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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Fethard

Fethard RNLI launched its inshore lifeboat on Friday afternoon (22 July) after one of its helms spotted a lone boatman struggling to make ground with oars while being blown away from the shore.

The volunteer crew launched the inshore lifeboat at Fethard Dock and headed to an area around half a mile off The Windy Gap. Weather conditions were good, with good visibility and a Force 4 southwesterly wind.

It emerged that the lone boatman had taken his flat-bottomed punt to check on a larger vessel that was moored, when the wind overpowered the small craft.

Upon arrival at the casualty vessel, the crew assessed the situation, brought the casualty on board the lifeboat, set up a towline and brought the vessel to the safety of Fethard Dock.

Commenting about the callout, volunteer helm Mick Roche said it “highlights the huge importance of always having a means to call 999 or 112”.

He added: “It also should encourage all members of the public engaging in water activities to know the local tides and weather, in particular the direction of the wind, and if an offshore wind is blowing.”

Friday’s callout also marked the first shout for volunteer crew member Ian O’Grady, who downed tools at a local building site to join the crew.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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As the summer season begins, Fethard RNLI’s new volunteer water safety officer Rebecca Doyle commenced her role by organising a swim safely clinic.

Local swim group Hooked on Swimming and the local triathlon club attended the clinic, which was provided by the RNLI water safety team on Baginbun Beach near the Co Wexford village.

Killian O’Kelly, RNLI water safety education manager joined Rebecca and fellow water safety officers Declan Roche and Debbie Newport from Kilmore Quay RNLI to offer valuable advice and discuss water safety tips relating to open water swimming.

Speaking at the event, Killian offered the following main points to the swimmers: “Be prepared. Check the weather and tides, choose your spot, go with a buddy or group and have the right equipment with you.

“Make sure you acclimatise to avoid cold water shock. Be seen by wearing a bright coloured swim hat and take a tow float. Rotate members of the group on shore to act as a shore safety person.”

Killian went on to advise about “the importance always having a means to call 999 or 112 for help, in the form of a dry pouch to hold your mobile phone or a pea-less whistle if you have someone listening out on shore.”

As the event was attended by two local swimming groups, the water safety team also discussed the huge benefits of the clubs having their own incident action plan, in case a member gets into trouble in the water.

The information offered on the evening was well received by all who attended, and they all received RNLI waterproof mobile phone holders.

Speaking after the event, Rebecca said: “It was fantastic to see all the swimmers on Baginbun listening attentively to the Water Safety Team and taking on board our advice.

“We spoke about the benefits of having a whistle tied to your tow float while out swimming and I am delighted to say there were quite a few ordered online in the days following our clinic.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Fethard RNLI launched its inshore lifeboat on Wednesday evening last (29 June) to assist the crew of a 25-foot yacht which had broken down in Bannow Bay.

The volunteer crew was requested to launch their inshore lifeboat by the Irish Coast Guard just after 9.15 pm. The crew proceeded to Fethard Dock, launched the lifeboat, and made their way to an area Northeast of The Windy Gap. Weather conditions at the time were good with a light force 2 north-westerly breeze, calm sea conditions and good visibility.

The crew arrived at the broken-down vessel at 9.40 pm where it was at anchor. The lifeboat crew assessed the situation, and decided to establish a tow line, retract the keel, and tow the vessel to the safe water of Bannow, north of the Cockle strand.

This launch also marked the first shout for volunteer crew member Mick Cooper, as well as the first launch as Helm for Mick Roche.

Speaking after the call out, volunteer Helm Mick Roche said ‘the crew of the yacht did everything right. They were well equipped with life jackets, navigation tools, means of communication and great local knowledge but were unfortunate to have engine difficulties. The crew did the right thing by alerting the Irish Coast Guard at the earliest opportunity to get help on its way'. Mick continued by saying ‘This call also highlights the importance of always carrying a means of communication when involved in any water activities in or by the sea.’

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Volunteer lifeboat crew at Fethard RNLI were requested to launch their lifeboat by the Irish Coast Guard on Sunday afternoon (1 May) at 3pm, to the aid of four people on board a yacht south of Duncannon Fort in the Waterford Estuary.

