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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

The crew of Tramore RNLI and Tramore Coastguard in County Waterford were tasked to assist a swimmer in difficulty this afternoon close to the Guillamene Cove.

The swimmer was rescued from the rocks by the RNLI crew and brought immediately to Tramore Lifeboat Station.

The casualty was then transferred to the care of paramedics from Waterford Ambulance and Dr Matthew Sills.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Howth RNLI launched the all-weather lifeboat to rescue a fishing trawler, six people, onboard after it ran aground on rocks in Balscadden Bay, at Howth in County Dublin.

The RNLI pagers sounded at 4.12 pm on Thursday 7th January to reports of a fishing trawler aground just outside Howth Harbour in Balscadden Bay. The all-weather lifeboat was launched and was on the scene in a matter of minutes.

The trawler was hard around and listing to one side. The lifeboat crew assessed the fishing trawler and deemed it safe to put a tow line aboard. Fred Connolly, Howth RNLI Lifeboat Coxswain carefully navigated the all-weather lifeboat in the shallow water and the volunteer crew got a tow line aboard the stricken trawler.

The tide was rising and the lifeboat eased the trawler off the rocks and into deeper waterThe tide was rising and the lifeboat eased the trawler off the rocks and into deeper water

The tide was rising and the lifeboat eased the trawler off the rocks and into deeper water. The trawler was brought back to the safety of Howth Harbour.

The Howth Lifeboat and volunteer crew returned to Howth station and stood down at 5.50 pm.

The fishing trawler aground in Balscadden BayThe fishing trawler aground in Balscadden Bay Photo: Annraoi Blaney

Speaking following the callout, Ian Malcolm, Howth RNLI Deputy Launching Authority said: ‘Our volunteer lifeboat crew were pleased to be able to quickly respond and tow the fishing vessel to the safety of Howth Harbour. Our Lifeboat volunteers train regularly to prepare for situations just like this’’

The crew on the Howth RNLI Trent Class All Weather lifeboat were; Fred Connolly - Coxswain, Ian Sheridan - Mechanic, Killian O’Reilly, Ian Martin, Aidan Murphy, Stephan Mullaney and Ronan Murphy.

Published in Fishing

The RNLI is urging anyone who is able under Irish or UK government guidelines to visit the coast during lockdown to stay safe and not take any unnecessary risks that may put extra pressure on emergency services.

As both the UK and Ireland enter new nationwide lockdowns, RNLI lifeboats will continue to launch.

However, every time a lifeboat crew is called to an incident, it puts additional pressure on RNLI volunteers and other frontline emergency services. In addition to this, it also potentially exposes them to Covid-19.

Gareth Morrison, RNLI head of water safety, said: “During lockdown, RNLI lifeboats and stations remain operational and will launch around the clock where there is risk to life.

“We would encourage everyone to follow the latest government guidelines on what they are able to do and where they are able to go during lockdown.

“But for anyone visiting a coastal area, please understand the risks to be as safe as possible and not put unnecessary strain on frontline services.

“No one ever heads to the coast with the expectation of needing to be rescued, yet rescues are occurring every day.

“In a normal year around 150 people lose their lives at the coast and we know that more than half of those never intended to be in the water.

“So, whether you are walking, running or cycling at the coast, or doing some activity on or in the water, please be extra responsible and avoid taking unnecessary risks.”

The RNLI and HM Coastguard last month launched a winter coastal safety campaign to highlight the dangers of stormy seas, changing tides and cliffs at this time of year.

Morrison added: “Our beaches and coastal areas may see an increase in visitors in the days and weeks to come, so we’re urging everyone to follow our advice and stay safe.

“In particular at this time of year, we ask people to stay well back from stormy, wintery seas and cliff edges, check tide times before you go, take a phone with you, and call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard if you or someone else is in trouble.”

