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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

#Lifeboats - reports that RNLI lifeboat crews from Dunmore East and Fethard rescued two fishermen from their vessel off the Waterford coast yesterday (14 January 2013).

Rescuers sped to the scene after the 10-metre fishing boat got into difficulty and grounded close to the shore north of Loftus Hall.

Despite the receding tide, the lifeboats managed to tow the vessel carefully off the rocks "without any major damage", according to a spokesperson. The two crew were uninjured in the incident.

It marked the third major call-out in a week off the Waterford coast - following a similar rescue effort last Tuesday, and just days after the tragic loss of a local fisherman on Thursday morning on the sixth anniversary of the sinking of Dunmore East trawler the Pere Charles.

Meanwhile, on Sunday afternoon volunteers with Achill Island RNLI went to the assistance of an injured fisherman off the Mayo coast.

The lifeboat station received the distress call around noon to go to the assistance of a fishing party north of Clare Island, where the crew removed a man from the vessel who had suffered an eye injury from a fishing hook.

He was subsequently transported on the lifeboat to Kildavnet, where a local doctor examined his injury before referring him to Castlebar General Hospital for further attention.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLILifeboats at Dun Laoghaire were called out yesterday following a distress call from a yacht with a suspected fire on board.

The incident took place shortly after mid-day while a second call for a kitesurfer in difficulty was received soon afterwards.

The yacht had been on a sail-training trip with a skipper and six crew on board when a high-temperature alarm and smoke alerted the crew. Fire extinguishers were used on the engine compartment and the skipper notified the Irish Coast Guard's Marine Rescue Co-Ordination Centre in Dublin (MRCC Dublin).

The RNLI All-Weather lifeboat (ALB) and Inshore lifeboat (ILB) launched immediately and were quickly on scene in the harbour where the yacht had moored.  The coastguard rescue helicopter from Dublin Airport and the Irish Lights vessel Granuaile also responded to the alert.

The lifeboat took the six crew-members off the 37-foot yacht while two RNLI crew-members boarded the casualty vessel to inspect for damage with the skipper.  An over-heating engine was the suspected cause and the vessel was taken in tow to Dun Laoghaire marina where all crew members were brought ashore.  Units of the Dublin Fire Brigade attended at the marina and checked the vessel. Nobody was injured in the incident.

Meanwhile, the ILB was diverted from the call to the sail-training yacht to a kitesurfer in difficulty off the South Bull Wall. The coastguard helicopter proceeded to the scene and spotted the casualty who had become separated from his board.

Although weather conditions were fine, a fresh Easterly breeze against the ebbing Spring tide had caused a moderate seaway and swell while the casualty was attempting the swim for shore. The ILB crew recovered the casualty and landed him at the beach beside the Pigeon House at Ringsend where he did not require medical attention.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#Coastguard - The Irish Times reports on the death of a local fisherman off the Waterford coast on Thursday morning in an incident that prompted a major coastguard and lifeboat search and rescue operation - six years to the day after the tragic sinking of Dunmore East trawler the Pere Charles.

The Irish Coast Guard's Rescue 117 helicopter was dispatched to before 8am along with the RNLI lifeboats from Dunmore East and Tramore to the scene off Brownstown Head after a 16-foot fishing boat capsized, throwing its two-man crew into the water.

James Tate reached the shore unaided after some two hours in the water to raise the alarm. He was later treated for shock and hypothermia.

His friend Johnny Flynn - a former member of the Dunmore East lifeboat crew, according to the Irish Independent - was found unconscious in the water by the coastguard helicopter before 8.30am, but efforts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.

The men's boat has been recovered, and a spokesperson for the Marine Casualty Investigation Board confirmed that a full investigation and inquest into Flynn's death would take place.

The incident came just two days after four fishermen were rescued from their boat off Hook Head in Co Waterford.

Elsewhere, it's reported that a Spanish fisherman died after sustaining head injuries on a trawler off Loop Head in Co Clare on Thursday morning.

The Irish Times has more on both stories HERE.

Published in Coastguard

#Lifeboats - The video above shows off a prototype of the RNLI's new lifeboat class, the Shannon, as it undergoes sea trials to determine how it handles the rough weather all too common to the seas around the UK and Ireland.

