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Time was - and it's not so very long ago - that if you wanted to see the nearest set of traffic lights and other road control paraphernalia to Crosshaven, then you'd have to go well into Cork City. Not so any more.

And the road on the immediate landward side of the of the Royal Cork Yacht Club's is one of Crosser's best fitted, with all the lights, bells and whistles of a classic Zebra crossing for wheeled and pedestrian traffic control.

So with the Bicentenary of the RNLI this year coming soon after the Tricentenary of the Royal Cork YC, and leading us on into the 55th anniversary of the final Beatles album, the yellow welly walkers of Crosshaven Lifeboat - who have been holding fund-raising walks every
Sunday morning in May - decided to mark the conclusion of their successful effort with a re-enactment by the core team of the famous Abbey Road image of The Beatles, but using the pedestrian crossing right outside the Royal Cork YC marina complex.

Abbey Road was first issued on 26th September 1969, and rumour has it that at least two of those in the photograph - excluding lifeboat mascot Stormy Stan of course - saved up their pocket money to buy copies of the album. Unlike London’s leafy Abbey Road in St John’s Wood, the village of Crosshaven has only this one Zebra crossing complete with old style Belisha Beacons at the RCYC which - conveniently - just happened to be the start point of the May Welly Walks. Next Sunday, the word is the RNLI crew look forward to “Golden Slumbers” in the “Octopus’s Garden” unless of course, their pagers go off. We're asked to convey apologies to the Fab Four.

Meanwhile, now it can be revealed: the perspiring hero fulfilling the Stormy Stan role in that heavy suit was Conor Barry.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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HM Coastguard requested the launch of Portaferry RNLI’s inshore lifeboat on Friday evening (24 May) to assist a 35ft yacht which was making slow progress after having suffered engine failure eight miles to the north-east of Strangford Bar in Northern Ireland.

As friends and family arrived at Portaferry Lifeboat Station shortly after 6pm to dedicate a bench to the memory of former crew member Billy Ellison, the lifeboat launched with helm Chris Adair and volunteer crew members Scott Blackwood, Oliver Rogers and Gary Meehan onboard.

Conditions at the time had a Force 3-4 southerly light breeze, slightly choppy wave conditions and good visibility.

Once on scene, both members of the stricken yacht’s crew and their dog were observed to be safe and well.

After an assessment of the situation, the yacht crew were happy and able to hoist their mainsail and make their own way to the safety of Ardglass Marina.

Portaferry’s lifeboat returned to station at 7.30pm and after washing and refuelling the boat, the crew enjoyed refreshments with the Ellison family and past Portaferry RNLI lifeboat crew members. Comments were made that perhaps Billy Ellison was watching on.

An hour later, the coastguard contacted Portaferry lifeboat operations manager, Heather Kennedy to report that the yacht was now 1.5 miles out of Ardglass but needed assistance to negotiate the entrance to the marina.

With no other vessel available to assist, the lifeboat crew readied themselves and launched immediately.

Once on scene, a tow was established ensuring the yacht could safely enter the marina where it was met by Newcastle Coastguard.

Kennedy said: “We commend the crew onboard the yacht for raising the alarm when their engine failed. This is always the correct thing to do and a situation can quickly change and greater risks may arise.”

The RNLI reminds all boat owners to check their vessel's engine to ensure they are ready for summer. Always check the weather and tides before venturing out. Always wear a lifejacket or suitable personal flotation device for your activity and always carry a means of calling for help. Should you get into difficulty or see someone else in trouble, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Volunteers from Irish lifeboat stations including Dun Laoghaire, Arklow and Union Hall were among the 2,500 guests at a special garden party at Buckingham Palace last Thursday (23 May) to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

HRH The Princess Royal, accompanied by Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, and RNLI President HRH The Duke of Kent hosted the event that was attended by lifeboat crew, lifeguards, water safety volunteers and fundraisers from across Great Britain and Ireland, including recent recipients of meritorious service awards and The King’s Birthday and New Year Honours.

Representing Dun Laoghaire RNLI were helm Nathan Burke, station mechanic and coxswain Kieran ‘Colley’ O’Connell and helm Gary Hayes.

