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Displaying items by tag: Lifeboats

A diving group stranded off the Donegal coast when their dive boat broke down were rescued by the Bundoran RNLI lifeboat crew yesterday afternoon (Sunday 20 October)

Receiving the call from Malin Head Coast Guard shortly before 1pm, the lifeboat crew, who had just returned from exercise, set out for the scene at the Bullockmore west cardinal marker just west of St John’s Point.

Arriving around 1.15pm, they found that the main dive boat had broken down and was unable to recover six divers who were in the water.

To assist with the operation, Killybegs Coast Guard’s boat was also tasked to the scene as was the Sligo-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 118 from Strandhill.

Four divers were recovered onto the Bundoran lifeboat, with two others recovered to the Killybegs boat and subsequently transferred to a passing fishing boat who had responded to the coastguard’s initial call for assistance in the area.

In total eight divers were accounted for and safely transported back to Killybegs.

Commenting on the callout, his first as a qualified helmsman, Rory O’Connor said: “We are delighted that there was a successful conclusion to this shout.

“Thankfully once the dive boat realised that there was a problem they contacted the coastguard immediately and got ourselves, Killybegs Coast Guard Delta and Rescue 118 launched. We would always encourage all boats to check in with the coastguard before setting out.”

The incident came on the same day as two SCUBA divers were rescued in Dublin Bay after being separated from their boat, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Diving
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Carrybridge RNLI's inshore lifeboat and rescue water craft (RWC) were launched last night (Monday 7 October) after 7pm to a vessel with two people on board which had suffered engine failure around half a mile upstream from the Killyhevlin jetty.

When the lifeboat Douglas Euan & Kay Richards and RWC arrived on scene, they proceeded slowly to the vessel's location close to the reed line.

Once the boat's condition was assessed, and with the owner's permission, the volunteer lifeboat crew set up a tow and brought the casualty vessel in to deeper water, and then onwards to Killyhevlin jetty.

Speaking after the callout, Chris Cathcart, helm at Carrybridge RNLI, advised all boat users to take proper care when plotting their trips on the water.

"Before setting out on your journey please plan your route and carry out regular checks of their vessels. Also have a means of calling for assistance if you find yourself in trouble. If you see someone in trouble on the water or are in difficulties yourself the number to dial is 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Portaferry RNLI celebrated the lifeboat station’s 40th anniversary this past weekend with a party and presentation evening for crew members and their families.

During the course of the evening, the crew paid thanks to past and present members for their dedication and hard work over the last 40 years.

Portaferry lifeboat station owes its origins to an RNLI lifeboat station that was established in 1884 in the village of Cloughey, Co Down. The first lifeboat, called The Faith, was commissioned a short while after in 1885.

With the introduction of fast inshore lifeboats that were capable of making way against strong tidal currents such as those experienced in the Strangford Narrows, it was decided in 1979 to place a single-engine C class lifeboat in Portaferry for evaluation.

The lifeboat quickly proved to be a success and a twin engine D class was commissioned, before the station was officially established on 1 May 1980. The station was upgraded to 24-hour all-year operation in 1982.

The past 40 years have seen huge changes in the technology and design of the boats and the personal safety equipment worn by the crew.

Portaferry now operates a B class Atlantic 85 lifeboat known as Blue Peter V. Portaferry is one of seven Blue Peter RNLI stations, and the only one in Ireland, whose lifeboats have been sponsored by the world's longest-running television programme for children.

Presentations were made on the evening to past and present crew members for their hard work and commitment over the last four decades.

Lenny Lawson, Graeme Ellison and Billy Ellison were awarded certificates from the RNLI for their service of the many different roles they held within the station.

John Murray Snr, Pat Browne and Mrs Brownlow were presented with a present as a token of thanks from the crew for all their hard work and efforts in the roles they play in the fundraising guild team and throughout the station in the past 40 years.

Colin Conway and John Murray Jnr were presented with RNLI medals and a present from the crew to acknowledge their long service awards for 20 years and 40 years respectively.

The evening was enjoyed and attended by crew members, family and other members of the different teams within Portaferry lifeboat station.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Lough Ree RNLI’s lifeboat volunteer will be showcased on the small screen in an upcoming episode of BBC TV series Saving Lives at Sea.

Tune in to BBC Two on Tuesday 15 October at 8pm to see the Lough Ree crew on two callouts, firstly when they launch to the aid of two fishermen whose boat is swamped during a fishing competition.

