Displaying items by tag: RNLI
Portrush RNLI’s inshore lifeboat launched to the rescue of a 50-year-old woman who fell into the water while with a coasteering group at Dunseverick near the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland yesterday afternoon (Saturday 1 August).
The volunteer crew applied casualty care to the woman, and one remained to watch over her while the lifeboat collected a paramedic and a member of the local coastguard team to assist at the scene.
Suspecting the woman had sustained a back injury, the team called for a helicopter and she was transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast by the regional air ambulance. R199 from Prestwick in Scotland was also dispatched to the scene.
Portrush lifeboat operations manager Keith Gilmore said later: “Causeway Coasteering did exactly the right thing in calling the RNLI and the coastguard to make sure that the casualty could receive appropriate treatment.”
The Courtmacsherry All Weather Trent Class RNLI Lifeboat was called out at 12.54 pm this Saturday afternoon to go to the aid of two Kayakers who got into difficulties, in breezy conditions, off the headland of Dunworley Point on the Seven Heads Coastline in West Cork.
The two Kayakers were blown on to the remote rugged, rocky headland of Birds Island off Dunworley, about 7 miles from Clonakilty, and found themselves seeking immediate assistance, as they had to abandon their Canoes.
The Courtmacsherry Lifeboat under Coxswain Micheal O Donovan and crew were underway within minutes and immediately proceeded to the area where the alert was raised. Also tasked by Valentia Radio was the Rescue 115 Coastguard Helicopter and the local Seven Heads Coastguard Unit.
The two casualties managed to get onto the rocks after their frightening ordeal and climbed the cliffside to get onto some firm ground. The Lifeboat and Helicopter arrived on scene and the Helicopter landed on the headland to access the injuries to the two persons. The Lifeboat recovered paddles from the Kayaks and remained on the scene until the Helicopter airlifted one of the casualties to Hospital and the other person was taken to nearby safe terrain by the Coastguard unit.
Commenting on this afternoon’s callout, the Courtmacsherry RNLI Voluntary Deputy Launching Authority Diarmuid O Mahony, along with the Seven Heads Coastguard unit spokesman Eamonn Barry thanked all the Lifeboat and Coastguard crew members for their quick response today and carrying out the rescue and assistance very professionally, in what could have been a very serious incident. They reiterated and thanked those in trouble for their quick action in seeking immediate help and assistance, as minutes matter and it is always vital to alert the Coastguard quickly when in difficulty.
The Courtmacsherry Lifeboat Crew involved in today’s callout were Coxswain Micheal O Donovan, Mechanic Tadgh McCarthy and crew members Dara Gannon, Ken Cashman, Denis Murphy and Mark John Gannon.
Wicklow all-weather RNLI lifeboat launched shortly after 12:45 pm today (Saturday 1 August) following a Coast Guard launch request, to assist a 14-metre ketch with four people onboard near Greystones.
The drifting yacht was located 30 minutes later by Coxswain Doyle and the volunteer crew three miles south of Greystones harbour.
The engine had failed and there was not enough wind to use the sails to get to shore, so the skipper contacted the Coast Guard for assistance. Conditions on scene were calm with good visibility.
A towline was quickly established, and the yacht was towed into Greystones Marina, where the three adults and a child were landed safely ashore.
The crew on the call out were (2nd) Coxswain Ciaran Doyle, Mechanic Brendan Copeland, Carol Flahive, Paul Sillery, Mark Kavanagh and Peter Byrne
As The Irish Examiner reports, new standard operating procedures (SOPs) to adhere with Covid-19 public health and safety guidelines have changed the environment and placed extra pressure on crews.
All around the coast, inshore and all-weather RNLI lifeboats are also being scrubbed with extra vigour – right down to disinfection of handsets on marine radios.
“We had to make a very quick shift, and adopt new standard operating procedures early on,” Courtmacsherry coxswain Sean O’Farrell says.
Crews going to sea with standard RNLI personal protective equipment (PPE) wear surgical masks under helmet visors, along with double sets of gloves.
The new measures extend to alerting crews. Every volunteer who responds to a pager message must stay in their car outside the station, unless and until called.
“We can’t risk an infection that could affect key staff and volunteers, and close down an entire lifeboat station for two weeks,” O’Farrell adds.
“We’re getting used to it very quickly because we are already a lot busier for this time of year,” his colleague, RNLI Wicklow station mechanic Brendan Copeland says.
Water Safety Ireland chief executive John Leech had warned that as Covid-19 restrictions were lifted and travel plans cancelled, there could be the “greatest number in history” on our waterways. Almost two million people live within five kilometres of the coast.
