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RNLI lifesavers from Dunmore East, Kilmore Quay and Rosslare Harbour to feature in new series of TV documentary Saving Lives at Sea

The volunteer lifeboat crews of Dunmore East, Kilmore Quay and Rosslare Harbour RNLI will be taking to the small screen on Tuesday 12 October as they feature in the eighth episode of the BBC TV series Saving Lives at Sea.

Real-life rescue footage gives a frontline view of how the charity’s lifesavers risk their own lives as they go to the aid of those in danger at sea and strive to save everyone.

Now in its sixth series, the 10-part documentary showcases the lifesaving work of the RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crews from around Ireland and the UK. The series is on BBC Two on Tuesdays at 8 pm as well as being available on BBC iPlayer following broadcast.

Real rescue footage is accompanied by emotive interviews from the volunteer lifeboat crews alongside the people they rescue and their families.

This forthcoming episode, on Tuesday 12 October, sees Dunmore East, Kilmore Quay and Rosslare Harbour RNLI, along with Rescue 117, conduct a joint rescue operation off the Wexford coast. As Afloat reported at the time, The Lily B, a 100m general cargo vessel with nine crew onboard and carrying 4,000 tonnes of coal, lost all power two nautical miles from Hook Head last October. Conditions on scene were Force 8 with severe Force 9 gusts and wave heights between eight and 10 metres. The Lily B was drifting and in danger of striking rocks on Hook Head or capsizing in the heavy seas.

The 12-hour service in challenging conditions saw multiple attempts by the lifeboat crews involved to establish a tow between the casualty vessel and the lifeboats. With the crew of the Lily B unable to stay on deck for long in the poor conditions and with language difficulties, two of the lifeboats were eventually successful in passing a rope on deck by using a rocket line and pulling the cargo vessel clear of the rocks. The lifeboat tow was maintained for three hours with waves continually crashing over the decks until the tug vessel Tramontine from Waterford Port arrived on scene and took up the tow. The three lifeboats stayed with the Lily B until they reached the safety of the Waterford Estuary. The rescue operation was finally stood down after 12 hours at sea for the lifeboat crews.

The three lifeboat crews involved are now to receive gallantry awards from the RNLI for their role in the rescue.

Neville Murphy, one of the Dunmore East RNLI lifeboat crew members featured in the forthcoming episode, said: ‘It's great that we can showcase the lifesaving work of RNLI volunteers in a TV programme like this. Without the generous support and donations from the public, we wouldn’t be able to save lives at sea and it’s great to be able to share what we do with our supporters from the comfort of their own home’

During 2020, RNLI lifeboats in Ireland launched 945 times with their volunteer crews coming to the aid of 1,147 people, 13 of whom were lives saved.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

At Rosslare Harbour, a series of information boards highlighting all that is great about the south-east ferry port and more have been installed throughout the Co. Wexford village.

The seven lecterns, which focus on Rosslare Europort, shipping, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), Tuskar Lighthouse, Kilrane, Rosslare Harbour, and St Helens, provide visitors with carefully researched facts and photographs on the history of each area.

The official unveiling of the information boards saw Chairperson of the Village Development Team Alan Murphy welcome and thank Wexford County Council (WCC) for helping to deliver projects under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme.

Alan Murphy, in particular thanked District Manager for the Rosslare Municipal District (RMD) Nóirín Cummins and local councillor Ger Carthy for their efforts in ensuring this project was delivered.

Over €31,000 was raised to fund the new lecterns and others initiatives which will soon be undertaken by the Rosslare Harbour/ Kilrane Village (RHKV) Development Team.

For further reading, Wexford People reports. 

Published in Irish Harbours

The RNLI is to present three Irish lifeboat crews with gallantry awards for their role in a rescue last October that saved nine lives and prevented a 100m cargo vessel from hitting rocks at Hook Head.

