Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Lifeboat

I've never given much thought to why lifeboats are orange. It just seemed to me to be the right colour to be seen easily at sea.

Now I know that it's also a colour that provides reassurance and relief - so the RNLI has told me.

Their boats weren't always the shade of orange that now designates them.

In the 1800s they were painted ultramarine blue until artists from the UK Royal Academy complained in the 20s that the colour was "too French" and it was changed to a darker royal blue in 1923 - with the oars on the rowing lifeboats of the time painted blue and white – different colours for the different sides of the boats which helped Coxswain's instructions as "pull away blues…or whites" for whichever side he needed power from.

Last year 53 per cent of the 945 calls for help which led to lifeboat launches happened in June, July and AugustLast year 53 per cent of the 945 calls for help which led to lifeboat launches happened in June, July and August

In the 1950s red, white and blue, - a touch of French again – was the colour, and there was a grey on superstructures, which was changed to orange on the advice of best visibility at sea. Boats had a blue hull and a red boot top stripe… and later crew gear became yellow, again, easy to see…

The hulls of the offshore boats are still blue… but the superstructure orange is what grabs attention and the inshore boats are also orange.

What brought my thoughts to this is the increased number of emergency call-outs to the RNLI and where they are coming from - kayakers, swimmers, canoeists, paddleboarders, anglers, jet-skis and walkers near the coast, being cut off by tides, feature regularly.

Last year 53 per cent of the 945 calls for help which led to lifeboat launches happened in June, July and August and, with the 'holiday at home' emphasis this year, it could be a busy Summer for lifeboat stations and crews.

There is an increase of interest in marine leisure – good to see – but safety must be paramount, and in this regard, I got a lot of response to my last Podcast, about the use of flares in emergencies. … Are flares or electronics best for emergencies? That seems an open debate, about which more will be heard, and there does seem increasing dependence on mobile phones – not the best option, but better than nothing.

The sight of an orange lifeboat heading to the rescue will always be a relief. This month is the RNLI's Mayday campaign and, with restrictions limiting public collections, do connect with that orange colour and help ensure that it can be seen, when needed, at sea.

Podcast below

Published in Tom MacSweeney
Tagged under

For the third time this week, Youghal RNLI responded to their pagers on Saturday, May 1 at 3.08 pm to a report of a 17ft angling boat with engine trouble, half a mile south of the Eastern Cardinal in Youghal Bay.

The lifeboat crew under the Helm of Liam Keogh launched the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat in calm, sunny conditions and arrived on scene in less than 10 minutes.

They established a stern tow with the casualty vessel and towed it safely to the pontoon in Youghal quay.

The lifeboat returned to the boathouse where with the help of the shore crew, the lifeboat was washed down and refuelled.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Howth RNLI launched both the all-weather lifeboat and the inshore lifeboat to come to the aid of a sailboat with a family of seven people aboard after they ran aground off Ireland's Eye.

The RNLI pagers sounded at 3.10 pm on Sunday 25th April 2021 to reports of a sailing vessel aground off the west side of Ireland's eye. The all-weather lifeboat was launched and located the stricken sailing yacht with seven family crew members onboard. The yacht was hard aground and the inshore lifeboat was launched to navigate the shallow water around the stricken vessel.

The volunteer lifeboat crew took five members of the family aboard, the mother and four of the children and transferred them to the all-weather lifeboat where they were checked out. All were in good spirits and returned to the safety of Howth Marina.

The volunteer lifeboat crew checked for damage to the stricken yacht and suggested that the Father and eldest family member remain aboard until the next high tide which was 11.30 pm later that evening and the yacht would float free with no damage.

The Howth RNLI Lifeboat Coxswain; Fred Connolly remained in phone contact with the skipper of the yacht over the remaining hours awaiting high tide.

The yacht refloated just after 8.00 pm and returned safely under it’s own power.

