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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

A search coordinated by Belfast Coastguard that was prompted by several reports of sightings of red flares at the mouth of Carlingford Lough was stood down last evening after nothing was found.

The first sightings of the red flares came in at 18.10 via 999 calls from members of the public reporting that they had seen the flares near the mouth of the Lough, southwest of Kilkeel.  Belfast Coastguard issued a relay broadcast to vessels in the area to try and find more information about the potential vessel in distress, and three fishing vessels responded to say that they too had sighted the flares.

Belfast Coastguard then sent the South Down Coastguard Rescue Team, Kilkeel RNLI Inshore Lifeboat and the Irish Coast Guard Helicopter to the scene to begin a search. The three fishing vessels who responded to the initial broadcast also maintained a lookout during this time. The search area was approximately five and a half miles, and three miles offshore, and the search was completed at 20.30 and all resources stood down with nothing found.

Belfast Coastguard Watch Manager Rob Steventon said:

"With good visibility on scene and the search area completely saturated we are satisfied that the red flare sightings were not from a vessel in distress.  All sightings of distress flares reported to the Coastguard have to be thoroughly investigated, however a proportion of these turn out to be either Chinese lanterns, or non distress situations, such as people disposing of out of date flares.  Members of the public should be aware however, that using flares in a non-emergency situation is against the law."

Notes to Editors

Published in Coastguard
On Saturday night, 29 January, a retirement party was held for Michael Lane Walsh in the Schooner Bar, Ballycotton. Michael was a member of the Ballycotton RNLI lifeboat for 37 years, joining when his father, Mikey Lane Walsh, was Coxswain. In 1977 Michael became second mechanic of the RNLI all weather lifeboat and in 1978 he took up the full time position of station mechanic. This is a role he carried out with exceptional diligence until his retirement on Tuesday last, 25 January 2011.

Michael has become well known throughout the RNLI community over the years and the 29 January was marked on several calendars for quite some time as the date they would be travelling to Ballycotton to help celebrate the retirement of an exceptional, modest man.

Lifeboat personnel travelled from RNLI lifeboat stations in Ballyglass Co. Mayo, Achill Island, Courtmacsherry, Rosslare, Helvic and Youghal joining with Ballycotton lifeboat members, family and friends to help celebrate a man's commitment to a job he treated more as a vocation than a job. The Training Divisional Inspector, Owen Medland and Divisional Base Manager, Derek Potter from the RNLI head quarters in Dublin attended and spoke of their long association with Michael Lane Walsh. Several presentations were made with the good wishes from everyone present, along with those from lifeboat crewmembers who were unable to leave their stations. Derek Potter told those present that normally they would be presenting a long service vellum to the retiree but in Michael's case he is not finished yet. For the time being he will not be hanging up his life jacket but will keep it in readiness for the next time someone calls for help from the Ballycotton RNLI lifeboat.

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Published in RNLI Lifeboats

RNLI lifeboats from Ballycotton and Youghal responded to reports of white flare seen south of Ballycotton in East Cork tonight. The LE Emer was off Power Head, east of Cork Harbour, when the report was received and proceeded to the area also. Having spoken with a fishing vessel in the area they were satisfied there were no problems and the two Lifeboats were stood down.

Unconfirmed reports on Twitter said that the suspected flare sighting was in fact a streaming white light on a vessel.

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Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Technical clothing brand, Helly Hansen, is continuing to strengthen its ongoing relationship with the RNLI as it announces the renewal of its contract as Official Clothing Supplier to the RNLI's lifeguards, and introduces new kit to keep the charity's professionals protected from the elements.

No stranger to protecting the globe's outdoor professionals from some of the world's harshest environments, Helly Hansen has worked in conjunction with the RNLI, to design and develop a range of products guaranteed to keep the lifeguards comfortable, dry and warm when facing the unpredictable conditions seen throughout the year on Britain's beaches.

lifeguards_hellyhansen

From LIFA patrol shirts and Polartec fleeces to waterproof, breathable jackets and smocks, Helly Hansen is passionate about producing technical clothing to protect the RNLI lifeguards - dedicated to risking their lives to save others.

New kit supplied to the RNLI lifeguards include

The RNLI Poncho is an overhead protection garment inspired by Helly Hansen's renowned workwear collection. The Poncho is quick and easy to remove in times of emergency, and features a 2 layer HellyTech construction, making it the perfect waterproof, breathable outer layer. It covers the knee and seat area, for full body protection, ensuring the lifeguards remain dry in all weather conditions.

The Track Pant is ideal for providing additional warmth on colder days. Made from Polyester, these red pants are quick drying to prevent the lifeguards from feeling the cold and wet.

The RNLI has over 800 lifeguards patrolling over 150 of the UK's beaches throughout the year. In 2009 the beach lifeguards saved more than 120 lives and assisted over 15,000 people. It is believed that two out of three people in the UK will visit a UK beach at least once during 2010, but every year over 7,000 people find themselves in serious difficulty either in the water or on the beaches

Published in Marketplace
Tagged under

Last year RNLI lifeboats rescued 1,094 people in Ireland, launching 1,002 times. Figures released today (Tuesday 25 January 2010) by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) show an increase of 8 per cent in the number of people brought to safety by Irish lifeboat crews compared to 2009 figures.

The busiest RNLI lifeboat station in Ireland last year was Enniskillen, where the crews on Lough Erne launched 64 times and rescued 82 people last year. The next busiest station was Crosshaven in Cork where volunteer lifeboat crew launched 54 times and brought 67 people to safety. RNLI Dun Laoghaire's lifeboats launched 50 times and the Aran Islands all-weather lifeboat launched 49 times bringing between them 107 people to safety. Kilmore Quay lifeboat station in Wexford, which last year received a new Tamar class lifeboat worth €3 million, rescued 85 people during 43 callouts.

