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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

Larne RNLI launched at 3.50pm on Saturday (18 January) to assist a RIB which had lost engine power half a mile south of Muck Island.

The volunteer crew were requested to launch by Belfast Coastguard to the nine-metre RIB with three people on board which had been losing engine power.

The all-weather lifeboat, Dr John McSparran, launched into a slight swell with light levels decreasing as the night closed in.

The lifeboat reached the anchored casualty boat and a volunteer crew member was put on board to establish a tow rope so that the lifeboat could bring the casualty boat into Carrickfergus Harbour.

One of the casualties from the boat was transferred to the lifeboat for some respite from the cold conditions of the open water.

Upon reaching Carrickfergus, the casualty boat was handed into the care of the Portmuck Coastguard team.

Larne RNLI lifeboat operations manager Allan Dorman said: “The casualty boat did the right thing by dropping their anchor and calling for help at the earliest opportunity.

“Being able to find the boat in daylight made it much easier for our volunteer crew to establish the tow and bring them into the safety of Carrickfergus Harbour.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat crew are to be honoured by the charity for a dramatic rescue of a fishing crew that took place in challenging conditions and resulted in the lives of six fishermen being saved. Coxswain Dean Hegarty is to be awarded a Bronze Medal for Gallantry by the Institution and Lifeboat Mechanic Martin O’Donoghue, lifeboat volunteers Seamus Harrington, John Paul Downey and David Fenton, along with Deputy Launching Authority Michael Martin-Sullivan, will all receive a framed Letter of Thanks from the Chairman of the RNLI.

As Afloat reported at the time, the rescue of the six men who were the crew of the 25-metre fishing vessel, Clodagh O, took place on the evening of 10 October 2018 at an area known as ‘The Pipers’ immediately south-west of the harbour entrance at Castletownbere. Answering an urgent ‘Mayday’ from the fishing crew, the charity’s lifeboat launched in darkness into a force 9 gale, driving rain and heavy squalls, to rescue the crew who were in grave and imminent danger due to their vessel having lost all power after their propeller became fouled on their fishing gear.

Arriving on scene, the lifeboat crew saw that the fishing vessel was located in a precarious position and the Coxswain made the decision not to take the crew off the boat but instead establish a towline in breaking four to five-metre swells.

Coxswain Dean HegartyCastletownbere RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Paul Stevens (left) congratulates Coxswain Dean Hegarty on the news of his Bronze Medal for Gallantry by the RNLI

With the weather deteriorating, there was only a short window of opportunity to save the men before the vessel would hit the rocks or cliff face and be lost. With the Coxswain skilfully manoeuvring the lifeboat into position and holding it steady in mountainous seas, the lifeboat crew on deck established a tow on first attempt. The Coxswain had to initially steer the lifeboat out to sea to gain a safe separation between the rocks and cliffs before he could then turn the lifeboat and start the journey back to the harbour. The tow was carried out at a speed of a half a knot in case it parted, only gathering speed as they found shelter. Once inside the safety of the harbour two local tugboats helped to secure the boat alongside the pier.

The lifeboat crew were informed of the decision at a crew meeting in the station last night (Thursday 16 January) by RNLI Lifesaving Manager Sean Dillon, who delivered a letter from RNLI Chief Executive Mark Dowie. Both Owen Medland, RNLI Lifesaving Lead and Brian O’Driscoll, Area Lifesaving Manager were also in attendance.

In informing the station of the award Mr. Dowie said, ‘In making the awards, the RNLI Trustees recognise the complexity of the service, the level of risk and the quality of decision making by all involved in the service. These awards mark the courage, skill and dedication shown by the Coxswain, crew and officials involved, and are a testament to outstanding teamwork and seamanship in perilous conditions which resulted in the successful rescue of six people.’

Castletownbere RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Paul Stevens, who was formerly the Coxswain’s school principal, commented, ‘We are extremely proud of our lifeboat crew for their incredibly brave actions that night, which resulted in the saving of six lives. The RNLI does not give out awards for gallantry lightly and to receive one is a great privilege. We are a strong fishing community here and we have seen too much loss at sea. This rescue was relatively fast in lifeboat terms but carried out in extremely challenging conditions and relying on absolute precision and split-second decision making by our Coxswain. The skill and expertise of the lifeboat crew onboard meant that every action was well-executed and successful along with the sound judgement of the Launching Authority. I look forward to a great day out with our crew when they receive their honours in front of their proud families.’

This is the first RNLI Medal for Gallantry to be awarded in Ireland in ten years. The last one was a Bronze Medal for Portrush RNLI station mechanic Anthony Chambers, for his rescue of two boys trapped in a cave near Castlerock with a rising tide.