His deputy, Roger Sweeney, confirms there have already been incidents where people have ignored red flags, hoisted at guarded swimming locations to indicate conditions are too dangerous for swimming.
Read more on The Irish Examiner report here
The volunteer crew launched the in-shore lifeboat Terry just after 8pm on Tuesday evening and reached the casualty just north of Tweeds Port slipway within minutes.
The man, who had been in the water for 30 minutes, was recovered into the lifeboat and checked to make sure he wasn’t suffering from his time in the water.
He was then brought back to shore at Tweeds Port and handed over to the care of the NI Ambulance Service. The lifeboat crew then returned to the water to recover the jet ski.
Philip Ford-Hutchinson, Larne RNLI’s deputy launching authority, said: “The casualty was lucky as cold water shock can set in when you are submerged for any amount of time and in any season. Please, when using the water, respect the water.”
Elsewhere, Skerries RNLI had a busy start to the week as they responded to two separate callouts within two hours.
The lifeboat first launched on Sunday (26 July) shortly after 2pm to return two men on a jet ski safely back to shore after they suffered mechanical difficulties off Colt Island.
Then just two hours later the volunteers were called upon alongside the Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 and Skerries coastguard unit to carry out a search for a swimmer in distress in the same area, between Colt Island and St Patrick’s Island.
Following a thorough search, and the crew speaking to numerous kayakers in the area, Dublin Coast Guard was satisfied that it was a false alarm with good intent and the helicopter and lifeboat were stood down.
Speaking later, volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: “It’s days like this that you really see the dedication of our volunteer crews.
“Some of them were still on the harbour following the first call out when their pagers sounded the second time. This meant that we could launch quite quickly to what was potentially a serious incident. Thankfully in both cases it was a good outcome.”
Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton TD today (31 July) launched the newly updated Safety on the Water website.
This is a collaboration between the Coast Guard, RNLI, Water Safety Ireland, Irish Sailing and BIM, and incorporates a new Safety on the Water logo.
Speaking at an event hosted by RNLI Galway to formally launch the new initiative today Minister Naughton said; “Water safety is not just a seasonal consideration - it is an all-year-round commitment and everybody has a role to play, be it as participants, as supervisors of children or simply as observers who can raise the alert”.
Over the last ten years, 1,200 people drowned in Ireland, an average of 10 every month with many drownings happening quickly, silently and in cooler water with hidden currents that impairs the ability to swim and float. These losses bring unspeakable hardship and sufferings on families and friends and they are preventable.
She added “I commend the excellent collaboration between the different organisations, Coast Guard, RNLI, Water Safety Ireland, Irish Sailing who have done such wonderful work in promoting safety standards across the marine leisure industry and BIM in their work with the fishing communities”
Prevention is the overarching objective of the Safety on the Water Initiative. It aims to attract a higher level of interest from the general public to the site and to encourage a younger audience to engage with a more modern interactive medium. It provides a one-stop shop for all marine safety information in order to minimise accidents and to prevent the loss of life on Irish waters.
Minister Naughton referenced the advice of the Coast Guard and Water Safety Ireland “that water-based inflatable devices present a clear risk to the public. The Coast Guard and the RNLI deal with a large number of inflatable related callouts. Please heed their advice and leave them at home. They are not suitable for use at the seaside or at any open waterways”
Minister Naughton also acknowledged the efforts that the Search and Rescue (SAR) organisations have made to ensure the uninterrupted delivery of SAR services during the Covid-19 crisis adding: “It is to your great credit that you have put measures in place to ensure the safety of your people throughout these challenging times. Coast Guard volunteers have in addition, assisted the HSE with provision of transport and other support. Water Safety Ireland has worked closely with the local authorities to ensure the availability of beach lifeguard services and RNLI have ensured the continued availability of their vital services”.
The safety on the water website provides information on, what to do in an emergency and how to plan water-based activities as well as links to the websites of the participating organisations. The site provides access to a series of water safety publications including the Code of practice – The Safe Operation Recreational Craft, publications on different water-based activities and a leaflet on the use of Personal Floatation Devices / Life jackets.
Royal Ulster Yacht Club members John and Sally McKee played a crucial part in their motor cruiser in a dramatic incident on the Shannon waterway last Saturday.
A private cruiser from Limerick was making a passage northwards on Lough Ree but due to a navigational error ran aground on rocks in Cruit Bay, now known as Portrunny, on the western shore of the Lough. Onboard were two adults and three children and the boat suffered serious hull damage.
