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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

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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Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat launched yesterday morning at the request of Valentia Coast Guard to reports of two kayakers in the water near Garrykennedy.

The volunteer lifeboat crew with Helm, Owen Cavanagh and crew Doireann Kennedy, Joe O’Sullivan and Jimmy Kjell Gundegjerde, launched the inshore B-class lifeboat Jean Spier. Weather conditions were cloudy with good visibility and southerly winds, Force 3/4.

The Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 115 was also tasked and the mobile Coast Guard unit from Killaloe travelled by road to Garrykennedy to join in the major search and rescue operation, which also included the Gardaí.

The lifeboat crew arrived at the coordinates provided by the Coast Guard, but there was no sign of the casualties. After sighting the two casualties in the water Rescue 115 hovered above the location where two people were in the water and holding on to their kayaks. The lifeboat made their way immediately to the scene.

The Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat crew immediately took both casualties out of the water and into the lifeboat and began casualty care. The lifeboat crew then brought the casualties to Garrykennedy harbour where they were met by ambulance and paramedics to whom the RNLI volunteers handed over the care of the casualties.

Owen Cavanagh, volunteer Helm at Lough Derg RNLI said: ‘ This was a major search and rescue operation today and I’m thankful we were able to rescue these two people from the water with the help of our colleagues. The water is extremely cold at this time year and with the two kayakers out of their craft and in the water they needed help immediately. Our thoughts are with them and their families and we hope they make a full recovery from their ordeal.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Volunteers from Arklow RNLI were called to the scene where two people were injured after a wave swept them from the upper deck of a pier in the Co Wicklow town yesterday (Sunday 22 December).

As TheJournal.ie reports, it’s understood that a large wave crashed against the harbour wall and washed two people from the top of the pier 15 feet to the lower deck.

Neither individual was washed into the sea but both were hospitalised for treatment. Community safety officer Mark Corcoran reminded the public to ‘stay back, stay high and stay dry’ when walking near the coast.

The incident came just hours after the lifeboat charity and the Irish Coast Guard issued their annual safety message for the Christmas and New Year period.

Published in Rescue
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The Irish Coast Guard and the RNLI have called on the public to pay particular attention to their personal safety when engaging in any water-based or coastal activities over the Christmas and New Year period. The two organisations have also issued a joint thank you to their nationwide search and rescue teams for their work during the past twelve months and paid tribute to the men and women who keep our waters and coastal areas safe.

Christmas/New Year Swims:

Swimming in open water is very different to swimming in a pool. Unseen currents, cold water and waves make open water swimming more challenging. Even the strongest swimmers can tire quickly in the sea.

  • Never swim alone. Always try and take part in an organised swim with safety cover nearby.
  • Consider wearing a wetsuit and bright coloured hat for longer swims.
  • Check weather and tide times before you set out.
  • Always swim parallel to the shore and not straight out. Cold water and currents can tire you out quickly and make it harder to return to shore.
  • Never swim under the influence of alcohol
  • If you see some in trouble, or think they are in trouble, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard

For coastal walkers:

Stay Back – Stay High – Stay Dry; when engaged in coastal walks and avoid any unfamiliar routes and be mindful of changes caused by coastal erosion and the risk of trip, slips and falls.
Ensure that pets are kept under control in case they get into difficulty and cause owners to risk their own safety in attempting to rescue them.

For leisure boaters or small fishing boat operators:

  • Remember to carry a suitable means to call for help such as mobile phone, vhf radio or Personal Locator beacon
  • If engaged in any boating activities wear an appropriate personal flotation device – it could save a life.
  • Before proceeding, tell someone ashore your plans and what time you expect to be back.
  • Always check the weather and take heed of any warnings.

Irish Coast Guard Head of Operation, Gerard O’Flynn said, ‘As we move past the shortest day of the year, everybody looks forward to getting out and about. Please be safety conscious, plan your activity carefully and always advise friends and colleagues of your plans and intentions. Coast Guard Rescue Coordination Centres at Malin, Valentia and Dublin will be fully staffed over the Christmas period as will our day and night Helicopter Search and Rescue services.’ He reiterated his thanks to volunteer members of the RNLI and Coast Guard who will continue to be available to respond over the holiday period.

