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Displaying items by tag: Lifeboats

Larne RNLI was requested to launch by Belfast Coastguard on Saturday (12 June) to reports of a kayaker in the water north-east of Skernaghan Point, close to Portmuck in Islandmagee on Northern Ireland’s East Antrim coast.

Launching the inshore lifeboat Terry at 3.26pm, the volunteer crew made their way towards the location of the casualty.

As they were approaching the area, it was reported that the casualty had been recovered from the water by a local fishing boat.

Upon reaching the fishing boat, the volunteer crew recovered the casualty from the boat into the lifeboat and began to administer first aid. They also recovered the kayak to be towed into the safety of Portmuck Harbour.

Upon reaching the harbour, the casualty was handed over to the care of Portmuck Coastguard team and the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service.

Larne RNLI helm Barry Kirkpatrick said following the callout: “We would like to wish the casualty a speedy recovery and commend the crew of the fishing vessel who were on scene first.

“The casualty was wearing a lifejacket and all of his equipment was in good working order order. Sometimes even with the correct preparation, the sea can still be very unpredictable. We would recommend anyone going to sea always carries a means of calling for help should they get into any trouble.”

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Four Clifden RNLI crew members who went to the aid of a sailor stranded on the rocks of Inishark have received letters of commendation for their role in the complex rescue operation.

On 20 September 2019, in severe weather conditions, Clifden RNLI’s all-weather Shannon class and inshore Atlantic 85 lifeboats were launched at the request of the Irish Coast Guard.

A sailor had come into difficulty after his yacht suffered engine failure at Inishark island. The volunteer crew were on the scene within 30 minutes and located the casualty who had made his way onto the rocks.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, he operation was hampered by a south-east Force 7/8 onshore wind but helm Alan Pryce, using experience and training, was able to safely put a crew member ashore to assess the casualty.

The casualty did not have life-threatening injuries but given the severity of the weather, the safest option was to request the assistance of the coastguard’s Sligo-based helicopter Rescue 118 which winched the sailor to safety.

Clifden RNLI volunteers Alvin Bell, his father Andy Bell, Ian Shanahan and Alan Pryce crewed Clifden’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat during this challenging rescue operation and they recently received letters of commendation from John Payne, the RNLI director of lifesaving operations, for their service.

John Brittain, Clifden RNLI lifeboat operations manager, congratulated the crew: “Alvin, Andy, Ian and Alan have shown continued commitment to Clifden RNLI and I am delighted that their selfless courage and dedication has been recognised with a letter of commendation.

“This particular rescue highlights the level of training, skills and seamanship of our volunteer members and we are very grateful for the role they play in saving lives at sea.”

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Enniskillen RNLI launched to the aid of four people on a speedboat adrift in shallow water in the vicinity of Castle Archdale yesterday (Sunday 13 June).

Following a request from Belfast Coastguard, the volunteer crew launched the station’s inshore lifeboat John and Jean Lewis at 7.35pm to go to the aid of the 16ft speed boat, which had engine difficulties and was adrift in the Castle Archdale area of Lower Lough Erne.

Weather conditions at the time were choppy with a south-westerly wind.

The crew quickly found the drifting boat on the western side of Crevinishaghy Island.

All four adults onboard were found to be safe and well and wearing the correct safety equipment.

The volunteer crew then established a tow between the lifeboat and the vessel and all casualties were brought to Castle Archdale marina safely.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Lough Derg RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was requested by Valentia Coast Guard to launch to assist four people on a 35ft cruiser with fuel problems yesterday evening, Friday 11 June.

The vessel was reported to be near Navigation Mark F, north of the Goat Road on the Tipperary shore.

At 5.05pm the lifeboat Jean Spier launched with helm Owen Cavanagh and crew Eleanor Hooker, Joe O’Donoghue and Chris Parker on board. Conditions had a westerly Force 3/4 wind, with good visibility.

Fifteen minutes later, the lifeboat located the vessel just off the navigation channel above the Goat Road, where the passengers had dropped anchor to prevent drifting into the shallows and onto rocks.

All on board were found to be safe and unharmed, and wearing their lifejackets.

An RNLI volunteer transferred across the casualty vessel and once it was established that there was no damage to the vessel, but that it would require assistance to safe harbour, an alongside tow was set up.

The nearest safe harbour was the public moorings at Kilgarvan Quay, where the casualty vessel was safety tied at 5.50pm.

