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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

Craig Boucher of Hybrid Health and Performance in Kilkeel recently completed a 4x4x48 challenge to raise funds for his local RNLI lifeboat station in the Co Down town.

Craig ran four miles every four hours for 48 hours and was generously supported by friends who donated a total of £800.

Speaking after his effort, Craig said that he had to walk the last eight miles because his knees were in “complete agony’” with every step and he didn’t want to force an injury.

John Fisher, lifeboat operations manager with Kilkeel RNLI, was delighted to receive the cheque and said: “It was a fantastic effort by Craig. That was almost two marathons in 48 hours, an unbelievable achievement from only three weeks of training.

“The donation is very welcome and the £800 will be put to good use in saving lives at sea.”

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Wicklow RNLI volunteers Graham Fitzgerald and Alan Goucher have been passed out as deputy coxswains by an RNLI Trainer Assessor, after undertaking months of training and completing a rigorous exercise on the all-weather lifeboat in Wicklow bay.

Graham Fitzgerald who has been a volunteer crew member for the past eleven years, and Alan Goucher who joined Wicklow RNLI in 2011, launched on an operational exercise with an RNLI Assessor during the week. The exercise involved boat handling tests and various emergency situations to test their skills. Both volunteers successfully carried out the tasks and were passed out as deputy coxswains by RNLI Trainer Assessor Alan Pryce after completing the exercise.

Over the last decade, Alan Goucher and Graham Fitzgerald have been involved in many rescues and in July 2014 they were praised for their bravery when they pulled a woman from the water and saved her life at the Silver Strand Beach. Graham and Alan received letters of commendation from the Operations Director of the RNLI George Rawlinson, for their actions during the rescue in 2014.

In the letter to Alan, Mr Rawlinson wrote: 'Your willingness to swim into the cave and use of your local knowledge to extricate the casualty safely ensured a good outcome on this rescue. I commend your commitment and professionalism.'Mr Rawlinson commended Graham Fitzgerald on his quick decision making, saying: 'During the rescue, you demonstrated calm and sound command of the incident, quickly gaining the required information and assessing the risks involved in committing your crew to enter the water.'

Wicklow RNLI Operations Manager, Mary Aldridge said: ‘Alan and Graham have over 22 years’ service between them as volunteers at RNLI Wicklow, and we are delighted with their achievement this week. Both have grained a lot of experience and have been involved in numerous rescues resulting in the saving of many lives. They have both worked extremely hard during the assessment to become deputy coxswains. This was made more difficult in recent times with Covid-19 and the suspension of training for a time. Great credit for Alan and Graham’s achievement is also due to the support from their families, trainers, assessors, and the crew who generously shared their knowledge and experience to prepare Alan and Graham as deputy coxswains.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Clifden RNLI came to the aid of two walkers who got cut off by the tide yesterday evening (Sunday 11 April).

The volunteer crew were requested to launch the lifeboat by the Irish Coast Guard at 5.50 pm following a report that two people were stranded on Omey Island.

The inshore Atlantic 85 class lifeboat helmed by Kenny Flaherty and with three crew members onboard, launched immediately and made its way to the scene.

Weather conditions at the time were good with a northerly Force 5 wind.

Once on scene, the lifeboat crew checked that the two people were safe and well before proceeding to transfer them on to the lifeboat and bring them back to shore at Claddaghduff.

Speaking following the call out, John Brittain, Clifden RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘The two walkers were not in any immediate danger and we were happy to help and bring them safely back to shore.

‘We would remind locals and visitors to always check tide times and heights before venturing out and to always make sure you have enough time to return safely.

‘If you do get cut off by the tide, it is important to stay where you are and not attempt a return to shore on your own as that may be when the danger presents and you get into difficulty. Always carry a means of communication and should you get into difficulty or see someone else in trouble, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’

Published in Island News
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Volunteer lifeboat crew with Youghal RNLI rescued five people from the water off Capel Island near Knockadoon in the Youghal Bay area this afternoon (Monday 5 April) when the two GP14 sailing dinghies they were in capsized leaving one adult and four teenagers in the water. The launch request for the lifeboat was made by the Irish Coast Guard and the lifeboat crew were joined in the rescue by Ballycotton RNLI, Youghal Coast Guard Unit, Rescue 117 and the Irish Lights Vessel, the Granuaile, along with local Gardaí and paramedics in a multi-agency response.

Launching at 3.23 pm in cold, choppy conditions, the inshore lifeboat arrived at the location within 15 minutes to discover three people holding onto an upturned boat. The volunteer lifeboat crew quickly brought all three people on board the lifeboat. As they were carrying out the rescue they learned of a second sailing boat having capsized approximately half a mile away. The second boat, which had been out on the water with the first one, was quickly located and two people were rescued from the water by Youghal lifeboat crew.

