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Dun Laoghaire RNLI is appealing to businesses in the community to become RNLI local ambassadors by sharing key water safety advice to help keep people safe.

On average, 175 people lose their life around the coast of Ireland and the UK each year. Tragically, these deaths are accidental. But together, the RNLI and the community can do something to change it.

Liam Mullan from Dun Laoghaire RNLI explains: ‘Our local businesses are always very supportive of the RNLI and we are deeply grateful to them for that. Like our volunteer lifeboat crews, our local businesses live and carry out their work beside the sea. They help others to enjoy the water and like us, they care about keeping people safe around it.

‘Sadly, one drowning is still one too many in the place we call home. At the RNLI, we are committed to keeping our community a place for safe and happy memories by the water. And, by becoming an RNLI local ambassador, businesses in the community through sharing our safety messages, can help us turn a preventable death into a life saved. Together, we can save every one.’

Appealing directly to local businesses, Liam continued: ‘As an RNLI local ambassador, you’ll be a real lifesaver in our community. The global outbreak of COVID-19 has forced us to be more innovative and creative when thinking about how we get our safety messages out in different ways this year. But with your kind help, we can spread our safety advice – in the simplest and easiest way for you – to protect more people by the water.’

To become an RNLI local ambassador, local businesses will be asked to display safety materials in and around their business.

‘We would ask that you sign up to be an RNLI local ambassador. Register your details and we’ll give you access to our safety materials that you can display in and around your business – whether that’s putting up posters in your windows or sharing a social media post. We’ll also let you know if there’s any water safety training happening in your area so, if you’d like, you can get more involved. We are so grateful for such support and know it will really help make a lifesaving difference’

To sign up, click on this link here

It was a most unusual callout for Fenit RNLI yesterday evening (Tuesday 25 August) as they were tasked to a dolphin in the shallows near Fenit Pier in Co Kerry.

Locals out for a stroll in blustery conditions that trailed Storm Francis spotted the solo cetacean, and the local lifeboat crew sought help from the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) as for how to proceed.

Their advice was to encourage the dolphin into deeper water if possible, and Fenit RNLI went into action, assisted by local sea vessels in the area the time.

Thanks to their joint effort, the dolphin was gently steered in the direction of open water — and its hoped the marine mammal is now safety swimming at sea.

Lifeboat press officer Jackie Murphy said: “This is an opportunity to remember that the lifeboat crews are volunteers and this is one of the rare occasions where Fenit RNLI experience saving an animal.”

Published in Marine Wildlife
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Baltimore RNLI’s volunteer crew launched to the aid of two yachts in difficulty in Crookhaven Harbour as Storm Francis passed over West Cork this morning (Tuesday 25 August).

The two vessels, one with four on board and the other with two, were dragging their moorings in the strong Force 9 winds, gusting up to Force 11, and rough sea conditions with a five-metre swell.

RNLI volunteers at the scene launched the smaller Y-boat from the all-weather lifeboat to get close enough to secure extra lines from the yachts to nearby moorings, and helped stead one of the yachts by dropping and extra anchor upwind.

Lifeboat crew member Micheal Cottrell said: “The skippers did the right thing in looking for assistance as soon as they knew their moorings weren’t holding, especially considering the storm hadn’t reached its full force at the time.”

A Status Yellow gale warning remains in place with Met Éireann forecasting cyclonic variable winds to reach gale or strong gale this afternoon, on Irish coastal waters from Carlingford Lough to Valentia to Belfast Lough and on the Irish Sea south of the Isle of Man.

The meteorological service also issued a Small Craft Warning as southeasterly winds were expected reach Force 6 or 7 for a time early this afternoon on coasts from Belfast Lough to Carlingford Lough, and on the Irish Sea north of the Isle of Man.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Portaferry RNLI came to the aid of two sailors whose 36ft yacht got into difficulty on Strangford Lough this morning (Tuesday 25 August).

The volunteer crew were requested to launch their inshore lifeboat at 9.55 am following a report from Belfast Coastguard that a 36ft yacht with two people onboard was dragging its anchor and drifting towards the shore.

