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Displaying items by tag: Lifeboats

Two people sleeping on a boat on Lough Derg had a rude awakening this morning (Friday 12 August) when the local lifeboat alerted that their vessel was adrift in Youghal Bay.

Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI to launch to investigate a report from a member of the public that a 25ft vessel was adrift in Youghal Bay at the southern end of the lake.

At 8.23am the inshore lifeboat Jean Spier launched with helm Steve Smyth, Joe O’Donoghue and Chris Parker on board. The lake was calm with a Force 2 northeasterly breeze and excellent visibility.

Nine minutes later the lifeboat arrived on scene, having located the vessel midway between Garrykennedy Harbour and Ryan’s Point at Youghal Bay.

The two people on board the vessel had been sleeping and unaware that their anchor had dragged their boat from its original location. The skipper weighed anchor and made way for harbour.

Aoife Kennedy, deputy launching authority at Lough Derg RNLI advises boat users to “ensure you have sufficient anchor warp and chain for the area in which you anchor. Remember to carry up-to-date charts of the lake and do not anchor in the main navigation channels.”

Lough Derg RNLI is currently recruiting new volunteers to join the lifesaving team for shore duty in roles as deputy launching authority, additional lifeboat mechanic and tractor driver.

Shore crew have a central role in securing the safety of the lifeboat and the men and women launching their craft to rescue those in peril on the water. They ensure the successful and smooth operations of the RNLI’s lifesaving work within the station. For more details visit the above links.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The volunteers at Union Hall RNLI received a cheque recently for over $500 from a group of Irish emigrants in the USA.

Volunteer fundraiser Pamela Deasy travelled to Kinsale recently and met John Farley, who resides in San Francisco, and his friend John O’Mahony, a volunteer deputy launching authority at Kinsale RNLI, to receive a cheque on behalf of McCarthy’s Bar in San Francisco.

McCarthy’s Bar is owned by Eileen McCarthy from Drinagh in West Cork, and its patrons last year raised over $5,000 in aid of the Kinsale lifeboat, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

John is a lifelong supporter of the RNLI with first-hand experience of their work after he, his sister and his niece were rescued a number of years ago when their boat broke down off the Old Head of Kinsale.

Deasy said: “On behalf of all our team, we wish to thank Eileen and John for thinking of us in Union Hall. This donation will help us greatly.

“With three callouts in the last two weeks, this donation will help with training costs for our volunteers, as it costs roughly €1,557 per crew member annually.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Arranmore RNLI responded to a call at 7.15am on Wednesday morning (10 August) to assist a 25ft fishing vessel with one onboard after it sustained engine trouble.

The boat was drifting on to rocks at Calf Island which is located just metres from the Arranmore lifeboat station on the island off mainland Donegal.

On reaching the location, the lifeboat volunteers found that a neighbouring boat had secured a tow rope to the casualty vessel. The all-weather lifeboat escorted both vessels to Burtonport on the mainland.

Following the callout, RNLI relief coxswain Sean Curtin said: “We were delighted to be able to assist the boat and really pleased that they did the right thing in not delaying calling for help.

“We are a 24-hour rescue service operating 365 days of the year and we encourage the public to familiarise themselves with the safety messages from the RNLI which can be found by logging on to rnli.org/safety. We are always happy to respond to calls for assistance day and night.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Skerries RNLI were tasked in the early hours of Wednesday morning (10 August) by Dublin Coast Guard after they received a call that a razor clam fishing boat had run aground on rocks in the North Co Dublin town.

Shortly after 3am pagers sounded for the volunteer crew and the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson was launched swiftly. With the casualty vessel visible from the boathouse, they were on scene almost immediately.

The lifeboat was carefully manoeuvred alongside the vessel to check on the condition of its two crew, who were in injured. The lifeboat crew carried out a quick inspection of the outside of the vessels’ hull and there did not appear to be any significant damage.

The two men wished to stay on board the vessel and wait for the incoming tide to lift it clear of the rocks.

Skerries RNLI escorting the razor clam vessel to Skerries | Credit: RNLI/Joe MaySkerries RNLI escorting the razor clam vessel to Skerries | Credit: RNLI/Joe May

With the potential for any unseen damage to result in another call out, the decision was taken for the lifeboat to return to the vessel and stand by when it began to float.

Shortly after 6am, the lifeboat attached a line to the grounded boat and as it began to float, they towed it clear of the rocks. Once in open water the tow was released, and the boat made its own way to the safety of Skerries Harbour, escorted by the lifeboat.

