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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

Skerries RNLI carried out their first rescue of the new year in the early hours of yesterday morning (Saturday 16 January), towing a razor fishing boat with two men on board to safety.

Shortly before midnight on Friday, Dublin Coast Guard requested Skerries RNLI to launch their Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat following a distress call from a razor fishing vessel that had suffered mechanical failure off the north Co Dublin coastal town.

The lifeboat was launched and the volunteer crew navigated to the GPS position provided by the vessel. A tow was established and the vessel was towed back to the safety of the harbour in Skerries.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The volunteer crew of Youghal RNLI were tasked this evening (16 January 2021) to reports of people seen on the rocks near Easter point, while conducting the search they were tasked to reports of kayakers in trouble near Capel Island.

Launching at 6 pm in calm conditions, the inshore lifeboat began a search of the area around Easter point with the Ardmore and Youghal Coast Guard units searching on land. During this search, the crew received a report of kayakers in trouble near Capel Island.

Youghal lifeboat was then tasked to go to Capel Island, along with Ballycotton RNLI, Youghal Coast Guard unit and Rescue helicopter 117. On arrival, the crew could see flickering lights coming from the Island.

Two crew members from Youghal RNLI went onshore and found four members of the public safe and well and planning to camp on the Island. The call-out was treated as a false alarm with good intent and the crew were stood down from this call and asked to return to Easter point to continue the original search.

After a thorough search of the Easter point area with nothing found the crew were stood down at 7.38 pm and returned to the station.

Speaking after the call outs, Derry Walsh, Youghal RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘Although both call outs this evening proved to be false alarms with good intent, I would urge the public to always call 112/999 and ask for the Coast Guard if they think they see someone in trouble, it is always better to be safe than sorry’

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Wicklow RNLI brought three fishermen to safety this morning (Wednesday 13 January), after their vessel got into difficulties off the Wicklow coast.

The all-weather relief fleet lifeboat RNLB Joanna and Henry Williams put to sea shortly before 9:15 am under the command of Coxswain Ciaran Doyle and a volunteer crew.

The alarm was raised after the skipper of the fishing vessel reported that a rope was fouled in his vessel’s propeller and they had lost all propulsion.

The lifeboat crew located the 12metre fishing vessel at 9:55 am three miles north of the Codling Buoy. Conditions on scene were sea state moderate, with wind northwesterly force 2 and good visibility.

A towline was quickly established, and a course was set for Wicklow harbour. The fishing vessel with three crew was brought safely alongside the South Quay shortly before midday.

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Howth Lifeboat Station Community Safety Officer John McKenna has been awarded a long service medal by the RNLI.

In 2020, McKenna (73) reached a milestone: 21 years of volunteering for the RNLI and saving lives at sea. 

He has been telling the RNLI’s own magazine about his decision to join the RNLI in the first place, his role and how influencing people’s behaviour can be a skilful and powerful tool in lifesaving.

John works as part of a team of six in the Community Safety Team at Howth, one fo Ireland’s busiest stations.

“We all work together to educate and give free water safety advice to everyone who visits the coast in our local communities, from walkers to sailors. As the Community Safety Officer, I lead and help coordinate the team, he told the magazine.

Every lifeboat station has a Community Lifesaving Plan which identifies the most popular water activities within a community so that volunteers like me can give relevant water safety advice to those most at risk. 

John told the RNLI “ I was at sea in a big cargo ship on the night of 9 December 1981 when the Penlee lifeboat Solomon Browne and her crew perished. It was one hell of a night. We made a collection from all onboard and sent it to Penlee. The tragedy also inspired me to become an Offshore RNLI member. 

Then 14 years later, on 16 November 1995, I was driving home from Belfast after spending a week on a ferry as senior officer. As I was coming into Howth, I could hear a helicopter. I drove along the harbour and saw the trawler Scarlet Buccaneer being thrown up and down the harbour wall and the lifeboat crew trying to save the fishermen onboard. It was horrendous. There was a full gale blowing. The next day I saw the wreck of the Scarlet Buccaneer in two halves. Thankfully, the lifeboat crew managed to rescue all four fishermen but sadly one died on the way to the hospital. I decided there and then that if I ever got a shore job, I would become an RNLI volunteer.  

More of the interview with John McKenna is here

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Peter Bullick is well known in sailing circles in Northern Ireland and has long been a familiar face associated with volunteering for the RNLI. He enjoys cruising to the west coast of Scotland and has ventured as far as St Kilda, Stornaway and the Orkney Islands.

He is a Community Safety Adviser at Bangor Lifeboat Station and now his dedication to the cause of water safety has been recognised with the presentation of a Long Service Award.

By 2020 Peter had spent 21 years volunteering and saving lives at sea. The volunteer lifeboat crews who pull people from the water can't depend on rescue alone. That's where water safety volunteers like Peter come in.

