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Displaying items by tag: Lifeboats

The volunteer crew at Aran Islands RNLI were asked to launch their all-weather Severn class lifeboat just after 8pm yesterday (Sunday 4 July) to a woman in need of medical attention on Inis Mór, the largest of the Galway Bay island chain.

With the patient safely transferred aboard the lifeboat by the crew following COVID-19 health and safety protocols, the lifeboat — under coxswain Tommy Dirrane with a full crew — headed straight for Rossaveal Harbour and the waiting ambulance.

Weather conditions at the time of launching were good with calm seas and a light westerly breeze blowing, with fair visibility.

Speaking after the callout, Dirrane said: “There was a great response time from the crew which ensured we could promptly get the patient on her way to the medical attention she needed. We would like to wish the patient a speedy recovery.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Kinsale RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was launched on Friday afternoon (25 June) to help an injured sailor on a racing yacht competing in the Sovereign’s Cup.

Volunteers were paged before 2pm following a report to the Irish Coast Guard that a crew member had sustained a head injury after being struck by the boom.

The yacht was met by the Kinsale lifeboat just off Charles Fort, where an RNLI volunteer boarded the Class One vessel to carry out a medical assessment.

As the casualty was bleeding heavily from a head wound, lifeboat helm Jim Grennan decided the safest course of action was to transfer him to the lifeboat and bring him to Kinsale for immediate medical attention. The casualty was accompanied by the yacht skipper who was deeply concerned for his welfare.

Emergency medical personnel had been alerted before the lifeboat launched and the RNLI crew handed the man into their care, where he received stitches to his head wound.

Lifeboat helm Jim Grennan said: “These accidents can happen to even the most experienced sailors and the crew on board the racing yacht remained calm and followed the correct procedures to the letter.

“They had dressed the casualty’s wound and the yacht skipper stayed with him throughout his ordeal until he received the all-clear from the medical team in Kinsale.

“We were happy to be able to bring him back safely and commend the yacht crew for their swift reactions.”

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A new inshore Atlantic 85 class lifeboat has officially gone on service at Union Hall RNLI in in West Cork.

The lifeboat, which arrived at the lifeboat station last week, replaces the last Atlantic 75 in Ireland, Margaret Bench of Solihull, which has been used to save lives at sea in West Cork since 2017. Previous to this, Maritime Nation was in service from 2014. Both of these lifeboats came from the RNLI’s relief fleet.

The volunteer lifeboat crew began familiarisation training on the new lifeboat this past Monday and it was officially declared a search and rescue asset by the Irish Coast Guard last night, Thursday 24 June.

It has been funded through a legacy from the late Raymond Fielding. Raymond and his wife Christine were keen sailors and sailed into Glandore Harbour many times over the years.

Due to his many fond memories of West Cork, Raymond wanted his legacy to fund an Atlantic 85 class lifeboat and he requested that it came to Union Hall.

The Christine and Raymond Fielding will be officially named at a special ceremony and service of dedication at Union Hall lifeboat station at a later date.

The new lifeboat has been funded through a legacy from the late Raymond Fielding | Credit: RNLI/Union HallThe new lifeboat has been funded through a legacy from the late Raymond Fielding | Credit: RNLI/Union Hall

Union Hall’s new lifeboat has some advancements on its predecessor. The Atlantic 85 design allows room for four crew members and more kit than the Atlantic 75, which only had room for three people.

The lifeboat is powered by two 115HP engines and has a stronger hull and greater top speed of 35 knots. The added radar allows the crew to operate more effectively in poor visibility and there is also VHF direction-finding equipment.

Another feature is the manually operated self-righting mechanism which, combined with inversion-proofed engines, keeps the lifeboat operational even after capsize. The lifeboat can also be beached in an emergency without causing damage to its engines or steering gear.

The Atlantic 85, which was introduced to the RNLI fleet in 2005, also carries a full suite of communication and electronic navigation aids, as well as a searchlight, night-vision equipment and flares for night-time operations.

Speaking following the lifeboat officially going on service, Union Hall RNLI lifeboat operations manager John Kelleher said: “We are extremely grateful to Raymond Fielding for his generous legacy donation which has funded our permanent lifeboat here at Union Hall.

“As we welcome a new lifeboat, there is also a sense of nostalgia as we are the last lifeboat station in Ireland to use an Atlantic 75 lifeboat.

“We are looking forward to being the custodians of this new lifeboat which will allow our volunteers to go on to rescue and save many more lives in the years to come.”

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Lough Derg RNLI launched yesterday afternoon (Thursday 24 June) to assist a family of five on a 30ft cruiser in difficulty by navigation mark G on the eastern shore of the lough.