The coxswains of Dunmore East RNLI, Kilmore Quay RNLI and Rosslare Harbour RNLI are to receive RNLI Bronze Medals for Gallantry — one of the highest awards presented by the lifesaving charity — while the volunteer lifeboat crews who responded to the callout will each receive Medal Certificates.

Recognition will also be given to the crew of the Irish Coast Guard’s Waterford-based helicopter Rescue 117, the staff of the National Maritime Operations Centre in Dublin and the master and crew of the tug Tramontine.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the multi-agency rescue operation was launched on 20 October 2020 after reports that the Lily B — a 4,000-tonne cargo vessel carrying 4,000 tonnes of coal — had lost all power and was in danger of hitting rocks south of Hook Head in Wexford.

Battling strong waves over six metres high amid Force 8 conditions, the Dunmore East and Kilmore Quay lifeboats managed to establish tow lines onto the drifting vessel and, with the help of the Rosslare Harbour crew, worked together to ensure the vessel stayed away from the rocky shore until the tug arrived.

RNLI director of lifesaving John Payne said: “Those crews involved demonstrated that unique blend of courage, selflessness, dependability and trustworthiness, at their best, in the most demanding of conditions. Without question their combined actions saved lives at sea.

“Conditions onboard the lifeboats were unpleasant in the rolling and pitching seas. The volunteer crews displayed fortitude, perseverance and courage to remain focused whilst under the most testing conditions, often up to their knees in water and heaving decks.

“The unity of purpose and sense of ‘One Crew’ displayed by all contributed significantly to the successful outcome in a protracted 12-hour service.”

The three coxswains (from left), Roy Abrahamsson of Dunmore East, Eugene Kehoe of Kilmore Quay and Rosslare Harbour’s Eamon O’Rourke | Credit: RNLIThe three coxswains (from left), Roy Abrahamsson of Dunmore East, Eugene Kehoe of Kilmore Quay and Rosslare Harbour’s Eamon O’Rourke | Credit: RNLI

The three coxswains — Roy Abrahamsson of Dunmore East, Eugene Kehoe of Kilmore Quay and Rosslare Harbour’s Eamon O’Rourke — were informed of the awards by RNLI area lifesaving manager Joe Moore, who said: “In recommending these awards, the RNLI Trustees recognise the difficulty of the service, the challenges that were faced by the lifeboat crews during their 12 hours at sea and the tragedy and environmental disaster that was averted off the Irish coast.”

In reviewing the service, the RNLI also recommended a Medal Service Certificate for the crew of Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117 for their top cover and reassurance to all the crews below for the duration of the service.

Signed letters of appreciation will also be presented to the staff of the National Maritime Operations Centre in Dublin and the master and crew of the tug Tramontine.

Details of the arrangements for the presentation of Bronze Medals for Gallantry and the Medal Service Certificates are to be arranged in consultation with the awardees.

List of lifeboat crew to be honoured by station:

  • Dunmore East RNLI crew: Roy Abrahamsson (Coxswain), David Murray (Mechanic), Neville Murphy (Navigator) and crewmembers Peter Curran, Jon Walsh, Luka Sweeney and Kevin Dingley.
  • Kilmore Quay RNLI crew: Eugene Kehoe (Coxswain), Philip Walsh (Mechanic), Aidan Bates (Navigator) and crewmembers Trevor Devereux and Sam Nunn.
  • Rosslare Harbour RNLI crew: Eamon O’Rourke (Coxswain), Mick Nicholas (Mechanic), Keith Miller (Navigator) crewmembers Padraig Quirke, Michael Sinnott, Eoghan Quirke and Paul McCormack.
Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Aran Islands lifeboat volunteers launched their all-weather lifeboat on Saturday afternoon (17 August) to carry out a medical evacuation for an injured tourist.

The female visitor to Inis Mór had sustained a suspected fractured leg while out sightseeing, Aran Islands RNLI said.

The casualty was transferred safely aboard the Severn class lifeboat David Kirkaldy under coxswain Tommy Dirrane and a full crew, and was brought to the waiting ambulance at Rossaveal Harbour.

