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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

The RNLI has teamed up with British Canoeing to encourage people to make safety a priority before taking to the water.

And echoing their safety advice is a kayaker who claims his trip to the coast may have ended in tragedy had he not been carrying the correct kit.

The summer safety campaign is in response to figures showing the number of lives saved while kayaking or canoeing by RNLI crews more than doubled last year in comparison to 2021.

Stand-up paddleboarding has continued to increase in popularity as last year, RNLI lifeboat crews saw a 21% rise in launches to paddleboarders across the UK and Ireland, in comparison to 2021.

It is a particular issue on Anglesey, where RNLI lifeboat crews at Trearddur Bay, Moelfre, Holyhead and Beaumaris have seen the number of people rescued while taking part in these activities rocket from six in 2021 to 37 in 2022.

RNLI crews are urging visitors to the coast to make safety a priority this summer. It’s a message shared by kayaker Guy Lowdes from Llandegla, who was returning from the Skerries near Holyhead with a group of 10 other kayakers back in December when he got into trouble.

Guy says: “I’m an experienced coastal kayaker and never did I expect to find myself in this situation. My kayak was capsized by a rogue wave and I found myself in the water on a very cold December afternoon. The tide pushed me one way and my boat the other, I must have been in the water about 20 minutes.”

Guy’s friend was able to remain with him and thankfully had a personal locator beacon (PLB) which he used to call for help. A rescue operation was mounted including a helicopter and RNLI crews from Holyhead and Moelfre.

“I’m just so grateful we had a means of calling for help, so we could alert the RNLI to exactly where we were located,” Guy says. “I was starting to feel incredibly cold and poorly despite wearing a dry suit. I’m convinced if I’d have been there any longer with the failing light, we may never have been found.

“Once the RNLI arrived and I was taken onboard Holyhead’s lifeboat, the adrenaline stopped. I felt very unwell and cold. I’m so pleased to be here today sharing my story and hoping people take heed of the RNLI’s advice and never set up without having the necessary equipment. My story just goes to show how dangerously unpredictable the sea can be.”

The RNLI and British Canoeing are raising awareness of how to stay safe on the water when planning to stand-up paddleboard, kayak or canoe on any type of water.

Their safety advice is to:

  • Wear a buoyancy aid or personal flotation device.
  • Carry a means of communication to call for help in an emergency.
  • Check the weather before heading out.
  • Tell others of your plans so they know when you will be returning.
  • Paddle within your ability.

The Anglesey coastline in Wales has become a mecca for people wanting to take to the sea and experience these popular activities, but local RNLI crews are encouraging people to heed by their advice.

Vince Jones, RNLI mechanic at Moelfre says they have been inundated with calls to stand-up paddleboarders in particular.

“We want people to enjoy our stunning coastline but are urging people to think carefully before setting out,” he says. “Many of our calls are to people being blown out to sea in offshore winds. We ask people to think carefully about the weather and tides before setting off and ensuring they have a means of calling for help.”

For more information on how to stay safe during paddlesports, see the RNLI website HERE.

Published in Water Safety
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A member of the public alerted the Coast Guard to a stranded vessel with one person onboard near Spike Island and Haulbowline Island in Cork Harbour on Saturday afternoon (July 29th).

The Crosshaven lifeboat volunteers were called to action and launched at 5.40 pm. The crew, consisting of Alan Venner, Susanne Deane, and David Venner, located the 20-foot motor vessel at anchor near the Haulbowline bridges.

The skipper explained that he had experienced engine failure after leaving the slipway at Paddy's Point. The weather conditions at the scene were challenging, with a westerly Force 5 and choppy sea.

After establishing a tow, the crew returned the vessel to Paddy's Point and helped the skipper retrieve it to his trailer before heading back to the station. Helm, Alan Venner, commented, "all water users should carry a means of calling for help and to call for help in a timely manner." He also praised the member of the public who reported the incident.

The crew members involved in the operation were Alan Venner, Susanne Deane, and David Venner, while Gary Heslin, Jon Meany, Michael Livingstone, Kline Pennefather, and deputy launching authority Hugh Mockler participated in the launch and recovery.

