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Displaying items by tag: Lifeboats

Donaghadee RNLI carried out a medevac of a passenger who became ill on a cruise ship that left Belfast Lough on Friday evening (17 September).

The volunteer crew were requested by Belfast Coastguard to launch their all-weather lifeboat Saxon shortly after 6pm and go to the aid of the female casualty.

The lifeboat launched at 6.12pm under coxswain Philip McNamara and seven crew members onboard and was on scene within half an hour. Weather conditions had a north-easterly Force 3 wind with calm seas and slight rain.

he lifeboat crew liaised with the ship and the ship’s doctor on the condition of the casualty before transferring the

After liaising with the ship and the ship’s doctor on the casualty’s condition, the RNLI crew transferred her onto the lifeboat and administer casualty care.

The lifeboat then proceeded to Bangor Marina with the casualty and another passenger, and once returned to shore the patient was transferred into the care of the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service.

Speaking following the callout, McNamara said: “We were glad to be able to help tonight and would like to wish the casualty a speedy recovery.

“I would also like to commend our volunteer crew who turned out so quickly in numbers this evening ensuring we could get our help to the casualty as soon as we could.”

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Valentia RNLI’s lifeboat volunteers launched to the aid of a fisherman requiring medical assistance this week.

At 3.11pm on Thursday (16 September), Valentia Coast Guard requested Valentia RNLI to launch their all-weather lifeboat for the fisherman requiring medical assistance on the old Kells Pier at Foileye in Co Kerry.

Arriving on scene amid a Force 7 southerly wind with a two-metre sea swell, the lifeboat crew discovered that the fisherman was in a location inaccessible to vehicles.

Taking this into consideration, two crew members made it ashore to assist and carried out first aid.

The Irish Coast Guard’s Shannon-based helicopter Rescue 115 was also tasked to assist with transferring the casualty to the nearest hospital.

One of the two Valentia RNLI crew who went ashore to assist with the casualty | Credit: RNLI/ValentiaOne of the two Valentia RNLI crew who went ashore to assist with the casualty | Credit: RNLI/Valentia

Four lifeboat crew members, along with members of the Iveragh Coast Guard Unit, stretchered the casualty to a safe and accessible location for airlift.

A detailed handover was given to Rescue 115 and the casualty was safely transported to University Hospital Kerry for further medical attention.

Speaking following the callout, Valentia RNLI lifeboat operations manager Colum O’Connell said: “The fisherman made the right decision in calling for help given his current fishing location and we like to wish him well for a speedy recovery.

“We would remind members of the public to always carry a means of communication and to let others know where you are going and when you will be due back. Should you get into difficulty, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

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Skerries RNLI rescued a man and a woman who got into difficulty while swimming off the north Co Dublin town this week.

The lifeboat unit was requested to launch shortly before 5pm on Thursday afternoon (16 September) after a 999 call from the public that swimmers were shouting for help off the local swimming spot known as The Captains.

The Skerries volunteers had the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson on the water within minutes of the pagers being activated, and were on scene just two minutes later.

A member of the public standing on shore at The Captains indicated the direction that the swimmers had been seen and the crew soon spotted them in the water some 300 metres offshore.

The swimmers, a man and a woman, were taken on board the lifeboat where their condition was quickly assessed.

They were experienced swimmers but had been caught by a current and as a result they had been in the water for 40 minutes and were both cold and exhausted.

The lifeboat crew made the swimmers as comfortable as possible while they returned to the station. Once there they were brought into the crew changing rooms where they were helped to dry off and begin to warm up while local doctor and volunteer crew member Jack Keane further assessed their condition.

It was decided, as a precautionary measure, to request an ambulance. Following a thorough check by the paramedics, both swimmers were soon happy enough to be on their way.

Skerries Coast Guard volunteers also responded and were on scene when the lifeboat returned to offer assistance if needed. Conditions at the time were calm, with a Force 2 southerly wind.

Speaking about the callout, press officer Gerry Canning said: “When you hear that there is a swimmer in difficulty you are immediately concerned as they are already in the water, so every second counts.

“The crew assembled very rapidly, and shore crew and tractor driver did a great job launching the boat safely and quickly.

“The member of the public who made the prompt 999 call and directed the lifeboat in the direction of the casualties played a big part too. It’s a great outcome from a serious situation.”