In a breakdown of the causes of services for the RNLI last year 130 callouts were to persons in the sea, 329 launches were to power pleasure craft and 109 were to fishing vessels.

RNLI Divisional Inspector for Ireland Martyn Smith said: 'It's been another busy year for Ireland's 55 RNLI lifeboats with lifeboat launches topping one thousand for the first time last year.  Every one of the rescues carried out by the RNLI in 2010 was only made possible due to the incredible generosity of the public, even in these difficult times.

'We are absolutely determined to make the best possible use of the funds that the public entrust to us – and we regularly re-examine everything we do. This ensures that we give the best possible support to our volunteers who may face the worst the sea can throw at them. These new figures show just how much time our crews sacrifice to help those in trouble at sea – but in addition, they spend even more time training, which is a further measure of their dedication and commitment.'

The RNLI, a charity that is independent of Government and reliant on donations, is urging the public to respond to its own call for help by supporting RNLI SOS Day this year on Friday, 28 January.  To find out more log on to www.rnli.ie or call 1800 789 589

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Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Bangor Lifeboat launched at 11:40 am on Monday 24th January to rescue two canoeists from a stretch of water lying between the Copeland Island and Donaghadee known locally as the Donaghadee Sound. One of the canoeists had apparently entered the water and was in difficulty.

Belfast Coastguard requested RNLI Bangor Lifeboat to launch.

Within minutes of the rescue pagers being activated, Bangor volunteer crew had assembled and had launched the RNLI's fast response Atlantic 85 type lifeboat the 'Jessie Hillyard '.

With a top speed of 35 knots Bangor Lifeboat quickly arrived on scene.

The Fishery Protection vessel also received the rescue alert and was by minutes the first vessel on the scene. With the Fishery Protection vessel providing a weather lee, crew from Bangor Lifeboat quickly plucked the exhausted canoeist from the water. The second canoeist was then brought aboard Bangor Lifeboat along with both canoes.

Donaghadee Lifeboat who also launched to this rescue stood close by to offer additional medical support if required.

Bangor Lifeboat accompanied by Donaghadee Lifeboat returned to Donaghadee Harbour and both canoeists were landed safely ashore.

Ewan Scott, helmsman onboard Bangor Lifeboat praised the actions of both volunteer crews. He said 'The dedication and commitment of both Bangor and Donaghadee volunteer crews is evident in the professional manner in which they undertook this rescue' He added 'We're happy that both canoeists are now safely ashore.'

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Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under
At around 11.30 this morning Belfast Coastguard were alerted to two people in distress after one of them was pitched into the water from his capsized canoe and had been struggling, without success to get back into the craft. The call came from his colleague.

The emergency call stated that the two men, both in their early 50s, were off Copeland Sound between the coast and Donaghadee. Both men were wearing lifejackets. The man in difficulty was exhausted and needed assistance. The seas on scene were described as having a heavy swell.

Both the Bangor and Donaghadee RNLI inshore lifeboats were asked to launch and a fisheries patrol vessel, the 'Queen of Ulster' also offered assistance after hearing the radio exchanges.

During the incident, Belfast Coastguard kept in contact with the canoeist who had remained in his craft to ensure that both men were aware of the situation and that help was proceeding.

Louis McGookin, Duty Watch Manager at Belfast Coastguard said

"It was clear that the man in the water was absolutely exhausted and simply was unable to get back into his craft. Sea temperatures are at around 8 degrees Celsius at present and hypothermia is an ever present danger in prolonged immersion. Fortunately they were able to contact the Coastguard and using our knowledge of the tides in the area we were able to pinpoint his location. Both men were given a medical check when they arrived back at the shoreline and neither required any treatment."

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Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Clyde Coastguard are currently co-ordinating a search for a missing male passenger after they were reported missing by a coach driver when the ferry, the 'European Highlander', docked at Cairnryan in Scotland after travelling from Larne in Northern Ireland. The Coastguard were notified a little after 10.00 am this morning. The ferry is now being fully searched.

The vessel had departed from Larne at 07.24 this morning and arrived at Cairnryan two hours later at a speed of approximately 18 knots. The master of the vessel has confirmed that one person is missing from the ships manifest.

The sea conditions are currently calm with a slight swell and good visibility with south westerly winds of 5 knots between the two locations.

A rescue helicopter, R 177, has been scrambled from the Royal Naval Air Station at Prestwick.

Clyde Coastguard are now organising a search throughout the area taking into account tidal drift and winds. Coastguard Rescue Teams have now been turned out ready to search the shores of Loch Ryan.

The Portpatrick, Stranraer and Larne RNLI lifeboats have all been requested to launch. A search has also begun from Cairnryan to Finnarts Bay. The Police Service of Northern Ireland has also been informed.

A mayday signal has now also been broadcast into the area by the Coastguard to alert passing shipping to the unfolding incident.

Published in Coastguard

UPDATE: Ballycotton RNLI lifeboat has launched this morning to help search for a missing person off Ringabella Bay in Cork Harbour. The alarm was raised when one fisherman managed to swim ashore shortly before 11am and alert the emergency services that another man was still in the water. A major air and sea search is currently taking place in the area for the missing fisherman. Ballycotton RNLI lifeboat, Crosshaven RNLI lifeboat, Coastguard helicopter Rescue 117 and the naval service have gathered in the area and a coordinated search is taking place.

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Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Ballycotton RNLI lifeboat, Austin Lidbury, has launched to assist in a search for a missing person off Ringabella Bay, near Cork harbour. The alarm was raised when a companion swam ashore and alerted the emergency services. Ballycotton RNLI lifeboat's eta is 11:40.

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Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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