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Wicklow RNLI brought three fishermen to safety on Saturday afternoon (29 May), after their vessel developed mechanical problems three miles east of Greystones Harbour.

The all-weather lifeboat RNLB Joanna & Henry Williams slipped its mooring at 3.43 pm to reports of an angling boat with engine failure. The lifeboat was under the command of Coxswain Nick Keogh.

The volunteer lifeboat crew located the casualty vessel forty minutes after launching in a position four miles east southeast of Greystones Harbour. Conditions on scene were wind from a south easterly direction force 3-4, with moderate seas and good visibility.

After an assessment of the situation was carried out by Coxswain Keogh, it was decided a tow was the best option given the casualty vessel's engine failure.

Speaking after the callout, Nick Keogh said, “As Greystones Harbour was the nearest safe harbour, I decided this was the best place to bring the casualty”.

The tow was established, and a course set for Greystones Harbour with the casualty vessel being secured alongside at 4.53 pm. Greystones Coast Guard unit was also there to help secure the vessel alongside.

At 4.56pm the All-Weather Lifeboat left Greystones, and arrived back in Wicklow Harbour at 5.30 pm where the boat was made ready for the next callout.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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With demand for its lifesaving services at a high, the RNLI is putting out its own Mayday call ahead of May Day (tomorrow, Monday, 1 May) as it prepares to face another busy summer.

Usually, it is the RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crews that answer mayday calls – it’s the most serious call for help. But this May, they need your help. The charity is calling on the public to join the RNLI Mayday Mile to help raise vital funds to power its lifesaving work and help keep people safe this summer.

Last year, lifeboats located at the RNLI’s 46 stations across the island of Ireland launched 1,061 times, with its crews carrying out hundreds of rescues.

It’s so easy to take part in the Mayday Mile and support the RNLI’s lifesavers. Simply complete your challenge each day, every day this May, wherever and however you like – walk, jog, hop or skip!

Funds raised through the Mayday Mile will help RNLI lifesavers have everything they need to keep families safe this summer. Warmer weather draws more people to the water, and RNLI lifeboat crews will drop whatever they’re doing when a call for help comes in.

Speaking ahead of the fundraiser, which starts tomorrow, Anna Classon, RNLI Head of Region in Ireland, says: ‘Summer is our busiest time of year with thousands of people at risk of getting into danger by the water. Ordinary people just enjoying days out with family or friends. Mayday is our own call for help as we rely on the generosity of the public to take part in events like the Mayday Mile and raise the funds that allow us to be there when we’re needed most. But we need to be ready. Training, kit, stations, fuel, these are just some of the things we need to save lives, and that your fundraising can help provide.’

James Mullen, a Coxswain at Clifden RNLI, added: ‘We are indebted to everyone taking on this fundraising challenge in May because we know it will make a difference. Whether you decide to walk, run, skip or swim, your fundraising efforts will ensure volunteer lifeboat crews like ours have all we need to launch our lifeboats to the rescue and be ready when the call comes in to help someone in need.’

The RNLI’s Mayday fundraiser begins tomorrow, Monday, 1 May and will run for the whole month.

Sign up for the Mayday Mile now and find out more at

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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On Friday afternoon (28 April), Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI to launch following a report from a member of the public that a vessel was aground at Castlelough below Parker’s Point.

The inshore lifeboat Jean Spier launched at 1.55pm with helm Eleanor Hooker, Steve Smyth, Chris Parker and Richard Nolan on board. Winds were southwestery Force 2 and visibility was good.

At 2.09pm the RNLI volunteers could see the casualty vessel at a location close to a woodland shore south of Castlelough. They navigated the lifeboat through safe water close to the casualty vessel.

Using local knowledge and onboard navigation tools, the crew identified the edge of the rocky shoal on which the lakeboat was grounded. Observing the casualty vessel, it was evident it was pivoting on a rock mid-keel.

Carrying a handheld VHF radio and a general purpose line, an RNLI volunteer waded in to the casualty vessel and quickly established that the two people on board were safe and unharmed and their boat was not holed.

The RNLI crew requested the skipper to lift their outboard engine to reduce drag whilst he eased the boat off the rock. The engine’s propellors were not damaged after the casualty vessel grounded.

The lifeboat volunteer climbed aboard the casualty vessel which then made way back out to safe water and alongside the lifeboat, which guided it to safe harbour.

Christine O’Malley, lifeboat operations manager at Lough Derg RNLI urges boat users to “wear your lifejacket and carry a means of communication”.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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As the May Bank Holiday approaches, the Irish Coast Guard, RNLI and Water Safety Ireland are issuing a joint water safety appeal asking people to take precautions to ensure their safety whether in, near or on the water, both at the coast and inland.

