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Displaying items by tag: Clifden

#RNLI - The crew of Clifden RNLI had an early start in dark and dangerous conditions yesterday morning (Sunday 15 November) when an emergency medical evacuation was required from Inishbofin.

After a 5.43am pager alert, the volunteer lifeboat crew consisting of Alan Pryce, Robert King, David Barry, Daniel Whelan, Brian Ward and David Coyne set out for the island in the all-weather lifeboat Pride & Spirit.

Clifden RNLI deputy launching authority Saul Joyce described the conditions at the time as "extremely challenging and certainly the most severe weather the crew have experienced in the all-weather Mersey class lifeboat to date."

On arriving at Inishbofin Harbour, the crew met with the district nurse who helped transfer the casualty onto the waiting lifeboat. The patient, a woman experiencing severe abdominal pain, was then taken by lifeboat to Cleggan where an ambulance was waiting.

Clifden RNLI coxswain Alan Pryce said of the launch: "With winds consistently Force 8 and above at times and a heavy five- to six-metre swell, this proved a challenging call for our crew, particularly setting off in darkness. We wish the patient a speedy recovery."

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#RNLI - Clifden RNLI launched to an emergency medical situation at 12.50pm yesterday (Thursday 17 September) in Clifden Bay.

A male angler had become unwell and as a result sustained a head injury, leaving him in need of urgent assistance.

The Irish Coast Guard requested the immediate launch of both Clifden RNLI’s Atlantic 85 and all-weather lifeboats.

Clifden RNLI volunteer crew members Kenneth Flaherty and Barry Ward boarded the angling boat and administered first aid to the casualty. Oxygen was administered and the casualty was placed in the recovery position.

Lifeboat helm Thomas Davis then requested two more crew members from the all-weather lifeboat, which was standing nearby, to assist in the transfer of the casualty to a stretcher.

Speaking after the callout, Clifden RNLI helm Thomas Davis said: "The lifeboat crew responded quickly and calmly to this situation, in which the casualty was seriously unwell.

"Having the additional crew members nearby in the second lifeboat was vital and the total time between the pagers going off and recovery to shore was around 38 minutes."

The casualty and another angler were transferred to shore where an ambulance was waiting. At this point the coastguard helicopter Rescue 118 had also landed and with the assistance of Cleggan Coast Guard, he was transferred to University College Hospital Galway.

Clifden RNLI lifeboat operations manager John Brittain added: "Well done to the Clifden volunteer crew members for a seamless rescue and for once again working well in conjunction with the coastguard and other emergency services."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Clifden RNLI carried out its first medical evacuation off Inishbofin island today (Thursday 21 May).

In what was the fourth callout this week for the station, the volunteer lifeboat crew was paged shortly after 11.30am following a report that a casualty required assistance.

The inshore Atlantic 85 lifeboat helmed by Bernard Whelan and the all-weather Mersey class lifeboat under coxswain John Mullan launched immediately and made their way to the scene. The Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 115 from Shannon was also tasked.

Weather conditions at the time were foggy and visibility was poor. There was a Force 4-5 south westerly wind and a heavy swell.

The Atlantic 85 with crew members James Mullan, Daniel Whelan and Dermot Clancy onboard arrived on scene first. Mullan, a first aider with Clifden RNLI, went ashore and assisted the island nurse who was attending to the casualty.

When the all-weather lifeboat arrived at 1pm, the casualty was transferred to this lifeboat and brought to the mainland at Cleggan Pier where there was an ambulance waiting.

Speaking following the callout, Mullan said: "We have assisted with many medical evacuations in the past but today was the first time that our crew transported someone from Inishbofin island and brought them safely to the mainland.

"Both lifeboat crews worked well together today and we were happy to assist the island nurse in bringing this person to safety."

This was the fourth callout for Clifden RNLI this week. The crew assisted with two other medical evacuations and also went to the assistance of a yacht which got into difficulty on the shore.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - A woman was recovering in hospital in Galway last night (Wednesday 6 May) after being rescued by Galway RNLI lifeboat.

The alarm was raised by members of the public who spotted the woman in the River Corrib being swept out to sea.

They alerted the emergency services and a 'blanket' callout was made to the lifeboat, Garda, Irish Coast Guard, Galway Fire Brigade and the ambulance service at around 11.41pm.