Asked what inspired him to volunteer, Peter said. "I'm a keen sailor. I sailed with my father as a youngster at Bangor and took up powerboat racing in my mid-20s. I'm an RYA) Yachtmaster and was an RYA Advanced Powerboat Instructor with commercial endorsement. I organised most, if not all, RYA shore-based courses at the Royal Ulster Yacht Club for eight years or so. I relied on the RNLI on two occasions when I got into trouble at sea. So, when I saw an advert in the local paper for RNLI volunteers with sea safety experience, I applied and got the position of sea safety adviser".

Peter is the only water safety volunteer at Bangor Lifeboat Station, but about 30 volunteer lifeboat and shore crew support him. He promotes the RNLI's water safety messages at any given opportunity, particularly safety afloat with sailing and motorboating being popular activities locally. He says " I do this through delivering RNLI presentations, holding Lifejacket Clinics, and giving onboard and shore safety advice. I often speak with boat owners casually whilst walking the marina pontoons".
Peter also is a fundraising volunteer in Bangor, and as the Souvenir Secretary, he sells RNLI souvenirs and gifts at local events.

In response to being asked how it makes him feel to know that he has the power to save someone's life, Peter replied " I don't think too much about it. I may not know how many lives I have prevented from being lost. It's the people I have not been talking to who are my priority. I must reach them – they are more at risk". He added " I've been told on many occasions that my advice has helped to prevent people from losing their life. Particularly after I've advised them that the lifejacket they've been using for many years has a fault and so will not inflate".

Peter reveals that for him, the best thing about being a water safety volunteer is wearing and promoting the charity's name and making new friends every day. " The worst is standing in the rain collecting with the bucket holding more water than money!". He is also looking forward to shaking many hands at some point once the pandemic is over. Peter would encourage others to volunteer for the RNLI. " You will enjoy it. It is one of the most rewarding types of volunteering you will ever do".

Marina Manager Kevin Baird is a Bangor RNLI member – "Absolutely fantastic to see Peter recognised in the latest RNLI magazine. Peter has for many years, organised the Bangor Life Jacket clinic. We know that his work has saved lives. Peter is also a Bangor Marina berth holder. Well done Peter from all the team at the Marina".

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The crew of Tramore RNLI and Tramore Coastguard in County Waterford were tasked to assist a swimmer in difficulty this afternoon close to the Guillamene Cove.

The swimmer was rescued from the rocks by the RNLI crew and brought immediately to Tramore Lifeboat Station.

The casualty was then transferred to the care of paramedics from Waterford Ambulance and Dr Matthew Sills.

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Howth RNLI launched the all-weather lifeboat to rescue a fishing trawler, six people, onboard after it ran aground on rocks in Balscadden Bay, at Howth in County Dublin.

The RNLI pagers sounded at 4.12 pm on Thursday 7th January to reports of a fishing trawler aground just outside Howth Harbour in Balscadden Bay. The all-weather lifeboat was launched and was on the scene in a matter of minutes.

The trawler was hard around and listing to one side. The lifeboat crew assessed the fishing trawler and deemed it safe to put a tow line aboard. Fred Connolly, Howth RNLI Lifeboat Coxswain carefully navigated the all-weather lifeboat in the shallow water and the volunteer crew got a tow line aboard the stricken trawler.

The tide was rising and the lifeboat eased the trawler off the rocks and into deeper waterThe tide was rising and the lifeboat eased the trawler off the rocks and into deeper water

The tide was rising and the lifeboat eased the trawler off the rocks and into deeper water. The trawler was brought back to the safety of Howth Harbour.

The Howth Lifeboat and volunteer crew returned to Howth station and stood down at 5.50 pm.

The fishing trawler aground in Balscadden BayThe fishing trawler aground in Balscadden Bay Photo: Annraoi Blaney

Speaking following the callout, Ian Malcolm, Howth RNLI Deputy Launching Authority said: ‘Our volunteer lifeboat crew were pleased to be able to quickly respond and tow the fishing vessel to the safety of Howth Harbour. Our Lifeboat volunteers train regularly to prepare for situations just like this’’

The crew on the Howth RNLI Trent Class All Weather lifeboat were; Fred Connolly - Coxswain, Ian Sheridan - Mechanic, Killian O’Reilly, Ian Martin, Aidan Murphy, Stephan Mullaney and Ronan Murphy.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The RNLI is urging anyone who is able under Irish or UK government guidelines to visit the coast during lockdown to stay safe and not take any unnecessary risks that may put extra pressure on emergency services.

As both the UK and Ireland enter new nationwide lockdowns, RNLI lifeboats will continue to launch.

However, every time a lifeboat crew is called to an incident, it puts additional pressure on RNLI volunteers and other frontline emergency services. In addition to this, it also potentially exposes them to Covid-19.