The RNLI’s key water safety advice is:

  • Take care if walking near cliffs – be aware of ice and frost, know your route and keep dogs on a lead.
  • Check tide times daily.
  • Take a full-charged phone.
  • If going afloat, always wear a lifejacket or other personal flotation device and take a means of calling for help.
  • Check your equipment is in good working order.
  • Be aware of the conditions and your capabilities and only enter the water if it is safe to do so.
  • In an emergency call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.
Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Lifeboat crew at Castletownbere RNLI were launched yesterday afternoon (Saturday 2nd January) at 15:30 to assist an 11-metre fishing boat which had lost power 18 miles south west of Castletownbere Harbour in West Cork.

The lifeboat, under coxswain Aaron O’Boyle, was launched within minutes and located the stricken vessel 51 minutes later. The Castletownbere-based fishing boat had three people on board none of whom required medical attention. On scene, there was a three-metre swell and force 5/6 north-westerly winds. The volunteer lifeboat crew attached a tow rope and proceeded to tow the vessel to Castletownbere harbour where it was berthed at the pier at just before 8.00 p.m.

This was the first call-out for Castletownbere lifeboat with Coxswain Aaron O’Boyle (above) in commandThis was the first call-out for Castletownbere lifeboat with Coxswain Aaron O’Boyle (above) in command

Commenting on callout Castletownbere RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Paul Stevens said, ‘This was the first shout for the station in 2021 and the first call-out with Coxswain O’Boyle in command. He and the volunteer crew undertook the rescue with great skill and efficiency and there was a positive outcome.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The Courtmacsherry All-Weather Trent Class RNLI Lifeboat was called out at 7 am this Sunday morning to go to the aid of a 50 ft-yacht with three people on board which had got into difficulties four miles east of the Old Head of Kinsale in West Cork.

The Courtmacsherry Lifeboat under Coxswain Mark Gannon and crew of 6 were underway within minutes and in the cover of darkness, the Lifeboat proceeded at top speed to the area of the causality. Winds were blowing force 4 to 5 in freezing conditions this morning and the stricken vessel, which was on passage from Salcolme in the UK to Kinsale, had encountered heavy weather over the past 24 hours.

They lost complete power off the Old Head of Kinsale and requested immediate assistance.

The Lifeboat reached the yacht at 7.29 am and the Lifeboat crew assessed the situation and quickly proceeded to attach a tow line to secure the vessel. Two Lifeboat crew members Kevin Young and Paul McCarthy were also put on board the yacht to help those on board and the Lifeboat then proceeded at slow speed to the safe surround of the inner Kinsale Harbour. Both vessels docked safely at the Kinsale Yacht Club Marina at 9.05 am and the crew on board the yacht were very glad to be on safe ground again after an eventful morning.

Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat crew after today's call outCourtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat crew after today's call out

Commenting on the callout, the Courtmacsherry RNLI Voluntary Lifeboat Operations Manager Brian O'Dwyer thanked all the Lifeboat crew members for their quick response from their beds early this freezing morning when the Coastguard activated the distress bleepers. He praised the great dedication of the seven volunteer Crew members and others who arrived, and put the interests of others as a priority in these difficult Covid times. He again reiterated that it is so important to call the rescue services at 112 or 999 quickly once any incident occurs.

The Courtmacsherry Lifeboat crew involved in this morning’s callout were Coxswain Mark Gannon, Mechanic Tadgh McCarthy and crew Ken Cashman, Kevin Young, Paul McCarthy, Peter Noonan and Denis Murphy.

The Lifeboat has now returned to its base in Courtmacsherry at 10 am and has refuelled and restocked, in readiness of whenever the next call to action may occur.

Published in Kinsale
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Yesterday, Wednesday 30 December 2020, marked the end of an era for the Baltimore RNLI Lifeboat with the retirement of Coxswain Kieran Cotter after 45 years of service.

At age 17, Kieran first became interested in Baltimore Lifeboat and he officially joined the crew on 1st January 1975. In the early years as a crew member Kieran was involved in the dramatic rescue of the 1979 Fastnet Race. Baltimore Lifeboat was the first lifeboat launched and spent the longest time at sea during the tragedy. At the time it was the biggest rescue operation since World War 2. Kieran and his brother Liam were also involved in the rescue of Charles J. Haughey in 1985.

