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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

Jaffa, a nine-metre Dutch yacht with six people onboard that suffered a fouled propeller 4.5 nautical miles east of Ballycotton island in the early hours of this morning (Tuesday, 9 August), was brought to safety by the lifeboat crew from Ballycotton RNLI.

Ballycotton RNLI Lifeboat The Austin Lidbury was requested to launch by Valentia Coast Guard at 12.01 am following a request for assistance from the crew of a student training yacht whose propeller was fouled on a lobster pot marker and were unable to sail to the nearest safe harbour as there was not enough wind. They had begun their journey yesterday morning in Kilmore for Cork as part of a college training voyage to circumnavigate Ireland.

With excellent conditions and clear visibility, Ballycotton RNLI was quickly able to locate the stricken yacht and assess the situation. After confirming all people on board were safe, Alan Cott a volunteer crew member boarded the yacht and was able to cut the rope wrapped around the propeller and free of the vessel. Ballycotton RNLI Lifeboat then secured a towrope to the yacht and returned to Ballycotton pier at approximately 2.30am.

Eolan Walsh, Ballycotton RNLI Lifeboat Coxswain, said, ‘It was approximately 11.00 pm when their propeller became fouled. The crew of the Jaffa remained calm and made the correct decision to request assistance from the Irish Coast guard when they encountered propeller difficulties. Everyone on board was wearing a life jacket and were relieved to see us. We would advise people to take the correct water safety advice for the activity they are taking part in and to always make sure they have a means of raising the alarm if things go wrong’.

The crew of the Jaffa expressed their gratitude to Ballycotton RNLI and will remain in Ballycottton until repairs have been carried out before setting sail on the rest of their journey. 

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Union Hall RNLI  was paged by Valentia Coast Guard and launched at 3.17 pm on Monday (8th August) to reports of an overdue boat, that had left Ring pier, at 10 am with one person onboard.

Launching in flat calm conditions with excellent visibility, the lifeboat under helm Chris Collins with crew members Tim Forde, Stephen Hurley and Johnny McKenna, left Glandore harbour heading for Ring, which is located at the head of Clonakilty Bay in West Cork. While en route to where the casualty vessel was reported, they heard that the punt was being escorted into the nearest safe port of Ring by another boat in the area. The volunteers at Union Hall continued to meet up with the two boats, who were happy to proceed into Ring themselves. The lifeboat returned to Union Hall Lifeboat Station at 4.10 pm.

Jim Moloney, Union Hall RNLI Deputy Launching Authority said: ‘In the current warm weather spell, it is so important when going out on the water, to ensure that everybody is wearing a lifejacket, that they carry a means of communication, a mobile phone or we recommend a VHF, wearing suitable clothing and that they let someone know where they are going and what time they are expected back. Luckily the person on board had let someone on shore know what time to expect them back, and when this time had passed, the alarm was raised, and help was quickly on hand.’

Crew and shore crew - left to right - Niamh Collins, Chris Collins, Stephen Hurley, Tim Forde, Denis O’Donovan, Johnny Mc’Kenna, John O’Donovan and Jim Moloney Photo: RNLI/Pamela DeasyUnion Hall Crew and shore crew - left to right - Niamh Collins, Chris Collins, Stephen Hurley, Tim Forde, Denis O’Donovan, Johnny Mc’Kenna, John O’Donovan and Jim Moloney Photo: RNLI/Pamela Deasy

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Dun Laoghaire RNLI had a busy afternoon on Sunday (7 August) with three separate callouts all within a matter of hours. They began with a missing child at the Forty Foot bathing place, followed by a yacht taking on water with a crew of two adults and five children, and finally, a speedboat with engine trouble and a family of six onboard at Salt Hill.

The volunteer crew were first alerted minutes before 1 pm by the Irish Coast Guard, that a child was missing and was last seen in the water by the group of swimmers with them. Thankfully, Dun Laoghaire RNLI, Rescue 116, and local Lifeguards were all stood down when it transpired that the boy had left the water unseen by his companions and appeared on shore ten minutes later. Raising the alarm when you suspect someone is in danger on or near the water is always the correct action to take.

The second callout came in at 5.10pm, for a 36ft yacht with a fouled propeller and no power, which was taking on water. Dun Laoghaire RNLI all-weather lifeboat under the command of Coxswain Mark McGibney with six crew members onboard, made its way to the scene, launching within ten minutes and arriving on scene at 5.30pm. On board the yacht were two adults and five children aged between 10 and 12, all wearing lifejackets and remaining calm. Weather conditions presented a gentle breeze with excellent visibility.

