he was airlifted by Irish Coast Guard rescue helicopter to Galway University Hospital. His condition is as yet unknown.

Published in Rescue

#LIFEBOATS - The Larne Times reports that Larne RNLI will be involved in a major maritime exercise in Belfast Lough this Sunday 23 September.

As many as 365 people will take part in 'Exercise Diamond', which involves vessels from the UK coastguard along with lifeboats, helicopters, search and rescue co-ordinators and other emergency services.

The exercise is intended to "test the major incident plans for all the organisations that would be involved should a major maritime incident happen in Northern Ireland," said controller Steve Carson.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#rnli – A sister's legacy in memory of her beloved brother will be honoured tomorrow (Saturday 22 September 2012) in West Cork when Baltimore RNLI hold the official naming ceremony and service of dedication for their new Tamar class lifeboat Alan Massey.

The €3 million lifeboat was largely funded through a legacy left by Ms Dorothy May Massey from Watford in England and is being named in memory of her late brother Alan.  Dorothy was born in 1906 and passed away in 2003 aged 97, leaving instructions that she wished to fund a lifeboat in memory of her brother Alan.  He had been a merchant seaman and after the death of his wife, went to live with his two sisters until he passed away in 1990 aged 87.

The lifeboat will be officially named by Mrs. Sue Windsor, a long time family friend of Ms. Massey.  Mr. Michael Vlasto, RNLI Operations Director will also be attending to accept the lifeboat into the care of the RNLI before passing it on to the people of Baltimore, to be looked after and operated by the volunteer lifeboat crew under the guidance of well known Coxswain Kieran Cotter.

The Alan Massey (ON 1302)  lifeboat arrived into Baltimore over seven months ago and was greeted by crowds of people who lined the route of its arrival from the famous Beacon at the entrance to Baltimore right into the mouth of the harbour.  The RNLI are hoping for an even bigger turnout for the ceremony with many of the charity's volunteer lifeboat crew attending from the other 43 lifeboat stations in Ireland.

The new Tamar class lifeboat is 16.3 metres in length with a maximum speed of 25 knots compared to the 14.3 metres of Baltimore RNLI's former Tyne class lifeboat which had a maximum speed of 18 knots.  The lifeboat is self-righting and is fitted with an integrated electronics systems and information management system, which allows the lifeboat crew to monitor, operate and control many of the boats systems from shock mitigating seats.

The lifeboat was substantially funded by a legacy from Ms. Dorothy May Massey, together with the generous bequests of: Henry and Joan Jermyn, John Noel Harvey Ward and John Heath.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#COASTGUARD - Mayo's mountain rescue unit has reported its busiest ever period with an "unprecedented" 14 call-outs in just six weeks, according to The Irish Times.

Irish Coast Guard personnel assisted Mayo Mountain Rescue on four of the total, helping to winch people who had fallen while descending Croagh Patrick on the south side of Clew Bay.

The injury toll on the mountain - accounting for 10 of the 14 recovery efforts - has prompted Mayo County Council to seek planning permission for a helicopter landing pad higher up the 2,500-foot peak.

The news comes just after Enniskillen RNLI was names the busiest lifeboat station in the island of Ireland, with 23 launches between its two inshore lifeboats and two rescue water craft over the summer months.

Published in Coastguard

#rnli – This summer, RNLI lifeboats in Ireland launched 377 times, a slight drop on last year's total of 389. The charity's volunteer crewmembers were involved in many different types of callouts to a range of casualties.

Many of the launches were due to people getting caught out by the tide, problems with their vessel's engine or machinery, and an increasing range of leisure marine activities.  However there were also a number of tragedies and many of the RNLI's lifeboat crews were involved in searching for missing loved ones or in bringing them home.

The figures, which cover the period June 1 to August 31 2012 and include all the charity's lifeboats across Ireland, are down three per cent compared to the 2011 figures, which may be due to the unpredictable weather over the summer months.

The busiest station overall in Ireland was Enniskillen, which operates two inshore lifeboats on Lough Erne and two Rescue Water Craft. They launched 23 times over the summer. They were followed by Dun Laoghaire RNLI in Dublin and lifeboat crews in Bangor and Portrush who all launched 18 times each.  The next busiest station was Baltimore in West Cork, who are naming their new €3million lifeboat this Saturday; their volunteer lifeboat crew launched 16 times.

The newly opened lifeboat station on Lough Ree at Coosan Point in Athlone, which is currently on a twelve month trial, was also busy with nine launches this summer.

