Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: RNLI

Sligo Bay RNLI’s volunteer crew were requested to launch by Malin Head Coast Guard shortly after 4pm on Sunday (17 September) to assist a lone sailor aboard a 38ft yacht eight miles out at sea.

The inshore lifeboat Sheila and Dennis Tongue at launched at 4.17pm with four crew members onboard and was on scene half an hour later amid good sea conditions.

Following an assessment, the lifeboat crew found the sailor to be fine but the wind had dropped and the yacht had experienced engine failure so was not able to make any headway.

The sailor reacting quickly, had called 999 and requested assistance from the coastguard who in turn paged the lifeboat.

A lifeboat crew member went onboard to assist the sailor with setting up a tow before the yacht was brought to the nearest safe port in Sligo town.

Speaking after the rescue, Sligo Bay RNLI helm Michael Waters said: “We launched to a 38ft steel-hull yacht with one crew onboard that found itself becalmed due to no wind and engine failure eight miles west of the Wheat Rock buoy.

“One of the lifeboat crew was put onboard to help the sailor with the tow back to Sligo. The tow was quickly established, and we proceed to the pontoon in Sligo town arriving at 7.20pm.”

Once the yacht was safely tied up, the lifeboat returned to the station where it was was washed down, refuelled and made ready for service again by the volunteer shore crew.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Lough Ree RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew helped six people on board two cruisers that ran aground on the lake.

On Saturday morning, September 16th, the Lough Ree RNLI crew rescued two people on board a 40ft cruiser that had stranded on rocks near Nun’s Island. The charity’s lifeboat ‘Tara Scougall’ and its volunteer crew responded to a call for assistance just after 9 am under helm Kieran Sloyan. The two people were taken from the stranded boat and transferred to the Lakeside Marina on the Westmeath shore.

The boat had been the focus of a call-out the previous evening when Lough Ree RNLI was tasked by the Irish Coast Guard to go to the aid of the stricken boat with two people on board near Nun’s Island. The Lough Ree RNLI volunteer crew under helm Stuart McMicken reached the scene at 7.40 pm near Marker Three. On inspection, the crew found the 40ft cruiser hard aground on rocks near Nun’s Island. The volunteer crew spent more than 90 minutes in vain trying to remove the craft from where it came to rest. The two people on board, who were healthy and had enough provisions and fully charged communications equipment, decided to remain on board for the night.

With no improvement in the situation overnight, the two people requested Lough Ree RNLI on Saturday morning to be taken off the cruiser. The transfer was successfully completed by 10 am.

Last week, on Thursday, September 14th, Lough Ree RNLI was asked by the Irish Coast Guard to help a cruiser with four people on board that had run aground on the Hexagon Shoal in the south of the lake. Launched under helm Liam Sheringham, the charity’s lifeboat ‘Tara Scougall’ with a volunteer crew reached the stricken boat at 1.40 pm. After an initial inspection, the crew found all four people on board wearing life jackets and uninjured. The boat was towed from the rocks to safe water and continued north under its own power.

Kevin Ganly, volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager at Lough Ree RNLI, said: "Lake users need to be extra vigilant because of falling water levels on the lake this month. More than 20 of the charity’s volunteers responded to call-outs last week, and I commend them for their commitment and dedication to keeping people safe on the water."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

On Saturday evening, the Arranmore RNLI crew successfully rescued three people and their dog who were stranded on Maghera Beach due to the rising tide. 

The stranded walkers, two men, a woman, and their dog, were cut off by the tide on the rocks at Maghera Beach at Loughros Mor Bay when they called for help at 7.15 pm. The Malin Head Coast Guard immediately alerted the all-weather lifeboat crew who were already out on an exercise. The crew promptly diverted to the incident and arrived at the scene shortly after.

Upon assessing the situation, the crew onboard the Severn class lifeboat, Myrtle Maud, launched their smaller daughter inflatable Y-boat to access the water near the rocks or shore. Crew members Mickey McHugh and Kieran O'Donnell located the stranded walkers along the rocky shoreline of Loughros Mór Bay.

