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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Displaying items by tag: RNLI

Lough Derg RNLI’s volunteers were called upon to assist a lone sailor on a 36ft yacht aground at Bonaveen Point on Tuesday afternoon (11 October).

At 4.45pm the inshore lifeboat Jean Spier was launched with helm Steve Smyth, Eleanor Hooker and Richard Nolan on board, headed for the reported location at the northwestern shore of Lough Derg above Cloondavaun Bay. Winds were southerly Force 4/5 and gusting, with good visibility.

The lifeboat arrived on scene 20 minutes later at Fowler Island, north of Bonaveen Point on the Co Clare shore.

Two local people, in their lake boat standing off in safe water, came alongside the lifeboat and informed the volunteers it was they who called for assistance after they were unable to assist the person on board the yacht.

They expressed their concern for the skipper on the yacht, who had been aground for the three hours and who they could not safely take off under the conditions due to the casualty’s limited mobility. They had attempted an approach but damaged their propeller on rocks that extend 30 metres from Fowler Island into the lake.

Valentia Coast Guard offered an airlift for the casualty but the RNLI volunteers felt that would prove difficult due to the location and the height of the mast on the yacht.

Studying their lake charts and using their local knowledge, the lifeboat volunteers planned a route to the yacht with the intention to evacuate the casualty.

The helm requested the crew to take up positions in the bow, port and starboard, to take soundings and to report sightings of hazards in the water. Then the helm lifted one engine and skilfully navigated a course around rocks to the casualty vessel.



At 5.41pm the lifeboat reached the stern of the casualty vessel. An RNLI volunteer boarded the yacht to assist the skipper and, with an RNLI volunteer in the bow of the lifeboat, they helped the casualty transfer to the lifeboat.

Once everyone was recovered to the lifeboat, the helm, with one crew member at the stern on the lookout for hazards, immediately began a route back to safe water, after which they assessed the casualty for any injury. The sailor was feeling cold but otherwise well.

Just before 6pm the lifeboat arrived at Cloondevaun Harbour and left the casualty in the care of their friend. The two people in their lake boat also arrived safely to shore, ahead of the lifeboat.

Catherine Gleeson, deputy launching authority at Lough Derg RNLI advises boat users to “carry a means of communication and let someone know your destination and your planned time of arrival”.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Larne RNLI rescued a man who got into difficulty in the early hours of this morning (Wednesday, 12 October) after his 30ft yacht sustained engine failure in the dark of night.

The volunteer crew were requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat at 2.30 am following a VHF Mayday to Belfast Coastguard from a sailor who encountered problems when his yacht broke down, and he was unsure of his location.

The lifeboat immediately launched under Coxswain Frank Healy and with six crew members onboard and made its way to the lat long position the sailor had provided, which was six miles east of Larne.

Weather conditions at the time were rough, with southwesterly winds gusting 20 knots.

The lifeboat arrived on the scene approximately 15-20 minutes later and instantly located the sailor, who was wearing a lifejacket and was safe and well onboard his boat. He had left Loch Ryan in Scotland and was on passage to Bangor when he got into difficulty.

Having assessed the situation, a decision was made to transfer two crew members onboard the yacht to establish a tow and to bring the vessel to the nearest safe port at Larne. Due to the weather conditions, when the lifeboat was approaching Larne, a decision was made to request the assistance of the station’s inshore lifeboat to help with mooring the yacht on arrival. The yacht and sailor were brought to safety at approximately 6 am where the man was then brought to the lifeboat station and made comfortable.

Speaking following the call out, Phil Ford-Hutchinson, Larne RNLI Deputy Launching Authority, said: ‘The sailor did the right thing this morning in raising the alarm when he knew he was in difficulty. His engine had broken down, he was unsure where he was in the dark and weather conditions were not great. Despite the time, our crew responded in numbers without hesitation and were delighted to help and we wish the man well on his onward journey.

