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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Crosshaven RNLI has came to the aid of a sailor after his yacht got into difficulty off Cork Head on Friday (21 June).

The UK-registered yacht en route from Kinsale to Crosshaven broadcast a PAN PAN alert after its skipper spotted smoke in his engine bay.

Crosshaven’s crew of Warren Forbes, Denis Cronin, Aidan O’Connor and Derek Moynan were paged at 4.13pm and launched their inshore lifeboat to the reported position.

Once on scene, they assessed that there was no fire in the engine bay, but that the engine was disabled.

The casualty vessel was then towed to Crosshaven boatyard and safely berthed.

Crosshaven RNLI helm Warren Forbes said: “A fire onboard a vessel is a sailor's worst nightmare but fortunately no fire was observed when we arrived on scene.

“The yachtsman made the correct decision by not opening the engine bay and calling for help.”

More recently in Cork, Youghal RNLI launched in poor weather conditions yesterday (Sunday 23 June) to reports of a swimmer in trouble some 500m off Claycastle.

Fortunately the swimmer managed to get to safely back to shore as the inshore lifeboat arrived at the scene.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

New Clifden lifeboat volunteer Ashling Sweeney has her first callout earlier this week to a fisherman whose boat drifted out to sea after engine failure.

At 3.40pm on Tuesday 4 June, Clifden RNLI was requested to launch its all-weather and inshore lifeboats to assist the nine-metre fishing vessel with one onboard just east of Turbot Island in Co Galway.

Clifden’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat Joyce King, helmed by Daniel Whelan and with four volunteer crew onboard, launched first and made good time to the fishing vessel, which was drifting south.

The fishing vessel was quickly taken under tow back to Clifden pier as Clifden RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat launched to provide backup.

Weather conditions on scene had a north-west winds of Force 5-6 with a slight sea.

Speaking following the callout, new volunteer Ashling Sweeney said: “This was my first callout for Clifden RNLI today and I was happy to gain the experience of putting my training into action.”

Around the same time on Tuesday, Youghal RNLI in East Cork were requested to launch to an eight-metre yacht adrift in the harbour with no people onboard.

The volunteer crew launched their inshore lifeboat in a moderate north westerly breeze and were with the yacht within minutes.

On arrival, the crew determined that the yacht was dragging its mooring. A crew member boarded the yacht and cut the mooring line before the crew established a tow and bought the yacht safely back to the pontoon were the coastguard were waiting to assist.

Derry Walsh, Youghal RNLI lifeboat operations manager, said: “As we approach the summer season, we would remind sailors and boat owners to ensure the appropriate safety, engine and fuel checks are completed ahead of any trip as well as ensuring vessels are safely secured on their moorings.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Youghal RNLI launched to the aid of two people whose moored yacht was taking on water yesterday morning (Monday 20 May).

The volunteer lifeboat crew was requested to launch by the Irish Coast Guard at 10.01am following a report that a 26ft leisure craft was taking on water.

hHelmed by Liam Keogh, the inshore lifeboat was on scene within minutes, in clear conditions.

The casualty boat was tied up at its moorings in Youghal Harbour, with the two people onboard trying to pump the water out with a hand pump.

Two lifeboat crew boarded the vessel with a salvage pump and made sure the people onboard were well. They then used the salvage pump to pump the water out.

The lifeboat crew requested the coastguard for quayside assistance and towed the leisure craft safely back to the slip where it was taken ashore on a trailer.

Speaking later, Youghal RNLI helm Liam Keogh said: “This was a smooth callout for the crew and we were delighted to be able to help.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Youghal RNLI is encouraging people to respect the water and heed key water safety messages ahead of summer.

The East Cork lifeboat station’s community safety team will be running a number of events throughout the summer and are inviting individuals and groups to get in touch if they would like the team to speak to them.

Mick Walsh, Youghal RNLI’s volunteer community safety officer, said while the RNLI wants people to have a fun and enjoyable summer, the charity also wants people to do that with safety in mind.

“Whether you are a swimmer, a watersports enthusiast, an angler, a boater or just enjoy walking on the beach, it is important for you to understand that there are risks involved with all water and water-side activities.

“It doesn’t matter what your activity might be, or how many times you’ve done it, accidents can happen.

“Part of our role is to help educate and share our knowledge with the public. We want to talk to people, to help them understand the risks better and to listen to their experiences.”

Walsh said the RNLI has lots of safety advice on how to respect the water.

“Most people who end up in trouble at the coast didn’t intend being in the water so it’s important to know what do to if you do get into difficulty and end up in cold water.

“The RNLI’s national drowning prevention campaign is called Respect the Water and lots of information can be found on the dedicated site www.RespectTheWater.com, including how to float should you get into difficulty.

“We want people to learn and remember simple messages such as how to call for help. Dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard if you or someone you see is in trouble.

“We can help people choose the best communication device for their activity. We also want people to wear a lifejacket or floatation device when on the water.

“Again we can help you choose the right PFD for your activity. We will also show you how to take care of your PFD properly.”

To get in touch with Youghal RNLI’s community safety team, contact Mick Walsh at [email protected]

You can also keep an eye on Youghal RNLI’s Facebook page for more information detailing the RNLI’s Respect the Water campaign, which launches later this month, and to find out when the community safety team is active.

Published in Water Safety

Youghal’s latest RNLI recruits followed a training exercise on Sunday (31 March) with a callout to a 10ft open boat experiencing engine trouble just off the old Youghal bridge in the East Cork town.

