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Displaying items by tag: Lifeboats

Following a busy lead-in to the weekend with three callouts in 24 hours, the volunteers at Skerries RNLI in north Co Dublin were kept on their toes by four calls between Saturday and Sunday.

Shortly before 1pm on Saturday afternoon (13 August), Dublin Coast Guard tasked Skerries RNLI following a 999 call from the public reporting that a child had been cut off by the tide and was stranded on the rocks near Balbriggan Harbour.

As they were arriving on scene, the crew received an update that some swimmers had assisted the person safely to the shore. The lifeboat was stood down and returned to the station in Skerries to be washed down and made ready for service.

Pagers sounded again for the volunteers shortly after 5pm on Saturday following reports of a missing person. However, they were located almost immediately and the volunteers were stood down before the lifeboat was launched.

Shortly before 3pm on Sunday afternoon (14 August) the volunteers launched the lifeboat having been tasked by Dublin Coast Guard to respond to reports of a kayaker missing off Balbriggan.

As they were approaching Balbriggan Harbour, the lifeboat received an update from the coastguard that the person had been located safe and well. Both Skerries RNLI and Clogherhead RNLI, who were also responding as they were on the water when the alarm was raised, were stood down.

The lifeboat had just been recovered to the apron at the boathouse when the volunteers were requested to launch again immediately, following a distress call from a RIB that had suffered engine failure near Lambay Island.

As they were navigating toward Lambay, the crew received an update that another vessel, a tender to a local yacht, was standing by the boat until the lifeboat arrived, and had provided updated GPS coordinates of their position.

The lifeboat navigated to the position given and was on scene in minutes. There were five adults on board the casualty vessel and after a quick check that everyone was safe and well, the vessel was taken under tow.

While the tow was under way, another local yacht, this time with a member of Howth RNLI on board, contacted the lifeboat and offered to take over the tow as they were headed for Howth, the home port of the stricken vessel.

The lifeboat was carefully positioned alongside the yacht and the tow was passed over. The volunteer crew then headed for home to make the lifeboat ready for the next service.

Speaking about the callouts, volunteer lifeboat press officer for Skerries RNLI, Gerry Canning said: “We’ve had an incredibly busy couple of weeks now, responding to calls at all hours of the day. It really highlights the dedication and commitment of all the volunteers at the station.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Kilmore Quay RNLI were called in the early hours of Saturday (13 August) to assist a lone sailor whose yacht had run aground just outside Kilmore Quay harbour, having also launched the previous afternoon to assist two people whose yacht experienced engine failure.

The volunteer crew were requested to launch their all-weather Tamar class lifeboat Killarney by the Irish Coast Guard at 2:34am on Saturday morning in response to a ‘Pan Pan’ call received from a solo sailor whose 10m yacht had run aground in low water just outside Kilmore Quay harbour.

Under coxswain Eugene Kehoe with four crew members on board, the lifeboat immediately launched and made its way to the scene. Conditions at the time were calm and clear.

As the water was too shallow for the Killarney to come alongside, the lifeboat’s inflatable Y-boat was launched to make the final approach to the yacht and check that the crew member on board was safe and well.

With the tide rising, the decision was taken to wait on the tide to refloat the boat. At 3:13am the yacht was refloated and made its way back to Kilmore Quay harbour escorted by the lifeboat, arriving at 3:35am.

On Friday afternoon (August 12), the crew were requested to launch by the coastguard to assist two people aboard a yacht with engine failure.

The lifeboat immediately launched and made its way to the yacht which was anchored on the northeast side of the Great Saltee.

Arriving on scene 11 minutes later, the crew assessed the situation and decided to establish a towline.

Having retrieved the yacht’s anchor and with a towline secured, the lifeboat was soon underway back to Kilmore Quay, arriving back at the harbour 2:48pm.

The Kilmore Quay RNLI lifeboat crew involved in both callouts were coxswain Eugene Kehoe, mechanic Philp Walsh, Aidan Bates, Michelle Hinchy, Dean Roche, Nigel Kehoe, Mark Power and Shane Devereux.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Carrybridge RNLI’s inshore lifeboat Douglas Euan & Kay Richards was launched at the request of Belfast Coastguard shortly after 6.33pm on Friday evening (12 August) to a vessel which had got into difficulties in shallow water close to Naan Island.

It proved to be the start of a busy evening for the Lough Erne lifeboat volunteers in Northern Ireland who assisted 11 people in total across four boats.

Once on scene, the volunteer crew located two vessels in close proximity, both of which had got into difficulties in shallow water.