Dun Laoghaire RNLI Coxswain Mark McGibneyDun Laoghaire RNLI all-weather lifeboat Coxswain Mark McGibney

When on scene, the Coxswain decided an immediate extraction of all casualties was the safest way to proceed, bringing the lifeboat alongside for the adults and children to come safely aboard the lifeboat, before the lifeboat crew tended to the yacht. A salvage pump from the lifeboat was brought aboard the yacht to assist the onboard bilge pump which was struggling to stem the flow of seawater. Positioning one adult crew member and a RNLI volunteer onboard the yacht, the lifeboat secured a towline and began the journey to shore where all seven casualties’ safety alighted.

Speaking following the call out, Dun Laoghaire RNLI Coxswain Mark McGibney said: ‘We’re delighted we were able to secure the casualties safety within 25 minutes of the alarm being raised. I would encourage anyone setting out to ensure they are completely aware of the dangers of loose and unsecured ropes on deck, and further ensure that in the event of an emergency at sea, a VHF radio be the prime means of communication to the Coast Guard and lifeboat service due to the fact that we can use our radio direction finder as a means of homing in on a casualty’s position. A mobile phone should be a secondary means of communication.”

The third callout of the day came as the lifeboat were dealing with the 36ft yacht and was to a 17ft speedboat which had lost all power. The craft, with a family of six onboard, was unable to proceed and was drifting in the Salthill area. The speedboat owner raised the alarm by calling the Irish Coast Guard, and Dun Laoghaire RNLI inshore lifeboat was launched with volunteer Helm Alan Keville and two crew onboard. On arrival at scene, the Helm assessed the situation, and the crew quickly secured a towline to the speedboat, bringing the casualties safely ashore.

Speaking following the call out, Dun Laoghaire RNLI Helm Alan Keville said: ‘It’s vital that no delay is made in raising the alarm when on board a vessel in trouble, early notice makes all the difference, as too does wearing appropriate lifejackets, which in this instance all casualties were thankfully doing.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Wicklow Inshore RNLI lifeboat brought two paddle boarders to safety on Sunday evening (7 August) after they got into difficulties near Wicklow Head.

The lifeboat launched at 7.35 pm after members of the public walking on Wicklow Head saw the paddleboarders in difficulty and made a 999 call to the Coast Guard.

The paddle boarders were located five minutes later near Wicklow Head. As the tide had turned, they were unable to paddle against the current and were being pushed further offshore. Conditions at the time were wind south westerly force three with a moderate sea.

The two paddleboarders were transferred onto the lifeboat, where the crew conducted a quick medical assessment. No medical assistance was required, and the two casualties were landed safely ashore at the lifeboat station shortly after 8 pm.

Wicklow RNLI ILB landing the two paddle boarders safely at Wicklow Photo: Wicklow RNLIWicklow RNLI ILB landing the two paddle boarders safely at Wicklow Photo: Wicklow RNLI

Speaking about the call-outs, volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for Wicklow RNLI, Tommy Dover said: ‘Our advice to paddle boarders is always to wear a lifejacket and make sure you carry a communications device.’

Just as Helm Paul Sillery, Matt Doyle and John Stapleton completed refuelling the inshore lifeboat, pagers activated again to launch the all-weather lifeboat. So, the three volunteers quickly changed into their all-weather lifeboat kit and join Coxswain Nick Keogh, Lisa ‘O Leary and Andrew Carlin on the second callout.

The all-weather Shannon class lifeboat slipped its moorings from the south quay at 8:20 pm and proceeded north, following the Coast Guard pager alert to a report of a yacht with mechanical problems near the Six Mile Point.

The lifeboat was alongside the drifting yacht with two sailors at 8:45 pm and after a quick assessment by the Coxswain, the yacht was found to have engine failure and unable to get into port under its own power. It was taken in tow back to Wicklow Harbour.

The yacht was secured alongside the East pier at Wicklow harbour as darkness fell at 9:30 pm this evening and the two sailors were landed safely ashore.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Howth RNLI’s volunteer crew launched both their all-weather and inshore lifeboats to two separate incidents on Sunday (7 August).

The larger lifeboat was launched shortly after 3pm to reports of a motorboat with three people on board which had suffered engine failure two miles north of Ireland’s Eye, the uninhabited island off the coast of Howth.

The lifeboat, under the command of second coxswain Ian Sheridan, located the broken-down vessel within 15 minutes of launching.