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Crosshaven RNLI Lifeboat Pagers were activated at 6.25 pm on Tuesday evening (11 October) to attend to a person cut off by the tide at White Bay, Cork Harbour.

The high tide was fast approaching and the casualty was soaked by the incoming waves.

The lifeboat under the command of Alan Venner, with Claire Morgan, Jonny Bermingham and James Fegan arrived on scene shortly before dusk.

In what was a challenging rescue, the crew had to anchor the lifeboat and veer down into a rock-strewn gulley whilst being buffeted by 3 to 4-foot waves.

Jonny Bermingham, and Alan Venner went ashore to help the very cold patient onto the lifeboat. As the casualty was showing signs of hypothermia, an ambulance met the lifeboat at the station and the casualty was handed into the care of the National Ambulance Service.

Guileen Coast Guard unit was also tasked and provided much-needed illumination of the area from the cliff tops. Lifeboat Doctor, Dr John Murphy also attended the casualty at the station.

Shore Crew: Jon Meany, Jakub Bednarsky, Aisling Ryan, Jen Grey and Hugh Tully DLA.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

An eight-metre fishing boat that suffered mechanical failure nine nautical miles east of Ballycotton island yesterday evening (Monday 10 October) was brought to safety by lifeboat crew from Ballycotton and Youghal RNLI.

Ballycotton RNLI Lifeboat The Austin Lidbury was requested to launch by Dublin Coast Guard at 4.45 pm to a fishing boat that had suffered engine failure.

With a slight wind and clear visibility, Ballycotton RNLI was quickly able to locate the stricken vessel. Once the crew had spoken with the casualty and assessed the situation, a secure tow line was established. During their passage back to Youghal, they met with Youghal RNLI and passed on the tow before returning to Ballycotton at 6.30 pm.

Commenting on the callout, Ballycotton RNLI Coxswain Conor Philpott said, ‘Thankfully conditions were very good, and the person was wearing a lifejacket and had called for help as soon as they encountered engine difficulties'.

Last night's rescue was the first service for Conor Philpott in the role of Coxswain and one of the newest members Kate Flemming as a volunteer crew member.

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Lough Derg RNLI’s volunteers were requested on Saturday afternoon (8 October) to assist two people on a 16ft yacht aground on a shoal near Terryglass Harbour.

The inshore lifeboat Jean Spier was launched at 5.05pm with helm Eleanor Hooker and crew Tom Hayes, Joe O’Donoghue and Richard Nolan on board. Winds were southeasterly Force 3-4 and visibility was good.

Twenty minutes later the lifeboat located the yacht on a shoal north of Terryglass Harbour. With a crew member taking soundings off the bow, the lifeboat made a cautious approach to the casualty vessel.

Both people on board the yacht were safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets. A lifeboat volunteer boarded the vessel and established that it was not holed.

It emerged that the skipper had been hoisting the yacht’s sails when its outboard engine failed, and the wind pushed the yacht onto the shoal.

The lifeboat attempted to free the yacht from the shoal but it was evident that the bow keel plate was stuck fast.

Two RNLI crew rotated the bow and used the wind and wave to lift the yacht off the shoal before taking it out into safe water, where volunteers set up an alongside tow to Terryglass Harry, where it was tied safely alongside at 6.45pm.

Liam Maloney, deputy launching authority at Lough Derg RNLI advises boat users: “If you find yourself in difficulty on Lough Derg, dial 999 or 112 and ask for marine rescue.”

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Courtmacsherry RNLI's all-weather lifeboat Frederick Storey Cockburn was called out at 10.40am on Tuesday morning (4 October) to help three people on a 70ft fishing boat in difficulty 22 miles offshore, southeast of the Old Head of Kinsale in West Cork.

Under coxswain Sean O’Farrell and a crew of five, the lifeboat was under way quickly and immediately made its way to the area of the casualty to assess the situation.

