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Howth RNLI launched the all-weather lifeboat to rescue a 21-foot fishing boat with two people onboard after it suffered mechanical failure just off Rush Co. Dublin

The RNLI pagers sounded at 2.52 pm on Monday 18th January to reports of a small fishing boat with 2 people aboard with mechanical problems. The all-weather lifeboat was launched and travelled to the stricken vessel which had managed to drop an anchor 400 metres off the coastline of Rush in North Dublin. 

The volunteer lifeboat crew promptly took the vessel in tow and returned the 21-foot boat along with its two occupants back to its homeport of Malahide marina.

The Howth Lifeboat and volunteer crew returned to Howth station and stood down at 4.35 pm.

Speaking following the callout, Colm Newport, Howth RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘Our volunteer lifeboat crew were pleased to be able to quickly respond and tow the small fishing boat to the safety of Malahide Marina'.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Howth RNLI launched the all-weather lifeboat to rescue a fishing trawler, six people, onboard after it ran aground on rocks in Balscadden Bay, at Howth in County Dublin.

The RNLI pagers sounded at 4.12 pm on Thursday 7th January to reports of a fishing trawler aground just outside Howth Harbour in Balscadden Bay. The all-weather lifeboat was launched and was on the scene in a matter of minutes.

The trawler was hard around and listing to one side. The lifeboat crew assessed the fishing trawler and deemed it safe to put a tow line aboard. Fred Connolly, Howth RNLI Lifeboat Coxswain carefully navigated the all-weather lifeboat in the shallow water and the volunteer crew got a tow line aboard the stricken trawler.

The tide was rising and the lifeboat eased the trawler off the rocks and into deeper waterThe tide was rising and the lifeboat eased the trawler off the rocks and into deeper water

The tide was rising and the lifeboat eased the trawler off the rocks and into deeper water. The trawler was brought back to the safety of Howth Harbour.

The Howth Lifeboat and volunteer crew returned to Howth station and stood down at 5.50 pm.

The fishing trawler aground in Balscadden BayThe fishing trawler aground in Balscadden Bay Photo: Annraoi Blaney

Speaking following the callout, Ian Malcolm, Howth RNLI Deputy Launching Authority said: ‘Our volunteer lifeboat crew were pleased to be able to quickly respond and tow the fishing vessel to the safety of Howth Harbour. Our Lifeboat volunteers train regularly to prepare for situations just like this’’

The crew on the Howth RNLI Trent Class All Weather lifeboat were; Fred Connolly - Coxswain, Ian Sheridan - Mechanic, Killian O’Reilly, Ian Martin, Aidan Murphy, Stephan Mullaney and Ronan Murphy.

Published in Fishing

Instead of Christmas swims, Howth RNLI fundraisers in County Dublin are asking Howth peninsula swimmers to "DIP & DONATE" to the RNLI anytime between December 19th and Jan 7th.

Howth RNLI has posters with a printed QR code (see above) for scanning by camera phone to take swimmers directly to the RNLI Justgiving page, Howth RNLI's Rose Michael told Afloat.

Mass Christmas sea swims, often held in aid of charities, such as the RNLI, have been discouraged this year due to pandemic measures to kerb social gatherings.

Howth Lifeboat Station continues to rely on voluntary contributions and legacies for income. It is only through thoughtful gifts and donations that the RNLI is able to provide our volunteer lifeboat crews with the boats, facilities, equipment and training that are essential to save lives at sea.

Since 1825 an all-weather lifeboat has launched into Dublin Bay from Howth and the crews have been honoured with 20 awards for gallantry.

Today the station operates both a Trent class lifeboat and an inshore D class lifeboat.

Published in Sea Swim
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Two people — one with an injured ankle — were rescued by the Irish Coast Guard after getting stuck on a cliff near the Baily Lighthouse on Howth Head yesterday afternoon (Sunday 11 October).

Howth Coast Guard’s cliff team reached the scene just as the Dublin-based helicopter Rescue 116 arrived, and it was decided the helicopter crew would recover the casualties to the cliff top.

The winchman was lowered with a double hoist lift both casualties, which TheJournal.ie reports were an adult and a teenager, to the top and into the care of the cliff team.

The younger of the pair had sustained an ankle injury that was not thought to be serious, but as a precaution they were stretched to the nearest road to meet an ambulance crew fro transfer to hospital.

“This was a lucky escape for the two casualties,” said a coastguard spokesperson.

“Due to the quick response by the public in calling 999 and giving an accurate location of the incident, rescue teams were able to quickly deploy.”