Next they’re tasked come to the aid of an elderly man taken ill on the island of Inch Bofin — alongside rescue stories from their colleagues at other stations and beaches around Ireland and Britain’s coasts and inland waters.

Lough Ree’s appearance follows last year’s profile of Courtown’s lifesavers, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Lough Ree RNLI helm Tom Bradbury says: “It’s great to see the work we do on TV like this.

“We’re always grateful for the support we get from the public as we rely on donations to do what we do, so it great that all our supporters now get to see, from the comfort and safety of their own front rooms, exactly how they help us save lives.”

Filming for the fourth series of Saving Lives at Sea 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 viewers can get a glimpse into the everyday lives of the thousands of men and women who give up their time to save lives.

Viewers in the UK can also watch the series on demand following broadcast on the BBC iPlayer.

Published in Maritime TV

Following last Thursday’s launch to a sailing dinghy aground on an island near Baltimore Harbour, the local RNLI crew were called out twice on Sunday (22 September), with the first to other boat aground in the harbour.

The inshore lifeboat was on scene in a matter of minutes after they were notified that the 14m sailing boat had run up on rocks at the harbour’s edge.

Volunteer crew set up a tow line to return the vessel to deeper water and, once it was checked over for damage, the lifeboat towed the yacht head to wind to let its crew set their sails.

Baltimore’s inshore lifeboat launched again at 3.36pm to assist a RIB with five people on board which broke down and was at anchor off Castle Point, near Schull Harbour.

However, while en route the lifeboat was stood down after word came through that the RIB’s occupants had managed to get themselves under way.

Elsewhere, in West Cork, Courtmacsherry’s all-weather lifeboat launched on Saturday evening (21 September) as bad weather unfolded to rescue a surfer in difficulty off Inchydoney.

As the lifeboat was speeding across Clonakilty Bay to the reported location, its crew were informed that the surfer had managed to get ashore safe and well.

Deputy launching authority Diarmuid O’Mahony praised those on shore who called for help for their quick alert: “Vital minutes today could have been so important in sea conditions that were very poor.

“I also want to commend all the volunteer crew who responded so quickly in coming to the lifeboat station in the knowledge that they were going to face some mountainous seas and difficult conditions off the coast.”

As previously reported, Crosshaven RNLI also launched yesterday to two sailors whose catamaran dinghy capsized in Cork Harbour yesterday evening.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Skerries RNLI launched to the rescue of a man and two teenagers in the water after their currach capsized off the north Co Dublin town yesterday evening (Saturday 21 September).

Just after 5pm, Dublin Coast Guard picked up a Mayday transmission from the 14ft currach. Skerries RNLI says that at first the location was unclear.

But several 999 calls from concerned onlookers confirmed that it was near the port lateral marker, known locally as the Perch Mark, just off the headland in Skerries.

The volunteer RNLI crew launched their Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson to the stricken vessel, which could be seen from the lifeboat station.

Arriving on scene at the same time as the Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116, the crew learned that Skerries Sailing Club’s tender had also picked up the Mayday and, together with another local angling boat, had taken the man and teenagers from the water.

The casualties were then transferred to the lifeboat and brought ashore and to dry off and warm up. Dublin Fire Brigade paramedics attended to give first aid before a HSE ambulance arrived and gave the trio a full checkover.

Meanwhile, Skerries RNLI reports that the capsized currach was returned to the beach and the oars and other items lost overboard were recovered.

“Accidents can happen at sea at any time,” said Skerries RNLI press officer Gerry Canning. “Everyone on board was wearing a lifejacket, and they had a waterproof VHF to raise the alarm, which is really encouraging to see.

“This was a great team effort across multiple different emergency services with everyone playing their part. We’d also like to commend the young man driving the boat for Skerries Sailing Club and the local angling boat for their swift actions.”

Published in Rescue

A boat sinking on its moorings at Youghal Harbour in East Cork prompted a callout for the local RNLI volunteers yesterday afternoon (Friday 20 September).

Only the bow of the 24ft boat was visible when the lifeboat crew arrived. A towline was set up and the vessel was brought as close to the pier as possible on the falling tide.

With assistance from the local coastguard unit, the boat was secured with two rides for the owner to attend too at low tide, Youghal RNLI reports.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Two people were rescued by Baltimore RNLI yesterday afternoon (Thursday 19 September) after their sailing dinghy was stranded ashore on Spanish Island near the West Cork harbour.

The inshore lifeboat was on scene within minutes, and quickly established a tow to take the 14ft vessel off the rocks, Baltimore RNLI says.