Representing Union Hall RNLI at Buckingham Palace last Thursday were volunteers Mary Rose Deasy and Mary Jacinta Casey, flanked by Martin Deasy and Sean Thompson | Credit: Mary Rose DeasyRepresenting Union Hall RNLI at Buckingham Palace last Thursday were volunteers Mary Rose Deasy and Mary Jacinta Casey, flanked by Martin Deasy and Sean Thompson | Credit: Mary Rose Deasy

Fundraising volunteers Mary Rose Deasy and Mary Jacinta Casey attended on behalf of Union Hall RNLI in West Cork, while Arklow RNLI was represented by John and Liz Bermingham, Jimmy and Majella Myler, Austin Gaffney and Helena Dennehy; and Trevor and Kelly Ann Conroy.

One of the highlights of the afternoon was a presentation by The Princess Royal of a Silver Medal for Gallantry to Penlee RNLI coxswain Patrick ‘Patch’ Harvey for his pivotal role in saving eight French sailors during a hurricane on 31 October 2022.

Head of volunteering at the RNLI, Donna McReath said: “I would like to thank each and every one of our incredible volunteers.

Among those attending the garden party from Ireland were John and Liz Bermingham, Jimmy and Majella Myler, Austin Gaffney and Helena Dennehy, and Trevor and Kelly Ann Conroy from Arklow RNLIAmong those attending the garden party from Ireland were John and Liz Bermingham, Jimmy and Majella Myler, Austin Gaffney and Helena Dennehy, and Trevor and Kelly Ann Conroy from Arklow RNLI

“We couldn’t do what we do without their vital support and the time and effort they generously dedicate in a wide variety of roles, from lifesaving crew to fundraisers and those who volunteer in our shops, museums or by sharing our water safety messaging.

“They are all lifesavers, and this special garden party is a wonderful opportunity to recognise and celebrate the joy and impact of volunteering for the RNLI. We are always looking for new volunteers to join our charity to help us continue saving lives at sea.”

Since the RNLI was founded on 4 March 1824, following an appeal to the nation from Sir William Hillary, the charity has saved more than 146,277 lives — this equates to an average of two lives saved every day for 200 years.

Today, the RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations around Ireland and the UK, and has seasonal lifeguards on around 240 lifeguarded beaches around the UK.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Bundoran RNLI’s volunteers were called on Saturday morning (25 May) to assist in a water rescue off Mullaghmore in Co Sligo.

It was reported that a casualty had fallen from a boat and was struggling in the water. The alarm was raised by a passerby who heard calls for help and dialled 999.

The Bundoran RNLI lifeboat — helmed by Brian Gillespie with crew members Richard Gillespie, Oisin Cassidy and Fergal Mullen — launched within four minutes and headed to the scene some six miles away.

Fortunately, passers-by managed to help the casualty out of the water and onto land before the arrival of the emergency services.

The Bundoran RNLI shore crew arrived shortly thereafter, followed by the lifeboat team, who administered first aid to the casualty.

The Irish Coast Guard’s Sligo-based helicopter Rescue 118 was also dispatched to the scene but was stood down once the National Ambulance Service transported the casualty to hospital for further treatment.

Lifeboat helm Brian Gillespie said: “We wish the casualty a speedy recovery and thank our colleagues at Rescue 118 and the National Ambulance Service for their prompt assistance.”

Speaking following the call-out, Daimon Fergus, Bundoran RNLI lifeboat operations manager added: “If you get into difficulty in the water, it’s important to remember not to panic and to utilise the RNLI Float to Live campaign: tilt your head back and submerge your ears, relax and try to control your breathing, move your hands to help you stay afloat. It’s okay if your legs sink, everyone floats differently.”

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The Dunmore East RNLI Open Water Swim Charity Event will be held from Waterford Harbour Sailing Club on Sunday, June 2, with a predicted 350 sea swimmers expected for three swims of varying length - 1,600m, 800m, and 500m.

“This provides opportunities for individuals of all levels to brave the open water,” say the organisers. “Safety is the utmost priority, with a dedicated team of expert kayakers and safety boats on side to escort the swimmers throughout the event.”