Published in Coastguard
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"Getting the builders in" is a challenging prospect on land at the best of times. Add in the sea, and it's then a challenge-plus. Thus when you're working on and in the waterfront to implement a project within a busy fishing/sailing harbour which has found itself becoming something of a cult tourism magnet, the problems are magnified tenfold for contractors and harbour users alike.

Certainly, this is the prospect at Howth, where this week Sisk the Builders will be starting to move in to set up a new operational site on the Middle Pier. This will – in just 13 months, it is hoped - provide a completely new 135 metres of proper quay wall along the currently rock-armoured west side of the Middle Pier, with dredged material from the new "long berth" being deposited in a revetment-retained infill on the Middle Pier's East Side, thereby providing much-needed extra shore space for vehicles serving the boats using the new berths.

Part of Howth's attraction for visitors is the colourful but often very crowded scene along the main fishing boat area on the West Pier. It's entertaining to be feasting off seafood at one of the many characterful restaurants along the pier, as forklifts with fishing gear go buzzing closely past. And every so often, a seemingly enormous fishing boat makes her stately way across the quay in slow style on the Syncrolift trolleys to receive the attentions of Johnny Leonard and his skilled staff in the shipyard. There's never a dull moment. But there are times when it's all just too much of a good thing. A safety valve of alternative berthing and extra shoreside space was becoming urgently needed.

Howth's Fish Dock may provide a colourful setting for a quayside array of characterful seafood restaurants along the West PierHowth's Fish Dock may provide a colourful setting for a quayside array of characterful seafood restaurants along the West Pier, but extra berthing space is urgently needed. Photo: W M Nixon

Down along the west side of the Middle Pier was the only option. This would be simple enough if everyone was game to close off substantial parts of the harbour to let the contractors have a free run at the job. But it says everything about the spirit of Howth that this doesn't seem to have occurred to anyone. From the beginning, the assumption was that virtually all of the harbour's activities could continue with as little interruption as possible, and Harbour Master Harry McLoughlin and Howth Yacht Cub Commodore Ian Byrne, together with representatives of other interests, set themselves the task of facilitating the contractors while keeping the floating show on the road.

As Ian Byrne became our "Sailor of the Month" back in May for deciphering the multiple rules for exiting the first Covid lockdown in a way which was comprehensible to all sailors, he was ideal to speak for the consumers, while Harry McLoughlin - a widely-experienced harbour master who has a real vision for Howth - ably filled the role as the human face of officialdom. Between themselves and the contractors, they worked out a viable scheme despite having to include extra elements made necessary by the space requirements of COVID-19

Site plan showing (red line) the agreed limits of the boundary of the works. This will enable much of the harbour – including the public slipway beside the Lifeboat StationSite plan showing (red line) the agreed limits of the boundary of the works. This will enable much of the harbour – including the public slipway beside the Lifeboat Station – to continue to function, but inevitably there will be some reduction in car parking spaces.

Of course, those who know Howth well appreciate that while this new project will – if all goes according to plan - give the fishing fleet a very welcome and useful Christmas present at the end of 2021, it is just the beginning of a process in which the long-overdue dredging of the harbour – more needed in some parts then in others – is steadily moving up the agenda.

But if this scheme goes according to plan in a spirit of harmony, it will, in turn, create the atmosphere in which other mutually beneficial works can be undertaken with an attitude of realism and a mood of mutual respect. And if by some happy chance the pandemic subsides and visitors are allowed back to Howth in their previous numbers next Spring, well, the fact that there's an interesting bit of maritime contracting work underway will give them something extra to look at, for the main attraction of Howth Harbour seems to be that people on holiday enjoy nothing more than watching other people doing unusual work…

Howth_middle_pier_from_northBy the beginning of November (COVID permitting) this end section of Howth's Middle Pier will be a hive of activity with the rock armour on the Fish Dockside being converted into a quay wall.

Published in Coastal Notes
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Howth RNLI launched to the rescue of a solo sailor whose yacht got into difficulty in the Irish Sea off Dublin yesterday evening, Thursday 3 September.

Pagers sounded at 7.10pm and the all-weather lifeboat was launched, its crew locating the stricken yacht some five miles east of the Kish Lighthouse.

The vessel had suffered rigging and engine damage and was unable to make way so the lifeboat crew took it under tow to the safety of Poolbeg Marina, where it was tied up at 10.45pm.

Howth Lifeboat Rescues Lone Yachtsman Stranded In Irish Sea

Howth RNLI reported that the lone yachtsman was in good spirits despite his ordeal.

Speaking after the callout, lifeboat coxswain Fred Connolly said: “Our volunteer lifeboat crew are always ready to respond to a call for help and we train for situations just like this.