Speaking following the callout, Fred Connolly, Howth RNLI Lifeboat Coxwain 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, remove some of the family members and keep in contact with the skipper while the high tide returned and the yacht refloated safely”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Portaferry RNLI lifeboat crew was called out on 22nd April to a yacht with engine failure at the entrance to Strangford Lough.

The entrance at the southern end of the Ards Peninsula leads to the Strangford Narrows through which the tide flows at about 8 knots, and with an uneven bottom, rough seas can result. Portaferry and its Marina lie on the eastern side of the Narrows, and the Strangford ferry runs between here and the village of Strangford on the western side.

The casualty vessel was sailing towards Portaferry but did the right thing and called for help early, knowing that they would need assistance when coming alongside. The lifeboat took the vessel under tow and ensured their safe arrival at the Portaferry marina.

Commenting on the call-out, helmsman Simon said, "While not in any immediate danger, the men certainly took the right course of action today calling for help once they realised that they had an issue. We were delighted to help and would urge anyone considering going to sea to take all necessary precautions and respect the water".

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

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 RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI’s volunteer crew launched both lifeboats this weekend to assist seven people in two separate incidents

Dun Laoghaire RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat was launched this afternoon (Sunday 21 March) following a request from the Irish coast guard at 4.10 pm, to assist five people on board a motorboat that had reported engine failure and was adrift close to the shore in Killiney Bay

The lifeboat was launched under Coxswain Adam O’Sullivan with five crew members on board and made its way to the scene on arrival at 4:35 pm the crew could see the vessel was drifting towards Killiney Beach, and quickly assessing the situation the crew decided to take the vessel in tow, they then proceeded to bring the vessel back to Dun Laoghaire Marina.

Also yesterday (Saturday 20 March) the station's inshore lifeboat was launched at 2:34pm under Helm Alan Keville and two crew to an incident just south of Sorento Point in Dalkey where two people on board a rigid inflatable boat had reported to the Irish Coast Guard that they also had suffered engine issues onboard, the lifeboat’s volunteer crew took the vessel in tow and returned it to Dun Laoghaire Marina.

Dun Laoghaire RNLI's All-Weather Lifeboat assisting vessel in Killiney BayDun Laoghaire RNLI's All-Weather Lifeboat assisting a small speedboat in Killiney Bay

All onboard the stricken vessels were wearing lifejackets with no medical attention required.

The Weather conditions at the time of both incidents were described as good with a light wind and good visibility.

Speaking following the call out, Adam O’Sullivan, Dun Laoghaire RNLI lifeboat Coxswain today said: ‘The people on board the vessel took the correct steps by calling for help once they knew they were having issues onboard it is also always great to see everyone wearing their lifejackets. I would like to take this opportunity to remind everybody to make sure that their vessels are checked and in working order before taking to the water. At this time of year, these checks are of great importance with vessel engines and safety equipment having not being used over the winter months.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

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 RNLI Lifeboats

A new video featuring five of the most dramatic RNLI rescues of 2020 has been released today as the lifesaving charity braces itself for another busy Christmas: 

Figures for the last 10 years for the festive period (Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day) show that RNLI lifeboats in Ireland launched 122 times, with their volunteer crews coming to the aid of 56 people including four lives saved.

The incredible footage shows how the RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crews will go to the aid of anyone who needs their help, whatever the weather and no matter how dangerous the conditions.

Among the Irish rescues, the video features:

  • Three lifeboats from Dunmore East, Kilmore Quay and Rosslare Harbour battling for hours in strong winds and breaking seas to save a 4,000-tonne coaster and nine crew from being washed onto the rocks.
  • A crew member from Portrush RNLI jumping from their all-weather lifeboat into stormy seas to rescue a teenager who got into difficulty while jumping into the sea off rocks.