Socially distanced and by a fishing rod, Kieran Cotter hands over the lifeboat keys to Baltimore RNLI’s new Coxswain Aidan Bushe Photo RNLI/Micheal Cottrell Socially distanced and by a fishing rod, Kieran Cotter hands over the lifeboat keys to Baltimore RNLI’s new Coxswain Aidan Bushe Photo RNLI/Micheal Cottrell

Kieran held the position of second Coxswain for a number of years before becoming Coxswain following the retirement of Christy Collins in 1989. During his 45 years at the station Kieran has received multiple awards for his roles in many rescues. Most notably, in 1991 Kieran was awarded the Bronze Medal for gallantry and the Maud Smith award for the bravest act of life saving that year following the 26-hour rescue of the fishing vessel the Japonica and her 15 crew, who referred to Baltimore lifeboat and her crew as “The Mad Men in the small boat” and the rescue of the yacht Atlantis Adventure and her five crew. Coxswain Cotter and his crew also received recognition from the Swiss Embassy in 2008 for the outstanding bravery and commitment shown during the rescue of Swiss nationals in hazardous conditions and from the United States Congress for the rescue of the crew of Rambler during the 2011 Fastnet Yacht Race.

Kieran has seen many changes during his time at the station including the arrival of four different classes of all-weather lifeboats and the reconstruction of the lifeboat station and pen at Bull Point to accommodate the current Tamar Class all-weather lifeboat the Alan Massey and the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat the Rita Daphne Smyth. In September 2019 Kieran accepted the 100th Anniversary Vellum on behalf of the crew, management and fundraising team at Baltimore station.

Long-serving Baltimore RNLI Coxswain Kieran Cotter and Crewmember Ronnie Carthy on their last call out in October 2020 – photo RNLI/Micheal Cottrell Long-serving Baltimore RNLI Coxswain Kieran Cotter and Crewmember Ronnie Carthy on their last call out in October 2020 Photo: RNLI/Micheal Cottrell

Owen Medland, RNLI’s Lifesaving Lead Ireland, paid testimony to Kieran’s service. “It is true to say that the RNLI is built upon its people and in Kieran the team in Baltimore have had firm foundations. One of the longest serving Coxswains in the country entrusted with the safety of Baltimore’s lifeboats and crews since the late 80’s having joined as crew in 1975 Kieran has a remarkable record of lifesaving service and community commitment. As with every volunteer this service would not have been possible without the support of family and we are equally grateful for this support which has enabled Kieran to serve his community so well. We wish Kieran every health and happiness in his next chapter and he leaves the RNLI in Baltimore in good hands to continue their lifesaving work on the challenging coast of west Cork. Kieran has left a legacy of lives saved from the sea and witnessed the evolution of the RNLI’s service provision in the area over 5 decades for which he should be justifiably proud - thank you Kieran Cotter.”

Declan Tiernan, Chairperson of Baltimore Lifeboat, paid tribute to Kieran saying “Natural leadership is a rare gift which Kieran Cotter has in abundance. It is the ability to instill confidence and trust in the people around you, calmly dealing with new and unforeseen circumstances without raising your voice. The ability to assess a situation, come up with a plan that your crew will execute because they have the utmost confidence in their leader.

“Kieran is also a wonderful communicator; in dangerous situations, he can put people at ease, at other times journalists will want to go to Kieran for the most accurate report.

Napoleon Bonaparte famously said that he’d rather have lucky generals than good ones. Well, Kieran Cotter is not only a good leader but also brings luck with him.

“Kieran Cotter gave forty-five years of service to the Baltimore Lifeboat and when you think that in 2019 we celebrated the centenary of the first lifeboat arriving in Baltimore it really puts Kieran’s service into perspective.”

Tom Bushe, Baltimore RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, added “I first worked with Kieran when I stared as crew in the 1980s. Over the years his dedication and commitment to the Baltimore RNLI has been exceptional and his advice to me in my role has been invaluable. Fortunately, Kieran’s vast array of knowledge and experience will not be lost to Baltimore RNLI as he is going to continue to be involved by becoming a Deputy Launching Authority. I must also mention Ronnie Carthy, another long serving crew member who also retires this week. Ronnie was also an outstanding crewmember of the lifeboat for almost 30 years.”

