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#RNLI - The hugely successful Cork RNLI charity lunch and auction is set to return after an absence of five years.

The revamped fundraiser for Baltimore, Crosshaven and Kinsale’s RNLI lifeboat stations will take place in the 18th century mansion now home to the Maryborough Hotel in Douglas on Friday 5 October.

Cork has a long and proud association with the RNLI which goes back generations. The men and women who volunteer as lifeboat crew come from local communities and give hours of their time and dedication to the charity.

From the rescue of the Rambler crew by Baltimore RNLI during the Fastnet Race, to rescues of fishermen, divers, swimmers and boaters, the lifeboats and their crew provide an invaluable service.

Last year the Baltimore, Crosshaven and Kinsale RNLI lifeboat stations launched 86 times and brought 116 people to safety. Not every callout is life and death, but to the people involved in every mission, the lifeboats are their lifeline in times of trouble on the water.

The lunch and auction will get underway at 12.30pm with guests welcomed in the Orangery to the accompaniment of live music from Conor Ocean. This will be followed by a three-course lunch in the Sherrard Suite at 1.30pm.

Master of ceremonies Alan Shortt will provide the entertainment and lead the post-lunch auction and draw. The event will finish at 4pm.

RNLI fundraising committee members Avril O’Brien and David Doherty are looking forward to what promises to be an event to remember.

“We are delighted to reintroduce the RNLI lunch and auction,” Avril said. “It was always a popular occasion and as well as raising vital funds it became a highly anticipated social and networking event.

“Volunteer lifeboat crew give so much to the RNLI in terms of their time and dedication to the service and they need to be supported with the best in kit and equipment. Every person who buys a ticket to the fundraiser or bids on an auction item will have the knowledge that they are helping save lives at sea.”

Tickets priced at €65 are now on sale online via Eventbrite and will be sold in tables of 10. For more information about the event contact RNLI Munster community fundraising manager Mary Creedon at [email protected]

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Clifden RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat launched just after midnight on Monday (30 July) to reports of a flashing light spotted off the Connemara coast.

The bright flashing lights had been seen from the shore north-west of the Aughris peninsula, and the Cleggan Coast Guard requested the RNLI to launch to investigate. It was a low tide at the time of launch with a Force 5-6 wind blowing.

On arrival at the scene, the RNLI crew saw that the light was coming from a cardinal marker buoy navigational aid which had become detached from its original location and was now adrift.

Once they informed the coastguard, the volunteer crew comprising coxswain John Mullen, David O’Reilly, Ian Shanahan, Robert King, Thomas Davis and Owen Hayes returned to Clifden at around 3am.

Speaking following the callout, lifeboat navigator Hayes said: “This was a large south-west cardinal marker and once we determined the cause of the lights seen from shore we informed the coastguard, who then recorded it as a navigational hazard for other seagoing vessels.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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BreakingNews.ie reports that three people were rescued by Dun Laoghaire RNLI yesterday morning (Saturday 28 July) after their yacht got into difficulty at sea.

The 47ft yacht had its sail caught on the rudder in poor weather conditions five miles offshore. The crew managed to untangle the obstruction as the lifeboat arrived to bring them to safety.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Three men were rescued from their pleasure boat off an East Cork island on Thursday afternoon (26 July) when it began taking on water.

BallycottoRNLI launched their all-weather lifeboat at around 1.40pm to to the scene east of Capel Island, where the men on board the 26ft pleasure boat had issued a Mayday to the Irish Coast Guard.

Youghal RNLI was also requested to launch their inshore lifeboat, while the coastguard’s Waterford-based helicopter Rescue 117 was also tasked.

Youghal was first on scene and placed two volunteer crew members onboard the boat with a salvage pump. Ballycotton RNLI and its crew arrived shortly after and transferred a larger salvage pump onto the vessel from their all-weather lifeboat.

The three casualties were transferred onto the Youghal lifeboat and brought ashore where they were assisted by Youghal Coast Guard. Ballycotton RNLI took the casualty vessel under tow and brought it ashore.

“This launch had the potential to be extremely serious for the casualties,” said Ballycotton RNLI coxswain Eolan Walsh, “but due to the collaboration with our colleagues at Youghal RNLI and the Irish Coast Guard, we had a safe outcome. We would like to wish the three men involved well following their ordeal.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Kilkeel RNLI’s volunteer crew launched their inshore lifeboat at 7.55pm yesterday evening (Thursday 26 July) after a crew member of a fishing boat was reported unwell and in need of medical attention.

Winds were blowing 3 to 4 knots with a choppy sea and good light as the lifeboat headed to the fishing vessel four miles south-east of Kilkeel Harbour.

