Displaying items by tag: RNLI
The alarm was raised after the skipper of the fishing vessel made contact by VHF radio to report that a rope was fouled in the vessel’s propeller and they had lost all propulsion.
The lifeboat crew located the drifting fishing vessel 30 minutes after launch, nine miles north-east of Wicklow harbour. Conditions on scene were calm, with light wind and good visibility.
A towline was quickly established, and a course was set for Wicklow Harbour where the fishing vessel with its four crew was brought safely alongside the South Quay as darkness fell shortly before 9.30pm.
The lifeboat crew on the callout were coxswain Nick Keogh, mechanic Brendan Copeland, Tom MacAulay, Carol Flahive, Connie O’Gara and Matt Doyle.
The call came after the volunteer crew of the station in north-east Scotland were forced to break self-isolation and launch their inshore lifeboat yesterday (Tuesday 14 April) following reports of a surfer in difficulty at a local beach.
The crew of three mustered quickly and launched the D-class lifeboat Buoy Woody 85N shortly after 3.30pm and reached the scene around 15 minutes later.
The surfer had been reportedly having difficulty getting back on his board and swimming ashore.
However, by the time the lifeboat arrived, the surfer was on his board and in no immediate danger. After speaking with the lifeboat crew, the surfer made his own way ashore.
Bill Deans MBE, operations manager at Aberdeen lifeboat station, said he was disappointed his crew had to expose themselves to risk in this way.
“Like most people, our volunteer lifeboat crew members are self-isolating at home in line with [UK] Government guidelines – mostly doing their day jobs remotely.
“But they are always willing to set aside their own concerns to respond if the call comes that someone is in danger at sea.
“There is no way a lifeboat crew of three can maintain two-metre separation aboard a five-metre long lifeboat – and if they had required to pull someone from the water, the infection concerns are obvious to all.”
Deans added: “I have every sympathy with people who would like to use their daily exercise period to swim, sail, surf or whatever — but on behalf of every lifeboat crew member in the UK and Ireland, I have to appeal to them not to put our crews at indirect risk by going into or onto the sea.
“Stay safe ashore, protect the emergency services and save lives.”
While the community was shining a light in support of frontline workers this past Easter weekend, Arklow RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew were making their way to the lifeboat station following reports of a distress flare being sighted off the coast.
Pagers were activated at 10.20pm on Saturday night (11 April) and within a few minutes Arklow RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat Ger Tigchlearr was launched and under way.
Initial reports suggested the sighting was south of Arklow. With a number of fishing vessels working in the area, the lifeboat crew checked with them; none were in distress but they reported a sighting further north.
The Arklow lifeboat proceeded on a track north with full beam searchlights and all hands searching the darkness. With nothing yet located it was decided to deploy two white illumination flares to aid in location of any potential casualty vessel or persons.
Later in the search, the lifeboat crew were joined by Rescue 117, the Irish Coast Guard helicopter from Waterford, who had been on scene at an incident in Wexford Harbour immediately prior, as well as coastguard shore crews from Arklow and Courtown.
Following a lengthy search by all involved and with nothing located, the operation was stood down and all hands returned safely.
Following the search, Mark Corcoran, Arklow RNLI press officer and community safety officer, said: “As always our volunteers responded quickly to the reported flare sighting. I’d like to pay tribute to all who responded and were involved in this search.
“Despite the current restrictions, all of our volunteers are continuing to put themselves on the frontline.
“This sighting may have been a Chinese lantern or indeed someone letting off a flare in good faith and while this would have been done with good intent, we would ask people to refrain from this to avoid further false alarms and the need for our volunteers to be put at risk.”
The inshore lifeboat, Terry, under helm Dave Sommerville and two other crew members, launched at 9.39am and made their way to the requested search area.
Weather conditions were favourable with a calm sea and good visibility.
The Portmuck mobile coastguard team were searching from the top of the cliffs but were unable to get a clear view of the rocks nearer the water.
A volunteer crew member was put onto these rocks, where it was safe to do so, in order to conduct a search of the area. In places it was not possible to put a crew member onto the rocks, so a shoreline search was conducted.
After searching roughly one mile north and south of the location, the decision was made to stand down by the coastguard as nothing had been sighted.
Speaking following the callout, Larne deputy launching authority Philip Ford-Hutchinson said: “The concern always for a callout of this nature is that owners will try and rescue their pets themselves and in turn get into difficulty and get hurt.
“With the current Covid-19 pandemic, we would urge people who live near the coast and wish to exercise there to be cautious and watch their footing.
