Fenit RNLI launched in gale force conditions during Storm Lorenzo this evening to search for a windsurfer reported missing off Brandon Bay in County Kerry.
The volunteer lifeboat crew were requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat at 7.23 pm this evening by the Irish Coast Guard.
A fellow windsurfer who was already on the shore raised the alarm after he lost sight of his partner for four minutes.
The lifeboat launched immediately under Coxswain John Moriarty and with six crew members onboard and made its way to the scene some 14 nautical miles from the station in gale force 9 conditions.
The Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 115 from Shannon was also tasked along with Dingle Coast Guard.
The lifeboat was almost on scene when communication came through that the windsurfer had made it to shore by himself and was safe and well. The lifeboat was subsequently stood down.
Speaking following the call out, Ger O’Donnell, Fenit RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘Thankfully, we had a good outcome this evening and the windsurfer was located safe and well.
‘As Storm Lorenzo continues, we would remind everybody to take note of the weather forecast and Stay Back – Stay Dry – Stay High. If you see someone in difficulty or are concerned about somebody’s whereabouts on or near the water use VHF channel 16 or dial 112, and ask for the Coast Guard.
‘RNLI lifeboat crews are ever ready to answer any call for help and I would like to commend the 14 crew members who turned up at the lifeboat station this evening willing and selflessly prepared to go out despite the gale force conditions.’
The callouts included a person requiring medical assistance, another person getting into difficulty while swimming, and assisting a sailing vessel with mechanical problems.
The all-weather lifeboat was launched twice near Ballydavid in West Kerry, bringing the seafarer and their vessel to the safety of a local pier.
Meanwhile, the inshore lifeboat was used to attend to an incident involving a swimmer who got into difficulty at a local beach in Fenit.
In another callout this week, a medical emergency arose close to another beach in Fenit. Shannon Coast Guard also attended.
Upon safe arrival back on shore an ambulance was waiting on Fenit Pier to give medical attention to the casualty.
Fenit RNLI lifeboat operations manager Gerard O’Donnell said that despite their busy week, the volunteer crew were pleased and relieved that all callouts had resulted in good outcomes.
The spell of good weather had naturally increased the number of people using the beaches and surrounding coastline.
“Fenit RNLI encourages all sea users to be extra vigilant while using the sea,” O’Donnell said, adding that “people should never be embarrassed or afraid to call the RNLI or coastguard if there is a concern that anyone is in danger at sea.”
Reports had been received of a person in the sea near Derrymore Island, but the man had managed to swim ashore by the time the lifeboat crew arrived, after having been in the water for some 30 minutes.
Weather conditions would have been calm when the man set out to sea but Force 4-5 south westerly winds had developed when the incident occurred.
The man, who did not require medical assistance, was brought by the RNLI to his overturned boat where it was righted. The boat was towed to Fenit Pier with its owner onboard the lifeboat. Gerard O’Donnell, lifeboat operations manager at Fenit RNLI, was at the station to meet the rescued man.
Using a salvage pump, the crew proceeded to help draw the water out of the sunken boat so it was in a position to be moved to a more protected area close by.
Speaking following the callout, Fenit RNLI helm Lee Sugrue said: “Our crew responded with a very quick launch time as we were in the vicinity of the lifeboat station at the time our pagers went off. Weather conditions had deteriorated over the course of late afternoon and we are very pleased that there were no casualties today.
“We would advise all seafarers to respect the water and always wear a lifejacket. If at any time you see someone in trouble in the water or need assistance at sea, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”
I love Irish history. It is the story of the Irish people, living in an island nation. But I have always wondered about a maritime, a shipping aspect of the Easter Rising, the commemoration of which has raised the profile of our evolution as an independent country. And that is – would it actually have been possible for the AUD, the German ship with weapons and ammunition for the Irish Volunteers, by arrangement with Roger Casement, to have landed its cargo in Tralee Bay, which is the accepted historical conception of that part of the plans for the Rising.
I have always wondered about the challenge and difficulties of getting 20,000 rifles, 10 machine guns and 3.5 million rounds of ammunition off that ship in the conditions and shipping facilities of Tralee Bay and the probably only realistic landing site at Fenit in 1916.
Was it to have been done at Fenit? In the facilities there for unloading in 1916 would that actually have been possible? Was it thought that the cargo might be got off into open boats in the Bay?
I got my opportunity to ask that question of an expert on the period last weekend, Dr. John Treacy, who was recently awarded his Ph.D. from Mary Immaculate College in Limerick for his doctoral thesis about the Naval Service.
He answered me very directly: “I would say absolutely not.”
He had a lot more to say about the AUD and the plan for it to provide weaponry for the Volunteers when I interviewed him at a seminar which underlined the huge public interest in Irish maritime affairs. “Revolution on an Island -The Maritime Aspects of the 1916 Rebellion,” was organised by the Irish Maritime Forum. It was booked out. People attended from all over the country. There was even a waiting list for places at the National Maritime College in Ringaskiddy on the edge of Cork Harbour where it was held.
