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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Displaying items by tag: Skerries

Skerries RNLI were tasked shortly before 11am yesterday morning (Monday 25 April) following a 999 call to Dublin Coast Guard from two kayakers who were stranded on Shenick Island off the North Co Dublin town.

The Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson was quickly launched and the volunteer crew navigated their way around the headland and past Colt and St Patrick’s islands before heading towards Shenick.

After its crew quickly spotted the two men on the foreshore of Shenick island, the lifeboat was carefully manoeuvred into the shallow waters on the western side of the island and two volunteers waded ashore to check on the condition of the casualties.

One of the men had been in the water for some time after his kayak capsized and he lost his paddle. As a result, he was suffering badly from the cold and was beginning to show signs of hypothermia.

The lifeboat helm decided that the best course of action was to get the man ashore and out of the elements as quickly as possible.

He was transferred into the lifeboat by the crew and in order to speed up the evacuation, one member of the crew stayed on the island with the second man, who was feeling fit and well, to assist him in recovering their kayaks from the far side of the island.

The lifeboat brought the casualty to the beach at the lifeboat station, where he was met by shore-crew volunteers who provided him with blankets and brought him into the boathouse.

In the meantime, the lifeboat returned to Shenick Island to pick up the remaining volunteer and the second man. Their kayaks and equipment were also loaded on to the lifeboat and returned to shore.

After spending some time in the station warming up, the man was soon feeling much better and did not require any further medical assistance.

An Irish Defence Forces RIB was also in the area at the time as the Air Corps are currently undergoing exercises in Gormanston. They also made their way to Shenick Island and stood by to offer any assistance if required.

Weather conditions at the time had a Force 3-4 easterly wind with a slight swell and good visibility.

Speaking about the callout, volunteer press officer Gerry Canning said: “The men made the right call in getting themselves ashore wherever they could and calling for help.

“One of the men had his mobile phone in a waterproof case which proved very important in this instance and we continue to encourage people to always carry a means of contacting the shore in case they need assistance.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Skerries RNLI were tasked shortly before noon on Easter Monday (18 April) following a request for assistance to Dublin Coast Guard from two men on board a 4m motorboat.

The volunteers in Skerries launched their Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson within minutes of pagers sounding and navigated south of the headline at Red Island to the reported position.

Conditions at the time had Force 2-3 southwesterly winds with a slight swell and excellent visibility.

The casualty vessel was quickly located at anchor between Lambay Island and Rogerstown estuary.

After assessing the situation and learning that the boat had suffered an electrical issue, the lifeboat helm decided that the safest course of action was to tow the boat, with the men on board, to the nearest suitable berth at Malahide Marina.

Once the boat was safely alongside in the marina, the lifeboat navigated back out through the channel in Malahide and returned to station in Skerries, where it was washed down, refuelled and made ready for the next service.

Speaking about the callout, Skerries RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said it “highlights the importance when going to sea of having a means to call the shore for help.

“No matter how experienced you are, things can go wrong at sea. The men were well prepared and were able to call for help early and provide an accurate location to the coastguard.”

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Skerries RNLI were tasked yesterday evening (Tuesday 1 February) to investigate reports of two people stranded on Colt Island off the North Co Dublin town.

Dublin Coast Guard had received several 999 calls from concerned members of the public reporting that two people appeared to be stranded on the island.

The volunteers in Skerries received the call shortly after 5pm and launched their Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson directly for Colt Island.

As they arrived on scene the crew could see that the tide was especially low and the waters around the island were very shallow. The two men were making their own way ashore and were almost back on the beach.

The lifeboat updated Dublin Coast Guard and stood by until the men were safely ashore. The lifeboat was then stood down and returned to the station. Skerries Coast Guard unit were also on scene on the shore.

Speaking about the callout, Skerries RNLI’s Gerry Canning said: “Our volunteers are always ready to drop what they are doing and respond to a call for help. Thankfully on this occasion it was a false alarm with good intent.

“The members of the public were genuinely concerned for the two men and did the right thing in dialling 999 and asking for the coastguard.”

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Over the course of 2021, volunteers with Skerries RNLI were presented with long-service awards totalling 190 years of volunteering with the charity that saves lives at sea.