The Lifeboat was launched within 10 minutes and on station in 30 minutes. By then the children had been transferred to the cruiser's punt, along with the mother of two of the children and an aunt to the third. All were very wet and cold. The McKee's Mosquito offered assistance and stood by the casualty at a safe distance. The lady and children were taken on board Mosquito where Sally and John provided reassurance to the distressed Mum and children along with hot drinks, dry towels and a warm cabin. The Skipper remained on board the stricken vessel in an attempt to save it but eventually took the instructions from the RNLI coxswain and evacuated onto the lifeboat.
The nearest harbour was Portrunny where ‘Mosquito’ safely docked an hour later, keeping the crew onboard until transport was arranged back to Limerick.
Lough Ree lifeboat Operations Manager Tony McCarth said: "The vessel was badly damaged and the salvage pump put onboard was overwhelmed, there was no option other than abandoning the cruiser. The decision to put the mother and children aboard Mosquito was entirely rational as it would have been a very wet cold journey for them in an open RIB".
This was one of two callouts for Lough Ree RNLI who helped a total seven people to safety. The callouts were both to grounded cruisers and gave the lifeboat crew only nine minutes rest between them. The first was to help two people onboard a 27ft cruiser which had run aground near a navigation marker and the second was the incident in which Mosquito was involved.
Aengus O’Donovan, a former Crosshaven RNLI crew member was returning to Crosshaven in his trawler, the 10m Majestic IV this afternoon when he spotted two young men in a supermarket inflatable boat/toy with no lifejackets approximately 1 mile south of the Daunt Rock buoy and about 1.5 miles from the shore having lost one of their paddles and the inflatable somewhat swamped. The wind was blowing offshore.
Aengus and his crewmate, Mathew Byrne, retrieved the two hypothermic casualties to his boat, wrapped them up in the wheelhouse and made for Crosshaven RNLI station where our Deputy LMA Dr Larrie Martin and three of our first responders, Alan Venner, Georgia Keating and Jenna O’Shea took control and treated the two men in the station. Advice was given that they should get checked out at hospital. They declined, and the station arranged a taxi for them after they had been warmed up sufficiently to leave unaided.
The inflatable was destroyed at the station.
Commenting on the incident, Hugh Mockler, Deputy Launch Authority said “ These supermarket inflatables have no place on the sea as they are downright dangerous. If these men had not been spotted by Aengus they may never have been found and become another avoidable tragedy for two families.” Hugh also praised Aengus for his seamanship and first Aid skills in bringing the two men back to shore safely.
Baltimore RNLI was called out earlier this afternoon (Monday 27 July) to provide assistance to a yacht in difficulty near Middle Calf Island off the coast of West Cork.
The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 4.55 pm, following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to assist a 39-foot yacht, with two people on board, which had suffered engine failure in the area of the Calf Islands off the coast of West Cork.
The Baltimore all-weather lifeboat arrived at the casualty vessel at 5.16 pm. The skipper of the yacht had dropped his anchor however due to strong winds the anchor wasn’t holding. A volunteer crew member from the lifeboat was put aboard to assist in rigging a tow and the lifeboat and casualty vessel were underway heading for Baltimore harbour by 5.25 pm. As they approached the pier in Baltimore, the yacht was brought alongside the lifeboat to make it easier to manoeuvre whilst they berthed at the pier. Once the casualty vessel was secured, the lifeboat returned to the station, arriving at 6.25 pm.
There were seven volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat, Coxswain Kieran Cotter, Mechanic Cathal Cottrell and crew members Aidan Bushe, David Ryan, Micheal Cottrell, Ronnie Carthy and Jim Baker. Conditions at sea during the call very breezy with a north-westerly force 5-6 wind, a 0.5m sea swell and good visibility.
Speaking following the call out, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘The skipper of the yacht did the right thing in asking for assistance as he realised the strong winds and tides at the time would make it difficult to sail back through the narrow channels through the islands. If you get into difficulty at sea or on the coast, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’
The volunteer crew of Bundoran RNLI was called out on Sunday afternoon to reports of bodyboarders in trouble at Rossnowlagh Beach.
Just after 2:05pm, the crew was alerted to the situation by Malin Head Coast Guard who had received an emergency call. Within minutes the crew had assembled at the lifeboat station and launched the “William Henry Liddington” Atlantic 85 lifeboat heading for Rossnowlagh,
In good weather conditions, the lifeboat arrived on scene around 2:25 pm and was informed by a lifeguard on duty that the two bodyboarders had made it safely ashore.
Commenting on their return to Bundoran, volunteer crew member Michael Patton said ‘during this period of good weather we would always advise people to visit a lifeguarded beach and to obey the instructions of the lifeguards. We would also remind people that if they see someone in trouble on the coast do not hesitate to ring 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’