Once it was established that all on board were well, the crew passed a tow line from the lifeboat and the boat was towed back to Howth Harbour. Weather conditions were good with light southerly winds.

A few hours later, at 7.15pm a call came in from a concerned sailor regarding an inflatable dinghy in Howth Sound with three people on board who were attempting to row back to Burrow Beach.

Due to the southerly winds, the inflatable was being blown offshore.

The volunteer lifeboat crew were paged and the smaller inshore lifeboat was launched shortly after. The lifeboat RIB reached the inflatable in minutes, and it was observed that none of the three on board were wearing lifejackets.

The lifeboat crew took the three individuals onto the lifeboat and returned them to the safety of Howth Harbour.

Speaking following the incident, Howth RNLI inshore lifeboat helm Ian Martin said: “Although the conditions for heading out on the water were good today, things can change very quickly and with inflatables like these, even the slightest wind can take them out to sea. That is why inflatables are not suitable for Irish waters.

“It’s also really important that anyone going out on the water wears a lifejacket that is suitable for the activity they are doing and that it is in good working order and fits well.

“With the good weather forecast for the coming week, we expect a lot of people will be spending time on or near the water. If you do get into trouble, remember to Float to Live: Lean back, using your arms and legs to stay afloat. Control your breathing, then call for help or swim to safety. In a coastal emergency call 999 or 112 for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat Station was alerted this evening, (Sunday, August 7th) at 7.30 pm by the Valentia Coast Guard Marine Rescue Co-Ordination Centre, that a 48-foot yacht had got into difficulties 4.5 miles off the Seven Heads coastline near Clonakilty Bay and required assistance.

Within minutes of the crew bleepers being activated, the Station’s All Weather Trent Class Lifeboat “Frederick Storey Cockburn” under Coxswain Sean O Farrell and a crew of six was launched and headed to the scene of the alert.

Just after 8.15 pm, the Lifeboat located the yacht with two crew on board, and after assessing the situation, a decision was made to secure a tow line to the casualty and tow the yacht, which had encountered mechanical difficulties on its passage from New Ross to Clifden, back to the nearest port of Courtmacsherry.

The lifeboat arrived safely at port just after 10 pm, and the causality was placed at a mooring in the lower harbour as the Courtmacsherry Pontoon is undergoing a major dredging operation that commenced last Friday.

The Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat voluntary Duty Launch Authority Vincent O Donovan said, “It was great to see the quick reaction of our volunteers on this busy summer evening, who dropped whatever they were at and rushed to the station in order to help others in danger. It’s been a long day for most of these volunteers as they also took part earlier in the day in a major multi-agency Search and Rescue exercise off Broadstrand in Courtmacsherry Bay”

The Courtmacsherry Lifeboat crew were Coxswain Sean O Farrell, Mechanic Dave Philips and crew members Ken Cashman, Kieran Boyle, Donal Young, Ciaran Hurley and Denis MurphyThe Courtmacsherry Lifeboat crew were Coxswain Sean O Farrell, Mechanic Dave Philips and crew members Ken Cashman, Kieran Boyle, Donal Young, Ciaran Hurley and Denis Murphy

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Portaferry RNLI in Northern Ireland was requested to launch by Belfast Coastguard to reports of a fishing boat aground at St John’s Point early on Friday morning (5 August).

The volunteer crew’s pagers sounded at 6.24am and they made their way to St John’s point at Ardglass, where they arrived just before 7am and were joined by Newcastle RNLI with their all-weather and inshore lifeboats.

They found the 16m fishing boat, with a crew of four, was aground on a rocky coastline off St John’s Point.

Portaferry’s inshore lifeboat crew checked the fishing boat for damage before taking the four male adults onboard the lifeboat and bringing them to safety at Ardglass Marina.

Once on land, the casualties were transferred into the care of Newcastle Coastguard Rescue Team.

Commenting on the callout, Portaferry RNLI helm Chris Adair said: “This was an early morning callout for our crew and thankfully it had a successful outcome.

“We also wish to express our thanks to our colleagues in Newcastle RNLI who launched both their lifeboats and travelled to the scene. We were grateful to have them there.

“With conditions fair, the four casualties were brought to safety quickly and we wish them well.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Two back-to-back shouts on Thursday evening (4 August) for the volunteers of Crosshaven RNLI lifeboat in Cork Harbour.

The first tasking came at 4.15 pm and the crew launched to a report of a ‘raft” with persons onboard drifting between Spike Island and the Whitegate oil refinery.

