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Displaying items by tag: Lifeboats

On Sunday afternoon (25 September), Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI to assist three people on a 30ft cruiser reported adrift in Scariff Bay, southeast of Mountshannon Harbour.

The inshore lifeboat Jean Spier launched at 3.47pm with helm Eleanor Hooker, Owen Cavanagh, Steve Smyth and Tom Hayes on board.

Winds were westerly Force 4 gusting Force 5, with fair visibility, a low mist and frequent squalls.

Shortly after 4pm the lifeboat located the casualty vessel by the Scilly Islands in Scariff Bay. All three people on board were unharmed.

The lifeboat provided two survivor lifejackets and requested that the third person don their lifejacket on board.

An RNLI volunteer transferred across to the casualty vessel and established that that engine had failed.



Given the location and the deteriorating weather conditions and poor forecast, the helm requested the crew to set up for an astern tow to Mountshannon Harbour.

In the lee of Bushy Island at the entrance to Mountshannon Bay, the lifeboat volunteers changed to an alongside tow to facilitate navigating the channel into harbour.

The casualty vessel was safely tied alongside at Mountshannon Harbour at 4.45pm and the lifeboat returned to station.

Liam Maloney, deputy launching authority at Lough Derg RNLI advises boat users to “carry sufficient lifejackets for all passengers and wear them, and also carry a means of communication so that you can call for assistance if you find yourself in difficulty on the lake”.

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The RNLI’s most westerly shop in Ireland will officially open its doors next Saturday 1 October from 1-4pm on Inis Mór, raising vital lifesaving funds for the charity that saves lives at sea.

And the day will also see the opening of the new Aran Islands RNLI Visitor Experience.

The new shop, which is located inside Aran Islands lifeboat station at Kilronan Pier, has quickly become a key attraction since opening its doors back in June to both the islanders and the many visitors who come each year.

Located in the boat hall of the station, meanwhile, the new Visitor Experience will bring people through 175 years of captivating history featuring imagery and facts about the station’s lifeboats, memorable milestones, awards, rescue stories and the many volunteers from the island who have made up the lifesaving crew over the years.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s official opening and following the first season of trading, RNLI community manager Brian Wilson said: “We are delighted that Inis Mór is joining the heritage of lifeboat station shops in the RNLI.

Outside the Aran Islands lifeboat station shop, the RNLI’s most westerly outlet in Ireland, which opened in June | Credit: RNLI/Aran IslandsOutside the Aran Islands lifeboat station shop, the RNLI’s most westerly outlet in Ireland, which opened in June | Credit: RNLI/Aran Islands

“This is the second RNLI shop on the west coast of Ireland, along with Sligo Bay which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The response in the first week back in June more than exceeded our expectations and that momentum key up throughout the summer season.

“We have had a wonderful response from locals and tourists alike and we want to thank the team here for their efforts in getting us to this point as well as thanking everyone who has visited and shown their support since the opening.

“To now also have the Visitor Experience open is wonderful as it will give the many tourists who come to the Aran Islands each year another attraction to enjoy while giving them a terrific insight to the station’s rich history and the work of the volunteer team who have made such an impact over so many years. This meandering visitor experience is a special mark of respect to all the people, call outs and stories this lifeboat station has to tell.”

Everyone is welcome to attend the official opening of the Visitor Experience and shop from 1-4pm next Saturday 1 October, during which visitors can view the new facilities, speak to the crew and purchase a token from the shop as a memento of their day.

Meanwhile, the shop team at Aran Islands RNLI is still on the lookout for more volunteers. If you think you can give some time to help out, call into the shop for more information.

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Wicklow RNLI went to the assistance of a lone sailor on Tuesday morning (20 September) after his vessel got fouled in ropes.

The all-weather lifeboat Joanna and Henry Williams slipped its moorings from the south quay at 8.50am following a pager alert and proceeded to sea under the command of coxswain Ciaran Doyle and a volunteer crew.