Dr. Treacy spoke on ‘The Silent Shore – The Attempt to land arms at Banna Strand from the AUD.” It is a fascinating part of Irish history and the maritime involvement. If you have any interest at all in our history, I urge you to listen to him below on my programme, THIS ISLAND NATION.
It was also an unusual experience for me at that seminar to find myself being quoted at the outset. It was for my description of Ireland as an “island nation” which is accepted by the Forum, which is an independent think-tank on maritime matters. But the Forum had a qualification – “Ireland is not yet a maritime nation”
You can hear more about this from retired Naval officer, Capt. James Robinson, who discusses it with me on behalf of the Forum. Not a lot has been heard about the Forum in public, but this seminar was a revelation.
Simon McGibney, the new Commodore of the Irish Cruiser Racing Association, talks to me about his plans for this year’s sailing and the retirement of one of the country’s longest-serving lifeboatmen, from the RNLI Rosslare Station, is reported while there is also good advice on the programme about using vehicles to launch and recover boats from slipways in view of the Buncrana tragedy.
THIS ISLAND NATION reports on the marine traditions, culture, history and modern maritime developments of our island nation. I hope you enjoy it and would welcome your comments. You can Email to: [email protected]
A series of 16 races was run over the two-day event in Fenit, where a lot was learned and plenty of fun was had by all, as the video above can attest! A photo gallery of the weekend is also available HERE.
At 3.29am Shannon Coast guard tasked Kilrush RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew to investigate a report of four persons in the water in the Poulnasherry Bay area of the Shannon Estuary.
Kilrush lifeboat crew were met by members of the public on the scene who had successfully recovered three persons safely from the water. The casualties were transferred by ambulance to Limerick Regional Hospital. Kilrush RNLI, Kilkee Coast Guard and the Shannon based Coast Guard helicopter undertook a large-scale search of the area to locate a fourth missing person.
The search operation continued through the night with the addition of Fenit RNLI lifeboat, Doolin Coast Guard, Irish Customs Vessel, Ballybunnion Rescue Services, SFPC Pilot Boat as well as an extensive shore search team from all agencies as well as navy diving units.
A person was recovered from the water at 10.42am following an extensive search.
Commenting on the callout, Pauline Dunleavy, Kilrush RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: 'This was one of the largest search and rescue operation in the Shannon Estuary for a number of years. I would like to commend the quick response from all agencies especially the members of the public that assisted. On behalf of everyone at Kilrush RNLI Lifeboat Station, I wish to express our sincere condolences to the family and friends of the man who sadly did not survive.
#Sailbot - The Canadian engineers behind the latest robotic boat challenger to cross the Atlantic unaided have told The Sunday Times' Gabrielle Monaghan about their hopes for the project this summer.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the team from the University of British Columbia will put their 'sailboat' to sea from Newfoundland in August, bound for Ireland in the latest attempt at the Microtransat Challenge.
No previous attempt has been able "to even cross the halfway point," said UBC Sailbot team co-captain Kristoffer Vik Hansen.
But reaching Fenit - which stepped into the breach when previous destination Dingle proved a no-go due to tourist traffic - would be the dream come true for the 66-strong team of students bringing together the complementary disciplines of engineering and computer science.
Indeed, it would also mark a retracing of the route of St Brendan the Navigator's legendary voyage from that Co Kerry town to Newfoundland some 1,500 years ago.
ICRA Feeder races from Dublin bay, Galway bay and the Shannon Estuary, some with early starts to avail of favourable tides are planned for early June all to arrive in good time for the Fenit based National Cruiser Championships.
The Dun Laoghaire to Dingle (D2D) race starting on Friday, June 7th from Dublin Bay has over 20 boats entered so far. Significantly entries are ranging on IRC handicap points difference from .898 to 1.144 and maybe higher, so there will be a well spread fleet going down the east coast of Ireland on June 7th.
A favourite west coast feeder is the O'Sullivans Marine 100–mile race. This annual fixture is planned to leave Galway docks at 20.00 also on Friday, June 7th for an over night race into Fenit marina the following day and is billed as ideal for ICRA boats coming from Sligo, Mayo, Clifden.
With entries already received from likes of Paul and Deirdre Tingle from Royal Cork who are bringing their new Corby 25 Alpaca (ex Allure ex Kinetic) a boat with a terrific reputation at ICRA Nationals.
The Tingle's will be taking on fellow Corby 25 Tribal (ex Yanks and Franks) Liam Burke from Galway Bay and Ray Mc Gibney's Disaray from Foynes Yacht Club and Strictly Business (Ferguson Kelleher) from Tralee Bay.
