Displaying items by tag: Lifeboat
The volunteer lifeboat crew from Castletownbere RNLI has been awarded a Marine Ministerial Letter of Appreciation for Meritorious Service.
The award in recognition of the crew’s ability to locate and save a life in challenging weather conditions was presented by the Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Shane Ross, T.D. at the National Marine Gallantry and Meritorious Service Awards 2016 at a ceremony in Farmleigh House in the Phoenix Park on Friday evening (14 October).
Castletownbere RNLI was represented at the awards by Lifeboat Operations Manager Tony O’Sullivan, Coxswain Brian O’Driscoll and crew members John Paul Downey and Kyle Cronin.
The call out for which the lifeboat was awarded happened when the Castletownbere lifeboat, Annette Hutton, was launched early on Saturday morning 20 August. After 12 hours at sea in storm force conditions, the volunteer lifeboat crew rescued a lone sailor.
Valentia Coast Guard Radio had requested assistance to a yacht in difficulties 45 miles south of Mizen head in West Cork. The resceu was reported at the time by Afloat.ie here.
The eight-metre yacht, with one person on board, had left the Azores in early August and ran into difficulties the day previous. The sailor, in his sixties, had been in regular radio contact with Valentia Coast Guard radio until the morning when his VHF radio was washed overboard. He activated an EPIRB to identify his location, raise the alarm and seek help.
The lifeboat, under the command of Coxswain Brian O’Driscoll, was launched at 8am and located the casualty at 10.40am 50 miles south-west of Castletownbere. The Irish Coast Guard helicopter was also on scene.
Conditions were described as gusting Force 8/9 winds with a 30 foot swell. The yacht was taken under tow and the lifeboat proceeded slowly to Castletownbere in challenging sea conditions. Early into the tow lifeboat crew became concerned about the wellbeing of the sailor and crew managed to transfer him to the lifeboat. The lifeboat, with the damaged yacht in tow, returned to Castletownbere at 8.30pm having been at sea for 12 and a half hours.
Later that evening the sailor thanked the Castletownbere lifeboat and all involved for ‘saving his life’. He said: ‘only for the lifeboat, things would have ended up very badly today’.
The Castletownbere Coxswain and crew demonstrated skill, seamanship and endurance during what was a long and challenging day.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Minister Ross praised the ‘courageous achievements and service of this group of brave Irish men and women who have faced crises and dug deep, offering their skills and in many cases placing themselves in danger in order that others might be safe on our waterways’.
Pausing to remember those who lost their lives at sea since the last set of Awards in 2014, Minister Ross spoke of the tragic death of volunteer Coast Guard Caitríona Lucas last month, describing her as ‘a courageous and heroic woman who made the ultimate sacrifice while in the service of others’.
The awards are to recognise outstanding acts of courage, heroism, skill and initiative in the context of marine emergency incidents. The scheme also recognises exceptional dedication to duty in the execution of Ireland’s marine emergency response.
A Marine Ministerial Letter of Appreciation may be awarded for meritorious service where outstanding dedication to duty over a career of service can be demonstrated, or for an act of particular meritorious dedication, showing skill and initiative, but which is not of an order for receipt of a Meritorious Service or Marine Gallantry medal.
The volunteer lifeboat crew from Kinsale RNLI and Lough Swilly RNLI in County Donegal were also awarded a Marine Ministerial Letter of Appreciation.
The National Marine Gallantry and Meritorious Service Awards Committee is chaired by Bryan Dobson of RTÉ.
Claire Sugden, The Justice Minister called in on her local RNLI Lifeboat station at Portrush the weekend to pay tribute to the work they do on the North Coast.
The Minister was keen to meet all the volunteers including crew, fundraisers and the operations team. She met Des Austin, Cox and Robin Cardwell Lifeboat Operations Manager (LOM) in the lifeboat House firstly to hear about the work of the volunteers and the rigorous training they underwent in order to achieve the competencies to be able to save lives at sea. She then met Sharman Finlay Chair of the fundraising team and Dorothy Weeks, supervisor of the very successful Lifeboat Shop to hear about the importance of fundraising activities to support the volunteer crew.
The Minister then met the volunteer crew of the Inshore Lifeboat and then went on board the All-weather Boat to get a tour of the boat and then experienced a launch as the crew took her out of the bay so she could see for herself, what the crew experienced when they went out on a shout.
The team at the station were delighted to meet the Minister and to have the chance to explain first-hand the importance of the work they do and the training that goes on behind the scenes.
Robin Cardwell LOM said
‘We were delighted to welcome the Minister to her local station and to give her an opportunity to see for herself the operations of a busy lifeboat station. We were thrilled that we had the opportunity to see the ALB in action to have a chat with the volunteer crew, operations team and fundraisers’.
The Minister said in a statement
‘The RNLI provides an invaluable service in keeping the public safe around our coastline. The men and women who volunteer to answer emergency calls in all weathers have helped save countless lives and I commend them for their dedication and commitment.
“The RNLI aims to reduce drowning by 50%, across the UK and Ireland by 2024. Given the dedication and enthusiasm I have seen demonstrated by the Portrush crew, I am confident that they will succeed.”