After checking for damage, the sailboat and its sailors were bought back to the safety of the pier in Baltimore.

Speaking after the callout, Baltimore RNLI press officer Kate Callanan said: “The sailors did the right thing in asking for assistance as they were unsure of how to proceed once the boat had gone ashore.

“They were both wearing lifejackets and were carrying mobile phones which they used to call the coastguard to alert them of their situation.

:If you get into difficulty on the water or along the coast, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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A motorboat that became propped up on pot buoys in Baltimore Harbour at the weekend made a direct call for help to the local RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat which was returning to base nearby.

The incident occurred on Saturday evening (7 September) after the Baltimore lifeboat had just completed a training exercise with the Irish Coast Guard’s Waterford-based helicopter Rescue 117.

Lifeboat press officer Kate Callanan said: “The skipper of the motorboat realised immediately that he needed assistance and as he had been watching the lifeboat and helicopter demonstration minutes before, he knew that the quickest way to alert the lifeboat was to call them directly on channel 16 on his VHF.”

Within minutes the all-weather lifeboat — with coxswain Kieran Cotter, mechanic Cathal Cottrell and crew members Emma Lupton, Ronnie Carthy, David Ryan, Jim Griffiths, Ryan O’Mahony and Eoin Ryan — was alongside the 33ft motor vessel.

Another motorboat skippered by former lifeboat crewman Torsten Marten was also nearby at the time, and he was drafted to assist in transferring two lifeboat crew to the casualty vessel rather than having to launch the lifeboat’s Y-boat.

The casualty boat was then secured alongside the all-weather lifeboat and brought to the safety of Baltimore’s North Pier.

Callanan reminded all boaters: “It is vital for anyone going to sea to always carry a means of communication such as a mobile phone or VHF in order to raise the alarm should they require help.”

The callout came on the eve of Baltimore RNLI’s centenary celebration yesterday (Sunday 8 September), at which it named its new Atlantic 85 inshore vessel 100 years to the date since the arrival of its first ever lifeboat.

Elsewhere, Skerries RNLI launched on Thursday night (5 September) to tow a razor fishing boat with two on board that struck rocks off Red Island and damaged its steering.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Baltimore RNLI’s new Atlantic 85 lifeboat will be officially named Rita Daphne Smyth during a ceremony at the North Pier at 3pm this Sunday 8 September.

As part of the station’s centenary celebrations, the lifeboat, which was placed on service earlier this year, will be officially named exactly 100 years on from the day the first lifeboat, The Shamrock, arrived in the West Cork coastal village.

The RNLI says the new lifeboat has been funded by a generous legacy from the late Rita Daphne Smyth and replaces the station’s Atlantic 75 class lifeboat Alice and Charles.

The Atlantic 85 is the latest version of the B class, introduced into the fleet in 2005 — powered by two 115HP engines and with a stronger hull and greater top speed.

The self-righting vessel comes with radar and a full suite of communication and and navigation aids, as well as a searchlight, night-vision equipment and flares for night-time operations.

Tom Bushe, Baltimore’s lifeboat operations manager said that to receive and name a new lifeboat during the station’s centenary celebrations was something special.

“Our volunteers and the Baltimore community are delighted and excited to name our new inshore lifeboat exactly 100 years on from the day the very first lifeboat arrived at our station. We are most grateful to the late Rita Daphne Smyth for her generous legacy which has funded our lifeboat.

“Volunteers from the local community have been crewing a lifesaving service here for 100 years and we will be proud custodians of this new lifeboat, which will go on to rescue and save many more lives in the years ahead.”

When Baltimore saw The Shamrock begin service in 1919, it was the fourth lifeboat station in Co Cork. Since then, Baltimore RNLI’s lifeboats have launched more that 940 times and their crews have rescued 867 people including 280 lives saved.

The Shamrock remained in service until 1950 when a new Watson class lifeboat, Sarah Tilson, was placed on service. In 1978, the Sarah Tilson was replaced by another Watson class lifeboat called The Robert, which was replaced six years later was replaced by an Oakley class lifeboat called Charles Henry. In February 1988, a new Tyne class lifeboat, Hilda Jarett, was placed on service.

In April 2008, a second lifeboat, an inshore Atlantic 75 called Bessie, joined the station to complement the existing all-weather lifeboat. In February 2012 a new Tamar class lifeboat, Alan Massey, replaced the Hilda Jarrett.

In July the following year a complete refurbishment of the lifeboat house was finished, leaving the station with state-of-the-art facilities.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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