Displaying items by tag: Lifeboats
The all-weather lifeboat slipped her moorings at 4.50pm on Tuesday afternoon (7 May) to aid the 12-metre cruiser with eight people on board, which had set out from Wales and was crossing the Irish Sea to Malahide when it developed mechanical problems and lost all propulsion.
The skipper contacted the coastguard by marine VHF radio for assistance.
Wicklow’s lifeboat was alongside the casualty at 5.45pm about 19 miles offshore. Conditions in the area had a south-east Force 2 with a slight sea state and good visibility.
A tow line was established and the motor cruiser was taken in tow back to Wicklow Harbour where it was bought alongside the East Pier and all eight on board landed safely ashore.
The volunteer crew with helm Eleanor Hooker, Joe O’Donoghue, Doireann Kennedy and Kjell Jimmy Gundergjerde launched their inshore lifeboat at 4.45pm in Force 2 north-north-west winds with good visibility to the location north of the mouth of the Scarriff River, where the 21ft boat was reported to be high on a shoal.
A crew member transferred to the motor boat and found that the people on board were unharmed and wearing their lifejackets.
The motor boat was checked for damage before a tow was set up and the vessel was removed from the rocks into safe water.
Once towed past the middle ground and the drives, steering and rudder were found to be in good working order, the boat was allowed to continue on its journey.
Helm Eleanor Hooker advises boat users “to plan your passage and pay close attention to the navigational marks at the entrance to harbours and rivers on the lake”.
The lifeboat returned to the station and was ready for service again at 7.15pm.
Baltimore RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 8.30pm after learning of a local fishing trawler that was dragging its anchor in high winds near Sherkin Island in West Cork.
The lifeboat arrived on scene at 8.43pm and transferred four extra crew aboard the 26.2m trawler. Once they were satisfied that the casualty vessel was back at safe anchor, the lifeboat returned to station by 9.11pm as the storm intensified.
Conditions at sea during the callout were very rough, with Force 10 winds gusting to Force 11, and a two-metre sea swell within the harbour.
Elsewhere, the volunteer lifeboat crew from Portaferry RNLI launched to reports of a missing dingy with three people on board.
The lifeboat crew proceeded to Pig Island near Newtownards in Strangford Lough and were joined in the search by local coastguard and Rescue 119 from Preswick in Scotland.
However, all rescue teams were stood down after a thorough search of the area revealed nothing.
Commenting on the callout, Jordan Conway, Portaferry RNLI lifeboat press officer, said: “Despite the weather conditions deteriorating as the volunteer lifeboat crew reached the scene, a full search was carried out in conjunction with our colleagues in the coastguard and Rescue 119.”
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Castletownbere RNLI also launched last night to a 33ft fishing vessel which lost all power in Bere Haven Harbour are the storm bore down.
While the severe weather has now passed, sea conditions will remain rough over the next few days, and Baltimore RNLI’s Kate Callanan urged anyone on or near the water to “exercise caution in particular along the coastline.
“If you get into trouble or see anyone in difficulty at sea or along the coast, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”
With southerly Force 2/3 winds and good visibility, the lifeboat arrived at the scene 45 minutes after its 4pm launch.
Winds had pushed the cruiser close to shore and raised it high out of the water, so the lifeboat approached with caution while the volunteer crew assessed the depths.
One the casualty boat’s sole occupant and skipper was confirmed safe and unharmed, and the boat was checked for damage and lightened for tow, the cruiser was taken off the rocks into deeper water and shortly after was allowed to continue its passage unaided.
At the same time, Killaloe Coast Guard was tasked to assist three people and their dog whose cruiser lost engine power and was blown onto the Clare shore of the lough.
The Killaloe Coast Guard rescue boat launched shortly after the 3.30pm alert and was alongside the casualty vessel within seven minutes.
Once all on board were confirmed safe and well, their boat was safely towed back to Killaloe.
It was the second callout of the Bank Holiday weekend for the Killaloe coastguard unit after a search for a missing person on Friday night (19 April) that concluded on a positive note as the individual was found safe on Saturday (20 April).
A few days previously, Lough Derg RNLI launched to a 60ft cruiser with seven on board that had run aground in Coose Bay.
The volunteer lifeboat crew left their families on Easter Sunday to answer the callout, bringing the all-weather lifeboat Ger Tigchlearr just north of Arklow Harbour where the casualty vessel had been reported adrift and without power.
The jetski, with two people aboard, was quickly located off the back of Arklow's North Pier, dangerously close to the rocky shoreline.
The two people aboard were immediately recovered onto the lifeboat and a line was secured to the jetski to tow it back to shore.
