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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

Courtmacsherry RNLI was alerted on Sunday afternoon (12 December) that a windsurfer was in difficuly off Harbour View Strand in Courtmacsherry Bay and needed immediate assistance.

Within minutes of the crew pagers being activated, both the all-weather Trent Class lifeboat Frederick Storey Cockburn and the inshore D Class lifeboat were launched and headed to the scene of the alert.

Under Coxswain Mark Gannon, and a total of nine volunteer crew members, both boats sped to the area quickly as there was a strong Force 7/8 wind with high swells at sea.

Thankfully the windsurfer was able to get ashore safely with the help of other surfers and did not require any extra assistance when the lifeboats arrived.

Courtmacsherry RNLI lifeboat operations manager Brian O’Dwyer said: “It was great to see the quick reaction of our volunteers today, who dropped whatever they were at and rushed to the station in order to help other in danger.

“It was good to get that 999 or 112 call for assistance made straight away, as minutes are so important in these incidents at sea”.

This was the 26th callout of 2021 for Courtmacsherry RNLI, which is an all-time high for the West Cork station.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

With over 1,500 volunteers around Ireland, each RNLI crew member signs up to save every one from drowning – the charity’s mission since 1824. This Christmas Dun Laoghaire RNLI has a number of new volunteer lifeboat crew who are currently undergoing training to be able to save those in trouble at sea and who will form part of the team of lifesavers at the south Dublin lifeboat station. Corkman Aidan Sliney and Ballinteer native Ailbhe Smith are no strangers to the sea and are among a host of recent recruits to join lifeboat crews in Ireland during the pandemic. The two new volunteer lifeboat crew are asking the public to support the RNLI this Christmas.

While new to Dun Laoghaire RNLI, Aidan Sliney is no stranger to the world of lifeboating. In Ballycotton the name Sliney is famous in lifeboat circles as his great grandfather and grandfather were involved in one of the most famous rescues in the history of the RNLI, the Daunt Rock rescue in February 1936. Aidan’s father was also on the lifeboat for many years and his brother, well known comic book artist Will Sliney, is on the Ballycotton lifeboat crew today. Work took Aidan abroad to Stockholm and Manhattan for a few years and he recently moved back to Dublin with his wife and their young child. In joining Dun Laoghaire RNLI, Aidan has gone back to basic training to refresh his skills on the lifeboat and is currently training on the station’s D-class lifeboat.

Commenting on his decision to join the lifeboat crew in Dun Laoghaire Aidan said, ‘I’m delighted that I am able to put my lifeboating experience to good use in Dublin and be a volunteer with Dun Laoghaire RNLI. We have the same All-Weather lifeboat in Ballycotton but now I’m getting to grips with the station’s inshore lifeboat, which carries out a lot of the close to shore rescues. This is a busy lifeboat station with an amazing crew and I’m learning new skills and working with a new team but it’s the same wherever you go in the RNLI.

‘Everyone is passionate about what they do and wants to help people in trouble on the water. The training is outstanding and I’m happily starting at the beginning and getting familiar with it again, you can’t take anything for granted. We’ve had a couple of new starters at the station, and we are helping each other through the training. We all have different backgrounds which means we are also learning from each other. The current lifeboat crew have been hugely generous with their time helping us skill up.’

Ailbhe Smith was raised in Ballinteer but moved to Dun Laoghaire during the pandemic. A hugely experienced Mermaid Sailor, Ailbhe competitively raced the traditional wooden ‘Mermaid’ boats for years. Some years ago, when she was in Sligo, she witnessed the local lifeboat crew rescue a diver and once she moved to Dun Laoghaire, Ailbhe messaged the lifeboat station about the possibility of volunteering and was welcomed aboard.

Adding her support to the RNLI Christmas Appeal Ailbhe commented, ‘When I saw the RNLI rescue a diver at Rosses Point in Sligo some years ago, I knew I’d love to do that, and I sort of filed it away for later. You have to live near the lifeboat station to be able to make a ‘shout’ and then a few years later I found myself living in Dun Laoghaire and it seemed like fate. I love the sea and my years sailing have given me a healthy respect for the power of it. It has been a little bit surreal to join up during a time of restrictions but that hasn’t stopped us as there is a lot to learn. We are always looking to get out on the lifeboat and train and with Dun Laoghaire being such a busy lifeboat station, I’m eager to put my training into practice and to help people.’

