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Displaying items by tag: castletownbere

In an Easter sea rescue operation, the Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat 'Annette Hutton' was launched to assist a local fishing vessel that had lost its ability to manoeuvre on the north side of Sheep's Head.

The lifeboat received an alert at 12.29 on Good Friday from Valentia Coastguard Maritime Coordination Rescue Centre requesting assistance for a boat reported to be in difficulty. The Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat, manned by Coxswain Dean Hegarty with crew Marney O’Donoghue, Sean ‘Bawn’ O’Sullivan, Joe Cronin, David O’Donovan, and William Power, was launched within eight minutes.

The weather on-scene was described as Westerly Force 3/4 winds and a one-metre swell. The boat could not manoeuvre as the anchor rope had become entangled in the propellor. Contact was made with the vessel and the decision was made to launch the lifeboat's Y-boat with two crew aboard to cut off the rope from the propellor.

Simultaneously, the lifeboat took the vessel in tow in an effort to take the weight off the rope, and the Y-boat crew successfully removed most of the rope and freed the boat. However, a small amount of rope remained stuck to the rudder, and it was decided, for safety reasons, to continue to tow the boat back to Castletownbere.

The lifeboat, with the boat in tow, left the scene at 14.34 and arrived back to port by 16.07. The three persons onboard were safe and well. The lifeboat was refuelled and ready for service again by 16.28.

The duty Launching Authority, Brendan O’Neill, praised the vessel for seeking assistance at an early stage and complimented the lifeboat crew for their speedy response and successful outcome.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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As the RNLI marks 200 years of lifesaving, the volunteer lifeboat crew at Castletownbere, West Cork will take to the television screens on Tuesday, 2 April, at 8 p.m. They will feature in the ninth series of the popular maritime TV show Saving Lives at Sea on BBC Two and iPlayer.

The new series comes in the wake of an incredible milestone for the RNLI, as the charity marked two centuries of lifesaving on 4 March 2024. It began with a special first episode, guest presented by long-time RNLI supporter Dermot O’Leary, taking a closer look at RNLI crews’ involvement in the Second World War.

Nine further episodes in the series return the focus to the lifesaving work of today’s lifeboat crews and lifeguards, featuring footage captured on helmet and boat cameras, including Castletownbere RNLI. Viewers will be able to watch dramatic rescues as they unfold through the eyes of RNLI lifesavers, as well as meeting the people behind the pagers and hearing from the rescuees and their families who, thanks to the RNLI, are here to tell the tale.

This forthcoming episode, on Tuesday, 2 April, sees Castletownbere RNLI undertake a medivac when the lifeboat launched to help a fisherman who had become seriously ill aboard a trawler in rough seas two miles off Mizen Head in November 2020, alongside rescue stories from their colleagues at other stations.

Castletownbere RNLI volunteer, Donagh Murphy who was on his first call-out, who features in the forthcoming episode, says: ‘It’s great to be able to showcase the work we do on TV like this, and allow the public to see how their generous donations help us to save lives. We’re all looking forward to watching the episode.

Filming took place over the past year, with lifeboat crews and lifeguards carrying special cameras and welcoming film-makers into their day-to-day life. Rescues from the RNLI’s archives are also revisited, and we get a glimpse into the everyday lives of the thousands of men and women who give up their time to save lives.

Saving Lives at Sea is broadcast at 8pm on Tuesdays on BBC Two and iPlayer.

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Castletownbere Fishery Harbour Centre in County Cork, one of the six State-owned Fishery Harbour Centres, has officially opened the Dinish Wharf Expansion. The €48m project was funded through the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s Fishery Harbour and Coastal Infrastructure Development Programme, with part-funding of €6.55m from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund. 

The most recent quay expansion has delivered 216 metres of additional space and brings the overall facility on Dinish Island Wharf to over 400 metres in length. This expansion provides state-of-the-art, world-class facilities that generations to come will benefit from. The new breakwaters provide sheltered berthing conditions, allowing Castletownbere to facilitate landings by vessels of 100 metres in length and alleviate congestion during peak times. 