Dirrane said later: “The volunteer crew members train regularly to maintain their quick response time and that can make all the difference to the casualty you are going to help. We would like to wish the casualty a speedy recovery.”

Elsewhere on Saturday, Rosslare Harbour RNLI volunteers were called to assist a small yacht with two onboard in difficulty off Cahore Point off the North Wexford coast.

Tangled in a lobster pot line and unable to sail in the freshening south westerly wind, the crew called the Irish Coast Guard for assistance, according to the RNLI.

Rosslare Harbour RNLI volunteers launched their all-weather lifeboat and reached the yacht in a short time.

Lifeboat volunteers reached the yacht in short order and set up a tow line to bring it close to Cahore Harbour, where the Cahore inshore rescue boat took over due to the shallow water.

Rosslare Harbour RNLI coxswain Eamonn O’Rourke said: “I would like to commend our volunteer crew who worked hard to attach a tow to the yacht in challenging conditions. We were glad to see the vulnerable yacht and her crew safe.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

It was a busy August Bank Holiday weekend on the Wexford coast with three callouts for Rosslare Harbour’s lifeboat volunteers.

The first came on Saturday evening (3 August) at 6pm, when the lifeboat readied for launch to a report of a 10m yacht entangled in fishing gear some three miles from the harbour.

The stricken yacht, with four people on board, was quickly reached by the lifeboat as the seas were calm and a fine evening, according to Rosslare Harbour RNLI.

The all-weather lifeboat’s secondary craft was launched with two volunteers, who manoeuvred into position and managed to cut the yacht free, allowing its journey to continue.

The second callout was in the early hours of Sunday morning (4 August), following a 3am Mayday sent by a 17m schooner that was taking on water.

The tall ship and its complement of 10, including a number of children, were escorted safely back to the harbour by the lifeboat.

The third request for help came later on Sunday, when a small 4m boat with a lone injured person on board was found drifting by a passing freighter around 12 miles east of Tuskar Rock Lighthouse.

The casualty was airlifted to Waterford Hospital by the Irish Coast Guard’s Waterford-based helicopter Rescue 117.

Rosslare Harbour RNLI made an attempt to tow the small boat back to port, but the casualty vessel sank shortly after beginning the tow.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#Lifeboats - The RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat based in Rosslare Harbour was launched at 10.38pm on Saturday night (2 March) to assist a passenger onboard an Irish Ferries vessel bound for Pembroke in Wales.

The passenger ferry Oscar Wilde, which was located 20 miles off the Wexford coast at the time, asked for assistance in evacuating a passenger who had become ill.

Sea conditions were unfavourable for the volunteers on the Rosslare Harbour lifeboat to go alongside the ferry.

The Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117 from Waterford was also tasked and quickly arrived on scene. After attempts to airlift the casualty it was deemed too dangerous.

The Oscar Wilde returned to Rosslare Europort at 1am, where an ambulance was waiting to bring the casualty to hospital. The RNLI volunteers in their Severn class lifeboat stood by the passenger ferry for the duration.

Sea conditions were very poor at the time, with a strong Force 7 to 8 gale and heavy rain.

Coxswain Eamonn O’Rourke commented that the volunteer crew of the lifeboat had to endure very challenging conditions.

Speaking afterwards, Rosslare Harbour RNLI lifeboat operations manager David Maloney said: “Conditions at sea tonight were challenging for our coxswain and lifeboat crew and I would like to commend them for their efforts in enduring a rough passage in the dark, and late at night on a Saturday evening, to be of assistance.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#FerryNews - In south Wales, the former leader of Pembrokeshire County Council has said Fishguard is losing out to Pembroke Dock because the A40 road to the port is so bad.

As BBC News reports, Councillor John Davies wants the Welsh Government to fund the widening of the A40 all the way to Fishguard.