In Larne, RNLI volunteers were called out twice on Sunday evening to people in difficulty.
In the first callout, both the all-weather and inshore lifeboats were called to aid two kayakers who had overturned near Browns Bay just off Islandmagee.
Larne RNLI launched into a calm sea at 5,45pm with the inshore lifeboat, Terry, tasked to bring the kayakers safely to shore, while the all-weather lifeboat Dr John McSparran was tasked to recover the kayaks left behind.
After a successful recovery of both casualties and their equipment, Larne RNLI helm Pamela Leitch noted: “The two kayakers were wearing buoyancy aids; they also remembered to stay with their kayaks which made it easier for us to identify them and bring them ashore.”
The second callout involved the all-weather lifeboat towing a 26ft sailing boat which had run aground at the East Maidens lighthouse.
One of the two people onboard had asked to dock close to the Maidens so they could have a look around. However, while they were the docked the tide ebbed and the boat was left on rocks.
The remaining crew member was able to use their VHF radio to call for assistance from Belfast Coastguard, who requested the launch of the all-weather lifeboat.
When Larne’s volunteers reached the boat, they found that it had moved off the rocks and that no damage had occurred to the hull.
However, it was suggested that the casualty boat follow the all-weather lifeboat into Larne to assess any further damage.
As both boats were making their way into the Port of Larne, a tow line was established as the casualty vessel was experiencing some engine troubles. The vessel was then towed to a mooring at East Antrim Boat Club.
Meanwhile, in Kilmore Quay, the local RNLI lifeboat was alerted by Dublin Coast Guard at 5.25pm that an 11m boat with two people on board had lost engine power three-and-a-half miles south of Bag-N-Bun Head to the west of Kilmore Quay.
Conditions were near calm at the time with restricted visibility due to coastal fog. Visibility was down to one tenth of a mile at times.
The volunteer crew made best speed towards the casualty vessel, arriving alongside twenty minutes later. A tow line was passed over and the vessel was towed back to Kilmore Quay, which took just under an hour to complete.
“Given the fantastic weather we’ve had this weekend, we’ve seen higher numbers of people coming back to the beaches and putting their boats and other craft back in the water, earlier than usual,” said Mark Corcoran, community safety officer at Arklow RNLI.
“We’d like to remind people to always respect the water, wear a lifejacket and carry a means of calling for help when going out on the water.”
Volunteers were paged while taking part in in a ‘crew day’, whereby they gathered to clean down the lifeboat and station, after reports that a boat had suffered engine failure one mile from Strangford Narrows.
When they arrived on scene at 3.03pm, they established a tow line and proceeded to the nearest and safest mooring point at Cook Street quay in Portaferry.
Commenting on yesterday’s rescue, Simon Rogers, Portaferry RNLI lifeboat operations manager, said: “The hard work and dedication of our volunteers has once again resulted in the safe return to shore of the skipper and his crew who were having trouble while at sea.
“He certainly took the right course of action calling for help once he realised that his engine had failed.
“We are all delighted with the outcome and urge anyone considering going on the water to take all necessary precautions. It has been a busy week for the volunteers.”
Ten volunteer lifeboat crew from Ballyglass RNLI, in conjunction with Belmullet Cycling Club, will undertake a 150km cycle from Sligo Bay RNLI in Rosses Point to Ballyglass RNLI in Belmullet on Saturday 27 April.
A total of 130 cyclists from all over Ireland are registered to take part in the Waves-2-Wheels fundraiser which will see proceeds raised go to Ballyglass RNLI.
Allen Murray, Ballyglass RNLI station mechanic and Waves-2-Wheels chairperson, said he is overwhelmed by the hard work and dedication of all involved in getting the charity cycle from the rolling waves to the rolling road, and hopes it will be a safe and successful event.
“The idea was born last autumn when members of the lifeboat crew and the cycling club were discussing ways they could work together to raise funds in the locality,” Murray said.
“A charity cycle from a neighbouring lifeboat station to Ballyglass was suggested and agreed upon almost instantly. From there the hard work of organising the event and training began.
“A large number of the crew came on board to swap the sea for the saddle to raise much needed funds to maintain the high standard of training and equipment needed by Ballyglass RNLI volunteers to save lives at sea.”
Lifeboat coxswain and Waves-2-Wheels secretary James Mangan explained how important it is to raise awareness and funds for our lifeboats.
“Having two lifeboats working out of two locations both here at Ballyglass (all-weather lifeboat) and at Belmullet (inshore lifeboat) involves a lot of training and maintenance to ensure our volunteers and boats are ready 24/7 for whatever they may face when the pagers call them to sea.
