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Displaying items by tag: Courtmacsherry

A pleasure boat with mechanical issues off the Seven Heads in West Cork prompted a launch by Courmacsherry RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat at the weekend.

The Trent class lifeboat Frederick Storey Cockburn — under coxswain Mark Gannon and a volunteer crew of five — set off on Saturday evening (18 September) to go to the aid of the 38ft pleasure boat with four on board, which was some seven miles offshore.

The lifeboat was on scene within half an hour and quick assessed the situation. A towline was attached to the disabled boat, and the lifeboat proceeded under tow at a safe speed to the nearest port of Courtmacsherry.

Courtmacsherry RNLI lifeboat operations manager Brian O’Dwyer said: “It is always better to act quickly at sea in freshening conditions and it was good that the boat’s skipper sought assistance this evening.

“Once again great credit goes to our crew in responding to our 23rd lifeboat call out so far in 2021.”

The lifeboat crew involved in the call out were coxswain Mark Gannon, mechanic Dave Philips and crew members Mark John Gannon, Donal Young, Peter Noonan and Paul McCarthy.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Courtmacsherry RNLI launched their all-weather lifeboat yesterday evening (Saturday 11 September) to go to the aid of a 21ft pleasure boat with engine failure off the Barrels Rocks near Garrettstown in West Cork.

Under coxswain Mark John Gannon and a crew of five, the Trent class lifeboat Frederick Storey Cockburn launched around 6pm and was quickly on scene with the casualty vessel, Alanna, which had been on passage from Courtmacsherry to Kinsale with two people and a dog on board.

With a strong southwest wind blowing towards the nearby rocks and shore cliffs, the decision was made to take the pleasure boat under tow to the nearest port of Courtmacsherry.

The casualty vessel was able to use its anchor to keep it away from the nearby breaking Barrel Rocks, and another pleasure boat stood by to provide safety backup until the lifeboat were in position to set up the tow.

Then at a slow and safe speed, the broken-down boat was brought to the safe surrounds of the harbour pontoon at Kinsale by 7.15 pm. The two crew from Alanna expressed their extreme thanks to all involved in he rescue.

Courtmacherry RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat and the pleasure boat with engine failure arrive safely into Courtmacsherry Harbour | Credit: RNLI/CourtmacsherryCourtmacherry RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat and the pleasure boat with engine failure arrive safely into Courtmacsherry Harbour | Credit: RNLI/Courtmacsherry

Courtmacsherry RNLI’s deputy launching authority Philip White said: “With winds blowing strongly towards the dangerous shoreline today, it was great to reach the causality quickly and perform a smooth rescue.

“Again, thanks to all the volunteers today, with some leaving their TV sets midway through the All Ireland football final to help others in trouble at sea.”

Along with coxswain Mark John Gannon, the volunteer crew involved in this callout were mechanic Chris Guy and crew members Donal Young, Dave Philips, Evin O’Sullivan and Jim O’Donnell.

Yesterday was supposed to be a well-earned rest and recovery day for O’Donnell as he had just completed a week-long climb of the Seven Peaks across the UK and Ireland on Friday, in aid of the emergency services including his beloved Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat Station.

But he put the champagne on ice and ran to the station once his bleeper was activated.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

A lone sailor was rescued after his boat suffers engine failure and a sail blow out off the Old Head of Kinsale.

The Courtmacsherry All-Weather Trent Class RNLI Lifeboat was called out this afternoon Tuesday at 2 pm to go to the aid of a 30-foot yacht with a lone sailor on board that got into difficulties two miles south-west of the Old Head of Kinsale in West Cork. The Courtmacsherry All-Weather Lifeboat, Frederick Storey Cockburn under Coxswain Sean O'Farrell and a crew of 5 were away quickly from their moorings, after being alerted by the Coastguard that the yacht had suffered engine failure and a sail blow out on passage from Glandore to Kinsale.