“We were delighted to able to quickly locate the sailing boat, commence the tow and bring the sailor safely back to Dublin Port.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Howth RNLI launched both the all-weather lifeboat and the inshore lifeboat in two separate callouts over the weekend to rescue eight people who found themselves in difficulty. One callout saw a teenager’s life saved when the lifeboat crew found him clinging to a buoy in the middle of the estuary.

The RNLI pagers sounded at 1.35 pm on Friday (7 August) after a call was placed to the Coast Guard reporting two people in difficulty swimming at Cush Point in Baldoyle estuary. The inshore lifeboat was launched and located the two people 11 minutes later as they made their way back to shore. Colin Murray from Howth Coast Guard spoke to the two boys and it emerged that there was a third person still missing. The lifeboat crew quickly established a search pattern and located the casualty clinging to a buoy in the middle of the estuary. He had been there for nearly 30 minutes and was exhausted. The casualty was taken aboard the lifeboat, assessed and treated before bringing back to the lifeboat station.

The lifeboat crew were called into action again the following afternoon (Saturday 8 August) at 4.50 pm to reports of a speed boat that had mechanical problems just north of Lambay Island. The all-weather lifeboat was launched and quickly located the boat with four family members onboard. The speedboat was taken in tow by the volunteer crew of the all-weather lifeboat and the family were unharmed by the incident and returned safely to Malahide Marina.

Speaking following the callout which saw the teenager rescued, Fin Goggin, Howth RNLI Helm said: ‘What we thought was a callout to two swimmers who had made their way back to shore quickly turned into a search for a missing teenager. When we found him a short time later clinging to the buoy, very tired but alive, we realised it could have had a very tragic outcome.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Howth RNLI launched both the all weather lifeboat and the inshore lifeboat in 5 separate call-outs over the bank holiday weekend to rescue 12 people who found themselves in difficulty

The RNLI pagers sounded at 6.38pm on Sunday 31st May after a call was placed to the Coast Guard reporting 4 people stranded by the tide on rocks in Balscadden bay Howth. The inshore lifeboat was launched and located the 4 people 8 minutes later. They had become cut off by the tide and were quickly assessed and found to be in good spirits despite being in the water for a period of time. They were transferred back to the safety of Howth harbour.

The RNLI pagers sounded again on Monday 1st June at 4.04pm to reports of a speed boat that had mechanical problems and drifted onto Sutton strand. The inshore lifeboat was launched and quickly located the boat with 3 family members onboard.

Speed boat towed to safety by Howth RNLI

The speedboat was taken in tow by the crew of the inshore lifeboat and the family were unharmed by the incident and returned safely to shore at Howth Lifeboat Station.

The RNLI pages again sounded just over an hour later at 5.50pm to reports of 5 people stranded by the tide in the centre of Baldoyle estuary. The coast guard helicopter Rescue 116 was also tasked to the scene and airlifted 1 of the party of 5 people while a local paddle boarder was assisting in returning 3 people to shore as the final person swam to shore. Howth RNLI inshore lifeboat assessed the casualties on the beach.

Five people were cut off by tide and rescued by Coastgaurd Helicopter at Howth


Rescue 116 landed on Portmarnock strand and passed the casualty to the RNLI inshore lifeboat who returned them safely to their friends.

The RNLI had launched earlier in the weekend on 2 further occasions to false alarms with good intent.

Speaking following the callout, Noel Davidson, Howth RNLI Volunteer Press Officer said: ‘Our volunteer lifeboat crew are always ready to respond to a call for help and have launched 13 times in the last 20 days. Thankfully while some of the call outs proved to be false alarms with good intent, this bank holiday the RNLI were able to rescue 12 people from separate call outs and all were brought to safety from situations that could have been quite serious’

‘Always check the tide times and conditions before you set off and while out, be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on the tide direction. Ask for local advice and look out for safety signs. Always carry a means of calling for help and know to call 112/999 and ask for the Coastguard if you or someone else is at risk.’

The RNLI continues to provide an on call 24/7 search and rescue lifeboat service. To ensure peoples’ own safety in or on the water please adhere to the relevant water safety guidance for your activity. More information can be found at www.rnli.org/safety

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Howth RNLI launched their inshore lifeboat last night (Tuesday 12th May) to reports of a person stranded in a RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) with engine trouble while fishing off Howth.

The RNLI pagers sounded at 7.25 pm after a call was placed to the Coast Guard reporting a person stranded in a rigid inflatable boat while out fishing alone in the waters just outside Howth.

