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Displaying items by tag: Skerries

#RNLI - Skerries RNLI responded Sunday evening (15 May) to reports of a personal water craft in distress off the Martello tower in Loughshinny.

Dublin Coast Guard tasked Skerries RNLI just after 6pm having receiving a 999 call about a person on a personal water craft who appeared to be signalling for help.

The location was given as being in line with the Martello tower situated on a headland near Loughshinny Harbour.

The lifeboat was launched with volunteer Eoin Grimes at the helm and crewed by Emma Wilson, Steven Johnson and AJ Hughes.

Arriving on scene, the crew quickly located the casualty, a 17-year-old whose personal watercraft had encountered mechanical difficulties and was drifting.

The teenager was taken on board the lifeboat and his vessel was taken under tow. He was returned to Portmarnock beach where he had friends waiting to offer assistance. The lifeboat then returned to station.

Speaking after the callout, Skerries RNLI lifeboat operations manager Niall McGrotty said: "With the good weather meaning more people are taking to the sea, we would like to remind people that it is advisable to have their vessels fully serviced after the winter and to always carry a means of contacting the shore."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Skerries RNLI responded this afternoont to reports of swimmers in difficulty off a local swimming area known as The Springers.

The pagers sounded shortly before midday after Dublin Coast Guard received reports that a number of swimmers were caught in a rip current and were unable to get back to shore.

Skerries RNLI volunteers launched the lifeboat with David Knight at the Helm and crewed by Philip Ferguson, Emma Wilson and AJ Hughes.

Arriving on scene the crew discovered that there were four casualties in the water spread over a large area in between Red Island headland and Colt Island. The lifeboat quickly began recovering the casualties into the lifeboat.

With a large sea swell running and the casualties suffering from fatigue and early symptoms of hypothermia, it was necessary for one of the Skerries RNLI volunteers, Philip Ferguson to enter the water to assist them in getting on board.

Once all the casualties were on board the lifeboat returned to the station and recovered immediately to the warmth of the boathouse. Once inside the boathouse the casualties were assessed, monitored and treated for mild hypothermia but were all fit and well leaving the station.

Skerries Coast Guard unit and the Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 were also tasked. The helicopter stood by while the lifeboat recovered the casualties from the water.

Speaking after the call out, Gerry Canning, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for Skerries RNLI said: ‘Rip currents are a major cause of accidental drowning on beaches across the world. Even if you know an area well, the currents may change based on the weather and tides. The speed of response is crucial in cases like this and our volunteers did an excellent job in getting there as safely and quickly as possible. ’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Skerries RNLI's volunteer crew headed to the West of Ireland this month as they paid a visit to their colleagues in Clifden RNLI.

Once a year the volunteers in Skerries undertake a team-building and fact-finding trip to other rescue services and lifeboat stations.

Despite being located on opposite sides of the country, Skerries RNLI and Clifden RNLI had previously exercised together, along with Clogherhead RNLI, off the East Coast back in 2014.

On that occasion the Clifden crew were being trained on the Mersey-class all-weather lifeboat that the station took on for a 12-month trial.

Last Saturday (16 April), Clifden RNLI launched all three of their lifeboats – a Mersey-class, an Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat and a D-class inshore lifeboat – to take the volunteers from Skerries afloat and give them a taste of the challenges they faced on the West Coast and at their own station in particular.

Skerries RNLI would like to thank volunteers Philip Ferguson and Laura Boylan for organising the trip; Irish Rail, who very generously subsidised the travel costs; and most importantly all, the volunteers at Clifden RNLI for giving up their time and extending a warm welcome.

Speaking about the exercise, Skerries RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: "It’s always a great learning experience for our volunteers to see the challenges that face other crews around the coast, and how they deal with them.

"The guys from Clifden RNLI were fantastic and really pulled out all the stops to make sure we went afloat and got a good insight into why they require each of their boats."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Volunteer lifeboat crew from three RNLI stations in Dublin were in Dundrum on Wednesday evening (17 February) for the Irish gala screening of Disney's latest action film The Finest Hours.

Volunteers Gerry Canning and Eoin Kelly from Skerries RNLI, Manus O’Donnell from Howth RNLI and Paul Cummins and Jack Shanahan from Dun Laoghaire RNLI were invited to swap lifeboats for the limelight as they shared the red carpet with guests at the high-action movie premiere at Dundrum Town Centre.

The film tells the incredible true story of the heroic 1952 SS Pendleton rescue mission carried out by the US Coast Guard which is still regarded as one of the greatest sea rescues of all time.

