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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

The RNLI volunteers with Kilmore Quay lifeboat station are the first to receive the new €3 million lifeboat, which is the most modern and technically advanced lifeboat in the RNLI fleet. The new lifeboat, which is named Killarney (ON 1298) was funded by a legacy from Mrs Mary Weeks of Surrey in England who passed away in 2006.

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Mrs Weeks met her husband while on a cruise off the west coast of Scotland on a boat named Killarney. Mrs Weeks had a strong RNLI connection through her maiden name Distin. She was a relation of the Coxswain of Salcombe lifeboat Samuel Distin and of lifeboat crewmember Albert Distin; both men lost their lives in the Salcombe lifeboat disaster of 1916.

Mrs. Weeks' niece Mrs Betty Hull, her great niece Mrs Anne Piggford and great nephew David Hull were special guests at the ceremony. Speaking during the ceremony the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese addressed the crowds with the lifeboat alongside, " Everything that is good about human nature is gathered on this day. All the good qualities, all the things that people are capable of doing out of goodness, generosity, love, kindness, care concern; all gather around the naming of this boat this day. It comes to us by way of gift, it has been blessed and the gift itself is a blessing.

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A blessing not just to those that take the boat into their ownership this day but to the people someday who will need this blessing and need its gift. For almost two hundred years now the RNLI has stories to tell of saving literally ten of thousands of lives. Tens of thousands of people who could call on the lifeboat, call on the volunteer crews and in particular without knowing it call on the generosity of people who would never get on the boat. Who like Mary Weeks would never see the boat, never live to see it but would give it as an act of generosity to future people, complete strangers who she would never know."

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 the current Tyne class lifeboat stationed at Kilmore Quay, which has 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 Tamar also carries a Y boat (an inflatable daughter boat) which is housed under the aft deck and deployed from a hinged door in the transom. The lifeboat has room for 44 survivors.

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Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Three people were rescued in Killiney Bay this afternoon when their small boat capsized.  Both all weather and inshore RNLI lifeboats from Dun Laoghaire and the Irish Coast Guard helicopter rushed to the scene when the alert was raised at 2pm this afternoon.

Four people were on board the craft when they got into difficulties off Shanganagh cliffs between Killiney and Bray.  One person swam to shore to raise the alarm, two clung to a buoy while another was reported missing.

The RNLI's all-weather (ALB) lifeboat and inshore lifeboat launched at 14.08pm and proceeded to the scene, arriving 15 minutes later.

Dun Laoghaire RNLI volunteer crew recovered two of the casualties on board the inshore lifeboat while the Irish Coast Guard rescue helicopter 116 located the missing person in the water. All three were transfered to the helicopter and taken to Tallaght Hospital for treatment.

Conditions were described as fresh with force four to five winds.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

A yacht in distress 28 miles South West of Baltimore called for assistance in the early hours of this morning. The 36ft yacht had left the Azores 11 days previously heading for  Kinsale with two Danish men on board in their mid- to late sixties. The all weather lifeboat Hilda Jarrett, was launched at 02:10 in gale force weather conditions with a 3-4 metre swell from the South East

Radio contact was established within half an hour. The yacht was in serious peril. Her engines were disabled, one of the crew was suffering from prolonged sea-sickness since leaving the Azores and the remaining crew had not slept in 48 hours.

The yacht was sailing North under reefed mainsail using self steering gear. It was impractical to tow the yacht back into the wind, In the light of day, Coxswain Eoin Ryan, skillfully maneuvered, the 47ft lifeboat alongside the yacht, to allow the safe transfer of Mechanic Cathal Cotrell who had bravely volunteered to go onboard. Cathal who is an experienced sailor was able to take control of the yacht.

Meanwhile the coastguard had mobilized Castletownbere lifeboat which arrived on scene at 5:15 approx and established a tow with the yacht. The yacht was towed to safety with Cathal Cottrel at the helm of the yacht, arriving in Castletownbere at 08:00. One of the men received medical attention locally on arrival.

Baltimore lifeboat made the 20 mile passage to Baltimore arriving back on station at 8:30

Cox Eoin Ryan, Mechanic: Cathal Cotreel, Crew: Gerry Smith, Colin Whooley, Sean McCarthy, Brian McSweeney.

Micheal Cottrel, Vincent Roantree, Donal O'Donovan and Jason Pavry provided shore support .

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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RNLI Bangor Lifeboat launched at 1:45 pm on Sunday 29th May to rescue seven people aboard a 40ft leisure fishing boat which had experienced engine failure close to Black Head on northern shores of Belfast Lough.

Belfast Coastguard received the initial call for help from crew onboard the 40ft vessel which had experienced engine failure and was dragging its anchor in high winds.

