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Displaying items by tag: Lifeboat

Aran Islands RNLI came to the aid of two people yesterday evening (Bank Holiday Monday 5 August) who required medical attention off the islands.

The all-weather Severn class lifeboat David Kirkaldy was requested to launch at 8 pm by the Irish Coast Guard.

Two patients on Inis Mór, the largest of the three Aran Islands were in need of further medical attention.

Weather conditions at the time of the call out were moderate with 1.5m sea swell and a force 6 south-westerly wind.

The all-weather lifeboat launched under Coxswain Mairtín O'Flaithearta and a full crew. With the patients safely aboard the lifeboat and under the supervision of the volunteer crew members, the lifeboat headed straight for Rossaveal Harbour.

Speaking after the call out, Aran Islands RNLI Coxswain Mairtín O'Flaithearta said: ‘It was a wet and windy night, but the volunteer crew are always ready and willing to help anyone, no matter the weather. We would like to wish the casualties a speedy recovery’.

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Three crew on board a yacht which experienced difficulty off Inishbofin, North Connemara, were rescued by the RNLI Clifden crew on Saturday evening writes Lorna Siggins

The yacht had been on passage to Inishbofin when its dinghy broke loose, according to Clifden RNLI.

One of the yacht’s three crew jumped aboard it but found that that the dinghy’s engine would not start, and was then stranded as the yacht had no motor power.

Clifden’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat was launched first by shore crewman John Heffernan, who then also launched the boarding boat to the Mersey Class all-weather lifeboat Fisherman’s Friend, according to Clifden RNLI press officer Catherine Pryce.

“On the way, the lifeboats received an update that another yacht had managed to get to the crew man’s aid and passed the dinghy back to the yacht,” she said.

“ However, when the Atlantic 85 arrived on the scene, it broke free from the assisting yacht once again,” Ms Pryce said.

The lifeboat retrieved the dinghy, but weather conditions were force 5 to 6 and deteriorating and the yacht’s VHF was not functioning. The yacht crew agreed to return to Inishbofin, under tow.

Clifden RNLI’s all-weather coxswain James Mullen was assisted by crew David O Reilly, Ashling Sweeney, Thomas Davis, Ian Shanahan and Michael Carey. The Atlantic 85 was helmed by Joe Acton, with Kenneth Flaherty and Chris Nee also on crew.

The incident was the second in a busy week for Clifden RNLI, which took delivery of its new Shannon-class all-weather lifeboat last Wednesday.

A man whose leg got trapped on the Connemara shoreline during a rising tide was brought to safety in a multi-agency rescue involving RNLI Clifden, the Irish Coast Guard’s Cleggan unit and Sligo helicopter last Thursday evening (Aug 1).

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A man whose leg got trapped on the Connemara shoreline during a rising tide was brought to safety in a multi-agency rescue on Thursday evening writes Lorna Siggins

The incident occurred when a couple were out walking at Slackport on Slyne Head, close to Ballyconneely, according to the RNLI Clifden lifeboat station.

The man fell on the shoreline, trapping his leg badly in some rocks and was unable to free himself. RNLI Clifden station press officer Catherine Pryce says the location was close to the high watermark in a rising spring tide.

The RNLI Clifden lifeboat and Cleggan Coast Guard volunteers, along with the Irish Coast Guard Rescue 118 helicopter from Sligo responded after the couple raised the alarm.

Clifden’s Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat was launched with Joe Acton at the helm, along with the station’s Mersey class all-weather lifeboat under the command of coxswain James Mullen.

“ The Atlantic 85 was first on the scene and crewman Alan Pryce went ashore to assess the situation and administer first aid. Alan was quickly joined by two more crew members from Clifden’s all-weather boat,” Ms Pryce said.

The man’s injuries were assessed, and he was winched up to safety by the Sligo helicopter crew.

Clifden’s RNLI lifeboat station took delivery of a new all-weather Shannon class lifeboat earlier this week, which will increase the station’s range and capability.

‘This was an urgent and very serious call out and the crew located and assisted the casualty very quickly,” Clifden RNLI operations manager John Brittain said.

“ It has been a very busy week for our station with the arrival of our new Shannon class lifeboat, and the crew once again demonstrated that they are always there to respond when needed, working closely and effectively with our Coast Guard colleagues," Mr Brittain added.

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Aran Islands RNLI came to the aid of a young boy yesterday evening who required medical evacuation.

The volunteer crew were requested to launch their lifeboat at 9.16pm by the Irish Coast Guard following a report that a young boy on Inis Mór needed medical attention.

The all-weather Severn class lifeboat David Kirkaldy immediately launched under Coxswain John O'Donnell and a full crew.

Weather conditions at the time of launching were good with calm seas.

On scene the crew safely transferred the boy aboard the lifeboat and under the supervision of the volunteer crew members, the lifeboat headed straight for Rossaveal Harbour.

