Irish Lifeboats

The definitive guide to the Irish lifeboat service

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The latest news releases from the RNLI and CRBI 

Our goal is to bring you accurate and up-to-date news from the RNLI and CRBI. In addition, the website aims to inform you of events, functions etc. 

Our aim at is simple: To spread the word of the great work done by the RNLI and CRBI around the Irish Coastline. 

Get in touch with us if you have any queries or have something that you would like us to cover.

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Wexford RNLI launch three times over the weekend

Posted on July 16, 2018 at 11:40 AM

Volunteer lifeboat crew at Wexford RNLI were called out three times over the weekend.

Wexford RNLI callout to stranded yacht. Photo: RNLI/Anne Meyler

On Saturday (14 July), the crew were launched at 6:25pm to a motorboat adrift with engine failure in the Slaney Estuary. The second callout came on Sunday morning at 10:05am for a yacht aground near the Fort sandbank at the entrance to Wexford Harbour. The final callout was at 7:14pm on Sunday when the lifeboat launched to attend to the same yacht that had gone aground earlier in the day.

For the first callout the lifeboat crew comprised Peter Scallan (Helm), Frank O’Brien and Robbie Connolly, who took the five-metre powerboat under tow delivering it back to Wexford Quay with the two people on board safe and well. The Coast Guard was alerted by friends of the motorboat’s crew becoming concerned and calling the Coast Guard. Conditions were good with a moderate south-westerly breeze and good visibility.

The callout to the grounded yacht at the entrance to Wexford Harbour saw the lifeboat under the command of John Michael Murphy with crew Frank O’Brien, Robbie Connolly and Joanna Reid. An eight-metre sailing yacht with five people on board was hard aground on a sand bank just north of the navigation channel. The lifeboat transferred four of the yacht’s crew to the fishing vessel Laura Anne which was standing by to assist. Given the falling tide, it was not possible to tow the yacht successfully off the sandbank. The yacht’s skipper and the lifeboat crew secured the anchor on a long chain leading into deep water, and left the yacht in position to await high tide later in the day.

The third callout with helm Frank O’Brien and crew Peter Scallan, Robbie Connolly and Joanna Reid on board, set out from the RNLI station at Wexford Bridge to the sounds of French football fans celebrating their World Cup win on the street outside the Lifeboat Station. The rising tide presented an opportunity to free the yacht from the sand bank, as leaving it there would present a hazard to navigation and a danger to other users of the harbour. With fishing vessels Laura Anne and Aisling J in attendance, the lifeboat put the skipper of the yacht back on board, along with volunteer lifeboat crew Peter Scallan. With some manipulation of the anchor and the assistance of the lifeboat, the yacht eventually broke free of the sand bank and was able to motor back to Wexford Quay under its own power.

Volunteer RNLI helm Frank O’Brien said ‘thankfully nobody was injured in either incident due to the lifeboat being called promptly, preventing unpleasant experiences becoming emergencies. If you are in difficulty or see somebody in difficulty on or near the water, call 112 or 999 and ask for the Coast Guard’.

Valentia RNLI launches to motor cruiser on fire with three people on board

Posted on July 15, 2018 at 5:45 AM

Valentia RNLI volunteers launched their all-weather lifeboat yesterday afternoon (Saturday 14 July) to assist a 37ft motor cruiser with three people on board, which had caught fire.

Valentia RNLI responds to boat on fire with three people onboard. Photo: RNLI/Valentia

At 1.00pm Valentia Coast Guard requested the Valentia RNLI all-weather lifeboat to assist a motor cruiser on fire four miles south of Dingle harbour. Weather conditions at the time were described as good with clear visibility, force 3-4 with a 3 meter swell.

The motor cruiser was on a passage from Cahersiveen marine to Dingle harbour when the engine caught fire. Nearby vessels went to the aid of the cruiser upon seeing smoke bellowing from it. The three casualties had left their vessel and entered an inflatable craft, prior to being picked up by a local fishing trawler. Arriving on scene our crew members quickly assessed the cruiser which was completely alight. They then proceeded to bring the three casualties on board the lifeboat for a medical assessment. Two of the casualties suffered smoke inhalation and one of which had minor burns.

All were treated on board the lifeboat by our medical trained crew members and were then transported to Dingle harbour were they met by awaiting ambulance. All three were taking to University Hospital Kerry for further treatment.