“Our lifeboat remains on call and operational, but our lifeboat crew are not training with the current restrictions and the station remains closed to visitors.
“Therefore, we would advise people to stay away from the water and carry out the Government’s advice.”
The Irish Coast Guard (IRCG) and RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) are asking the public not to take part in any water-based activity on or in the sea, while the current national emergency restrictions are in place. Both organisations are highlighting the importance of minimising the risk to Search and Rescue (SAR) volunteer crews, Helicopter crew and other front line emergency services, through being unintentionally exposed to COVID-19.
RNLI and Coast Guard are confirming that their Search and Rescue services are fully operational.
Under normal circumstances, many people would be heading to the coast this weekend to enjoy the Easter bank holiday. Given the current COVID-19 outbreak, both organisations are urging everyone to follow Government instructions, which are clear: stay home, protect frontline services and save lives.
While you are allowed out for daily exercise, we do not recommend that this exercise is on, or in the sea and all travel restrictions must be observed. SAR services including RNLI lifeboat service, Coast Guard Helicopter services and Coast Guard units are still available but every callout has the potential to put additional pressure on SAR services and other front-line emergency services as well as potentially exposing them to COVID-19.
Gareth Morrison, Head of Water Safety at the RNLI, said: “We know people who live near the coast still want to exercise by the sea, but when you do this, please think of the potential impact of your actions on RNLI lifeboat volunteers and other emergency services”’
Gerard O’Flynn from the Coast Guard said: Please; Stay Home & Stay Back to Stay SAFE. Observe the 2x2 Rule. 2M physical distance and 2KM travel distance.
He added; “Arrangements are in place for Coast Guard services including Helicopters and Volunteer Coast Guard units to assist HSE, Gardai and Local Authorities in the provision of community support and other logistical support. We need our people to stay healthy during this emergency to enable us support the national action plan”.’
Valentia RNLI volunteers launched their all-weather lifeboat this morning to assist a fisherman who required medical attention.
At 07.25 am the Valentia Coast Guard requested Valentia RNLI all-weather lifeboat to launch to an ill fisherman onboard a 22m fishing vessel, west of Dingle Harbour. The illness was non-Covid-19 related. The vessel with six people on board required medical assistance for one of their crew members.
At the location, there was a four to five-foot swell with a force two easterly wind. Taking into consideration the condition of the fisherman, the current tide and draught of the fishing vessel. Our Coxswain decided the best and safest option was to escort the fishing vessel to Dingle Harbour. The fisherman was then taken to University Hospital Kerry for medical attention by the National Ambulance Service.
Speaking following the call out, Valentia RNLI Coxswain Richard Quigley said: The fishing vessel made the right decision in calling for help to ensure the ill fisherman received the proper medical treatment.
The RNLI’s chief executive, Mark Dowie, said he will take a 50% pay cut to help the storm caused by the coronavirus.
And the charity that saves lives at sea is also planning to put some 30% of staff on furlough over the next few weeks.
In a statement, Dowie said: “The coronavirus outbreak is testing many charities and emergency services across the UK and Ireland, and the RNLI is no different.
“We have some reserves in place to deal with short, sharp shocks to our financial situation. However, we are all facing unprecedented times and we have seen an immediate impact not just on our frontline services, but also on our ability to fundraise which is already having an impact on our finances.
“We don’t know how long the coronavirus situation will affect us and we need to take what action we can – now and in the next weeks and months – to make sure our charity is in the best position possible to weather this storm.
“This is my watch and it’s my responsibility to make sure the RNLI is here to save lives at sea in the future.”
Dowie confirmed that the RNLI has paused its toning replacement of equipment and buildings, such as station rebuilds and building new lifeboats.
“We’re also looking at new ways to fundraise online and on social media. I’ve also made the decision to reduce my salary by 50% from now until this crisis has passed.
‘Even in these most testing of times our dedicated lifeboat crew continue to ensure our vital search and rescue service remains on service across the UK and Ireland’
“Everyone in the RNLI – supporters, volunteers, staff – are all going above and beyond to get us through these challenging times and I want to make my contribution to the charity I love, beyond my day-to-day work leading this amazing lifesaving service.
“We are also planning to put, initially, around 30% of staff on furlough over the next few weeks.
“As a charity, we have to take a pragmatic approach in these difficult times and make sure we’re focusing our supporters’ donations on maintaining our lifesaving service for generations to come.
“We will be topping up all those on furlough to full pay during April and then in May, to 80% pay if that is above the £2,500 cap set by the [UK] government.”