Galway RNLI launched within minutes with helm Shane Folan and crew Dan King, Emma Hennessy and David Badger, and the woman was quickly located near waters at the Galway Enterprise Park at Galway Docks.

She was taken on board the lifeboat and brought ashore where she was transferred to a waiting ambulance and taken to University Hosptial Galway.

Galway RNLI shore crewmember John Byrne said: "The new emergency service plan for river rescues worked very well with all rescue services on the scene very quickly."

The rescue came a day after Clifden RNLI aided two lobster fishermen yesterday after their boat got into difficulty on the Connemara coastline.

At approximately 10.30am on Tuesday 5 May, Clifden RNLI's volunteer lifeboat crew was requested to launch by the Irish Coast Guard and go to the aid of two lobster fishermen in difficulty off the Aughrus peninsula.

Having experienced engine failure, the boat was drifting dangerously close to the rocks when its crew raised the alarm.

The Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Benjamin Downing Fairbridge was launched and was on the scene within 10 minutes of leaving shore.

Lifeboat helm Bernard Whelan and volunteer crew members Kenneth Flaherty, Joe Acton and Owen Hayes then towed the two fishermen in their boat back to Rossadillisk pier in Cleggan.

Speaking following the callout, Clifden RNLI lifeboat press officer Catherine Pryce said: "The crew responded rapidly and were delighted to be able to assist the fishermen."

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#RNLI - Volunteer crew members at Clifden RNLI in Co Galway responded to three callouts in four days at the weekend.

The busy period from Friday 17 to Monday 20 April involved the crew responding to three incidents including a medical evacuation off Inishbofin, a launch to assist three people in difficulty off Inishlacken Island, and a search involving all three of Clifden’s lifeboats for two missing kayakers near Ballyconneely.



The crew was first paged at 4.41pm on Friday following a request to carry out a medical evacuation on Inishbofin.

Clifden RNLI’s Atlantic 85 inshore and all-weather Mersey class lifeboats were launched to the scene along with the Irish Coast Guard’s Rescue 118 helicopter from Sligo.



The inshore lifeboat with three crew members was dispatched first to assist the island nurse if required. The all-weather lifeboat followed as back-up.

Once on scene, the crew observed that the casualty had been taken care of and was medically evacuated from the island by the helicopter.



On Sunday night, the pagers sounded again shortly after 9pm, as the coastguard requested a launch following a report from a member of the public that three people were in difficulty in the water off Inishlacken Island.

The D class lifeboat was taken by Land Rover and launched from Roundstone while the all-weather lifeboat was put to sea from Clifden.

Three people had been watching a basking shark when their dinghy was overturned by a breaking wave. They had successfully managed to swim to the shore when they were spotted by the coastguard helicopter and were found to be safe and well when located by the lifeboat crew.



The final callout came on Monday at 10.20pm and required the involvement of all three of Clifden’s lifeboats.

Both the inshore B and D class lifeboats and the all-weather Mersey class lifeboat were launched at the request of the coastguard following a report that two kayakers were seen leaving a beach near Ballyconneely but had not returned.

The alarm was raised by a member of the public who spotted two people leave Aillebrack beach and put to sea at approximately 2pm that afternoon. However, when darkness fell and with the cars still on the beach, the caller became concerned.

All three RNLI lifeboats from Clifden were launched along with Rescue 118 and the Cleggan Coast Guard Unit. 

Clifden RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat was appointed on scene commander and began a search offshore while the B and D class lifeboats searched inshore near Slyne Head.

RNLI crew members who were assisting in the search from the shore located the two casualties safe and well at Dunloughan Beach.



Speaking following the busy period for the station, Clifden lifeboat operations manager John Brittain said: "Firstly, I would like to thank the members of the public who raised the alarm on two occasions here as their vigilance was very important in leading to successful outcomes.

"I would also like to thank our own volunteers who despite a busy weekend, responded promptly and professionally throughout.


"We would encourage anyone taking to the water to enjoy themselves but be mindful of the importance of informing the coastguard of their planned passage and destination, and the expected time of their return."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - The Clifden RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew scrambled into their kit for a special callout recently when they provided a guard of honour for their two fellow lifeboat crew Alan Pryce and Sinéad O’Sullivan, who tied the knot in St Joseph’s Church recently.

