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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

Volunteers from Bundoran RNLI were part of a multi-agency operation to rescue a man whose small boat ran aground on rocks in Ballyshannon yesterday afternoon (Sunday 20 December).

The man raised the alarm from his boat which had run aground off the island of Inis Saimer just before 1pm, and Malin Head Coast Guard requested the launch of Bundoran’s lifeboat as well as the Sligo-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 118.

However, it was determined that sea conditions would render it unsafe for the inshore lifeboat to get across the bar at the end of the Erne Estuary.

Instead, four lifeboat crew travelled by road to Ballyshannon where an Inland Fisheries Ireland patrol boat was already close to the casualty vessel.

Together the fisheries officers and lifeboat volunteers evacuated the man from his boat and brought him safely to shore and the into the care of paramedics.

In the meantime, the Bundoran lifeboat was transported by road under Garda escort to Ballyshannon, where it was launched and towed the casualty boat away from the rocks.

Bundoran lifeboat helm Michael Patton said: “This was another good outcome with the cooperation of our colleagues at Rescue 118, Inland Fisheries [Ireland], the National Ambulance Service and the Garda Siochana.

“We were glad to be able to get the man safely off the boat and return his boat to him.

“He was also wearing a lifejacket, and we would remind anyone taking to the water that this is an essential piece of equipment anytime you set sail.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Instead of Christmas swims, Howth RNLI fundraisers in County Dublin are asking Howth peninsula swimmers to "DIP & DONATE" to the RNLI anytime between December 19th and Jan 7th.

Howth RNLI has posters with a printed QR code (see above) for scanning by camera phone to take swimmers directly to the RNLI Justgiving page, Howth RNLI's Rose Michael told Afloat.

Mass Christmas sea swims, often held in aid of charities, such as the RNLI, have been discouraged this year due to pandemic measures to kerb social gatherings.

Howth Lifeboat Station continues to rely on voluntary contributions and legacies for income. It is only through thoughtful gifts and donations that the RNLI is able to provide our volunteer lifeboat crews with the boats, facilities, equipment and training that are essential to save lives at sea.

Since 1825 an all-weather lifeboat has launched into Dublin Bay from Howth and the crews have been honoured with 20 awards for gallantry.

Today the station operates both a Trent class lifeboat and an inshore D class lifeboat.

Published in Sea Swim
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Dunmore East RNLI volunteer lifeboat crewman Paul Sheehan was recently recognised for a community volunteer award by his employer after being nominated by his co-workers.

Paul is a general operative with Bausch and Lomb in Waterford, which recently held an open competition among employees to highlight some of the volunteer work they regularly conduct outside of work.

The dedicated volunteer crew with Dunmore East RNLI for 14 years was nominated by some of his co-workers — and his employers honoured him with a community volunteer award and a donation of €500 to Dunmore East RNLI.

Margaret Barry, chair of the Dunmore East RNLI fundraising branch, said: “Our volunteer crew are an extremely dedicated bunch and it is lovely to see Paul being deservedly recognised, by his employer, for his many years of lifesaving efforts with Dunmore East RNLI.

“We are very grateful to receive any donations, as this year has been a particularly difficult year for our fundraising efforts. Donations like this will enable our charity’s lifesavers to continue to save lives at sea.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the annual Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI Christmas Eve public ceremony to honour the memory of 15 lifeboat volunteers that died on service 125 years ago has been cancelled this year and will be shown online.

On 24 December 1895, the number two lifeboat was wrecked while proceeding to the assistance of the SS Palme of Finland. The lifeboat capsized in gale force winds while attempting to rescue those on board the SS Palme that had run aground off Blackrock in County Dublin. The whole crew, 15 in all, drowned.

The volunteer crew of Dun Laoghaire RNLI usually hold the annual ceremony at the East Pier lighthouse as part of a long-standing local tradition to acknowledge the sacrifice of their colleagues in carrying out their duty. The ceremony also remembers all those who have lost their lives around the coast and on inland waters in 2020.

Instead, two wreaths will be placed by the lifeboat crew at sea, despite the covid-19 pandemic the station will continue to pay tribute to their lost colleagues featuring the service online through Dun Laoghaire RNLI's Facebook page later on Christmas Eve.