At 2.20pm the inshore lifeboat Jean Spier launched with helm Eleanor Hooker, Steve Smyth and Chris Parker on board. Weather conditions had a westerly Force 4/5 wind and poor visibility with rain, mist and frequent squalls.

The lifeboat arrived on scene 11 minutes later and found the family on board — two adults, two teenagers and a child — were safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets.

An RNLI volunteer was transferred across to the casualty vessel to reassure everyone on board. They also established that the boat’s anchor was holding and evidently stuck fast.

With the weather continuing to deteriorate, the RNLI helm made the decision to take the family onto the lifeboat and transfer them to the safety of the nearest safe harbour at Terryglass.

Christine O’Malley, lifeboat operations manager at Lough Derg RNLI, advises boat users to “ensure your boats and engines are checked and fuelled ahead of your journey”.

The incident was the latest in a busy week for Lough Derg RNLI, with three separate callouts since last Wednesday 16 June for cruisers run aground on the lough.

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Lough Derg RNLI launched to assist 12 people on a 52ft cruiser aground inside the Goat Road at navigation mark E on the eastern shore of Lough Derg.

At 6.15pm on Tuesday evening (22 June), Valentia Coast Guard called on Lough Derg’s lifeboat volunteers and the inshore lifeboat Jean Spier launched 15 minutes later with helm Keith Brennan, Eleanor Hooker, Dom Sharkey and Owen Cavanagh on board.

As the lifeboat arrived on scene, at a raised shoal for migrating birds, the crew found the cruise hire company were already present and setting up to refloat the cruiser and stood by.

When the tug had the cruiser off the shoal and in safe water where it was able to make way safety, the lifeboat crew informed the coastguard and were stood down.

The callout was just the latest in a number of incidents involving grounded cruisers on Lough Derg within the last seven days.

Christine O’Malley, lifeboat operations manager at Lough Derg RNLI, advises boat users to “plan your passage, study your charts and don’t stray off the charted navigation routes”.

Skerries RNLI searching the shoreline from Loughshinny to Rush | Credit: RNLI/Gerry CanningSkerries RNLI searching the shoreline from Loughshinny to Rush | Credit: RNLI/Gerry Canning

Elsewhere, Skerries RNLI in north Co Dublin launched on Monday evening (21 June) following reported sightings of red distress flares near Loughshinny.

With nothing found in a search of the shoreline from Rush to Loughshinny, the inshore lifeboat was proceeding towards Lambay Island to search further out to sea when they received an update that Skerries Coast Guard were speaking to a person who was flying a drone in the area.

The drone operator confirmed that he was operating in the area where the flares were reported, and the lifeboat was stood down satisfied that the incident was a false alarm with good intent.

Lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning added: “The crew did get to enjoy a magnificent summer solstice sunset on the way home.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Union Hall RNLI’s latest volunteer got more than he expected last night (Tuesday 22 June) after the lifeboat crew were called to assist two people on a yacht with mechanical difficulties off Toe Head in West Cork.

The lifeboat, helmed by Michael Limrick with Liam Limrick and new recruit Craig Jennings onboard, were on a training exercise at the time and launched back out to sea at 9pm.

One at Toe Head the crew observed that the 34ft yacht was making progress but was slow due to mechanical issues. Sea conditions were good at the time with a moderate northerly breeze, so the volunteer crew stayed alongside the yacht and escorted it back to the pier at Union Hall.

Speaking following the callout, Peter Deasy, Union Hall RNLI’s deputy launching authority, said: “Our volunteer crew were just returning from an exercise and a busy day of training so I asked the crew if they would like an alternative crew but they were very willing to interrupt their training and proceed to assist the casualties.

“We congratulate Craig Jennings on what started as a three-hour training exercise for him but turned into nearly five hours at sea and included his first callout with Union Hall RNLI.

“We would remind everyone for the season ahead to always carry a means of communication and wear a lifejacket.”

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Portrush RNLI on Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast was requested to launch by Belfast Coastguard yesterday morning (Saturday 19 June) at 11.52am to reports of an injured teenager near Ballintoy.

Both the inshore and all-weather lifeboats were requested to launch as the initial report stated that the 19-year-old woman had dislocated her shoulder while out with a coasteering group and needed assistance to get out of the water.

Visibility was good, with a light breeze so both boats made good time and were on scene at 12.25pm

When the volunteer RNLI crew arrived on scene, the casualty had been recovered onto the rocks and was being assisted by the coastguard.

The crew delivered nitrous oxide to the casualty for pain management, after which she was carefully transferred onto the inshore lifeboat and taken to Portballintrae Harbour where she was handed over to the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service.