The distress alarm was raised by the fishing vessel’s crew with the Irish Coast Guard’s Marine Rescue Coordination Centre in Valentia, when they fouled their propellers and became disabled while trawling in the area.

The lifeboat located the casualty at 11.50am and a tow rope was immediately attached in order to secure the fishing vessel in lumpy seas with a strong wind blowing and a three-metre swell.

Having assessed the situation, a decision was made to tow the boat which had three crew on board, to the nearest port of Kinsale, where it was successfully docked at the local pier at 6pm.

Commenting on the callout, Courtmacsherry RNLI’s deputy launching authority Philip White praised all crew for carrying out the rescue so professionally.

“It is ironic that our crew was involved in a long eight-hour rescue today, at the same time that the station’s new Shannon class lifeboat came off the production line in Poole and the traditional bell ringing ceremony was held.”

The crew on board Tuesday’s callout alongside O’Farrell were mechanic Dave Philips and crew members Pat Lawton, Tadgh McCarthy, Evin O’Sullivan and Gearoid O’Donovan.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

 A group of 18 volunteers from Portaferry RNLI in Northern Ireland have been rewarded and recognised for their dedication to saving lives at sea.

At a special meal held in the Co Down coastal town on Friday 9 September, two crew members received a commendation letter from the RNLI for their role in a callout two years ago.

Two volunteers received long-service awards from the charity, while 13 volunteers were presented with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee medal.

Meanwhile, Patricia Browne was recognised for receiving a British Empire Medal (BEM) for her 42 years of service.

Volunteer crew members Fergal Glynn and Ian Sands were recognised for their dedication and service during a multi-agency search and exceptional delivery of casualty care rescue response two years ago, when they worked to recover a casualty from the water who was sadly later pronounced deceased.

Long-service awards were presented to Jeremy Rogers for 26 years and Simon Rogers for 23 years. During their service at Portaferry RNLI, they served as inshore lifeboat crew and helmsmen, and Simon also acted as lifeboat operations manager. Simon and Jeremy rescued 108 lives between them during their years of service.

As a token of thanks, 13 volunteers from Portaferry RNLI — Chris Adair, Sinead Breen, Colin Conway, Jordan Conway, Graham Edgar, Simon Exley, Tory Killen, Fiona Magee, John Murray, Terence O’Neill, Paddy Ritchie, Mark Stevenson and George Toma — were among the 4,500 volunteers and frontline staff to be awarded a special commemorative Platinum Jubilee medal in recognition of the 65,886 lives the RNLI has saved during the Queen Elizabeth’s 70-year-reign. The commemorative medal was created to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

In June, volunteer Patricia Browne was awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for her 42 years of service to the RNLI. First joining the institution in 1979 at Portaferry RNLI, shortly before the town’s lifeboat station was officially established in 1980, Patricia has held the position of chair of the Portaferry Fundraising Branch for 27 years. Under her leadership, the Portaferry Fundraising Branch has raised over £221,000 for the RNLI in the last 10 years.

Speaking at the event last month, Portaferry RNLI’s current lifeboat operations manager Philip Johnston said: “As a station team, we are truly delighted and appreciative of the recognition by the charity and others, of our volunteer work in saving lives at sea.

“It has been a challenging few years for everyone with the pandemic so it is really wonderful that we can gather as a team tonight and reward those who have been recognised for their efforts. Their achievements are testament to their selflessness and dependability over the years and I wish to congratulate and thank them and the wider station team here in Portaferry who work tirelessly to deliver our essential lifesaving service.”

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The Lifeboat Lunch, a fundraising event which will see proceeds raised go to Crosshaven RNLI in Cork Harbour, will take place next month as the station prepares to mark 22 years of saving lives at sea.

Tickets for the lunch which will take place in the Carrigaline Court Hotel at 12 noon on Friday 11 November and will include a three-course meal, are now on sale, priced €85.

KC from Cork’s 96FM will MC the lunch and music will be provided by the Loungeman.