The tribute will feature musician William Byrne performing 'The Ballad of the Palme' and Fergal Keane of RTE, reading a newspaper account of the disaster. An ecumenical blessing will be given by Reverends Ása Björk Ólafsdóttir and Fr. Paul Tyrell before a lament is played by piper Paul McNally.

A joint guard of honour provided by Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard Unit and Civil Defence will not take place.

Stephen Wynne, Dun Laoghaire RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: 'We know a lot of people like to traditionally join us on Christmas Eve to commemorate this anniversary which allows us to pay tribute to those that sadly died on that day in 1895, and to remember all who have died at sea or on inland waters this year. However, it is not an ordinary year and we want everyone to be safe. We hope that people will visit our Facebook page shortly after the lifeboat crew lay the wreaths at sea as a beautiful tribute has been prepared.'

What started as a small fundraiser for Galway RNLI and Cancer Care West has turned into something spectacular as the players and members of Galway Corinthians RFC have raised over €8,500 for both organisations through two fundraising efforts.

The first featured the senior players in the club with Jack Noone and Kenneth Casburn behind the organisation of ‘Movember’ where players, management and committee members grew facial hair of some kind for the month of November.

The second featured the mercurial talents of club president Kieran Faherty.

Known fondly as ‘Flash’, Kieran is an accomplished artist and he generously provided one of his paintings known as ‘Brewing Up A Storm’, a stunning view of Galway Bay that has proved very popular with prints and cards selling out quickly.

But what inspired the painting? “I am often asked that,” Kieran says. “Pretty much my signature pieces are all about colour, and Connemara is my inspiration for many.

“As a kid I only saw greyness in the Connemara landscape, but age opens your eyes. Now I embrace all the wonderful changing coloured landscape that the mountains, bogs and lakes give up to us.”

He added: “I think my inspiration for this piece is the challenges it offers, as it sits in stormy waters, and I think appropriately it is raising funds for a charity that lives in stormy waters with their incredible brave crew.”

The fundraising has been warmly welcomed by both organisations, with Mike Swan, Galway RNLI lifeboat operations manager, saying: “I wanted to express my personal gratitude for the effort of the members of Corinthians Rugby Club and thank them for their very generous donation, of which will be put to good use saving lives at sea.

“Given the year that’s in it, the crew are overwhelmed with the support from the people of Galway.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

A new video featuring five of the most dramatic RNLI rescues of 2020 has been released today as the lifesaving charity braces itself for another busy Christmas: 

Figures for the last 10 years for the festive period (Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day) show that RNLI lifeboats in Ireland launched 122 times, with their volunteer crews coming to the aid of 56 people including four lives saved.

The incredible footage shows how the RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crews will go to the aid of anyone who needs their help, whatever the weather and no matter how dangerous the conditions.

Among the Irish rescues, the video features:

  • Three lifeboats from Dunmore East, Kilmore Quay and Rosslare Harbour battling for hours in strong winds and breaking seas to save a 4,000-tonne coaster and nine crew from being washed onto the rocks.
  • A crew member from Portrush RNLI jumping from their all-weather lifeboat into stormy seas to rescue a teenager who got into difficulty while jumping into the sea off rocks.

The RNLI has launched its Christmas Appeal and is asking for support so the charity’s lifesavers can continue to save lives at sea: Please visit - RNLI.org/Xmas

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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RNLI Lifeboat volunteer Carol Flahive has received a long service badge in recognition of 20 years' dedicated service to the community.

Carol joined Wicklow lifeboat in November 2000 and over the years has been in charge as the Helm on the Inshore lifeboat and crew on the all-weather lifeboat Annie Blaker.

In recent times Carol qualified as a Navigator on the all-weather lifeboat and looks after crew training as Local Training Coordinator at the Station.

Carol has built up a wealth of experience and knowledge during exercises with Wicklow lifeboat, which she has passed on to the new generation of crew.

Carol has been on numerous launches on service and exercise over the last 20 years. Two "Shouts" in particular stand out, from July 2014 where multiple casualties were rescued after being cut off by the tide at Silver Strand Beach and in July 2016 when the crew assisted a solo French yachtsman south of Wicklow Head in bad weather.
The Coxswain and crew were later commended for their actions during the callouts.

