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Displaying items by tag: Lifeboats

Bundoran RNLI’s lifeboat was called to an incident at Rossnowlagh Beach yesterday morning (Sunday 17 May) after a man reportedly collapsed near the water.

Shore crew were also dispatched by road to offer assistance to the ambulance crew on the beach.

They cleared a landing site for the Sligo-based coastguard helicopter Rescue 118, which airlifted the casualty to Sligo University Hospital.

Lifeboat helm Brian Gillespie said later: “This was a great example of inter-agency co-operation between the RNLI, Irish Coast Guard and National Ambulance Service.

“We would like to thank the passer-by who initially raised the alarm and we wish the gentleman a speedy recovery.”

The RNLI remind the public that if you see anyone in trouble on the coast, ring 999 or 112 immediately and ask for the coastguard.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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An overdue vessel sparked a major search off Skye in western Scotland last night (Saturday 9 May) involving two RNLI stations, multiple coastguard teams and an SAR helicopter.

The operation began at 8.40pm after a four-metre RIB, reportedly with two people and a dog on board, had failed to return to Strollamus on Skye as expected.

Kyle RNLI’s lifeboat Spirit of Fred Olsen launched within minutes after a report from a concerned member of the public.

The crew began a search of the coastline and small islands from Kyleakin heading north, while volunteers with Portree RNLI did the same heading south.

With light fading fast at 10pm and still no sign of the missing RIB, the Stornoway-based HM Coastguard helicopter was tasted to the scene.

Meanwhile, one of the Kyle lifeboat crew spotted a small light on the normally uninhabited island of Scalpay, which on investigation belonged the two people from the missing RIB.

They explained that they had gone ashore after suffering engine problems with their vessel, and were uninjured by their ordeal. The crew took them back to the Skye mainland at Broadford.

Speaking of the incident, a Kyle RNLI spokesperson said: “The couple had gone out searching for whelks when they had issues with their engine, so went ashore on Scalpay.

“The initial report had said they had a dog with them, however we discovered they had decided to leave it at home on this occasion.

“This search shows that during these unprecedented times of lockdown with bans on non-essential travel, the RNLI is still on call 24 hours a day.”

Published in Scottish Waters
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Skerries RNLI launched in the early hours of yesterday morning (Saturday 9 May) to a call for help from three people cut off by the tide near Balbriggan in north Co Dublin.

The Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson launched shortly before 1am to the location given by the two women and one man south of Balbriggan Harbour.

Upon the lifeboat’s arrival, the trio made their way onto a rocky outcrop to stay out of the water while the RNLI volunteers determined the safest approach, illuminating the area by flare.

All three were then assisted into the lifeboat, with no first aid required.

Speaking about the callout, press officer Gerry Canning said: “Our volunteer crew remain on call 24/7 throughout the coronavirus pandemic, and they showed again tonight that they are always ready to drop whatever they are doing and respond to any call for help.”

The RNLI and Irish Coast Guard recently renewed their call for people not to use the sea for exercise or recreation as Ireland moves towards the first phase of relaxing movement restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Donaghadee RNLI volunteers launched their all-weather lifeboat yesterday afternoon (Wednesday 6 May) after reports of three kayakers in difficulty off Cloughey in Co Down.

Following Covid-19 protocols, the volunteers of lifeboat Saxon made full speed to the location. However, en route they were informed that the kayakers had managed to reach shore themselves.

The lifeboat was then requested to retrieve the kayak, but as it was located in shallow water the lifeboat was stood down and returned to station.

Philip McNamara, Donaghadee RNLI coxswain, said later: “Whoever made the decision to call the coastguard did absolutely the correct thing.

“Situations can become precarious very quickly so the sooner we launch, the better for the casualty.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The volunteer lifeboat crew at Fethard RNLI were called out on Tuesday evening (28 April) to reports of a lone walker cut off by the incoming tide with no way of getting to safety.

During his walk the man had made his way from Bannow to the area known as Cocklestrand and continued along the sand, west of Bannow Island.

However, he did not notice that the tide was coming in and that the water was rapidly rising.

At this point, around 7pm, he could not make his way back to the shore as the channel had filled — but he was able to raise the alarm by with the Irish Coast Guard by mobile phone.

At 7.22pm the inshore lifeboat arrived on scene, where the crew were joined by the Waterford-based coastguard helicopter Rescue 117. However, the decision was made to bring the casualty aboard the lifeboat and the helicopter was stood down.

The walker was quickly assessed to gave no injuries and he was taken back to land at Cocklestrand. No further assistance was required.

Commenting on the callout, Fethard RNLI helm Eoin Bird said, “Thankfully conditions on scene were good with a calm sea state and a light southerly wind with excellent visibility.

“People are keen to exercise outside within Government guidelines and we are lucky enough to live in a beautiful area with access to the coast.

“However, we would advise people to keep an eye on their surroundings, in particular incoming tides and also to watch their footing on the shoreline.

“Fethard RNLI remain on call and fully operational during the Covid-19 pandemic. There is no crew training or exercises taking place at the moment but we are here if people need us.”

The RNLI and Irish Coast Guard this week renewed their call for people not to use the sea for exercise or recreation while the current restrictions are in place, as we head into the May Bank Holiday weekend.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The past weekend’s good weather tempted a group of jet-skiers who subsequently ran into difficulty in Clew Bay, as The Irish Times reports.

Achill Island RNLI launched its lifeboat on Saturday evening (25 April) to reports of three men on personal water craft needing assistance between Newport in Rosmoney — waters considered treacherous for even the most experienced of mariners.

All three were towed to Rosmoney with a locally owned RIB in an operation that also involed the Irish Coast Guard and An Garda Síochána.

