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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

Portaferry RNLI rescued a kayaker who got into difficulty on Strangford Lough on Wednesday night (5 August).

The volunteer crew were on the scene with the inshore lifeboat just eight minutes after launch, following an alert from passers-by who heard the kayaker calling for help at Walter Rock in the Strangford Narrows.

Directed by those members of the public, the lifeboat reached the casualty who had been in the water for between 15 and 30 minutes, clinging to his upturned kayak.

He was taken onboard the lifeboat and made comfortable before being returned to shore and passed into the care of Portaferry Coastguard. The lifeboat crew then returned to the Narrows to recover the kayak.

Speaking after the callout, Portaferry RNLI press officer Jordan Conway said: “We would like to commend the members of the public who raised the alarm last night which ensured we reached the casualty in good time.

“As the summer season continues, we remind everyone planning a trip to sea to always respect the water.

“Always carry a means of calling for help and keep it within reach. Wear a personal flotation device and check the weather and tides.

“Tell someone where you are going and when you are due back and always wear appropriate clothing for the conditions and your trip.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Lough Derg RNLI launched last night (Thursday 6 August) to the aid of four people on a 23ft cruiser aground on rocks in Scarriff Bay.

The lifeboat Jean Spier launched at 9.20pm, in fading light with a low mist and heavy rain squalls, to the scene behind Holy Island at the south-western end of the lough.

Valentia Coast Guard also requested the Shannon-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 115 to assist.

As the lifeboat passed Holy Island, its crew spotted an SOS light signal from the shore, in an area known as the Black Rocks.

The lifeboat navigated with caution to the casualty vessel, which had dropped anchor nearby but the anchor dragged and saw the boat pushed into a dangerous and rocky area of shore.

The two adults and two teenagers on board were found safe and unharmed, and wearing their lifejackets.

An RNLI volunteer transferred to the casualty vessel and, after checking for damage, set up for a tow to bring the vessel off the rocks and back out to safe water.

The lifeboat then took the casualty vessel to Mountshannon Harbour, making slow progress in the poor weather with reduced visibility and eventually arriving just after 10.30pm.

With the harbour at capacity, the skipper of a moored vessel offered to have the casualty boat rafted next to theirs for the night.

Keith Brennan, trainee helm at Lough Derg RNLI, commended the quick actions of the skipper on the casualty vessel.

“He did everything correctly: deploying the anchor once his engine failed, calling for help and using light signals to indicate his position to the lifeboat.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Two people were rescued by Arranmore RNLI’s volunteer crew in Co Donegal after reports of a RIB in difficulty over the weekend.

The all-weather lifeboat launched on Saturday (1 August) and headed south to the scene in the Portnoo area, where they found one person in the RIB and recovered another from the water before giving casualty care.

A tow was established to bring the RIB to Portnoo where an ambulance was waiting to take the casualty to hospital for further treatment.

This was the first callout for the Arranmore lifeboat crew since March, when coronavirus restrictions were imposed.

Lifeboat coxswain Jimmy Early said: “As there is now an increase in visitors to the Wild Atlantic Way, we would remind people to be fully aware of the RNLI’s water safety messages.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Youghal RNLI’s volunteer crew were paged this morning (Sunday 2 August) at 8.03am to help a one-person fishing boat with engine trouble, six miles south of Capel Island off East Cork.

Operating safely within the RNLI and Government Covid-19 guidelines, the inshore lifeboat crew reached the 16ft fishing boat shortly after launch in good weather conditions.

One member of the crew boarded the fishing boat and, after making sure that the person on board was fine, a tow was established to bring the vessel back to Ferrypoint.

Speaking after the callout, deputy launching authority Mark Nolan said: “Engine trouble is one of the main reasons for RNLI callouts. Problems can occur at any time; being prepared is key.

“Always carry a form of communication with you, just like the person on-board today; once he realised there was a problem, he was able to call for help straight away, avoiding any unnecessary danger.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Portrush RNLI’s inshore lifeboat launched to the rescue of a 50-year-old woman who fell into the water while with a coasteering group at Dunseverick near the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland yesterday afternoon (Saturday 1 August).

The volunteer crew applied casualty care to the woman, and one remained to watch over her while the lifeboat collected a paramedic and a member of the local coastguard team to assist at the scene.

Suspecting the woman had sustained a back injury, the team called for a helicopter and she was transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast by the regional air ambulance. R199 from Prestwick in Scotland was also dispatched to the scene.

