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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

Portrush RNLI’s volunteers launched to the aid of a family cut off by the rising tide on cliffs yesterday evening, Saturday 22 August.

Local lifeguards raised the alarm for the two adults and three young children who were trapped between Castlerock and Downhill beaches on Northern Ireland’s North Coast, and the inshore lifeboat set off to their rescue just after 5pm.

The lifeboat crew found the family some 10 feet up a cliff, close to the railway line  — prompting the decision to evacuate them carefully down the cliff to shore.

Forming a human chain, the RNLI crew and a lifeguard were able to take all five family members down to the lifeboat and then onwards to the safety of the beach.

Commenting after the callout, lifeboat operations manager Keith Gilmore said: “This has been a very busy summer for both our volunteer lifeboat crew and the lifeguards on all our beaches in the area, and this is another example how we have worked very closely together to carry out a successful rescue. 

“Of course, we have had the additional issue of having to wear PPE for the protection of the public and the crew, but it is something we are becoming used to wearing.

“The RNLI lifeguards and our crew worked well today in this joint rescue and the hope the family are recovering from their ordeal.”

Published in Rescue
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Galway RNLI lifeboat has rescued a kite surfer who got into difficulty in inner Galway Bay on Saturday evening.

The man, who is in his early thirties, had set off from Ballyloughane beach near Renmore at about 4.50 pm as the tide was going out. A north-westerly breeze of force three to four was blowing at the time, and the man came off his board a number of times.

He was very fatigued when he was blown onto Rabbit Island, and the alarm was raised by a member of the public at 5 pm.

The Irish Coastguard tasked the Galway RNLI inshore lifeboat, and the man was rescued at about 5.20 pm. He was wearing a wetsuit, but not a lifejacket, according to Galway RNLI.

RNLI Galway deputy launch authority, Mike Cummins, said that a key factor when taking to the water for any water sports activities is a “knowledge of the local tides and wind direction”.

The RNLI Galway volunteer crew on the callout were helmsman Declan Killilea, crew Brian Niland, Joanne Casserly and David McGrath, and shore crew Sean King and David Oliver.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Six people were rescued from their boats on Lough Erne as Storm Ellen swept over Northern Ireland in the early hours of Thursday (20 August).

Enniskillen RNLI said the vessels, which were moored at the Devenish West jetty, were breaking their moorings in the strong winds.

All six passengers across the two brought to safety in Enniskillen aboard the inshore lifeboat.

Meanwhile, three other vessels breaking their moorings at Lough Erne Yacht Club were assisted by the lifeboat station’s shore crew.

Fermanagh braved the worst of Storm Ellen in Northern Ireland, while the Foyle Bridge in Derry had to be closed for a time amid gales and driving rain, as the News Letter reports.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Castletownbere RNLI were launched this morning (Friday 21st August 2020) at 09:03 to assist a yacht which had broken away from its moorings off the Bere Island in West Cork.

The yacht was spotted drifting in the channel between Bere Island and the mainland and being blown towards the shore in very windy conditions. A concerned member of the public raised the alarm requesting immediate assistance. 

The lifeboat was launched within minutes under the command of Coxswain Dean Hegarty and located the vessel drifting towards the shore in Force 6/7 winds. There was nobody aboard the yacht and no damage was sustained. At this stage, a local boat from Bere Island had the yacht taken under tow and the lifeboat accompanied both vessels to safety. 

Commenting on the callout Castletownbere RNLI Lifeboat Deputy Launching Authority, Felix O’Donoghue commended the member of the public for raising the alarm and therefore avoiding the yacht being blown ashore.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Sligo Bay RNLI volunteers launched last night just hours before the arrival of Storm Ellen to reports of a lone surfer heading out to sea in the fading light.

The inshore lifeboat was joined by the Sligo-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 118 as it headed to Strandhill just after 8.30pm yesterday evening, Wednesday 19 August.

Freshening south-easterly winds were blowing 14 knots ahead of the storm’s track north from the West Cork coast.

Once at the scene, the lifeboat crew located the surfer who was able to make their own way ashore.

