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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

The RNLI lifeboat crew in Newcastle, Co Down rescued three people over two callouts in the space of 24 hours earlier this week.

The all-weather lifeboat first launched on Monday morning (13 July) to aid a boat with two people aboard who were experiencing difficulties somewhere between Bloody Bridge and William’s Harbour.

The casualty vessel was located swiftly and was taken under tow to the slipway at Annalong, but tidal conditions required the assistance of the inshore lifeboat to bring it to a safe mooring.

Newcastle RNLI coxswain Nathan Leneghan commended the boat owner for deploying his anchor to prevent the vessel drifting onto rocks, which would have made for a trickier rescue.

The following morning, Tuesday 14 July, the all-weather lifeboat was launched again — this time to a pleasure boat with engine failure.

The lifeboat crew headed in calm conditions to the given location inside the Cow and Calf, some six miles east of station on the East Coast of Northern Ireland.

After navigating through submerged rocks on an ebbing tide, the lifeboat was able to take the casualty vessel, with one person on board, under tow to Dundrum Harbour from where it had set off.

Tidal conditions again necessitated the launch of the inshore lifeboat to assist with the final tow to a safe mooring.

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The Union Hall RNLI lifeboat crew in West Cork were requested by the Irish Coast Guard to launch their inshore lifeboat Margaret Bench of Solihull, this afternoon (Wednesday 15 July) at 3.24 pm to a motorboat, approx 8 metres in length, with four adults and eight children on board. The vessel was propped at the eastern point of Myross Island, west of Glandore Harbour in West Cork.

The lifeboat helmed by Tim Forde with Darren Collins and Sean Walsh on board, launched at 3.35 pm and made its way to the scene arriving at 3.40 pm.

The Union Hall RNLI crew at their station in West Cork The Union Hall RNLI crew at their station in West Cork

Once on scene, the volunteer crew spoke with the people aboard, as the boat was propped they attached a towline and towed the boat back to Glandore Pier.

Speaking following the call out Jim Moloney, Union Hall RNLI Deputy Launch Authority said: ‘they did everything right on board, when they realised they were propped they called for help and everyone was wearing life jackets. We would remind everyone going to sea always carry a means of communication, wear a life jacket and respect the water’.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Oban RNLI in western Scotland has expressed sadness at the retirement of Dr Colin Wilson as a volunteer crew member.

Dr Wilson has served the RNLI in Oban since 1990, first joining when the station had the Brede class lifeboat Ann Ritchie.

It was a love of the sea that drew Dr Wilson to sign up with the lifesaving charity. “I wanted to help those in distress,” he said.

Since joining, Dr Wilson has become a dedicated crew member and an integral part of the station’s family, contributing to many callouts, training exercises and fundraising events.

Over his 30 years with the volunteer crew, Dr Wilson attended a whopping 660 callouts totalling over 1,100 hours at sea, covering 12,668 miles — half-way around the world — and burning 159,891 litres of fuel. And that’s not including exercises and delivery trips.

His knowledge and expertise in both diving medicine and treating divers with decompression sickness has proved invaluable over the years

Dr Wilson’s 35 years as a local GP and time as a senior partner of the Lorn Medical Centre have seen his voluntary role extend further within the RNLI, as has contributed as a Lifeboat Medical Adviser and Regional Medical Adviser for Scotland as well as serving on the charity’s medical committee.

His knowledge and expertise in both diving medicine and treating divers with decompression sickness has proved invaluable over the years.

Finlo Cottier, a deputy coxswain and crew member of Oban lifeboat who has served alongside Dr Wilson since 2001, said: “It’s always reassuring when you go to sea with Colin amongst the crew. A special blend of knowledge, wisdom and humour.”

Another longtime cremate, Ian Henry, said: “Colin has been an absolute stalwart and aside from being a mentor, font of knowledge, medical advisor both formal and informal, medicinal coffee prescriber, he has first and foremost been a friend. I know I speak for everyone when I say the door is always open.”

Of the hundreds of callouts he attended, the one that sticks out most for Dr Wilson was just two years ago, on the night of 28 July 2018.

“It was a really nasty night with winds gusting 60 knots and we received three separate Mayday calls,” he said. “It was a great crew all working together for good results in adverse weather.”