In case of an emergency on or near the water, contact the Coast Guard by calling 999 or 112, or by using VHF channel 16.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The Baltimore RNLI provided a medical evacuation on Sunday morning, July 30th, from Sherkin Island located off Baltimore in West Cork. The request for assistance came from the Irish Coast Guard to evacuate an injured man from the island.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 8:09 am and arrived at Sherkin Island pier at 8:18 am. Once there, the casualty was assessed by the Casualty Care lifeboat crew member before being transferred onto a stretcher and taken onboard the lifeboat.

The crew returned to the Baltimore station at 8:47 am, and the casualty was handed over to the care of the HSE Ambulance crew.

The crew consisted of seven volunteers, and the conditions in the harbour during the call-out were choppy with a westerly force four wind and reasonable visibility.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Castletownbere lifeboat was dispatched to help a man whose speedboat was having difficulty off the West Cork coast this afternoon.

The Irish Coast Guard's Marine Research Coordination Centre in Valentia received reports that a 17' speedboat with one person aboard had become stuck on a rope and required 'immediate assistance'.

The RNLI lifeboat, 'Annette Hutton,' was tasked and launched within minutes under the command of Coxswain Marney O'Donoghue with volunteer crew Dave O'Donovan, Joe Cronin, John Paul Downey, and Donagh Murphy.

The speedboat was located shortly thereafter just off Dunboy Point within Berehaven Harbour.

The volunteer crew were able to release the pleasure craft by using a grappling hook and then cutting the snagged rope. The lifeboat then towed the vessel to safety and berthed it at Castletownbere Pier.

Coxswain O'Donoghue commented, "the boat was in an awkward location, making the rescue slightly more challenging, but the volunteer crew managed to release the boat with little effort."

The weather on the scene was described as having good visibility with Force 5/6 winds and a calm sea.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Baltimore RNLI responded to a distress call on Thursday, 27 July, to assist a 12m sailing yacht with engine failure near Baltimore Harbour, West Cork.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their inshore lifeboat at 7 pm after the Coast Guard requested their assistance.

The inshore lifeboat arrived at the vessel at 7.15 pm, and the crew decided to tow the yacht.

The inshore lifeboat, with the casualty vessel under tow, returned to Baltimore Harbour and arrived at 8.45 pm. There were four volunteer crew members onboard the lifeboat.

The conditions at sea were calm with a westerly force 3 wind, no sea swell and good visibility.

Pat O’Driscoll, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Helm, advised the public to call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard in case of an emergency at sea.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Newcastle RNLI’s lifeboat crew launched both their all-weather and inshore lifeboats yesterday (Wednesday, 26 July) at 3.08 pm following a request from HM Coastguard. A 36ft yacht with five people onboard, including two children, had reported that their equipment had failed and they were drifting five miles east of Ardglass.

First to launch was the station’s all-weather lifeboat. On arrival at the scene, a short time later, the lifeboat crew observed that the casualty vessel was, in fact two miles west of St. John’s Point and was in danger of drifting onto rocks. Conditions were moderate to rough, with a force 5 to 6 wind, and visibility was less than two nautical miles.

The lifeboat crew immediately checked on the welfare of those onboard, some of whom were showing signs of fatigue and sea sickness. A decision was made that the lifeboat would bring the vessel under tow to the safety of Newcastle Harbour.

As the All-Weather lifeboat approached Newcastle Harbour Coxswain, Gerry McConkey, requested the assistance of the station’s inshore lifeboat to provide support on the last part of the journey and to tow the vessel into harbour. The yacht was then towed into Newcastle harbour, where it was secured, and all on board brought ashore and to the lifeboat station, where the crew were able to provide casualty care. Newcastle Coastguard team were also on scene to provide care, and paramedics arrived to check the group over and ensure they were well enough to leave.

Speaking on the callout, Newcastle RNLI Launching Authority Daniel Curran said, ‘It was a busy day on station yesterday with a lot of lifeboat crew being present for a training exercise and scheduled inshore lifeboat maintenance. This ensured an extremely fast lifeboat launch, and the crew were on scene with the casualties shortly after raising the alarm.