Kieran is leaving the Alan Massey and her crew in good hands, with second Coxswain Aidan Bushe now taking over the role as station Coxswain. In these times of social distancing Baltimore Lifeboat Station are sadly unable to give Kieran the send off he deserves, but we look forward to celebrating with him sometime in the future.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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It's a long way from Whiterock on Strangford Lough to Clifden in County Galway where the new Shannon class all-weather lifeboat will be stationed in 2022. It will be the second such vessel to be part of the charity's 'Launch a Memory' fundraising campaign and the first to be based in Ireland.

There will be space for 10,000 names on the hull and one which will be there is that of the late Don Clarke, long time boatman at Strangford Lough Yacht Club where he was also in charge of the clubhouse and grounds and involved in club safety boat services. He was an Auxiliary Coastguard for Whiterock and Portaferry area. His niece Gillian Clarke, instead of sending cards at Christmas, has donated to the RNLI in memory of her Uncle Don; "As an RNLI volunteer and an Auxiliary Coastguard Don helped save many lives over the years" Gillian said, "In his memory, I wish all my family and friends, near and far, a very Peaceful Christmas and a better New Year for us all in 2021".

Originally from Crosshaven, in Cork Harbour, Don joined the Club in 1969 and worked there until he retired. He passed away in August last.

Through the 'Launch a Memory' campaign, members of the public and supporters of the charity will be able to commemorate a loved one by donating online and submitting that person's name. The name of each person being remembered will be featured within the lifeboat's letters (RNLI) and numbers, or decal, displayed on the vessel's hull in lettering 3-4mm in height. The first Launch a Memory lifeboat is due to go on service in Invergordon, Scotland.

The honour of the first name on the new lifeboat will go to a young lifeboat volunteer, Lee Early (26), from Donegal, who tragically lost his life last year when he was involved in an accident on Arranmore Island.

Daniel Curran, RNLI Engagement Lead, said: "We are so pleased to be able to bring Launch A Memory' to Ireland, with a lifeboat that will save lives off our coast for generations. Everyone who supports the campaign will receive email updates about the lifeboat, keeping them informed of all major developments on its journey to going on service and saving lives at sea in Clifden."

There are three ways people can get the name of a loved one on the Launch a Memory lifeboat. Donations can be made online at rnli.org/launchamemory by phone on 01-895 1800 (Monday to Friday 8 am to 6 pm) or alternatively by post to RNLI, Airside, Swords, County Dublin K67 WA24. There is a suggested donation of €30 with space to commemorate up to 10,000 names on the lifeboat.

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Lough Ree RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew located two kayakers following a short lake and shoreline search of the inner lakes of Lough Ree yesterday afternoon (Saturday 26 December).

The two men had departed Coosan Point at lunchtime and the alarm was raised by a member of the public when the kayakers had not returned to their car some 90 minutes later.

The Lough Ree RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew launched in Force 7 winds just after 3 pm. Under helm Emmet Devereux the volunteer lifeboat Tara Scougall began a search of the inner lakes and spotted the two kayaks ashore near Portaneena. In a follow-up shoreline search one of the volunteer lifeboat crew located the two kayakers safe and well.

Following the search volunteer lifeboat helm Emmet Devereux asked all lake users ‘to double-check weather forecasts for the entire duration of their trip on the water’.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The RNLI and the Coast Guard are appealing to the public to exercise caution when participating in any activity on and near the water during the Christmas and New Year period and at all times to be mindful of the restrictions in place to deal with the COVID pandemic. Many traditional Christmas and New Year swims which ordinarily had safety measures in place have been cancelled. Accordingly, anybody planning such activity should check up to date guidance and ensure that they have made appropriate safety arrangements.

The second half of 2020 saw a significant increase in water-based incidents placing extra demands on Search and Rescue providers including Coast Guard and RNLI volunteer crews. Mindful of the increased levels of participation in open water swimming both organisations are highlighting the risks of suffering cold water shock, which is a very real danger for anyone entering water which is 15°C or below. Average sea temperature around Ireland at this time of year are just 6-10°C. This can pose a risk of hypothermia, even for the most experienced of open water swimmers.