Speaking after the call out, Aran Islands RNLI Coxswain John O'Donnell said: ‘Time can make all the difference in any medical evacuation, our volunteer crew members train regularly to maintain their quick response time. We would like to wish the casualty a speedy recovery.’

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At 9 pm on Sunday, Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI to go to the assistance of six people, four adults and two young children, on a 35ft cruiser aground inside the Mountaineer buoy at Ryan’s Point, on the eastern shore of Lough Derg.

At 9.17pm the lifeboat launched with helm Eleanor Hooker, Dom Sharkey, Joe O’Donoghue and Chris Parker on board. The wind was easterly, Force 2 with good visibility.

Once the lifeboat rounded the Mountaineer Buoy, a lifeboat crew took soundings from the bow, whilst another checked depths on the navigation charts.

When the lifeboat came alongside, the crew established that all people on board the casualty vessel were safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets. Two RNLI volunteers were transferred to the cruiser and, once satisfied that the vessel was not holed, set up for a tow.

The lifeboat took the vessel off the rocks and out into safe water, where an RNLI volunteer ensured that the drives, steering and rudder were in good working order. Once the cruiser was safely underway and making way to their next harbour, the lifeboat returned to Station.

Peter Kennedy, Deputy Launching Authority at Lough Derg RNLI advises boat users ‘to plan your passage and pay close attention to the navigational buoys that mark safe water on the lake’.

The lifeboat was ready for service again at 10.12pm

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The community of Clogherhead is set to welcome the latest RNLI lifeboat to be based in Ireland, to their town on Sunday 2 June. This Shannon class lifeboat is unique in the RNLI’s fleet as it has been funded by an Irish legacy, named after an Irish lifeboat volunteer, designed by an Irish engineer and is the first class to be called after an Irish river. The Michael O’Brien Shannon class lifeboat is due to arrive in Clogherhead at exactly 13.31 which is also the operation number of the lifeboat.

Its arrival marks the start of a new chapter in the story of search and rescue in the north-east. The Shannon lifeboat is the latest in a long line of search and rescue boats provided by the RNLI to Clogherhead over the past 120 years. This lifeboat and its launching equipment represents a multi-million euro investment at the station and signals a major change in the level of service provided by the RNLI on the east coast as it moves the station from a 15-knot lifeboat to a 25-knot one, cutting vital minutes off the time it takes for the lifeboat crew to reach a casualty.

A significant proportion of the funding for the Clogherhead lifeboat has been provided through a generous legacy by a Wexford farmer, Mr. Henry Tomkins, who was a lifelong supporter of the RNLI. Henry stipulated that a lifeboat be named for his long-time friend, the former Arklow RNLI Coxswain, Mr. Michael O’Brien. The Shannon was designed by Derry man Peter Eyre who as child was rescued by Lough Swilly RNLI in Donegal.

The arrival of the station’s new Shannon lifeboat will take place in front of the beach beside the lifeboat station in full view of the public. It will be the first time in Ireland that the RNLI will use a SLARS (Shannon Launch and Recovery System) to launch and recover a lifeboat in Ireland. The SLARS acts as a mobile slipway for the lifeboat, which can be driven directly onto the beach for recovery. It has a unique turntable cradle, which can rotate the lifeboat 180º, ready to be launched again within 10 minutes.

Clogherhead RNLI Coxswain Tomás Whelahan said, ‘We want the people of Clogherhead and the surrounding areas to come to welcome the new lifeboat home. The station has been preparing for this day for a long time and there is huge excitement for it. The past few weeks and months have been spent in preparation and training by all the crew and shore crew, to receive this incredible piece of kit from the RNLI. It is the most technologically advanced lifeboat in the fleet, and it will proudly serve the east coast for many years to come.’

‘We are incredibly honoured to receive it and we are grateful to our donor Henry Tomkins and to the local communities, who by their generosity, have made this day possible. We hope to bring many loved ones safely home in this new lifeboat.’

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Larne RNLI launched to search for a paddleboarder who was reported overdue from Whitehead yesterday afternoon (Sunday 26 May).

Larne RNLI's all-weather and inshore lifeboats launched at 4.55pm following a request from Belfast Coastguard to assist in the search. Donaghadee RNLI's all-weather lifeboat and Bangor RNLI's inshore lifeboat also launched alongside three Coastguard shore teams, Coastguard helicopter and the PSNI to help locate the paddleboarder who had set off from Whitehead earlier in the afternoon.

Weather conditions at the time were breezy, rough seas and good visibility.

Larne inshore lifeboat conducted a shoreline search including local harbours and bays. The all-weather lifeboat conducted a search further south along the Gobbins coastal path. Following speaking to a local tour guide the crew were directed to a paddle boarder who had been spotted further south of the Gobbins.

The paddleboarder was located safe and well and was happy to make his way back to Whitehead harbour. 

Speaking after the call out, Frank Healy, Larne RNLI Coxswain said: ‘Our volunteer crew training kicked in to ensure both our lifeboats were launched quickly to take part in the multi-agency search. Thankfully the casualty was located safe and well.'