Speaking about the callout, volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: “It was an early start for our volunteers this morning, and it’s been a very busy week, but we are ready to go 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you see someone in difficulty on or near the water, dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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With Met Éireann issuing an advisory for hot weather through the rest of the week and the weekend, the RNLI, Irish Coast Guard and Water Safety Ireland are urging people to plan for their personal safety when visiting the coast or when they are on or near the water.

Air temperatures are set to be in the mid to high 20s, with some parts breaking 30C today (Thursday 11 August).

All three organisations are reminding people about the dangers of cold water shock, which can seriously affect breathing and movement, and can occur in any water temperature below 15C.

In a joint statement, they said: “With the good weather and high temperatures forecast to last right through to the weekend, we want to remind everyone to attend to their personal safety.

“With so many people enjoying the water this summer, it’s important that we all know the risks. The sea can be unpredictable, and even with the temperatures soaring, the fact is that the water is still relatively cool compared to air temperatures.

“Just because an area looks safe for swimming it doesn’t mean that it is safe. Only swim in areas that are protected by lifeguards or in areas with which you are familiar. In the case of lifeguard -protected beaches, only swim between the red and yellow flags.”

RNLI water safety lead Kevin Rahill said: “Many people who get into danger each year never planned to enter the water — slips, trips and falls can also occur.

“The RNLI is urging people to Float to Live if they get into trouble in the water. This means leaning back and spreading your arms and legs to stay afloat, controlling your breathing, then calling for help or swimming to safety.

“In the event of any water or coastal emergency, call 999 or 112 or use marine VHF Radio Channel 16 and ask for the coastguard.”

Roger Sweeney from Water Safety Ireland added: “Rip currents are difficult to spot but common on beaches and carry you out to sea quickly.

“If you do get caught in one, the advice is to not to exhaust yourself trying to swim against it. Rather swim parallel to the beach until free of the narrow current and then head for shore.”

Gerard O’Flynn from the Irish Coast Guard also noted: “Record numbers are also taking to the water on craft such as paddleboards and kayaks, many for the first time, so it is important to always remember to wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid and to take a means of calling for help.”

Published in Water Safety

Howth RNLI’s volunteer crew launched both their all-weather and inshore lifeboats to two separate incidents on Sunday (7 August).

The larger lifeboat was launched shortly after 3pm to reports of a motorboat with three people on board which had suffered engine failure two miles north of Ireland’s Eye, the uninhabited island off the coast of Howth.

The lifeboat, under the command of second coxswain Ian Sheridan, located the broken-down vessel within 15 minutes of launching.

Once it was established that all on board were well, the crew passed a tow line from the lifeboat and the boat was towed back to Howth Harbour. Weather conditions were good with light southerly winds.

A few hours later, at 7.15pm a call came in from a concerned sailor regarding an inflatable dinghy in Howth Sound with three people on board who were attempting to row back to Burrow Beach.

Due to the southerly winds, the inflatable was being blown offshore.

The volunteer lifeboat crew were paged and the smaller inshore lifeboat was launched shortly after. The lifeboat RIB reached the inflatable in minutes, and it was observed that none of the three on board were wearing lifejackets.

The lifeboat crew took the three individuals onto the lifeboat and returned them to the safety of Howth Harbour.

Speaking following the incident, Howth RNLI inshore lifeboat helm Ian Martin said: “Although the conditions for heading out on the water were good today, things can change very quickly and with inflatables like these, even the slightest wind can take them out to sea. That is why inflatables are not suitable for Irish waters.

“It’s also really important that anyone going out on the water wears a lifejacket that is suitable for the activity they are doing and that it is in good working order and fits well.

“With the good weather forecast for the coming week, we expect a lot of people will be spending time on or near the water. If you do get into trouble, remember to Float to Live: Lean back, using your arms and legs to stay afloat. Control your breathing, then call for help or swim to safety. In a coastal emergency call 999 or 112 for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Portaferry RNLI in Northern Ireland was requested to launch by Belfast Coastguard to reports of a fishing boat aground at St John’s Point early on Friday morning (5 August).

The volunteer crew’s pagers sounded at 6.24am and they made their way to St John’s point at Ardglass, where they arrived just before 7am and were joined by Newcastle RNLI with their all-weather and inshore lifeboats.

They found the 16m fishing boat, with a crew of four, was aground on a rocky coastline off St John’s Point.

Portaferry’s inshore lifeboat crew checked the fishing boat for damage before taking the four male adults onboard the lifeboat and bringing them to safety at Ardglass Marina.