‘When the pager goes, no lifeboat volunteer hesitates to answer the call, and these rescues would not be possible without the donations from the RNLI's generous supporters, helping to fund the essential kit, training equipment needed by Lifeboat crews all year round. Thank you to everyone who supports the appeal this Christmas.’

To make a donation to the RNLI’s Christmas Appeal visit: RNLI.org/Xmas

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

A father and daughter who volunteer to save lives at sea with Howth RNLI and who will be on call over Christmas have asked the public to support the charity’s Christmas appeal. Stephen Harris has been a Deputy Launching Authority at the station since 2014 while his daughter Jen joined a month before the first lockdown. The busy lifeboat station has remained on call throughout the pandemic and the lifeboat crew will be ready to launch the lifeboats, as always, if they are needed.

With over 1,500 lifeboat volunteers around Ireland, each RNLI crew member signs up to save everyone from drowning – the charity’s mission since 1824. This Christmas many will leave loved ones behind to answer the call, each time hoping to reunite another family, and see those in trouble at sea safely returned.

Having returned from 6 months studying abroad in New Zealand Jen Harris joined the lifeboat crew in February 2020 only to see her training halted as the country went into lockdown. However, she stayed involved doing what training she could on land while the experienced lifeboat crew continued to respond to emergencies. When training restarted, she continued with her training plan and is now well on the way to being a fully-fledged lifeboat volunteer. No stranger to the water, Jen was a sailing and powerboat instructor when she was younger. On her return home to Ireland, she approached her dad about volunteering with the RNLI and had a chat to the lifeboat crew. She is currently trainee crew on Howth inshore lifeboat and is looking to be lifeboat crew on the All-Weather Lifeboat too. She is proudly following in her father Stephen’s footsteps as he was lifeboat crew in Dun Laoghaire from 1985 to 1987.

An archive photo from Dun Laoghaire RNLI featuring Stephen as volunteer lifeboat crew at the stationAn archive photo from Dun Laoghaire RNLI featuring Stephen as volunteer lifeboat crew at the station

Talking about her reason for volunteering with the RNLI Jen said, ‘I had been thinking about joining the lifeboat crew for a while. I’ve grown up around boats and I know how important the service the RNLI provides is to the community. The training I am undergoing is intense and it should be. It’s a massive commitment and one I’m happy to give and of course dad loves that I’m involved. The kit that we have and the level of training we receive is so impressive and it’s funded by generous donations. People can see where the money they give goes. There is a big orange boat sitting in the harbour and that’s our office. Everything we have is thanks to people supporting the charity.’

Dad Stephen is rightly proud of his daughter but it’s not surprising as they are two of a total of eight family members involved in the RNLI, with cousins at Dunmore East in County Waterford and Kilkeel in County Down. Stephen was lifeboat crew at Dun Laoghaire RNLI for three years before he moved away to Clontarf. Now living in Howth he was approached to join the station by the former Lifeboat Operations Manager Rupert Jeffares and joined as a Deputy Launching Authority.

Commenting on the Christmas appeal Stephen said, ‘The rescues we do would not be possible without donations from the RNLI’s generous supporters, helping to fund the essential kit, training and equipment needed by lifeboat crews all year round. This year my daughter is on the crew and will be out on rescues soon. Since I was a lifeboat volunteer, I’ve seen the RNLI’s equipment and lifeboat technology advance and evolve, keeping the lifesavers safe and helping them reach the casualties quickly. I’m proud to be involved and now a proud father of a lifesaver too.’

To donate to the RNLI’s Christmas Appeal, visit: RNLI.org/Xmas

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The Aran Islands RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather Severn class lifeboat yesterday (Wednesday, 8 December) to go to the aid of a fishing vessel in difficulty, during the aftermath of Storm Barra. The request to launch was made by the Irish Coast Guard at 1.14 pm and was to assist a French registered fishing vessel that had got into difficulty in poor weather off Inis Mór.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched under Coxswain John O'Donnell and immediately made their way to the scene. The French registered fishing vessel, 28.5 metres in length, was experiencing engine difficulty in challenging conditions with an eight-metre swell and a strong North-Westerly wind.