Jeremy Freeman, deputy launching authority at Lough Derg RNLI, advises boat users this busy summer season to “ensure you have sufficient, fresh fuel for your journey and a means of communication”.

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Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council (DLRCoCo) has signed up to become an RNLI Local Ambassador, committing itself to sharing vital water safety messages with the public throughout the council area this summer.

The RNLI — which has three lifeboat stations in Dublin city and county at Dun Laoghaire, Howth and Skerries — has already had a busy year to date and is anticipating a busy summer on the coast.

Last year alone, volunteer crews at Dublin’s lifeboat stations launched 145 times and brought 163 people to safety.

As a local ambassador, the council says it will proactively help promote key water safety messages on behalf of the charity that saves lives at sea.

This will include sharing locally tailored and activity specific water safety messages on our social media channels every week throughout the summer months.

As the summer approaches, DLRCoCO is encouraging people to come and visit its beaches but is also reminding everybody of the dangers the water can pose.

An Cathaoirleach, Cllr Una Power said: “The council is pleased to become a RNLI Local Ambassador. This is a great way for us to help the RNLI get important water safety information across to the wider public in our council area.

“It is our hope that work such as this will help to reduce water-based incidents and drownings. People visit the coast and our beaches to enjoy a range of activities by the sea and we want to help ensure they do so safely.”

Darina Loakman, Dun Laoghaire RNLI water safety adviser, added: “We would like to thank the council and the many other local businesses in Dublin who have pledged to share advice that will help keep people safe around the coast.

“Last year during some weekends over the summer, there were multiple lifeboat launches for our volunteer crew here at Dun Laoghaire RNLI. The increased popularity of a range of water sports has seen more people in the water and we have also seen a rise in people getting cut off by the tide and becoming stranded.

“Over half the people that get into trouble in the water didn’t expect to get wet so having organisations such as the council working to deliver safety advice in this way is wonderful.”

Meanwhile, the council has increased the number of beach lifeguards on duty this year.

Seapoint, Sandycove and Killiney have a lifeguarding service during the bathing season from 1 June to 15 September. Lifeguards are on duty from 12-6pm Monday to Friday and from 11am to 6pm Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Aran Islands RNLI’s volunteer crew on Inis Mór were asked to launch their all-weather Severn class lifeboat just before noon yesterday (Tuesday 8 June) by the Irish Coast Guard for a medevac.

A woman on the neighbouring island of Inis Oírr was in need of medical attention, and due to fog she was unable to leave by a scheduled flight.

The lifeboat launched under coxswain John O'Donnell and a full crew amid good weather conditions with calm seas, a light southerly wind and fair visibility.

Once at the pier in Inis Oírr, the patient was transferred safely aboard the lifeboat under the supervision of the volunteer crew, following COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. The lifeboat then headed straight for Rossaveal Harbour and the waiting ambulance.

Speaking after the callout, O’Donnell said: “The crew responded without delay and we got the patient on her way to the care she needed as quickly as possible. We would like to wish the patient all the best.

“As we head into the summer months, please heed all safety advice for leisure activities on the water. Never swim alone, always let someone know when you are due back ashore if going to sea. Always bring a mobile phone to contact someone and always wear a lifejacket.”

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Bundoran RNLI in Co Donegal were requested to launch on Tuesday evening (8 June) to reports of two paddle boarders being blown out to sea off Mermaid’s Cove in north Co Sligo.

The emergency call was made just after 6pm to Malin Head Coast Guard who immediately paged the Bundoran lifeboat volunteers. Within minutes the inshore lifeboat William Henry Liddington set off with four crew on board.

The Sligo-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 118 was also tasked to the scene, where the lifeboat crew assisted the two paddle boarders back to shore and assessed their wellbeing.

Lifeboat helm Brian Gillespie said later: “We were glad to be able to bring the paddle boarders back to safety and the person on the shore called 999 when they did.

“We would always remind people that if they see anyone in trouble on the coast to call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard, and for paddle boarders to be mindful of offshore winds which can catch people out very easily.”

Elsewhere in Donegal, Arranmore RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat was called on Sunday afternoon (6 June) to assist a RIB which got into difficulty on rocks off Kincasslagh.

Arranmore RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat | Credit: RNLI/ArranmoreArranmore RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat | Credit: RNLI/Arranmore

When the lifeboat arrived on scene, the Bunbeg Coast Guard boat had secured the casualty boat and brought it to safety.