The couple met through their life saving work volunteering as crew with Clifden RNLI. 

And lifeboats played a big part in their day, from the RNLI guard of honour, to the special stop at the station for a photograph with their beloved lifeboat, to a wedding cake which featured the couple dressed in their full RNLI kit.

O’Sullivan joined Clifden RNLI eight years ago and is the station’s only female crewmember. A trained lifeguard, she is currently training to be a helm on the station’s D-class inshore lifeboat and a navigator on the all weather lifeboat.

For her day job, O’Sullivan is an estate agent and auctioneer and is well known all over Connemara for her enthusiasm and energy and getting involved in many good causes.

Her groom is a fellow Clifden native who signed up as volunteer RNLI lifeboat crew at just 17 years of age, through his interest in fishing and sailing.

Since then Pryce has become helm on the D-class and Atlantic-class inshore lifeboats and is one of the station’s four coxswains on the all-weather lifeboat, which is currently on a two-year trial at the station.

"Being in the RNLI is a huge part of both of our lives so we were really delighted that we were able to incorporate it into our wedding celebrations," said Pryce.

"We both love the sea and share a passion for all water based activities, so it was definitely one of our shared interests that resulted in us getting together."

O’Sullivan added: "We were really thrilled that we could share our wedding with two of our favourite things - the Clifden lifeboat and our beloved dog Pippa."

After the wedding, the couple enjoyed a quick mini-moon to Wicklow where they even stopped in briefly to Arklow RNLI to admire their Trent all-weather lifeboat.

And now that the dust has settled and all the party clothes are put away, the newlyweds are back on service and ready to answer the call of the RNLI pagers.

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#RNLI - Clifden RNLI's all-weather lifeboat was launched on Friday last (20 February) to go to the aid of a fishing boat in difficulty off the Connemara coast.

The alarm was raised around 11.30am when the 35ft fishing vessel reported engine failure.

The boat was located between Inishbofin island and Cleggan Head, having departed Derryinver that morning with two crew on board.

Weather conditions were worsening at the time of departure, with a westerly Force 6 blowing as the Mersey class Pride and Spirit all-weather lifeboat was launched.

The boat and its crew were towed back to Derryinver pier where they expressed their thanks for the assistance provided.

Speaking following the callout, Clifden RNLI coxswain James Mullen said: "Considering that this is only the third launch for the Pride and Spirit since she has been on service in Clifden, the crew did extremely well to carry off a smooth and efficient launch, rescue and recovery.

"And of course we are always glad to be able to help any boat in difficulty in our area of operation."

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#rnli – Clifden RNLI lifeboat crew had their first callout in their new all weather lifeboat last night (Tuesday 23 December) to bring a local GP to provide urgent and immediate medical attention to an elderly resident on Inishturk Island. The treatment means that the man will get to spend Christmas at home and not in hospital.

Earlier today, Afloat.ie reported how some 58 people on Inisturk face their first Christmas in decades without medical cover.

Clifden RNLI received their new all weather lifeboat, which is on a trial, during the Summer and the first callout was received at 6pm on Tuesday evening. Dr. Ciaran Mac Loughlin, a local GP contacted the emergency services and requested transport to a patient on the Island for urgent medical attention.

The volunteer lifeboat crew with Clifden RNLI was alerted and launched with the doctor onboard and returned to Clifden after 11pm.

Commenting on the callout Dr. Mac Loughlin said, 'The lifeboat provides an invaluable service to the community. My callout last night was to a man in need of immediate and urgent medical attention. The swift response of Clifden RNLI meant that the man did not have to be moved to hospital for treatment and is now recovering well at home.

I was very impressed with the new lifeboat and with the volunteer crew who brought me out to the island last night. We travelled there and back in complete darkness and their actions ensured that I could administer care to my patient on scene and not have to move him. I am very grateful to them for this.'

Clifden RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager John Brittain added, 'We have been eagerly awaiting the first callout for our new lifeboat, which works alongside our two inshore boats. I am pleased that its first callout had a successful outcome and that we were able to help the man from Inishturk spend Christmas at home.'

