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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Displaying items by tag: Lifeboats

Lough Ree RNLI’s volunteer crew launched this afternoon (Monday 12 July) to assist a lake cruiser with six people onboard which had run aground west of Beam Island, close to the Co Roscommon shoreline.

Under helm Kieran Sloyan and with crew Liam Sheringham and Donal Herraghty on board, Lough Ree’s inshore lifeboat Tara Scougall launched shortly after midday and quickly reached the scene east of Hodson Bay.

The 46ft cruiser had become grounded on rocks west of Beam Island. Following an initial assessment, the lifeboat crew towed the vessel off the rocks and, once safety checks gave the call year, the cruiser continued under its own power.

This brings to 14 the number of people rescued by Lough Ree RNLI in the past five days. Late last week (Friday 9 July) a cruiser with five people on board was towed off the Hexagon Shoal, north of Hare Island.

On the way back from this callout, the volunteer lifeboat crew were diverted to assist a cruiser with two people on board which had suffered engine failure. It was taken under tow to a berth at Portrunny.

On the previous evening (Thursday 8 July), Lough Ree RNLI was called to assist a 17ft fishing boat with one person on board which had broken down near Lough Ree Yacht Club. The boat was safely towed to Coosan Point.

Following a busy weekend, Lough Ree RNLI treasurer Vincent Rafter thanked “all members of the public, businesses around the lake and the lake community for the ongoing support of the charity as work nears completion on a new €1.2m boathouse at Coosan Point which will greatly enhance the service which Lough Ree RNLI currently provides.”

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Wicklow RNLI’s inshore lifeboat launched shortly after 3pm yesterday afternoon (Saturday 10 July) following a report of a man climbing down a cliff to rescue his dog.

The lifeboat volunteers located the man and his dog five minutes later near the water edge south of Travelahawk Beach.

Lifeboat Helm, Alan Goucher said: “It was too dangerous for the owner to climb back up the cliff with his dog. So, we transferred them onto the lifeboat and returned to the station.”

The owner and family pet were landed safely ashore at 3.14pm. Both were uninjured and none the worst after their ordeal.

The RNLI’s key safety advice is for the public is to remember to keep dogs on leads if they are walking close to cliff edges, and that the best thing to do if your pet gets into trouble at the coast is not to enter the water or attempt to rescue them yourself — instead dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.

The crew on this callout were helm Alan Goucher, Brid Seoighe and Peter Byrne.

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Baltimore RNLI’s volunteer crew were called out to reports of a boat on fire off Sherkin Island in West Cork yesterday afternoon (Saturday 10 July).

Under coxswain Aidan Bushe, the all-weather lifeboat launched at 3.34pm following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to attend the blaze on RIB in Horseshoe Harbour.

The lifeboat arrived at the scene five minutes later and found that the occupants of the RIB had already been removed to another vessel and all were safe.

Volunteers used their onboard fire hose on the burning vessel but unfortunately the RIB was beyond recovery and it sank a short time later.

Speaking following the callout, Baltimore RNLI’s press officer Kate Callanan said: “There were a number of vessels in the immediate vicinity at the time this fire broke out and Baltimore RNLI would like to thank those who assisted in bringing the occupants of the RIB to safety.”

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Aran Islands RNLI has welcomed a new full-time mechanic to the station. Mairtín Eoin Coyne takes over from Johnny Mulkerrin, who retired after 35 years last month.

Mairtín Eoin, an Aran Islander from birth, is no stranger to the station having served as a volunteer on the all-weather lifeboat for more than 20 years, having joined in 1996.

Mairtin Eoin was part of the crew that undertook training at the RNLI's College in Poole, Dorset, to learn the workings of the current Severn class lifeboat before she came to the Island in 1997.

Through the years, Mairtín Eoin has undertaken other courses to further his education, including lifeboat sea survival and mechanical maintenance of lifeboats.

For the past five to six years, he has regularly served as cover for now-retired mechanic Johnny Mulkerrin when needed.

Michael Hernon, Aran Islands RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, welcomed Mairtín Eoin on behalf of the station: 'We are delighted to welcome Mairtín Eoin who took up his post on the 1 June and we wish him many more safe and happy years at sea. His role as full-time mechanic at Aran Islands RNLI will ensure the operational effectiveness of our station through the operation, maintenance and repair of the lifeboat and its associated machinery and equipment.'

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Lough Ree RNLI’s volunteer crew were the recipients of a number of personalised gifts from a keen lifeboat supporter at a presentation yesterday afternoon (Sunday 4 July).

Limerick man Mark Conway (43) visited Coosan Point Athlone with his friend Tommy Corbett and key worker Ivana Kottesova, bringing with him a self-crafted model of an all-weather lifeboat.

The creative artist, who has honed his skills with the Brothers of Charity in the Treaty City, had earlier this year contacted then lifeboat operations manager Tony McCarth to offer the replica as a gift to the station.

At a special ceremony at the Lough Ree RNLI boathouse at Coosan Point, Conway met McCarth, current lifeboat operations manager Jude Kilmartin, treasurer Vincent Rafter and members of the crew and their families and presented his metre long model of an RNLI lifeboat.

During the visit Conway had another surprise in store when he also presented a painting of a lifeboat which was also his own work.

Kottesova said: “Mark has already made presentations to the RNLI at Lough Derg, Kilrush, Courtmacsherry and Kinsale and hopes eventually to visit all RNLI lifeboat stations on the island.”

Kilmartin expressed the charity’s gratitude for the presentation and said he looked forward to displaying the art in a place of prominence in the new boathouse, which is on schedule for completion later this year.

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Kinsale RNLI’s lifeboat launched on Saturday 3 July to help a solo yachtsman struggling at sea with damaged sails.

The yachtsman had left the Caribbean island of Carriacou on Thursday 13 May en route to the UK. But three weeks into the voyage, the 51ft ketch lost engine power, forcing the skipper to continue his 6,500km journey under sail.

He told his rescuers that his yacht was becalmed in the Atlantic for 10 days when the wind dropped. Then after he was able to resume his voyage, the sails were damaged, further hampering progress.

By the time the Irish Coast Guard became aware of his plight on Saturday morning, the vessel was travelling at just three knots per hour with no prospect of reaching its intended destination.

Kinsale RNLI’s volunteers tracked the vessel online throughout the day and grew increasingly concerned for its safety. At 6pm, the lifeboat was requested to launch by the coastguard to assess the situation, and the crew located the vessel off the Old Head of Kinsale.

Lifeboat helm Jonathan Connor placed crew member Felix Milner on board the stricken yacht and, after consultation, decided that taking the ketch under tow was necessary to assist the vessel to reach the nearest safe and suitable port.

Milner remained on board the yacht on the final leg of the journey to Kinsale Harbour to safeguard the wellbeing of the skipper, who was exhausted but uninjured despite his long ordeal.

After arriving into Kinsale at 9.15pm, the yachtsman enjoyed his first hot shower in over seven weeks before being reunited with his son and two daughters, who live in West Cork and were waiting for him on the pier.

Commenting on the rescue, the yachtsman said: “The RNLI Kinsale are some of the nicest people I have ever met. Their expertise and commitment leave me humbled. It is an institution I have always supported and will do so for the rest of my days.”

Kinsale helm Connor added: “It is a tribute to the yachtsman’s seamanship that he made a 6,500km voyage single-handed and remained calm and focused despite the many problems he encountered in the course of his journey.

“He is very fit and able but was clearly exhausted after 52 days alone at sea and it was the right decision to help him over the final hurdle and bring him safely to Kinsale.”

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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.”

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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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