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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

#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.

Tagged under

#lifeboat – A combined total of 360 years service to the Royal national Lifeboat Institution by twenty members of the Bangor Lifeboat Station was recognised at a presentation of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medals at the Royal Ulster Yacht Club.

The recipients at RNLI Bangor Lifeboat join many other RNLI crew members around the UK recognised by her Majesty as she celebrates sixty years on the throne.

The criteria for the award of a medal was for an individual to have served five or more years and be in service on 6th February 2012 (The anniversary of the Queen's succession to the throne).

The medals were presented by Lady Sylvia Hermon, in recognition and thanks of their continuing commitment to front line emergency rescue services.

During the evening David Pim was presented with the RNLI's 30 years long service bar and Kevin Baird was presented with the RNLI's 20 year long service medal.

The Queens Diamond Jubilee Medals were presented to David Pim, Kyle Marshal, Ewan Scott, Tommy Burns, Kevin Baird, Michael McKenna, James Gillespie, John Bell, David Eccles, Joanne Heasley, Steven Carson, Andrew Gedge, Scott Harkins, Connor Lawson, Gareth Whan, Peter Scott, Alison Stobie, Darren Byers, Gavin Mitchell and Kevin Byers.

Two crew members could not be present for the award evening. Timmy Lee was awarded the RNLI's 20 year long service medal and Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal. Mervyn Kinney was awarded the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Kevin Byers, Bangor Lifeboats Operations Manager said: 'The medals acknowledge the dedication, obligation and duty the crew undertake in carrying out their task of saving life at sea. It mustn't be forgotten that this is also an acknowledgment and gratitude to the crew's families and employers for the support they also provide behind the scenes.'

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

#rnli –  A 29–year–old woman and her dog were rescued by Courtown RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew from the water at Courtown Harbour last night (Monday 17 December) after a twenty minute ordeal in freezing conditions.

The local woman went to the assistance of her Jack Russell Terrier named Holly, who went into the water off the pier in Courtown, County Wexford and got into difficulty, at around 10.45pm.

The woman had lowered herself into the water using a lifebuoy and a rope about 15 metres from the entrance to the harbour but due to the temperature of the water, she was unable to climb back up the rope.

A member of the public who was passing the scene, went to the assistance of the casualty and kept talking to her while he phone the emergency services.  He urged her to keep hold of the ring buoy as she was in danger of being swept out to sea and visibility was poor.

Courtown RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew arrived at the scene on foot and aware of the imminent danger two lifeboat crew donned their protective lifeboat kit and entered the water.

They recovered the casualty and her dog to safety and with the assistance of lifeboat crew ashore the pair were then taken to the lifeboat station to recover.  The woman was then reunited with family and taken home with Holly in tow.

Courtown RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer and crewmember Aine Stafford said, "We were delighted that this callout had a happy ending and that both Holly and her owner are recovering well from their ordeal.  We would advise people against going into the water after their pets as this can lead to a tragic outcome.  The RNLI will launch to rescue anyone in difficulty and that does include pets and animals in trouble. We hope Holly and her owner enjoy their Christmas.

The lifeboat crew also wish to thank the member of the public who raised the alarm and whose quick thinking and calm reaction almost certainly prevented a tragedy.  They also advised that if any member of the public spots someone in difficulty in the water that they phone 999 immediately and never put themselves in danger.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

#santa – Plenty of festive cheer at Wicklow RNLI Lifeboat Station this afternnon with the arrival of Father Christmas for his annual visit.

Many of the crew's children gathered on the East pier to greet Santa as he arrived on the all-weather lifeboat.

Father Christmas then made his way into the Station and handed out presents to everyone.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

#Rescue - The most recent episode of Ireland's Search and Rescue features a combined mission by Howth RNLI and the Irish Coast Guard to aid a fishing vessel off Howth earlier this year.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Howth lifeboat crew spent more than 10 hours on 4 February last assisting the 17-metre trawler, with seven crew on board, which was rapidly taking on water.

The coastguard rescue helicopter was also on scene to help the stricken vessel, winching a salvage pump on board to try to stem the water flow amid difficult weather and sea conditions.

The programme is available online via RTÉ Player until 31 December.

The six-part series on RTÉ One has previously featured exclusive footage of the Tit Bonhomme rescue effort at Glandore Harbour in West Cork last January.

Sole survivor of the tragedy, Abdul Mohammed, spoke to presenter Claire Byrne about his struggle to survive the ordeal that claimed the life of his brother Wael and the four other crew.

