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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

The RNLI has issued a plea for the public to take heed of important water safety advice as schools begin the mid-term break and the Government has introduced Level 5 restrictions to deal with Covid-19.

With the Government restriction on exercise to within 5 kilometres of home, the lifesaving charity is reminding the public that water temperatures can be very cold and to be aware of the dangers if they are within the limit and able to exercise near the coast or inland waters.

RNLI Water Safety Lead Kevin Rahill said: ‘With the mid-term break and the increased restrictions it is understandable that people may wish to try and get outdoors to enjoy the coast or our inland waters. However, the water can be cold and there are no lifeguards on the beaches.

‘We would ask those planning to use the water or exercise near the coast to continue to be aware of the dangers and to avoid taking risks. By being aware of some key safety advice we can keep safe.’

The RNLI’s key water safety messages are:

  • If you are heading to the water always check weather and tides or currents
  • Have a plan and let someone know where you are going and when you will be back
  • If swimming, check for rip currents and strong tides and always be accompanied
  • If you are walking along the coast be aware that rocks and paths may be slippery
  • If you are going on the water, wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid
  • Always carry a reliable means of raising the alarm
  • If you see someone in trouble dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard
Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Like most other charities, the volunteers of Kinsale RNLI have had their fundraising activities curtailed due to Covid-19 restrictions.

So it came as a welcome surprise to learn that local steam engine enthusiast Rory Nagle had launched a special mission to help replenish the lifeboat station coffers.

Accompanied by two young assistants, Frank Sullivan and Billy Twomey, Rory embarked on a tour of the town aboard Old Mac, Ireland’s oldest surviving steam engine, which was built by McLaren in Leeds and lovingly restored by Rory.

Despite the inclement weather over the weekend (Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 October), they raised donations of €440 from members of the public eager to have their photographs taken alongside the historic engine.

Rory said: “The RNLI have been on duty throughout lockdown and are there day and night when we need them. It’s a pleasure to be able to do something for people that really deserve support, especially at this difficult time. I believe that we all need to remember the people that look after us.”

Old Mac on the pier in Kinsale (Photo: RNLI/Nuala McAloon)Old Mac on the pier in Kinsale | Photo: RNLI/Nuala McAloon

Photographs of Rory’s expedition were widely shared on social media, with Niamh Henderson of the Kinsale Advertiser cheekily suggesting that some generous benefactor might round up the sum to €500.

Her appeal was immediately answered by John Farley, a Kinsale man who has been living in San Francisco for the past 30 years.

John said: “I always hit the lifeboat boxes when I’m home, but I didn’t make it back this year, so this makes up for it. The lifeboat lads rescued my sister, my niece Rachel and me off the Old Head about eight or nine years ago when our engine died. I also know Rory well and he’s a great guy, so this is a good opportunity to show my support.”

Kinsale RNLI’s press officer Tricia Tyson added: “This is not the first time Rory has raised funds for us. Last year he took part in the Celtic Steamers run from Baltimore to Kinsale, a spectacular cavalcade of vintage engines that raised over €5,000 for the RNLI, the charity that saves lives at sea.

“We also appreciate all the hard work of Billy and Frank who helped him both days, and the generosity of the public who filled the buckets. The RNLI relies on the support of the public, and that is one thing that is never lacking in Kinsale.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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RNLI lifeboat crews from Dunmore East, Kilmore Quay and Rosslare Harbour were requested to launch yesterday (Tuesday 20 October) after reports that a 4,000-tonne cargo vessel, the Lily B, had lost all power and was in danger of hitting rocks south of Hook Head in Wexford. The cargo vessel with a crew of nine onboard, was carrying coal when it lost power and came within a half a nautical mile of coming ashore on the Hook.

As Afloat reported yesterday, the call for help came in around 3pm when the Irish Coast Guard in Dublin requested lifeboats from Dunmore East, Kilmore Quay and Rosslare launch to the scene, just south of Hook Head in Wexford. The Coast Guard helicopter from Waterford, Rescue 117 was also tasked, monitoring from overhead and ready to assist with evacuation of the crew if needed.

The Lily B cargo vessel had no power - Battling strong waves over six metres high, the three lifeboat crews worked together to ensure the cargo vessel stayed away from the rocksThe Lily B cargo vessel had no power - Battling strong waves over six metres high, the three lifeboat crews worked together to ensure the cargo vessel stayed away from the rocks. See vid below.

In force eight conditions, Dunmore East and Kilmore Quay RNLI established tow lines onto the drifting vessel which was then very close to the rocks. The two lifeboats maintained the tow and kept the cargo ship away from shore while a tug was en route from Waterford. Rosslare RNLI stood by.

Battling strong waves over six metres high, the three lifeboat crews worked together to ensure the cargo vessel stayed away from the rocks until the tow was passed to the tug on its arrival at 5.40pm. Escorting the vessels until they reached the calmer waters of Waterford Harbour in the early hours of Wednesday (21 October) the lifeboat crews were eventually stood down and returned to station.