Another was on 10 January 1998, as documented in Willie Melville’s book The Story of Oban Lifeboat:

One of those services that brings tremendous satisfaction to a coxswain, his crew and the whole station took place on 10 January. Oban Coastguard reported that a canoeist was overdue at Cuil Bay, Duror…

The lifeboat arrived on scene at 1952, first making a counter-clockwise search of the island. As she was veering offshore to avoid the shallows her searchlight picked up the canoeist clinging to the waterlogged canoe some 2 cables offshore.

Crew member Dr Colin Wilson assessed the casualty's condition as being serious enough to have him airlifted by the rescue helicopter, also on scene, to hospital in Oban - meantime he was given oxygen on the lifeboat and made as warm as possible.

Dr Wilson recalled: “This man was extremely hypothermic and was lucky to be found alive. He survived, and was discharged home the next day. A great result.”

When asked what he will miss most, Dr Wilson said: “I will miss working as part of a really great crew and team. I have shared in both the joy of many successes and in the sadness surrounding some less happy events, providing care and support wherever possible.

“I hope to continue my association with Oban Lifeboat by volunteering in a different capacity.”

Dr Wilson also passed on his thanks to fellow crew members, “past and present, for great memories of working in a fantastic team, in training, in fundraising and ultimately, while out at sea on shouts”.

He added: “I also salute all those who support the RNLI throughout the country in the many ways they do, helping those in trouble at sea.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Two Baltimore women are running a virtual relay race around Ireland for their local lifeboat, after the annual charity walk was cancelled over coronavirus restrictions.

Anna Carthy and Odharnait Collins are now on day three their ‘Race to Raise’ in aid of Baltimore RNLI, in which they and other participants are getting out and about for a walk, run, swim or cycle and adding up their distances.

At the end of day two yesterday (Monday 13 July), the group has already totalled hundreds of kilometres — the distance from Baltimore to Wicklow anti-clockwise around the coast.

And the organisers have raised more than €600 awards their €1,000 goal for the local lifeboat service.

“Covid-19 restrictions have had a huge impact on our annual fundraising events for Baltimore lifeboat with many events having been cancelled,” said Carthy and Collins.

“We have been thinking how we could run these events virtually, whilst obeying these restrictions, and so have moved our annual lifeboat walk online this year.

“Please help us walk the distance around Ireland from station to station to create awareness and raise money for this vital service.”

For more details see the ‘Race to Raise’ page on Facebook and the fundraising page on GoFundMe.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Thanks to the generosity of Ivon and Jane Roberts from Rosscarbery, County Cork, you now can be the next owner as the couple has donated their boat Decade to Union Hall RNLI.

Ivon and Jane bought Decade on their tenth wedding anniversary 23 years ago and now with their crew Jessica and Ivon after flying the nest, they are looking for a new purchase. Decade is a Seal 22 Mark 2 boat, approximately 21ft in length and comes with the trailer.

 Jane & Ivon Roberts, Harriet O’Regan, Jim Moloney, Mary Jacinta Casey, Carmel & Mick Mc’Kenna(From left to right) Jane & Ivon Roberts, Harriet O’Regan, Jim Moloney, Mary Jacinta Casey, Carmel & Mick McKenna

Pamela Deasy, Union Hall RNLI said: ‘The team at Union Hall RNLI want to thank Ivon and Jane for their generous donation. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic all fundraising events have been cancelled bar those of a virtual nature so this opens the door for a new owner, the next chapter of Decade while also raising funds for Union Hall RNLI. The fundraising team also want to thank Garrett O’Mahony, harbour master and Cork County Council for facilitating the boat on Union Hall pier.’

Ivon comes from a family steeped in maritime heritage and his great grandfather Richard Roberts was Captain of the Sirius which was the first wooden-hulled side steamship built-in 1837 to cross the Atlantic.

The boat is on a single axle trailer on Union Hall pier ready to go sailing.

For further information on how to make an offer to purchase the vessel, people are asked to contact Mick McKenna on 087 252 9038.

Published in Boat Sales
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A new cycle lane at Dun Laoghaire Harbour runs across the primary access route for the town's RNLI Lifeboats, one of the busiest stations in the country and restricts the lifesaving service in its emergency response, according to the Dun Laoghaire RNLI.