The Finest Hours is based on the acclaimed non-fiction book of the same name by Michael J Tougias and Casey Sherman, which tells the tale of true events that took place 64 years ago this week.

Presented in Digital 3D and IMAX 3D, the film will transport audiences to the heart of the action, creating a fully-immersive cinematic experience on an epic scale.

Owing to the long and close relationship that the RNLI holds with the US Coast Guard, it was highly appropriate for Disney and the RNLI to work together in Ireland, while helping to raise awareness of the charity’s lifesaving work.

The Dublin crew, dressed in full all-weather lifeboat kit, ushered guests to their cinema seats where ahead of the movie, they watched a hard-hitting advertisement from the RNLI’s national drowning prevention campaign, Respect the Water.

The campaign which was first launched last summer warns people that coastlines and waters can be dangerously unpredictable.

The 60 second commercial entitled ‘Breathe’ is shown from the point of view of the casualty, played by an actor. The narrator Andy Serkis invites the audience to hold its breath while watching the film, as the casualty struggles and succumbs to the effects of cold water shock in the time the audience is holding their breath.

The film reveals that, on land, the average person can hold their breath for 45 seconds – but in cold water, they might not last 10.

Speaking following the gala screening, Gerry Canning from Skerries RNLI said: "It was great to see such strong parallels between the bravery, selflessness and community spirit shown by the characters in the film which is mirrored by RNLI lifeboat crew all around Ireland.

"It’s not unusual for us to be woken up by our pagers on a normal week night, so an evening of glitz and glamour was a nice change."

In 2015, RNLI lifeboat crews – who are on-call 24/7, 365 days a year – launched 1,098 times rescuing 1,244 people.

The RNLI has been operating since 1824 and has continually shared expertise, advice and training knowledge with the US Coast Guard for over 100 years.

RNLI volunteers also attended gala screenings of the film in Galway, Cork and Limerick last night.

The Finest Hours will open in Irish cinema today (Friday 19 February). Watch the trailer below.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Following the dramatic rescue of a dog who fell from sea cliffs on Howth Head at the weekend comes news from Skerries of another pooch stranded off the shore by high tide yesterday afternoon (Tuesday 12 January).

Mollie, a border collie cross, had been missing since the previous evening after becoming frightened and running away. She was finally spotted yesterday morning in the Red Island area in Skerries.

However by the time her owners had located her, she had made her way onto the rocks behind the lifeboat station and had been cut off by the rising tide.

At the time, a combination of the location and conditions meant that launching the lifeboat and attempting a rescue from the sea was not an option.

But Skerries RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew David Knight and AJ Hughes were able to wade safely out to the rocks from the shoreline wearing their personal protection equipment and using a safety line.

Once recovered, Mollie was handed over to her grateful owners at the shoreline who took her straight to the vet for a full check-up.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Skerries RNLI's Christmas shop opened for business this past Sunday 15 November and will be open again every Sunday until Christmas from 11am to 1pm.

The North Co Dublin lifeboat station will also once again be holding a Christmas raffle with tickets available at the shop.

This year the prizes for the raffle are two beautiful paintings which have been generously donated by the extremely popular local artist Dave West. Tickets for the raffle are €2 each or 3 for €5.

There is also a large selection of items available in the shop again this year. From torches to teddy bears, buckets to books, cards to calendars, there really is something for everyone. And with many of the items costing less than €2, there are also some great ideas for stocking fillers.

Speaking about the raffle, volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: "We are very grateful to Dave West for supporting the local lifeboat through these prizes. This is a great opportunity for someone to win a painting by a very popular artist and would make a great Christmas present."

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#RNLI - RNLI volunteers aboard Donaghadee’s all-weather lifeboat Saxon launched on Tuesday night (29 September) to search for a family’s pet dog which was reported to have been cut off by the tide at Millisle on the Ards Peninsula.

Coxswain Philip McNamara and his crew took the decision to launch after a request from Belfast Coastguard at 9.30pm and were on the water within 10 minutes.

When they reached the area, the crew launched a smaller inflatable craft, designed for inshore work, and conducted a search of the shoreline in darkness.

"We could find no trace of the dog and hope that it reached safety," said McNamara. "There is always the possibility that someone will enter the water to save a family pet and that means there is a risk of them drowning. The RNLI is here to save lives at sea no matter what the circumstances might be."