As the weather improves, more people will participate in coastal and water-based activities. The three organisations say that while these activities are enjoyable, they should be properly planned.

With alcohol being a contributory factor in around one third of drownings in Ireland, they are also appealing to the public to stay away from waterways if alcohol has been consumed.

It is important to be summer ready and ensure that boats and other water vessels, including kayaks and canoes, are checked after the winter to ensure that everything is in good working order and that engines have been serviced, with all equipment — particularly lifejackets — in good condition.

If out on a boat, or other water vessel, wear a lifejacket and carry a reliable means of communication: a VHF radio and ideally a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) or Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) with a mobile phone as back-up. Ensure that you tell someone where you are going and when you plan to be back.

Micheál O’Toole from the Irish Coast Guard is reminding everyone of the need to check the weather and tides before heading out on the water or visiting the coast.

“We would advise people that the water is still cold at this time of the year, and cold-water shock can affect everyone,” he said. “We recommend exercising caution if entering the water for the first time this year, to wear brightly coloured swimming caps and use tow floats to improve visibility.

“Never ever swim alone and always make sure that your activity is being monitored by a colleague. Things can go very badly wrong in a very short time, so we all need to be aware of potential dangers and be well prepared before engaging in water-based activities. ‘

“The Be Summer Ready website at provides good advice about water safety and we would urge all those involved in water activities to take some time to read the material available on the site before venturing out on the water.”

Roger Sweeney, Water Safety Ireland’s deputy CEO said: “Swimmers should be aware of rip currents which are a leading hazard at our beaches. They are often difficult to spot and can quickly weaken even the strongest swimmers and take them away from shore.

“Never swim against a rip current. Instead, swim parallel to shore until you escape the narrow current and then swim back to shore at an angle. Learn more at”

Killian O’Kelly, RNLI water safety education manager added: “If you’re going out on the water using a stand-up paddleboard, sit on top kayak, or personal watercraft, it is important to consider the direction of the wind. Offshore winds, ie winds blowing out to sea, are not suitable for these activities as they can push you further out to sea.

“Plan your route considering sheltered locations, wear a personal flotation device and have a suitable means of contact on your person that is easily accessible in any emergency.

“If you see somebody in trouble on the water or along the coast, or think they are in trouble, dial 112 or use VHF Channel 16 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in Water Safety

Baltimore RNLI was called out to provide a medical evacuation yesterday evening (Tuesday 25 April) from Cape Clear Island off the coast of West Cork.

Last week the crew performed a Medvac from Sherkin Island, as Afloat reported.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 5.29pm, following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to provide a medical evacuation for a man on the island. The crew were already gathered at the lifeboat house in Baltimore at the time the request came in as they were about to go out on exercise.

The Baltimore all-weather lifeboat crew arrived at North Harbour on Cape Clear Island at 5.49pm and after the casualty was assessed by the Casualty Care lifeboat crew member, he was transferred onboard the lifeboat. The lifeboat departed Cape Clear Island at 5.55pm and returned to the station in Baltimore arriving at 6.25pm. The casualty was then handed over to the care of HSE Ambulance crew.

There were seven volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat, Coxswain Pat Collins, Mechanic Jerry Smith and crew members Eoin Ryan, Paul Synott, Emma Lupton, Emma Geary and Kieran Collins. Conditions during the call-out were good with a south easterly force 4-5 wind and a slight sea swell.

Speaking following the call out, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘This is the second medevac carried out from an island within the past week. Baltimore RNLI provides a vital service to those living, working or holidaying on an island who are in need of medical assistance. If you find yourself in a emergency whilst on an island call 999 or 112.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Donaghadee RNLI’s lifeboat volunteers were paged on Monday (24 April) to assist a 10-metre yacht with three crew members onboard that was in difficulty off the Co Down coast in Northern Ireland.

Around 8.10pm on Monday evening, the crew were asked to launch the RNLI Trent class relief lifeboat Macquarie to go to the assistance of the yacht which had experienced engine failure just off Burr Point near Ballyhalbert.

In a northwesterly wind with good visibility — albeit fading light — and a calm sea state, the crew were able to make full speed to the last reported location of the yacht and reached the scene at 8.45pm.

During passage, volunteer crew member David Cull was able to liaise by VHF with the skipper of the yacht to reassure him of their pending arrival and give advice on how to make the yacht ready to receive a towline.

Once on scene and in now faded light, the lifeboat volunteers were able to quickly establish the towline with yacht’s crew and begin the tow back to Bangor Harbour, where they arrived roughly two-and-a-half hours later and where the yacht’s crew were passed into the care of the local coastguard rescue team.

Speaking following the callout, Donaghadee RNLI coxswain Philip McNamara said: “The skipper of this yacht did absolutely the correct thing in asking for assistance as soon as he knew he had an issue, and had everything ready to make it easy for us to quickly establish the tow once alongside.