Speaking on the callout Rosslare RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager David Maloney said, ‘ If it wasn’t for the work of the three lifeboat crews out in force eight conditions I fear the vessel would have hit the rocks and there could have been a serious loss of life. The 4,000-tonne vessel came within a half a mile of the shore and Dunmore East and Kilmore Quay lifeboat crews had an incredibly difficult job in keeping it away from the rocks.

The powerless Lily B was caught in big waves and came within half a mile of the Wexford shoreThe powerless Lily B was caught in big waves and came within half a mile of the Wexford shore

‘The seas were huge, and it would not have been pleasant for anyone out there in those conditions. The lifeboat crews were out for over twelve hours in a callout that involved serious skill and concentration and I am tremendously proud of all three lifeboat crews involved. Thankfully we did not have a tragedy today.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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In a major mobilisation of rescue services off the south-east coast this evening, the Irish Coast Guard is coordinating assistance being provided to a cargo vessel that has lost power off the Waterford Harbour.

The Coast Guard said in a statement this evening, The ship, which is carrying a cargo of coal reported to MRCC Dublin earlier this afternoon that it had lost power.

RNLI Lifeboats from Dunmore East, Kilmore Quay and Rosslare, as well as the Waterford based Coast Guard Helicopter and Fethard Coast Guard unit, were immediately tasked. A Waterford based tug is expected on scene shortly after 6 pm.

Coal ship trackThe track of the 99-metre ship which was on its way to New Ross from Germany when it lost power off the Waterford coast.

The Coast Guard has described the situation as stable and the vessel with Lifeboat assistance is drifting in an Easterly direction pending arrival of the Tug.

More news on this as it becomes available

Published in Ports & Shipping
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Aran Islands RNLI’s volunteers were called twice in succession to aid two people in need of medical attention in the Galway Bay islands yesterday morning, Monday 19 October.

The lifeboat crew were tasked to launch their all-weather vessel David Kirkaldy from Kilronan on Inis Mór at 11.31am, to assist an elderly man on the neighbouring island of Inis Meáin.

A second call came in quick succession when a woman on Inis Mór also required medical evacuation.

This second patient was attended to first and safely secured on board before the lifeboat launched for Inis Meáin under coxswain John O’Donnell and a full crew.

Weather conditions at the time of launching were moderate with poor visibility, but with calm seas and a south-east wind blowing Force 4–5.

Once alongside the pier at Inis Meáin, the male patient was transferred safely aboard and under the supervision of the volunteer crew, observing all coronavirus safety guidelines.

The lifeboat then headed straight for Rossaveal Harbour on the mainland and an awaiting ambulance.

Speaking later, O’Donnell said: “A double callout to start the week — the volunteer crew members train regularly to make the minutes count and get to the incident and patient as fast as possible.

“We would like to wish both patients a speedy recovery.

“Never hesitate to call 999 or 112 if you see someone in trouble and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Baltimore RNLI was called out to provide a medical evacuation late last night (Sunday 18 October) from Sherkin Island off the coast of Baltimore, West Cork. 

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 11.39 pm, following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to provide medical assistance and evacuation to a female who had sustained an injury to her arm. 

The Baltimore all-weather lifeboat crew along with two HSE paramedics arrived at Sherkin Island pier at 11.47 pm.  The voluntary lifeboat crew brought the casualty onboard the lifeboat.  After an initial assessment was carried out by the HSE paramedics, a lifeboat crew member assisted in the administration of casualty care and the casualty was able to return home.  The lifeboat then departed Sherkin at 00.07 am and arrived to the station in Baltimore at 00.18 am. 

There were five volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat, Coxswain Kieran Cotter, Mechanic Micheal Cottrell and crew members Ronnie Carthy, Sean McCarthy and David Ryan, along with two paramedics from the HSE.  Conditions in the harbour during the call out were calm with a south-easterly force 5 wind, which created heavy runs at Sherkin pier.

Published in Island News

The RNLI recorded one of their more unusual launches yesterday evening (Saturday 17 October) after a World War II-era seaplane made a distress call from Loch Ness.

It emerged that the aircraft, the PBY Catalina, had experienced engine issues while attempting to take off from the loch in the Scottish Highlands.

With the plane sitting exposed in the middle of the water, not far from Loch Ness RNLI’s lifeboat station, it was decided the safest way to assist would be to establish a tow with the inshore lifeboat RIB to the shelter of Urquhart Bay close by.

Typing up at a harbour or pontoon was ruled out, however, due to the flying boat’s massive 32-metre wingspan — so a mooring buoy was decided as the best option.

Lifeboat crew member David Ferguson later spoke of the challenges involved in towing a craft as big and unusual as this.

“Towing the Catalina would prove to be no easy feat,” he said. “Fixing points are few and far between on such an aircraft, and the best option was underneath the tail, which barely cleared the bow of the lifeboat.

“Nevertheless, with some care, we managed to establish a towline.”

Elsewhere in Scotland this weekend, Oban RNLI in Western Scotland launched on Friday evening (16 October) after a small boat was reported drifting through the Falls of Lora.