The Courtmacsherry RNLI All Weather Lifeboat was called out at 12.30pm this afternoon to go to the aid of a 40–foot Sailing Sloop 'in trouble' eight miles off the Old Head of Kinsale in West Cork.
Coxswain Sean O'Farrell and a crew of six launched in response to the Mayday alert from Coastguard and reached the casuality at 1.10 pm. The casualty with two persons on board had lost power in deteriorating conditions at sea and one of the crew person on board the yacht was also reported unwell.
The lifeboat succeeded in transferring its tow rope in difficult conditions to the casualty which was on passage from England to West Cork.
The Lifeboat took the vessel in tow and is heading at low speed to Kinsale.
Conditions at sea this afternoon are very poor with strong winds force 7/8 with very heavy swells. Winds in the area are blowing 35–knots and increasing.
The estimated time of arrival in Kinsale is approx 2.45pm
The RNLI crew are Coxswain Sean O Farrell and volunteer crew members Tadgh McCarthy (Mechanic), Mark Gannon, Ciaran Hurley, Ken Cashman, Mark John Gannon and Dave Philips.
Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat launched to assist four people after their 34ft–cruiser ran aground by the Scilly Islands on Lough Derg today. At 1.39pm, the lifeboat launched with helm Ger Egan, Lian Knight and Delia Ho on board. Winds was east-southeasterly, Force 3. Visibility was good.
The lifeboat located the vessel at the junction of Scariff Bay and Parker’s Point at 1.54pm. The four people on board were safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets. Once the lifeboat was satisfied the vessel was not holed, it was taken off the rocks and into safe water. The cruiser continued its onward journey once drives and rudder were found to be undamaged and in good working order.
Peter Kennedy, Deputy Launching Authority at Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat, advises boat users to ‘to bring charts with you and know the areas close to shore and islands marked as un-navigatable, particularly as water levels are low in the lake at the moment’.
The lifeboat returned to Station and was ready for service again at 3pm.
Crosshaven RNLI lifeboat in Cork Harbour was requested to launch yesterday evening at 8.49pm after a report of a 9m RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) with two people on board hit a navigation Buoy near Tivoli in Cork City.
Reports also were given that one person was injured.
The volunteer crew made best safe speed on the 20 minute journey to the City. New information received en route stated the damaged RIB had managed to journey under its own power to Cork City marina, but was still requesting first aid help.
On arrival at the City Marina, the RNLI crew assessed the casualty who was complaining of chest injuries and administered first aid until the emergency ambulance arrived and conveyed the casualty to hospital.
The lifeboat then escorted the damaged RIB on its return journey to Crosshaven and assisted in putting the vessel alongside
The lifeboat arrived back at the station in Crosshaven at 10.50pm, where it was refueled, washed down and declared ready for service once more at 11.30pm
Larne RNLI has rescued two kayakers who got into difficulty off the County Antrim coast yesterday evening (Tuesday 27 September).
The volunteer lifeboat crew responded to a launch request from Belfast Coastguard at approximately 6.30pm following reports of two kayakers in difficulty at Ballygally Head.
The initial alarm was raised by a member of the public reporting two kayakers in trouble with one kayaker in the water.
Weather conditions were described as blowing a Force 3-4 wind with a slight swell and reduced visibility due to darkness falling.
Both Larne RNLI’s all-weather and inshore lifeboats launched at 6.42pm and the crews were quickly on scene. The casualties were located and recovered into the inshore lifeboat and were medically assessed by the crew.
Larne’s inshore lifeboat crew transferred the kayakers safely back to shore at Ballygally and into the care of the Coastguard while the all-weather lifeboat returned the kayaks to shore.
Speaking following the call out, Larne RNLI Coxswain Frank Healy said: 'The kayakers were located quickly this evening and returned safely to shore and we like to wish them both well following their ordeal.
‘Our volunteer crew train all year round to ensure when the pager sounds they are competent to complete any rescue and this training quickly swung into action this evening. We would like to commend the member of the public who contacted the Coastguard and we would urge anyone who sees someone in distress around the coastline to never hesitate in dialling 999 and asking for the Coastguard.’
Four teenage girls who got into trouble whilst swimming at Main Beach in Bundoran on Saturday (17th September) have issued an appeal to find the body boarders who helped them out of the water.
The girls were in the water just after 6.30pm on Saturday evening when they found themselves caught in a rip current. A member of the public dialled 999 and the Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat and Rescue 118 helicopter were both requested to launch by Malin Head Coast Guard. Within minutes the Bundoran Lifeboat was on the scene having made the short trip from the nearby station, however, on arrival the girls had already been helped to safety by a number of bodyboarders who were in the water at Main Beach at the time.
A number of RNLI volunteer shore crew, trained in Casualty Care, also attended the scene and assisted the girls until the arrival of the Sligo based Rescue 118 helicopter which landed in the Astoria Car Park.
As a precautionary measure, the girls were airlifted to Sligo University Hospital from where they were subsequently released after having been given an all clear.
Now the girls are appealing for their rescuers to come forward so that they may thank them in person.