Carol was awarded her long service medal during an outdoor Covid-19 compliant ceremony on Saturday afternoon by Lifeboat Operations Manager, Mary Aldridge who said: "It gives me great pleasure to present this award to Carol after 20 years voluntary service to the maritime community in Wicklow. It's such a pity that all the crew members cannot be present to honour Carol, but such are the times and challenges that Covid presents. It is fantastic to see Carols family here. It is the family and partners that also give a big commitment to the RNLI when the pagers go off and they are at home worrying about their loved ones. I want to take this opportunity to thank the families and partners of all our volunteers at Wicklow Lifeboat Station, and on behalf of all the Crew congratulate Carol for her dedicated service."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Lough Ree RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew were requested to come to the assistance of four people on board a barge which ran aground on Saturday afternoon (12 December).

The 36ft Dutch barge was stranded where the River Shannon meets Lough Ree.

Launched at 1.30 pm in calm conditions, Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat Tara Scougall reached the scene near Lough Ree Yacht Club seven minutes later. The volunteer crew found all four people on board safe and well and proceeded to tow the barge off the rocks.

The Lough Ree RNLI volunteer crew assessed the barge for damage and accompanied the craft and crew to Athlone Town Marina.

Lough Ree RNLI Helm Stan Bradbury said, ‘Navigation can be difficult at this time of year for boat users, with obstacles hidden or obscured by Winter flood waters. We would also advise boat users to wear a lifejacket at all times for their own safety.

Published in Inland Waterways
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In Galway city, the RNLI inshore lifeboat rescued a man caught in rising tide while out walking at Ballyloughane beach near Renmore.

A member of the public spotted the man who had taken refuge on Hare island at about 11 am, and the alarm was raised with the Irish Coast Guard.

Galway lifeboat launched within minutes and took the man safely on board at Hare island, bringing him back to Galway docks. He did not require medical attention.

Galway lifeboat launch authority Mike Swan urged the public “ to be aware of the tide times and to take extra care when out walking any of the coastal areas around the bay so as not to get caught out”.

“Thankfully this ended well,” he said.

The Galway RNLI crew on the callout were helmsman Declan Killilea, with Stefanie Carr, Greg Cullen and Olivia Byrne.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Both lifeboats at Clifden RNLI were launched this morning just before 11 am after a Coastguard request to go to the aid of a ten-metre fishing trawler that was taking on water and in danger of sinking.

With two crew on board, the trawler was on passage to Clare when they raised the alarm.

While wind conditions were a south westerly force 3/4, there was a very large swell on the scene and another large tanker vessel nearby.

All weather lifeboat coxswain James Mullen explained ‘When the lifeboats arrived on scene there was a large tanker vessel providing the casualty vessel with some shelter from the 7/8 meter seas.

A ten metre trawler that was taking on water and in danger of sinking.With two crew on board, the trawler was on passage to Clare when they raised the alarm

The Atlantic 85 helm Joe Acton immediately transferred two crew aboard with a salvage pump and began pumping out the vessel. Once the water level dropped low enough for the vessel to use their own engine power we headed back to shore.

However, on the way to Clifden the boat started to take on more water than the two pumps could handle and the engine overheated so we made the decision then to take her under tow. The larger salvage pump was transferred from the Shannon class lifeboat to the casualty via the inshore lifeboat by crew member Chris Nee.

With both lifeboats pumps working and the vessels own bilge pump, the flow of water was stemmed and the boat was escorted safely back to Clifden. Both helicopters Rescue 115 and 118 were also on scene and we are glad to have been able to bring the casualties and the vessel safely back to shore’.

Clifden RNLI Deputy Launching Authority John Roberts said ‘The crew did extremely well today in a very large swell to carry out this rescue and without their assistance this vessel was in serious danger of sinking. Well done to all involved.’

The Shannon class lifeboat was crewed by James Mullen, John Mullen, Ashling Sweeney, Chris Nee and Andrew Bell and the Atlantic 85 boat was crewed by Joe Acton, Brian Ward and Thomas Davis.

Published in Fishing
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