RNLI Lifesaving Manager Sean Dillon added, ‘This Christmas and New Year we will have over 1,500 lifeboat volunteers ready to drop everything if a call for help comes in. There are many people who are spending Christmas with loved ones this year thanks to the actions of RNLI and Coast Guard crews and for that we are grateful to the men and women who give their time to keep people safe on the water. However, we know that not everyone can be saved, and our lifeboat crews are as busy as ever. Following simple safety advice before you set out can prevent a tragedy and give you valuable time to wait for help, if it is needed.’

Published in Coastguard

Baltimore RNLI was called out yesterday afternoon (Friday 20 December) to assist a fishing vessel in difficulty off the coast of the West Cork village.

The all-weather lifeboat was launched at 1.16pm at the request of the Irish Coast Guard to assist an 18m fishing vessel with two people onboard, that was experiencing engine problems some two nautical miles south of Baltimore Harbour.

Conditions at the time were moderate, with a south south-westerly Force 3-4 wind, two-metre sea swell and good visibility.

The lifeboat with six volunteer crew onboard reached the casualty vessel just over 20 minutes later. Once the crew had assessed the situation, they established a tow and brought the vessel back to Baltimore.

Baltimore’s inshore lifeboat launched with four crew members to assist with berthing the vessel at the north pier once they had entered the harbour.

Speaking following the callout, press officer Kate Callanan said: “Whilst there was no immediate danger to the crew on board, the skipper of the fishing vessel did the right thing in calling for assistance from the Irish Coast Guard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The volunteers of Youghal RNLI recently gathered at Berties bar in the East Cork town to mark the retirement of long-serving crew member John Innes.

John first became involved in 1987 and was fully enrolled as a crew member by 1988. He went on to become a helm on three Atlantic class lifeboats: the Atlantic 21 Marjory Turner, Atlantic 75 Patricia Jennings and the current Atlantic 85 Gordon and Phil.

He also served as lifeboat training co-ordinator between 2001-2009 and again between 2016-2017.

Speaking on the night, John said: “Since I started with the RNLI 30 years ago, I’ve seen many changes and big improvements, the standard of training is so high these days.”

There have been many memorable rescues for John over the years. One he remembers from his early days happened one summer evening, when a man from Cork city traveled to Youghal to try out his new surfboard that he’d received as a birthday gift.

John recalls: “The man had booked a surfing lesson, but the teacher was late so he decided to go out on his own. Shortly after he entered the water, he began to be swept out to sea with the offshore breeze.

“When we arrived the man was in the water and being carried further out to sea, he was freezing cold. Had we not arrived when we did, the outcome could have been very different.”

During his 30 years with Youghal RNLI, John Innes was instrumental in saving 34 lives at sea.

Deputy launching authority Brendan O’Driscoll said: “The time, effort and commitment John has shown to Youghal RNLI over the last 30 years has been outstanding.

“On behalf of everybody at the lifeboat station, I would like to thank him for the immense contribution he has made over the years and we all wish him well in his future endeavours.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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At noon this Christmas Eve at the end of the East Pier in Dun Laoghaire on Dublin Bay, RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew will gather to lay wreaths at sea and remember 15 of their predecessors who were lost while on service in gale force conditions to the SS Palme that had run aground off Blackrock in 1895.

The annual ceremony also remembers all those who were lost around our coasts, rivers and inland waters in 2019. Included in this will be lifeboat volunteer Leigh Early from Arranmore RNLI in Donegal who died last month and the three crewmembers of the French SNSM lifeboat service who lost their lives while on service in June.

The ceremony takes place each Christmas Eve in all weathers and lifeboat crew are joined by members of the Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard and Civil Defence who form an honour guard. Both Dun Laoghaire RNLI’s inshore and all-weather lifeboats will launch, and the crew will lay wreaths off the east pier in view of the public.