At 8.15pm, the crew  removed the stranded walkers from the rocks. The rescue operation was a testament to the crew's training and skill. After the rescue, the casualties received further assessment and care from Killybegs Coast Guard before safely returning to their vehicles in Portnoo.

Coxswain Jimmy Early of Arranmore RNLI praised the professionalism and dedication of his crew throughout the commendable rescue operation. He also commended the stranded walkers for their prompt call to the emergency services.

The Arranmore RNLI crew on this commendable call-out included Coxswain Jimmy Early, mechanic John McHugh, and crew members Micky Dubh McHugh, Kieran O’Donnell, JJ O’Donnell, Seamus Bonner, and Finbar Gallagher.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Both Wicklow RNLI lifeboats were launched on Thursday, 14 September, in response to an aircraft in difficulty.

The Coast Guard had issued a pager alert to investigate reports of an aircraft struggling off the Wicklow coast.

The initial report suggested that a light aircraft had ditched into the sea near the Six-mile point. However, as the lifeboats approached the search area, more information was relayed to them from the Coast Guard. It turned out that the aircraft was a large, unmanned drone being flown in the area and had crashed into the sea.

Despite favourable weather conditions, with calm seas and good visibility, the situation could have been serious. The inshore lifeboat crew located the significantly damaged drone floating a mile off Newcastle Beach. It was subsequently towed ashore and handed over to its owner.

Tommy Dover, the Lifeboat Press Officer, commended the volunteer crew for their rapid response. He also urged anyone in an emergency situation or who spots someone else in trouble to call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

The Howth RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew sprang into action on Monday evening, launching both of their lifeboats to assist in a multi-agency incident near the Baily Lighthouse. The Coast Guard had requested the inshore lifeboat to respond to reports of an individual stranded at the base of cliffs close to the lighthouse. The Dublin Fire Brigade and the Howth Coast Guard unit were also involved in the operation.

Upon arrival, the lifeboat crew located a man who had fallen while out walking the previous evening. He could not call for help, and had spent the night and the day stranded on the cliff, very close to the high water point. The man was visibly wet, cold, and unable to move due to injuries, but was conscious and able to communicate with the crew.

The crew assisted an advanced paramedic from Dublin Fire Brigade in assessing the man’s injuries, and decided to take him by sea to an ambulance. As a potential injury was suspected, the Howth all-weather lifeboat was launched for the extraction.

The all-weather lifeboat, with five crew members on board, arrived within minutes. The helm of the inshore lifeboat held the boat steady while the two crew members, assisted by a member of the Coast Guard unit and the advanced paramedic, brought the casualty on board on a stretcher. The inshore lifeboat then made its way to the all-weather lifeboat, and the casualty and the advanced paramedic were transferred across. The all-weather lifeboat proceeded to Howth Lifeboat Station, where the casualty was handed over to the ambulance crew.

Fin Goggin, a Howth RNLI lifeboat crew member, expressed her relief that the incident had a positive outcome. She noted that the man had been exposed to the elements for close to 24 hours, and had he fallen any further, he could have ended up in the water. Goggin added that these types of rescues from rocks and cliffs form a regular part of their training, and urged anyone who sees someone in difficulty on or close to the water to dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Kilmore Quay RNLI volunteers were called out on two separate occasions on Monday, September 11, to assist two yachts in distress.

The first call came in early in the morning when the crew launched to help two people on board a yacht with a fouled prop approximately two miles south of Carnsore Point. The lifeboat arrived on scene at 8:10 am, and after assessing the situation, the crew towed the yacht back to Kilmore Quay. The vessel arrived back at the harbour at 9:30 am.

Later in the day, the crew received another call for assistance. This time, they were asked to help a lone sailor whose yacht had lost all power near the Saltee Islands. The lifeboat was launched at 2:30 pm and arrived on scene ten minutes later. After assessing the situation, the crew transferred an RNLI crew member to the yacht to establish a towline.

The vessel was towed back to Kilmore Quay harbour, arriving at 3:20 pm where they were met by an ambulance as a precaution.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Arranmore RNLI in Co Donegal rescued a kayaker on rocks at Owey Island on Sunday afternoon (10 September).

The volunteer crew were asked to launch their all-weather lifeboat by Malin Head Coast Guard at 2.50pm to reports of a kayaker in difficulty on rocks at Owey Island, a five-minute journey from the RNLI station.