The Minister for the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD, acknowledged the role of the main contractor, Sorenson Civil Engineering Ltd, in delivering this recent phase. Despite COVID-19 restrictions and supply chain delays, they overcame the difficulties and delivered a first-class structure on par with the best in Europe. 

In 2022, almost 87% of all fish landed in Ireland was in the six State-owned Fishery Harbour Centres. At Castletownbere, these landings were valued at circa €107 million. The six Fishery Harbour Centres are critical infrastructure for the seafood industry, as they attract increased fish landings that drive and maximise the opportunities for primary and secondary processing, ensuring a strong Irish seafood processing industry. 

Minister McConalogue concluded by saying, "The continuous development of the infrastructure in the Harbour is critical to the fishing fleet and the land-based seafood processing industry. This critical infrastructure further demonstrates the importance this Government places on safeguarding the future of our fisheries-dependent coastal communities."

Published in Fishing
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A yacht that got into difficulty during Storm Betty was rescued by the West Cork Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat on Saturday morning.

The sailors had been anchored off Dromquinna on the Kenmare Peninsula, but as the storm worsened, the vessel dragged anchor and became stuck on a rock.

The sailors raised the alarm with the Irish Coast Guard's Marine Research Coordination Centre in Valentia, requesting immediate assistance.

The Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat, ‘Annette Hutton’, was launched at 03:22 and faced a three-hour trip to Dromquinna.

The yacht was located on a rock south of Dromquinna but, with the rising tide, volunteer lifeboat crew were able to attach a tow rope and pull the vessel clear. The yacht was undamaged and both sailors were found to be safe and well. It was then decided to tow the yacht to Castletownbere. The tow is currently in progress and the lifeboat and yacht are expected in port at 14:00.The yacht was located on a rock south of Dromquinna but, with the rising tide, volunteer lifeboat crew were able to attach a tow rope and pull the vessel clear. The yacht was undamaged and both sailors were found to be safe and well. It was then decided to tow the yacht to Castletownbere. The tow is currently in progress and the lifeboat and yacht are expected in port at 14:00

Despite driving rain, strong winds and a large sea swell, the crew managed to locate the yacht on a rock south of Dromquinna and attach a tow rope before pulling it clear.

The yacht was undamaged, and both sailors were found to be safe and well. The tow to Castletownbere is expected to be completed by 14:00.

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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

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

Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat was launched this afternoon (Wednesday, 5 July 2023) to immediately assist two sailors whose yacht got into difficulty off the West Cork Coast.

A UK couple had set out in their 11-metre yacht from Sneem in Co Kerry this morning on route to Bere Island in West Cork. This afternoon they contacted the Irish Coast Guard’s Marine Research Coordination Centre in Valentia, stating the yacht had become snagged in a lobster pot rope and could not manoeuvre, and they requested assistance.

Castletownbere’s RNLI lifeboat, ‘Annette Hutton’, was tasked at 16:23 and launched within minutes under the command of Coxswain Marney O’Donoghue with crew Dave O’Donovan, Seamus Harrington, Kyle Cronin, John William O’Donoghue and Will Power.

The yacht was subsequently located between Crow Head and Blackball Head on the Beara Peninsula at 16:58. Coxswain O’Donoghue described the conditions onscene as ‘good visibility with South-westerly Force 4/5 winds and a 1-2 metre sea swell’. The volunteer crew were able to free the yacht with a grappling hook and take the vessel under tow. The yacht was berthed at Castletownbere Pier at 19:05 where both sailors expressed their thanks to the crew.

Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat crewCastletownbere RNLI lifeboat crew

Brendan O’Neill, Launching Authority at Castletownbere RNLI, stated: ‘The sailors were wise to make an immediate request for help given the worsening weather conditions this evening’.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Fifteen crew members from a Spanish hake trawler made landfall at Castletownbere hours after their vessel caught fire off the South West Coast at the weekend, as The Journal reports.

The fishing crew were rescued from their lifeboats by another trawler that answered their distress call following the blaze that engulfed the 31.5m vessel Nuevo San Juan on Sunday morning (2 July).