Fethard RNLI’s inshore lifeboat crew were attending the Shine A Light Festival at Hook Lighthouse where the crew were offering sea safety advice to the locals and visitors in the area, when Irish Coast Guard requested their assistance. Fully prepared with shore crew and boat crew, they proceeded straight to Duncannon launching the lifeboat from Duncannon strand. Conditions were good with a force 4 south-westerly wind and a flood tide.

The lifeboat proceeded to the vessel in difficulty and established that the crew of the casualty vessel were all ok. Irish Coast Guard Helicopter, Rescue 117, stood by overhead until Fethard lifeboat crew carried out an assessment of the situation. The lifeboat crew then established a tow line, brought the yacht to deeper safe water, where the yacht made its way under its own power.

Speaking about the incident Fethard’s Volunteer Helm Eoin Bird said, ‘We’d like to thank the member of the public who dialled 999 or 112 to raise the alarm with the Coast Guard.’ Eoin also went on to say, ‘As a general reminder, as this year’s leisure boat season gets underway, it is recommended to those taking to the water, to ensure that their maritime charts are up to date, that they have relevant tide tables, at least one means of communication and that all equipment on their vessel is fully operational and in date. And most importantly, that all crew on board always wear a lifejacket.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Fethard RNLI are hugely grateful to a group of local winter swimmers who each braved the elements completing 12 Swims of Christmas during December, at Baginbun Beach, raising an amazing €9,150.

Set up by local artist Helen Mason, this safety-conscious swimming group who prefer to swim in numbers, grew from single figures to almost 70. In an effort to stay motivated this December, as the sea temperatures dropped, the group set themselves a goal of 12 swims, and a fundraising target for Fethard RNLI. Speaking at today’s presentation, Helen said; ’To help stay focused, we decided to turn the month of December into a fundraiser for our local RNLI in recognition of the time and dedication given by our local RNLI volunteers. We enjoyed every minute of it, and how we laughed and joked!’

Today (30 January) Helen, the swimmers, and their families presented the cheque to volunteer Lifeboat fundraising committee member Sarah Bates and Fethard RNLI chairperson Tony Molloy at Fethard RLNI boathouse. Commenting on this amazing amount raised, Tony said, ‘It is dedicated fundraisers like Helen and the swimmers that help keep RNLI stations going. As a charity we depend on these generous acts of fundraising to run our station, train our crew, and update our lifesaving equipment. Thanks to everyone who got involved in the swims and all who logged on to the charity page and made their donation. It is because of everyone involved; we get to save lives at sea.’

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Fethard RNLI joined Kilmore Quay’s coastguard unit in a multi-agency operation to rescue local residents trapped in their homes by heavy flooding on Christmas Day, according to RTÉ News.

It’s reported that a number of people in the village of Bridgetown were safely removed by lifeboat, while motorists who were either cut off by the flooding or trapped in the water were also assisted.

Wexford Civil Defence and Wexford Fire Service also joined in the rescue effort on Saturday 25 December, as Kilmore Quay Coast Guard acknowledged on social media.

Heavy rainfall delayed the arrival of the Waterford-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117 — and was also responsible for the erosion of bridges near Enniscorthy due to the swelling of the River Borough (Boro), a tributary of the River Slaney.

In a statement, Transport Minister Eamon Ryan said his department “will provide full support for Wexford County Council and other councils as they address and repair the damage caused by the flash floods”.

Published in Rescue

Fethard RNLI launched its inshore lifeboat on Friday afternoon last (22 October) to conduct a sea search. A concerned member of the public out kayaking reported seeing a body like object floating in the sea off Baginbun Beach in County Wexford.

The volunteer crew was requested to launch their inshore lifeboat by the Irish Coast Guard just after p.m. The crew proceeded to Fethard Dock, launched the lifeboat, and made their way to an area east of Baginbun beach to carry out a search. Weather conditions at the time were good with a light south-westerly breeze, calm sea conditions and good visibility.

The multi-agency response involved Fethard RNLI, Fethard Coast Guard, The National Ambulance Service, An Garda Siochana and Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue 117. An extensive sea search of Baginbun Bay was carried out by Fethard RNLI lifeboat, with Rescue 117 assisting from the air. Fethard Coast Guard ground units carried out a shoreline search.

After two hours, the search was stood down by the Irish Coast Guard, when nothing was found.

