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#Lifeboats - Arklow RNLI launched on Tuesday (2 April) to assist a vessel in distress following a request from the Irish Coast Guard and a pager alert at 3.20pm.

The volunteer crew left their jobs and normal workday behind and within minutes of the alert were aboard the lifeboat Ger Tigchlearr and under way to the reported position, some nine miles south east of Arklow and close to the offshore Arklow sand banks.

The casualty boat, a fishing vessel, had reported engine failure and was adrift, unable to anchor.

As the lifeboat made its way to the location, fellow Arklow RNLI coxswains and crew members who were at work aboard a wind turbine transfer and maintenance vessel heard the radio request for assistance.

The work vessel was closer to the stricken fishing boat, which was by now approximately half a mile from the sandbanks and in real danger of being wrecked in the prevailing westerly wind and moderate sea conditions.

Following a consultation with the lifeboat coxswain, the workboat crew were able to get a line safely aboard the vessel and tow it away from the sandbanks for a time.

As this was in progress, the lifeboat arrived on scene and its crew set up their own tow to bring the vessel and three aboard back home to Arklow.

Following the callout, Mark Corcoran, community safety officer at Arklow RNLI, said: “Thanks to the quick thinking and actions of our volunteers who were at work on the wind turbine vessel, Arklow RNLI was in the happy position to tow this fishing vessel and her crew of three to safety.

“We would remind people to respect the water and always wear a lifejacket and carry a means of calling for help when going out on the water.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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At 4.54pm yesterday (Tuesday 2 April), Lough Derg RNLI Jean Spier launched following a request by Valentia Coast Guard to assist one person on board a 27ft cruiser grounded on rocks at Gortmore Point.

Conditions were rough with North Westerly winds, Force 5, gusting to 7/8 with frequent rain squalls. 

The volunteer crew, with helm Eleanor Hooker, Ger Egan, Keith Brennan and Owen Cavanagh arrived on scene at 5.14pm. The 27ft cruiser had engine failure and was being pushed onto rocks. The skipper had deployed his anchor, but it did not hold initially, and the cruiser was pushed farther behind a rocky shoal before the anchor held.

Lifeboat crew assessed the situation, and decided to go upwind in order to approach the casualty in safe water. An RNLI volunteer took constant soundings of depths.

A lifeboat crew member transferred across to the casualty vessel where he established that the person on board was safe and unharmed. After assessing that the boat was not holed, he set up for a tow, and the lifeboat took the vessel off the shoal and out into safe water.

Once in deep water, and due to the adverse weather conditions, the lifeboat changed to an alongside tow and brought the casualty vessel, with the skipper and the RNLI volunteer onboard, into Terryglass public harbour. The casualty vessel was tied safely alongside at 5.47pm. 

Eleanor Hooker, volunteer helm at Lough Derg RNLI said to ‘have your engines serviced and use fresh fuel before first taking to the water after over wintering your boat’ 

The lifeboat returned to Station and was ready for service again at 6.45pm

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Youghal’s latest RNLI recruits followed a training exercise on Sunday (31 March) with a callout to a 10ft open boat experiencing engine trouble just off the old Youghal bridge in the East Cork town.

The volunteer crew launched the inshore lifeboat Gordon and Phil within four minutes of returning to station in fresh conditions.

They quickly reached the troubled vessel with two men wearing lifejackets onboard.

A tow line was established and the boat was safely towed back to the ferry slip in Youghal where it was handed over to the owner at 3.40pm, just 10 minutes after launch.

Mark Nolan, deputy kaunching authority at Youghal RNLI, said: “The two people onboard had the good sense to anchor the boat as soon as they started to experience engine trouble.

“They had both a VHF radio and mobile phone with them also and so were able to call for help quickly. It is essential to carry some form of communication with you when you go out on the water.

“We would also like to say well done to all of our shore crew today, all of which were new recruits.”

Recently Youghal RNLI received a cheque for more than €3,000 raised by the Ardmore Christmas Day swim, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The RNLI has received a €5,000 donation from the Irish Defence Forces team that won the Beaufort Cup during Cork Week Regatta. The competition invites sailing teams from the military and emergency services to take part in a series of races in an event that has become a firm favourite in the racing calendar. Last July Baltimore RNLI, on their boat Joker 2, gave the Defence Forces boat Juggerknot a close run in the competition but were ultimately pipped at the post.

The winning team receives a prize fund of €10,000 to be given to a nominated charity but the Defence Forces opted to split their donation, giving €5,000 to Crumlin Children’s Hospital and €5,000 to the RNLI. At a presentation which took place in the Crumlin Children’s hospital in Dublin, the Defence Forces were represented by their Chief of Staff, Vice-Admiral Mark Mellett, the Skipper of the winning boat, Cmdt. Barry Byrne, Colonel Ray O’Lehan and Captain Deirdre Fahy. Present to receive the donation for the RNLI were Baltimore Chairperson of Fundraising, Declan Tiernan and RNLI Media Manager Niamh Stephenson.