OPP-7, the Spanish fishermen’s body that owns the casualty vessel, confirmed there was no loss of life in the incident. All crew were safety landed in the West Cork fishery harbour on Monday (2 July).

The Journal has more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing
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Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat was launched today (Monday 5th December 2022) at 12:45 to go to the immediate assistance of a fishing trawler, drifting without power, between Dinish Island and Bere Island in West Cork.

A thirty-metre fishing vessel raised the alarm when it experienced mechanical failure and was drifting without power and requested immediate assistance. Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat, ‘Annette Hutton’, was tasked and launched immediately under the command of Coxswain Dave Fenton with Mechanic Marney O’Donoghue, and crew Sean Bawn O’Sullivan, Seamus Harrington and Carl Cronin.

The lifeboat was on scene within ten minutes, where a local boat had attached a rope to the stricken vessel. In addition, a local tugboat was on standby. There were fresh easterly winds Force 4/5. The lifeboat took the vessel under tow and proceeded towards Catletownbere Harbour. At the entrance of the harbour, a second rope was attached from the stern of the disabled vessel to the tugboat. Once safely within the harbour, the vessel was berthed alongside the quay wall at Dinish Pier. The fishing boat skipper expressed his gratitude for the timely assistance of the lifeboat and local vessels.

Commenting on the callout Castletownbere RNLI Lifeboat Launching Authority, Felix O’Donoghue, stated: ‘Thankfully, there was a swift response from our crew and we were pleased with the outcome and we acknowledge the assistance of other vessels involved in the operation’.

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Castletownbere RNLI was launched last night (Saturday, 13 August 2022) just after 22:00 to go to the assistance of an 11-year-old child who had fallen on Bere Island off the coast of West Cork.

Castletownbere lifeboat volunteer crew were requested to launch by Valentia Coastguard Marine Coordination Centre to provide assistance to the injured child in the village of Rerrin at the eastern end of the island.

The lifeboat was launched within minutes under the command of Coxswain Dean Hegarty with crew David O’Donovan, Martin Cronin, Dave Fenton, and Andrew O’Neill.

Conditions were described as very calm. On arriving at the pier in Bere Island, tidal conditions were such that the lifeboat was unable to berth and so the lifeboat’s inflatable Y-boat was launched. The casualty, accompanied by her mother, was then transferred by stretcher to the lifeboat.

On arrival at Castletownbere RNLI Station, the casualty was met by paramedics from the National Ambulance Service and she subsequently received medical assessment and attention. The lifeboat was refuelled and ready for service by 12.15 a.m.

Commenting on the callout Castletownbere RNLI Lifeboat Launching Authority, Felix O’Donoghue, stated: ‘Thankfully, this was a very straightforward call out and everything went very smoothly – we wish the girl a full and speedy recovery’.

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About Pamela Lee, Irish Offshore Sailor

Ireland has produced some of the world’s most dedicated offshore sailors, and Pamela Lee of Greystones is one of them. She has made a name for herself in the sailing world, having worked as a mate on a charter Super-yacht for two and a half years. After coming ashore, she has been fully committed to her offshore sailing ambitions since 2019.

Lee has raced in various craft, including Figaro 3s, Class 40, Tp 52s, and multihulls, and has eight transatlantic crossings under her belt. In partnership with Kenny Rumball, Lee supported Rumball’s La Solitaire du Figaro sailing campaign to secure the Irish berth in the proposed Mixed Offshore Keelboat event for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

One of Lee’s stated main aims is to promote female empowerment in sport, and she set out to establish a double-handed Round Ireland speed record with Englishwoman Cat Hunt in the winter of 2020. This campaign gained much publicity, and Lee expressed pride in bringing sailing and offshore sailing, in particular, into the conversation for 2020.

To further her offshore sailing career, Lee moved to France, where she has recently secured a place to skipper a yacht in the Transat Jacques Vabre Challenge in October 2023. Lee’s passion and dedication to offshore sailing are inspiring, and her achievements are a testament to her hard work and perseverance.