Howth RNLI volunteer crew members Fin Goggin (Helm), Killian O’Reilly and Robert Kerley launched the Inshore Lifeboat within 13 minutes of getting the call and proceeded to the area and quickly where they located the 4.5 metre RIB with one person aboard. The person had been fishing alone but his engine had failed to start and was drifting with the tide which was ebbing out to sea.

The RIB was taken in tow by the crew of the inshore lifeboat and the person was unharmed by the incident and returned safely to shore at Howth Lifeboat Station. 

The wind was Force 2 and the sea state was calm.

Speaking following the callout, Noel Davidson, Howth RNLI Volunteer Press Officer said: ‘Our volunteer lifeboat crew are always ready to respond to a call for help. In this case, the man was fishing on his own but with engine failure, he was being pulled out to sea and could have gotten into serious difficulty if help had not arrived. Thankfully he was located quickly and brought to safety.’

‘We would ask that people adhere to recently published public health advice from the Government when they resume any water-based activity and help minimise the risk to Search and Rescue and frontline emergency services from being unintentionally exposed to Coronavirus.’

The RNLI continues to provide an on-call 24/7 search and rescue lifeboat service. To ensure peoples’ own safety in or on the water please adhere to the relevant water safety guidance for your activity. More information can be found at www.rnli.org/safety

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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We’ll begin by making it clear that this remarkable image of Tuesday night’s super-moon over Balscadden Bay in Howth was taken at 2041hrs by a Howth resident within the prescribed two kilometres of her residence, using a carbon-neutral means of transport. And while the moon itself and the cloud with it have probably caused rumours of Unidentified Flying Objects (for they’re regular visitors to the peninsula and had scheduled flights to Mars before the lock-down), another area of interest is the high level of literary associations within this one remarkable photo.

For the little cliffside house at centre has a plaque which claims association with the Yeats family. But while the poet’s often penniless father John Butler Yeats did indeed briefly accommodate his family there around 1880, their two year stay in Howth in the early 1880s was in the harbour-side house where traditional boat enthusiast Mick Hunt and his wife Elaine now live. W B Yeats' sisters remembered it as only crowded, cold and damp, but as anyone who has visited the house today will know, Mick has achieved a miracle of transformation to make it a warm, dry, airy and welcoming place.

But in any case, the more immediate association of that little cliffside house, or the next one along to the right of the photo, is that Gaynor Crist, the original for J P Donleavy’s Ginger Man, lived there for a while in the 1940s when he was a GI Bill student at Trinity College. Many of us find a re-reading of The Ginger Man, so symbolic of our younger days, to be a rather depressing experience today, but nevertheless it reveals that while ensconced on the Balscadden cliffs in a rented house in which the waves moaned and crashed in the cliff caves close underneath, the Ginger Man found he was completely broke and very hungry.

But he noted that one of the beds was covered in a pink blanket. So he took the scissors from the kitchen and cut the blanket into strips, one of which he then modified into a passable resemblance of a scarf. As he favoured tweed jackets and rustic apparel, with this scarf he immediately became the very image a a Trinity sporting pink (the highly-respected TCD equivalent of an Oxford blue), and was thus able to stride with confidence down the the Balscadden Road and along the harbour front to Findlater’s splendid grocery emporium (these days it's Michael Wright’s gastro-pub of the same name), wherein he had no trouble running up a credit list as long as your arm of a substantial and comprehensive order of high quality victuals, which were then promptly delivered to Balscadden by one of the familiar Findlater vans.

It is not thought that the bill was ever paid…..As for Findlater’s in Howth, it is written for ever into local sailing history, for when the Howth 17 class got going in 1898, it was in their sailing instructions that “The time (for starts) to be taken from Findlater’s clock”.

Published in Coastal Notes
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Howth Yacht Club information

Howth Yacht Club is the largest members sailing club in Ireland, with over 1,700 members. The club welcomes inquiries about membership - see top of this page for contact details.

Howth Yacht Club (HYC) is 125 years old. It operates from its award-winning building overlooking Howth Harbour that houses office, bar, dining, and changing facilities. Apart from the Clubhouse, HYC has a 250-berth marina, two cranes and a boat storage area. In addition. its moorings in the harbour are serviced by launch.

The Club employs up to 31 staff during the summer and is the largest employer in Howth village and has a turnover of €2.2m.

HYC normally provides an annual programme of club racing on a year-round basis as well as hosting a full calendar of International, National and Regional competitive events. It operates a fleet of two large committee boats, 9 RIBs, 5 J80 Sportboats, a J24 and a variety of sailing dinghies that are available for members and training. The Club is also growing its commercial activities afloat using its QUEST sail and power boat training operation while ashore it hosts a wide range of functions each year, including conferences, weddings, parties and the like.