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Lifeboat crews from Portaferry and Newcastle RNLI were involved in the rescue of a man whose cabin cruiser was in danger of sinking off Co Down yesterday (Thursday 16 September).

The volunteers were requested to launch their lifeboats at 6pm yesterday evening following a request from Belfast Coastguard to go the aid of the casualty, who had abandoned his 9m cabin cruiser and had been rescued by the crew of a nearby motorboat.

Portaferry RNLI’s inshore lifeboat — helmed by Fergal Glynn and with crew members George Toma, Rosslyn Watret and David Fisher onboard — launched immediately and made its way to the scene one mile east of Gunn’s Island, southeast of the entrance to Strangford Lough on Northern Ireland’s east coast.

Newcastle RNLI, meanwhile, launched its all-weather lifeboat under coxswain Gerry McConkey and six crew members onboard, facing Force 4-5 southerly winds and a two- to two-and-a-half-metre sea swell.

Once on scene, the lifeboat crews saw that the casualty — who had been on his way to Bangor when his vessel took on water and the engine cut out — had deployed his life raft prior to his rescue.

The crews also observed that the cruiser was partially submerged, was listing and in a spin.

Having first checked that the casualty was safe and well on the motorboat, Portaferry RNLI transferred him onto the lifeboat before doing a further assessment. The man was cold and in shock but otherwise well.

The crew took the life raft onboard and deflated it before bringing the casualty to the nearest safe port at Ardglass, where they transferred the casualty into the care of Portaferry Coastguard.

Remaining at the scene, Newcastle RNLI proceeded to deal with the casualty vessel, with some crew working to establish an alongside tow while other crew members started the lifeboat’s salvage pump.

Due to the sea conditions, a decision was made to keep the pump onboard the lifeboat and instead pass the hose onto the boat to relieve the ingress of water.

In calmer waters and in the entrance of Strangford Lough, two crew members were transferred onto the vessel to assess the extent of the flooding. The lifeboat then proceeded to tow the vessel safely back to Strangford Lough.

Speaking following the callout, Portaferry RNLI helm Fergal Glynn said: “We would like to wish the casualty well following his ordeal yesterday evening and commend the crew of the motorboat who were first on scene and rescued him.

“This operation was a team effort with our colleagues from Newcastle RNLI and Portaferry Coastguard all playing their part to bring both the man and the vessel to safety.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

On Tuesday last week (7 September), Merwyn Hanna MBE, president of Kilkeel RNLI and chair of the lifeboat station’s fundraising branch, received a cheque for £1,347.65 from Raymond “Speedy” Newell following a successful fishing competition off the Co Down coast.

When the fog lifted, 14 boats took part in the annual Kilkeel RNLI Boat Fishing Competition and after two hours a total of 382kg of mackerel was landed.

The winning boat Tuskar, with skipper WM Kearney, landed 81.74kg. In second place, Dawn Mist with skipper Stephen Jones landed 72.4kg and third place went to Harvey Jake, with skipper Shane Maginn, landing 53.44kg.

There was a tie for the heaviest fish caught and prizes were given to skipper Joshua Hillis on the Hannah Hillis and Stephen Jones on the Dawn Mist.

John Fisher, Kilkeel RNLI’s lifeboat operations manager, said: “The weather during the day wasn’t promising but when the fog lifted, we had a great turnout of boats.

“We would like to thank Russ Shepcar of DR Marine for the use of his store, those who took part and the ladies for the burgers and drinks.

“Thanks to the volunteer crew for ensuring the event was carried out safely and finally a special thanks to Speedy Newell for organising the event. All in all, it was a great community effort.”

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Clifden RNLI assisted six people yesterday evening (Tuesday 14 September) after their vessel broke down in Ballyconneely Bay.

Just after 6pm, the Connemara town’s all-weather and inshore lifeboats launched in response to reports that a 14ft vessel with multiple people onboard had suffered engine failure a few kilometres from shore.

The volunteer crews arrived on scene at 6.53pm and after assessed the situation and ensursing the six passengers were safe and well, a tow line was set up.

The all-weather lifeboat then towed the casualty vessel alongside the inshore lifeboat and transported the six passengers safely to shore on Ballyconeely Beach.

Clifden RNLI’s lifeboat operations manager John Brittain commended the volunteer crew for a timely response and successful outcome and reminded people to take all necessary precautions when going to sea.