The launch came just a day after the Donaghadee crew spent eight hours afloat as part of a major search operation for a missing kayaker, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Elsewhere, Skerries RNLI towed a fishing boat with four men on board to safety on Sunday (27 September) after a passing yacht alerted the lifeboat that the vessel was in difficulty.

While out on routine Sunday morning training some two miles northeast of Skerries, helm Eoin Grimes and crew members Peter Kennedy and AJ Hughes were called into action after learning from the skipper of a passing yacht that a fishing boat nearby had suffered engine failure.

The fishing vessel, which had four men on board, was taken under tow by the lifeboat and towed to the safety of Balbriggan Harbour, where they had set out from. Conditions at the time were calm with a Force 1 to 2 southerly wind.

Speaking after the callout, Skerries RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: "We would urge anyone going to sea to ensure that have adequate safety equipment on board and a means of contacting the shore should they experience any difficulty."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Skerries RNLI responded to reports of a car submerged on Gormanston beach yesterday afternoon (17 September) following an emergency call to the coastguard.

Shortly before 2.30pm, Skerries RNLI were tasked by Dublin Coast Guard to investigate a submerged car on Gormanston beach after they received a 999 call from a concerned member of the public.

The lifeboat – with Joe May at the Helm and crewed by AJ Hughes, Laura Boylan and Ian Guildea – launched and made their way directly to Gormanston Beach. Conditions at the time were relatively calm with Force 3 westerly winds.

After arriving on scene, the crew located the car and were able to confirm that it was unoccupied.

As a precaution, Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 carried out a sweeping search of the coastline while the lifeboat carried out a search of the immediate area. Skerries Coast Guard unit also conducted a search of the shoreline.

Nothing was found and Gardaí later confirmed that the car had been reported as abandoned.

Speaking after the callout, Skerries RNLI lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: "This was a positive outcome as it turned out nobody was in danger. The member of the public did the right thing by dialling 999 and asking for the coastguard."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Skerries RNLI volunteers launched for their third callout within seven days yesterday (Saturday 04 July) following reports of a kayaker in distress off Gormanston beach.

The pagers sounded shortly after 11.30am this morning, with the lifeboat – launched with volunteer Joe May at the helm and crewed by volunteers Emma Wilson and Paddy Dillon – proceeding directly to Gormanston.

Once on scene it was established that the casualty had abandoned his vessel and his belongings and swam to shore. The crew located an inflatable kayak nearby and recovered it onto the boat to prevent any hazard to other vessels. Conditions at the time were fair with a Force 3-4 northerly wind.

On the previous Thursday evening (2 July), while on a scheduled training exercise, Skerries RNLI were tasked by Dublin Coast Guard to investigate reports of a personal water craft in difficulty near Colt Island in Skerries.

The lifeboat was on scene very quickly as they were on exercise in the area. They located the casualty and took him on board the lifeboat, towing his vessel to the safety of Skerries Harbour. After a routine assessment he was deemed to require no further assistance.

Four days before that, Skerries RNLI brought four people to safety after their racing yacht was holed when they struck rocks near Colt Island, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

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#RNLI - Skerries RNLI brought four people to safety on Sunday afternoon (28 June) after their racing yacht began taking on water after striking rocks near one of the islands off Skerries.

Volunteers launched their Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson shortly after 4pm when reports were received by Dublin Coast Guard that a yacht had struck rocks near Colt Island.


The lifeboat, with Philip Ferguson at the helm and crewed by Eoin Grimes, Simon Shiels and Emma Wilson, made its way directly to the area reported, where the casualty vessel was quickly located.

Having freed themselves from the rocks, the yacht and its crew were making their way towards Skerries Harbour, though water was leaking into the yacht through damage to the hull.

The lifeboat was positioned alongside and a crew member boarded, bringing the salvage pump carried aboard the lifeboat.The yacht was then taken under tow and brought to the safety of Skerries Harbour, where several more volunteer crew joined the others and assisted in getting the yacht on to a trailer and taken out of the water.


Speaking after the callout, Skerries RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: "The RNLI spends a lot of time and effort making sure that our volunteers have exactly the equipment they need to cater for any kind of emergency.

"In emergencies such as this, the salvage pump can be invaluable."

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Fastnet Yacht 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 is in Plymouth, Devon 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 Plymouth.
  • The lighthouse first shone its light on New Year’s Day in 1854
    Fastnet Rock originally had six keepers (now unmanned), with four on the rock at a time with the other two on leave. Each man did four weeks on, two weeks off

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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