“The importance of having a means of communication, and on this occasion a VHF, cannot be underestimated.

“This was a classic example of how well this works when things go unexpectedly wrong. As always, my thanks to the volunteers who dropped everything to attend the callout — a great crew to work with.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Dunmore East RNLI's courageous volunteer crew members in County Waterford will take on the daunting challenge of climbing a vertical mile in a single day, on Sunday, 7 May, as part of the charity's Mayday Mile fundraising challenge.

The dedicated crew will test their strength and stamina by summiting the highest peaks in both the Comeragh and Knockmealdown mountains, ascending a vertical mile over the course of the day. To make the challenge even more gruelling, the team will be wearing their full lifeboat kit. The aim is to raise vital funds and awareness for the RNLI, the charity dedicated to saving lives at sea.

The crew will include Hugh O'Sullivan, Peter Grogan, Oscar Stafford, Adam Sweeney and Luka Sweeney, all volunteers on the all-weather lifeboat in Dunmore East.

Money raised through the Mayday Mile could help RNLI lifesavers have everything they need to keep families safe this summer. Warmer weather draws more people to the water, and RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews will drop whatever they’re doing when a call for help comes in.

'Our team is passionate about the lifesaving work of the RNLI, and we wanted to take on a challenge that would not only raise funds for the charity but also highlight the dedication and bravery of our volunteers,' said Adam Sweeney, a crew member on the Dunmore East RNLI Lifeboat. 'As someone who will be participating in the Mayday Mile, I am excited and eager to push my limits in support of the RNLI's vital work. This challenge serves as a reminder of the resilience and determination our crews embody when faced with difficult conditions at sea.'

'Summer can be our busiest time of year, with many people at risk of getting into danger by the water. Ordinary people just enjoying days out with family or friends. Mayday is our own call for help, as we rely on the generosity of the public to take part in events like the Mayday Mile and raise the funds that allow us to be there when we’re needed most. But we need to be ready. Training, kit, stations, fuel, these are just some of the things we need to save lives, and that your fundraising can help provide.’

People can help support Dunmore East RNLI's efforts by making a donation or getting involved through the Mayday Mile fundraising page.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Bangor RNLI was involved in the rescue of a woman who fell onto rocks when out for a walk yesterday afternoon (Sunday 23 April).

The volunteer crew were requested to launch their inshore lifeboat at 3.49 pm following a request from Belfast Coastguard to assist Bangor Coastguard with the extradition of the casualty.

The lifeboat, helmed by Gareth Whan and with crew members John Bell, Ian Dobie and Peter Semple onboard, immediately made their way to the scene four nautical miles from the station, to Grey Point.

There was a Force 2-3 wind at the time and moderate seas.

Arriving on scene, the crew observed Bangor Coastguard which was already on scene, administering casualty care. The lifeboat positioned itself into the rocks where two crew emerged and made their way to the casualty. Having assessed the situation and assisted with the casualty care, a decision was made for the crew to then transfer the casualty who had a leg and ankle injury via stretcher, to the lifeboat. Once this was complete, the lifeboat made its way back to Bangor lifeboat station where the casualty was safely transferred into the care of a waiting ambulance and brought to hospital for further treatment.

Speaking following the call out, Bangor RNLI Helm Gareth Whan said: ‘We would like to wish this woman a speedy recovery from her injury and thank our colleagues in Bangor Coastguard who we worked with to bring her to safety.

‘We would encourage all walkers to enjoy the coastline but to be wary of all edges around the sea and waterside. Slips and falls happen in all locations. Always let someone know where you are going and when you are due back and always check the weather and tides. Take care when walking in dark or slippery conditions. Always take a means of calling for help and should you get into difficulty or see someone else in trouble, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.’

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Dunmore East RNLI successfully assisted a lone sailor after they got into difficulty on their 30ft yacht outside the Co Waterford town’s harbour last Thursday (20 April).

The lifeboat crew was called into action just after 8pm on Thursday night by the Irish Coast Guard after they were alerted that a lone sailor aboard a 30ft yacht was in difficulty after the vessel lost power approximately one mile south east of the harbour.

Led by coxswain Roy Abrahamsson, the volunteer crew promptly launched in the Shannon Class all-weather lifeboat William & Agnes Wray and reached the stranded yacht swiftly in calm conditions.

In the meantime, the crew from the Port of Waterford pilot boat were on scene first as they were in the area at the time, checked in with the sailor and stood by in a support capacity ensuring the sailor’s safety until the lifeboat arrived.

The vessel had been on the final stages of a long passage from the UK and encountered difficulties on the last leg. To ensure the safety of the sailor, the lifeboat crew established a tow line to bring the yacht back to Dunmore East.