Speaking following the callout, Aisling Gillen of Sligo Bay RNLI said: “Thankfully this was a happy ending. We would remind everyone of the importance of paying heed to safety warnings during periods of stormy weather and exercise extreme caution.

“Stay back, stay high and stay dry.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Baltimore RNLI was launched this afternoon following the activation of an alarm from a positioning beacon off the coast of West Cork.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their inshore lifeboat at 4.04 pm following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to help locate an active Emergency Position Indication Radio Beacon (EPIRB) two nautical miles west of the Calf Islands off the coast of West Cork.

Baltimore lifeboat proceeded to the area and started to search under the direction of the Irish Coast Guard and the Irish naval vessel the LÉ Samuel Beckett. Also assisting in the search were Schull Coast Guard and an Irish Coast Guard helicopter. After an extensive search was carried out by all agencies the search was stood down at 6.43 pm and Baltimore lifeboat made its way back to the station arriving at 7.05 pm.

There were four volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat, Helm Pat O’Driscoll and crew members Eoin O’Driscoll, David Ryan and Kieran O’Driscoll. Assisting at the boathouse were Jerry Smith and Marty O’Driscoll. Conditions at sea during the call were calm with a south-easterly force 2-3 wind and 0.5m sea swell.

Speaking following the call out, Pat O’Driscoll, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Helm said: ‘Thankfully the activation of the alarm today was not due to the loss of a vessel. It is important to ensure the secure fastening of an EPIRB on board a vessel and to regularly check that it is in good working order. With storm Ellen approaching, bringing strong winds and potential coastal flooding in combination with spring tides, the RNLI is urging people to exercise extreme caution. If you think someone is in difficulty at sea or along the coast, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Youghal RNLI’s volunteer crew were paged yesterday evening (Tuesday 18 August) to reports of a swimmer in difficulty around half a mile off shore at the East Cork town’s Front Strand.

As they launched the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat in calm conditions at 8.23pm, the crew received a further report of a second swimmer entering the water to assist the first and getting into difficulty.

However, both swimmers managed to make it ashore without any assistance from the crew.

The lifeboat made a general search of the area before returning to the station.

“Swimming in open water is very different from swimming in a pool,” said deputy launching authority Mark Nolan.

“Unseen currents, cold water and waves make open water swimming more challenging. Even the strongest of swimmers can tire quickly.

“Remember to always tell someone where and when you are going swimming, and if you see anybody in trouble in the water call 112/999 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The all-weather RNLI lifeboat from Donaghadee on the North Down coast launched at 3 am this morning (Tuesday18th) to the Belfast Coastguard's request to assist a 15m fishing boat with one person onboard. The boat, which was on passage from the fishing harbour of Ardglass on the south coast of Co Down, to Mallaig in Scotland, ran into mechanical difficulties in the early hours of this morning and drifted ashore at Templepatrick, just south of Ballyvester beach near Donaghadee.

The volunteer crew launched the RNLI Saxon at 3am and in flat calm sea conditions and driving rain made full speed and was on the scene in less than 10 minutes. As the vessel was so far inshore on a falling tide, the daughter inflatable lifeboat was launched and crew members John Ashwood, Deputy Coxswain, and Ross Bennett, crew member, made their way to the fishing boat to assess the situation.

It was decided that they should attempt a tow, but the attempt was unsuccessful due to the tidal conditions. After liaising with Belfast Coastguard and the fishing boat's skipper, the decision was made that the best plan would be for the lifeboat to return when the tide had risen. The lifeboat and crew returned to station at approximately 4.15am.

After a couple of hours' sleep, the crew relaunched at 8am and in similar conditions made their way back to the fishing boat at Templepatrick. They were able to go alongside as the tide had risen sufficiently and the same two crew members were transferred along with a salvage pump and towline. The tow was established while the salvage pump removed any excess water, and the boat was towed off the rocks stern first. The towrope was then transferred to the bow of the vessel, and an assessment was made to ensure there was no damage to the hull.