Within minutes of the rescue pagers being activated, volunteer crew had launched Bangor Lifeboat and were proceeding at full speed towards the disabled vessel.

The stricken craft was located 1 mile south of Black Head lighthouse.

With winds gusting up to 40 mph and on scene weather conditions being described as rough a volunteer RNLI crewman boarded the leisure fishing vessel and assisted in rigging a tow line.

The vessel was then taken under tow to the safety of Carrickfergus Harbour.

RNLI volunteer helmsman Peter Scott who was involved in this rescue said 'Breaking seas and high winds made this a demanding rescue. We always urge everyone going afloat to make sure their engine and fuel systems and are well maintained and in good working order. Engine failure close to shore could lead to a life threatening situation'. He added
'We're happy that everyone that was on board the boat is now safely ashore'.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Just as most people were going to bed late on Friday night the volunteer crew of Wicklow Lifeboat were being alerted by pager and assembling at the Station. The alarm was raised after a yachtsman contacted the Coast Guard to say his vessel was fouled in ropes and was unable to make any headway. The lifeboat under the command of Coxswain Nick Keogh was launched immediately and located the yacht one mile south of Wicklow Head.
On scene weather conditions were described as wind westerly force 4 with a 3.5 metre swell. Lifeboat crew Terry Sillery and Brian Sinnot were quickly transferred onto the yacht and successfully cleared the rope obstruction in challenging conditions, a towline was rigged and the lifeboat took the yacht in tow back to Wicklow harbour. The yacht which was on route between Scotland and Plymouth with two people on board was secured safely alongside the South quay by 01-45am on Saturday morning. The lifeboat was then stood down and returned to station.
The crew were Coxswain Nick Keogh , Mechanic Lisa O Leary , Tom McAulay, Dave O'Leary, John Docherty, Tommy Murphy, Terry Sillery and Brian Sinnot.
Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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After a quarter of a century of voluntary service, Ken Robertson is to retire as station coxswain with the RNLI at Dun Laoghaire from the end of May.  Mark McGibney has been selected as his successor from a panel of coxswains at the station.

Ken is a well-known local businessman, notably through his newsagents shop on Marine Road in Dun Laoghaire, a location that allowed him to respond quickly whenever the all-weather lifeboat (ALB) was called out.

Initially, he was appointed 2nd coxswain in 1986 and subsequently in 1989 became the successor to the late Eric Offer who was best known as the coxswain of the 'John F. Kennedy' lifeboat that was stationed in Dun Laoghaire from 1967 until 1990.

In 1995, Ken Robertson and the Dun Laoghaire station took delivery of the current station ALB, the RNLB Anna Livia, a state-of-the-art vessel that cost almost €2 million that is capable of reaching a casualty ten miles offshore within 30 minutes and has a range of 250 miles.

In the course of his long career with the RNLI, Ken has been responsible for many notable services including the rescue of a swimmer in Killiney Bay who was saved just yards from a rocky shoreline in gale force winds in 2007.  One of the longest calls ever was a 14-hour operation following the tragic loss of four sailors when their yacht, the Debonair collided with a ship close to Dublin Port in 2001.

Mark McGibney will be the new station coxswain effective 1st June.  A volunteer crew member and a coxswain since 2002, he is the Sailing Manager at the nearby Royal Irish Yacht Club and lives locally with his wife and two children.

"Ken Robertson is retiring after a long-career as station coxswain during which he saved dozens of lives and rescued hundreds more," said Stephen Wynne, lifeboat operations manager.  "All of us at Dun Laoghaire RNLI wish him well in retirement and also extend our gratitude to his wife Margaret who has been fully supportive in spite of the disruption to normal family life that voluntary lifeboat service brings."

During the course of Ken Robertson's service with the RNLI, the Dun Laoghaire ALB launched on service 535 times and saved 60 lives in addition to the rescue of many others.  In 2007, he received the Thanks of the Institution for the rescue of the swimmer at Killiney.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Red Bay RNLI's new Atlantic 85 lifeboat was officially named the Geoffrey Charles during a moving ceremony at the lifeboat station in Cushendall, county Antrim yesterday, (Saturday 28 May 2011).  The lifeboat was funded by Roger and Judith Colmer in memory of their son Geoffrey. The couple made the trip to Northern Ireland from their home in England with a group of family and friends to name the lifeboat and pay tribute to Geoffrey.

