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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

Dunmore East RNLI in County Waterford has announced the appointment of David Murray as its new full-time Station Mechanic. David, who has been a volunteer with the lifeboat station since 2013, has made significant contributions to the team and the maritime community of Dunmore East. His impressive career progression from Volunteer Crew Member to Trainee Coxswain is a testament to his development of skills in technical maintenance, operational readiness, and team leadership. 

Apart from his volunteer work, David has also been working as a General Operative at Dunmore East Harbour since 2017, which further honed his skills in maintenance and safety management within the harbour, making him an invaluable member of the RNLI team. 

David's involvement in the Lily B rescue in 2020, where he played a key role in saving nine lives and preventing a 100-metre coal ship from going aground at Hook Head, earned him a Medal Service Certificate for Gallantry. His spirit, dedication, and experience make him an ideal fit for his new role as Station Mechanic.

On his appointment, David said, "It's an honour to take on the role of Station Mechanic, even more so in the year when the RNLI marks such an important event. My life has always been linked to the sea, and I'm proud to apply the skills I've developed as an RNLI volunteer to my new full-time role. I am committed to providing complete support to our crew, ensuring they have the resources and training necessary to carry out their duties safely and effectively."

The Dunmore East RNLI crew say it is thrilled to have their colleague and friend promoted to such an important position and wishes David Murray the very best in his new role. As the charity marks its bicentennial year, David's journey from a committed volunteer to a full-time professional role within the RNLI is truly inspiring and demonstrates the institution's commitment to individual growth and development.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Portrush Lifeboat Station has welcomed “aboard” the Causeway Shantymen as the latest RNLI Ambassadors.

The Causeway Shantymen have become ambassadors for the RNLI during its 200th year. They have drawn great inspiration from a collaboration with Portrush RNLI and hope to play a significant role in promoting water safety and raising funds for the lifeboat station.

The group’s journey in just 12 months is remarkable, and they have quickly become a unique presence in Northern Ireland's music culture.

Their performances, ranging from collaboration with a West End theatre star to participating in maritime festivals and charity fundraisers, have brought joy to audiences. Their infectious passion for sea shanties not only entertains but also serves as a cultural link to the rich maritime heritage of the Causeway Coast.

Causeway Shantymen in action at SOS Day | Credit: RNLI/Causeway ShantymenCauseway Shantymen in action at SOS Day | Credit: RNLI/Causeway Shantymen

Sea shanties, with their tales of sailors' struggles and the harsh realities of life at sea, provide a glimpse into a bygone era.

Judy Nelson, volunteer lifeboat press officer said: “We need help more than ever to deliver our water safety messages. Over half the people that get into trouble in the water didn’t expect to get wet, and having the Causeway Shantymen on board will help us to deliver this message.

“This is such a natural fit for us at the station to team up with the Shantymen, especially when we made a guest appearance singing with them outside the lifeboat station at Christmas.

“The volunteer crew and station fundraising team are looking forward to working with them to help raise awareness of water safety and to raise funds for the station.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Three fishermen were rescued by the Wicklow RNLI on Thursday afternoon, February 22. The fishermen were brought to safety after their vessel developed mechanical problems three miles southeast of Wicklow Head. 

The lifeboat, RNLB Bridie O’Shea, was dispatched from the South Quay at 2:50 pm under the command of Coxswain Nick Keogh. The crew was alongside the casualty vessel within ten minutes. The fishermen had deployed their anchor after losing propulsion while fishing for whelk and contacted the Coast Guard for assistance.

The rescue operation took place in moderate sea conditions, with good visibility and a south-easterly wind force four. 

Coxswain Nick Keogh stated, ‘We carried out an assessment on the 12-metre fishing vessel and found that a rope was fouled in one of the propellers, so we established a tow and brought it back to Wicklow port.’

The fishing vessel arrived at the South Quay just before 4:20 pm, where the three crew members were safely landed ashore.