Speaking following the call out, Valentia RNLI Coxswain John Patrick Murphy said: ‘The three casualties were very lucky to have suffered only minor injuries. We would remind anyone to ensure they always have a means for calling help if in difficulty or they see someone else in difficulty and to always were a lifejacket.’

Baltimore RNLI launched after yacht is propped off the coast of Baltimore

Posted on July 5, 2018 at 4:45 AM

Baltimore RNLI launched at 12.30pm on Wednesday (4 July), after a yacht with two people onboard became propped near Cape Clear Island off Baltimore, West Cork.

File photo of Baltimore All-Weather lifeboat 'Alan Massey'. Photo: RNLI

The volunteer lifeboat crew was requested by the Irish Coast Guard to go to the assistance of a 40 foot yacht with two people onboard which had become propped on a buoy in a tidal area known as the Gascananne Sound located between the islands of Sherkin and Cape Clear off the coast of Baltimore.

The Baltimore all-weather lifeboat with five volunteer crew aboard including Coxswain Kieran Cotter, mechanic Cathal Cottrell and crew members Sean McCarthy, Jerry Smith and Aidan Bushe, arrived on scene at 12.45pm. Another rib with a volunteer lifeboat crewman, Simon Duggan, was already in the area and remained on standby until the lifeboat arrived.

After an assessment of the situation the smaller Y-boat was launched from the all-weather lifeboat to access the area, with crew members Sean McCarthy and Aidan Bushe aboard. They tried to free the yacht themselves however the buoy remained stuck so a tow was established. As soon as the lifeboat took the yacht on tow it was pulled clear of the buoy and after assessing that all was fine with the casualty vessel the tow was discontinued and the yacht continued on its journey. The lifeboat then returned to station in Baltimore.

Speaking following the call out, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘Whilst there was no immediate danger to life, the crew aboard the yacht did the correct thing in requesting assistance as this particular stretch of water is known for its strong tides. If you get into difficulty on the water or along the coast, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’

Lough Ree RNLI Volunteers respond to 4 call outs in 3 days

Posted on July 5, 2018 at 3:05 AM

Lough Ree RNLI Inshore Lifeboat crew responded to 4 callouts in 3 days coming to the aid of fifteen people.

File photo of Lough Ree lifeboat. Photo: RNLI

Between 8am on Sunday, 1 July and 2.20pm on Tuesday, 3 July Lough Ree RNLI Inshore Lifeboat Crew came to the aid of fifteen people, 4 children and 11 adults in 4 separate call outs.

The first call out, on Sunday 1 July was for 2 people whose boat had drifted onto one of the Yellow Islands to the south of Lough Ree. The couple had got into difficulty when trying to leave where they were anchored for the night. Conditions at the time were overcast with a breezy force 3-4 northerly wind. The Inshore Lifeboat Crew were able to remove the boat from the Island, however after checking the boat when they were in deeper water it was apparent that the boat wasn’t able to continue under its own power. The Inshore Lifeboat Crew brought the 2 people onboard and their boat to Athlone Marina.

On Monday, 2nd July Lough Ree RNLI Inshore Lifeboat Crew came to the assistance of 8 people in 2 separate incidents when they had got into difficulty near the Hexagon Shoal on the eastern shore of Lough Ree near Killinure Point. Conditions on the lake on Monday were bright sunshine and a slight north easterly breeze.

The first call out was at 1pm to 4 people, 2 adults and 2 children, on-board a boat that had got stuck on the Hexagon Shoal. The Inshore Lifeboat Crew were able to remove the boat from the shoal and the 4 people on board were able to continue on their way to Lecarrow to enjoy the rest of their holiday. The second call out was for 4 people, 2 adults and 2 children,on board a speed boat that had lost power. The Inshore Lifeboat Crew brought the 4 people and boat to Quigleys Marina beside Coosan Point.

On Tuesday 3 July, the Volunteer Crew were alerted by a member of the public to a boat in difficulty near Hudson Bay on the Western shore of Lough Ree. When they arrived on scene the boat was at anchor and the 5 people on board had arranged assistance from a friend and while grateful to the Inshore Lifeboat Crew for coming out, did not require their help.

Speaking today, Lough Ree RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer, Sarah Bradbury said, ‘It’s great to see so many people, both locals and visitors, enjoying Lough Ree and all that it has to offer. As we continue to enjoy the dry weather, we’d like to let people know that water levels may be lower than usual and to keep to the main navigation channels where the water will be deeper’.

Fethard RNLI and community effort sees 6 rescued as inflatable drifts out to sea

Posted on July 4, 2018 at 6:40 AM

Fethard RNLI was involved in the rescue of six people on Monday evening (2 July) after two young girls drifted out to sea on an inflatable lilo.

File photo of Fethard Lifeboat. Photo: RNLI

The volunteer lifeboat crew were requested to launch their D class lifeboat at 8.31pm after two local women raised the alarm that they could see an airbed with two girls drifting out to sea off Duncannon Beach. With the wind blowing offshore, the airbed was blowing directly out to sea.

Four men, one of whom was the children’s father, had entered the sea and swam towards the girls.

With time of the essence, RNLI Deputy Launching Authority Hugh Burke launched his own boat which was nearer Duncannon, and made his way to the scene along with another local vessel.

Once there, he observed a windsurfer had made his way to the girls. One girl was on the lilo, and one of the four men who had swam out to help, was holding onto the windsurfer’s board.

Mr Burke took the girl and the swimmer onboard and brought them safely back to shore. On arrival, he was met by a shore crew member from Fethard RNLI who alerted him that a man, the father of the two girls, who had been taken out of the water by a local swimmer, was in need of serious medical attention on Duncannon Beach.

The father had reached the airbed and rescued one of the girls. However, as he was swimming the half mile back to the beach with his daughter, he too got into difficulty and both were dragged under water. One of the other men took the girl who had taken on a lot of water, and made it safely to shore. That swimmer returned to the water to help but he too then got into difficulty as exhaustion from his efforts, set in.

Meanwhile, a strong local swimmer who had seen the incident unfold from his home, immediately got involved and went to the aid of this man, brought him to shore before going back into the sea and rescuing the father of the two girls.

As this was happening, a kayaker went to the aid of another man who had entered the water to help and was drifting 100m away from the others and was struggling. The casualty held onto the kayak as the kayaker brought him ashore.

The Dunmore East Coast Guard unit which was also tasked arrived on the beach just before the father and daughter were brought ashore. With the arrival of the Coast Guard Unit and the Fethard RNLI lifeboat crew, casualty care was immediately administered by both teams. The man was treated for hypothermia and for drifting in and out of consciousness. The girl was treated for inhaling a considerable amount of water. Both responded immediately to casualty care and were looked after by all the volunteers on scene until the arrival of an ambulance. They were then transferred to hospital for further treatment.

Speaking following the call out, Hugh Burke, Fethard RNLI Deputy Launching Authority said: ‘With thanks to a huge community effort this evening, a tragedy was averted and we would like to commend all those locally who played their part in bringing the six people to safety. We also want to wish everyone who got into difficulty a speedy recovery following their ordeal.


‘Time was of the essence this evening and from the raising of the alarm, to the local efforts to get to the scene to help, right through to the administration of casualty care, fortunately it resulted in a good outcome for all.

‘We would like to remind everyone of the importance of respecting the water. We would ask the public to remember that inflatables such as lilos are designed for pools and not the open sea where they can be easily swept out by offshore winds and lead you into difficulty.

‘Always wear a lifejacket, always carry a mean of communication and should you get into difficulty call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’

The rescue come days after Fethard RNLI officially named their new D class lifeboat Naomh Dubhán, which was funded entirely by the local community.

Skerries RNLI receive two call outs in 24 hours

Posted on July 4, 2018 at 6:00 AM

Skerries RNLI launched on Tuesday afternoon (03 July) shortly after 1.30pm after a motorboat with two persons on board called Dublin Coast Guard via VHF radio and reported that they were taking on water near Rockabill lighthouse.

Rescue 116 Dropping the salvage pump on colt island. Photo: RNLI/Gerry Canning

The lifeboat was launched with volunteer Philip Ferguson at the helm and Emma Wilson and Joe May as crew, ensuring that they had loaded the salvage pump aboard.

They proceeded in the direction of Rockabill and quickly had the stricken boat in sight. Once on scene they transferred the salvage pump, which was quickly set up and began pumping water from the boat as they continued to head towards Skerries harbour.