‘We would encourage people to enjoy our beautiful coastline but would remind everyone going to sea to always respect the water. Always wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid, carry a means of communication and let someone know where you are going and when you are expected back and check the weather forecast. Should you get into difficulty or see anyone in distress at sea or on our coastline, call 999 ask for the Coastguard.’

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Aran Islands RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew spent nine hours at sea last night to help bring a sick fisherman to safety. 

The crew were requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat by the Irish Coast Guard at 9.45pm last night (Thursday 23 May) and go to the aid of the sick fisherman on a French vessel approximately 40 miles west of the Aran Islands. The lifeboat under Coxswain Mairtín O'Flaithearta, was requested to assist the crew of the Irish Coast Guard’s helicopter Rescue 115 from Shannon who had been tasked earlier in the night and were already providing casualty care on scene and had attempted to winch the casualty to safety.

Weather conditions were moderate at the time with light westerly winds and a 1.5 to 2m swell.

Once on scene, a lifeboat crew member was transferred on to fishing vessel to assist the helicopter crew. A transfer to the lifeboat was attempted but due to the height of the vessel and the swell this was not possible.

The lifeboat proceeded to escort the vessel north of the Island where there was more shelter and the swell was only 1m. By this time the fisherman was well enough to be winched by the Irish Coast Guard helicopter and airlifted to hospital. 

The Aran Islands RNLI all-weather lifeboat returned home at 6.30am this morning.

Speaking following the call out, Mairtín O'Flaithearta Aran Islands RNLI Coxswain said: 'The conditions out there last night were challenging due to the height of the vessel and sea conditions. The volunteer crew members drew on all their training and their joint exercises with the Coast Guard to aid in a successful rescue. We wish the fisherman a speedy recovery.’

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Portaferry RNLI rescued a lone sailor last night (Wednesday 22 May) after his 25ft yacht got into difficulty in the Irish Sea.

The volunteer crew were requested to launch their inshore lifeboat at 8.51pm following a request from Belfast Coastguard to go to the aid of an overdue sailing vessel that had sustained engine failure and had one man onboard.

The lifeboat helmed by Paul Mageean and with three crew members onboard launched immediately and made its way to the scene at South Rock close to Cloughey Bay. The Coastguard helicopter Rescue 199 from Prestwick was also tasked.

Weather conditions at the time were good with a Force 2 westerly wind and a calm sea state.

Once on scene, two lifeboat crew members were transferred onto the yacht to assess that the sailor was safe and well before proceeding to set up a tow.

The yacht was then safely towed back to Portavogie Harbour.

Speaking following the call out, Portaferry RNLI Helm Paul Mageean said: ‘We are pleased with the outcome of this call out as it could have been a lot worse for the man onboard as the sailing vessel was close to one of the shipping channels when we arrived on scene. This callout showed good teamwork between ourselves in the RNLI and our colleagues in the Coastguard.

‘As we approach the summer, we would remind anyone planning a trip to sea to always respect the water. Always check your boat and engine ahead of your trip, always let someone ashore know where you are going and when you are due back and always carry a means of communication. Always wear a lifejacket and should you get into difficulty or see someone else in trouble, call 999 or 112 and for the Coastguard.’

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Arklow and Wicklow RNLI were involved in the rescue of three fishermen yesterday evening after their 14m trawler caught fire and subsequently sank off the Wicklow coast.

Volunteer lifeboat crew at Arklow and Wicklow RNLI were requested to launch their all-weather lifeboats at 3.46pm following a Mayday relay broadcast. The crew of the boat had used an emergency position-indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) to raise the alarm.

Both lifeboats launched immediately while the Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117 from Waterford was also tasked and multiple vessels in the area responded.

Weather conditions at the time were good with a Force 2-3 westerly wind.

Once on scene 30 miles east of Arklow, the crew onboard Arklow RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat observed that the three casualties had evacuated on to their life raft and had transferred to a nearby vessel. Having assessed the situation, the lifeboat crew proceeded to transfer two of the casualties to the lifeboat and administer casualty care while a third casualty was airlifted by Rescue 117 and later brought to hospital for further observation.

Wicklow and Arklow RNLI then stood by as a tug boat with firefighting capabilities made efforts to put the fire out but the vessel later sank.

Arklow RNLI transferred the two casualties back to the station where they were made comfortable.

Speaking following the rescue, Arklow RNLI Coxswain Ned Dillon said: ‘Thankfully, all three fishermen were rescued this evening and we would like to wish them all a speedy recovery following what must have been a frightening experience for them. We would like to commend the skipper and his crew for doing the right thing and activating the Epirb when they knew they were in difficulty, that was the right thing to do. We would also like to thank and commend the crew of the vessels that were in the area and responded along with ourselves and our colleagues at Wicklow RNLI and in the Irish Coast Guard. It is always sad to see a fishing vessel sink but we are happy that all three fishermen are safe and recovering from their ordeal this evening.’

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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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