The RNLI reminds everyone to always check their engine and fuel, wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid, and carry a means of calling for help when going afloat. If you see someone in difficulty on or near the water, dial 999 and ask for the Coast Guard.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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A woman living on Cape Clear Island off the coast of West Cork was evacuated by the Baltimore RNLI on Wednesday night. The Irish Coast Guard had requested the medical evacuation, and the volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 11:07 PM. The Baltimore all-weather lifeboat crew arrived at North Harbour on Cape Clear Island at 11:33 PM, where the casualty was assessed by some of the Casualty Care lifeboat crew members. After the assessment, she was transferred via stretcher onboard the lifeboat and taken back to Baltimore station, where she was handed over to the HSE Ambulance crew. 

The call out was made under fresh conditions with a southwesterly force 5-6 wind and a choppy sea, but the seven-strong volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat, including Coxswain Aidan Bushe, Mechanic Cathal Cottrell, and crew members Micheal Cottrell, Colin Whooley, Stuart Musgrave, David Ryan, and Don O’Donovan, managed to complete the mission safely. 

Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, said, “Baltimore RNLI often provides medical evacuations to residents and visitors to the islands off the coast of West Cork, including Cape Clear, Sherkin, and Heir. If you find yourself in a medical emergency while on an island, call 999 or 112.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The RNLI is on the lookout for budding lifeguards to launch their lifesaving careers on some of the most popular beaches in Scotland, Northern Ireland and elsewhere in the UK.

Recruitment for this season’s lifeguard team has started nationally in preparation for providing local authorities and landowners with the service they request to keep the nation’s beachgoers safe this summer.

The charity’s lifeguards not only rescue those in difficulty in the water, they also provide vital beach first-aid and safety advice to ensure visitors can return home safely.

In 2022, RNLI lifeguards provided patrols and responded to more than 18,000 incidents, helping more than 24,000 people in need and saving 117 lives.

Last summer, lifeguards plucked stricken swimmers from powerful rip currents, saved children being blown offshore in inflatables, came to the aid of paddle-boarders and gave lifesaving CPR on beaches among the thousands of incidents they attended.

Successful applicants will receive world-class lifesaving training, enjoy good rates of pay, the possibility of flexible working patterns and develop valuable skills for a future career.

Lachlan Edwards, lead lifeguard supervisor for Scotland said: “To anyone thinking of becoming a lifeguard, just do it. It’s the best job, it’s so rewarding, and it keeps getting better – there’s so much opportunity for growth in the role.

“I love being outside on the beach all summer and sharing my knowledge with people. It often doesn’t feel like a job because I enjoy it so much, which is something a lot of lifeguards say.”

Lee Fisher, lifeguard experience manager said: “Beach lifeguarding is a great opportunity and a very rewarding role that changes lives — including your own — all whilst enjoying the beach as your office.

“Our lifeguards range from teenagers all the way up to lifesavers in their 70s, as long as you meet the fitness requirements and you are over 16 years old, there could be a role for you.

“The job also has great paths for progression — we have lifeguards who have been working for the RNLI for years, both on the beach and as part of our support teams, and the skills you gain can make an ideal first step towards many careers. It’s a great opportunity whether you want a rewarding summer job or to pursue a career in lifesaving.”

Find out more about becoming a lifeguard at rnli.org/BeALifeguard.

Published in Water Safety

Three days after the rescue of three fishermen last Saturday afternoon, Wicklow RNLI launched lunchtime on Tuesday (13 February) to assist three more fishermen after their vessel experienced mechanical problems.

Under the command of coxswain Ciaran Doyle, the all-weather lifeboat Bridie O’Shea slipped its moorings from the south quay shortly before 9am and proceeded north to the casualty vessel’s last reported position.

The 11-metre fishing vessel was located at 9.35am drifting some eight miles off Bray Harbour, with three fishermen onboard were found to be safe and well.

Their fishing boat was found to have suffered engine failure and was unable to return to port under its own power, so the decision was made to tow the vessel to safety.

A towline was quickly established, and the lifeboat began to tow the stricken vessel back to Wicklow harbour, where it was secured alongside the south quay at 12.40pm and the fishermen were landed safely ashore.

Weather conditions at the time were favourable with calm sea and good visibility.