As the RNLI were carrying out the rescue they learned of a second GP14 having capsized approximately half a mile awayAs the RNLI were carrying out the rescue they learned of a second GP14 having capsized approximately half a mile away

All five people were taken to Knockadoon pier after being in the water for approximately 30 minutes and handed over to the care of the Youghal Coast Guard unit and Ambulance service. Rescue Helicopter 117 and the Gardaí were also on scene.

Youghal RNLI then returned to the capsized vessels and with the assistance of Ballycotton RNLI and the Granuaile, both boats were righted and towed back to Knockadoon pier.

The five GP14 sailors involved were all wearing lifejackets, they had a personal locator beacon, which activated when they entered the water and they also had a mobile phone, which they used to call the emergency servicesThe five GP14 sailors involved were all wearing lifejackets, they had a personal locator beacon, which activated when they entered the water and they also had a mobile phone, which they used to call the emergency services

Speaking after the call out Mark Nolan, Youghal RNLI Deputy Launching Authority said: ‘The successful outcome to today’s incident is largely due to the safety measures taken by the five people involved. All were wearing lifejackets, they had a personal locator beacon, which activated when they entered the water and they also had a mobile phone, which they used to call the emergency services. All three things enabled a swift response and a successful rescue from all the agencies involved.’

‘I would also praise the actions of our volunteer lifeboat crew here in Youghal who took the five casualties from the cold water. We wish the five people who were rescued a speedy recovery.’

Barry MacDonald, Ballycotton RNLI Coxswain also added his praise to the volunteers involved for their timely response.

Published in Rescue
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Portaferry Coastguard Rescue Team was paged on Saturday along with Newcastle Coastguard after a report that seven people were stranded by the tide on Guns Island, off the southeastern County Down coast near Ballyhornan.

Two Coastguard Rescue officers in water rescue equipment made their way out to the island to reassure the four adults and two children, but the incoming tide made it impossible to walk ashore, so Portaferry Lifeboat was called, and all seven were taken to safety.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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In Co Mayo, Ballyglass RNLI’s inshore lifeboat launched to assist a fishing vessel in Broadhaven Bay in the station’s first callout of 2021.

At 12.30pm yesterday (Friday 2 April) the Irish Coast Guard requested the volunteer crew to assist a 35ft fishing vessel that had ran aground in the channel close to Belmullet docks and had sent a Mayday emergency distress signal.

Adhering to all COVID-19 procedures and guidelines, the inshore lifeboat — with Frankie Geraghty at the helm — launched immediately and was on scene within minutes, securing the casualty vessel and transferring its sole occupant safely ashore.

Pádraig Sheeran, volunteer lifeboat operations manager at Ballyglass RNLI, commended all involved on the expediency of the response.

“The RNLI and and the coastguard are always ready to assist but we ask the public to always put safety first, to always have a means of communication when on or near the water, and to always respect the water,” he said.

Earlier this week the RNLI and Irish Coast Guard issued a joint appeal to the public to heed safety advice when on or near the water over the Easter weekend and beyond, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The Wicklow all-weather lifeboat RNLB Joanna and Henry Williams launched at 4:10 pm this afternoon following a launch request from the Coast Guard, to assist a 10-metre fishing vessel in difficulties ten miles offshore.

The lifeboat crew located the stricken vessel with three crew eight miles east of Wicklow Head thirty minutes after launching. The vessel was found to have a rope fouled in the propeller. Conditions on scene were moderate sea with wind north-easterly force 5 and good visibility.

Speaking after the callout, Coxswain Nick Keogh said: ‘We managed to cut the rope away from the propeller and the vessel was able to get underway again. The fishermen wanted to continue fishing and no further assistance was required.’

The lifeboat returned to Wicklow harbour and was alongside the South quay by 5:30pm.

The crew on the callout were Coxswain Nick Keogh, Mechanic Lisa O Leary, Tommy Murphy, Paul Sillery, John Stapleton and Ian Heffernan.

Published in Fishing
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Portrush RNLI’s volunteer crew launched their inshore lifeboat to reports of a fishing vessel in difficulty just outside the Northern Ireland harbour yesterday evening, Wednesday 31 March.

The 26-foot vessel with three on board lost power just outside the North Coast harbour’s wall at 5.25pm. Within minutes the lifeboat crew arrived in scene and set up a successful tow to the harbour pontoon.

Beni McAllister, lifeboat operations manager at Portrush RNLI, said: “With the season starting and all boats being allowed back in the harbour, we would ask that boat owners make sure that their boats are ready to go to sea and that all checks have been made.