Gardai also mounted further patrols of Lough Derg, where earlier this month they had exercised their emergency powers to warn inland waterways users to stay at home as measures to control coronavirus remain in place.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways

Wicklow RNLI brought four fishermen to safety yesterday evening (Monday 27 April) after their vessel got into difficulties off the Wicklow coast.

The all-weather lifeboat Jock and Annie Slater put to sea shortly before 7pm under the command of coxswain Nick Keogh and a volunteer crew, following a launch request from the Irish Coast Guard.

The alarm was raised after the skipper of the fishing vessel made contact by VHF radio to report that a rope was fouled in the vessel’s propeller and they had lost all propulsion.

The lifeboat crew located the drifting fishing vessel 30 minutes after launch, nine miles north-east of Wicklow harbour. Conditions on scene were calm, with light wind and good visibility.

A towline was quickly established, and a course was set for Wicklow Harbour where the fishing vessel with its four crew was brought safely alongside the South Quay as darkness fell shortly before 9.30pm.

The lifeboat crew on the callout were coxswain Nick Keogh, mechanic Brendan Copeland, Tom MacAulay, Carol Flahive, Connie O’Gara and Matt Doyle.

Published in Fishing
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Aberdeen RNLI has urged surfers to stay ashore during the Covid-19 pandemic to “protect emergency services and save lives”.

The call came after the volunteer crew of the station in north-east Scotland were forced to break self-isolation and launch their inshore lifeboat yesterday (Tuesday 14 April) following reports of a surfer in difficulty at a local beach.

The crew of three mustered quickly and launched the D-class lifeboat Buoy Woody 85N shortly after 3.30pm and reached the scene around 15 minutes later.

The surfer had been reportedly having difficulty getting back on his board and swimming ashore.

However, by the time the lifeboat arrived, the surfer was on his board and in no immediate danger. After speaking with the lifeboat crew, the surfer made his own way ashore.

Bill Deans MBE, operations manager at Aberdeen lifeboat station, said he was disappointed his crew had to expose themselves to risk in this way.

“Like most people, our volunteer lifeboat crew members are self-isolating at home in line with [UK] Government guidelines – mostly doing their day jobs remotely.

“But they are always willing to set aside their own concerns to respond if the call comes that someone is in danger at sea.

“There is no way a lifeboat crew of three can maintain two-metre separation aboard a five-metre long lifeboat – and if they had required to pull someone from the water, the infection concerns are obvious to all.”

Deans added: “I have every sympathy with people who would like to use their daily exercise period to swim, sail, surf or whatever — but on behalf of every lifeboat crew member in the UK and Ireland, I have to appeal to them not to put our crews at indirect risk by going into or onto the sea.

“Stay safe ashore, protect the emergency services and save lives.”

Published in Scottish Waters

While the community was shining a light in support of frontline workers this past Easter weekend, Arklow RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew were making their way to the lifeboat station following reports of a distress flare being sighted off the coast.

Pagers were activated at 10.20pm on Saturday night (11 April) and within a few minutes Arklow RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat Ger Tigchlearr was launched and under way.

Initial reports suggested the sighting was south of Arklow. With a number of fishing vessels working in the area, the lifeboat crew checked with them; none were in distress but they reported a sighting further north.

The Arklow lifeboat proceeded on a track north with full beam searchlights and all hands searching the darkness. With nothing yet located it was decided to deploy two white illumination flares to aid in location of any potential casualty vessel or persons.

Later in the search, the lifeboat crew were joined by Rescue 117, the Irish Coast Guard helicopter from Waterford, who had been on scene at an incident in Wexford Harbour immediately prior, as well as coastguard shore crews from Arklow and Courtown.

Following a lengthy search by all involved and with nothing located, the operation was stood down and all hands returned safely.

Following the search, Mark Corcoran, Arklow RNLI press officer and community safety officer, said: “As always our volunteers responded quickly to the reported flare sighting. I’d like to pay tribute to all who responded and were involved in this search.

“Despite the current restrictions, all of our volunteers are continuing to put themselves on the frontline.

“This sighting may have been a Chinese lantern or indeed someone letting off a flare in good faith and while this would have been done with good intent, we would ask people to refrain from this to avoid further false alarms and the need for our volunteers to be put at risk.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Larne RNLI searched for a dog today (Thursday 9 April) when it was reported missing after falling over a cliff near Muck Island, close to Islandmagee in Co Antrim, Northern Ireland.

The volunteer lifeboat crew were requested to launch by Belfast Coastguard to search the area north of the Gobbins cliffs.

The inshore lifeboat, Terry, under helm Dave Sommerville and two other crew members, launched at 9.39am and made their way to the requested search area.

Weather conditions were favourable with a calm sea and good visibility.

The Portmuck mobile coastguard team were searching from the top of the cliffs but were unable to get a clear view of the rocks nearer the water.

A volunteer crew member was put onto these rocks, where it was safe to do so, in order to conduct a search of the area. In places it was not possible to put a crew member onto the rocks, so a shoreline search was conducted.

After searching roughly one mile north and south of the location, the decision was made to stand down by the coastguard as nothing had been sighted.

Speaking following the callout, Larne deputy launching authority Philip Ford-Hutchinson said: “The concern always for a callout of this nature is that owners will try and rescue their pets themselves and in turn get into difficulty and get hurt.

“With the current Covid-19 pandemic, we would urge people who live near the coast and wish to exercise there to be cautious and watch their footing.

“Our lifeboat remains on call and operational, but our lifeboat crew are not training with the current restrictions and the station remains closed to visitors.

“Therefore, we would advise people to stay away from the water and carry out the Government’s advice.”

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