Speaking ahead of the event, Annamarie Fagan, Crosshaven RNLI Fundraising Chairperson, said: ‘Crosshaven RNLI celebrated its 20th anniversary during the pandemic but unfortunately, due to restrictions at the time, we couldn’t mark the occasion. Now two years on and in 2022 as we mark 22 years of saving lives at sea, we are delighted through this lunch that we are finally able to celebrate a wonderful lifesaving milestone while raising much-needed funds.

‘Last year, Crosshaven RNLI launched its inshore lifeboat 32 times with our volunteer crew bringing 54 people to safety. That is a great achievement for the station team, who selflessly dedicate so much time to training and responding to call-outs. Proceeds raised from the sale of tickets and the raffle for the lunch will ensure the crew are provided with the best of kit and equipment so they can continue to save lives at sea.’

Tickets for the event sponsored by Astra Construction can be booked through Eventbrite by clicking thelifeboatlunchcrosshaven.eventbrite or by emailing [email protected]

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Aran Islands RNLI officially opened their new shop and Visitor Experience on Inis Mór this weekend, raising vital funds for the charity that saves lives at sea and awareness of the work of the lifeboat crew serving the islands. The sun came out for the grand opening, which took place on Saturday (1 October). The honour of cutting the ribbon fell to mother and daughter, Margaret Gill and Lena O’Connell. Both RNLI volunteers, Margaret is Treasurer of the Aran Islands fundraising branch with almost 40 years of service to the charity, while Lena is the station Lifeboat Press Officer and a fundraiser.

Lena and Margaret: Aran Islands Lifeboat Press Officer and Fundraising Volunteer Lena O’Connell and Aran Islands RNLI Treasurer Margaret Gill cut the ribbon on the Aran Island RNLI’s Visitor Experience as the crowd watches on. Photo: RNLI/Nigel MillardLena and Margaret: Aran Islands Lifeboat Press Officer and Fundraising Volunteer Lena O’Connell and Aran Islands RNLI Treasurer Margaret Gill cut the ribbon on the Aran Island RNLI’s Visitor Experience as the crowd watches on. Photo: RNLI/Nigel Millard

The new shop is located next to the Aran Islands lifeboat station at Kilronan Pier, while the Visitor Experience is inside the boat hall. The shop offers a wide range of RNLI branded goods, including clothing and accessories, toys and stationery. It is expected to open seven days a week during the tourist season from Easter through to Autumn and will coincide with the ferry timings to and from the island.

Shop volunteers: Jack O’Connell and Siobhan McGuinness were on hand to welcome customers to the new Aran Islands RNLI shopShop volunteers: Jack O’Connell and Siobhan McGuinness were on hand to welcome customers to the new Aran Islands RNLI shop Photo: RNLI/Nigel Millard

The Visitor Experience makes wonderful use of the large number of images and information about the station’s lifeboats, including memorable milestones, awards and rescue stories. The opening brought out a group of locals and visitors, with music provided by well-known musician Locko Cullen and a delicious buffet lunch laid on by Teach Nan Phaidí.

Back Row L-R: Nora O’Donnell, Padraic O’Tuairisg, RNLI Head of Region Anna Classon. Front Row: Michelle O’Donnell and Lifeboat Operations Manager for the Aran Islands RNLI Michael T. Hernon.Back Row L-R: Nora O’Donnell, Padraic O’Tuairisg, RNLI Head of Region Anna Classon. Front Row: Michelle O’Donnell and Lifeboat Operations Manager for the Aran Islands RNLI Michael T. Hernon. Photo: RNLI/Nigel Millard

Aran Islands RNLI station mechanic Máirtín Eoin Coyne was MC for the event and, welcoming people to the short ceremony, was Lifeboat Operations Manager, Michael T. Hernon, who thanked the dedicated volunteers who have supported the lifeboat station and fundraising for nearly a century. RNLI Regional Engagement Manager Daniel Curran acknowledged the huge amount of people who had made the opening possible.