The lifeboat helmed by Fergal Glynn and with crew members Ian Sands, Josh Boyd, and Rosalind Watret onboard, launched immediately and made its way to the scene.

Weather conditions at the time were poor with heavy rain, a southeasterly Force 7 wind and a choppy sea. Visibility was fair.

Due to the weather conditions, a decision was made to also request the all-weather lifeboat from Donaghadee RNLI. A local vessel also offered its assistance.

Once on scene, Portaferry RNLI assessed the situation and observed that the yacht was drifting close to shore off Taggart Island. The man and woman onboard were safe and well. A lifeboat crew member was transferred to the yacht where they took a line to the vessel to take the weight off the anchor. Once this was completed the inshore lifeboat proceeded to tow the yacht back to Killyleagh. Donaghadee RNLI was subsequently stood down.

Speaking following the call out, Philip Johnston, Portaferry RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘Weather conditions at sea were not good this morning and the crew onboard the yacht did the right thing calling for help when they knew they were in difficulty and we would like to wish them a safe onward journey.

‘Ahead of sailing, we would remind people to always respect the water. Always wear a lifejacket and always have a means of calling for help or signalling and ensure everyone onboard knows how to use it. Always check the weather forecast and tide times. Make sure someone on the shore knows where you are going and when you are due back. Should you get into difficulty, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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One of Ireland’s busiest lifeboat units is seeking the public’s help to upgrade its home base and carry on its lifesaving mission.

Lough Ree RNLI’s volunteers have been rescuing people from the lough’s 29km stretch of inland waterway since 2012, launching more than 370 times and helping over 1,060 people.

But despite their key role in water safety for the area, their lifeboat station operates from temporary shipping containers — and the unit urgently needs a new, purpose-built station with modern facilities for casualties, crew and craft.

“A new lifeboat station will make a huge difference to our lifesaving service here and in the local community,” said crew member Tom Bradbury.

“It will provide excellent training and changing facilities, and help us launch safety and efficiently every time. With you by our side, we can carry on our rescue mission.”

The crew are counting on public generosity to help them raise €100,000 towards cost of this new building at Coosan Point, which would be shared with the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI).

And any funds raise above the €100,000 target will be used across all RNLI services, wherever they’re needed most.

Click HERE to donate to the Lough Ree lifeboat appeal. If you have any questions about the appeal, or would prefer to donate by phone, call the RNLI supporter experience team at 81 895 1877 (or 0300 300 9907 if calling from the UK) weekdays from 8am to 6pm.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The volunteers of Crosshaven RNLI lifeboat were tasked this evening to a report of a person in the water in the Ringabella/Fountainstown area.

The crew received the pager alert at 7.32 pm and were en route when information was received that two persons were in the water and clinging to a marker buoy near the back strand at Fountainstown.

On arrival, one adult had been taken from the water by a RIB which responded to the Coast Guard PAN PAN radio call and was handing the casualty into the care of Crosshaven Coast Guard at Fountainstown beach. A local kayaker was first on scene and rescued the child before handing the casualty over to Crosshaven Coast Guard before returning to the adult male. The RIB with the five teenagers arrived on scene and removed the adult from the water to the RIB and took the casualty ashore to be cared for by the Coast Guard. Rescue 117 helicopter transported the two casualties to Cork University Hospital for a check-up.

The crew on tonight's service were Helm Ian Venner with Aoife Dinan, Susanne Deane and Jon Bermingham. Launch crew was Gary Heslin and Richie Leonard.

The RIB which responded was crewed by five 16-year-olds who were fishing in White Bay when they heard the PAN PAN call and responded immediately to the incident.

Coincidentally, three of the RIB crew have RNLI connections. Jamie Venner is the son of Ian Venner who was also the Helm on tonight's service, Cillian Foster is a brother to Caomhe Foster who is also Crosshaven RNLI crew and Richard McSweeney is the son of former Baltimore RNLI crew member Ciaran McSweeney. The other crew on board were Kate Horgan and Harry Pritchard.