Gareth Morrison, RNLI head of water safety, said: “During lockdown, RNLI lifeboats and stations remain operational and will launch around the clock where there is risk to life.

“We would encourage everyone to follow the latest government guidelines on what they are able to do and where they are able to go during lockdown.

“But for anyone visiting a coastal area, please understand the risks to be as safe as possible and not put unnecessary strain on frontline services.

“No one ever heads to the coast with the expectation of needing to be rescued, yet rescues are occurring every day.

“In a normal year around 150 people lose their lives at the coast and we know that more than half of those never intended to be in the water.

“So, whether you are walking, running or cycling at the coast, or doing some activity on or in the water, please be extra responsible and avoid taking unnecessary risks.”

The RNLI and HM Coastguard last month launched a winter coastal safety campaign to highlight the dangers of stormy seas, changing tides and cliffs at this time of year.

Morrison added: “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.

“In particular at this time of year, we ask people to stay well back from stormy, wintery seas and cliff edges, check tide times before you go, take a phone with you, and call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard if you or someone else is in trouble.”

The RNLI’s key water safety advice is:

  • Take care if walking near cliffs – be aware of ice and frost, know your route and keep dogs on a lead.
  • Check tide times daily.
  • Take a full-charged phone.
  • If going afloat, always wear a lifejacket or other personal flotation device and take a means of calling for help.
  • Check your equipment is in good working order.
  • Be aware of the conditions and your capabilities and only enter the water if it is safe to do so.
  • In an emergency call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.
Published in Water Safety
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Lifeboat crew at Castletownbere RNLI were launched yesterday afternoon (Saturday 2nd January) at 15:30 to assist an 11-metre fishing boat which had lost power 18 miles south west of Castletownbere Harbour in West Cork.

The lifeboat, under coxswain Aaron O’Boyle, was launched within minutes and located the stricken vessel 51 minutes later. The Castletownbere-based fishing boat had three people on board none of whom required medical attention. On scene, there was a three-metre swell and force 5/6 north-westerly winds. The volunteer lifeboat crew attached a tow rope and proceeded to tow the vessel to Castletownbere harbour where it was berthed at the pier at just before 8.00 p.m.

This was the first call-out for Castletownbere lifeboat with Coxswain Aaron O’Boyle (above) in commandThis was the first call-out for Castletownbere lifeboat with Coxswain Aaron O’Boyle (above) in command

Commenting on callout Castletownbere RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Paul Stevens said, ‘This was the first shout for the station in 2021 and the first call-out with Coxswain O’Boyle in command. He and the volunteer crew undertook the rescue with great skill and efficiency and there was a positive outcome.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The Courtmacsherry All-Weather Trent Class RNLI Lifeboat was called out at 7 am this Sunday morning to go to the aid of a 50 ft-yacht with three people on board which had got into difficulties four miles east of the Old Head of Kinsale in West Cork.

The Courtmacsherry Lifeboat under Coxswain Mark Gannon and crew of 6 were underway within minutes and in the cover of darkness, the Lifeboat proceeded at top speed to the area of the causality. Winds were blowing force 4 to 5 in freezing conditions this morning and the stricken vessel, which was on passage from Salcolme in the UK to Kinsale, had encountered heavy weather over the past 24 hours.

They lost complete power off the Old Head of Kinsale and requested immediate assistance.

The Lifeboat reached the yacht at 7.29 am and the Lifeboat crew assessed the situation and quickly proceeded to attach a tow line to secure the vessel. Two Lifeboat crew members Kevin Young and Paul McCarthy were also put on board the yacht to help those on board and the Lifeboat then proceeded at slow speed to the safe surround of the inner Kinsale Harbour. Both vessels docked safely at the Kinsale Yacht Club Marina at 9.05 am and the crew on board the yacht were very glad to be on safe ground again after an eventful morning.

Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat crew after today's call outCourtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat crew after today's call out

Commenting on the callout, the Courtmacsherry RNLI Voluntary Lifeboat Operations Manager Brian O'Dwyer thanked all the Lifeboat crew members for their quick response from their beds early this freezing morning when the Coastguard activated the distress bleepers. He praised the great dedication of the seven volunteer Crew members and others who arrived, and put the interests of others as a priority in these difficult Covid times. He again reiterated that it is so important to call the rescue services at 112 or 999 quickly once any incident occurs.

The Courtmacsherry Lifeboat crew involved in this morning’s callout were Coxswain Mark Gannon, Mechanic Tadgh McCarthy and crew Ken Cashman, Kevin Young, Paul McCarthy, Peter Noonan and Denis Murphy.

The Lifeboat has now returned to its base in Courtmacsherry at 10 am and has refuelled and restocked, in readiness of whenever the next call to action may occur.

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