Beni McAllister, lifeboat operations manager at Portrush Lifeboat Station, said: “Our volunteer lifeboat crew are trained in casualty care and have been able to maintain this training during lockdown as it is a key part of our operation.

“This was a classic transfer for our ILB crew from rocks to the lifeboat, working closely with our coastguard colleagues.

“This was also Ben Durrant’s first shout after being successfully passed out as ILB helm recently, so well done to him and the other crew members.

“We would also recommend as in this instance that people who are planning to go coasteering that they do so with an official group, as they know how to manage incidents such as this and will call us immediately if required.”

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As the summer months approach, Bundoran RNLI is calling on everyone looking forward to a boat trip at sea to plan ahead so they can enjoy their day safely.

The plea comes after a group of people whose boat had been tied up but damaged overnight by southerly winds and tidal conditions, became stranded and were brought ashore by the volunteer lifeboat crew.

Killian O’Kelly, volunteer helm at Bundoran RNLI, said: “It is great to see more people out on the water and enjoying themselves.

“As the summer approaches we want to remind people ahead of their trip to sea to plan ahead with safety in mind. Making simple safety measures means people can make the most of their activities with peace of mind.

“We would encourage people to get the right training for their craft. It is important to know how to handle your boat and its capabilities. Ensure your boat is prepared for the season and that your engine is well maintained. Always carry adequate tools and spares to fix any problems you may encounter and ensure you have enough fuel for your journey.

“Always check the weather and tide times. If you’re in an area that you are unfamiliar with, seek local advice on tides, conditions and potential obstacles or challenges.

“Always carry a means of calling or signalling for help — a mobile phone or a VHF radio tuned to Channel 16 to talk to the coastguard. Let them, and someone else on the shore know where you’re going and who to call if you don’t return on time, and always wear a lifejacket.”

More safety advice for boating and other activities is available at rnli.org/safety

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Ballyglass RNLI and Belmullet Tidal Pool Swimmers in north-west Co Mayo have won a Golden Welly for their recent fundraising efforts for the charity that saves lives at sea.

The RNLI award for Best Community Partnership Fundraiser, which is one of only six awards in all of Ireland and the UK, was announced last week at the RNLI’s virtual Mayday awards ceremony.

The volunteer lifeboat crew and the Belmullet swimmers were overjoyed to hear their deep-end dipping and donating earned them the prestigious Golden Welly.

The Golden Welly awards recognise and celebrate the fantastic work and contributions made to the RNLI’s annual Mayday fundraising campaign.

This year for the Mayday Mile, Michelle Healy and her mother Liz Healy, both on the committee of Belmullet Swim Club, came up with the idea of swimming a mile for the RNLI.

“There’s a great bunch of daily swimmers here in Belmullet, and they jumped at the chance to swim a mile to support the local lifeboat,” Michelle said. “We’re a coastal community and it's important we all pull together and support each other.”

Volunteer members of the Ballyglass RNLI crew joined in and swam in their full kit. Over five days during May, a total of 59 swimmers swam a collective distance of 74.11 miles in their Atlantic Ocean tidal pool, raising €2,016.

Pádraic Sheeran, Ballyglass RNLI’s lifeboat operations manager, said there has always been a great relationship between Ballyglass RNLI and Belmullet Swim Club with mutual respect and support at its core.

“Promoting water safety and saving lives at sea are common goals of the RNLI and the swim group and we’ve always worked well together.

“We are very thankful to Liz, Michelle and the group of swimmers and the great work they do and we’re delighted to accept an award that acknowledges and celebrates that effort. The funds raised will now help our volunteers as they continue to save lives at sea.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Lough Derg RNLI launched on Thursday afternoon (17 June) to assist two people on a 28ft cruiser aground inside the G navigation mark, north of Drominagh Point on Lough Derg.

The inshore lifeboat Jean Spicer arrived on scene at 12.50pm, 15 minutes after launch, and waited on standby as the cruise hire company were also on scene and attempting to refloat the cruiser.

When it was evident the cruiser was fast on rocks, and the cruise hire company had arranged for a more powerful tow vessel to assist, the RNLI volunteers — helm Eleanor Hooker, Ger Egan, Steve Smyth and Chris Parker — requested to take the two casualties off the stricken vessel to Terryglass Harbour, where their boat would be taken once it was reflected.

The callout came less than 24 hours after Lough Derg’s lifeboat volunteers attended a 32ft cruiser that ran aground by the entrance to Terryglass Harbour, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Brendan O’Brien, deputy launching authority at Lough Derg RNLI, advises boat users to “plan your passage, study your charts and don’t stray off the charted navigation routes”.

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