Speaking following the presentation Baltimore RNLI Fundraising Chairperson Declan Tiernan said, ‘It was a lovely surprise when we heard that the Defence Forces were donating half of their prize to the RNLI and we were incredibly honoured to share it with Crumlin Children’s Hospital. The Beaufort Cup provided a fantastic week’s racing and it came down to a close finish between the Defence Forces and Baltimore RNLI at the end.’

‘We’d also like to acknowledge Crosshaven RNLI who had a boat in the race and performed exceptionally well. All of this has just whetted our appetite to come back bigger and better next time and Comdt Byrne should expect another nail bitter to the finish. We are tremendously proud of our team and are so grateful for the generosity of the winners from the Defence Forces.’

Declan went on to thank those who had allowed the station enter the competition by providing or sponsoring support. Andrew Algeo, who donated his boat Juggerknot free of charge for the crew to race and PPL Ltd., James and Joanne McKenna, Peter O’Flynn Cushman from Wakefield, Peter and Anthony O’Leary from O’Leary Insurance and Bushes Bar all provided generous sponsorship.

Juggerknot Crew :Youen Jacob (Skipper & Baltimore Lifeboat Crew), Peter O’Leary (Tactician) Pat Collins, Cathal Cottrell, Jim Baker, Aiden Bushe, Kieran Cotter, Jim Griffiths (Crew and Baltimore Lifeboat Crew. Garry Haughton, Sandy Remington Bowman and Fionn Lyden (Crew)

Published in Cork Week
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At 11.30am this morning (Sunday 31 March) Lough Derg RNLI was requested by Valentia Coast Guard to go to the assistance of a cruiser with nine people onboard that had run aground on some rocks near Drominagh. The conditions were calm with good visibility.

Volunteer crew got the call during a routine training exercise with helm, Dom Sharkey, Keith Brennan, Doireann Kennedy and Tom Hayes onboard the inshore lifeboat. The lifeboat arrived on scene at 11.45am and after determining all casualties were safe and the boat was not damaged, the crew attached a tow rope and took the boat to safety.

Speaking following the call out, Dom Sharkey, Lough Derg RNLI Helm said: ‘We were delighted to be able to assist those on the cruiser this morning. We would remind anyone planning a trip on the lake to make sure you stay between the markers to avoid shallow waters on the lake. Should you get into difficulty call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’

Earlier that morning, whilst carrying out training exercises near Droman Harbour, the volunteer crew noticed a sunken boat. They reported the details to the Valentia Coast Guard and upon inspection of the boat could verify no casualties were involved.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Youghal’s RNLI volunteers were presented last week with a cheque for €3,439.60 from the organisers of the Ardmore Christmas Day swim.

The event was first organised in 1997 and has successfully run every Christmas Day since. The swim is always well supported by the local community and 2018’s was no exception.

The swimmers met on the beach at Ardmore at 12.15pm on Christmas Day in dry but chilly conditions and made the dash into the water for a quick dip before heading back to the beach for a hot drink.

Youghal RNLI’s inshore lifeboat, Gordon and Phil, and her volunteer crew were there on the day to oversee the safety of the swimmers.

Lifeboat operations manager Derry Walsh said: “We would like to send our thanks to everyone who came out on Christmas Day and took part in the swim, and a special thank you to those who have organised the swim over the last 22 years.

“The RNLI depend on the generosity of the public to save lives at sea, and this donation will help to ensure our lifeboat and crew are always ready when they are called upon.”

Elsewhere, a callout for Larne RNLI to a suspected vessel in trouble on Friday evening (29 March) turned out to be false alarm as smoke seen rising from a vessel at the Maidens was part of a training exercise.

Paul Johnston, Larne RNLI deputy launching authority, said: “We would like to commend the member of the public for contacting the coastguard and raising the alarm. We would always much rather launch to find all is safe and well than not launch at all.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The Portadown Pikers Angling Club laid wreaths at the Coosan Point Memorial last Saturday 23 March in memory of their fellow anglers David Warnock and Daryl Burke, who drowned in Lough Ree in a tragic incident five years ago.

The two men, and colleague John Trimble, were thrown into the water after their boat overturned near Hodson Bay on the afternoon of 20 March 2014.

In 2015 the Marine Casualty Investigation Board concluded that hidden flooding destabilised the anglers’ boat causing them to go overboard.

This past weekend the angling club party — which included Trimble, who survived the incident — were joined by a group from Lough Ree RNLI for the wreath-laying ceremony and some refreshments at the lifeboat station.