The new scheme, currently under construction, also blocks the direct route to the National Yacht Club (NYC) at the town's East Pier.

Mr Stephen Wynne, the Lifeboat Operations Manager at RNLI Dun Laoghaire told Afloat the lifesaving charity was currently 'in consultation with DLRCoCo to find an amicable solution'.

The traffic management plan includes road closures as part of an overall plan to implement a cycle lane through the town to the popular Forty Foot bathing place in nearby Sandycove.

An artist's impression of the new 'DLR Coastal Mobility intervention' at Queens Road as envisioned by DLRCoCoAn artist's impression of the new 'DLR Coastal Mobility intervention' at Queens Road as envisioned by DLRCoCo

Access from Queen's Road 'is the primary access route used by volunteer lifeboat crew in the provision of its 24/7 lifesaving service and it is restricted as a result' Mr Wynne says.

Access to the NYC and the lifeboat station is now via the harbour roundabout at the nearby Royal St. George Yacht Club but already, at certain times of the day, new road markings at the roundabout are restricting traffic flow, according to harbour users.

DLRCoCo has also relocated its weekend markets from the Peoples Park to Queens Road between Park Road and the entrance to the Pavilion car park resulting in the road closure to all but pedestrians and cyclists.

New road markings at Dun Laoghaire Harbour roundaboutNew road markings at Dun Laoghaire Harbour roundabout Photo: Afloat

As a result, it means RNLI crews responding to an emergency call-out and travelling by car are effectively blocked coming from the east and potentially severely restricted arriving from the west depending on the time of day.

A spokesman for the NYC said the club – the Irish yacht club of the year in 2018 – had 'no comment' to make in relation to the scheme.

The cycling schemes form part of the County-wide plan of temporary measures to address the challenges in the public realm resulting from Covid-19 related to public health and safety, mobility and to support the recovery of the local economy. The Council says on its website there have been high increases in cycling numbers on routes along the coastline in May 2020, according to real-time data from cycle counters. When compared with May 2019, cycling numbers in Blackrock Park almost doubled, rising from over 16,385 cyclists to 29,666 cyclists over the month of May.

A request for comment from DLRCoCo was not responded to by the time of publication.

UPDATE: July 17. DLRCoCo response as follows:

In response to Covid-19, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council (DLRCC) has made safety-critical changes to the layout of the roads infrastructure on roads on the coastal route between Blackrock and Sandycove to reallocate road space so as to protect the health and safety of the significantly increased numbers of cyclists and pedestrians who are accessing the coastal route.

There has been an almost 100% increase in the number of cyclists using the coastal route. According to real-time data from cycle counters in Blackrock Park in May 2020 there were 29,666 cyclists compared with 16,385 cyclists in May 2019. A very distinct pattern has emerged during the Covid-19 restrictions with a wide variety of ages and abilities observed to be cycling on the road.

DLRCC as a local authority and a road authority has a duty of care to all road users, particularly vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians, and the mobility interventions, including the provision of a 2-way segregated cycle way, have necessitated changes to the road layout along Queen’s Road and in the Harbour area. In order to avoid a conflict between cyclists on the 2-way cycle way and vehicles, it was deemed necessary from a safety perspective to prevent access to vehicles via the access point in the Harbour closest to the East Pier. However, there are still clear vehicle access routes through to the RNLI lifeboat station in the Harbour via the Marine Road/Crofton Road junction and at York Road/Crofton Road junction, via the Cold Quay Bridge.

DLRCC has met on a number of occasions with RNLI representatives about the plans for the mobility interventions on Queen’s Road and in the Harbour area and plans further engagement so as to ensure that DLRCC as a road authority and RNLI as a lifesaving charity can meet their respective safety-critical responsibilities.

The dlr CoCo Markets was located on a trial basis on Queens Road on 12th July but this will not continue and the Market will be relocated to nearby locations which means that Queens Road will be open to vehicular traffic under the new one-way system during the week and at weekends.

A 20ft sailing yacht with two people onboard was brought to safety by Wicklow RNLI this afternoon (Sunday 12 July).

The inshore lifeboat launched at 11:45 am with Graham Fitzgerald (helm) and crew Alan Goucher and John Stapleton to reports of a small yacht in difficulty.