The RNLI has launched its Christmas Appeal and is asking for support so the charity’s lifesavers can continue to save lives at sea: Please visit - RNLI.org/Xmas

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

A man whose life was saved by the RNLI off the Waterford coast earlier this year, has urged people to support the RNLI’s Christmas appeal. Michael Power from Tramore had been sea swimming when he got into serious difficulty. Pulled unconscious from the water by Tramore RNLI, the lifeboat crew never gave up on him and despite his family being called to his bedside to say goodbye, Michael went on to make a full recovery. Now in thanks to the volunteer lifeboat crew that saved his life, Michael is calling on people to support his lifesavers after the RNLI have seen a drop in income as traditional fundraising activities had to be cancelled due to the pandemic.

In January this year, Michael Power set off for a swim along the Guillamene cove in Tramore, County Waterford. A regular swimmer Michael kept his head down and was aware of other swimmers in the vicinity. Not keeping an eye as he usually did on the coastline, he eventually became aware that he was not moving even after increasing his strokes. He had become caught in a rip current and could not get out of it. He tried to get to safety, but he was rapidly losing energy and began to panic. Michael subsequently learned that he had developed Hypothermia before slipping into a coma. He has no memory of the man who raised the alarm from the shore or the RNLI lifeboat crew who were on scene minutes later to find him face down in the water and unresponsive. Onlookers from the cliff watched in shock as the volunteer crew pulled him lifeless from the water and commenced CPR. His next memory is waking up in hospital with his family having been called in to say goodbye.

Now Michael wants to thank his rescuers by calling on people to support the RNLI’s Christmas appeal and donate to the charity that saves lives at sea and on inland waters. Michael has also been down to the lifeboat station to thank his rescuers in person, along with his grateful family.

Commenting on his near-drowning Michael said, ‘I am known as the miracle man around here now. I am so grateful to my rescuers and that I am here to be able to tell my story. I know the lifeboat crew who rescued me personally, as I live locally and swim in the sea regularly, so I can only imagine how difficult it was for them to pull me out of the sea in that condition. The doctors told me that I should not have survived, and that the lifeboat crew undoubtedly saved my life. So, this is my way of saying thank you.’

‘When I visited the lifeboat station, they presented me with my swimming cap and googles that they had kept safe, unsure if I would survive but unwilling to dispose of them. It was an extremely emotional moment and I have plans to frame them as a reminder of that day that I can’t even remember. I know there are so many families out there who have reason to be grateful to the RNLI and mine certainly have, they are tremendous people.’

The RNLI have launched their Christmas appeal this year as so many traditional community fundraising events such as raft races, open days and sea swims have had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus restrictions. This year the charity has spent funds on PPE, including face masks, gloves and thousands of litres of hand sanitiser. This is money the charity hadn’t budgeted for but needed to be spent to keep its lifesavers and the public protected during the coronavirus crisis.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Coosan Point on Lough Ree is home to one of Ireland’s busiest lifeboat crews. But they operate from temporary facilities and the RNLI say they urgently need a permanent, new base to continue their lifesaving missions.

The Institute is seeking donations to help fund a new, purpose-built lifeboat station and are aiming to raise €100k.

Lough Ree volunteer crews have been rescuing people from the lake’s 28km stretch of inland water since 2012, launching more than 370 times and helping over 1,060 people.

The permanent station near the existing slipway at Coosan Point – crucial for the efficient launching and recovery of the lifeboat will include

  • Secure boathouse for lifeboat, launch tractor and trailer
  • Crew training and meeting rooms
  • Changing facilities, showers and WCs
  • Offices and operations room
  • Workshop and fuel storage facilities
Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under
Page 1 of 67

If it's happening on Irish waters we're aiming to cover it. This page covers Angling, Canoeing, Fishing, Diving, Kayaking, Kitesurfing, Open Sea Swimming Surfing, Rowing and Waterskiing. It's pretty comprehensive but we're keen on expansion!

If you have ideas for our pages we'd love to hear from you. Please email us at [email protected]

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating