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RNLI Lifeboat News From Ireland
Arklow RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat
Arklow RNLI came to the aid of two people yesterday (Monday 21 March) following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to assist a vessel which had lost propulsion. Within minutes, the volunteer crew were aboard the all-weather lifeboat Ger…
Lough Ree RNLI taking part in water safety display on River Shannon in Athlone on Saturday last (19 March).
The first public holiday weekend of the year saw Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat volunteer crew respond to two call-outs and come to the aid of four people stranded on the lake. On St. Patrick’s Day (Thursday 17 March) the crew…
Clifden RNLI’s Shannon class all-weather lifeboat
Clifden RNLI’s volunteer crew were called out at the weekend following reports of three teenage kayakers having drifted from the shore in Ballinakill Bay, near Letterfrack in Connemara. The Shannon class all-weather lifeboat was launched at 4.20pm on Saturday afternoon…
Howth RNLI inshore lifeboat as seen from the stern of the all weather lifeboat en route to assist kayakers off Malahide
The crew of Howth RNLI launched both their Inshore and All-Weather lifeboats today (Sunday 13 March) to reports of six kayakers in difficulty off the coast of Malahide with one person having capsized and struggling in the water.​ Howth inshore…
Kyle Boyd
A volunteer crew member from Carrybridge Lifeboat Station successfully completed the rigorous RNLI helm assessment this past Wednesday 9 March. Twenty-nine-year-old Kyle Boyd works for Openreach and has spent a lifetime on Upper and Lower Lough Erne in Co Fermanagh,…
Castletownbere RNLI Lifeboat Coxswain Dean Hegarty with crew David O’Donovan, Martin Cronin, Dave Fenton, Seamus Harrington, Marc O’Hare and Donagh Murphy who went to the assistance of the Irish Navy vessel L.E. George Bernard Shaw
Castletownbere RNLI was launched last night (Wednesday 09 March 2022) just after 22:00 to go to the assistance of a crewman onboard the Irish Navy vessel L.E. George Bernard Shaw who had become injured during sea exercises off the coast…
Portrush RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat returns to base after a successful tow in difficult conditions
It was a busy afternoon on International Women’s Day for one of Portrush RNLI’s three women crew volunteers as the lifeboat was launched on Tuesday 8 March to reports of a fishing vessel in difficulty. The 26ft vessel with two…
The Irish Underwater Search and Recovery team receiving their cheque with Irishtown/Ringsend Lord Mayor Derek Buckley, and Philip Smith and Dave Cox of St. Patrick’s Rowing Club
The “All in a Row” team which smashed a 1,000 km target in eight hours on the Liffey late last year has presented €20,000 to two leading marine rescue charities. The RNLI’s Howth station and the Irish Underwater Search and…
Lough Ree RNLI is in readiness for the move to its new state of the art boathouse in Coosan on the River Shannon near Athlone
Following a series of familiarisation and training programmes over the last three weeks, the volunteer crew at Lough Ree RNLI is in readiness for the move to its new state of the art boathouse in Coosan later this month. The…
The Louth based RNLI Shannon lifeboat at Clogherhead launched for the kayaker
The lifeboat crew at Clogherhead RNLI rescued a lone kayaker over the weekend (Saturday 6 March) after they capsized near the local headland and were unable to get back on their craft due to the sea conditions. A local fishing…
Lough Derg RNLI’s inshore lifeboat Jean Spier
Lough Derg RNLI’s volunteer crew were called to assist two people on a 37ft yacht that ran aground on the lough on Saturday afternoon (5 March). At 3.36pm the lifeboat Jean Spier launched with helm Owen Cavanagh and crew Doireann…
Dunmore East RNLI’s all-weather Shannon class lifeboat
Are you a good communicator and willing to engage with the media? If so, Dunmore East RNLI may have just the volunteer role for you. The Co Waterford station is currently recruiting for the position of volunteer lifeboat press officer.…
Padraig ‘Pops’ Rath with members of Clogherhead RNLI in front of the station’s Shannon class lifeboat following the exercise
It is the end of an era at Clogherhead RNLI as long-serving lifeboat crewmember and station mechanic, Padraig Rath, affectionally known as ‘Pops’ has handed in his pager and officially retired from saving lives at sea this week. After four…
Newcastle RNLI volunteers and staff involved in the rescue
Volunteers at Newcastle RNLI rescued a swimmer who got into difficulty in rough seas close to the Co Down harbour this morning (Wednesday 2 March). Two volunteers and three visiting staff members were working at the lifeboat station when shortly…
Clogherhead RNLI lifeboat
Lifeboat crew with Clogherhead RNLI had an early morning call out today (Wednesday 2 March) when they were requested to launch by Dublin Coast Guard to a 16m fishing vessel with five people onboard, that had suffered machinery issues a…
Corá Gallagher presents the cheque to the RNLI crews from Carrybridge and Enniskillen
The volunteer lifeboat crews of Carrybridge and Enniskillen RNLI were recently delighted to receive a donation of £1,600 raised at a special event that crossed swimming with mindfulness. ‘Wild and Free at the Sea’ was held by Dips N Hips…

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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