Displaying items by tag: Portrush
#RNLI - Portrush RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew got an early callout yesterday morning (Sunday 5 March) on reports of a cruiser with three on board that had got into difficulties 33 miles offshore just south-east of the island of Islay in Scotland’s Inner Hebrides.
Weather conditions were described as ‘perfect’ with a bright morning pagers went off at 10.10am, and the crew were quickly underway at full speed due the favourable sea conditions.
When the lifeboat crew reached the vessel, a towline was quickly attached to the cruiser and it was taken under tow to Portrush at a slow and steady rate of six knots. The lifeboat crew returned to base by 4.30pm, six hours after launch.
Portrush RNLI lifeboat operations manager Robin Cardwell said: “This was a textbook exercise for the crew, and something they train for all year round. The good weather conditions assisted the recovery and good progress was made for home.”
Claire Sugden, The Justice Minister called in on her local RNLI Lifeboat station at Portrush the weekend to pay tribute to the work they do on the North Coast.
The Minister was keen to meet all the volunteers including crew, fundraisers and the operations team. She met Des Austin, Cox and Robin Cardwell Lifeboat Operations Manager (LOM) in the lifeboat House firstly to hear about the work of the volunteers and the rigorous training they underwent in order to achieve the competencies to be able to save lives at sea. She then met Sharman Finlay Chair of the fundraising team and Dorothy Weeks, supervisor of the very successful Lifeboat Shop to hear about the importance of fundraising activities to support the volunteer crew.
The Minister then met the volunteer crew of the Inshore Lifeboat and then went on board the All-weather Boat to get a tour of the boat and then experienced a launch as the crew took her out of the bay so she could see for herself, what the crew experienced when they went out on a shout.
The team at the station were delighted to meet the Minister and to have the chance to explain first-hand the importance of the work they do and the training that goes on behind the scenes.
Robin Cardwell LOM said
‘We were delighted to welcome the Minister to her local station and to give her an opportunity to see for herself the operations of a busy lifeboat station. We were thrilled that we had the opportunity to see the ALB in action to have a chat with the volunteer crew, operations team and fundraisers’.
The Minister said in a statement
‘The RNLI provides an invaluable service in keeping the public safe around our coastline. The men and women who volunteer to answer emergency calls in all weathers have helped save countless lives and I commend them for their dedication and commitment.
“The RNLI aims to reduce drowning by 50%, across the UK and Ireland by 2024. Given the dedication and enthusiasm I have seen demonstrated by the Portrush crew, I am confident that they will succeed.”
The all-weather and inshore lifeboats were launched at 5.30pm to reports of a casualty who had fallen onto rocks inside a cave just underneath Dunluce Castle.
Weather conditions were good with a calm sea and little wind which helped the lifeboats to reach the scene in good time. Rescue 999, the helicopter from Prestwick, was also tasked to airlift the casualty to hospital.
The Portrush inshore lifeboat (ILB), carrying a paramedic from the NI Ambulance Service, had to get as close to the shoreline as possible to recover the casualty.
Meanwhile, the all-weather boat (ALB) was waiting alongside to transfer the casualty so that the helicopter could carry out an airlift from the bigger boat.
"This operation took skill and precision and is something that lifeboat and rescue helicopter crews practice on a regular basis," said Portrush RNLI lifeboat operations manager Robin Cardwell.
"This was a textbook callout carried out with absolute precision by all involved. We hope that the casualty makes a full recovery."
Less than 24 hours previously on Saturday evening (23 July) both lifeboats were called out to reports of swimmers who were missing off the coast between Castlerock and Downhill.
The waters between the two land points were thoroughly searched with no swimmers being found. The search was stood down around 9.15pm and described as a ‘false alarm with good intent’.
Two other joint operations on the North Coast occurred earlier in the week, the first to reports of two surfers believed missing at Benone Strand on Tuesday (19 July).
Portrush's inshore lifeboat was requested by the lifeguards to assist in the search, though thankfully the surfers turned up safe and well.
