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RNLI Lifeboat News From Ireland
Located on Ireland’s rugged Wild Atlantic Way, Achill Island’s Trent class all-weather lifeboat is ready to help the offshore island communities
Achill Island RNLI responded to a request for assistance with the medical evacuation of a patient on Inisturk, a small island off the coast of County Galway, on Bank Holiday Monday. The volunteer lifeboat crew launched shortly before 5 pm yesterday…
Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat Jean Spier
Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat to launch to assist a lone skipper on a 25ft yacht aground at Ryan’s Point on the eastern shore of Lough Derg on Sunday at 4.47 pm. The wind was westerly, Force 2/3.…
Clifden Quay in Connemara
Clifden RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew joined in a multi-agency response to an incident at Clifden Quay yesterday (Tuesday 26 April) where a casualty was injured in a fall from the quayside onto a boat some 15-20ft below. Mechanic Joe Acton…
Mickey Gerbola of Circus Gerbola with Howth Lifeboat Coxswain Fred Connolly (left) and Second Coxswain Ian Sheridan on a visit to Howth Lifeboat Station to promote a special gala performance at the Circus this Friday to fundraise for the RNLI
The lifeboat crew at Howth RNLI are joining the circus for one night only to kick start their Mayday campaign to raise funds for the RNLI. Circus Gerbola, which is running at Howth Castle until 2 May is holding a…
Skerries RNLI returning to the station with one of the two kayakers who was showing signs of hypothermia
Skerries RNLI were tasked shortly before 11am yesterday morning (Monday 25 April) following a 999 call to Dublin Coast Guard from two kayakers who were stranded on Shenick Island off the North Co Dublin town. The Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat…
King Sitric Seafood Bar Fundraiser - Head of Engagement for the RNLI, Pete Emmett presents a letter of thanks to Joan, Aidan and Dec Mac Manus of The King Sitric Seafood Bar alongside the local fundraising team of Howth RNLI
The King Sitric Seafood Bar raised €35,634 over the past four years for the RNLI as part of the charity’s Fish Supper campaign. Head of Engagement for the RNLI, Pete Emmett visited Howth to present a plaque and a letter…
Polish Kayaker Andrzej Kolobi and his family with the Clogherhead RNLI Lifeboat, the
To help launch this year’s Mayday Mile fundraiser for the RNLI, a lone kayaker who got into difficulty off Clogherhead in County Louth last month, returned to visit the lifeboat crew who saved his life when he capsized in a…
A tow underway by Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat
From Good Friday (15 April) until the weekend just passed the volunteer crew at Lough Ree RNLI came to the assistance of 17 people who encountered difficulties on and around the lake. Four of the call-outs were to cruisers which…
Union Hall RNLI Crew and shore crew from left to right - Jim Moloney, Peter Deasy, Chris Collins, Riona Casey, Sean Walsh, Paddy Moloney, Niamh Collins, Haulie Hurley and John Kelleher
The volunteer Union Hall RNLI crew in West Cork were requested to launch their inshore Atlantic 85 lifeboat Christine and Raymond Fielding, by the Irish Coast Guard at 7.56 pm on Sunday 24th April to a 33-foot vessel with two persons…
Two of the abandoned kayaks were  recovered later in the afternoon
Tramore RNLI were on a training exercise on Saturday afternoon (23 April) when they were tasked by MRCC and redirected to assist a group of kayakers in difficulty. Upon arrival at the scene minutes later, the crew learned that the…
The RNLI lifeboat in Kilmore Quay launched to assist a yacht with an injured crew member on board
Kilmore Quay RNLI launched on Friday evening (22 April) to assist a yacht with an injured crew member 20 miles off the Wexford coast. The volunteer crew were requested to launch their all-weather Tamar class lifeboat, Killarney, by the Irish…
Achill Island RNLI Mayday Mile poster
Usually, it’s the lifesavers of the RNLI who answer Mayday calls – it’s the most serious call for help. But this May, they need the public’s help. The charity is calling on the people of Achill and its diaspora to…
Goat Herder Melissa Jeuken brings members of Howth RNLI lifeboat crew on a tour of the goat farm on Howth Head
Volunteer lifeboat crew from Howth RNLI visited a farm on Howth Head this week to meet and officially name a newborn kid goat as part of the conservation grazing project in the local area. The invitation was made by the…
File image of Aran Islands RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat
Aran Islands RNLI had a busy Wednesday (20 April) with near back-to-back callouts for medical evaluations. The first came just after 10am when the Irish Coast Guard asked the volunteer crew to launch for a local man on the island…
Skerries RNLI’s inshore lifeboat approaching Malahide with the motorboat alongside
Skerries RNLI were tasked shortly before noon on Easter Monday (18 April) following a request for assistance to Dublin Coast Guard from two men on board a 4m motorboat. The volunteers in Skerries launched their Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis…
Clifden RNLI’s new all-weather lifeboat
The volunteer crew of Clifden RNLI were requested by the Irish Coast Guard to assist with the medevac of a casualty from Inishbofin on Good Friday. Clifden’s Shannon class all-weather lifeboat was launched at 11.30am on Friday (15 April) and…

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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