Twenty minutes later the casualty vessel was located seven miles offshore near the South India Buoy. Conditions in the area were good with calm sea and good visibility.

The lone sailor on the 12-metre motor vessel had left Wicklow Harbour a couple of hours earlier and was returning to Wales, when the propellor got fouled in ropes and the boat lost all propulsion.

The coxswain carried out an assessment and, as the vessel had no propulsion, it was decided the best course of action was to tow the casualty back to Wicklow harbour.

Two volunteer crew were transferred onto the motor vessel to assist with the tow line. The motor cruiser was then towed to Wicklow and brought alongside the East Pier at 10.55am where the sailor was landed safely ashore.

Speaking about the call out, volunteer lifeboat press officer Tommy Dover said: “The sailor had attempted to free the obstruction, but he was unable to unravel the rope from around the propellor. He did the right thing calling for assistance and we were happy to help.

“When going afloat we would remind everyone to check their engine and fuel, 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 999/112 or use Marine VHF Channel 16 and ask for the coastguard.”

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Ballyglass RNLI came to aid of four fishermen in Donegal Bay in the early hours of Wednesday morning (21 September) after their 55ft trawler got into difficulty overnight.

The volunteer crew were requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat by Malin Head Coast Guard at 2.20am and go to the aid of a drifting trawler four miles west of Malin Beg in Donegal.

Launched under coxswain James Mangan, the lifeboat set out across Donegal Bay just after 2.30am to assist the crew of the large vessel that had lost power and was adrift.

Conditions on the overnight passage were less than favourable with southerly Force 5-6 winds, a 2-3m sea swell and poor to fair visibility.

The lifeboat made the journey north to assist the fishermen as Arranmore RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat is currently in dry docks for routine maintenance.

Once on scene at 5.25am, the lifeboat crew assessed the situation and found that the fishermen were safe and well.

It was decided to establish a secure tow and bring the vessel to the nearest safe port at Killybegs where they secured the trawler at 11.40am. The crew then began the preparations for the return journey to Ballyglass.

Speaking after the trawler was safely berthed, Pádraig Sheerin, Ballyglass RNLI lifeboat operations manager commended the crew for their dedication.

“We would like to wish the fishermen well. Despite the very early hours of this morning when the pagers went off, there was a great turn out once again from our volunteers with plenty of assistance and team work to launch the lifeboat as promptly as possible,” he said.

“It is thanks to the commitment, dedication and hard work of the volunteer crew, along with the top-class training and equipment provided by the RNLI, and the funds raised by all those who donate to the lifeboats, that allow us to continue saving lives at sea. A sincere and heartfelt thank you to one and all.”

Joining Mangan on the callout were mechanic Allen Murray and Paudge Kelleher, as well as Eric Geraghty and Ciaran Deane — who also out on the 22-hour callout just three days ago to rescue a kayaker trapped in a cave at Downpatrick Head.

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Skerries RNLI were tasked on Saturday afternoon (17 September) after Dublin Coast Guard received reports from kayakers that a fishing vessel had sunk off Loughshinny in north Co Dublin and a man was in the water.

The Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson was launched by the volunteers in Skerries shortly before 3pm when they were asked to investigate reports of a man in the water clinging to debris.

As they were arriving on scene, they received an update that the man had been picked up by another fishing boat from Loughshinny and was ashore safely.

One of the volunteers on board is a local doctor, so the lifeboat proceeded into Loughshinny so that he could carry out an assessment of the casualty. However, no further medical assistance was required.

At the request of Dublin Coast Guard, the crew then located the sunken vessel, a razor fishing boat, and recorded the GPS coordinates before recovering any large debris floating on the surface to prevent any further hazards to navigation.

As the boat was on its way back to the station, one of the volunteer shore crew spotted a member of the public having a medical emergency beside the station.

The woman and her family were brought into the station where the volunteers began to administer first aid and called for an ambulance. The lifeboat arrived back and dropped the doctor on board ashore to help with the emergency in the station.