On reaching the fishing boat, two lifeboat crew members went aboard to access the casualty, who was a diabetic and unconscious.

The lifeboat crew made the casualty comfortable and administered oxygen while reassuring him that he would be fine.

Another crew member went aboard with a stretcher but with the choppy conditions, it was deemed too awkward to transfer the casualty to the lifeboat, so the three crew members remained with the casualty.

On entering the safety of the harbour, the casualty was finally transferred to the lifeboat and safely brought ashore to a waiting ambulance crew. The local coastguard was also in attendance.

Kilkeel RNLI lifeboat operations manager John Fisher said: “The crew performed, as always, in a professional and competent manner and the callout showed the value of keeping up-to-date with all first aid matters. And we are glad to know that the casualty is making a good recovery.”

Earlier in the day, Enniskillen RNLI was requested to launch by Belfast Coastguard at 12.36pm to a boat aground and reports of a person in the water in the Castle Cauldwell area.

The PSNI boat Lady Grey was also requested. Weather conditions at the time were clear and bright with a moderate wind.

Enniskillen’s volunteer crew on the inshore lifeboat Joseph and Mary Hiley and the rescue water craft made their way to the area and found all six people aboard the grounded 40ft cruiser — five adults and one child — were safe and well.

A tow was set up and the crew managed to free the vessel from the area into safer water. The lifeboat crew onboard checked the boat over and found it working well mechanically, and stayed with the cruiser’s crew until they were well into the Belleek River. The passengers were happy to make their onward journey.

“We would like to wish those onboard the cruiser a safe and enjoyable onward journey,” said Stephen Ingram, Enniskillen RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat press officer. “Today’s callout was a good example of ourselves and our colleagues in the local PSNI working well together to bring people to safety.

“As people continue to enjoy Lough Erne this summer, we would remind everyone to always respect the water. If your vessel does get into difficulty call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.

“As the terrain underwater can be unpredictable we would ask people to always remain onboard your boat and wait for help to arrive.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Three young German visitors were rescued by Galway RNLI after getting stranded on Hare Island in Galway Bay yesterday afternoon (Thursday 26 July).

The three students were trapped on the island after the tide came in shortly before 12.30pm.

A passer-by on the shore spotted the group and dialled 999 for assistance. Galway RNLI’s lifeboat was subsequently called to the scene and arrived within 10 minutes.

The students were completely surrounded by water when the lifeboat arrived to assist them on board. They were then taken to Galway Docks in the city, where they are staying. They did not require medical assistance.

The lifeboat crew on this callout were helm Sean King, Cathal Bryne, Greg Cullen and Olivia Byrne, who said: “This highlights the dangers of going out to Hare Island when the tide is coming in.

“These young men got completely cut off in a short space of time. Luckily a diligent observer on the shore came to their assistance and contacted the emergency services straight away.”

Strandings are not an uncommon occurrence at the tidal island, with similar incidents in 2010, 2013, 2016 and last September.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Donaghdee RNLI has put together a packed itinerary for their forthcoming Lifeboat Festival this coming Saturday 28 July.

The popular maritime festival has gone from strength to strength each year, with locals and visitors exploring the maritime heritage of the beautiful Co Down town and availing of a range of fun activities.

The highlight of the festival will be the raft race, sponsored by Maxol Hightrees, which departs from the slipway opposite the sailing club at 11.45am.

Rafts can be hired for a four- or a six-person team but most groups prefer to construct their own.

Application forms can be obtained from the Lifeboat Shop, Dunn’s Footwear or on the Donaghadee RNLI website at donaghadeelifeboat.co.uk.

Other activities include a lifeboat exercise in the harbour (1pm), an open viewing of Donaghadee Lighthouse* (from noon to 4pm) and plenty of stalls for shopping (11am to 4pm). The lifeboat itself will also be open from 2pm to 4pm.

Commenting on the festival, Donaghadee RNLI lifeboat operations manager Peter Irwin said: “This day has become one of the key events in the Donaghadee social calendar and we are delighted to welcome so many visitors to our town.

“The Donaghadee lifeboat community has a rich history and was founded in 1910. This year the station marked the 65th anniversary of the Princess Victoria ferry disaster, following which a Bronze Medal for Gallantry was presented to the station’s coxswain for their role in the rescue of thirty-one people.

“We would love to welcome as many visitors as possible to the station and the surrounding harbour to let us show them what we do and express our gratitude for their support.”

* The viewing of the lighthouse is with kind permission of the Commissioner of Irish Lights, and visitors are advised that no children under 10 years of age can be admitted.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - Baltimore RNLI carried out a medical evacuation yesterday afternoon (Wednesday 25 July) from Cape Clear Island off the coast of West Cork.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat following a request from the Irish Coast Guard at 1.42pm to provide medical assistance and evacuation to an islander living on Cape Clear.