Dowie added: “I want to pay tribute to all our supporters, volunteers and staff. Even in these most testing of times our dedicated lifeboat crew, along with all those who support them, continue to ensure our vital search and rescue service remains on service across the UK and Ireland, ready to save every one in trouble at sea.
“They need people’s support more than ever in these unprecedented times.”
The RNLI has already paused the roll-out of its seasonal lifeguard service across Great Britain and Northern Ireland in response to the UK government’s instructions for people to stay at home.
RNLI shops and museums have been closed since 23 March and, with local fundraisers unable to hold events or collections, the charity’s annual community-based fundraising campaign, Mayday, has had to be scaled back.
Instead, the charity is looking at ways to replace cancelled events with online fundraising at rnli.org/mayday
The MV Kaami had left Drogheda Port on the evening of Saturday 21 March and was due to arrive in Slite, Sweden this weekend.
But the 90m cargo vessel ran aground in The Minch at what’s known locally as Eugenie Rock, about six nautical miles north-west of Duntulm on Skye.
Portree RNLI’s lifeboat was launched at 2.24am yesterday morning in response to a MayDay call from the MV Kaami, as did the Emergency Towing Vessel Ievoli Black and the Pharos, a Northern Lighthouse Board buoy-laying vessel.
The duty Stornoway Coastguard rescue helicopter arrived on scene, where weather conditions has a Force 8 southerly wind with a rough sea state, and began to airlift eight of the Russian crew to Stornoway. No injuries were reported.
The 26m whitefish trawler Sedulous had five crew on board when it went ashore around the north end of the island as it was leaving Scalloway Harbour for fishing grounds to the west of the Scalloway Islands, just after 3.30am.
Another local trawler, the Radiant Star, was already in the area and had offered its assistance, along with Scalloway Harbour pilot boat Lyrie.
After waiting for the tide to rise, the Radiant Star crew were successful in establishing a tow line with Sedulous, and managed to pull the boat back to deeper water before any serious damage was done.
The Sedulous was then able to return to port in Scalloway under her own steam, escorted by the RNLI Charles Lidbury, and the Aith lifeboat returned to station by 8am.
Aith RNLI lifeboat coxswain John Robertson said: “Life-threatening incidents can happen at sea at any time. So it’s important that you call for help when something goes wrong.
“I’d like to thank the crew of the Radiant Star for their safe and essential assistance this morning. Their quick, competent response was an important part of getting Sedulous and her crew back to safety.
“Local RNLI crews are always ready to respond, and I’m pleased that we once again assembled so many volunteers so quickly.”
John added: “This was our first callout since the recent outbreak of the coronavirus in Shetland, at a time when many folk are self-isolating or social distancing.
“Helping slow the spread of this virus ensures that our volunteers remain healthy, and are able to keep helping save lives at sea.”
The RNLI is urging anyone planning a visit to the coast to stay safe and not take any unnecessary risks.
Given the current Covid-19 outbreak in the UK and Ireland and the importance of social distancing and avoiding non-essential contact with others, coastal areas may be seen as providing an opportunity to enjoy fresh air and exercise while adhering to government guidance.
However, our coastal areas can also present dangers of their own. The RNLI is asking people to ensure they follow essential water safety advice.
Please take the time to take note of signage at the entrances of beaches advising of the local hazards, check tide times to avoid being cut off and to check weather conditions before setting out as these can change quickly.
If you see someone in difficulty, or you get into difficulty yourself, please call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.
Gareth Morrison, RNLI’s head of water safety, said: “Our beaches and coastal areas may see an increase in visitors in the days and weeks to come, so we’re urging everyone to follow our advice and stay safe.
“Whether you’re fishing, surfing, kayaking, sailing or just going for a walk, we’re asking people to be extra responsible and to avoid taking unnecessary risks to themselves and others which could put unnecessary pressure on front line services.”
The RNLI advises coastal visitors to:
- take care if walking near cliffs — know your route;
- check tide times daily;
- if going afloat, carry a means for calling for help and always wear a lifejacket;
- check your equipment is in good working order; and
- be aware of the conditions and your capabilities and only enter the water if it is safe to do so.
“During these unprecedented times, we have taken steps to close our lifeboat stations and shops to the public. However RNLI lifeboats and stations remain fully operational and we will still launch to those in peril on the sea,” Morrison added.
“As with all public places we’d encourage people to follow guidelines provided by the government to maintain a two-metre distance, follow good hygiene practices and avoid mass gatherings.”
More safety advice can be found at rnli.org/safety