Rising tides and rough conditions caught some sea users out and lifeboat crews rescued swimmers in difficulty in Lough Swilly, County Donegal and Red Bay, County Antrim.  Both swimmers were saved when they were spotted from the shore by a member of the public who alerted the Coast Guard and the lifeboats were launched.  In one of the most memorable callouts for a lifeboat crew this summer, Baltimore RNLI put their new lifeboat to good use alongside their inshore one to help save the lives of two teenage kayakers who were trapped in a cave when a wave capsized them. In challenging conditions and churning seas, a lifeboat volunteer swam into the cave and brought the pair to safety as part of a multi-agency operation.

However alongside the rescues and calls for assistance there were also a number of tragedies this summer. During one week in August five lives were lost in four separate tragedies off the coasts of Cork, Mayo and Clare.  Lifeboat crews were involved in searches with colleagues in the Irish Coast Guard, Garda and Navy divers, sub aqua clubs, local boats and volunteers.

Owen Medland, RNLI Training Divisional Inspector said: "This has been another busy summer for the RNLI despite the unpredictable weather.  There have been some stories of incredible bravery and also some stories of devastating loss.  In all cases our lifeboat volunteers have shown extreme professionalism and commitment.  Each and every callout is different and conditions, location, duration and activity can all vary.  In many cases our volunteers are involved in callouts that go on for a number of hours throughout the night and their employers support them in their volunteering."

There are 44 RNLI lifeboat stations in Ireland with three operating inland at Lough Erne in Enniskillen, Lough Derg in Dromineer and Lough Ree in Athlone. Lifeboat crew at these stations operate 56 lifeboats and two rescue water craft all year round.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#sikorsky – Crew from Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat Station were one of the rescue services invited on a familiarisation exercise of the new Sikorsky S-92, with four crew from the Irish Coast Guard Search & Rescue Helicopter team, based at Shannon.

Crews from the Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat Station, Limerick Marine Rescue and The Killaloe/Ballina Irish Coast Guard Unit were invited to a familiarisation exercise of the new, Shannon based, Irish Coast Guard Search and Rescue Sikorsky S-92 helicopter at Ballina, Co. Clare.

The helicopter landed on the GAA pitch in Ballina, Co. Clare at 16.40hrs.  After greeting and a safety brief, we worked in teams of five and six. The helicopter crew each took a group for discussion and a tour.  Liam Flynn, chief pilot with the IRCG search and rescue service, talked to the RNLI group about the helicopter and took our questions. Later, on the exercise, we got to see his phenomenal flying skills at close quarters.

Paramedic and Winchman, Gary Robinson, went through the differences that rescue crews should expect with the new helicopter, and later coordinated the basket transfer of a stretcher 'casualty' onto and off the helicopter whilst the engines were running. This exercise was to familiarise crews with the more powerful downdrafts from the Sikorsky S-92. He also briefed us prior to and then directed the winches.

This was an invaluable exercise, as we all work regularly with the helicopter crews on rescues.  All of the organisations involved gave huge thanks to Joe Doolan, Chief Officer at the Killaloe/Ballina Irish Coast Guard Search and Rescue, for the hospitality laid on everyone following the exercise

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#rnli –Yesterday afternoon, a lone fisherman contacted the emergency services seeking assistance when his propeller became fouled 3 miles south of Ballycotton lighthouse off the East Cork coast.

The Ballycotton lifeboat, Austin Lidbury, launched at 16:20 and proceeded to the casualty. When they arrived on scene it was found the 20 foot fishing vessel was still attached to the net and it was necessary to cut it free. The vessel was taken under tow to Ballycotton harbour where it was safely secured alongside the pier wall at 17:30.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#rnli – Howth and Dun Laoghaire RNLI rescued five rowing skiffs in Dublin Bay last weekend when wind against tide conditions off the Kish bank threatened a local coastal rowing race.

Both All-Weather Lifeboats from Howth RNLI and Dun Laoghaire RNLI were tasked by Dublin Coastguard to assist five rowing skiffs just after 5pm according to Howth lifeboat.

Nine skiffs, each with 5 people onboard, participating in a rowing race which started from Dun Laoghaire and took them around the Kish lighthouse and back to Dun Laoghaire again. Due to the variable weather conditions and with there being quite choppy sea a number of the participants got into difficulty.

Howth lifeboat arrived on scene at 1741 and became On-Scene-Commander of the search and rescue operation.

They were joined shortly after by Dun Laoghaire's all weather lifeboat, rescue 116, Dublin Ports pilot boats 1 and 2 along with a yacht and fishing vessel.

A 'box' search was carried out one mile north and south of the Kish Lighthouse and all 5 skiffs and their crews were located and brought back to Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

On arrival the casualties were met by Dun Laoghaire coastguard unit and 2 HSE ambulances to treat a number of the casualties for hypothermia and one with a head injury.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Page 162 of 191

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