The Stena ferry company has dropped a £5m upgrade for Fishguard, described as a "worrying" move by local politicians.

But Welsh Government minister Baroness Eluned Morgan said there was less money for roads because of austerity.

For more on this story, click the link.

Published in Ferry

#RNLI - Rosslare Harbour RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat launched late last night (Sunday 27 May) to assist a becalmed yacht with three crew onboard.

The 13m yacht, which was travelling south, was becalmed on a very still evening. Unable to continue and within busy shipping lanes off the Wexford coast, the yacht called for assistance.

Rosslare Harbour RNLI lifeboat quickly reached the yacht and it was brought back under tow to the shelter of Rosslare Europort.

Apart from poor visibility due to fog, sea conditions were calm.

Speaking after the callout, Jamie Ryan, Rosslare Harbour RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer, said: “We would like to commend our crew for their great response late on a Sunday evening and also commend the experienced crew on the yacht for quickly calling for assistance when they encountered problems.”

Earlier, Baltimore RNLI launched on its third callout in as many days to assist a yacht which went aground on East Skeam Island yesterday afternoon.

The yacht, with two on board, had been dragged by its anchor dragged in a strong north-easterly Force 5 wind and ended up ashore on the West Cork island.

Arriving in scene seven minutes after launch, the Baltimore lifeboat crew established a tow to refloat the yacht and send it on its way to Schull.

On return to Baltimore harbour, the lifeboat crew then went to investigate a 16ft dory that had broken from its mooring and gone ashore on Sherkin Island.

No people were on board, so the lifeboat crew took an anchor from the vessel and dropped it offshore from the beach so that the rising tide and onshore winds wouldn’t drive the boat further ashore.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#RNLI - Rosslare Harbour RNLI launched yesterday afternoon (Saturday 5 May) to help a Dutch tourist when his motorboat lost power 10 miles north of the Co Wexford port.

The sole occupant of the 33ft motorboat was a Dutch man who was travelling from Dun Laoghaire to Cork when his vessel lost power and he ran into difficulty.

The lifeboat crew responded to the call at 1.55pm and were quickly on scene to establish a tow.

Conditions were good for the journey back to land; there was a slight haze but the sea was calm.

The lifeboat crew towed the vessel back to the Fisherman’s Wall in Rosslare Harbour and the tourist was welcomed ashore.

Commenting on the callout, Rosslare Harbour RNLI lifeboat operations manager Dave Maloney said: “It was perfect conditions for a callout. As the man was travelling on his own we put one of our lifeboat crew onboard to help establish the tow and to check everything was okay.

“Thankfully it was nothing too serious and we were able to bring him safely to Rosslare where he could get his vessel seen to and hopefully continue on with his journey.”

The RNLI and Irish Coast Guard issued a joint call earlier this week for people to stay safe on or near the water this May Bank Holiday weekend, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#NewsUpdate - A delivery of the first imported animal feed in response to the deepening - and now nationwide - fodder crisis has arrived in Rosslare Harbour.

The feed reports RTE News, which has been imported from Britain, will then be distributed by Dairygold Co-Op to ten locations around Munster.

Further significant imports are scheduled for the coming days, with Glanbia and Lakeland Dairies saying that they have also sourced animal feed abroad for their members.

The Dairygold Co-Op executives who sourced and organised the first 2,500 tonnes of animal feed in response to the deepening weather-related shortage are attempting to locate even more supplies to distribute to their farmer members.

Seamus O'Mahoney, Head of Sales at Dairygold Argi Business, said around 3,500 bales are expected to arrive at Rosslare Port over the next two to three days.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, he said imports from the UK were inevitable given the current situation facing farmers.

"We have been seeing over the last few months that farmers have been trying to stretch existing fodder and we have had a very long winter, two storms, a late spring. Farmers didn’t have a chance to put out fertiliser and all of those factors didn’t click," he said.

Click HERE for more on the farming crisis.

Published in News Update
Page 1 of 3

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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