Portrush lifeboat operations manager Keith Gilmore said later: “Causeway Coasteering did exactly the right thing in calling the RNLI and the coastguard to make sure that the casualty could receive appropriate treatment.”

Published in Rescue
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The Courtmacsherry All Weather Trent Class RNLI Lifeboat was called out at 12.54 pm this Saturday afternoon to go to the aid of two Kayakers who got into difficulties, in breezy conditions, off the headland of Dunworley Point on the Seven Heads Coastline in West Cork.

The two Kayakers were blown on to the remote rugged, rocky headland of Birds Island off Dunworley, about 7 miles from Clonakilty, and found themselves seeking immediate assistance, as they had to abandon their Canoes.

The Courtmacsherry Lifeboat under Coxswain Micheal O Donovan and crew were underway within minutes and immediately proceeded to the area where the alert was raised. Also tasked by Valentia Radio was the Rescue 115 Coastguard Helicopter and the local Seven Heads Coastguard Unit.

The two casualties managed to get onto the rocks after their frightening ordeal and climbed the cliffside to get onto some firm ground. The Lifeboat and Helicopter arrived on scene and the Helicopter landed on the headland to access the injuries to the two persons. The Lifeboat recovered paddles from the Kayaks and remained on the scene until the Helicopter airlifted one of the casualties to Hospital and the other person was taken to nearby safe terrain by the Coastguard unit.

Courtmacsherry RNLI allweather lifeboat on scene at Dunworely HeadlandCourtmacsherry RNLI all-weather lifeboat on scene at Dunworely Headland

Commenting on this afternoon’s callout, the Courtmacsherry RNLI Voluntary Deputy Launching Authority Diarmuid O Mahony, along with the Seven Heads Coastguard unit spokesman Eamonn Barry thanked all the Lifeboat and Coastguard crew members for their quick response today and carrying out the rescue and assistance very professionally, in what could have been a very serious incident. They reiterated and thanked those in trouble for their quick action in seeking immediate help and assistance, as minutes matter and it is always vital to alert the Coastguard quickly when in difficulty.

The Courtmacsherry Lifeboat Crew involved in today’s callout were Coxswain Micheal O Donovan, Mechanic Tadgh McCarthy and crew members Dara Gannon, Ken Cashman, Denis Murphy and Mark John Gannon.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Wicklow all-weather RNLI lifeboat launched shortly after 12:45 pm today (Saturday 1 August) following a Coast Guard launch request, to assist a 14-metre ketch with four people onboard near Greystones.

The drifting yacht was located 30 minutes later by Coxswain Doyle and the volunteer crew three miles south of Greystones harbour.

The engine had failed and there was not enough wind to use the sails to get to shore, so the skipper contacted the Coast Guard for assistance. Conditions on scene were calm with good visibility.

A towline was quickly established, and the yacht was towed into Greystones Marina, where the three adults and a child were landed safely ashore.

The crew on the call out were (2nd) Coxswain Ciaran Doyle, Mechanic Brendan Copeland, Carol Flahive, Paul Sillery, Mark Kavanagh and Peter Byrne

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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RNLI stations are reporting a busy season as more people stay at home for holidays due to the Covid-19 restrictions.

As The Irish Examiner reports, new standard operating procedures (SOPs) to adhere with Covid-19 public health and safety guidelines have changed the environment and placed extra pressure on crews.

All around the coast, inshore and all-weather RNLI lifeboats are also being scrubbed with extra vigour – right down to disinfection of handsets on marine radios.

“We had to make a very quick shift, and adopt new standard operating procedures early on,” Courtmacsherry coxswain Sean O’Farrell says.

RNLI Wicklow mechanic Brendan CopelandRNLI Wicklow mechanic Brendan Copeland

Crews going to sea with standard RNLI personal protective equipment (PPE) wear surgical masks under helmet visors, along with double sets of gloves.

The new measures extend to alerting crews. Every volunteer who responds to a pager message must stay in their car outside the station, unless and until called.

RNLI Courtmacsherry, Co Cork, coxswain Sean O'FarrellRNLI Courtmacsherry, Co Cork, coxswain Sean O'Farrell

RNLI Dun Laoghaire coxswain Mark McGibneyRNLI Dun Laoghaire coxswain Mark McGibney

“We can’t risk an infection that could affect key staff and volunteers, and close down an entire lifeboat station for two weeks,” O’Farrell adds.

“We’re getting used to it very quickly because we are already a lot busier for this time of year,” his colleague, RNLI Wicklow station mechanic Brendan Copeland says.