Once the Lifeboat reached the causality at 2.26 pm, Lifeboat Coxswain O'Farrell assessed the situation. As the casualty was completely disabled and conditions at sea were worsening, a decision was taken to put the Lifeboat towline on board the yacht and proceed under tow to the nearest port of Kinsale. Conditions at sea today were fresh and blustery Force 5 winds with strong 3 metre swells off the Old Head. The Lifeboat proceeded to tow the causality back to Kinsale at a slow, safe speed and arrived at the safe surrounds of the Harbour Marina at 4.30 pm. The sailor was mighty pleased to see the Lifeboat today and expressed his extreme thanks to all involved in today’s rescue.

The RNLI Lifeboat crewmembers under Coxswain Sean O'Farrell after they arrived back to base in CourtmacsherryThe RNLI Lifeboat crewmembers under Coxswain Sean O'Farrell after they arrived back to base in Courtmacsherry

The Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat voluntary Deputy Launching Authority Vincent O'Donovan said, “With the freshening winds today, it was great to reach the causality so quickly and give the Lone sailor the comfort that he required. Great praise is due again for the fast response of all the crew and officers who left their workplaces and rushed to the station to help a fellow seaman in distress at sea this afternoon”.

The Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat Crew involved in this afternoon’s callout were Coxswain Sean O Farrell, Mechanic Stuart Russell and crewmembers Mark John Gannon, Dara Gannon, Dave Philips and Dean Hennessy.

This was the 21st callout of 2021 for the All-Weather Lifeboat Station in Courtmacsherry.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Courtmacsherry RNLI’s all-weather Trent class lifeboat Frederick Storey Cockburn was called out yesterday morning (Monday 9 August) to go to the aid of a 40ft pleasure boat that sought assistance three miles off the Seven Heads in West Cork.

The lifeboat, under coxswain Mark Gannon and a crew of six launched at at 11.40am and reached the casualty vessel 35 minutes later.

Once on scene, the coxswain assessed the situation. As the casualty vessel — with 12 people on board — was completely disabled, it was decided to establish a tow and bring the vessel to the nearest port of Courtmacsherry.

Weather conditions at sea were reasonable and the lifeboat proceeded at a safe towing speed back to safe surrounds of the Courtmacsherry pontoon, arriving there at 1.30pm.

Lifeboat operations manager Brian O’Dwyer said: “It was very prudent to be alerted so quickly of the difficulties onboard the pleasure boat this morning and great that the lifeboat was able to bring the casualty back smoothly to Courtmacsherry Harbour on this, our 19th call out of 2021.”

The Courtmacsherry RNLI lifeboat crew involved in this callout were coxswain Mark Gannon, mechanic Stuart Russell and crew members Mark John Gannon, Ciaran Hurley, Jim O’Donnell, Dave Philips and Conor Tyndall.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The Courtmacsherry All-Weather Trent Class RNLI Lifeboat was called out this morning Tuesday at 9.10 am, to go to the aid of a 32-foot yacht with a lone sailor on board that got into difficulties 15 miles south-west of Courtmacsherry Bay in West Cork. The Courtmacsherry All Weather Lifeboat, Frederick Storey Cockburn under volunteer Coxswain Kevin Young and a crew of four were away quickly from their moorings, as a pan pan alert was issued by the Coastguard, that the yacht had suffered a broken mast, disabled steering plus engine failure and required immediate assistance. The yacht was at sea for the past 14 days while on passage from the Azores to Ireland when the incidents occurred in poor conditions over the past few days.

Once the Lifeboat reached the causality at 10.10 am, Lifeboat Coxswain Kevin Young assessed the situation and as the causality was completely disabled, a decision was taken to put the Lifeboat towline on board the yacht and proceed under tow to the nearest port of Courtmacsherry. The weather at sea had improved overnight and the Lifeboat proceeded at a safe towing speed back to safe surrounds of the Courtmacsherry pontoon, while also putting one crewperson on board the yacht to help a very tired skipper as they took the yacht alongside while traversing the Harbour Channel and final arrival to the Village Pontoon at 1.15 pm. The skipper of the yacht suffered the mast break four days ago and without any sleep since in gusting weather, was mighty glad to be on safe grounds of Courtmacsherry after being completely disabled at sea earlier this morning. 

The Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat crewmembers under Coxswain Kevin Young after they arrived back to base Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat crewmembers under Coxswain Kevin Young after they arrived back to base

The Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat voluntary Lifeboat Operations Manager Brian O Dwyer said “We are all so relieved that the crewmen was rescued so quickly this morning and praised the great response of all the crew and officers who left their workplaces and rushed to the station, in order to help a fellow seaman in distress at sea this morning”.

The Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat Crew involved in this morning’s callout were Coxswain Kevin Young, Mechanic Pat Lawton and crewmembers Tadgh McCarthy, Evin O Sullivan and Conor Tyndall.

This was the 17th callout of 2021 for the All Weather Lifeboat Station in Courtmacsherry.

Of note today is that the crew and officers that responded to the callout included Station officer Martin McCarthy who recently received a Silver Medal from the RNLI for over 50 years of service at the station and current Crewman Conor Dullea who recently received his 30 year long service award as a crewperson at the station.

Members of the Courtmacsherry maritime community are assisting the sailor. Irish Cruising Club member and local Norman Kean adds: 

The yacht involved, Marie, is a Contessa 32. On passage from Terceira in the Azores to Dingle, a cap shroud chainplate failed in fairly brisk weather and the mast folded up at the spreaders. The sailor then motored for a number of days, with the wreckage of the rig still standing, and both main and jib unusable but apparently undamaged (and of course irretrievable). His main VHF aerial was of course disabled and his backup handhelds had short range. He had plenty of diesel. About 15 miles south of the Seven Heads this morning, having run the tank dry, put a can of diesel in it and bled the engine, he was unable to restart it and contacted the Coast Guard. Courtmacsherry lifeboat towed him in and we are giving him every possible assistance here. I think he has exhibited exemplary self-reliance and seamanship in difficult conditions and made the call when he had no other option.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The Courtmacsherry All-Weather Trent Class RNLI Lifeboat was called out this morning Friday at 1.45 am, to go to the immediate aid of a 60-foot fishing vessel that went on fire while fishing 20 miles south-east the Old Head of Kinsale in West Cork.

The Courtmacsherry All-Weather Lifeboat, Frederick Storey Cockburn under Coxswain Sean O Farrell and a crew of 6 were away quickly from their moorings, as a mayday alert was issued by the causality, that their boat had caught fire and they required immediate help. Once the mayday distress was relayed by the Marine Rescue Co-Ordination Centre in Valentia, all available boats that were in the area at the time, raced to assist in the rescue.

Also tasked was the Coast Guard Rescue 117 Helicopter from Waterford.

Within minutes of the mayday alert being issued, the crew of four on the fishing vessel had to abandon to their liferaft as the fire had engulfed their boat. Just after 2.20 am, the Offshore Supply boat “Pathfinder” operating at the Kinsale Gas Field located the bright orange liferaft, after it deployed its own fast rescue boat to the scene. It immediately took all four crew from the liferaft onboard safely and while well shocked, they were all uninjured.

When the Courtmacsherry Lifeboat and the Coastguard Rescue 117 Helicopter arrived on scene, all four casualties were then transferred to the safe surround of the Courtmacsherry Lifeboat. Another Offshore Supply boat operating at the Gas field, used its powerful pumps to get the fire under control while the Courtmacsherry Lifeboat brought the four fishermen back to safe terrain in Courtmacsherry arriving shortly after 5 am.

Also arriving on scene was the Navy Vessel “George Bernard Shaw” who continued to monitor the fire-damaged boat as it sank.

Those rescued were well relieved to be on land again and thanked the many boats and rescue services involved in this morning’s dramatic rescue.

The Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat voluntary Lifeboat Operations Manager Brian O Dwyer said “We are all so relieved that all four crewmen were rescued so quickly in darkness this morning and praised the fast response of the Kinsale Gas Field Supply Boats who were quickly on scene”, he also thanked the 13 crew at the Lifeboat Station who rose from their beds early this morning and rushed to the station, in order to help others in distress at sea.

RNLI Lifeboat crewmembers under Coxswain Sean O Farrell after they arrived back, with the orange liferaft in the backgroundRNLI Lifeboat crewmembers under Coxswain Sean O Farrell after they arrived back, with the orange liferaft in the background

The Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat Crew involved in this morning’s callout were Coxswain Sean O'Farrell, Mechanic Tadgh McCarthy and crewmembers Dara Gannon, Denis Murphy, Evin O Sullivan, Jim O Donnell and Dean Hennessy.

This was the second callout in a week to Fishing vessels off the Courtmacsherry coast as Afloat reported here.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

The Courtmacsherry All Weather Trent Class RNLI Lifeboat was called out this morning Sunday at 11 am, to go to the aid of a 75-foot fishing vessel that had got into difficulties 27 miles off the Old Head of Kinsale in West Cork.

The lifeboat under Coxswain Mark Gannon and a crew of 6 were underway from their moorings in the harbour within minutes of being alerted by the Marine Rescue Co-Ordination Centre in Valentia and proceeded at full speed to the area of the causality.

Conditions at sea today were very difficult with Force 7/8 winds and high sea swells. The fishing vessel with five crewmembers on board had put out a distress signal when its hull was breached in difficult sea conditions and was taking in water.

Also launched was the Coast Guard Rescue 117 Helicopter from Waterford. Just after 12 noon, the Coast Guard Helicopter dropped an emergency salvage pump and winchman on to the fishing vessel deck and the Courtmacsherry Lifeboat readied their emergency salvage pump, and plans were finalised to pump the water from the stricken vessel in order for it to continue being operational.

The seven Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat crew members under Coxswain Mark Gannon after they arrived into Kinsale Harbour with the fishing vesselThe seven Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat crew members under Coxswain Mark Gannon after they arrived into Kinsale Harbour with the fishing vessel

As the water was pumped from the casualty, the Lifeboat stood by alongside in readiness for evacuation of the crew or any other assistance if required. With the pumping of the water being successful, and the seas very difficult, the Lifeboat escorted the causality at a safe speed back into the safe surrounds of Kinsale Harbour, arriving just after 4 pm.

A relieved fishing vessel Skipper thanked all the rescue services for their help in today’s rescue.

The Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat Deputy Launch Authority and LPO Vincent O Donovan said “Great credit is due to all our volunteer crew members who rushed to answer the callout this morning and headed into very rough seas to help others in distress. Vincent praised both the Coastguard Rescue 117 helicopter crew and the crew of the Lifeboat in carrying out a very professional rescue involving salvage pumps in rough seas and strong winds.

The Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat volunteer Crew involved in today’s callout were Coxswain Mark Gannon, Mechanic Chris Guy and crewmembers Mark John Gannon, Dara Gannon, Denis Murphy, Ciaran Hurley and Evin O Sullivan.

The Lifeboat returned to its base in Courtmacsherry just after 5 pm and has refuelled and restocked, in readiness of whenever the next call to action may occur. This is the 13th callout of 2021 for the Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat station.

The Gannon family, Coxswain Mark, his son Mark John and brother Dara, all part of the Lifeboat crew today.The Gannon family, Coxswain Mark, his son Mark John and brother Dara, all part of the Lifeboat crew today.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Courtmacsherry RNLI's all-weather Trent class lifeboat Frederick Story Cockburn was called out yesterday afternoon, Sunday 26 April at 3.40pm as people reported a surfer in difficulty off Garrylucas Beach near the Old Head of Kinsale.

The lifeboat under coxswain Ken Cashman and a crew of six was under way within minutes and proceeded at full speed to the area of the casualty, where it carried to a detail search while the Old Head and Seven Heads Coast Guard unit searched from the shoreline.

The area was combed over the next 40 minutes and with nothing found, the search operation was stood down.