On arrival at the scene, the lifeboat was joined by the Bunbeg Coast Guard boat, the Irish Coast Guard’s Sligo-based helicopter Rescue 118 and local boats.

The lifeboat located the empty kayak and proceeded to search the area around Owey Island and the wider area for the missing kayaker but was unable to locate him.

Arranmore RNLI mechanic Philip McCauley suggested to Malin Head Coast Guard that the caves at Owey Island were a popular exploration spot for kayakers and canoes. They proceeded to search the area by the Bunbeg Coast Guard drone and the casualty was soon located.

It emerged that the kayaker was going to explore the cave when a large swell backed him into the opening, overturned his boat and tossed him onto the rocks. He had managed to alert the Coast Guard and clung onto the rocks until he was located by the lifeboat.

Sea conditions at the area made the rescue more difficult with a high ground swell and breaking surf.

As the tide turned and sea conditions improved, the lifeboat launched the Y boat — a small inflatable daughter boat capable of entering shallow water and small confined areas, launched from the stern of the lifeboat — with volunteer crew members Evan O’Donnell and JJ O’Donnell onboard and they proceeded into the cave where they brought the casualty onboard and transferred him to the lifeboat for assessment.

The lifeboat then transferred the casualty to the Bunbeg Coast Guard boat and the crew took him ashore and he was subsequently taken onboard Rescue 118 for transfer to Letterkenny University Hospital.

Speaking on return from service, McCauley said: “We are really pleased at the positive outcome of this call. I would particularly like to commend our two crew members JJ O’Donnell and Evan O’Donnell who were in charge of the Y boat in challenging sea conditions and brought the casualty to safety. They did a fantastic job and we are lucky to have crew members of their calibre onboard the crew. All our volunteer crew members are very dedicated and don’t hesitate to answer the call to save lives.”

Coxswain Seán O’Donnell also thanked the boats from the local area who provided assistance in the search. He said: “This was a great joint effort with the Bunbeg Coast Guard boat, Rescue 118 and all the boats who took part in this rescue. It was this joint cooperation between all the rescue services and the local boat crews that was instrumental in bringing a positive outcome in the search and saving the life of the man.”

Arranmore RNLI’s crew on the service were coxswain Seán O’Donnell, mechanic Philip McCauley and volunteer crew members Aisling Cox, Evan O’Donnell, JJ O’Donnell, Jamie Neeson, Sharon O’Donnell and Mickey Dubh McHugh.

Meanwhile, on Saturday (9 September), the crew were called out at 6.40pm to a medevac from the island, where they transferred the patient to a waiting ambulance in Burtonport to be brought to Letterkenny University Hospital for assessment.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Sligo Bay RNLI's volunteer crew were requested to launch at 2.10pm on Sunday afternoon (10 September) to reports of three people in difficulty off Inishmurray Island.

The three were on a boat which had earlier left from Mullaghmore Harbour on a fishing trip. However, during their trip, the boat experienced engine failure.

Answering their pagers, the volunteer crew were at the station, onboard the inshore lifeboat Sheila and Denis Tongue and under way in nine minutes.

Weather conditions at the time were favourable and contact was made with a local angling boat who was close to the scene, and they stood by the casualty vessel until the lifeboat arrived.

On arrival at the scene, some four miles off the coast, an assessment was carried out and it was decided to take all three people aboard the lifeboat and the crew then set up a tow with the casualty vessel and brought them back to Mullaghmore Harbour, where all were put safely ashore at the boat tied up.

Speaking after the call-out, Sligo Bay RNLI lifeboat operations manager Willie Murphy said: “Thankfully the outcome was successful. All three people were wearing lifejackets and had a means of communication.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

A family of four on board a broken-down speedboat off the County Wexford coast received assistance from the volunteer lifeboat crew at Fethard RNLI over the weekend. The Irish Coast Guard requested the launch of the lifeboat on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. following a distress call from the stranded family.

Helm Mick Roche, along with crew members Cathal O’Connell and Paddy Regan, launched Fethard RNLI’s inshore lifeboat and arrived on the scene, located 500 meters off Slade Harbour, in a short amount of time. The weather was good with flat calm seas. After assessing the situation, the crew made the decision to tow the family and their craft to the safety of Fethard Dock.