When the lifeboat arrived on scene, a sister ship had taken up the tow of the casualty vessel as Afloat reported earlier here. Following consultation between the casualty vessel and the Irish Coast Guard a decision was made that they would be taken into Galway Harbour under tow. The Aran Islands lifeboat crew stayed with both vessels for the duration of the passage, until they were safely moored, an operation that took over eight hours. The lifeboat crew were met at the docks by lifeboat colleague, Galway RNLI Deputy Launching Authority Paul Clearly, who looked after the crew following the long callout.

Speaking after the callout Aran Islands RNLI Coxswain John O'Donnell said: 'Conditions at sea were extremely challenging and the Coast Guard was right to request the lifeboat to stand by and ensure both vessels got to safety. Towing a vessel in these conditions is slow and difficult work and with the force of the waves, it could have easily parted. If that had happened, we were ready to step in and complete the tow. Thankfully both vessels made it to safety, with the lifeboat staying alongside for the entire journey.

‘The island-based volunteer lifeboat crew didn't hesitate to respond to the callout, in what turned out to be a long day for them in difficult conditions. Thankfully everyone came home safe and well.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The RNLI is urging people to take extra care over the coming days as strong winds and large seas are expected during Storm Arwen which is forecasted to make its approach from the early hours of tomorrow (Friday morning).

With high winds and large seas anticipated on Friday and Saturday, the RNLI is urging people to exercise extreme caution if visiting the shoreline, especially along exposed cliffs, seafronts and piers. The charity is asking people not to take unnecessary risks – breaking waves can easily sweep you off your feet and out to sea.

Kevin Rahill, RNLI Water Safety Lead said: ‘Storm Arwen could make visiting our coasts treacherous and bring very dangerous sea conditions. The RNLI would advise people to stay out of the water during these stormy conditions. Swimming in large waves and rough seas can be dangerous where currents can drag someone away from the shore and in addition to that, the rough weather can make it difficult to spot someone in the water should they get into difficulty. Large waves can also make exiting the water difficult and increase the risk of injury’

‘While stormy conditions may be tempting to watch, it is important to remember the sea is very dangerous and unpredictable and big waves can easily knock you off your feet. We would urge people to stay well back from the edge to avoid being swept in by large waves crashing over rocks and piers. As well as the risk of being swept into the sea, large waves can often undermine cliff edges and make them unstable. If you think someone is in danger, please dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Portrush RNLI was requested to launch by Belfast Coastguard at 2.30pm yesterday afternoon (Tuesday 23 November) to reports of a fishing vessel in difficulty 800 metres east of the Barmouth.

The 26ft vessel with two males on board was reported to have lost power and was drifting near the entrance to the Bann on Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast.

The all-weather lifeboat and its volunteer crew launched at 2.42pm on a beautiful afternoon with good weather conditions, a clear sky, good visibility and a southwesterly wind.

Eleven minutes later the lifeboat arrived at the scene and the crew carried out a dynamic risk assessment to decide on the most appropriate course of action for the fishermen and their vessel.

It was agreed that the best plan was to attach a tow line and tow the vessel to safety. This was done and once the fishing vessel was towed to Portrush Harbour, the lifeboat and crew arrived back on station at 4.50pm.

Lifeboat operations manager Beni McAllister said: “Once the crew arrived on scene, as always, an assessment was carried out along with the crew of the stricken vessel to agree the best course of action. This is a procedure that our crew carry out on a regular basis.

“We are just glad we were able to get the vessel and her crew to safety. We would advise anyone going out to sea to make sure that they do the necessary safety checks before leaving port, especially at this time of year.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Aran Islands RNLI came to the aid of two fishermen yesterday evening after their vessel got into difficulty off Nags Head in county Clare.

The volunteer crew were asked by the Irish Coast Guard to launch their all-weather Severn class lifeboat to assess the situation at 3.48pm (Monday 22 November).

A 30ft fishing vessel with two people on board was having engine difficulty off Nags Head.

The Irish Coast Guard helicopter, Rescue 115 from Shannon was also tasked and was on scene first, establishing no immediate danger to the vessel or its crew.

The lifeboat launched under Coxswain John O'Donnell with a full crew and headed straight for the vessel.

Conditions at the time of launching were good with calm seas and good visibility.

Once on scene, the crew checked that the fishermen aboard the vessel were safe and well before proceeding to establish a tow line between the lifeboat and the fishing vessel. The boat was then towed to the nearest safe port at Liscannor Harbour.