Howth Yacht Club originated as Howth Sailing Club in 1895. In 1968 Howth Sailing Club combined with Howth Motor Yacht Club, which had operated from the West Pier since 1935, to form Howth Yacht Club. The new clubhouse was opened in 1987 with further extensions carried out and more planned for the future including dredging and expanded marina facilities.

HYC caters for sailors of all ages and run sailing courses throughout the year as part of being an Irish Sailing accredited training facility with its own sailing school.

The club has a fully serviced marina with berthing for 250 yachts and HYC is delighted to be able to welcome visitors to this famous and scenic area of Dublin.

New applications for membership are always welcome

Howth Yacht Club FAQs

Howth Yacht Club is one of the most storied in Ireland — celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2020 — and has an active club sailing and racing scene to rival those of the Dun Laoghaire Waterfront Clubs on the other side of Dublin Bay.

Howth Yacht Club is based at the harbour of Howth, a suburban coastal village in north Co Dublin on the northern side of the Howth Head peninsula. The village is around 13km east-north-east of Dublin city centre and has a population of some 8,200.

Howth Yacht Club was founded as Howth Sailing Club in 1895. Howth Sailing Club later combined with Howth Motor Yacht Club, which had operated from the village’s West Pier since 1935, to form Howth Yacht Club.

The club organises and runs sailing events and courses for members and visitors all throughout the year and has very active keelboat and dinghy racing fleets. In addition, Howth Yacht Club prides itself as being a world-class international sailing event venue and hosts many National, European and World Championships as part of its busy annual sailing schedule.

As of November 2020, the Commodore of the Royal St George Yacht Club is Ian Byrne, with Paddy Judge as Vice-Commodore (Clubhouse and Administration). The club has two Rear-Commodores, Neil Murphy for Sailing and Sara Lacy for Junior Sailing, Training & Development.

Howth Yacht Club says it has one of the largest sailing memberships in Ireland and the UK; an exact number could not be confirmed as of November 2020.

Howth Yacht Club’s burgee is a vertical-banded pennant of red, white and red with a red anchor at its centre. The club’s ensign has a blue-grey field with the Irish tricolour in its top left corner and red anchor towards the bottom right corner.

The club organises and runs sailing events and courses for members and visitors all throughout the year and has very active keelboat and dinghy racing fleets. In addition, Howth Yacht Club prides itself as being a world-class international sailing event venue and hosts many National, European and World Championships as part of its busy annual sailing schedule.

Yes, Howth Yacht Club has an active junior section.

Yes, Howth Yacht Club hosts sailing and powerboat training for adults, juniors and corporate sailing under the Quest Howth brand.

Among its active keelboat and dinghy fleets, Howth Yacht Club is famous for being the home of the world’s oldest one-design racing keelboat class, the Howth Seventeen Footer. This still-thriving class of boat was designed by Walter Herbert Boyd in 1897 to be sailed in the local waters off Howth. The original five ‘gaff-rigged topsail’ boats that came to the harbour in the spring of 1898 are still raced hard from April until November every year along with the other 13 historical boats of this class.

Yes, Howth Yacht Club has a fleet of five J80 keelboats for charter by members for training, racing, organised events and day sailing.

The current modern clubhouse was the product of a design competition that was run in conjunction with the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland in 1983. The winning design by architects Vincent Fitzgerald and Reg Chandler was built and completed in March 1987. Further extensions have since been made to the building, grounds and its own secure 250-berth marina.

Yes, the Howth Yacht Club clubhouse offers a full bar and lounge, snug bar and coffee bar as well as a 180-seat dining room. Currently, the bar is closed due to Covid-19 restrictions. Catering remains available on weekends, take-home and delivery menus for Saturday night tapas and Sunday lunch.

The Howth Yacht Club office is open weekdays from 9am to 5pm. Contact the club for current restaurant opening hours at [email protected] or phone 01 832 0606.

Yes — when hosting sailing events, club racing, coaching and sailing courses, entertaining guests and running evening entertainment, tuition and talks, the club caters for all sorts of corporate, family and social occasions with a wide range of meeting, event and function rooms. For enquiries contact [email protected] or phone 01 832 2141.

Howth Yacht Club has various categories of membership, each affording the opportunity to avail of all the facilities at one of Ireland’s finest sailing clubs.

No — members can join active crews taking part in club keelboat and open sailing events, not to mention Pay & Sail J80 racing, charter sailing and more.

Fees range from €190 to €885 for ordinary members.
Memberships are renewed annually.

©Afloat 2020

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