King One Dave Cullen's Half Tonner from Howth Yacht Club will travel together with Nigel Biggs Checkmate XV from Royal St George to lead a Dublin Challenge.
Egalite David Griffins Dehler 34 from Cliften will likely be joined by Martin Reilly's Half Tonner Harmony (also originally optimised by Nigel Biggs) and Conor Ronan's well prepared Corby 26 Ruthless both from Sligo Yacht Club.
It is also hoped Royal Cork Admiral Peter Deasy and his team on Bad Company will compete to build on their success at Cork Week.
Class 0 already has the likes of Norbert Reilly's Mills designed Crazy Horse sailing this time with a father and son combo and Conor and Denise Phelan's Ker designed Jump Juice being joined by Anthony O'Leary's Ker 39 Antix and George Sisk's Wow so the basis of a most competitive fleet is also building nicely in this class.
Priority berthing in Fenit Marina will be given to early bookings.
Update from Brian O'Sullivan at Tralee Bay SC
1. April 27th: end of early entry discount.
2. IRC and ECHO Certificates: have you got your certificates sorted out, or
even applied for at this stage? this process can take several weeks, so make
sure you get your application in as soon as possible....
3. Accommodation: There are still some houses available for letting at very
reasonable rates in Fenit village, but they are getting scarce. The
committee have sought out whatever is available and the last few houses will
be listed on the website very shortly, so keep an eye on this. Don't forget,
the Brandon Hotel also, have a few rooms left at unbelievable rates - check
out our website for details - www.traleebaysailingclub.com
4. Crew: for owners and skippers - it is time to get your crew together. Get
some early training in, get rid of the cobwebs and build up some team
spirit. Only 8 weeks to go!!!
5. Boat Movements: if you have to bring your boat to the event - have you
lined up a delivery crew and a return trip crew? Time to organize this now -
make sure you have plenty crew, as inevitably, some will drop out in the
last minute for whatever reason! If you are struggling to get crew, contact
us and we will help from our pool of skippers and crew who have volunteered
for these delivery trips. Email us on [email protected] for
6. June 12th: WIORA commences...........
7. June 13th: ICRA commences............
Guys and girls: start getting your ducks in a row!!!!! Get entries with
PAYMENT in to avail of priority berthing in Fenit Marina!!!!
#rnli – Lifeboat crew with Fenit RNLI and three local families worked together last night (Tuesday 26 March) to save the life of a stranded dolphin in the Kerry town. The mammal was running out of time after he was washed up into a deserted channel on a remote beach on Fenit Island and was not able to return to the water.
In a rescue operation that involved members of the Egan, Tobin and McCarthy families, three RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew, an inshore lifeboat and a jeep, the dolphin was given a fighting chance and was safely deposited by the lifeboat crew out in deep water.
The drama began when local woman Breda McCarthy was out walking her dog on Fenit Island when she came upon the stranded dolphin. It was lying in a small channel quite a few metres from the sea. It is believed the dolphin had swam in at high tide a few hours earlier and had got cut off from the sea. Mrs McCarty contacted family members who came down to see if they could return the dolphin to the water. Unfortunately this was not possible as the mammal kept to the shallow waters and would not return to the sea.
With their concern growing the families contacted Ger O'Donnell, Fenit RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager to see if the RNLI could assist them. Ger in turn made contact with Valentia Coast Guard who put him in contact with a dolphin expert. After discussing the situation with the expert it was decided that the best course of action for providing a safe outcome would be to transport the dolphin down to the harbour and then transport it by RNLI lifeboat out to sea to be released.
The dolphin was carefully wrapped up and transported by jeep to the harbour where RNLI lifeboat crew were already waiting in the inshore lifeboat to launch. They took the dolphin onboard the lifeboat and proceeded immediately out to sea. On releasing the dolphin into the water the lifeboat crew watched as the mammal slowly started to swim around the lifeboat in ever increasing circles, gaining confidence as it went. Once they were satisfied the dolphin was able to safely swim away, the lifeboat crew returned to shore.
Commenting on the unusual callout Fenit RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Ger O'Donnell said, "This was not your run of the mill rescue for the lifeboat crew. We were very anxious that we did everything right and gave the poor thing the best chance of survival. I want to thank everyone involved. It was a real community effort, from the local families, the RNLI crew and the Coast Guard, who were able to put us in touch with the expert advice we needed. It was almost as if the dolphin knew we were working to save him and I sincerely hope that he made it and we can count him as another life saved."
Local woman Mary Tobin, whose son Michael captured some photos of the incident said, "It was great to see everyone working together. I can't thank them enough, we were so worried the poor creature was not going to make it. When my sister Breda found him it was clear that he was in a bad way and his breathing was very laboured. We knew that with the RNLI on our doorstep that we would have a good shot at a successful outcome.