The second callout on the same day around 4pm was to reports of a lost child at White Rocks beach. The coastguard and lifeguards searched the beach while the inshore lifeboat patrolled the sea just off shore. The child was found safe and well by the lifeguards.
More recently, the lifeguards themselves sprang into action on Saturday afternoon at Benone to assist a child who had been stung by a weever fish.
As part of their training the lifeguards undertake a comprehensive first aid course which equips them to deal with most situations they may encounter on a busy beach in the summer.
RNLI volunteer lifeguard press officer Liam Mullan reminded beachgoers to "always try to visit a RNLI lifeguarded beach. Remember to keep an eye on the flags and swim between the red and yellow flags.
"If you get into difficulty raise your hand and call for help. If you see someone in difficulty dial 999 and ask for the coastguard."
Three volunteer lifeboat crew launched the inshore lifeboat in cloudy conditions in a slight sea swell towards Portstewart, where they observed a young adult male not making progress in the sea.
The swimmer had got very tired and was spotted by an onlooker who raised the alarm.
Quickly arriving on scene, the lifeboat crew got the casualty on board and took him the short distance to Portstewart Harbour where they handed him into the care of the coastguard.
Portrush RNLI lifeboat operations manager Robin Cardwell said: "The onlooker did exactly the right thing. The RNLI would rather be called out if there is a danger of someone being in difficulty in the water. That’s what we are trained to do.
"The Respect The Water campaign highlights the dangers of the cold water and how quickly it is to get into difficulties."
Three volunteers from Portrush RNLI came to the aid of a man in need of emergency medical assistance on Saturday afternoon (23 April).
Following a routine training exercise on the all-weather and inshore lifeboats, volunteer Karl O’Neill, who is also an RNLI lifeguard supervisor, was enjoying a cup of coffee in Portrush with Second Coxswain Mark Mitchell and trainee mechanic Chris Dobbin, when at approximately 1pm the alarm was raised that a man was thought to be having a heart attack nearby.
The crew immediately went to the man’s assistance with Karl requesting that someone get his lifeguarding first responder bag from his car.
The three crew members using their RNLI training assessed the man and found that he was oxygen dependent but not having a heart attack.
With the casualty floating in and out of consciousness, the crew quickly administered casualty care using the oxygen cylinder from the first aid bag.
The man responded immediately to the oxygen before he was transferred as a precautionary measure into the care of an ambulance crew.
Speaking following the incident, RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor Karl O’Neill said: ‘We were happy to assist the man and would like to wish him a full recovery. This was a perfect example of the benefit of having first aid training and in this instance, a good example of RNLI lifeboat crew and lifeguards working well together and putting our skills and training in place. I always carry my RNLI first responder bag with me and thankfully on Saturday it meant this gentleman got the oxygen he needed at the right time.’
The call for help came after a member of the group the man was with observed him fall just before 1pm and raised the alarm.
After arriving on scene, senior RNLI lifeguard Jamie Russell immediately began to administer casualty care to the conscious man, who had fallen some 12 feet from the coastal path. He was joined on scene by a paramedic and they continued to provide assistance.
However with an incoming tide and a challenging location, it was decided that removing the casualty would require the assistance of Coleraine coastguard.
The man was secured on a stretcher and carefully moved by the group around the rocks to a waiting ambulance.
Commenting on the callout, RNLI lifeguard supervisor Karl O’Neill said: "This incident was quite a challenging one to respond to due to the nature and location of the fall.
"Thankfully the man was conscious but we did not want to risk any further discomfort or injury by moving him ourselves. I would like to thank members of Coleraine coastguard for their assistance."
Whiterocks is one of five beaches being patrolled by RNLI lifeguard during the Easter holidays, continuing till Monday 4 April, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.
However, as the all-weather lifeboat approached Ballycastle the crew was stood down as another vessel had responded and assisted the vessel to get underway.