Arranmore volunteer’s busy weekend also saw a callout on Saturday (5 June) for a medevac from the island. The patient was transferred to a waiting ambulance at Burtonport.

Frankie Bonner, second coxswain, said: “We are a 24-hour on-call service and prepared at a minute’s notice to answer any call for assistance.

“Our callouts are many and varied, from providing medical assistance in transferring patients from the island to assisting boats and people in trouble within a 50-mile radius of our base in Arranmore.”

Frankie is the son of Francis Bonner, who served as coxswain on the lifeboat for many years along with his three sons Frankie, Seamus and Michael, who are part of the volunteer crew at Arranmore RNLI.

There is still a strong family tradition of voluntary service at Arranmore RNLI since the first lifeboat came to the island in 1883.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Larne RNLI’s inshore lifeboat Terry was launched yesterday (Monday 7 June) at the request of Belfast Coastguard to assist two people in a 17ft fishing boat with suspected engine issues.

Launching the lifeboat into a strong sea breeze, the volunteer crew made their way towards the casualty vessel which had dropped their anchor at Browns Bay, near Islandmagee on Northern Ireland’s East Antrim coast, as the people onboard were concerned that they could drift into a shipping channel.

Upon reaching the casualty vessel, a volunteer crew member was put on board to ensure that the two people were safe and well and a tow was set up to bring the boat into the shelter of Ballylumford Harbour.

Once their vessel was secured, the casualties were handed over to the care of the Portmuck Coastguard team.

Philip Ford-Hutchinson, Larne RNLI deputy launching authority, said: “The sea conditions today were very deceptive. It was a lovely sunny day, but the wind had really picked up.

“Thankfully the casualties were well prepared and able to put down an anchor in time to stop them from being at the mercy of the wind and tide. Both of the people onboard were wearing lifejackets and knew to call the coastguard on 999 (or 112) when they were in trouble.”

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Lough Ree RNLI’s inshore lifeboat launched came to the assistance of two cruisers on the lake over the bank holiday weekend, taking seven people to safety.

Just after lunchtime on Saturday (5 June), the volunteer crew responded to a call from a cruiser with five people on board which was grounded on Kids Island near Lough Ree Yacht Club.

On reaching the scene, a line was attached to the grounded cruiser and it was taken on tow off the rocks and escorted to Coosan Point.

In the second incident, on Sunday evening (6 June), a member of the public raised the alarm when a cruiser was seen to be in difficulties in Portrunny Bay.

Under helm Tom Bradbury and with a volunteer crew on board, the Lough Ree lifeboat Tara Scougall reached the scene at 6.35pm. Following assessment, the boat was towed off the rocks and escorted to Portrunny on the Roscommon shore.

The two callouts bring to 11 the total of people the lifesaving charity has assisted on Lough Ree this June.

And as the summer season gains momentum, volunteer lifeboat operations manager Jude Kilmartin has reminded all of those who use the lake to “equip themselves fully and ensure that they are familiar with navigation maps and guidance for Lough Ree”.

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A busy weekend for Kinsale RNLI continued on bank holiday Monday (7 June) when the inshore lifeboat launched twice to assist boats in difficulty.

Miss Sally Anne Baggy II - Never Fear, Baggy’s Here launched at 2.45pm to assist the 20ft sailing boat with two people on board, which was taking on water and in danger of sinking off the Old Head of Kinsale.

After assessing the situation, the lifeboat crew transferred one of their number onto the bow of the stricken vessel to raise the hull and slow the ingress of water.

This stabilised the boat, which was taken under tow and brought safely to Kinsale’s main pier.

Lifeboat helm Jonathan Connor said: “The two people on board played it by the book and were able to give the coastguard the necessary information to enable us to quickly find them.

“One had radio training and both were wearing lifejackets, which are essential if you are going on the water.”

A few hours later, the volunteers answered their fourth emergency callout of the bank holiday weekend when the lifeboat was tasked to assist a yacht that had lost its mast.

The inshore lifeboat was on the way at 6pm to assist the 26ft vessel with two people on board just south of the harbour mouth.

After ascertaining that the passengers were uninjured, two lifeboat crew members boarded the yacht and secured the mast before it was safely towed back to Kinsale Harbour.

Kinsale RNLI’s Connor, who was helm on all four callouts over the weekend, added: “We expected the sunny weather and easing of restrictions to bring more people to the Kinsale area, but we were quite surprised to be called out four times in such a short period.”

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