The top safety tips from the Coast Guard and the RNLI for open water swimming are:

  • Always check the weather forecast and understand the local effects of wind, tides and currents. 
  • Never swim alone and if possible, have somebody ashore who is familiar with your plans and can observe your progress.
  • Only swim in sheltered areas with which you are familiar and swim parallel to the shore.
  • Stay within your depth – know your limits including how long to stay in the water
  • Ensure that you are visible from the shore. Wear a brightly coloured swim cap or use a tow float to increase your visibility in the water.
  • Wearing a wetsuit is advisable to help stay warm.
  • Acclimatise to cold water slowly to reduce the risk of cold-water shock.
  • Get warmed up afterwards. Wrap up well in extra layers of clothing
  • If in doubt, don’t go out!
  • Tell someone else where you’re going and when you’ll be back.

As the year draws to a close, thanks have been paid to the men and women involved in search and rescue for their incredible service throughout the year. Volunteers have been called out to help at all hours of the day and night and they have been on the frontline of saving lives and keeping people safe.

Irish Coast Guard, Head of Operations Gerard O’Flynn said: ‘We wish to say a special thank you to everybody involved in SAR for their commitment and service in these extraordinary times with a special thank you to the volunteer members of the rescue services.

He added: People love to get out and about over the Christmas and New Year period. For those who have an opportunity to go on coastal walks always remember to Stay Back Stay High Stay Dry – and this year please be especially mindful of Covid related restrictions. Open water swimming this time of the year is only for experienced participants and never ever swim alone.’

RNLI Water Safety Lead Kevin Rahill added: ‘RNLI and Coast Guard volunteers have played an enormous role this year in keeping people safe as they took to the water in greater numbers. We wish to thank everyone involved in search and rescue and their families and employers who support our volunteers.

‘No one goes into the water in the expectation of needing to be rescued but we are asking anyone considering going for a swim to understand the dangers and not take unnecessary risks so they can have a good time, safely. It is important to respect the water and there are a number of things you can do to help ensure you have an enjoyable and safe time such as not swimming alone, staying in your depth and knowing how to warm up properly afterwards, which sounds obvious but is crucial to avoid any delayed effects of the cold and hypothermia.’

Published in Coastguard

Bundoran RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew were requested to launch yesterday afternoon (Tuesday 22 December) to reports of a 19ft vessel that had sunk off Killybegs.

Also tasked to the scene were the Sligo-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 118 as well as the Killybegs Coast Guard RIB, while help was sought from other vessels in the area.

On arrival, the lifeboat crew found that two people who had been on the sunken vessel had already made their way to safety and were treated by an ambulance at the Killybegs slipway.

The lifeboat then assisted the coastguard RIB in securing the vessel.

Lifeboat helm Rory O’Connor said: “Thanks to quick actions of all involved, this was another successful outcome and the two people will get to spend Christmas with their loved ones.

“It’s another example of inter-agency cooperation and we were glad to be able to assist our Irish Coast Guard colleagues.”

The incident came just two days after another inter-agency operation to rescue a man whose small boat ran aground on rocks in Ballyshannon, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Arklow RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat Ger Tigchlearr taking a stricken fishing vessel under tow | Photo: RNLI/ArklowArklow RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat Ger Tigchlearr taking a stricken fishing vessel under tow (Photo: RNLI/Arklow)

In other lifeboat news, Arklow RNLI launched to the aid of two fishermen on a vessel in distress last Thursday 17 December.

As the volunteer crew of six were en route, further reports came in that the fishing vessel had freed the foul but was adrift and dragging its anchor — and in danger of being driven up onto the rocks at Kilmichael Point.

Once on scene, the lifeboat crew worked quickly with the casualty vessel’s crew of two to establish a tow line, before the vessel was towed safely back to Arklow.

Following the incident, Arklow RNLI community safety officer Mark Corcoran gave a special shoutout to coxswain Eddie McElheron on his first callout in command of the all-weather lifeboat Ger Tigchlearr.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Page 4 of 219

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