RNLI Head of Region, Anna Classon, whose own grandfather was a member of the Garda Síochána stationed on the island, and who made Inis Mór a home for her mother and uncles for many years, gave her speech in Irish and paid tribute to the lifeboat and island communities who support the RNLI in their lifesaving work.

Anna said, ‘This community, with the support of the RNLI, has been serving those in trouble on the sea for many years. It has a been a selfless tradition, with a history of bravery, volunteering, and kindness to strangers. Thank you for joining the RNLI in the bravest of endeavours, to put others before yourselves, in whatever role you play. I congratulate all involved with this lovely new shop and visitor experience and hope you welcome many people across the threshold in the years to come.’

After conducting the official ribbon cutting with her daughter Lena, Aran Islands RNLI Treasurer Margaret Gill said, ‘We are so thrilled to have our new shop and visitor experience on Inis Mór. There is an incredible history of lifeboating and lifesaving on this island and a group of committed volunteers that support it. There are tales of rescues and brave deeds going back generations and it’s lovely to have somewhere for visitors and locals to take a minute, look around the exhibits, and learn a bit about our history. They can also visit our shop when they have finished and buy a little memento of their trip to the island or an early Christmas card. As a charity the RNLI relies on the generosity of the pubic and we are so grateful for that ongoing support.’

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Holyhead RNLI volunteers were honoured to welcome Their Royal Highnesses The Prince and Princess of Wales on Tuesday, during a whistle-stop tour that brought them back to the island they once called home.

The Royal couple met lifeboat crew members and shop volunteers in their first visit to Wales since becoming The Prince and Princess of Wales.

Their Royal Highnesses chatted to volunteers, including 21-year-old lifeboat helm Sion Owens, one of the station’s youngest ever helms, and 83-year-old Gill Davies, who has volunteered in the RNLI shop for over 20 years.

Tony Price, Holyhead RNLI Coxswain, said: ‘It was an absolute pleasure to welcome The Prince and Princess of Wales to Holyhead RNLI and a privilege to have met them. They both showed a genuine and passionate interest in the work of the RNLI, from our shop volunteers to the lifeboat crew.

‘They spent a long time chatting to many of us about our individual roles and the part we play in saving lives at sea. They seemed so at ease and asked many interesting questions about the RNLI, showing a particular interest in mental health.’

Their Royal Highnesses The Prince and Princess of Wales meet a youngster at Holyhead RNLITheir Royal Highnesses The Prince and Princess of Wales meet a youngster at Holyhead RNLI

The station has special relevance for The Prince and Princess, as they lived on Anglesey for several years while Prince William was an RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot, stationed at RAF Valley, which included working with the island’s lifeboat crew on rescues during his time in the role.

The Prince and Princess of Wales’ first Royal visit after announcing their engagement was also on the island as they attended a service of dedication for RNLI lifeboat, the Hereford Endeavour, at Trearddur Bay Lifeboat Station in 2013.

The Royal couple had a tour of Holyhead Lifeboat Station, including the ‘local knowledge’ room, put together by the crew for visitors to familiarise themselves with local waters. Their Royal Highnesses were also able to have a close-up view of the station’s D class inshore lifeboat Mary and Archie Hooper.

Holyhead Lifeboat Operations Manager David Owens said: ‘We are extremely honoured that our station was chosen for the couple’s first visit to Wales since becoming The Prince and Princess of Wales.

‘The local people have a genuine fondness for the Royal couple, who were a part of island life while they lived locally. The fact that they have chosen to come to our station indicates how special Anglesey is to them, and how at home they feel here.

‘Our volunteers are very proud of what they do, and meeting The Prince and Princess was a real honour, and something none of them will forget.’

Prince William’s last engagement with the RNLI was at an Emergency Services Day event last year when he met 12-year-old Ravi Saini who made national headlines in 2020 when he used the RNLI’s Float to Live advice after being caught in a rip current while on holiday in Scarborough.

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