Commenting on the callout, Newcastle RNLI Launching Authority Daniel Curran said, ‘The location of the yacht, along with the loss of their navigational equipment, meant that the group were in serious danger of drifting onto rocks if they had not managed to raise the alarm. Conditions were not pleasant for those on the boat, and it was a tough few hours for them. I’m delighted, with such an excellent turnout on station yesterday for our training, that we were able to assist this group and bring them back to land safely in an extremely fast time. The call for help was raised through a radio onboard the yacht, and having a means of calling for help is vital when out on the water.

The all-Weather lifeboat crew for the callout were Coxswain Gerry McConkey, Mechanic Shane Rice, Mark Mitchel, Andrew Lynas, Trez Dennison and Karl Brannigan. The inshore lifeboat crew were Helm Locky Leneghan and Brendan Rooney and Ciaran Leneghan.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Aran Islands RNLI has come to the aid of eight people in two separate incidents over the weekend after two yachts got into difficulty.

The volunteer crew spent six hours at sea on Saturday night into the early hours of Sunday morning (23 July) after responding to a request to launch their all-weather lifeboat by the Irish Coast Guard at 10.58 pm on Saturday.

An 11.2m yacht with seven onboard was in difficulty two nautical miles northeast of Kilmurvey Bay.

The lifeboat launched under Coxswain Declan Brannigan and a full crew onboard and headed straight for the yacht.

Conditions at the time of launching were tough, with poor visibility, squally showers, a west to south-west force five wind blowing and a 3m sea swell.

Arriving on scene, the crew assessed the situation and were happy the crew aboard the yacht were in good health and in no immediate danger. The yacht was drifting as the steering had stopped working completely.

A decision was made to establish a tow line, but it was difficult to maintain due to the conditions.

A discussion between the lifeboat crew and the Coast Guard resulted in Casla Coast Guard being tasked to the scene, 1.5 nautical miles south of Cannon Rock light. A tow line was established between Casla Coast Guard and the yacht. The lifeboat proceeded to escort the vessels into Casla Bay where in calmer waters, the Casla Coast Guard was able to get the yacht alongside them and guide her safely into Rossaveal Harbour.

The Aran Islands lifeboat returned to Kilronan at 5.20 am.

Meanwhile, the volunteer crew were also requested to launch the lifeboat by the Irish Coast Guard at 6.26 pm last Friday (21 July).

A 15m yacht was in difficulty in Casheen Bay, north of the Aran Islands.

The lifeboat launched under Coxswain Declan Brannigan and a full crew and headed straight for the yacht.

Conditions at the time of launching were challenging with moderate visibility, a 2-3m sea swell and a south-west force 6 wind blowing.

Arriving on scene, the crew assessed the situation, and established the yacht with one person onboard was in no immediate danger.

A tow line was established and once clear of a nearby fish farm, the sailor was able to start his engine and the tow line was dropped.

The lifeboat guided the yacht out past Ceann Golam and towards Cannon Rock and the entrance to the channel for Rossaveal harbour. The yacht proceeded safely towards the harbour unaided.

Speaking after the call outs, Aran Islands RNLI Coxswain Declan Brannigan said: 'Saturday was a long night for the volunteer crew but the benefits of regular training paid off. Experience is earned from showing up. I am extremely proud of how they conducted themselves. There was a great response time from the crew for both call outs and in the first call out on Friday, we were able to get to the yacht quickly, and tow the sailor out safely. Saturday’s call out proved more challenging with the conditions and the hours of darkness but again, we were delighted to bring all seven to safety. Calling the Coast Guard for assistance in both cases was correct.

‘Even in the summer conditions can change quickly and push even the most experienced sailors out of their comfort zones. We would encourage everyone to be fully trained in the usage of all their equipment onboard ahead of their planned trip at sea.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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To mark World Drowning Prevention Day, July 25, Water Safety Ireland, the Coast Guard and the RNLI are calling on people to “Do One Thing or Improve One Thing” to help prevent drownings.

Participation in a wide variety of year-round water-based activities has increased recently, especially in smaller leisure craft, such as kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddle boards (SUPs). The call to action asks that people have well-maintained equipment, a means of calling for help and properly fitting lifejackets or flotation devices on every trip.

At this time of year, many people are taking their first summer dip and are not climatised to the dangers presented by open water such as hidden depths and hazards, entanglement, and dangerous currents. Be alert to local warning signs and never assume that the absence of a sign indicates a lack of danger.