Arrived in North Harbour at Cape Clear at 2.05pm, four of the volunteer crew went to the casualty’s location to assist with transfer and casualty care.

Once ready, the casualty was brought onboard Baltimore lifeboat and they departed the island at 3.07pm. The lifeboat returned to station in Baltimore and handed the casualty over to the care of HSE ambulance crew at 3.51pm.

Conditions at sea during the call out were relatively calm, with a south-westerly Force 3-4 wind and one-metre sea swell.

Speaking after the callout, Baltimore RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer Kate Callanan said: ‘Medical evacuations — medevacs — are a regular service that Baltimore RNLI provide between the mainland and islands, and also between the mainland and private and commercial boats at sea.

“If you find yourself in need of medical assistance, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

There were six volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat: coxswain Aidan Bushe, mechanic Cathal Cottrell and crew members Eoin Ryan, Kieran Collins, Emma Lupton and Don O’Donovan.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Bundoran RNLI responded to two calls for assistance yesterday (Sunday 22 July) by an angling boat with a fouled propeller and a yachtsman suddenly taken ill.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched after 10am following a call to go the aid of an angling boat, with two men onboard, which had got into difficulty when the boat’s propeller got tangled in lobster pots just off Bundoran.

The lifeboat, helmed by Killian O’Kelly and with three crew members onboard, launched in good weather conditions and made its way the short distance to the scene.

Having assessed that those onboard were safe and well, the lifeboat crew worked with the two men to free the boat and tow it safely back to shore.

Later in the day, the pagers sounded once more at 4.30pm, following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to assist a man who had taken ill on a yacht off Mullaghmore.

The lifeboat, helmed on this occasion by Brian Gillespie and with three crew members onboard, launched immediately and made its way to the scene. The Sligo-based coastguard helicopter Rescue 118 was also tasked.

On arrival, the lifeboat crew assessed the man before taking him onboard the lifeboat and administering casualty care. Once ashore, the man was treated for the effects of sea sickness but was otherwise safe and well.

Speaking following the callouts, Bundoran RNLI volunteer lifeboat operations manager Tony McGowan said: “We were delighted to be of assistance to both groups yesterday and glad that the outcomes resulted safely.

“We would remind everyone visiting the sea and enjoying Bundoran this summer to always respect the water. Always wear a lifejacket, always carry a means of communication and always let someone ashore know where you are going and when you are due back. Should you get into difficulty, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Elsewhere, Larne RNLI was called to assist the crew of a small motorboat with engine difficulties at the entrance to Larne Harbour yesterday morning.

Larne’s volunteer lifeboat crew were preparing for a training session when the call came through at 10.10am. Both the all-weather lifeboat and inshore lifeboat launched to the casualty vessel.

Larne RNLI’s all-weather relief lifeboat the Duke of Windsor was was quickly on scene just north of the entrance to Larne Harbour. The crew quickly established a temporary tow to move the vessel out of the shipping lane to allow a P&O ferry to exit the harbour.

A line was then passed from the lifeboat and secured to the casualty vessel to tow the vessel back to Larne Boat Club.

In the shallow waters of Larne Lough the tow was passed to the inshore lifeboat Terry in order to guide the vessel onto the slipway for recovery.

Speaking after the callout, Larne RNLI coxswain Frank Healy said: “We are glad that the crew on the motor vessel knew to contact the coastguard when they got into difficulty, this is always the right thing to do. If we can be of assistance to anyone, our volunteers are here to help.”

This was the second launch for Larne RNLI in the last five days.

On Wednesday 18 July, the station's all-weather lifeboat launched with their colleagues at Bangor and Donaghadee as a precautionary measure for an aircraft inbound to Belfast City Airport that was experiencing technical difficulties.

The aircraft landed safely and all three lifeboats were stood down and returned to station.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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#RNLI - Courtmacsherry RNLI rescued six people yesterday afternoon (Sunday 22 July) when their 20ft RIB dive boat got into difficulties at the Old Head of Kinsale.

The all-weather lifeboat under coxswain Kevin Young and a crew of six launched at 1.20pm on a busy Sunday to the casualty vessel at the western Hole Open.

Weather conditions were good with a reasonable wind blowing.

The lifeboat reached the distressed RIB within 15 minutes and immediately took the boat under tow and away from the danger of the rocky shoreline.

All arrived back in the safe surrounds of Courtmacsherry Harbour at 3.20pm, and the lifeboat refuelled and returned to its mooring in readiness for any further callout.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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