Once on land, the casualties were transferred into the care of Newcastle Coastguard Rescue Team.

Commenting on the callout, Portaferry RNLI helm Chris Adair said: “This was an early morning callout for our crew and thankfully it had a successful outcome.

“We also wish to express our thanks to our colleagues in Newcastle RNLI who launched both their lifeboats and travelled to the scene. We were grateful to have them there.

“With conditions fair, the four casualties were brought to safety quickly and we wish them well.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Red Bay RNLI has rescued three people this afternoon (Wednesday 3 August) after their inflatable dinghies were swept out to sea off Cushendall on Northern Ireland’s East Antrim coast.

The volunteer crew were requested to launch both their all-weather and inshore lifeboats at 2.22pm by Belfast Coastguard after the group raised the alarm that their three inflatable dinghies had become swamped with water.

Weather conditions at the time were good with calm seas but there was a Force 4 offshore wind blowing.

The all-weather lifeboat launched under coxswain Paddy McLaughlin with four crew at 2.28pm along with the inshore lifeboat helmed by Gary Fyfe with three crew members onboard.

With the exact location unknown, the lifeboats started an immediate search of the area with the inshore lifeboat crew locating the three casualties on the swamped inflatables two miles east of Cushendall.

The three inflatable dinghies recovered by Red Bay lifeboat volunteers | Credit: RNLI/Red BayThe three inflatable dinghies recovered by Red Bay lifeboat volunteers | Credit: RNLI/Red Bay

The casualties were wet, cold and shaken from their experience. The crew worked to safely transfer them onto the all-weather lifeboat where they were then brought ashore.

Speaking following the callout, Fyfe said: “Time was of the essence this afternoon and thankfully the group had a means of communication to raise the alarm when they knew they were in difficulty. This meant we could get locate and rescue them quickly before they were in any greater danger.

“We know inflatables can be fun, but we would encourage people to remember that they are designed for pools and not the beach where they can be easily swept out to sea particularly in offshore winds like today.

“If you do bring an inflatable to the beach, make sure you choose a lifeguard beach and use it close to the shore and between the red and yellow flags. Make sure children are supervised and never use an inflatable in big waves or when the orange windsock is flying.

“If you do get into trouble or see someone else in difficulty, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Today’s incident off Cushendall happened just 24 hours after a teenager was rescued from an inflatable unicorn blown out to sea at Strangford Lough, as reported earlier on Afloat.ie.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Portaferry RNLI in Northern Ireland rescued a teenager after he drifted more than half a mile out to sea on an inflatable unicorn on Tuesday afternoon (2 August).

The volunteer crew launched the inshore lifeboat promptly at 3.45pm and made their way to Kilard Point in Strangford Lough where concerned members of the public had raised the alarm with Belfast Coastguard, the RNLI says.

The lifeboat crew located the casualty at Angus Rock within Strangford Lough and they immediately set about bringing the teenager onboard the lifeboat to checking him over for any injuries. The casualty was found to be safe and well.

The crew then proceeded back to Kilcief beach and transferred the casualty into the care of his family and the coastguard.

Commenting on the callout, Portaferry RNLI helm Ian Sands said: “We were glad to rescue the casualty this afternoon and bring him to safety. The casualty did the right thing by staying with the inflatable until help arrived.

“It is important to note that while inflatables can be fun, they are not designed for the beach where they can be easily be blown offshore.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Aran Islands RNLI’s volunteer crew responded to two medical emergencies on a busy Bank Holiday Monday (1 August).

The first call came at 3.42am when the crew on Inis Mór were requested to launch by the Irish Coast Guard to go the aid of a man on the neighbouring island of Inis Meáin who was in need of further medical attention.

Under coxswain John O’Donnell, the all-weather lifeboat launched and headed straight for Inis Meáin where the patient was safely transferred aboard the lifeboat and brought to the mainland at Ros an Mhíl. Conditions at the time of launching were good with calm seas and good visibility.

The next call was at 10.39pm on Monday night when a patient on Inis Mór was in need of further medical attention.

With the patient transferred safely aboard the lifeboat at the pontoon at Kilronan Harbour, the lifeboat launched under O’Donnell and a full crew for the mainland and transfer to a waiting ambulance.

Conditions at sea this time were challenging, with poor visibility and a Force 5 southwesterly wind blowing.

Speaking after the callout, O’Donnell said: “It has been a busy weekend for our volunteers and they didn’t hesitate to respond to their pagers. We would like to wish both patients a speedy recovery.”

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