There were double celebrations for the RNLI in County Cork this weekend with two new lifeboats officially named and blessed in Youghal and Crosshaven.
At a special ceremony held on Saturday, Youghal RNLI officially named its new Atlantic 85 class lifeboat, Gordon and Phil, while today (Sunday 11 September) Crosshaven RNLI named its new lifeboat John and Janet.
The honour of naming Youghal’s new lifeboat went to eight-year-old Izzy O’Connell, and Albert Muckley, Deputy Launching Authority.
Izzy who was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2014 is a friend of the station. The lifeboat crew who have admired Izzy’s determination and courage, wanted her to play a special part in their day.
Ahead of the naming, Catherine Fitzgerald Hourigan, who has held several fundraising events in aid of the station, was invited to represent the late donor Gwenda Bull, and hand the new lifeboat to the RNLI.
Peter CrowIey, RNLI Vice President, accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the RNLI before handing her over into the care of Youghal Lifeboat Station. The lifeboat was then accepted on behalf of the crew by Lifeboat Operations Manager Fergus Hopkins.
Gwenda Bull, who lived in Brighton, East Sussex, admired the work of the RNLI as did her family. She funded various equipment for Shoreham lifeboat station and went to see the new Tamar lifeboat arrive at Shoreham back in December 2010.
Miss Bull also kindly funded the purchase of a new inshore lifeboat, to be named Gordon and Phil in memory of her parents. She was happy for the lifeboat to go on station wherever it would be of most benefit around the coast, so her funds were used to purchase the new B class lifeboat in Youghal.
Mr Hopkins remembered and thanked Miss Bull, adding that her generosity had given Youghal RNLI a lifesaver.
‘When the crew arrive here,’ he said, ‘and get kitted up, and head out to sea, we’ll have peace of mind. Because this lifeboat will help to keep them safe, as they save others’.
Pat O’Keefe, fundraising committee member recounted a historical call out before the Very Reverend David Herlihy, Parish Priest, the Very Reverend Alan Marley and the Reverend Tim Kingston lead the Service of dedication. Izzy and Albert then officially named the lifeboat Gordon and Phil, while pouring a bottle of champagne over the lifeboat which then put to sea.
The new lifeboat replaced Patricia Jennings which during her 13 years in Youghal launched 175 times with its crews saving nine lives and rescuing 233 people.
The celebrations moved to Crosshaven this afternoon where the honour of naming the lifeboat went to young Paddy Crowley, son of the late Con, who was a helm at the station prior to his sudden death last year.
Afloat journalist Tom MacSweeney was invited to represent the anonymous donor of the new lifeboat John and Janet and hand her over to the RNLI.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr MacSweeney said: ‘On this occasion, the incredibly generous donor of this new lifeboat has decided to remain anonymous. We can all agree this is an incredible act of kindness and so I offer my sincere thanks to the donor and I know this lifeboat will be a much loved asset to the community of Crosshaven.’
Clayton Love, RNLI Vice President, accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the RNLI and handed her into the care of the Crosshaven lifeboat crew. It was Mr Love’s family who kindly donated the station’s former lifeboat, Miss Betty.
On accepting the lifeboat, Patsy Fegan, Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘People from all walks of life represent our volunteers who without a thought at any time day or night will drop everything when their pager goes off and come down to the station. When the crew arrive here, they prepare themselves and the boat, don their suits and go to sea to save the lives of others. This new Atlantic 85 class lifeboat will help to keep our volunteer crew safe, as they rescue others.’
The Very Reverend Fr Pat Stevenson and Reverend Isobel Jackson lead the Service of Dedication before Paddy Crowley, son of the late Con, officially named the lifeboat John and Janet.
Last year, Crosshaven RNLI launched 42 times and rescued 50 people. The new lifeboat replaces Miss Betty, the station’s first permanent lifeboat, which was on service in Crosshaven since the station was formally established 14 years ago.
The new state of the art Atlantic 85 lifeboat was introduced into the RNLI fleet in 2005. The lifeboat is 8.4 metres in length and weighs 1.8 tonnes. Improvements on its predecessor include a faster top speed of 35 knots, radar, provision for a fourth crew member and more space for survivors.
Fast, manoeuvrable and reliable, the B class operates in rough weather conditions, capable in daylight up to force seven and at night, to force six winds.
The new lifeboat, an Atlantic 85 is the latest version of the B class.
It was a busy afternoon for Dun Laoghaire All-Weather RNLI lifeboat, Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard and Coastguard Helicopter Rescue 116 woh responded to a calls with good intent as southerly winds are gusting over 50 knots on Dublin Bay today. The rescue services responsded to reports that three people were stranded at the Muglins Rock lighthouse at the southern tip of Dublin Bay, off Dalkey.
Crowds tuned out in Dun Laoghaire this afternoon for the RNLI Station Open Day on the Carlise Pier. Lifeboat tours ran from 11.30am to 4pm.
The Irish Coast Guard Rescue Helicopter 116 landed on the Carlisle Pier in an SAR demonstration as part of the Open Day festivities.
Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard Unit and the RNLI Sea Safety Roadshow were also in attendance.