The RNLI Bronze Medal for Gallantry and the Institution’s Framed Letter of Thanks from the Chairman will be presented at a ceremony to held in the near future. Details of the arrangements will be released nearer the date.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Five years into his remarkable and challenging project to photograph all RNLI lifeboat station in the UK and Ireland with a Victorian-era camera, Jack Lowe has visited 147 stations and met more than 2,000 volunteers.

And it’s not over yet, as the West of Ireland and Scotland’s Western Isles are among those locations yet to be covered by The Lifeboat Station Project between now and the end of 2022.

They will add to the more than 35,000 miles he’s already covered with his trusty converted ambulance, ‘Neena’, which also serves as his mobile darkroom for the 19th-century wet plate collodion process he used to produce his distinct, monochrome images.

Last September, Lowe toured Northern Ireland to complete that 10-station leg of his mammoth undertaking.

Neena, the converted ambulance Jack Lowe uses as a mobile darkroom (Photo: RNLI)Neena, the converted ambulance Jack Lowe uses as a mobile darkroom | Photo: RNLI

That came almost a year after he reached the half-way mark in his project, shortly following his 100th station visit at Valentia — and at a time of self-doubt, before crowdfunding support provided the boost needed to see the rest of the task through.

At the same time, he’s expanded the scope of the project — including images of station mechanics and other key volunteers, as well as making sound recordings that go ‘behind the scenes’.

“Ultimately, I’m honoured beyond words to be making this archive,” Lowe says. “It’s a privilege spending time with so many lifeboat volunteers, preserving their bravery and devotion for future generations.”

The Lifeboat Station Project’s dedicated website has links to Lowe’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds, as well as his Patreon campaign.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

It’s been a busy start to the New Year with multiple callouts for Scottish RNLI lifeboat crews at Aberdeen on the east coast and Oban in the west.

Aberdeen’s all-weather lifeboat was called for a medevac from an oilfield platform supply vessel (PSV) at anchor in Aberdeen Bay on Friday evening (3 January).

The casualty complained of chest pain and numbness in one side of his body – symptoms typically associated with heart attack — and the lifeboat launched immediately, navigating through an unusually busy bay anchorage.

Coxswain Michael Cowlam said: “Conditions were excellent — perfect visibility and a gentle swell from the gentle offshore breeze. The challenge was finding the right vessel in the densely crowded anchorage. None of us had ever seen it so busy.”

Once the casualty’s vessel had been located, however, he was swiftly returned to shore and the care of the Scottish Ambulance Service.

Less than 24 hours previously, Aberdeen’s D-class inshore lifeboat and the all-weather vessel’s Y-boat were launched to assist in a river bank search of the River Dee after concerns were raised for the safety of an elderly man missing in the area.

The crews searched extensively but were stood down when, happily, a member of the public found the missing man in the city centre.

Lifeboat operations manager Bill Deans later commented: “For all three of Aberdeen’s lifeboats to be called out on service in the first three days of a New Year is exceptional. I can’t remember a start to the year like it in my 40-plus years’ service at Aberdeen Lifeboat Station.”

The yacht aground at Connel Bay in Oban (Photo: RNLI/Stephen Lawson)The yacht aground at Connel Bay in Oban | Photo: RNLI/Stephen Lawson

Elsewhere, in Oban, the lifeboat Mora Edith MacDonald was launched twice to two separate incidents between Friday and Saturday (3 & 4 January).

The first call came at 7.26pm on Friday following reports of a red flare sighting in Loch Melfort. A thorough search was conducted by the lifeboat, Oban’s coastguard team and HM Coastguard’s rescue helicopter but with nothing found, the search was stood down.

Just hours later, shortly before 10am on Saturday morning, the volunteers were called again, this time to a yacht that had broken its morning in Connel Bay and run aground.

Given the nature of the tides in the area, near the Falls of Lora, the decision was made to refloat the vessel, which has no persons on board at the time, and secure it to a nearby morning.

Published in Scottish Waters
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Wicklow RNLI held its annual Service of Remembrance on New Year’s Day (Wednesday 1 January) in memory of all deceased lifeboat volunteer members, sailors from the town and all those associated with the sea from Wicklow.

The ceremony began with a short religious prayer conducted by Fr Donal Roche and Rev Jack Kinkead, who blessed the flowers and wreaths.

After the blessing, coxswain Nick Keogh and the lifeboat crew took the floral tributes out into the bay and placed them on the water.

A minute’s silence was also held in memory of all the former members of Wicklow lifeboat who have risked everything to save the lives of others ever since the RNLI lifeboat station was established in 1857.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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RTÉ News reports that one man has died as the search continues for a second man after a fishing vessel is understood to have sunk off Hook Head last night (Saturday 4 January).

A man in his 60s was recovered in the early hours of this morning (Sunday 5 January) but died at University Hospital Waterford.

The Irish Coast Guard and RNLI lifeboat crews are involved in the search for a second individual believed to have been on the trawler south of Dunmore East.