The first vessel, with one person onboard, was assessed and the decision made with the owner’s permission to safely tow it into deeper water.

With the first vessel in safe water, attention turned to the second boat, with five people and a dog on board, which was further aground.

The crew transferred four people from this vessel to the first vessel as they were travelling together. A safe route was established for the lifeboat crew to tow the casualty into deeper water with the owner’s permission. Both vessels then proceeded on their onward journey.

Meanwhile, a third vessel was spotted by the lifeboat crew entering the same very shallow area of water. The lifeboat approached this vessel, which had two people onboard, and then after speaking with the owner was safely escorted back to deeper water where they were able to continue their journey.

As the lifeboat crew were making their way back to the station, they observed a fourth vessel with four people onboard which had encountered engine difficulties after getting caught in weeds around one mile North West of Knockninny. The lifeboat crew, with the owner’s permission, set up a tow and brought the vessel back to its private berth.

Speaking later, Stephen Scott, lifeboat operations manager at Carrybridge RNLI said: “Now we are in the summer season we would urge all boat owners to make sure you have the relevant charts required before starting your journey, lifejackets for all on board and a means of calling for assistance if you find yourself in trouble.

“If you see someone in trouble on the water or are in difficulties yourself the number to dial is: 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Youghal RNLI in East Cork were called on Friday evening (12 August) to assist two people on a pleasure craft that had suffered engine failure on the River Blackwater.

The Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat launched at 7.17pm and arrived on scene at the casualty boat, a 13ft Rigiflex boat some half a mile north of Youghal Bridge at Ballynatray, around 10 minutes later.

There were two people onboard wearing lifejackets. Both were in good spirits and did not require medical assistance. Weather conditions were described as ideal and a filling tide.

After the lifeboat crew conducted a situation assessment, the casualty vessel was safely towed back to the ferry point in Youghal Harbour from where the boat was launched.

All were safe ashore and the lifeboat returned to the station where it was washed down, refuelled and readied for service.

Deputy launching authority Mark Nolan said: “Always wear a lifejacket and carry a means of communion like the casualties in this rescue. If you find yourself in difficulty, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Skerries RNLI responded to their third emergency in 24 hours on Friday evening (12 August) when they were tasked by Dublin Coast Guard to stand by a small boat on Donabate Strand as it refloated after running aground earlier in the day.

Shortly after 8pm, the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson was launched by the volunteers and a course was set to navigate through the islands and south towards Donabate.

As the lifeboat was en route, the crew received an update from the coastguard that the vessel had begun to float. There was one man on board, and he had managed to start his engine and was proceeding towards Malahide.

The lifeboat was requested to escort him to Malahide. However, as they were nearing the scene, they received a further update that the vessel was taking on water.

Oon scene, the lifeboat crew found that the boat was now fully submerged in shallow water, with the man standing on the deck waving his torch to try and attract their attention.

The helm manoeuvred the lifeboat as close as possible and a crew member made their way on to the boat to assess the man’s condition.

While he did not require medical assistance, it was decided that it would be unsafe to attempt to tow the boat, or to transfer him to the lifeboat in the dark, and that the safest course of action would be to walk him back to the beach.

The volunteer crew escorted him safely to the shore where he was greeted and further assisted by Skerries Coast Guard Unit.

Earlier in the day, shortly after 11am, Skerries RNLI were tasked to assist when a person had become trapped on the cliff face at Loughshinny.

The lifeboat was on scene in a matter of minutes and stood by in case the man slipped and entered the water at the base of the cliffs.

Howth Coast Guard Unit, with the assistance of Skerries Coast Guard Unit, successfully carried out a cliff rescue and brought the man to safety at the top of the cliffs. The lifeboat was stood down and returned to base.

On Thursday evening, as the volunteer crew were conducting their scheduled training, they received a VHF radio call from Dublin Coast Guard asking them to investigate reports of people in the water trying to make their way back from Shenick Island.

The lifeboat proceeded towards the island immediately, and as they rounded the headland at Red Island they spotted the group wading towards the shore in chest-deep waters.

They were confident that they could make their own way ashore and declined to be taken into lifeboat. The lifeboat stood by until they reached the safety of the beach before returning to the training session.

Speaking about the callout, volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: “As the warm weather continues we are seeing a huge increase in the number of people enjoying themselves on the water. Unfortunately we are also seeing an increase in the number of launches for our volunteers.

“We would just like to remind everyone to be conscious of their safety. Check the local tides and weather, wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid if you are going afloat, and always carry a means of calling for help. 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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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
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