“We are expecting a busy holiday season and look forward to welcoming our RNLI lifeguard colleagues back on the beaches this weekend.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The RNLI and the Irish Coast Guard are urging people who will be spending time on or near the water during the Easter break to take note of the relevant water safety advice for their activity and to raise the alarm if they see someone in trouble by dialling 999 or 112 and asking for the Coast Guard. The call comes as the Easter break falls early this year and recent call outs for the search and rescue resources have seen a noted increase in requests to assist walkers cut off by the tide and people getting into difficulty while engaging in open water swimming.

Both organisations emphasise the importance of adherence with Government guidelines on 5 km travel and other Covid related restrictions. With many people who live near the coast, exercising on or alongside the water, the Coast Guard and the RNLI are requesting the public to be cautious when engaging in any coastal or water-based activity. Despite some recent warm weather, sea temperatures remain at their coldest this time of year. Also, cliff top areas may have been subject to erosion or other local weather-related changes and care should be taken when walking there.

Kevin Rahill, RNLI Water Safety manager, said: ‘We are asking people to think about their own safety. Coastal areas and our inland waterways provide a great opportunity to enjoy fresh air and open space but it is important to remember that while air temperatures may be warming up in Spring and early Summer, water temperatures remain dangerously cold between 8-10°, increasing the risk of cold water shock. And, if you are out for a walk on the beach, make sure to check the tide times to avoid being cut off by a rising tide.’

Irish Coast Guard, Head of Operations Gerard O’Flynn added: ‘The past year has seen an increase in activities such as open water swimming, and incidents relating to use of inflatable toys which are unsuitable for open water. Please always be mindful of your personal safety and always ensure that you have a means of communication should you get into difficulty.’

Water safety advice from the Irish Coast Guard and RNLI:

  • When kayaking and paddleboarding, always carry a means of calling for help, such as a VHF radio or mobile phone in a waterproof pouch.
    Whenever going afloat, wear an appropriate buoyancy aid or lifejacket.
  • For open water swimmers and dippers, acclimatise slowly and always be visible
  • Check weather forecasts, tidal conditions, never swim alone and ensure that your activity is being monitored by a colleague onshore.
  • Take care if walking or running near cliffs – know your route and keep dogs on a lead
  • Carry a fully charged phone
  • If you get into trouble in the water, FLOAT - fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs, and Float.
Published in Coastguard
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With the Easter holidays now begun in Northern Ireland, Larne RNLI is encouraging anyone planning to visit the coast to know the risks to protect themselves and their families and to heed key sea safety advice.

Larne RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew have returned to training in the last month with Covid-19 protocols in place and have already seen an increase in the number of people using the coastline for exercise and using beaches and bays for open-water swimming.

The station has remained operational throughout the pandemic and will continue to launch around the clock where there is a risk to life.

Ahead of the Easter break, Allan Dorman, Larne RNLI lifeboat operations manager, reminded people who are planning to be by the sea to always respect the water.

“Coastal areas provide a great opportunity to enjoy fresh air and open space but it is important to remember it can be an unpredictable and dangerous environment, particularly during spring and early summer when air temperatures may be warm but water temperatures remain dangerously cold, increasing the risk of cold water shock,” he said.

“We are reminding anyone planning to enter the water to follow the latest government guidelines on what you are allowed to do and where and to take extra care and avoid unnecessary risks as early season conditions are more challenging.

“Basic precautions can greatly reduce the risk of getting into difficulty whatever your activity and improve your chance of being found quickly should you find yourself in trouble.”

For activities like kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding, the RNLI recommends you carry a means of calling for help, such as a mobile phone in a waterproof pouch, and that you ensure you are wearing the right kit for the water temperature.

“A wetsuit will keep you warm and help you float in an emergency although wearing an appropriate buoyancy aid or lifejacket is still vital,” Dorman said. “For open-water swimmers and dippers, please also remember to acclimatise slowly and be visible with a brightly coloured hat.

“When you are going to visit a beach or are going near the water, we recommend that you go with a friend who can call for help should the need arise. If you plan on going into the water, we advise that you go as a pair with someone on the shore who can act as a spotter to call for assistance if needed.

“Always make sure that you have a means to contact someone on the shore if you are going out on a boat or kayak and ensure that your equipment is fully operational especially if it is the first time for it to be used this year after winter and the lockdown period.

“Should you get into difficulty or see someone in trouble, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

The RNLI’s key safety advice is:

  • Check weather forecasts, tide times and any local hazard signage to understand local risks
  • Take care if walking or running near cliffs — know your route and keep dogs on a lead.
  • Carry a fully charged phone
  • If you get into trouble in the water, float to live: fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs and float.
  • In an emergency, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard

For further information on how to keep safe by the sea, visit rnli.org/safety

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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