The yacht was located four minutes later one mile east of Wicklow harbour, weather conditions at the time were described as sea state slight with force three southerly wind.

Volunteer crew member Alan Goucher was transferred onto the yacht to assist the two sailors after they experienced problems with the mast and their outboard engine failed.

A towline was established and the yacht with two sailors was brought safely alongside the East pier at Wicklow harbour at 12:15 pm.

Second Yacht in Difficulty off Wicklow

This was the second callout for Wicklow RNLI volunteers over the weekend. On Saturday evening Wicklow all-weather lifeboat launched shortly after 7 pm under the command of Coxswain Nick Keogh, to join Arklow lifeboat and the Dublin based Coast Guard helicopter ‘Rescue 116’ in a search for a yacht in difficulties.

The initial reports suggested the yacht's position was nine miles south between Wicklow head and the Arklow wind farm.

Wicklow lifeboat was stood down by the Coast Guard and returned to station at 7:45 pm after the stricken yacht was located by Rescue 116 near Courtown and assisted by Arklow lifeboat.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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A motorboat with four on board which was overcome by poor weather was towed to safety by Kinsale RNLI volunteers this past week.

The inshore lifeboat Miss Sally Anne Baggy II was requested to launch shortly after 11.30am on Wednesday (8 July) to assist the 16ft motor boat off Barry’s Head, near Nohoval.

All four on board the vessel were found to be unharmed, and their boat was taken under tow to the safety of Kinsale Marina.

This marked the first rescue for the Kinsale lifeboat crew under the new RNLI coronavirus protocol, with the crew wearing protective masks and gloves in addition to the standard PPE.

Lifeboat helm Jonathan Connor said: “The RNLI remains on call throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. When we go on a callout, we don’t know the level of assistance required, or the proximity we will have to the people we are going to help.

“Safety is always paramount in our minds and wearing the full PPE and following strict RNLI guidelines minimises the risk of exposure for both our volunteer crew and those we rescue.

“The people onboard this boat did exactly the right thing by calling for assistance. If any member of the public gets into difficulty on the water or spots someone else in difficulty, they should call 112 or 999 immediately and ask for the coastguard.”

Shortly after their return to station, the crew were requested to launch for a second time to assist a 30ft vessel that had lost steerage at the mouth of the harbour.

But the lifeboat was stood down en route when the crew onboard managed to right the craft and make their own way to safety.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Lough Ree RNLI brought a drifting motor cruiser to safety on Saturday night.

At 9.35 pm on Saturday, (4 July) Lough Ree RNLI volunteers were requested by Malin Head Coast Guard to reports of a motor cruiser adrift near Portrunny Harbour on the north-west shore of Lough Ree.

The casualty vessel had broken its moorings and drifted out of the harbour with no one on board.

The inshore lifeboat Tara Scougall and her crew quickly found the casualty vessel and brought the boat safely back to the harbour and tied her up before making their return to the lifeboat station at Coosan Point.

Speaking after the call out, Lough Ree RNLI Helm Kieran Sloyan said: ‘Conditions on the lake were very rough with a strong westerly wind. We would like to remind all boat owners to regularly check their mooring lines to ensure their boat is suitably secured. If you do see a boat adrift, please call 999/112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Last Thursday and Friday were busy days for Bangor Coastguard on Belfast Lough with an incident on both days.

On Thursday evening the Coastguard and the Police Service investigated reports of concern for a kayaker seen the Ballywalter area in failing light. Ballywalter is a small village on the east coast of Co Down with a long award-winning sandy beach and a small harbour which partially dries out.

By the time the team arrived, it was already dark, and together with their Police colleagues, a plan was put in place. Coastguards searched the beach area while the Police spoke with the first informant and checked the area around the Harbour. The Police Helicopter was also requested but unable to attend, so the Police fixed-wing aircraft was asked to assist.

As one of the team was completing their search, they saw a kayaker round the Harbour wall. After a quick conversation, it was established that this was the person they had been looking for and he was given safety advice and both Police and Coastguards stood down.

The next day (Friday) the team was tasked along with Bangor Lifeboat to a yacht with engine problems between Bangor and Groomsport. They kept visual on the vessel while the Lifeboat set up a tow and headed for Bangor where the vessel and the lifeboat were met in the harbour by Coastguard personnel.

Published in Belfast Lough
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