Sponsored by EirGrid it is a key annual fixture supporting Dunmore East lifeboat. Margaret Barry, Chairperson of Dunmore East RNLI fundraising branch said, "Building upon the momentum of the previous year, the 2024 Dunmore East RNLI Open Water Swim promises to be an unforgettable experience, uniting swimmers of all levels in support of the important work carried out by the Dunmore East RNLI.

"EirGrid, our new event sponsor, has committed to a three-year sponsorship, enhancing the significance of this year's event and ensuring its continued impact and success"

More information about the Dunmore East RNLI Open Swim can be found here

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The weekly Sunday morning yellow-welly fund-raise walks that have been a feature of each May weekend in Crosshaven, going sociably along the easy Cork Harbour shore path to Drake's Pool and back to the lifeboat station for welcome sustenance, will conclude this Sunday (May 26th) with the walk beginning at 10.0am - the poster says it all.


When started, it was hoped that May's usually springlike or just plain cold weather would keep things reasonably cool for the fully-foul-weather-clad lifeboat mascot Stormy Stan. But last Sunday morning's exceptionally bright sunlight was threatening to turn him into Sweatin' Stormy Stan, though he made it back to the comfort of the station nevertheless.

A cheery crowd with a purpose - last Sunday's Crosshaven Lifeboat walking groupA cheery crowd with a purpose - last Sunday's Crosshaven Lifeboat walking group

The walks have been attracting a diverse crowd, and if they haven't been simple chatting with each other, they'v been observing the diverse and seasonally-growing fleet of boats in the river. So can somebody please tell us if the handsome white sloop in the first photo includes an American-built boat that first arrived into Fenit on Tralee Bay many years ago, shippered Transatlantic by a seafaring priest?

The very worthy reason for it all - the Crosshaven lifeboat running as smoothly as envisaged by her designer, in action to seaward of Roche's PointThe very worthy reason for it all - the Crosshaven lifeboat running as smoothly as envisaged by her designer, in action to seaward of Roche's Point

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Carrybridge RNLI’s volunteers were called by Belfast Coastguard on Saturday afternoon (18 May) to assess a 6m vessel with one person on board which had run aground some two miles upstream from the lifeboat station on Upper Lough Erne in Northern Ireland.

Winds were southerly Force 3 with excellent visibility as the inshore lifeboat Douglas Euan & Kay Richards proceeded to the vessel’s last known location, and on arrival found it holding on its anchor.

The lifeboat crew assessed the wellbeing of the casualty on board and found them to be safe and well.

Upon assessing the casualty vessel, the volunteer crew found that it had lost all means of propulsion.

The helm deemed the safest option would be for the lifeboat and its crew to set up a tow, with the owner’s permission, and bring it back to the safest public jetty at Carrybridge, to avoid other craft going into the shallows to assist.

One crew member from the lifeboat was placed on board the casualty vessel to assist and the casualty vessel was swiftly towed to safety.

Speaking following the call-out, Stephen Scott, lifeboat operations manager at Carrybridge RNLI had advice for all boat users.

“Before setting out on your journey, please plan your route and carry out regular checks of their vessels position throughout your journey,” he said. “Have a means of calling for assistance if you find yourself in trouble, have lifejackets for all on board and plan their journey using the relevant charts.

“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.”

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Galway RNLI lifeboat volunteer Olivia Byrne has been recognised for her exceptional service as a finalist for the prestigious Captain Dara Fitzpatrick Award. The award, which acknowledges the vital work of first responders and the significant role of women in the emergency services, honours individuals who exemplify compassion, bravery, leadership, and professionalism.

Olivia was selected as one of five finalists from a pool of candidates across Ireland. The award ceremony, hosted by the Irish Paramedicine Education and Research Network and the Fitzpatrick family, took place at the University of Limerick. The award pays homage to the legacy of Dara Fitzpatrick, an Irish Coast Guard Search and Rescue pilot, by celebrating inspirational women working in the Irish pre-hospital community and emergency services.

Olivia Byrne, a nurse, midwife, and public health nurse, has also volunteered with the Galway Lifeboat crew for over two decades. Nominated for the award by the station’s Lifeboat Operations Manager Mike Swan, Olivia's dedication and contributions to the team have been invaluable. Over the years, she has been involved in numerous rescues and has brought her nursing skills to the search and rescue role, benefiting both the crew and those they rescue.