As previously reported on, Irish naval architect Peter Eyre has been instrumental in the new lifeboat design, which is nearly 50% faster than the vessels currently in service.

It's also the second RNLI boat to be designed by an Irishman, after the Atlantic 21 developed in the 1970s by Cork-born Rear Admiral Desmond Hoare at the Atlantic College in Wales.

In other RNLI news, tributes were paid in the Isle of Man this week to the founder of the lifeboat institution in an annual ceremony on the Irish Sea island.

As BBC News reports, Sir William Hillary launched an appeal in 1824 that let to the formation of the RNLI, and he went on to serve as a member of the lifeboat crew at Douglas.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#Lifeboats - RTÉ News has a video report on a memorial to lives lost on the Shannon recently installed at the location of Lough Ree's new lifeboat station.

Relatives of those lost to the waterway spoke of their appreciation for the setting up of the new search and rescue base for the mid-Shannon after a decade of campaigning.

As reported on last July, the RNLI's 44th lifeboat station in Ireland - located at Coosan Point in Athlone - Co Westmeath, has been welcomed as a search and rescue asset on Lough Ree and the Shannon.

Some €150,000 has been invested in the temporary facilities, from which volunteers operate the B class Atlantic 75 lifeboat Dorothy Mary, on a year-long trial basis.

According to RNLI Lough Ree's Matt Harte, the new station was among the busiest in Ireland last year, with up to 20 call-outs in its six months of operation thus far.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#MaritimeFestivals - Running for the last three years, Sligo Bay RNLI is once again preparing for the Sea Shanty Festival in Rosses Point later this summer, with all proceeds going to the lifeboat station.

"The festival is a celebration of the long maritime tradition of Rosses Point and the Sligo area," as festival committee chair Willie Murphy explained last year.

"Shanties were working songs used on board sailing ships. The songs were mostly sung when the job involved several crew members working in rhythm together."

One of the many groups that have performed in the past is The Drunken Sailors from Germany, who have written a song inviting people back to Sligo Bay for the 2013 festival from 14-16 June.

The group’s story goes that back in the summer of 2012, the Drunken Sailor Shantymen were infected by the ‘Sligo Bay Virus’, and they asked their witch-doctor what medicine would help.

"You were infected by a well-known serious music virus out of the north-west of Ireland," they were told. "And the only think what may help, is to sing a song which tells a story of Sligo Bay.

"But take the medicine without any alcohol or other drugs, sing a great song for all friends of shanty music and you will get better!"

With this advice, the brave Drunken Sailor Shantymen started to sing the song you can hear in the video above, and which they think may move all famous artists to come back to Rosses Point Sea Shanty Festival later this year.

Published in Maritime Festivals

#rnli – Lifeboat crew from Dunmore East and Fethard RNLI were involved in the rescue of four fishermen whose vessel got into difficulty in county Waterford early this morning.

Shortly after 8am, volunteer lifeboat crew from Dunmore East and Fethard RNLI launched their all-weather and inshore lifeboats following a report that a 15 metre fishing boat with four people on board had got into difficulty off Hook Head in Waterford Harbour.

The vessel Coral Strand was taking on water and had ran aground at Garrylough near Duncannon.

Weather conditions at the time were described as foggy with a moderate sea state.

On arrival, the fishermen who had used their own liferaft to evacuate their vessel and had gone aboard a nearby vessel, were then transferred to the Dunmore East all-weather lifeboat.

Crew members boarded the vessel to examine the damage where it was assessed that it was not possible to pump the water out sufficiently to reflate the boat.

The crew of the stricken vessel were subsequently brought safely ashore to Dunmore East where they were made comfortable.

The emergency services involved in this rescue operation included Dunmore East and Fethard RNLI, the Irish Coast Guard Rescue Helicopter 117, Fethard Coast Guard Unit and the LE Cira.

Ciaran O'Mullain, Dunmore East RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager praised the crew onboard the troubled vessel for having the appropriate safety equipment in place and working: 'The fishermen acted with safety in mind when they got into difficulty launching their liferaft to evacuate the vessel. This operation involved a multi-agency response and we are glad that all four onboard the stricken vessel have been returned safely ashore this morning'.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#Coastguard - The Irish Times reports that the Irish Coast Guard saved 161 lives since January this year.