Published in Maritime TV

#RNLI - After 43 years working with the ESB, a Co Donegal man has donated €700 – money in lieu of retirement presents – to Bundoran RNLI.

Ballyshannon’s Brendan 'Mannix' Gallagher held his retirement party last Friday 30 November at the Allingham Arms in Bundoran but opted not for presents for himself but donations to Bundoran RNLI.


A crowd of well over 200 people attended the festivities on the night and all were delighted to make a donation to the local volunteer lifeboat service.

Brendan is well known in the area for his fundraising so it came as no surprise to the party goers that he requested donations to the RNLI.

Tony McGowan, Bundoran RNLI lifeboat operations manager, said: "We are very grateful to Brendan and his wife Joan for this thoughtful and generous method of donating to the lifeboat.

"The gesture has raised over €700 for Bundoran RNLI and will go towards the training of our volunteer crew to continue to save lives at sea."

Brendan’s retirement party is not the only local fundraiser for Bundoran RNLI at the moment. Shoppers at Sweeny Todds in Market Square Shopping Centre can purchase their Christmas cards there, and with every sale from the selected range a 50 cent donation will be made to Bundoran RNLI.

Next Sunday 16 December, the Pier Head Hotel in Mullaghmore will hold a charity wax in aid of Bundoran RNLI as part of their Christmas Family Fun Day. And the annual Bundoran Lifeboat Dinner Dance will take place at the Great Northern Hotel on Friday 1 February 2013. Tickets are on sale now from all crew members.

Bundoran RNLI also reminds the public that these are the only fundraisers at present, after reports of a 'bogus Santa' charity collector seen in Bundoran last month.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Volunteers from Arklow RNLI in Co Wicklow are to feature in a Christmas special to be broadcast on TV3.

The documentary, Unsung Heroes, will highlight the efforts of those who provide the essential rescue service throughout the year, including over the festive season.



It will be broadcast twice over Christmas, first at 8pm on Friday 21 December and again at 8pm on Sunday 23 December.



A TV3 film crew spent the morning of Tuesday 27 November at Arklow RNLI filming at what is the oldest of the 44 lifeboat stations in Ireland.



Producer Patrick Kinsella and cameraman Vinnie Broderick shadowed the volunteers on a training-based exercise when they launched their all-weather Trent class lifeboat, the Ger Tiighcelarr



"The documentary is about unsung heroes," said Kinsella, "and I suppose given my own experience having worked in the shipping industry, I feel the RNLI and its people – the men and women who run and manage this organisation - cannot be praised enough for putting their lives at risk to save others, and I think this programme is a good way to shine a light on the work they do."



During the exercise, Kinsella and Broderick had the opportunity to experience first-hand and get a glimpse of the level of training required by RNLI volunteers to become highly skilled and efficient in order to carry out lifesaving work which can often be difficult and sometimes dangerous.



Interviews were carried out with lifeboat operations manager Jimmy Tyrell, coxswain Ned Dillon and volunteer crew member Stephen Furlong.
 
Tyrell said filming with TV3 was a great opportunity to showcase the commitment of volunteers, not only in Arklow but in the many other coastal and inland water communities across Ireland.

He said the RNLI wouldn’t exist without fundraising, adding that the charity was totally reliant on the generosity of the public and indebted to work of fundraisers at station branches as well as those raising money inland.



Tyrell also said crew members would happily exchange their Christmas dinner and the comfort of their homes should the need arise this year to help anyone who may find themselves in difficulty at sea.



"It is because of the willingness and selfless nature of our volunteers, who will readily swap leisure, comfort and sleep for cold, wet and fatigue that the charity can provide an on-call, 24-hour lifeboat search and rescue service here," he said. "The RNLI depends on its volunteers who give their time, skill and commitment, even at Christmas time.


"Indeed, while our lifeboats are busy all year round, some of the most challenging callouts can occur over the winter months. And while most of us will be enjoying the Christmas festivities with our loved ones, we know that somewhere, RNLI lifeboats will be launched to help save lives at sea."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Donaghadee RNLI has assisted two people whose boat got into difficulty off Co Down.

The station’s volunteer lifeboat crew was out on a training exercise on Sunday morning when they were requested to go to the aid of a 30-ft fishing vessel off the Copeland Islands.



Two people were on board the vessel which was drifting off South Briggs.
 Within minutes the lifeboat was on the scene and found the vessel had a rope around its propeller.



The lifeboat crew was able to establish a tow rope across to the vessel and towed it safely into Groomsport Harbour.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Page 171 of 204

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