Due to restrictions on gatherings, the north Co Dublin lifeboat station was unable to host an event to celebrate the awards.

However, the seven crew recently received their awards individually at the lifeboat station in recognition of their commitment to save lives at sea.

Lifeboat operations manager Niall McGrotty was recognised for 40 years of service to the Skerries lifeboat, while David May, Eoin McCarthy and William Boylan each received awards for 30 years’ service.

Recognised for 20 years of service apiece were David Courtney, Gerry Canning and Ian Guildea, while a certificate of service was also presented to retired shore crew Tommy Grimes in recognition of his 17 years of dedicated volunteering.

Speaking about the awards, McGrotty said: “Volunteers are the lifeblood of the RNLI and without them the lifesaving work we do wouldn’t be possible.

“The variety of roles being awarded this year is a testament to the dedication and commitment of the volunteers in our station.

“It is an honour to congratulate each person who received this award.”

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The team at Skerries RNLI in North Co Dublin is calling for new volunteers to help them to save lives at sea.

In particular, the charity is looking for new volunteers to take up the roles of inshore lifeboat crew, shore crew and tractor driver.

Volunteers in each of these roles play a critical part in ensuring that the inshore Atlantic 85 lifeboat is launched quickly and safely and can continue to save lives at sea in the local community.

“Volunteering with us gives people the opportunity to make a real difference in their local community, to save lives and become part of the larger RNLI family,” Skerries RNLI lifeboat operations manager Niall McGrotty says.

“We can’t keep people safe without the support of our wonderful volunteers, who truly make a difference every day no matter which role they are fulfilling.

“Becoming a volunteer in one of these roles is a great chance to play a crucial part in helping to save lives. We’re ideally looking for enthusiastic people who live or work within close proximity to the station.”

The RNLI provides first-class training and equipment, guidance and support to all volunteers, from volunteer lifeboat crew to shop volunteers and event marshals.

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Skerries RNLI responded to two calls for help, one immediately after the other on Sunday afternoon (24 October) afternoon, responding to three kayakers in difficulty near Portrane and then two sailors in difficulty near Laytown.

Shortly after 2pm, Dublin Coast Guard received a 999 call from the public reporting that there was a number of people in distress on what appeared to be an inflatable off Portrane beach.

Skerries RNLI, the Dublin-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 and the coastguard boat from Howth were all tasked to respond. The volunteers in Skerries launched their Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson and the crew entered a route for Portrane.

Further information then came through from the casualties to say that they had actually been knocked off their kayaks and had lost a paddle, confirming that there were three people in the water.

Rescue 116 was first on scene, maintaining a visual on the casualties until the coastguard boat and the Skerries lifeboat arrived on scene.

One of the casualties had managed to make their way ashore. The remaining two were taken on board the coastguard boat and brought safely back to the beach.

Just minutes later, Dublin Coast Guard re-tasked Rescue 116 and Skerries RNLI to an incident involving a sailing dinghy near Laytown.

They had received 999 calls reporting that the dinghy had capsized and its sailors were having difficulty in righting it. Clogherhead RNLI were also requested to launch.

Rescue 116 was on scene very quickly and established VHF communications with the casualty vessel. At that time they were still confident of righting the vessel and making their own way ashore.

However, with the weather conditions deteriorating and a small craft warning coming into effect — conditions at the time were choppy with a Force 3-4 southerly wind — Dublin Coast Guard requested the two lifeboats to continue on their course until the casualty was confirmed on shore.

Skerries and Clogherhead lifeboats both arrived on scene minutes later. The two men on the dinghy then realised that they had suffered some structural damage to the rigging of their boat and would be unable to make it ashore unaided. The Skerries lifeboat took them under tow and returned them safely to the slipway at the River Nanny.

Speaking about the callout, Skerries RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: “It was a busy afternoon for our volunteers, but thankfully both incidents had a good outcome.

“It was another great example of how the different agencies and flank stations work together to keep people safe on the water.”

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Skerries RNLI thanked two young fundraisers when they were presented with a cheque for €150 this week.

