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Rosslare Lifeboat Volunteer Presented with RNLI Award for Brave Rescue of a Woman off Stricken Yacht

21st September 2022
Mr. John Payne (right), presents David Maloney with the RNLI commendation. In doing so, the charity wished to acknowledge his brave actions that night and recognise it as a life saved by an RNLI volunteer

Former Rosslare RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, David Maloney has been awarded a Commendation from the Operations Director of the RNLI for his role in a rescue in September 2016, where his actions saved the life of a woman trapped in a cabin on a yacht which had been dashed on rocks in the harbour.

As Afloat reported at the time, in the early hours of 14 September 2016, during a strong north-west gale, a small yacht owned and crewed by a Swedish couple entered Rosslare Harbour. On arrival, the engine stalled, and the yacht was blown onto on the rock armour, where it was pummelled by waves.

A call for help was raised, and Rosslare lifeboat was launched. However, due to the location of the casualty vessel, the lifeboat was unable to reach the yacht from the water. Rosslare RNLI volunteer Jamie Ryan arrived at the scene with the station Lifeboat Operations Manager David Maloney and found a man standing on the quay wall looking at the yacht, clearly in shock. In sympathising with the man on what they thought to be the loss of his vessel, they discovered that his partner was still onboard.

The stricken yacht damaged by rock armour in Rosslare Harbour The stricken yacht damaged by rock armour in Rosslare Harbour

With the yacht being broken up by the waves, Jamie discussed the option of using a rope which could be put around Dave’s waist, to reach the woman, but they both realised there would be no time for this. The woman was in immediate risk of being pulled out to sea and lost. Using his skill and lifeboating knowledge and with the waves pummelling the vessel, Dave manoeuvred across the rocks and into the cabin of the yacht. Once there, he took hold of the woman and pulled her out of the cabin and up to the safety of the quay wall.

Dave never sought recognition for his action that night, but the station put him forward for his role in the rescue and during a recent Coast Review visit by the RNLI, the Operations Director, Mr. John Payne, presented Dave with the RNLI commendation. In doing so, the charity wished to acknowledge his brave actions that night and recognise it as a life saved by an RNLI volunteer.

Commenting on the honour, Rosslare RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Jamie Ryan, who succeeded David in the role, said, ‘we are delighted that David has been officially recognised by the RNLI for his incredibly brave action that night five years ago, which saved a life. It was a split-second decision but one that was made with years of experience and knowledge of lifesaving behind it. It could have easily been a tragedy, and I’m sure was a traumatic experience for the couple. David embodies the best of our lifesaving ethos, and we are very proud of him and his role at our station.’

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.

© Afloat 2020

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