Saxon then proceeded a slow tow to Bangor in Belfast Lough, and while waiting for permission to enter the harbour, the lifeboat went alongside the vessel and transferred the lifeboat mechanic who was able to assess the mechanical difficulties and restart the fishing boat's engine. After discussions with the skipper and the coastguard, agreement was made that the vessel, now being under its own power, was able to proceed onwards to Mallaig.

Philip McNamara, Donaghadee RNLI Coxswain said: 'I would just like to thank our volunteer crew members for being so quick to come to the assistance of this fishing boat and of course their willingness to return again a few hours later and lose part of their days work. A thank you to their employers also, for their flexibility. We all wish the skipper and his boat safe onward passage to Scotland".

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Portrush RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat launched late yesterday afternoon (Sunday 16 August) to reports of two missing divers just off Rathlin Island.

The divers were part of an organised party with a diving school, and the dive leader immediately raised the alarm with the coastguard as a precaution.

But as the lifeboat headed to Rathlin, the crew were informed that the divers had been found and recovered by the dive boat.

Portrush RNLI was asked to standby at Ballycastle in case a medical evacuation was required.

However, the dive company had a doctor on board, and the divers were assessed as being fit and handed over to the NI Ambulance Service to be taken to hospital as a precaution.

Lifeboat press officer Judy Nelson said: “This has been one of our busiest seasons as people are choosing to holiday at home and try sea-based activities that they may not have done before.

“We would advise the public to book these activities with an experienced group, who on this occasion observed all safety precautions and raised the alarm immediately, thus preventing an untoward event.”

Portrush RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat launches to reports of a flare (RNLI/Ben Durrant)Portrush RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat launches to reports of a flare | RNLI/Ben Durrant

Portrush RNLI previously launched the all-weather lifeboat just before 1am on Sunday morning to several reports of a distress flare in the Portstewart Strand area.

After a thorough search of the vicinity with nothing found, the multi-agency response — including the PSNI and HM Coastguard — was stood down and the lifeboat returned to station by 3.30am.

This was also Portrush RNLI crew member Dave Robinson’s first shout as coxswain since passing RNLI assessments two weeks ago.

Deputy launching authority Carl Kennedy said: “As the RNLI will always respond to reports of a distress flare being spotted, we would ask members of the public to take care when launching any kind of light, firework, flare or Chinese lantern during the night as these can be seen as distress flares and reported as an emergency call.

“This can entail, as it did tonight, huge resources being deployed by emergency services to ensure that there was no-one in danger.

“Tonight this was a false alarm with good intent with no one in danger.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Clifden RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat was tasked by the Coast Guard last weekend (Saturday 15 August) to assist with the medical evacuation of a 10-year old girl with a suspected broken leg, on Inishbofin. The calm conditions made for a gentle crossing by lifeboat and the girl was transferred into the care of HSE paramedics at Cleggan.

The lifeboat was tasked at 6.50pm and was underway to Inishbofin at 7.10pm with an expected journey time of 30 minutes. The district nurse on Inishbofin had requested assistance after the casualty was involved in a biking accident while exploring the island. Upon arrival at the pier in Inishbofin and once the lifeboat was securely tied alongside, the volunteer crew transferred the casualty onto the lifeboat stretcher.

Using their RNLI casualty care training they made the young girl comfortable and transferred her aboard the lifeboat, accompanied by her mother. They were brought to Cleggan pier where a HSE ambulance was waiting and the lifeboat crew handed the casualty into the care of the HSE paramedics. They then returned to station.

Weather conditions were good with a light northeast wind and a calm sea state.

Clifden RNLI Coxswain Alan Pryce said, ‘We were delighted to be able to assist with the casualty transfer and we all wish her a speedy recovery. The capabilities of the Shannon class lifeboat ensured a fast response by the crew and also made for a comfortable crossing to Cleggan for the girl and her mother.’

Clifden RNLI lifeboat crew for the callout were Coxswain Alan Pryce, Lifeboat Mechanic Joe Acton and volunteer crew Alvin Bell, Andy Bell, Chris Nee and Alan Kearney.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Page 10 of 214

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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