Water Safety Ireland chief executive John Leech had warned that as Covid-19 restrictions were lifted and travel plans cancelled, there could be the “greatest number in history” on our waterways. Almost two million people live within five kilometres of the coast.

His deputy, Roger Sweeney, confirms there have already been incidents where people have ignored red flags, hoisted at guarded swimming locations to indicate conditions are too dangerous for swimming.

Read more on The Irish Examiner report here

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Larne RNLI rescued a jet skier who had fallen into the water off the Co Antrim coast and couldn’t get back onto his craft.

The volunteer crew launched the in-shore lifeboat Terry just after 8pm on Tuesday evening and reached the casualty just north of Tweeds Port slipway within minutes.

The man, who had been in the water for 30 minutes, was recovered into the lifeboat and checked to make sure he wasn’t suffering from his time in the water.

He was then brought back to shore at Tweeds Port and handed over to the care of the NI Ambulance Service. The lifeboat crew then returned to the water to recover the jet ski.

Philip Ford-Hutchinson, Larne RNLI’s deputy launching authority, said: “The casualty was lucky as cold water shock can set in when you are submerged for any amount of time and in any season. Please, when using the water, respect the water.”

Elsewhere, Skerries RNLI had a busy start to the week as they responded to two separate callouts within two hours.

Skerries RNLI towing a broken-down jet ski ashore (RNLI/Gerry Canning)Skerries RNLI towing a broken-down jet ski ashore | RNLI/Gerry Canning

The lifeboat first launched on Sunday (26 July) shortly after 2pm to return two men on a jet ski safely back to shore after they suffered mechanical difficulties off Colt Island.

Then just two hours later the volunteers were called upon alongside the Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 and Skerries coastguard unit to carry out a search for a swimmer in distress in the same area, between Colt Island and St Patrick’s Island.

Following a thorough search, and the crew speaking to numerous kayakers in the area, Dublin Coast Guard was satisfied that it was a false alarm with good intent and the helicopter and lifeboat were stood down.

Speaking later, volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: “It’s days like this that you really see the dedication of our volunteer crews.

“Some of them were still on the harbour following the first call out when their pagers sounded the second time. This meant that we could launch quite quickly to what was potentially a serious incident. Thankfully in both cases it was a good outcome.”

Published in Jetski
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Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton TD today (31 July) launched the newly updated Safety on the Water website

This is a collaboration between the Coast Guard, RNLI, Water Safety Ireland, Irish Sailing and BIM, and incorporates a new Safety on the Water logo.

Speaking at an event hosted by RNLI Galway to formally launch the new initiative today Minister Naughton said; “Water safety is not just a seasonal consideration - it is an all-year-round commitment and everybody has a role to play, be it as participants, as supervisors of children or simply as observers who can raise the alert”.

Over the last ten years, 1,200 people drowned in Ireland, an average of 10 every month with many drownings happening quickly, silently and in cooler water with hidden currents that impairs the ability to swim and float. These losses bring unspeakable hardship and sufferings on families and friends and they are preventable.

She added “I commend the excellent collaboration between the different organisations, Coast Guard, RNLI, Water Safety Ireland, Irish Sailing who have done such wonderful work in promoting safety standards across the marine leisure industry and BIM in their work with the fishing communities”

Prevention is the overarching objective of the Safety on the Water Initiative. It aims to attract a higher level of interest from the general public to the site and to encourage a younger audience to engage with a more modern interactive medium. It provides a one-stop shop for all marine safety information in order to minimise accidents and to prevent the loss of life on Irish waters.

Minister Naughton referenced the advice of the Coast Guard and Water Safety Ireland “that water-based inflatable devices present a clear risk to the public. The Coast Guard and the RNLI deal with a large number of inflatable related callouts. Please heed their advice and leave them at home. They are not suitable for use at the seaside or at any open waterways”

Minister Naughton also acknowledged the efforts that the Search and Rescue (SAR) organisations have made to ensure the uninterrupted delivery of SAR services during the Covid-19 crisis adding: “It is to your great credit that you have put measures in place to ensure the safety of your people throughout these challenging times. Coast Guard volunteers have in addition, assisted the HSE with provision of transport and other support. Water Safety Ireland has worked closely with the local authorities to ensure the availability of beach lifeguard services and RNLI have ensured the continued availability of their vital services”.

The safety on the water website provides information on, what to do in an emergency and how to plan water-based activities as well as links to the websites of the participating organisations. The site provides access to a series of water safety publications including the Code of practice – The Safe Operation Recreational Craft, publications on different water-based activities and a leaflet on the use of Personal Floatation Devices / Life jackets.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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