Speaking about her recognition, Olivia expressed her gratitude, saying, "It is a great privilege for me to be included in this group of highly trained women." She also commended the other finalists for their outstanding leadership in their respective emergency service specialties.

‘The other finalists for the award are outstanding leaders in their emergency service specialties and the worthy winner of the Capt. Dara Fitzpatrick Award 2024 was Pte Nicole Carroll who is a Defence Forces Combat Medical Technician. I was delighted to be a finalist and to share the experience of the award ceremony with an incredible group of women.’

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Lifeboat crew at Fethard RNLI sprang into action yesterday afternoon following a distress call from the Irish Coast Guard. The call, received at 4:30 pm on Sunday, May 19, requested assistance for a family pet that had fallen from a cliff.

The crew found a Jack Russel terrier that had fallen 30-40 feet onto a bed of seaweed. Fortunately, two local kayakers had spotted the dog in distress and raised the alarm, prompting the lifeboat crew to respond.

Crew member Nadia Blanchfield bravely made her way to the small beach at Poles Bay, where she successfully recovered the dog and brought her on board the inshore lifeboat. The full crew, including Helm James Barry and Paddy O'Regan, ensured the safe return of the dog. The rescue took place under sunny, calm conditions with a light easterly breeze.

Pat Wallace, Volunteer Deputy Launch Authority, emphasised the importance of keeping pets on a lead near cliffs and water's edges. He also advised pet owners to have a means to call for help in case of emergencies and warned against attempting risky rescues.

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The Clogherhead RNLI Lifeboat station celebrated its 125th-anniversary last weekend with perfect weather, as the sun shone in a deep blue sky and the wind remained non-existent.

The festivities kicked off on Saturday, 18th May, with a group of enthusiastic swimmers taking part in a 125th Celebration Dip at 'The Little Strand' in Clogherhead. Prior to their dip, the swimmers and Clogherhead RNLI volunteers formed a human 1-2-5 on the beach, captured for posterity by a drone.

The main event took place on Sunday, drawing a large crowd to the lifeboat station for an afternoon of commemoration, celebration, music, and laughter. The event featured a short ecumenical service conducted by religious leaders, followed by a wreath-laying ceremony in remembrance of past volunteers and casualties. The afternoon was filled with entertainment from various musical acts and activities such as a sandcastle competition, face-painting, and a raffle.

The boathouse also housed a historical exhibition detailing the lifeboats that have served at the station over the years. The event was a memorable occasion, thanks to the hard work of the Clogherhead RNLI volunteers who organised and supervised the celebration. 

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At a Glance - Irish RS Dinghy 2024 Calendar

May 4th/5th:
RS200/400 Northerns EABC.

June 8th:
RS200/400 Easterns/Sprint Greystones SC - ideal way to hone in your starting before many Irish boats head to France for Eurocup 21-24 June

July 6/7th:
RS FEST/Inlands LDYC. RS Fest follows on from the success of last year to incorporate all RS Feva/200/400/Aeros.

August 9-11th:
RS200/400 Irish National Championships CSC.

September 20/21st:
RS 200/400 Southerns KSC. Killaloe SC hosts the final event of the year.

At a Glance - Irish RS400/200 Events for 2023 

  • RS Westerns Galway City Sailing Club - April 1/2
  • RS Open Training Strangford SC 29/30 April
  • Northerns - Strangford Sailing Club - May 6/7
  • Irish RS Games - Nationals - Blessington Sailing Club 23-25 June
  • UK Nationals Mounts Bay 31 July - 04 August 2023
  • Southerns/Easterns - 26/27 August- Wexford Harbour SC
  • Inlands - 23/24 September - Killaloe SC

RS Feva

  • Feva Easterns Royal Irish YC- May 6/7, RS Feva UK Nationals-Pwhelli, UK- May 27th-30th
  • Irish RS Games - Nationals - Blessington Sailing Club 23-25 June (open to all RS classes)
  • Feva Northerns - East Down YC - 26/27 Aug / Southerns - Monkstown BSC- 23/24 Sept

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