Speaking after the call-out, lifeboat press officer Tommy Dover said: “The fishermen did the right thing this morning by calling the coastguard for assistance. Our volunteer crew were happy to help.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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On Thursday, the 15th of February, Union Hall RNLI in West Cork responded to a report of a swimmer in trouble at The Warren Beach, Rosscarbery, in West Cork. The call was made to Valentia Coast Guard at 2.44 pm.

The lifeboat, Christine and Raymond Fielding, helmed by Michael Limrick and manned by Charlie Deasy and Cathal Deasy, left the station at 2.53 pm and headed for the Warren strand. They were assisted ashore by Peter Deasy, Niamh Collins, and Anthony Walsh.

Conditions at sea were favourable, with moderate swell and wind in a southwesterly direction. On arriving on the scene, Valentia Coast Guard informed the volunteer lifeboat crew that the search was for a paddle boarder.

The Irish Coast Guard helicopter crew from Rescue 115 at Shannon, Castlefreke Coast Guard ground unit, and the crew of a fishing trawler that was also on the scene were already carrying out a search pattern.

The crew of Rescue 115 located the casualty and notified the lifeboat crew, who picked up the paddle boarder and headed to the Warren strand. An HSE ambulance was waiting there with a family member to take care of the casualty.

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Bundoran RNLI came to the aid of two people who got trapped at the bottom of a cliff in county Sligo on Wednesday afternoon (14 February).

The inshore lifeboat was requested to launch at 2.41pm following a report from the Irish Coast Guard that two people were trapped at rocks at Mermaid’s Cove.

The lifeboat helmed by Killian O’Kelly and with crew members Rory O’Connor and Fergal Mullen onboard, launched within seven minutes and made its way to the scene six miles away.

Weather conditions at the time were dull and overcast but visibility was good. The sea was calm with a small swell.

Arriving on scene, the crew observed two people at the bottom of the cliff who were unable to move without assistance. A crew member was put ashore to check one walker who had a suspected wrist injury.

Having assessed the situation and given the location was so close to rocks, it was decided that the safest way to extract the casualty was to request the Sligo-based coastguard helicopter Rescue 118.

The helicopter crew arrived swiftly to winch and airlift the casualty to safety. The second person was able to make it back to the top of the cliff with the assistance of a lifeboat crew member and shore crew waiting at the top.

Speaking following the call-out, Bundoran RNLI helm Killian O’Kelly said: “We would like to wish the casualty a speedy recovery and thank our colleagues in Rescue 118 for their help today.

“We would remind anyone planning a walk at or near the coast to be wary of all edges around the sea and waterside as rocks can often be wet and slippy. Check weather and tides before venturing out and always let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back.

“Always take a means of calling for help and 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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Rosslare Harbour RNLI’s volunteer crew were requested by the Irish Coast Guard on Sunday evening (11 February) to assist five crew on board a stricken fishing vessel.

The all-weather lifeboat was launched shortly after the shout at 5.26pm and quickly reached the scene two miles north of Rosslare Harbour, in clear weather with slight seas and good visibility.

It emerged that the 15m-long fishing vessel had an entangled propeller.

Having assessed the situation and consulted with the five crew onboard, it was decided to tow the vessel to Rosslare Harbour. A tow line was secured and the vessel was safely towed to the harbour.

Jamie Ryan, Rosslare Harbour RNLI lifeboat operations manager said: “I would like to commend the crew of the fishing vessel for wearing their flotation safety devices and for carrying communication equipment.

“It is essential that sailors and fishers contact the coastguard when in difficulty. To do this, call 999 or 112.”

The lifeboat volunteer crew on this call-out were coxswain Mick Nicholas, mechanic Keith Miller, navigator Andrew Ironside and crew Paul McCormack, Eoghan Quirke, Ronan Hill, Seán Cullen and Stephen Breen.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Three fishermen were rescued by the Wicklow RNLI on Saturday afternoon (10th February) after their 12-metre vessel developed mechanical problems off the Wicklow coast.

The Coast Guard requested the RNLI relief fleet all-weather Shannon lifeboat RNLB Bridie O’Shea at 12.50pm, and a volunteer crew led by Coxswain Tommy McAulay responded immediately. The skipper of the fishing vessel had reported that it was fouled in ropes and drifting south, prompting the rescue mission.