This was the third callout over the weekend for the lifeboat crew, beginning on Friday evening (23 April) with reports of a swimmer in difficulty off Broadstrand who was rescued by a kitesurfer, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

This was followed by another callout on Saturday morning (24 April), when the lifeboat crew were on their weekly crew training exercise, to go to the aid of four people in difficulties in the water off Garrettstown Beach. Thankfully these swimmers were rescued by nearby surfers as the lifeboat reached the area.

Philip White, Courtmacsherry RNLI’s deputy launching authority, said: “Great credit is due to all our volunteer crew members who rushed to answer the callout whenever help was required at sea this weekend.”

White also thanked the people on shore who called the rescue services at 112 or 999 as every minute is so important to people in difficulty, no matter what the outcome of a search is.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

A kitesurfer who rescued a swimmer off the Seven Heads in Cork on Friday evening (23 April) said he was “just delighted to help”.

As TheJournal.ie reports, Dylan Green was out on his board when he was alerted to a woman struggling in the water near Broadstrand.

While a friend of the casualty hailed emergency services, Green set about searching for the swimmer who he located close to rocks.

When Courtmacsherry RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat arrived on scene minutes later, Green had already brought the casualty to safety and she was assessed on the beach by locals, including medical personnel, until the ambulance arrived.

After further assessment, the woman was deemed fit to return home with her family to recover from her ordeal.

Brian O’Dwyer, Courtmacsherry RNLI’s lifeboat operations manager, said: “It was amazing to witness myself, he great skill of the kitesurfer this evening who prevented a very serious incident from happening.

Published in Rescue

Courtmacsherry RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat was called out yesterday afternoon (Sunday 21 February) to a surfer in difficulty off Garrettstown Beach near the Old Head of Kinsale.

The Trent class lifeboat with a crew of five was under way within minutes of the 3.40pm call.

However, upon reaching the scene less than 15 minutes later, they learned that the surfer had managed to get ashore with the help of family members.

“It was great to see the fast response of so many of our volunteer crew again today, when their bleepers activated, which ensured that we were at the scene very quickly,” said Brian O'Dwyer, Courtmacsherry RNLI volunteer lifeboat operations manager.

Elsewhere, Fenit RNLI’s volunteer crew were tasked around 1pm to reports of two upturned kayaks in the Banna Strand area.

The station launched both its all-weather and inshore lifeboats, with a full crew on both vessels.

File image of Fenit RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat (Photo: RNLI/Fenit)File image of Fenit RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat | Photo: RNLI/Fenit

On arrival at the scene of the reported sighting, the lifeboat crews were advised that the occupants of the kayaks were safe and accounted for, and their kayaks washed ashore shortly afterwards.

Fenit lifeboat press officer Jackie Murphy said the volunteers “were delighted that there was a safe and positive outcome for all concerned”.

Meanwhile, the RNLI stresses to all those taking part in any water activities or planning a visit to the coast during this extended lockdown to follow its water safety advice below, along with all new Government regulations, and stay safe in these different times for all rescue services:

  • Have a plan — check the weather forecast, tide times and read local hazard signage.
  • Keep a close eye on your family — on the beach, on the shoreline and in the water.
  • Don’t allow your family to swim alone.
  • Don’t use inflatables at all, at all on the sea.
  • Make sure to wear a lifejacket at all times when taking to the sea in a boat.
  • If you fall into the water unexpectedly, FLOAT TO LIVE. Fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs, and float.
  • In an emergency dial 999 or 112 immediately and ask for the coastguard. The rescue services are there to help you all.
Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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RORC Fastnet Race

This race is both a blue riband international yachting fixture and a biennial offshore pilgrimage that attracts crews from all walks of life:- from aspiring sailors to professional crews; all ages and all professions. Some are racing for charity, others for a personal challenge.

For the world's top professional sailors, it is a 'must-do' race. For some, it will be their first-ever race, and for others, something they have competed in for over 50 years! The race attracts the most diverse fleet of yachts, from beautiful classic yachts to some of the fastest racing machines on the planet – and everything in between.