Abi Ferguson and Niamh O’Reilly presented the volunteers at the north Co Dublin lifeboat station with the generous donation before GAA training on Thursday evening (30 September).

The two girls raised the money by holding a cake sale outside Abi’s house last month. The actual total was even higher as they raised €175.

Both girls love their GAA so to thank them for their support, Abi’s father Philip — who is a long-standing member of the crew in Skerries — organised for Dublin GAA legend and RNLI ambassador Lyndsey Davey to meet the girls and help them present the cheque.

Skerries lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: “It’s still a very difficult environment for fundraising at the minute so it’s an incredible achievement by two youngsters. They are two future fundraising superstars.

“We’d also like to say a huge thank you to Lyndsey for giving up her time. She was fantastic with the girls who were a little starstruck at first but were soon bombarding her with questions.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Two men have been towed to safety by Skerries RNLI after their 34ft yacht experienced engine failure.

Shortly after noon yesterday (Friday 24 September), the duo reported the loss of both drive and steering via VHF radio to Dublin Coast Guard — who in turn requested the launch of Skerries’ inshore lifeboat Louis Simson.

The RNLI volunteers headed for the yacht’s reported location some two miles northeast of Lambay Island, narrowed down with the help of GPS coordinates obtained by the coastguard.

Conditions at the time had one-metre swells with a Force 5-6 southerly wind, occasionally gusting to Force 7.

Once on scene, the lifeboat helm carried out a risk assessment and decided the safest course of action would be to tow the vessel to the nearest suitable berth in Malahide Marina.

A towing bridle was rigged on board the yacht before a line was passed from the lifeboat for an astern tow as far as the entrance to Malahide Estuary, which took about an hour.

From there the tow was changed to an alongside tow, giving the lifeboat better control as it manoeuvred up the narrow channel towards the marina, where the yacht was safely tied up at the pontoon.

Speaking later, Skerries RNLI’s Gerry Canning said: “Today’s callout goes to show the importance of carrying a means to contact the shore.

“The sailors today were very experienced and had all the best equipment, but things can still go wrong out on the water. They were able to provide us with their exact location using GPS which is always a great help.

“The crew in the boat then did a great job using all their experience and training to make a difficult tow look easy.”

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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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Skerries RNLI launched to the aid of a man who had fallen from the cliffs in Loughshinny yesterday afternoon (Sunday 5 September).

The lifeboat volunteers were tasked by Dublin Coast Guard after a 999 call was received reporting that a man had fallen from the clifftop and was trapped on the rocks below.

Shortly after 1pm the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson was launched and arrived on scene within minutes. The crew quickly spotted the man at the base of the cliff face with some people assisting him.

The lifeboat was manoeuvred as close as possible to the shoreline and was greeted by one of the assistants. They were members of a diving club who had been returning from a dive nearby when they heard the man’s cries for help.

Following a quick briefing on the casualty’s condition, two of the crew made their way ashore to further assess him and perform first aid.

The Irish Coast Guard’s Dublin-based helicopter Rescue 116 was also tasked and landed on the beach at Loughshinny, where the casualty was brought by the lifeboat and put on board the aircraft for transfer to Beaumont Hospital.

Less than 24 hours earlier, at 3.30pm on Saturday afternoon (4 September), the volunteer crew launched to a distress call from a small sailing cruiser with two people on board.

The vessel had suffered steering failure between Skerries and Balbriggan and those on board were struggling to make their way to safety.

Almost immediately after launching, the lifeboat made contact with the stricken vessel as they had managed to regain very limited steering and make their way closer to Skerries.

The lifeboat stood by while the vessel approached the harbour and then assisted them in tying up along the pier.

With the help of one of the station volunteers and a local angler, the steering component that had been damaged was successfully repaired and the pair were able to continue on their journey.

Speaking about the callouts, Skerries RNLI press officer Gerry Canning said: “This was another great example of how well all the emergency services work together, with volunteers and professionals working side by side to ensure the best possible outcome.

“We’d also like to say thank you to the gentlemen from Alpha Dive sub aqua club who did a brilliant job in raising the alarm and assisting the casualty until help arrived.”

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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 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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