Pikers chairman Noel Quinn later made a generous donation to the Lough Ree lifeboat before the group departed to Lanesborough where they spent the weekend fishing.

Brian and Hayley Warnock also laid wreaths in memory of their son David.

Published in Angling
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Ballyglass RNLI responded to two back to back call-outs today, first to bring an injured fisherman to safety, and then to assist a 10m fishing vessel that had broken down off the Mayo coast.

The volunteer crew launched their all-weather lifeboat this morning (Tuesday 19 March) to go to the aid of a fishing vessel with an injured crew member, 18 miles east of Ballyglass.

The lifeboat was requested to launch by the Irish Coast Guard at 9.34am this morning to the boat which had three people onboard.

Weather conditions were overcast at the time with a west to southwest wind, force 4 to 5 and a westerly sea swell of two metres.

The all-weather lifeboat under Coxswain James Mangan with six crew onboard, launched immediately and was on scene approximately 40 minutes later. The crew assessed the casualty before transferring him safely from the vessel to the lifeboat and then administering casualty care. The lifeboat proceeded onwards to Ballyglass where the crew transferred the casualty into the care of a waiting ambulance. Ballyglass Coast Guard Unit was on standby at the pier. The fisherman was subsequently brought to Mayo General Hospital for further treatment.

Having arrived back at the station shortly after 11am, Ballyglass RNLI was requested to launch for a second time some two hours later, this time at the request of the Irish Coast Guard, to go to the aid of a 10m fishing boat with three people onboard, that had broken down 16 miles north of Downpatrick Head.

The lifeboat immediately launched again under Coxswain James Mangan with four crew onboard. Weather conditions freshened this afternoon to a west to southwest wind Force 5 wind and a 2.5- 3m swell. Once on scene, the lifeboat crew began to work with the fishermen to establish a towline.

The lifeboat then began the slow tow back to Ballyglass RNLI where they are expected to arrive later this evening.

Speaking after a long day at sea for the volunteer crew, Padraig Sheeran, Ballyglass RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘Today has been a busy one for the lifeboat station with the first two call-outs of the year happening straight after each other.

‘We want to extend our best wishes to the injured fisherman for a speedy recovery and wish the crew of both fishing boats well.

I would like also like to thank and commend our lifeboat crew for their dedication and professionalism in responding to these back to back call outs today. It is something they train for and are prepared to do but days like today do highlight their selfless willingness and commitment.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Lifeboats from Clogherhead, Newcastle and Kilkeel were involved in the search for a woman missing in Carlingford Lough at the weekend, which came to a sad end yesterday afternoon (Monday 18 March) with the discovery of a body in the water off Greenore.

Newcastle RNLI was tasked to divert from a morning training exercise on the Co Down coast to join the major search operation which began on Sunday (17 March), concentrating on the entrance to Carlingford Lough and outlying islands.

During this search the all-weather lifeboat located a casualty in the water and, working with volunteer lifeboat crews from Clogherhead and Kilkeel RNLI, the casualty was taken ashore to Greenore Harbour by the Kilkeel lifeboat and placed in the care of An Garda Síochána.

The casualty was shortly after confirmed to be the remains of Ruth Maguire from Newcastle, who went missing during a hen party in Carlingford on Saturday night (16 March).

Speaking following the search, Newcastle RNLI coxswain Nathan Leneghan said: “On behalf of Newcastle RNLI I wish to express our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of the woman who was recovered from the water this afternoon.

“The thoughts and prayers of the everyone involved in the search are with them at this sad time. I also wish to commend the volunteer crews for their commitment and professionalism.”

Kilkeel RNLI lifeboat operations manager John Fisher added: “This was not the outcome we or the family wanted and at this difficult time our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the casualty.

“At this time I would also like to thank the volunteer crew for their commitment and energy. We train for such an incident but always pray that it has a better outcome.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Howth RNLI launched its all-weather lifeboat this morning to reports of a sailing vessel with 2 people aboard taking on water and starting to sink 7 miles east of Howth.

The pagers sounded at 8.24am and the all weather lifeboat launched at 8.33am to reports of 48ft–ketch sailing vessel which was taking on water and in danger of sinking. The all weather lifeboat located the casualty vessel seven miles east of Howth with two people aboard.

The wind was Force 5 westerly and the sea state was a metre a half swell at the time.

Speaking following the call out, Ian Sheridan, Howth RNLI deputy Coxswain said: ‘We were delighted to be able to launch so quickly and locate the sailing yacht fast enough to be able to save the vessel from sinking and bring them back to the safety of Howth Marina.

‘We remind everyone going to sea to always respect the water and always have a means of communication aboard. The casualty vessel in this instance was able to make immediate contact as soon as they discovered a problem and we were able to act accordingly.’

Published in Howth YC
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