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#rnli – Fans of master artist Kenneth Webb will have the opportunity to get their hands on a new painting he will start during Clifden Arts week and auction to raise funds for Clifden RNLI.

Work on the 20'x 24' oil painting which will depict a local scene from the 'Regatta at Roundstone' will commence during Kenneth's first 'One Man Show' at The Gallery in the Alcock and Brown Hotel in Clifden from 2pm on Saturday 20 September. Entry fee is €10.

Kenneth will start the oil painting during a live painting demonstration before taking it away and finishing it to master standard after the auction.

Dr Niall Dolan of Dolan's Art Auction House will preside over the auction at 4pm. For those who can't attend on the day there will be options for bidding via telephone or online by contacting the hotel.

Speaking ahead of the event, Anthony Hiney, RNLI Community Fundraising Manager said the charity was delighted the master artist was donating a new Connemara painting: 'This is a great opportunity for Kenneth Webb's fans and locals alike to see him at work, hear his stories and ask questions. His generosity to charity is well known and we are thankful that the proceeds from this new piece of work will help our volunteers at Clifden RNLI to save lives at sea.'

Now in his 88th year, and 60 years after first coming to Connemara, Kenneth will also have paintings from his last two London exhibitions and the first showing of his work for his next London show on exhibit.

London born, Kenneth and his wife Joan first came to Clifden in 1950 after escaping college and spending a summer holiday in the west. Between 1960 and 1980 he returned to run summer schools and created The Irish School of Landscape Painting.

During this time, in 1972, Joan and he purchased their cottage in Ballinaboy. It was there, starting in 1990 and continuing to this day, that he developed The Art Centre. Over his years in the area, Kenneth has exhibited local paintings but this will be his first 'One Man Show'.

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#RNLI - Clifden RNLI has put an all-weather lifeboat on service for a trial period, more than a year after the move was confirmed

The Pride and Spirit has come from the existing RNLI fleet and will be on trial for 12 months operating in conjunction with the existing inshore lifeboat service at the station.

Following the trial, the RNLI will make the call on establishing a permanent all-weather lifeboat service for Connemara's largest town.

A decision was made back in April 2012 by the charity’s trustees, with the recommendation of its operations committee, that the volunteer crew at Clifden would take delivery of a carriage launched Mersey-class lifeboat, following an in-depth review of lifeboat cover in the area.

Since that announcement, there has been an intensive period of preparation for the volunteer lifeboat crew, which has included months of training at Clifden and visits to the RNLI College in Poole.

There are currently four coxswains, four mechanics, four navigators and 16 all-weather lifeboat crew trained and ready to respond to call outs aboard the Pride and Spirit.

Clifden RNLI lifeboat operations manager John Brittain said he is proud of the additional lifeboat service at the West Co Galway station.

"This is a great day for everyone involved with Clifden RNLI. The new lifeboat will allow us to provide lifesaving cover in all weathers up to 100 miles off the Connemara coast.

"We have received great support and encouragement from everyone involved with the RNLI at both Swords and Poole. To see this group of volunteers coming together and training with the all-weather lifeboat and now going on service is a proud day for us all."

RNLI divisional operations manager Owen Medland added: "Since the announcement back in April 2012, the enthusiasm at the station has been wonderful and I am delighted that after months of training, the volunteer crew now has an all-weather lifeboat on service.

"We are continuing to work hard to establish a temporary shore facility which shall allow us to maintain Pride and Spirit ashore."

All-weather lifeboats can be operated safely in all-weather while inshore lifeboats usually operate closer to shore, in shallower water, close to cliffs, among rocks or even in caves.

Introduced as the RNLI’s first fast-carriage lifeboat, the Mersey class has a top speed of 17 knots. Designed to operate from a carriage, slipway or lie afloat, this class of lifeboat is also capable of being self-righted in challenging conditions.

The Mersey, which carries a lifeboat crew of six, has been in service for many years and shall eventually be replaced by the new Shannon-class lifeboat.

Last year, Clifden RNLI launched eight times bringing seven people to safety. Of those launches, two services were in the dark. In all, some 82 service hours were spent at sea.

A lifeboat station was established in Clifden in early 1988, and the station currently operates two inshore lifeboats.

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