"If you see somebody in trouble on the water or along the coast or think that they are in trouble, use Marine VHF Ch 16 or dial 112 and ask for the Coast Guard"

“Our call to action for World Drowning Prevention Day is that swimmers be aware of dangerous rip currents and to swim at Lifeguarded waterways or at a place that is traditionally known locally to be safe,” commented Roger Sweeney, Deputy CEO, Water Safety Ireland. “Rips are strong currents running out to sea that can quickly drag people from the shallows into deeper water. Rip current channels can often be mistaken for a safe swimming spot because the channel of water appears flat and is surrounded by a choppier sea surface. The best way to avoid rips is to swim at a lifeguarded waterway between the red and yellow flags. Last summer, Lifeguards rescued 583 people nationwide and provided first aid 6,500 times, so let Lifeguards be there for you this summer. Find out what you can do for World Drowning Prevention Day by visiting”

Coast Guard Operations manager Gerard O’Flynn said; “We appeal to everybody to attend to their own personal safety. Always check the weather forecast, confirming that weather is suitable for your chosen activity, check tide times and establish if the tide is ebbing or flooding. Users of all forms of recreational craft are reminded to familiarise themselves with the Code of Practice for the Safe Operation of Recreational Craft, which can be viewed at”

Speaking on World Drowning Prevention Day, Linda-Gene Byrne, RNLI Regional Water Safety Lead, said: ‘The summer holidays are well underway bringing an increase in the amount of people enjoying our coast and inland waters but this does mean there is likely to be an increase in the number of water-related incidents as well.’

‘Many of the incidents during the school holidays involve children and teenagers, and we would urge everyone – but families in particular – to be aware of the risks and know what to do in an emergency. ‘We want people to enjoy the water but urge everyone to think about their own safety, take time to familiarise yourself with our advice and to share this with your family and friends. The challenge for World Drowning Prevention Day is one that can easily be adopted by families enjoying the water with a simple conversation before engaging in their chosen activity.’

If you see somebody in trouble on the water or along the coast or think that they are in trouble, use Marine VHF Ch 16 or dial 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Castletownbere RNLI were launched last night just before midnight to assist a vessel taking water north of Dursey Island off the Beara peninsula in West Cork.

Castletownbere lifeboat volunteer crew were requested to launch by Valentia Coastguard Marine Coordination Centre at 23:47 last night to provide assistance to an 18-metre workboat which was taking water, and there was concern that the vessel could sink.

The lifeboat was launched within minutes under the command of Coxswain Marney O’Donoghue, mechanic Martin Cronin and crew John Paul Downey, Dave Fenton, Seamus Harrington, David O’Donovan and Sean Bawn O’Sullivan.

At 00:40 the lifeboat arrived on scene five miles North West of Dursey Island, and conditions were described as Force 4 North-westerly winds and a 1-2 metre swell. At this stage, the two crew on board had located the water leak's source and brought it under control using its own onboard water pump. However, as a precautionary measure, the lifeboat remained on standby in case assistance was needed. The lifeboat then proceeded to accompany the vessel to Castletownbere. The lifeboat was back on station and ready for service by 02.25.

Commenting on the callout Castletownbere RNLI Lifeboat Launching Authority, Felix O’Donoghue, stated: ‘Thankfully, the crew aboard the vessel were able to resolve the difficulty themselves. However, they made the correct decision in calling the lifeboat as a precaution.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Galway RNLI's volunteer crew were requested by the Irish Coast Guard to assist a 30-foot motorboat, with five people on board, in difficulty off Blackhead in County Clare late on Friday evening.

The lifeboat launched at around 8.30 pm with crew members David Oliver, Dave Badger, James Rattigan and Ian Claxton on board and headed towards the location of the motorboat, which was northeast of Finvarra Point, off Ballyvaughan.

Conditions at sea were challenging, with squally wind, rain and poor visibility. The crew on board the Galway lifeboat reached the motorboat at around 9 pm and escorted the boat - which was under her own power - and the five people on board back to Galway Harbour.

David Oliver, who was helm on board the lifeboat, said: ‘Our volunteer shore crew were waiting at the harbour and helped to secure the motorboat when she arrived back. We were very pleased to be able to assist the five people on board the motorboat and make sure they got safely back to dry land.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Page 7 of 304

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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