Skerries Coast Guard unit were also on scene and assisted with the casualty care before managing the traffic for the ambulance and assisting with the recovery of the lifeboat to the station.

Speaking about the callout, volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: “We are very proud of our volunteers for their vigilance and professionalism in two very different but equally stressful situations.

“We also saw another fine example of all the emergency services working together, with volunteers and professionals seamlessly pulling together to try and ensure the best outcome.”

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The volunteer crew of Lough Ree RNLI were involved in the rescue of 133 people in 42 different incidents on the lake and River Shannon so far this year.

The charity’s volunteers embarked on their first callout of 2022 on the afternoon of St Patrick’s Day and have since gone to the assistance of 40 boats in difficulty on the inland waterways.

Fortunately, all 133 people who needed the charity’s assistance were rescued safely and no injuries were reported.

In the most significant incident, 10 people were escorted to safety when a small boat capsized near the N6 motorway bridge in August, while nine people were on board a cruiser which ran aground on the Hexagon Shoal in June.

Groundings of boats on the Hexagon Shoal accounted for a quarter of all callouts this year.

Speaking at the charity’s headquarters at Coosan Point this week, Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat operations manager Kevin Ganly said: “It appears that the provision of additional markers around the Hexagon Shoal in recently by Waterways Ireland has improved safety in that area of the lake. Nonetheless the charity and its volunteers remain always ‘on call’ to respond to any emergencies.”

The new lifeboat station, which was operational for the first time this summer, has proven to be a particular asset, Lough Ree RNLI says.

In recent weeks volunteer crew from across the Midlands and West have used the facility for casualty care training. The station’s designated slipway at Coosan Point has also contributed to more efficient launches of the charity’s lifeboat Tara Scougall.

The lifeboat station is base for more than 40 volunteers who along with their families generously give of their time and expertise to assist the local community.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Arklow RNLI launched on Sunday evening (11 September) to assist two people on 39ft yacht which had lost propulsion and was adrift off the Co Wexford town.

The volunteer crew made their way to the lifeboat station around 7pm and within minutes of the request were aboard the all-weather lifeboat Ger Tigchlearr and en route to the reported location.

Once afloat, the lifeboat travelled the half mile to the vessel at Arklow’s South Beach.

In wet conditions with light fading and southerly winds with wave heights of around two-and-a-half metres, the vessel had lost propulsion and tried to anchor as it drifted onto a lee shore some 50 yards from the beach.

Following an assessment by the lifeboat crew, it was decided to establish a tow to bring the vessel to safety.

A lifeboat volunteer boarded the casualty vessel to assist with rigging a tow. Once it was established, the casualty vessel was able to have its anchor hauled up and proceed with the tow back to the nearest safe port at Arklow.

Following the callout, volunteer lifeboat press officer Mark Corcoran said: “Our teams dedication and training for these scenarios really paid off this evening. Thankfully the crew on the sailing vessel had done all the right things which allowed us to get there and be able to assist.”

Arklow RNLI’s crew on this callout were coxswain Ned Dillon, John Bermingham, Eddie McElheron, Craig O’Reilly, Sinead Myler, Jimmy Myler and Dave Molloy.

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The volunteer crew from Clogherhead RNLI in Mid Louth were called to rescue a lone fisherman and his boat in calm conditions as the sun went down on Saturday evening (10 September).

The fisherman himself had requested help from the Irish Coast Guard who tasked Clogherhead RNLI to come to his aid as his fishing boat was drifting after the propellor became tangled in some lobster pots.

The all-weather Shannon class lifeboat launched under coxswain Gerard Sharkey at 7.11pm and headed to the fishing boat’s confirmed position two miles north of Dunany Point.

The lifeboat reached the drifting vessel at 7.40pm and the crew found the fisherman to be fine himself but anxious because the boat had continued drifting.

The crew assessed the situation before a decision was made to attach a tow rope to the drifting vessel and make the journey back to the nearest safe port at Clogherhead Harbour. The lifeboat, with fishing boat and the fisherman in tow, arrived safely at 9.30pm.