"The whole of her crew, 15 in number, drowned"

On 24 December 1895 the 'Civil Service No. 1' Dun Laoghaire lifeboat was wrecked while proceeding to the assistance of the SS Palme of Finland. The whole of her crew, 15 in number, drowned. The lifeboat capsized 600 yards from the distressed vessel and, although every effort was made to send help to the lifeboat and to the Palme, nothing could be done.

The second Dun Laoghaire lifeboat 'Hannah Pickard' also launched but it too capsized under sail, fortunately, all crew returned safely. The Captain, his wife, child and 17 crew were eventually rescued on the 26 December by the SS Tearaght.

The short ceremony takes place under the lighthouse at the end of the East Pier. It includes an ecumenical blessing, a reading from a news article published at the time and music.

Commenting on the event Dun Laoghaire RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Stephen Wynne said: ‘The loss of 15 lifeboat volunteers devastated the local community but the RNLI here kept going. Volunteer lifeboat crew came forward then, as they still do, to help those in trouble at sea and on inland waters. We hold this ceremony to honour their memory and pay tribute to them but also to remember all those lost to drowning in our waters.’

‘Our lifeboat crew is on call this Christmas as they are every day of the year and we hope everyone has a safe and peaceful time. People are very welcome to come and join us at the end of the East Pier, it’s our Christmas tradition and one that is very dear to us.’

Published in Dublin Bay
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Lough Swilly, Portrush and Arranmore RNLI volunteers spent almost 15 hours at sea in storm force conditions at the weekend to rescue five fishermen who got into difficulty off Fanad Head.

Lough Swilly and Portrush RNLI were requested to launch their all-weather lifeboats by Belfast Coastguard at 2.15 pm on Saturday (14 December) following a Mayday alert from a 45ft fishing boat.

The five men who had been fishing for crab got into difficulty 20 miles north of Fanad Head. The boat lost power and encountered steering difficulties while violent waves smashed the wheelhouse windows in.

Lough Swilly RNLI volunteers launched their all-weather lifeboat and started their 90-minute journey to the scene some 34 nautical miles from their station. Portrush RNLI meanwhile, had 50 nautical miles to travel. Weather conditions at the time were extremely challenging with the volunteers facing Force 9-10 gales and sea swells of 50ft. Arranmore RNLI was requested to launch shortly after at 4 pm.

Once on scene, Lough Swilly RNLI’s lifeboat crew assessed the situation and checked that the five crew were safe and well. The fishermen were cold, tired and shaken from the severity of the weather conditions but were otherwise in good health. Due to the challenging conditions, the decision was made to leave the crew on board their boat rather than transfer them to the lifeboat. The lifeboat crew worked with the fishermen to establish a tow but despite attempts, the tow parted on three occasions in the storm. On arrival Arranmore RNLI’s lifeboat took over the tow and brought the vessel back into the mouth of Lough Swilly where the tow was transferred to Lough Swilly’s lifeboat to allow Arranmore’s RNLI’s crew make the three and half hour return trip back to their station in heavy seas.

Speaking following the call out, Joe Joyce, Lough Swilly RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘This was an extremely challenging call out for all the RNLI volunteers involved and we are delighted that the five fishermen were brought safely back to shore.

‘Our lifeboats launched in dangerous weather conditions on Saturday afternoon and our volunteers, 20 in all, spent almost 15 hours at sea, most of it in the hours of darkness. They faced gale-force conditions and 50ft swells but with great courage, selflessness and teamwork they successfully met and overcame those challenges to bring the fishermen to safety.

‘While challenging for our crews, this call out was a huge testament to the level of training RNLI volunteers undergo. Lifeboat crew members are highly trained and skilled to carry out such challenging work and thanks to the generosity of the public, we are provided with the best of equipment and technology to save lives at sea.’

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Page 23 of 211

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