“Plan your route in advance, carry out regular checks on your vessel prior to and during your journey,” he said. “Have means of calling for assistance if you find yourself in trouble, and everyone onboard should always be wearing lifejackets.”

The inshore lifeboat crew on this callout were helm Alan Pryce, Chris Nee, Brian Ward and Killian Whelan. The all-weather lifeboat crew included coxswain John Mullen, Joe Acton, Owen Hayes, Andy Bell, Thomas Davis and Kevin Ryan.

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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

Carrybridge RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was launched yesterday afternoon (Friday 10 September) to assess a cabin cruiser with two people on board which had broken down some two miles southeast of Knockninny in Co Fermanagh.

Once on scene on Upper Lough Erne, the volunteers established that the casualty vessel had suffered fuel issues and drifted into reeds in a small bay.

After a full review of the situation, lifeboat helm Chris Cathcart deemed the safest option was to carefully tow the vessel into deeper water, and then to proceed to tow it back to the nearest safe berth which was Knockninny public jetty.

With the owner’s permission, a stern tow was established from the lifeboat to the casualty vessel, and it was taken back to Knockninny where it was safely secured at the jetty.

Speaking following the callout, Cathcart echoed his previous advice for boat users, many of whom will be making the most of the remaining weeks of the 2021 cruising season.

“Before setting out on your journey, please plan your route and carry out regular checks of their vessels prior to going afloat and also throughout your journey,” he said.

“Have a means of calling for assistance if you find yourself in trouble, have lifejackets for all on board and plan their journey using the relevant charts.

“If you see someone in trouble on the water or are in difficulties yourself the number to dial is 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Sligo Bay RNLI reminds sea swimmers of the importance of not struggling against rip currents after two people were rescued from a strong current at the ominously named Deadman’s Point.

The volunteer crew were requested to launch their inshore lifeboat shortly after 5.40pm on Tuesday evening (7 September) following a report that two swimmers had got into difficulty in the waters adjacent to Sligo Yacht Club.

Weather conditions at the time were described as good with light winds, good visibility but with a very strong incoming tide.

The lifeboat launched under helm Daryl Ewing and with David Bradley, Ross Palmer and Owen McLoughlin onboard. On arrival at the scene, the crew observed that both swimmers were wearing tow floats which had helped to keep them afloat until the lifeboat reached them.

The lifeboat crew checked that the swimmers were safe and well before taking them onboard and bringing them back to the lifeboat station where they were made comfortable.

Speaking following the callout, Sligo Bay RNLI helm Daryl Ewing said: “Thankfully both swimmers were safe but they were shocked at how quickly they were taken out by the rip current.

“Rip currents can be difficulty to spot, but are sometimes identified by a channel of churning, choppy water on the sea’s surface. Even the most experienced beachgoers and swimmers can be caught out by rips so never be afraid to ask for advice and read any local signage.

“If you do get caught in a rip, don’t try to swim against it or you will get exhausted. If you can stand, wade and don’t swim. If you can, swim parallel to the shore until free of the rip and then head for shore. Always raise your hand and shout for help.

“If you see someone who you think might be in trouble, don't delay: dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

This was the second rescue for the Sligo Bay lifeboat this week, after the volunteer crew launch to the aid of an injured fisherman on a charter vessel on Sunday 5 September, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

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Knockadoon sisters Siobhán and Denise O’Donoghue recently cut their hair for two charities — raising more than €1,600 for the Youghal lifeboat.

Between them, the girls cut a whopping 128 inches of their own hair and donated it to the Rapunzel Foundation, which make wigs for children suffering from alopecia and cancer.

Siobhan (9) said: “I did it to help the boys and girls with cancer and the men and women who risk their lives saving others at sea.”

Denise (12), meanwhile, said her reason to cut her hair was to “make a child smile again and hope that the money for the RNLI will help to make a difference in savings someone’s life”.

Speaking following receiving the cheque for €1661.70, Youghal RNLI's Mel Mullane said: “What an amazing gesture this was from Siobhán and Denise to think of us in this way.

“As a charity, Youghal RNLI is reliant on voluntary donations to power our lifesaving work. Thanks to the generosity of people like Siobhán and Denise, our volunteers can continue to do their work in saving lives at sea.”

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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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