Speaking after the callout, Sharkey said: “The RNLI always advises anyone who needs help at sea to call 999 and ask for the coastguard which is what this fisherman did. Happily, we reached him before anything happened and we had a positive outcome for the fisherman and his boat.”

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Three people had an unexpected night ashore when their 35ft cruiser ran aground at Illaunmor, requiring the assistance of Lough Derg RNLI’s volunteers on Sunday afternoon (11 September).

At 3.25pm, Lough Derg’s inshore lifeboat Jean Spier launched with helm Eleanor Hooker, Doireann Kennedy, Joe O’Donoghue and Tom Hayes on board. Conditions had southerly Force 3-4 winds with good visibility.

Initial reports from the casualty vessel indicated that it was aground by the entrance to Dromineer Bay. With no evidence of a vessel in difficulty in the bay, the lifeboat asked Valentia Coast Guard if they could make contact with the casualties to determine their exact location or identify nearby landmarks.

At 3.33pm, with additional information from the coastguard, the lifeboat located the casualty vessel at the southern end of Illaunmor.

Using onboard electronic navigation equipment and taking soundings off the bow, the lifeboat made a cautious approach to the casualty vessel.

As the lifeboat neared the cruiser, it was evident from the diving platform that someone on the casualty vessel had suffered an injury. The helm asked two crew members to put on gloves and to ready the first aid kit. The lifeboat was alongside at 3.41pm.



It emerged that one person on board had been in the water in bare feet to assess their situation and had suffered lacerations to their foot. The other two people were safe and unharmed. All were asked to don their lifejackets.

Two RNLI volunteers transferred to the casualty vessel and attended to the injured person. Once the RNLI volunteers were satisfied that the person had no other injuries, he was instructed to remain seated with his foot elevated.

The lifeboat crew also ascertained that the casualty vessel had grounded bow-up on a rocky shoal.

An RNLI volunteer checked under the floorboards and in the engine housing to make certain that the vessel was not holed, then set up an astern tow after being requested to do so by the helm. The second RNLI volunteer on board the casualty vessel returned to the lifeboat to assist with tow lines.

At 4.10pm the lifeboat attempted to take the casualty vessel off the shoal but it was stuck fast. The helm made the decision to take all people off the boat and to the safety of Dromineer.

Volunteers also made contact with RNLI shore crew back at station and asked that they book accommodation for the three people at Lough Derg House in Dromineer.

An RNLI volunteer secured the vessel and deployed the anchor. All three people were assisted on to the lifeboat and taken to Dromineer where, at 5pm, they were met by the proprietor of Lough Derg House. Shore crew also made contact with the cruiser company to arrange for the recovery of the casualty vessel.

Peter Kennedy, deputy launching authority at Lough Derg RNLI advises boat users to “keep to the navigation route on your charts and keep a constant lookout”.

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Skerries RNLI were tasked on Thursday morning (8 September) following emergency calls to Dublin Coast Guard reporting a small RIB with a person on board in difficulty off Rush beach.

Pagers were sounded shortly after 11.30am and the volunteers quickly launched the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson.

The lifeboat navigated around the headland at Red Island and through the islands before proceeding towards Rush, around 6km south of Skerries in north Co Dublin.

As they were approaching the area indicated by the concerned caller, the crew obtained a visual on the boat immediately. The lifeboat was positioned alongside the vessel and it was quickly determined that there was nobody on board and that the vessel was securely tied to a mooring.

Dublin Coast Guard on radio were satisfied that it was a false alarm with good intent. The lifeboat was stood down and returned to station in Skerries. Conditions at the time had a fForce 4-5 northeasterly wind with a moderately choppy sea.

Speaking about the callout, volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: “Thankfully in this instance it was a false alarm with good intent. The member of the public was genuinely concerned that someone was in trouble on the water and did the right thing in dialling 999 and asking for the coastguard.”

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