It was also the busiest year on record or the coastguard search and rescue service, with 1,963 call-outs in the past 12 months, an 8% increase on the previous year.

Minister for Transport Leo Varakdar was due in Howth this afternoon to pay tribute to staff and volunteers with both the Irish Coast Guard and RNLI lifeboats for their invaluable work.

“Without these volunteers, it simply wouldn’t be possible to provide the same level of emergency response," he commented.

In more sobering statistics, 88 bodies were recovered from the water in 2012, which is the highest annual number ever recorded.

And hoax calls were also on the up, with an "unacceptably high" 325 of such calls logged since January.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastguard

#rnli – One Howth family gives 142 years dedicated service to saving lives with the RNLI.

As a charity, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) depends on the selfless dedication of volunteers, like the Duffys of Howth, to risk their lives to save others. They are brothers George (former mechanic and 2nd Coxswain, retired after 44 years), Jim (retired after 26 years), Robert (Coxswain, 37 years service), Michael (Deputy 2nd Coxswain, 30 years service) and their nephew Keith Glynn (5 years service).

Born and bred in Howth, the Duffys grew up in a maritime family aware of the thrills and perils of life at sea. The lifeboat was part of the culture of the town. As children their uncles, who were volunteer firemen in Howth, recounted their adventures which inspired the brothers to join the lifeboat crew. In turn their nephew Keith aspired to becoming a crew member like his uncles. 'I always looked up to them. Joining the crew was something I had planned to do from an early age'.

This Christmas as families and friends are gathering to celebrate together, lifeboat crews will be abandoning their dinners and their loved ones to head out into the cold December seas to rescue people in distress. They don't do it for money, nor do they do it for the glory. They do it because they have a deep seated desire to help people and a sense of duty to their local community.

The lifeboat crew function like a family unit, working seamlessly as a team. The sense of camaraderie is the glue that holds the crew together. Crewm embers put their lives on the line in challenging and dangerous sea conditions, sometimes spending days searching for a casualty. They undergo regular training in first-aid, sea survival skills, boat handling, radio communication and navigation to ensure that they are prepared to cope with the difficulties they face when saving lives at sea.

Some of the crew have worked as fishermen. There have been occasions when they have been called out to rescue friends and colleagues. Experiencing tragedies first-hand does condition crew members to an extent, but the sinking of boats such as the Kilkenny and the Scarlett Buccaneer, whose skipper and crew were known to the crew, resonates deeply. Jim described not being able to bring a casualty back alive as 'soul destroying'.

Crew members draw satisfaction from their sense of doing their bit for their community and helping people. Jim said, 'If you know you're after saving people that would have been drowned only for you were there - that's great to do that. It makes everything worthwhile'. Even in the midst of tragedy being able to bring someone home to their loved ones, so they have a grave to visit, brings some solace to the crew.

When George retired after 44 years as a volunteer with the RNLI, what struck him most was the 359 of lives he had helped to save, a remarkable legacy. He commented, 'The most difficult thing about leaving the crew was that I missed helping people day to day. For me, it was an honour and a privilege to be a member of Howth lifeboat crew'.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#rnli – The crew of the RNLI lifeboat station at Dun Laoghaire will hold their traditional ceremony to remember the 15 volunteers that died on service in 1895 on Christmas Eve as well as all those who lost their lives around our coasts in 2012.

The short ceremony will take place at mid-day on Christmas Eve at the lighthouse end of Dun Laoghaire's popular East Pier and will include music, an ecumenical blessing, a contemporary newspaper account of the 1895 tragedy and a piped lament.  Both RNLI lifeboats stationed at Dun Laoghaire will launch and the crews will lay wreaths at sea close to the pier.

The ceremony is a long-standing Christmas Eve tradition that remembers the lives of the 15 volunteer crew that died when their lifeboat capsized in gale force winds while attempting to rescue those on board the SS Palme that had run aground off Blackrock, Co. Dublin.  All lives lost at sea in 2012 will also be included in the ceremony.

Relatives of the original 1895 lifeboat crew are expected to be amongst those who will walk the pier for the 20-minute ceremony.  Piper Paul McNally of Dublin Fire Brigade, musician William Byrne and journalist Fergal Keane will be amongst the contributors to the event that has been facilitated by the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company.  In case of inclement weather, an alternative ceremony will still be held closer to the lifeboat station.

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