With a flooding tide and strong currents from the falls, it was believed the boat had been carried into Loch Etive, which is where Oban’s all-weather lifeboat Mora Edith MacDonald headed to conduct the search.

The lifeboat searched the area the boat was seen drifting towards, but with nothing found they continued further into the loch where they spotted the boat adrift to the west of Ardchattan church.

The unoccupied boat was then taken under tow to a nearby nearby pier where it was recovered by Oban’s HM Coastguard team.

Published in Scottish Waters
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Skerries RNLI recently launched to the rescue of a yacht with one person aboard that was adrift in the Skerries Islands.

The incident occurred on Thursday morning 15 October, when the yacht made a VHF distress call that was relayed to the local lifeboat by the Irish Coast Guard in Dublin.

Lifeboat volunteers launched the Atlantic 85 inshore vessel Louis Simson shortly before 10am and headed to the reported location, some two miles east of the islands.

As they rounded the headland at Red Island, however, they spotted an eight-metre yacht between Colt Island and Shenick Island that did not seem to be making way.

The crew checked on this yacht in case the initial information given to the coastguard had not been accurate, and it was quickly determined to be the same vessel.

It emerged that the yacht’s engine had suffered a “sudden and complete” loss of oil pressure, so a tow was established and the vessel was bright to the safety of Rogerstown harbour — where it has already been schedueld for lift-out for the winter months.

Speaking after the callout, Skerries RNLI press officer Gerry Canning said: “Things can go wrong at sea no matter how prepared you are. Always carry a means of contacting the shore to raise the alarm, like this gentleman did.

“Our volunteers are always ready to respond to that call.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The team at Fenit RNLI in County Kerry is calling for new volunteers to help them to save lives at sea.

The charity is looking for volunteers to take up the Deputy Launching Authority role at the station. This role will authorise the launch of the station’s all-weather and inshore lifeboats, provide leadership in the absence of the Lifeboat Operations Manager and oversee that all operational activities are carried out to ensure the lifeboats and all associated equipment are maintained in readiness for launching on service.

Fenit RNLI is seeking team players with leadership skills and local maritime knowledge. The role is best suited to those who live within good proximity of the lifeboat station.

The call-out follows Fenit's welcome of the first female appointment of a Lifeboat Coxswain in Ireland in September. 

Fenit RNLI which re-opened in 1994, after a gap of 25 years, and today operates both an all-weather Trent class lifeboat and an inshore D class lifeboat, launched its lifeboats 27 times last year bringing 28 people to safety.

Ger O’Donnell, Fenit RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager is now calling on new volunteers to find out more: ‘Volunteering with us gives people the opportunity to make a real difference in their local community, to save lives and become part of the larger RNLI family. We can’t keep people safe without the support of our wonderful volunteers, who truly make a difference every day no matter which role they are fulfilling.

‘Becoming a volunteer Deputy Launching Authority is a great chance to play a crucial part in helping to save lives. We are looking for enthusiastic people who are willing to offer some of their free time to join what I believe to be, one of the most rewarding voluntary services that is out there. Every volunteer receives first-class training from the RNLI and learns new skills which can benefit them in many walks of life. Full training will be supplied to ensure Deputy Launching Authorities can authorise the launch of our lifeboats, provide the necessary leadership for our volunteer crew and ensure that all operational activities are carried out to maintain the lifeboats and equipment for launching on a call out.’

Anyone interested in finding out more or wants to apply is asked to email Rob King, Area Lifesaving Manager at [email protected] or Fenit RNLI at [email protected]

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Fethard RNLI responded to two incidents in a 24-hour period over the weekend after two vessels, each with two people onboard, got into difficulty in the Waterford estuary.

The first call-out came on Friday evening (9 October), when the volunteer crew were requested to launch their inshore lifeboat by the Irish Coast Guard at 5.15 pm and go to the aid of a Bayliner cruiser with two people on board that had suffered mechanical issues. The vessel had lost power and found itself in difficulty.

Fethard RNLI’s D-Class lifeboat launched from Duncannon Beach and the crew were soon alongside the casualty vessel. There were calm waters at the time and a Force 3 westerly wind. The crew assessed the situation and found that those onboard were safe and well. A towline was then established, and the vessel was towed to the safety of Dunmore East Harbour.

Second call out

A second call out came on Saturday afternoon (10 October) when the Irish Coast Guard requested the lifeboat to go to the aid of a 35ft vessel that had ran aground at the spider buoy near King’s Bay. Dunmore East RNLI’s all-weather Trent class lifeboat was also requested to launch. Due to the size of the vessel, it was decided that it should stay and await a flooding tide to get it off the sandbank. The crew of Fethard lifeboat assisted the two-person crew by deploying their anchor. The vessel was secured and remained there until it was safely able to move on when there was enough water.

Speaking after the call outs, Mark Brennan, Fethard RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘We were happy to help the crew of both boats at the weekend. Situations can change very quickly at sea and mechanical failure is one of the main reasons for RNLI call outs. We would advise anyone out on the water to be prepared for an emergency by always wearing a lifejacket, checking your equipment before setting off, and always carrying some means of calling for help. Should you get into difficulty, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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