Published in Fishing

Tobermory RNLI’s volunteer crew had their first shout just 12 hours into 2020 when they went to assist a seriously injured casualty on a remote island in Loch Sunart in the western Scottish Highlands.

The pagers sounded just before midday on Wednesday 1 January and the volunteer crew were tasked by the UK Coastguard to carry out a medical evacuation, or medevac, from the island of Carna for a casualty who had fallen down a flight of stairs.

Tobermory's Severn class lifeboat was launched and the crew collected two Scottish Ambulance Service paramedics from Laga Bay before heading to the island.

Two lifeboat crew members accompanied the paramedics ashore to attend the casualty. After receiving treatment at the scene, the casualty was transferred to the lifeboat which then returned to Laga Bay for a further transfer to the waiting ambulance with the assistance of Salen Coastguard Rescue Team.

The lifeboat returned to Tobermory where it was refuelled and made ready for service shortly before 4pm.

Tobermory RNLI coxswain David McHaffie said: “This was a real team effort with our colleagues from the Scottish Ambulance Service and Salen Coastguard. All of us at the lifeboat station wish the casualty a speedy recovery.”

Published in Scottish Waters
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Brian Kehoe, station mechanic at Kilmore Quay RNLI, has retired from his position as full-time station mechanic and coxswain after serving over 50 years with the RNLI, half as a volunteer and half as an employee.

Brian went afloat for his last exercise on Tuesday (31 December) as station mechanic. He was joined by crew from the flanking lifeboat stations of Rosslare Harbour, Fethard-on-Sea and Dunmore East.

Kilmore Quay Coast Guard was also on hand while the Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117 joined the exercise and Brian was winched from the lifeboat onboard the search and rescue aircraft.

Back ashore after the exercise, Brian’s family gathered at the harbour for some photos and the people of the village came to wish him a happy retirement.

An official night to mark Brian’s retirement will take place at Coast Hotel Kilmore Quay on Saturday 25 January, and all are welcome to attend. Everyone at Kilmore Quay Lifeboat Station wishes Brian and his wife Theresa a long and healthy retirement.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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A diver has died in hospital after taking ill during a dive to fix a mooring at a popular yacht anchorage area in Cork Harbour this afternoon.

The Polish national, understood to be in his late 40s, was diving to fix a mooring at Drake’s Pool on the Owenabue Estuary, upstream of Crosshaven.

According to news reports including the Irish Times here, it’s understood that the diver was down around eight metres when he took ill and a rescue diver on standby went down and helped bring him to the surface.

The man had lost consciousness and the emergency services were alerted including HSE paramedics who were quickly on the scene.

Crosshaven RNLI assisted while the Irish Coastguard Rescue 117 helicopter from Waterford was initially tasked to assist but was stood down soon afterwards.

The man was rushed by ambulance to Cork University Hospital where he underwent emergency treatment but he failed to regain consciousness.

The man, whom it’s understood was an experienced diver, was pronounced dead at the hospital and post-mortem will take place there today.

Gardaí say they are treating the death as a tragic accident and a file will be prepared on man’s death for an inquest at the South Cork Coroner’s Court.

RNLI Crosshaven adds:

The crew were paged at 4.08 pm to the diver in a position upriver from the lifeboat station.

Whilst preparing to launch the lifeboat, the vessel with the diver on board arrived at the lifeboat station. Our crew, consisting of paramedic Peter Lane and Aidan O’Connor Immediately began emergency care and continued until Rapid Response and a critical care doctor arrived and took over the care of the casualty. Crosshaven Coast Guard personnel also assisted with casualty care.

Other RNLI crew assisting were Ian Venner, Vince Fleming, Suzanne Deane, Georgia Keating, Molly Murphy and Claire Morgan.

Sadly, It has been reported that the male casualty was pronounced deceased at the hospital. Our thoughts are with the man’s family. RIP

 

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Howth RNLI launched their Inshore Lifeboat on Sunday to multiple reports of a Kitesurfer in difficulty in the waters just off the beach in Portmarnock.

The RNLI pagers sounded at 11.40 am after multiple 112/999 calls from concerned members of the public who spotted a Kitesurfer having difficulties in the waters just off Portmarnock beach.

RNLI volunteer crew members launched the Inshore Lifeboat within 12 minutes of getting the call and proceeded to the area and quickly located the casualty 200 metres off the beach. Howth Coastguard members were also tasked ashore at Portmarnock Beach. The casualty was taken aboard the lifeboat and checked over, was in good spirits, unharmed by the incident and returned safely and to shore.

The wind was Force 5 and the sea state was rough at the time.

Speaking following the call out, Colm Newport, Howth RNLI LOM said: ‘We were delighted to assist the kitesurfer after they found themselves in difficulty. The members of the public on the beach had quickly radioed for assistance which was the correct thing to do and we were able to launch and bring the kitesurfer to safety.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Page 22 of 211

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