The Wicklow lifeboat reached the fishing vessel just ten minutes after launching. An assessment was carried out, and as the vessel had no propulsion due to the fouled propeller, the only option was to tow it back to Wicklow port.

The Wicklow RNLI crew after returning to port after the incident Photo: Tommy DoverThe Wicklow RNLI crew after returning to port after the incident Photo: Tommy Dover

Coxswain Tommy McAulay said, “We located the vessel about a half mile south of Wicklow Head, conditions in the area were lumpy, with a three-metre swell at times. The tow was slow at first due to the strong tidal flow at Wicklow Head, but we adjusted the course to take the boat further offshore where the tide was not as strong.”

The fishing vessel was secured alongside the South quay at 2.40pm, and the three fishermen were landed safely ashore. This was the first callout of 2024 for the Wicklow lifeboat volunteers, and it comes in the run-up to the RNLI’s 200th birthday on 4 March 2024.

The RNLI reminds everyone to check their engine and fuel before going afloat, always wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid, and carry a means of calling for help. If you see someone in difficulty on or near the water, dial 999 and ask for the Coast Guard

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Ireland's Sailor of the Year Awards

Created in 1996, the Afloat Sailor of the Year Awards represent all that is praiseworthy, innovative and groundbreaking in the Irish sailing scene.

Since it began 25 years ago, the awards have recognised over 500 monthly award winners in the pages of Ireland's sailing magazine Afloat, and these have been made to both amateur and professional sailors. The first-ever Sailor of the Year was dinghy sailor Mark Lyttle, a race winner at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

And since then it's gone on to read like a who's who of Irish sailing.

The national award is specially designed to salute the achievements of Ireland's sailing's elite. After two decades the awards has developed into a premier awards ceremony for water sports.

The overall national award will be announced each January to the person who, in the judges' opinion, achieved the most notable results in, or made the most significant contribution to, Irish sailing in the previous year.

A review of the first 25 years of the Irish Sailor the Year Awards is here

Irish Sailor of the Year Award FAQs

The Irish Sailor of the Year Awards is a scheme designed by Afloat magazine to represent all that is praiseworthy, innovative and groundbreaking in the Irish sailing scene..

The Irish Sailor of the Year Awards began in 1996.

The awards are administered by Afloat, Ireland's boating magazine.

  • 1996 Mark Lyttle
  • 1997 Tom Roche
  • 1998 Tom Fitzpatrick & David McHugh
  • 1999 Mark Mansfield
  • 2000 David Burrows
  • 2001 Maria Coleman
  • 2002 Eric Lisson
  • 2003 Noel Butler & Stephen Campion
  • 2004 Eamonn Crosbie
  • 2005 Paddy Barry & Jarlath Cunnane
  • 2006 Justin Slattery
  • 2007 Ger O'Rourke
  • 2008 Damian Foxall
  • 2009 Mark Mills
  • 2010 Anthony O'Leary
  • 2011 George Kenefick
  • 2012 Annalise Murphy
  • 2013 David Kenefick
  • 2014 Anthony O'Leary
  • 2015 Liam Shanahan
  • 2016 Annalise Murphy
  • 2017 Conor Fogerty
  • 2018 Robert Dickson & Sean Waddilove
  • 2019 Paul O'Higgins

Yes. The boating public and maritime community can have their say to help guide judges in deciding who should be crowned Ireland's Sailor of the Year by using an Afloat online poll). The judges welcome the traditional huge level of public interest in helping them make their decision but firmly retain their right to make the ultimate decision for the final choice while taking voting trends into account. By voting for your favourite nominee, you are creating additional awareness of their nomination and highlighting their success.

Anthony O'Leary of Crosshaven and Annalise Murphy of Dun Laoghaire are the only contenders to be Afloat.ie "Sailors of the Year" twice – himself in 2010 and 2014, and herself in 2012 and 2016.

In its 25 year history, there have been wins for 15, offshore or IRC achievements, nine dinghy and one designs accomplishments and one for adventure sailing.

Annually, generally in January or February of the following year.

In 2003 Her Royal Highness Princess Anne presented the Awards.

©Afloat 2020