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Carrybridge Lifeboat Launches to Cow Stranded in Mud on Lough Erne

26th August 2022
File image of Carrybridge RNLI’s inshore lifeboat
File image of Carrybridge RNLI’s inshore lifeboat Credit: RNLI/Carrybridge

Carrybridge RNLI received an unusual request this past Wednesday afternoon (24 August) to assist a cow stranded in the waters of the Erne south of Enniskillen.

The animal was reported by a member of the public to be in the water distressed unable to get out in the area of Tamlaght Bay, between Upper and Lower Lough Erne in Northern Ireland.

Once on scene, the lifeboat crew located the cow which was close to the shoreline but seemed stuck and unable to make it ashore.

Moving closer with care so as not to spook the animal, the crew found that the cow was stick deep in mud with most of her body submerged in the water.

The local PSNI, who were also on Lough Erne that afternoon, arrived on scene to offer their assistance. Both the volunteer lifeboat crew and the PSNI attempted numerous times to assist the cow back to the shoreline but to no avail.

Due to the animal becoming very tired and weak, and starting to shiver, the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) were also requested to attend to offer further help using some of its specialist equipment.

Enquires to locate the owner were made, during which time the lifeboat crew spotted a local farmer feeding animals in another field and made approached him. This farmer was able to alert the cow’s owner.

The NIFRS arrived on scene at the same time as the owner of the cow. The farmer checked the wellbeing of the animal and then set up a halter to assist in the abstraction of the cow from the mud to the shoreline.

The cow was then successfully brought ashore, and after a couple of shaky attempts stood up and proceeded to feed on the grass.

Her owner noted that the cow seemed to be in good health after her ordeal, and with some rest should be back to normal again. He also passed on his thanks to all involved in the rescue.

Speaking following the callout, Stephen Scott, lifeboat operations manager at Carrybridge RNLI said: “I would like to thank the member of the public who raised the alarm, as no one likes to see animals of any kind in danger.

“The swift response by the multi agencies today meant that this callout had a successful outcome for both the cow and the farmer.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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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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