Speaking after the call out, Pete Barry, Fethard RNLI Deputy Launch Authority said “Even though the call turned out to be a false alarm, we would like to commend the member of the public who did the right thing by calling 999 to report what they saw. They thought someone had gotten into trouble and had good intent calling the authorities. We would rather launch to investigate what was seen and put everyone’s mind at ease. This call also highlights the importance of always carrying a means of communication when involved in water activities by the sea.”

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Fethard RNLI lifeboat was requested to launch today (Saturday 25 September) by the Irish Coast Guard shortly before 12.30 pm, following a call for help from two stranded fishermen in a small open punt. Their craft had outboard engine difficulties in thick fog off Creadan Head in the Waterford Estuary.

The volunteer crew of Fethard Lifeboat launched at Duncannon Strand and proceeded to the coordinates given by the men on the broken-down vessel. The water was flat calm; there was a light breeze. However, visibility was less than 4 metres in a thick fog. The fishermen were located off Woodstown, where they tied up to a lobster pot marker buoy. There, the lifeboat crew assessed the situation, and it was decided to tow the fishermen back to the safety of Duncannon Harbour.

Commenting about the callout Thomas Stafford, Volunteer Helm, said, "The two lads did everything right. They wore their lifejackets, they tied up to a marker when the engine failed, and they had the means to call for help and give their coordinates when things went wrong. All this led to a positive outcome with the two lads being returned to safety."

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Over the weekend Fethard RNLI marked the 25th anniversary of the reopening of their lifeboat station, with an impressive search and rescue display off Baginbun Beach in Wexford. The search and rescue demonstration involved Fethard RNLI and their flanking lifeboat stations, Dunmore East RNLI and Kilmore Quay RNLI along with Fethard Coast Guard and Rescue 117. The Wexford based lifeboat station had been off service for a period of 82 years before locals were successful in getting the historic lifeboat station reopened with an inshore lifeboat in 1996.

As the weather held off, a crowd gathered to observe lifeboat crews from Fethard, Dunmore East and Kilmore Quay, carry out a scenario which saw the three RNLI lifeboat crews work as a team to form search patterns to locate survivors of a fictional light aircraft, which had reportedly come down just off Baginbun Head. When located, the casualties were brought ashore where the volunteer crew of Fethard Lifeboat administered casualty care and transferred them into the care of Fethard Coast Guard. In the final part of the exercise, Waterford based Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117 flew overhead; in this scenario the helicopter crew would have airlifted the casualties onboard to receive more urgent medical care and transport to hospital.

Also present on the day were members of the RNLI’s Water Safety team, who provided advice and handed out waterproof pouches to water sports enthusiasts for the safe keeping of their mobile phones when they are out on the water.

Speaking about the joint exercise to mark the 25th anniversary, Volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager for Fethard RNLI, Walter Foley said, ‘This major exercise between the three RNLI lifeboat stations, Fethard Coast Guard and Rescue117 shows the public the services that are available to them when things go wrong. It highlights the importance of always carrying a means of calling for help on your person and to call 999 or 112 if you or someone else gets into trouble.’

Walter continued saying ‘We, at Fethard RNLI, would like to thank all the volunteers who gave up their time to take part in the exercise, and we would especially like to thank the public, our supporters, who came out even when the weather was not looking too great. It’s been an incredible 25 years and we look forward to serving our community for many more years to come.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Fethard RNLI came to the aid of two adults and a child yesterday evening (Thursday 26 August) after their 17ft Dory boat suffered engine failure and was in danger of verging into a nearby shipping lane.

The volunteer crew were requested to launch their inshore lifeboat shortly after 5pm after the Irish Coast Guard was notified that a boat with three people onboard was in difficulty east of the fairway buoy near Loftus Hall.

The lifeboat helmed by Thomas Stafford and with crew members Nadia Blanchfield and Mick Roche onboard, launched immediately and made its way to the scene approximately 10 minutes away.

Weather conditions at the time were good with a light sea breeze and an incoming tide.

Arriving on scene, the lifeboat crew assessed the situation before making the decision to tow the vessel with its occupants onboard to the nearest safe port at Duncannon.

Speaking following the call out, Walter Foley, Fethard RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘While everyone was safe and well and not in any immediate danger, the crew on the vessel made the right decision to call for help when they did as the broken-down boat could have entered the nearby shipping lane. We would remind anyone planning a trip to sea to always wear a lifejacket and to always carry a means of calling for help like the group onboard did yesterday evening, that is always the right thing to do.’

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