This article was updated on Monday, August 24th 2020

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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At 7.26 am Dunmore East RNLI Lifeboat launched on service to assist a stricken yacht in the Fastnet 450 Race which had suffered a dismasting 36 miles South of Dunmore East on the County Waterford coast.

On reaching the Greystones-based yacht, Red Alert, the lifeboat crew conducted a quick assessment of the six yacht crewmembers who were in good spirits and thankfully did not need any medical assistance.

The JOD 35 type yacht which was taking part in the race that started yesterday from Dublin and was heading for the Fastnet lighthouse was still able to make its own way slowly under power and was escorted by Dunmore East lifeboat crew to the safety of Dunmore East harbour at 2.15 pm.

The yacht Red Alert at the start of the Fastnet 450 Race from Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Dublin Bay yesterday Photo: AfloatThe yacht Red Alert at the start of the Fastnet 450 Race from Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Dublin Bay yesterday Photo: Afloat

Tony Kelly, Dunmore East RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘A shout like this really highlights how dedicated our volunteers are. They gave up their Sunday morning without hesitation to spend nearly 7 hours at sea, away from their families to selflessly help others. Thankfully, sea conditions were good at the time and all are now safely back onshore.’

The Fastnet 450 race continues with leaders expected to finish in Cork Harbour on Monday morning, race tracker here

Published in Fastnet 450 Race
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Portrush RNLI’s volunteers launched to the aid of a family cut off by the rising tide on cliffs yesterday evening, Saturday 22 August.

Local lifeguards raised the alarm for the two adults and three young children who were trapped between Castlerock and Downhill beaches on Northern Ireland’s North Coast, and the inshore lifeboat set off to their rescue just after 5pm.

The lifeboat crew found the family some 10 feet up a cliff, close to the railway line  — prompting the decision to evacuate them carefully down the cliff to shore.

Forming a human chain, the RNLI crew and a lifeguard were able to take all five family members down to the lifeboat and then onwards to the safety of the beach.

Commenting after the callout, lifeboat operations manager Keith Gilmore said: “This has been a very busy summer for both our volunteer lifeboat crew and the lifeguards on all our beaches in the area, and this is another example how we have worked very closely together to carry out a successful rescue. 

“Of course, we have had the additional issue of having to wear PPE for the protection of the public and the crew, but it is something we are becoming used to wearing.

“The RNLI lifeguards and our crew worked well today in this joint rescue and the hope the family are recovering from their ordeal.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Galway RNLI lifeboat has rescued a kite surfer who got into difficulty in inner Galway Bay on Saturday evening.

The man, who is in his early thirties, had set off from Ballyloughane beach near Renmore at about 4.50 pm as the tide was going out. A north-westerly breeze of force three to four was blowing at the time, and the man came off his board a number of times.

He was very fatigued when he was blown onto Rabbit Island, and the alarm was raised by a member of the public at 5 pm.

The Irish Coastguard tasked the Galway RNLI inshore lifeboat, and the man was rescued at about 5.20 pm. He was wearing a wetsuit, but not a lifejacket, according to Galway RNLI.

RNLI Galway deputy launch authority, Mike Cummins, said that a key factor when taking to the water for any water sports activities is a “knowledge of the local tides and wind direction”.

The RNLI Galway volunteer crew on the callout were helmsman Declan Killilea, crew Brian Niland, Joanne Casserly and David McGrath, and shore crew Sean King and David Oliver.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Six people were rescued from their boats on Lough Erne as Storm Ellen swept over Northern Ireland in the early hours of Thursday (20 August).

Enniskillen RNLI said the vessels, which were moored at the Devenish West jetty, were breaking their moorings in the strong winds.

All six passengers across the two brought to safety in Enniskillen aboard the inshore lifeboat.

Meanwhile, three other vessels breaking their moorings at Lough Erne Yacht Club were assisted by the lifeboat station’s shore crew.

Fermanagh braved the worst of Storm Ellen in Northern Ireland, while the Foyle Bridge in Derry had to be closed for a time amid gales and driving rain, as the News Letter reports.

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