Pete Barry, Volunteer Deputy Launch Authority, spoke about the importance of having a means to call for help in case of an emergency. He commended the family for their quick thinking in calling the Coast Guard, which allowed the crew to launch as soon as possible and bring the situation to a safe conclusion.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

A significant crowd gathered at Courtmacsherry RNLI lifeboat station in West Cork for the naming ceremony of the new Shannon class lifeboat on Saturday. Val Adnams, the principal donor, flew from Idaho, USA, to name the state-of-the-art vessel. Esteemed guests, including the Lord Mayor of County Cork, Tánaiste Michéal Martin, RNLI Head of Region Anna Classon, RNLI Director of Engineering and Supply Jamie Chestnutt, Coast Guard Head of Operations Gerard O’Flynn, and several search and rescue colleagues from local lifeboat stations and Coast Guard Units, were present.

Lifeboat donor Val Adnams pictured with An Tánaiste Michéal Martin and members of Courtmacsherry RNLI at the Naming Ceremony for the station’s Shannon class lifeboat.Lifeboat donor Val Adnams pictured with An Tánaiste Michéal Martin and members of Courtmacsherry RNLI at the Naming Ceremony for the station’s Shannon class lifeboat

Val Adnams, a lifelong supporter of the RNLI and an avid sailor and sportsperson, grew up in Preston and Weymouth. She expressed her gratitude and said, "It is worth funding this Shannon class lifeboat. It warms my heart to know that this lifeboat will be helping the crew to keep the waters around Courtmacsherry lifeboat station safe."

The lifeboat has the latest marine propulsion technology, ensuring improved control and manoeuvrability, with safety as the top priority. The vessel has an expected lifespan of fifty years. Brian O’Dywer, the Courtmacsherry Lifeboat Operations Manager, received the lifeboat and thanked the donor for her generous gift. He praised the capability of the new lifeboat and expressed his confidence that it will provide a safe environment for their crew and a first-class rescue service for seafarers in need of assistance at sea.

Lifeboat donor Val Adnams pours champagne over the bow of Courtamacsherry’s Shannon class lifeboat at the Naming Ceremony for the station’s Shannon class lifeboatLifeboat donor Val Adnams pours champagne over the bow of Courtamacsherry’s Shannon class lifeboat at the Naming Ceremony for the station’s Shannon class lifeboat

The lifeboat was displayed in the harbour, followed by a flyover by the Coast Guard helicopter, Rescue 117. The ceremony concluded with a service of dedication and a heartily sung chorus of the Phil Coulter lifeboat anthem ‘Home from the Sea.'

The new Shannon class lifeboat replaced the station's previous All-Weather lifeboat, Frederick Story Cockburn, which went on 370 callouts during its service. The ceremony was held a day after the death of Gerry Turner, the previous Lifeboat Operations Manager, who was remembered by the current manager in his opening remarks.

The crew and station management had a long day as the lifeboat had been launched at 5.20 am that morning to reports of a swimmer in difficulty off Inchydoney, but the callout ended successfully as Afloat reported here.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under
Page 1 of 304

West Coast of Ireland Offshore Racing Association (WIORA)

The West Coast of Ireland Offshore Racing Association (WIORA) objective is to promote an annual programme of yacht racing for the West Coast of Ireland.

WIORA aims to encourage and promote participation in and knowledge of racing and seamanship. It does this by developing yacht racing between yacht clubs on the west coast and hosting an annual regatta known as the West Coast Championships. The championships are rotated between west coast clubs. 

WIORA was formed in 1976. WIORA is affiliated with the Irish Cruiser Racing Association.

The association burgee is a pennant with a background of St. Patrick's Blue and overlaid with an emblem of St. Brendan's Cross, which is of saffron colour. 

WIORA is open to members of yachts clubs located on the west coast of Ireland, from Mizen Head to Malin Head and the waters of Lough Derg and Lough Ree, and sailors outside thee areas who may wish to participate at the WIORA annual regatta.

The membership association has a Commodore and committee.

Annual membership is €10.