The crew of Warren Forbes, Norman Jackson, Claire Morgan and Derek Moynan made best speed to the area before conducting a sector search of the area. After a period searching with nothing found, the Coast Guard stood down the lifeboat to return to station. The call was deemed a false alarm with good intent.

30 minutes after putting the lifeboat “to bed”, Valentia Coast Guard once again activated the pagers at 6.20pm to proceed to an angling boat with 4 adults and 2 children on board in the Graball Bay area of The Sound.

The track of  the busy Crosshaven RNLI lifeboat in Cork HarbourThe track of the busy Crosshaven RNLI lifeboat in Cork Harbour

An adult male on the vessel was having a medical episode. The lifeboat crew of Alan Venner, Jonny Bermingham and Claire Morgan were soon alongside. Claire transferred to the casualty vessel and administered casualty care whilst both vessels proceeded to Crosshaven where the casualty was handed into the care of the National Ambulance Service.

Shore crew on these taskings were, Hugh Mockler, Aidan O’Connor, Warren Forbes, Jon Meany, Jonny Bermingham and Michael McCann (DLA).

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Shortly after launching on exercise this evening, Valentia Coast Guard tasked the volunteer RNLI crew at 7.15 pm to proceed to Ringabella Bay, where two people who had been cut off by the tide attempted to swim across the bay to Fountainstown and one of the casualties found themselves in difficulty.

Local kayakers raised the alarm by VHF with the Coast Guard who tasked the Crosshaven lifeboat to attend.

Meanwhile, the rescue rib from a local Adventure Centre overheard the VHF transmissions, responded immediately and took the casualty from the water.

On scene, the Lifeboat crew talked to the casualty and confirmed that she was medically fit and required no further assistance, before the Rescue rib dropped the casualty back to Fountainstown beach. The second
the casualty had made their own way ashore.

The lifeboat crew were stood down and continued with their exercise.

Helm, James Fegan commented, “Members of the public need to be aware of the times of high and low water before crossing sandbanks and if they do get cut off by the tide to dial 999/112 and ask for the Coast Guard.
Stay High, Stay Dry and Stay Put until the rescue services attend” James also offered his thanks to the crew of Funkytown for responding so rapidly to what could have been a serious incident.

Crosshaven Coast Guard unit was also tasked.

Crew: James Fegan, Warren Forbes, Jonny Bermingham and Norman Jackson. Shore Crew; Suzanne Deane, Wojtec Solinsky and DLA Micheal McCann.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Red Bay RNLI has rescued three people this afternoon (Wednesday 3 August) after their inflatable dinghies were swept out to sea off Cushendall on Northern Ireland’s East Antrim coast.

The volunteer crew were requested to launch both their all-weather and inshore lifeboats at 2.22pm by Belfast Coastguard after the group raised the alarm that their three inflatable dinghies had become swamped with water.

Weather conditions at the time were good with calm seas but there was a Force 4 offshore wind blowing.

The all-weather lifeboat launched under coxswain Paddy McLaughlin with four crew at 2.28pm along with the inshore lifeboat helmed by Gary Fyfe with three crew members onboard.

With the exact location unknown, the lifeboats started an immediate search of the area with the inshore lifeboat crew locating the three casualties on the swamped inflatables two miles east of Cushendall.

The three inflatable dinghies recovered by Red Bay lifeboat volunteers | Credit: RNLI/Red BayThe three inflatable dinghies recovered by Red Bay lifeboat volunteers | Credit: RNLI/Red Bay

The casualties were wet, cold and shaken from their experience. The crew worked to safely transfer them onto the all-weather lifeboat where they were then brought ashore.

Speaking following the callout, Fyfe said: “Time was of the essence this afternoon and thankfully the group had a means of communication to raise the alarm when they knew they were in difficulty. This meant we could get locate and rescue them quickly before they were in any greater danger.

“We know inflatables can be fun, but we would encourage people to remember that they are designed for pools and not the beach where they can be easily swept out to sea particularly in offshore winds like today.

“If you do bring an inflatable to the beach, make sure you choose a lifeguard beach and use it close to the shore and between the red and yellow flags. Make sure children are supervised and never use an inflatable in big waves or when the orange windsock is flying.

“If you do get into trouble or see someone else in difficulty, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Today’s incident off Cushendall happened just 24 hours after a teenager was rescued from an inflatable unicorn blown out to sea at Strangford Lough, as reported earlier on Afloat.ie.

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