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Busy Start to Weekend for Carrybridge Lifeboat Assisting 11 People Across Four Boats in One Evening

14th August 2022
Carrybridge RNLI’s inshore lifeboat on Lough Erne
File image of Carrybridge RNLI’s inshore lifeboat on Lough Erne Credit: RNLI/Stephen Scott

Carrybridge RNLI’s inshore lifeboat Douglas Euan & Kay Richards was launched at the request of Belfast Coastguard shortly after 6.33pm on Friday evening (12 August) to a vessel which had got into difficulties in shallow water close to Naan Island.

It proved to be the start of a busy evening for the Lough Erne lifeboat volunteers in Northern Ireland who assisted 11 people in total across four boats.

Once on scene, the volunteer crew located two vessels in close proximity, both of which had got into difficulties in shallow water.

The first vessel, with one person onboard, was assessed and the decision made with the owner’s permission to safely tow it into deeper water.

With the first vessel in safe water, attention turned to the second boat, with five people and a dog on board, which was further aground.

The crew transferred four people from this vessel to the first vessel as they were travelling together. A safe route was established for the lifeboat crew to tow the casualty into deeper water with the owner’s permission. Both vessels then proceeded on their onward journey.

Meanwhile, a third vessel was spotted by the lifeboat crew entering the same very shallow area of water. The lifeboat approached this vessel, which had two people onboard, and then after speaking with the owner was safely escorted back to deeper water where they were able to continue their journey.

As the lifeboat crew were making their way back to the station, they observed a fourth vessel with four people onboard which had encountered engine difficulties after getting caught in weeds around one mile North West of Knockninny. The lifeboat crew, with the owner’s permission, set up a tow and brought the vessel back to its private berth.

Speaking later, Stephen Scott, lifeboat operations manager at Carrybridge RNLI said: “Now we are in the summer season we would urge all boat owners to make sure you have the relevant charts required before starting your journey, lifejackets for all on board and a means of calling for assistance if you find yourself in trouble.

“If you see someone in trouble on the water or are in difficulties yourself the number to dial is: 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

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Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) in Ireland Information

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is a charity to save lives at sea in the waters of UK and Ireland. Funded principally by legacies and donations, the RNLI operates a fleet of lifeboats, crewed by volunteers, based at a range of coastal and inland waters stations. Working closely with UK and Ireland Coastguards, RNLI crews are available to launch at short notice to assist people and vessels in difficulties.

RNLI was founded in 1824 and is based in Poole, Dorset. The organisation raised €210m in funds in 2019, spending €200m on lifesaving activities and water safety education. RNLI also provides a beach lifeguard service in the UK and has recently developed an International drowning prevention strategy, partnering with other organisations and governments to make drowning prevention a global priority.

Irish Lifeboat Stations

There are 46 lifeboat stations on the island of Ireland, with an operational base in Swords, Co Dublin. Irish RNLI crews are tasked through a paging system instigated by the Irish Coast Guard which can task a range of rescue resources depending on the nature of the emergency.

Famous Irish Lifeboat Rescues

Irish Lifeboats have participated in many rescues, perhaps the most famous of which was the rescue of the crew of the Daunt Rock lightship off Cork Harbour by the Ballycotton lifeboat in 1936. Spending almost 50 hours at sea, the lifeboat stood by the drifting lightship until the proximity to the Daunt Rock forced the coxswain to get alongside and successfully rescue the lightship's crew.

32 Irish lifeboat crew have been lost in rescue missions, including the 15 crew of the Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) lifeboat which capsized while attempting to rescue the crew of the SS Palme on Christmas Eve 1895.

FAQs

While the number of callouts to lifeboat stations varies from year to year, Howth Lifeboat station has aggregated more 'shouts' in recent years than other stations, averaging just over 60 a year.

Stations with an offshore lifeboat have a full-time mechanic, while some have a full-time coxswain. However, most lifeboat crews are volunteers.

There are 46 lifeboat stations on the island of Ireland

32 Irish lifeboat crew have been lost in rescue missions, including the 15 crew of the Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) lifeboat which capsized while attempting to rescue the crew of the SS Palme on Christmas Eve 1895

In 2019, 8,941 lifeboat launches saved 342 lives across the RNLI fleet.

The Irish fleet is a mixture of inshore and all-weather (offshore) craft. The offshore lifeboats, which range from 17m to 12m in length are either moored afloat, launched down a slipway or are towed into the sea on a trailer and launched. The inshore boats are either rigid or non-rigid inflatables.

The Irish Coast Guard in the Republic of Ireland or the UK Coastguard in Northern Ireland task lifeboats when an emergency call is received, through any of the recognised systems. These include 999/112 phone calls, Mayday/PanPan calls on VHF, a signal from an emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) or distress signals.

The Irish Coast Guard is the government agency responsible for the response to, and co-ordination of, maritime accidents which require search and rescue operations. To carry out their task the Coast Guard calls on their own resources – Coast Guard units manned by volunteers and contracted helicopters, as well as "declared resources" - RNLI lifeboats and crews. While lifeboats conduct the operation, the coordination is provided by the Coast Guard.

A lifeboat coxswain (pronounced cox'n) is the skipper or master of the lifeboat.

RNLI Lifeboat crews are required to follow a particular development plan that covers a pre-agreed range of skills necessary to complete particular tasks. These skills and tasks form part of the competence-based training that is delivered both locally and at the RNLI's Lifeboat College in Poole, Dorset

 

While the RNLI is dependent on donations and legacies for funding, they also need volunteer crew and fund-raisers.

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