Displaying items by tag: RNLI
Howth RNLI launched both the all-weather lifeboat and the inshore lifeboat in two separate callouts over the weekend to rescue eight people who found themselves in difficulty. One callout saw a teenager’s life saved when the lifeboat crew found him clinging to a buoy in the middle of the estuary.
The RNLI pagers sounded at 1.35 pm on Friday (7 August) after a call was placed to the Coast Guard reporting two people in difficulty swimming at Cush Point in Baldoyle estuary. The inshore lifeboat was launched and located the two people 11 minutes later as they made their way back to shore. Colin Murray from Howth Coast Guard spoke to the two boys and it emerged that there was a third person still missing. The lifeboat crew quickly established a search pattern and located the casualty clinging to a buoy in the middle of the estuary. He had been there for nearly 30 minutes and was exhausted. The casualty was taken aboard the lifeboat, assessed and treated before bringing back to the lifeboat station.
The lifeboat crew were called into action again the following afternoon (Saturday 8 August) at 4.50 pm to reports of a speed boat that had mechanical problems just north of Lambay Island. The all-weather lifeboat was launched and quickly located the boat with four family members onboard. The speedboat was taken in tow by the volunteer crew of the all-weather lifeboat and the family were unharmed by the incident and returned safely to Malahide Marina.
Speaking following the callout which saw the teenager rescued, Fin Goggin, Howth RNLI Helm said: ‘What we thought was a callout to two swimmers who had made their way back to shore quickly turned into a search for a missing teenager. When we found him a short time later clinging to the buoy, very tired but alive, we realised it could have had a very tragic outcome.
Wicklow lifeboat volunteers responded to four incidents during a 24-hour period as the Station resumed crew training over the weekend.
The first callout on Saturday afternoon (August 8) and involved both the Inshore and all-weather lifeboat, they diverted from a crew exercise after being tasked to Brittas Bay by the Coast Guard at 4:15 pm to reports of a jet ski in difficulty off the popular beach. On arrival at the scene the Inshore lifeboat located two men on a drifting jet ski with engine failure one mile off Brittas Bay beach, they were transferred onto the all-weather lifeboat and landed safely at Potter’s Point, while the inshore lifeboat towed the jet ski ashore.
The second callout came on Sunday morning as the all-weather lifeboat launched at 03:25 am to join Arklow lifeboat in a combined operation, to assist a solo sailor on a yacht with a rope fouled prop. Initial reports indicated the yacht's position was a few miles north of Arklow port, but it was located by Arklow lifeboat about two miles south of the Horseshoe Buoy near Wicklow head. The eight-metre yacht was fouled in ropes and unable to make any headway. Conditions on scene were sea state slight with wind north-west force three. Arklow lifeboat transferred a crew member onto the yacht to assist the sailor and free the obstruction from the prop. A towline was established with Wicklow Lifeboat before 4 am and the stricken yacht was towed back towards Wicklow harbour. The vessel alongside the South Quay shortly before 6 am and landed the solo sailor safely ashore.
The third callout came two and a half hours later on Sunday morning when the all-weather lifeboat was launched at 08:39 am to reports of an 11metre fishing vessel in difficulties near the Six Mile Point. The lifeboat was alongside the fishing vessel 20 minutes after launching seven miles north of Wicklow harbour. The vessel with three fishermen had developed mechanical problems and was unable to return to the harbour under power. Conditions in the area were visibility fair with a moderate sea and wind northeast force three. The trawler was taken in tow back to Wicklow harbour and the lifeboat crew brought it alongside the South Quay just after 10 am.
The fourth call came after 2 pm on Sunday afternoon as the all-weather lifeboat diverted from a crew exercise to assist a yacht in difficulties four miles off the harbour. The yacht was brought safely alongside the East pier a short time later.
Speaking about the call outs, Lifeboat Press Officer for Wicklow RNLI, Tommy Dover said: ‘This was an extremely busy weekend for Wicklow RNLI as we also resumed crew training this weekend since the Covid-19 restrictions curtailed all training earlier this year. Between the crew exercises and callouts, nearly all of our volunteers were involved over the weekend and it was a milestone for trainee Ger Kennedy, who completed his first ‘Shout’ on the all-weather lifeboat.’
The casualty had sustained a knee injury and was being treated at the scene in Smuggler’s Cove on Northern Ireland’s North Coast by NIAS paramedics.
The challenging terrain made extraction difficult and complex.
First the man was moved by rope rescue stretcher over very uneven and slippery boulders to the water’s edge, then transferred into coastguard water rescue stretcher, then onto the inshore lifeboat.
From there to the all-weather lifeboat for transfer to a waiting ambulance at Portrush Harbour.
Coleraine Coastguard said: “This was a highly challenging rescue due to the location, but another great example of inter-agency teamwork brought it to a successful ending.”
The volunteer crew launched the smaller in-shore lifeboat, Terry, at 11.05am and made their way in calm seas towards the scene.
All three on the casualty vessel were found to be safe and well, and a tow was establish to return the RIB to the harbour at Ballylumford.
Inshore lifeboat helm Chris Dorman said: “The casualties did the right thing. They were trying out this piece of equipment and realised that something wasn’t quite right with it, so they contacted the coastguard for assistance.
“Everyone onboard was wearing a lifejacket and they had means to contact the shore in case of emergency.”
He added: “If you see anyone in difficulties at sea, the dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”
Baltimore RNLI was called out earlier this evening (Friday 7 August) to provide assistance to a motorboat in difficulty at Sherkin Island, off the coast of west Cork.
The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their inshore lifeboat at 6.50 pm, following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to assist an 18ft motorboat, with four people on board, which had broken down in Horseshoe Harbour, Sherkin Island, off the coast of West Cork.
The Baltimore inshore lifeboat arrived at the casualty vessel at 6.54 pm. The owner of the motorboat had dropped an anchor and all occupants were wearing lifejackets. The lifeboat transferred volunteer crew member David Ryan on to the vessel. He established a tow and hauled the anchor, and the lifeboat commenced the tow for Baltimore at 6.59 pm. The lifeboat towed the casualty vessel to its own mooring in Baltimore Harbour and once it was secured the lifeboat returned to the station, arriving at 7.24 pm.
There were four volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat, Helm Micheal Cottrell and crew members Ryan O’Mahony, David Ryan and Eoin O’Driscoll. Assisting at the station were Jerry and Rianne Smith. Conditions at sea were calm with a westerly force 4 wind, a 0.5m sea swell and good visibility.
Speaking following the call out, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘Always remember when going to sea, to carry means of communication. If you get into difficulty at sea or on the coast, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’
It was a long night at sea for Arklow RNLI on Tuesday evening (4 August) as its volunteers launched to assist three people on a yacht in difficulty in the Irish Sea some 25 miles off the Co Wicklow town.
The yacht was intercepted just north of the Arklow Bank amid swells of up to five metres, and its crew were suffering from fatigue and sea sickness.
Worsening conditions meant the yacht was not able to make headway either by sail or its own engine tower, so it was taken under tow by the lifeboat to Wicklow Harbour as the safest and shortest option — eventually arriving at 1.15am, more than six hours after launch.
Lifeboat coxswain Brendan Dillon commented: “Given the prevailing conditions at sea, this could have ended very differently.”
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.”
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.”
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.
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.”