The crew was requested to launch once again went at 12.30am yesterday morning (Tuesday 15 March) to reports of a 23m fishing vessel 12 miles northwest of Portrush that had got nets caught around its propeller.
The weather was cold but calm and the Portrush lifeboat crew were joined by their lifeboat colleagues from Lough Swilly RNLI and their new Shannon class lifeboat, The Derek Bullivant.
The Portrush crew attached a towline to the fishing vessel and towed her into Greencastle Harbour under the guidance of Lough Swilly RNLI
The Portrush crew had last seen the Shannon when she and her crew made Portrush their last call when returning from Poole to Buncrana in April last year.
Speaking following the callout, Portrush RNLI lifeboat operations manager Robin Cardwell said: "This was a tow for which both crews are trained and executed perfectly.
"The Portrush crew towed the vessel into Greencastle and aworked well with our flank station Lough Swilly who helped us into harbour."
A third of the accolades presented on the night went to activities and locations around the Portrush coastal region, as voted on by the public.
Among them was the song for Best Coastal Experience, awarded to Troggs surf school in Portrush – while the Causeway Coast & Glens was named Best Adventure Destination for its abundance of opportunities not just for surfing and sea kayaking but also hiking and coasteering.
The Coleraine Times has more on the story HERE.
The weather conditions at the time were difficult as the wind was in a northwesterly direction. Sea conditions were rough and it was bitterly cold.
Fortunately, before the lifeboat and its volunteer crew reached Kinnego Bay, Greencastle Coastguard reported that they had located the kayakers and were transporting them back to safety.
Less than an hour after returning to base, Portrush RNLI had their second call out of 2016, and the ALB was launched at 4pm to reports of a boat in difficulty at Benone Beach.
The weather conditions were difficult as the wind was in a southwesterly direction; sea conditions were moderate but the wind chill made it bitterly cold.
The search continued for some two hours with the coastguard combing the beach and a helicopter deployed to assist. The crew searched an area ranging from Benone beach over to Greencastle and Shrove off the Donegal Coast.
However, with the light failing rapidly and no sign of either a boat or persons in the water, the search was stood down for the night.
Portrush RNLI lifeboat operations manager Robin Cardwell said: "We couldn’t believe that we received another call out so soon after our first one of 2016, but once again the crew responded without hesitation. Our volunteers are always ready to go when the pager goes off, even on a bitter January afternoon.
"We searched the designated area for nearly three hours in very cold conditions. This is exactly the type of situations our volunteer crew are trained to do."
Senior RNLI lifeguard Bosco McAuley spotted two people in difficulty at 3.40pm approximately 100 metres out to sea within the lifeguards flagged patrol zone on the beach.
The two women were both on stand-up paddle boards when they got caught off guard by a strong offshore wind. Weather conditions were described as overcast and windy at the time, with about 1-2 foot of surf.
After observing the situation, McAuley asked his RNLI lifeguard colleagues Bruce Traill and Ali Boyd to assist. Traill quickly put on his RNLI rescue watercraft kit while Boyd launched the jetski into the water.
McAuley then proceeded to the two paddle boarders and assisted them safely back to shore before going back to retrieve the two paddle boards.
"Offshore winds during the summer season can cause issues on the beaches, when these situations arise we are on scene and can quickly deal with them to ensure the public’s safety," said McAuley after the rescue.
RNLI supervisor Tim Doran added: "Anyone who gets into difficulty the water should try to remain calm, raise their arm and signal for help. Our lifeguards are well trained when it comes to spotting people in danger in the water and are quick to respond."
" With numbers on the beaches expected to increase for the July holidays this week, Doran reminded people to be mindful of the RNLI’s key safety advice – particularly for those planning to use the water.
"If you are planning on visiting a beach this summer, choose a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags, which mark the safest area to swim and are an indicator that lifeguards are on duty.
"If you see someone else in trouble in the water, call on the help of a lifeguard or dial 999 and ask for the coastguard."