The testing course passes eight famous landmarks along the route: The Needles, Portland Bill, Start Point, the Lizard, Land’s End, the Fastnet Rock, Bishop’s Rock off the Scillies and Plymouth breakwater (now Cherbourg for 2021 and 2023). After the start in Cowes, the fleet heads westward down The Solent, before exiting into the English Channel at Hurst Castle. The finish for 2021 is in Cherbourg via the Fastnet Rock, off the southern tip of Ireland.

  • The leg across the Celtic Sea to (and from) the Fastnet Rock is known to be unpredictable and challenging. The competitors are exposed to fast-moving Atlantic weather systems and the fleet often encounter tough conditions
  • Flawless decision-making, determination and total commitment are the essential requirements. Crews have to manage and anticipate the changing tidal and meteorological conditions imposed by the complex course
  • The symbol of the race is the Fastnet Rock, located off the southern coast of Ireland. Also known as the Teardrop of Ireland, the Rock marks an evocative turning point in the challenging race
  • Once sailors reach the Fastnet Rock, they are well over halfway to the finish in Cherbourg.

Fastnet Race - FAQs

The 49th edition of the biennial Rolex Fastnet Race will start from the Royal Yacht Squadron line in Cowes, UK on Sunday 8th August 2021.

The next two editions of the race in 2021 and 2023 will finish in Cherbourg-en-Cotentin at the head of the Normandy peninsula, France

Over 300. A record fleet is once again anticipated for the world's largest offshore yacht race.

The international fleet attracts both enthusiastic amateur, the seasoned offshore racer, as well as out-and-out professionals from all corners of the world.

Boats of all shapes, sizes and age take part in this historic race, from 9m-34m (30-110ft) – and everything in between.

The Fastnet Race multihull course record is: 1 day 4 hours 2 minutes and 26 seconds (2019, Ultim Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, Franck Cammas / Charles Caudrelier)

The Fastnet Race monohull course record is: 1 day, 18 hours, 39 minutes (2011, Volvo 70, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing).

David and Peter Askew's American VO70 Wizard won the 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race, claiming the Fastnet Challenge Cup for 1st in IRC Overall.

Rolex SA has been a longstanding sponsor of the race since 2001.

The first race was in 1925 with 7 boats. The Royal Ocean Racing Club was set up as a result.

The winner of the first Fastnet Race was the former pilot cutter Jolie Brise, a boat that is still sailing today.

Cork sailor Henry P F Donegan (1870-1940), who gave his total support for the Fastnet Race from its inception in 1925 and competed in the inaugural race in his 43ft cutter Gull from Cork.

Ireland has won the Fastnet Race twice. In 1987 the Dubois 40 Irish Independent won the Fastnet Race overall for the first time and then in 2007 – all of twenty years after Irish Independent’s win – Ireland secured the overall win again this time thanks to Ger O’Rourke’s Cookson 50 Chieftain from the Royal Western Yacht Club of Ireland in Kilrush.

©Afloat 2020

Fastnet Race 2021 Date

The 2021 Rolex Fastnet Race will start on Sunday 8th August 2021.

At A Glance – Fastnet Race

  • The world's largest offshore yacht race
  • The biennial race is 605 nautical miles - Cowes, Fastnet Rock, Plymouth
  • A fleet of over 400 yachts regularly will take part
  • The international fleet is made up of over 26 countries
  • Multihull course record: 1 day, 8 hours, 48 minutes (2011, Banque Populaire V)
  • Monohull course record: 1 day, 18 hours, 39 minutes (2011, Volvo 70, Abu Dhabi)
  • Largest IRC Rated boat is the 100ft (30.48m) Scallywag 100 (HKG)
  • Some of the Smallest boats in the fleet are 30 footers
  • Rolex SA has been a longstanding sponsor of the race since 2001
  • The first race was in 1925 with 7 boats. The Royal Ocean Racing Club was set up as a result

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