Speaking after the call out, Aran Islands RNLI Coxswain John O'Donnell said: ‘The volunteer crew didn't hesitate to answer the call and we were able to get the fishermen back to the harbour before night.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The volunteer crew of Aran Islands RNLI were asked to launch their all-weather Severn class lifeboat last night, (Sunday 21 November) at 8.17 pm by the Irish Coast Guard.

A resident on the neighbouring Island of Inis Meáin was in need of further medical attention.

The lifeboat launched under Coxswain John O'Donnell and a full crew and headed straight for Inis Meáin.

Weather conditions at the time of launching were good with calm seas, clear visibility, and a light northerly breeze.

Once at the pier, the crew brought the patient safely aboard following Covid-19 health and safety guidelines. The lifeboat then headed straight for Rossaveal Harbour and transferred the casualty into the care of the waiting ambulance crew.

Speaking after the call out, Aran Islands RNLI Coxswain John O'Donnell said: ‘We want to wish the person we helped this evening a speedy recovery. There was a great response time from our volunteers tonight which meant we could get the patient on his way to receive the medical attention he needed quickly.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Portrush RNLI was requested to launch in the early hours of this morning (Saturday 20 November) to reports of a casualty taken ill on 42m research vessel some three nautical miles northwest of the Causeway Coast town.

The all-weather lifeboat launched for the medevac at 1.19am in good conditions with clear skies, although the sea state was slightly choppy.

Six minutes later, the lifeboat arrived on scene and two RNLI volunteers were transferred on board the vessel to assess the condition of the casualty.

The decision was then made to transfer the casualty onto the lifeboat in order to bring him to Portrush Harbour and to a waiting ambulance.

Lifeboat operations manager Beni McAllister said: “This is a scenario that are crew are trained to undertake as a routine exercise but as always, doing it at night is slightly more complicated.

“The two crew members who went aboard the vessel have been trained in casualty care and knew exactly what had to be done. The other crew members then carried out the transfer in order to get the casualty and the crew members onto the [lifeboat] and the casualty handed over to the coastguard and the [Northern Ireland] Ambulance Service waiting back at the harbour.

“We wish the casualty well and hope he makes a full recovery.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association invite participation in their next Zoom session “Dauntless Courage: The History of the RNLI Lifeboats, their crews and the Maritime Heritage of the Dunmore East Community,” which will be given by David Carroll on Thursday 25th November at 20.00 hrs.

DBOGA member David Carroll, the author of the best-selling Dauntless Courage, was brought up in Dunmore East, where his father Captain Desmond Carroll was the Harbour Master from 1947 until 1969.

His passion for lifeboats stems from that time. His father operated the shore radio transmitter located in the old pilot station whenever the Annie Blanche Smith lifeboat put to sea. His mother, Freda, always volunteered with a collection box for the RNLI on Regatta Day, and made sure that the support of all visiting yachts to the harbour was called upon.

Now living in Dublin, David has not forgotten his roots, and has retained a deep interest in the maritime life of Dunmore East. In 2020 Dauntless Courage was published as a fundraising project for the Lifebats, and sales of this book have generated over €31,000 for the RNLI to date.

Please come early to be sure of getting a good seat!

DBOGA Fundraising for HOWTH RNLI: Pre-Covid, we listened to talks together at Poolbeg while passing the Yellow Welly around for your €5 donation. In Zoom Land we can’t
do that, but the RNLI still urgently needs funds.

Please click on:  www.justgiving.com/fundraising/DBOGAHowthLifeboat to dob your €5 in. Thank you!

The details of this Zoom meeting are:
• Topic: David Carroll Talk
• Time: November 25th 2021, at 20.00hrs
• Link to join the meeting: 
hKps://us02web.zoom.us/j/89681992382?pwd=STZXcXArN3pKZ1cvcU1Cc1VaeURLZz09
• Meeting ID: 896 8199 2382
• Passcode: 390434

Leading Dunmore East lifeboat crewman Brendan Dunne and maritime historian David Carroll. Brendan Dunne played a leading role in the very successful sales and distribution of David’s book Dauntless Courage. Photo courtesy Dunmore east RNLI.Leading Dunmore East lifeboat crewman Brendan Dunne and maritime historian David Carroll. Brendan Dunne played a leading role in the very successful sales and distribution of David’s book Dauntless Courage. Photo courtesy Dunmore east RNLI.

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

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Fastnet Race 2023 Date

The 2023 50th Rolex Fastnet Race will start on Saturday, 22nd July 2023

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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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