Geoffrey was a scuba diving instructor and working in Thailand when the devastating 2004 tsunami struck the island of PhiPhi. He helped save many lives during that time by recovering people from the water and bringing the injured for urgent medical assistance. He also returned to the area to help bring comfort to many families who had lost loved ones by helping to get official identification for those lost in the tsunami.  Sadly Geoffrey died shortly after this at the age of 32 and his parents wanted to do something to recognise the work he did in saving lives. Along with other projects they have funded this Atlantic 85 lifeboat in Geoffrey's name.

During the ceremony Roger spoke about Geoffrey and the reason they funded a lifeboat in his memory.  "It is very fitting given that Geoffrey saved people from the sea that we are here today to dedicate and hand over this Atlantic 85 to the Red Bay station in Geoffrey's memory.  In the same way that he saved people from the sea we are confident that those trained and skilled with this craft will carry out the same courageous acts and rescue people around these shores.

This project has given us something positive to focus on and we wish to stay in very close contact with the station.  Geoffrey loved the sea and the natural environment and when we first saw this lifeboat we knew it would be like him – big, powerful, a little bit noisy and very confident. From our very first visit to Red Bay we knew that this was the place for the lifeboat to be stationed in his memory."

In another special tribute well known singer Frances Black, whose father was from Rathlin Island spoke of her love for the area and thanked the Colmers for their gift in Geoffrey's memory.  Frances said, "When we were children we used to spend a lot of time up and around this area  travelling back and forth on the seas around Rathlin Island.  When we were young we thought it was really exciting that the waves were the size of houses but as we got older we became very aware that the seas were quite treacherous in this area, beautiful as it is.

The RNLI have saved many lives up and around this area.  To save one life is a miracle but to save the amount of lives they have is fantastic.  The work the volunteers do and the dedication that they have is absolutely phenomenal.  I would like to say a very special thank you to both Judith and Roger.  It is very important we remember the legacy that Geoffrey has left on this wonderful day. He would be so proud of his family and of what they have done today."

Frances then gave a beautiful accapella rendition of the well known song Bright Blue Rose, which she dedicated to Geoffrey.

Red Bay Lifeboat Operations Manager Alan Murphy accepted the lifeboat into the care of the station, "The lifeboat is the main piece of equipment provided by the RNLI and in many cases this is thanks to the generosity of people like Rogerand Judith Colmer, to whom we are extremely grateful.  We at Red Bay are very proud of our new lifeboat and will keep the boat well maintained and always ready to launch when requested."

The lifeboat was named with a bottle of champagne poured over the side of the boat.  The honour was carried out by Judith and Roger's grandson Edward.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The RNLI's 30th Portrush Raft Race takes place this weekend promises to deliver the usual fun frolics and madness around the Harbour from 11am on Saturday 28th May right through to Sunday 29th!

The weekend kicks off with the Junior Raft Race at 11am at the harbour, followed by music, street entertainment, The RNLI Roadshow making its first appearance at the Raft Race and a real coup for the committee.
This year for the first time also the RNLI Lifeguard team will be joining the crew for a spectacular safety display at sea, showing how all sections of the RNLI operate together to save lives.

Radio Ulster's Alan Simpson will be the compere for the day bringing his own style of wit and humour and boundless knowledge of local characters, interviewing rafters, crew, committee and sponsors.
To round it all off local band 'Wipe-out' have reformed to bring back a flavour of the Old Raft Race days.....who can forget them playing in blazing sunshine on the balcony of the yacht Club?

On Sunday there will be the Service of Thanksgiving followed by the madness and mayhem that is the Waiters Race....Come down and support your local bar people. This race gets so competitive it's unreal. Who will knock Sharman Crawford from the Ramore Wine Bar off his perch!

The Committee would like to thanks the Causeway SPAR retail group for their support both in time and money, and everyone else who has contributed to this 30th year of rafting!

Further details can be obtained by calling the Raft Race hotline 07969 814605

History - The First Portrush Raft Race

The Portrush Raft Race has its origins in a special relationship that existed between two Johns. One John (Scott) was closely involved in the day-to-day affairs of the Portrush Lifeboat; the other John (McNally) was the co-owner of the Harbour Bar in Portrush.

In summer 1981 John Scott brought into the Harbour Bar a Lifeboat Magazine containing an article about a Raft Race that the Oban Lifeboat Ladies Guild had successfully run as a fund raiser. John Scott showed the article to John McNally and both were in agreement that the West Bay would provide an ideal venue for running a similar fund raising event in Portrush. The matter rested for some months until there was a clearing-out of the bar shelves when the magazine re-appeared.

A letter was sent to the Oban Ladies Guild who were most helpful in providing copies of their rules and entry form along with some very valuable comments on their experience. The way was clear to start and all that was needed was some willing volunteers to help with the organisation. Regulars of the Bar offered their support and so the first Raft Race Committee was formed. Guinness offered to be the main sponsor which significantly helped in bringing the Portrush Raft Race to the public's attention. The spring bank holiday weekend was selected as it tied in with the Coleraine Borough Council's idea of having a Spring Bank Holiday Fair in Portrush.