The volunteer crew launched the inshore lifeboat Gordon and Phil within four minutes of returning to station in fresh conditions.

They quickly reached the troubled vessel with two men wearing lifejackets onboard.

A tow line was established and the boat was safely towed back to the ferry slip in Youghal where it was handed over to the owner at 3.40pm, just 10 minutes after launch.

Mark Nolan, deputy kaunching authority at Youghal RNLI, said: “The two people onboard had the good sense to anchor the boat as soon as they started to experience engine trouble.

“They had both a VHF radio and mobile phone with them also and so were able to call for help quickly. It is essential to carry some form of communication with you when you go out on the water.

“We would also like to say well done to all of our shore crew today, all of which were new recruits.”

Recently Youghal RNLI received a cheque for more than €3,000 raised by the Ardmore Christmas Day swim, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Youghal’s RNLI volunteers were presented last week with a cheque for €3,439.60 from the organisers of the Ardmore Christmas Day swim.

The event was first organised in 1997 and has successfully run every Christmas Day since. The swim is always well supported by the local community and 2018’s was no exception.

The swimmers met on the beach at Ardmore at 12.15pm on Christmas Day in dry but chilly conditions and made the dash into the water for a quick dip before heading back to the beach for a hot drink.

Youghal RNLI’s inshore lifeboat, Gordon and Phil, and her volunteer crew were there on the day to oversee the safety of the swimmers.

Lifeboat operations manager Derry Walsh said: “We would like to send our thanks to everyone who came out on Christmas Day and took part in the swim, and a special thank you to those who have organised the swim over the last 22 years.

“The RNLI depend on the generosity of the public to save lives at sea, and this donation will help to ensure our lifeboat and crew are always ready when they are called upon.”

Elsewhere, a callout for Larne RNLI to a suspected vessel in trouble on Friday evening (29 March) turned out to be false alarm as smoke seen rising from a vessel at the Maidens was part of a training exercise.

Paul Johnston, Larne RNLI deputy launching authority, said: “We would like to commend the member of the public for contacting the coastguard and raising the alarm. We would always much rather launch to find all is safe and well than not launch at all.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

#Lifeboats - Youghal RNLI’s first callout of 2019 came on Sunday (3 March) while out on a morning training exercise.

The lifeboat crew had been practising casualty recovery in the area of Youghal Harbour when at 11.33am they became aware of a small pleasure craft that had started to take on water.

There was no one on board the pleasure craft the time.

In heavy rain and squally conditions, the inshore lifeboat crew pumped the water from the vessel, then towed it safely back to the pier head in Youghal and handed it over to the awaiting coastguard. The lifeboat returned to the station at 12.07pm.

Youghal RNLI helm Patsy O’Mahoney said: “We went out this morning to practice our skills and ended up having to use them in a real situation.

“The water can be unpredictable at the best of times, but it is particularly dangerous during bad weather. We urge everyone to respect the water at all times.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#Lifeboats - Youghal RNLI were honoured to receive two generous donations from members of the community in one day recently.

On Saturday 16 February, the East Cork lifeboat station welcomed sisters Aisling and Leanne Hehir who recently celebrated their birthdays, with Aisling turning 18 and Leanne 21.

Instead of gifts, they asked their family and friends to make a donation to Youghal RNLI. In total they raised €590.

Patsy O’Mahoney, helm at Youghal RNLI, said: “We are all very touched by such a generous and thoughtful donation, we would like to sincerely thank Aisling and Leanne and everyone who helped them to celebrate their birthdays.”

The station also received a donation of €1,358 from Youghal Rotary Club, who in conjunction with the Regal Cinema, organised a fantastic fundraising night at the movies.

Filmgoers were treated to delicious canapes, a glass of wine and a screening of award-winning documentary The Camino Voyage.

Derry Walsh, Youghal RNLI’s lifeboat operation manager, said: “We would like to express our deep gratitude to Youghal Rotary Club, the Regal Cinema and to all who came along on the night.

“This donation will enable our volunteers to continue saving lives at sea.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#Lifeboats - Youghal RNLI is looking for new volunteer crew members to join its search and rescue service in East Cork.

The lifeboat station will be hosting an open day at the lifeboat station in Youghal this coming Sunday 27 January between 2pm and 5pm where interested candidates can visit to find out more.

Youghal currently has approximately 20 volunteers but is now calling on new volunteers to come forward and find out how they can get involved.

Speaking ahead of the open day, Derry Walsh, Youghal RNLI lifeboat operations manager, said: “We are looking for anyone aged 17 years and over who is willing to offer some of their free time to join the RNLI.

“Every volunteer receives first-class training from the RNLI and learns new skills which can benefit them in many walks of life. Lifeboat crew members need to have a reasonable level of fitness, have good eyesight and not be colour-blind.

“Anyone who would like to volunteer but feels they would not meet the requirements for lifeboat crew should in no way be put off, as shore crew also play an essential role in the launch and recovery of the lifeboat when it goes on service.”

If you cannot make the open day but are still interested in finding out more, contact the station directly or email [email protected]

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

A reptile feared to be a venomous turtle-headed sea snake was found on a beach on the East Cork coast on Thursday 3 January, as the Irish Examiner reports.

However, minds were put at ease when the dead snake spotted by the local coastguard on Youghal Beach turned out to be a California kingsnake — a non-venomous species that had likely been kept as a pet.

It’s not yet known now the 1.5-metre snake came to be on the beach. The Irish Examiner has more here.

Published in Coastal Notes
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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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