Thanks to the combined efforts of the lifeboat crew, pilot boat and the sailor, the yacht was successfully towed to the harbour by 9pm.

Reflecting on the incident, Dunmore East RNLI lifeboat press officer Peter Grogan said: “The sailor did the right thing calling for assistance and we were happy to help.

“When going afloat we would remind everyone to check their engine and fuel, always wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid, and carry a means of calling for help. If you see someone in difficulty on or near the water, dial 999/112 or use marine VHF Channel 16 and ask for the coastguard.”

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A special ceremony and service of dedication was held yesterday (Saturday, 22 April) at Clifden RNLI, when the Connemara lifeboat station’s new all-weather Shannon class lifeboat, St Christopher, was officially named. The lifeboat, which went on service in May last year, was funded by a legacy from Christopher Harris, in admiration for the lifesaving work of the RNLI.

The lifeboat has been named St Christopher, as per his family’s wishes and reflects his lifelong love of travel. Born in March 1939, Christopher was evacuated during the war but returned to live with his aunt, who ran a farm. Upon qualifying as an accountant, marrying and starting a family, he combined his career with travel, before eventually settling in Surrey. He had a strong calling to look after others, and it is believed this is what influenced his support for the work of the RNLI.

During the ceremony, the lifeboat was handed into the care of the RNLI by Christopher’s daughter, Phillipa Harris. Lifeboat Operations Manager John Brittain then accepted it on behalf of the Galway station, before the lifeboat was officially named by Gill Hinton, another of Christopher’s daughters. Commenting on naming of the St Christopher, Philippa Harris said, ‘We’re incredibly proud to be here on behalf of our father, Christopher Harris, and we’re so happy that the boat will be used by such brave and generous people, as the RNLI volunteer crew.’

Philippa Harris, Gill Hinton, and Cox James Mullen at the naming ceremony of the Clifden RNLI LifeboatPhilippa Harris, Gill Hinton, and Cox James Mullen at the naming ceremony of the Clifden RNLI Lifeboat

Speaking at the event, Lifeboat Operations Manager John Brittain said, ‘This is a proud day for everyone at Clifden RNLI, for our families and the local community. We are honoured to be the custodians of this magnificent lifeboat, which will save many lives on this part of the coast and which will bring our lifeboat crews home safe in all weathers. It is an incredible gift to give a community. We have a very special community here in West Connemara - in the lifetime of this station, our fishing community, local businesses, friends and supporters, has never let us down. From fund-raising to donations of services and all manner of dig outs, whatever we have asked for, our community has delivered. I am incredibly proud that this new state-of-the-art Lifeboat is here in Clifden.

The donor family with Clifden RNLI St. Christopher after the naming ceremonyThe donor family with Clifden RNLI St. Christopher after the naming ceremony

He added, ‘Our thanks to the late Christopher Harris and to his family, some of whom have travelled here for this occasion. There will always be a welcome for Christopher’s family and friends at Clifden RNLI.’

RNLI Head of Region Anna Classon said, ‘Congratulations to everyone involved with this wonderful occasion. This lifeboat is a huge addition to lifesaving on the west coast of Ireland. Behind every lifeboat is a team of people working together to ensure that when the call for help comes, the response is immediate. To all the lifeboat volunteers, shore crew, station management, fundraisers and donors, this day is the culmination of years of hard work and commitment.’

Clifden RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager John BrittainClifden RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager John Brittain

Tributes were also paid to Saul Joyce and Bernard Whelan who were the first two volunteers to join Clifden RNLI back in 1989 and who retired earlier this year.

The € 2.7 million Shannon class lifeboat is the most recent class of all-weather lifeboat to join the RNLI fleet. It is the first modern all-weather lifeboat to be propelled by waterjets instead of traditional propellers, making it more agile and manoeuvrable.

Following the ceremony, the public had an opportunity to view the lifeboat, which is usually moored afloat, up close. The lifeboat was brought onto Clifden beach to allow the public to view the names of over 10,000 loved ones, which were pledged on the lifeboat through a special fundraising initiative. ‘Launch a Memory, which was run by the charity back in 2020.

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Page 5 of 292

Wave Regatta provides Howth Yacht Club and the community on the Howth peninsula in County Dublin with a biennial keelboat racing event that aims to be the most attractive sailing event in Ireland.

Maximising many of the local natural resources and involving allied Howth businesses and services, it attracted competitors, visitors and others on its first staging in 2018 with a weekend-long spectacle establishing Howth as a destination of choice for sailors, visitors and allied marine tourism.

Read Afloat's preview and review of the first staging of Wave Regatta.

At A Glance - Wave Regatta 2022

Howth Yacht Club's 2022 WAVE Regatta will be sailed from 3rd-5th June

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