An idea was hatched to have a Le Mann type start from the West Beach with crews standing at the water's edge and then sprinting up the beach to collect their rafts and head for the sea with the finish line at the Lifeboat in the harbour. It was agreed from the start that the focus would be family entertainment, rather than speed, with special emphasis being placed on raft design and crew costume.

The first race, which was held on Saturday 29th May 1982, attracted 39 entries with a number making a very special effort to design their rafts attractively. The rafts ranged from the most basic design to the resplendent Quinquireme of Nineveh complete with galley slaves, skeleton, albatross and shark. The ladies of the Fantasy Island also attracted considerable interest with their palm tree, grass skirts and badly fitting coconut shells. The sun shone and the wind from the South West was fresh providing a welcome assist for the tired crews.

The first across the line was the aptly named Portrush Flyer (J Porter, C Irwin, W Green, W Gallagher, N Gaile and N Gibson see above) followed by Titanic Raft 1 and Leonora. The first all ladies raft was also Leonora which was crewed by the girls from Dunluce School, Bushmills ( K Hunter, K Diamond, W Torrens, P McConaghy, S Boswell and M Parke). The best designed raft was Quinquireme of Nineveh ( B Magowan, C Woffinoin, D McKeown, A Creelman, N Adams and C Thompson) and the best costumed crew were Fantasy Island (M McFadden, V Haslam, J Sutchliffe, G Douglas, E Thompson and E Sutcliffe). There were other awards eg most humorous Titanic 1, Perseverance Titanic 2 and most important of all most sponsorship which went to the boys of Dunluce School Bushmills whose raft Big Berta raised over £650.

The first Raft Race rose over £3000 which was way beyond the committee's expectation and guaranteed the continuation of the event. In the 22 years that the two John's were involved the race grew from a Saturday afternoon event to an action packed Raft Race Weekend. Their involvement ceased after the death of John Scott in 2004. It is wrong to single out individuals but particular mention must be made of John and Fay Scott who gave the event the life that made it so enjoyable for all involved in the organisation. Margaret and Alan McFadden who also showed everyone how to enter the spirit of the event and have great fun. Finally mention must be made of Rosie Kirker Millar who sadly recently passed away. Rosie epitomised a can-do spirit and gave so much energy to the committee.

J McNally
May 2011

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Dun Laoghaire Lifeboat is set to appoint Mark McGibney as Coxwain with effect from 1 June. Eamon O'Leary will become second Coxwain from the same date.

A well-known Dublin Bay and racing sailor, McGibney is the sailing manager of the Royal Irish Yacht Club on Dun Laoghaire's waterfront.

The Dun Laoghaire station is among the busiest in the Irish division.  A Trent-class all-weather lifeboat (ALB) 'Anna Livia' and smaller D-Class inshore lifeboat (ILB) are based in the harbour with a crew-panel of 28 local men and women supported by shore-crew and fund-raising volunteers.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Next weekend's Foyle Days (21 and 22) is set to welcome the return of the Johanna Lucretia, a two masted wooden schooner built in 1945, along with other vessels which are to visit the north-west city, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The annual maritime festival will bring the sailing boats upriver on the River Foyle and berth at the Queen's Quay. The public are invited to come on board free of charge and explore the vessels. The largest being the 96ft Johanna Lucretia, which was built originally as a fishing boat but never used for that purpose.

Over the years she has changed hands between Dutch and UK interests for recreational use. Several years ago she starred in the RTE TV reality show 'Cabin Fever' where she replaced the show's first ship Camaret of Cornwall (branded as 'Cabin Fever') after it ran aground off Tory Island.

During the two-day festival (11am-5pm) the boating community at the event will include the Coleraine Yacht Club, Foyle Paddlers, Foyle Punts, Lough Foyle Yacht Club, Lough Swilly Yacht Club, Moville Boat Club, RNLI and the Foyle (SAR) Search and Rescue.

Visitors to Foyle Days can call to the Clipper stand and learn more about the city's entry of the Derry~Londonderry boat in the 2011-2012 Clipper Round the World Race. Learn more about the countries the crew will visit and also how to get involved in the event. For more information about the race, at 40,000 miles is the world's longest race go to www.clipperroundtheworld.com/

Running alongside the festival a continental market with 40 stalls will be open to all at the recently revamped Guildhall Square. For further details about Foyle Days click here.

Published in Maritime Festivals
Page 202 of 217
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