“We are very lucky here in Mayo to have such wonderful supporters and sponsors and are very grateful to all who help us out in any way.
“When our volunteers launch to assist those in trouble at sea they know that they have the best of training and equipment to help bring them home safely. The crew kit alone costs between €1,000-€2,000, including lifejacket, and this gives the crew confidence to face various conditions and weathers, night or day.”
The RNLI’s two lifeboat stations in Mayo at Achill Island and Ballyglass launched 40 times in 2018 bringing 25 people to safety.
These rescues are only possible because of the donations made to the charity by supporters. And Waves-2-Wheels is currently accepting donations online ahead of the big ride in nine days’ time.
The cycle begins at Rosses point at 9am on Saturday 27 April, with the cyclists travelling through Easkey, Enniscrone, Ballina, Crossmolina and arriving at Belmullet’s inshore lifeboat station after 4pm.
Horse riders and owners have been warned over taking their animals to beaches or mudflats after two separate rescue incidents in the UK in recent days
Last Saturday (13 April) two horses and their riders were rescued from thick mud after they became stuck while riding on the Wirral coast near Liverpool.
Emergency services tried digging around the horse to free its legs to no avail. The RNLI crew and coastguard also used their mud lances in an attempt to soften the sand with water and compressed air, but the mud proved too thick for this equipment.
After some further digging, and with gentle encouragement from the emergency services, the horse managed to free itself but became stuck again.
Finally, mud boards and mats were deployed to provide the horse with some firmer footing.
The horse was freed again and managed to climb onto the boards with some assistance. A vet on the scene then administered a sedative to avoid any further distress to the animal and to help the emergency services to move it to shore safely.
“Considering the ordeal the horse had been through, its behaviour was exceptional in what was clearly a distressing situation,” said Hoylake RNLI crew member Ian Farrall. “The emergency service teams worked really well together, pooling their resources and experience to ensure a good outcome in very difficult circumstances.”
The following day, HM Coastguard received 999 calls reporting a horse and rider in distress and stuck in the mud at Burnham-on-Sea beach in Somerset.
Fortunately the rider was not injured but the coastguard launched a multi-agency response to recover the horse and keep the rider safe before the rising tide covered the area.
Gemma Griffiths, the senior maritime operations officer who was co-ordinating the incident in Somerset, offered safety advice for walkers and riders as the longer days come in.
“Take care when walking or riding over these big expanses of tidal sand or mud and consider getting guidance from someone with local knowledge if you are at all unsure about your route.”
A volunteer crew from Portaferry RNLI launched to a 999 call in the early hours of Sunday morning (14 April) reporting that a yacht with three people on board had hit rocks at Rainey Island near Ballydoran in Strangford Lough.
The lifeboat launched at 1.50am in cloudy weather conditions with good visibility and Force 4 south-easterly winds. The Portaferry crew arrived on scene 35 minute later with good visibility and a moderate sea state.
When the volunteer crew arrived on scene, they found that the yacht had made itself off the rocks and proceeded into Strangford Lough Yacht Club.
Portaferry RNLI closely followed the boat to the pontoon, went alongside yacht and checked that all onboard were safe and well before returning to station at 3.35am.
The all-weather lifeboat Jock and Annie Slater put to sea shortly before 1.15pm under the command of coxswain Nick Keogh and proceeded towards the vessel, which was reported to be 23 miles north-east of Wicklow Harbour.
The lifeboat was alongside the 10-metre fishing boat an hour later. Conditions in the area were good, with south-easterly Force 3 winds.
The fishing vessel with three crew had developed mechanical problems and had lost propulsion. A towline was secured, and the vessel was towed back towards Wicklow over the next three-and-a-half hours, being secured safely alongside the North Quay shortly before 6pm.
This was the third callout since the all-weather lifeboat Jock and Annie Slater went on station at Wicklow on Friday 5 April.
Earlier in the week, Kilkeel RNLI’s volunteer crew launched at 4.20pm on Wednesday (10 April) to respond to a call from the skipper of a fishing boat that a semi-submerged kayak was adrift at Leestone Point, north east of Kilkeel Harbour.
Conditions were good and the crew arrived quickly on scene. On examination of the kayak, the crew found there was an algae growth on her bottom and no signs that it had been recently occupied.
With no reports of a missing kayaker, the kayak was taken on board the lifeboat which then returned to the station. Kilkeel Coastguard were in attendance.
Speaking afterwards, John Fisher, Kilkeel RNLI lifeboat operations manager, said: “It is important that if a small craft is lost or abandoned that it is reported to the coastguard. This will prevent any further reports by concerned members of the public or other persons.”