Dublin Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 had also been tasked and was soon on scene and standing by. There was a concern that the salvage pump being used may run out of fuel before the casualty reached Skerries. So, after communications with the helicopter, it was decided to transfer an additional pump. The safest method of doing this in the conditions, was to transfer the pump, along with a winchman, to Colt island, where the lifeboat then picked it up and brought it to the casualty.

Once both pumps were operational, the lifeboat and helicopter both escorted the vessel to the safety of Skerries harbour. Skerries Coast Guard unit then secured the Red Island landing site for R116 to touch down and recover their winchman.

Less than 24 hours earlier, on Monday afternoon (02 July), shortly after 2.30pm, the lifeboat was tasked to a kayaker who was struggling to get back on board his craft having entered the water.

Lifeguards on the South Beach in Rush alerted Dublin Coast Guard that a kayaker had entered the water and appeared to be having difficulty getting back on board. Skerries RNLI were tasked and the volunteers launched their Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat with Joe May at the helm and crewed by Eoin Grimes and Sheila May.

As the lifeboat approached Rush beach, they liaised directly with Lifeguards who were able to guide them directly to the casualty. Just before the lifeboat arrived, the man had managed to get back on his kayak and had begun to make his way ashore. The lifeboat crew spoke to the man and he assured them that despite being tired, he was happy to make his own way ashore. He was met at the shoreline by the Lifeguard who offered him assistance.

Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 were also tasked, and as they had begun their operational path out of Dublin Airport proceeded to the scene before being stood down.

Speaking after today’s call out, volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for Skerries RNLI, Gerry Canning said: ‘Today was a great example of how well the different organisations work together. It’s also showed the difference it can make having the right equipment, and making the call for help as early as possible’

Arklow RNLI rescues three people in separate incidents

Posted on July 2, 2018 at 7:15 PM

Arklow RNLI responded to two consecutive incidents on Saturday afternoon last (30 June).

File photo of Arklow All-Weather lifeboat 'Ger Tigchelaar'. Photo: RNLI/Arklow

Following a pager alert at 3.45pm, Arklow RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat was launched to reports of a lone jet ski adrift near North beach just north of Arklow Harbour.

Within a few minutes, the Ger Tigchelaar and her volunteer crew were enroute to the scene.

On arrival, the crew were able to ascertain that the jet ski had suffered machinery failure and was adrift near the rock armour shoreline at North beach. With the assistance of the jet skier, a tow line was established and the jet skier was then taken aboard the lifeboat and both were returned safely to Arklow Harbour.

Upon arrival at Arklow Lifeboat station a further report was received that a 9m catamaran was adrift and in danger, south of Arklow near the quarry breakwater.

Arklow RNLI’s crew put the jet skier ashore and then proceeded immediately to sea.

Upon arrival at the quarry breakwater, the lifeboat crew observed the catamaran with two onboard aground on the breakwater having suffered engine failure.

In challenging conditions, a towline was put aboard the catamaran.

Once secured the lifeboat proceed to assist in refloating the vessel and then once it was established that the casualty vessel was not taking on water, the vessel was towed back in to Arklow where all hands came ashore safety.

Following the incidents, Mark Corcoran, Arklow RNLI Community Safety Officer said: ‘Following these incidents and as we enter the summer months, we would remind everyone to respect the water. Always wear a lifejacket and always carry a means of calling for help - the earlier the lifeboat crew can get to the casualty the better the outcome tends to be.’

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Ballyglass RNLI assists sailor as 10m yacht gets into difficulty off Mayo coast

Posted on June 26, 2018 at 1:10 AM

On Monday afternoon (25 June) Ballyglass RNLI came to the aid of a lone sailor whose 10m yacht got into difficulty off the Mayo coast.

Ballyglass RNLI come to the aid of yacht with one onboard. Photo: RNLI

The volunteer lifeboat crew was requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat at 12.37pm following a request from the Irish Coast Guard.

The lifeboat under Coxswain James Mangan and with six crew onboard, launched immediately and made its way to the scene some five miles north of Ballyglass Lighthouse.

Weather conditions at the time were described as good with calm waters and the sun shining.

Once on scene, the crew observed that yacht had fouled its propeller. The sailor had entered the water in an attempt to free the propeller but was unsuccessful and called for assistance.

On arrival, the crew assessed that the sailor was safe and well before working to detangle the rope.

The lifeboat crew launched their smaller inflatable daughter Y boat to access the yacht and free the rope from the propeller. A towline was subsequently secured and the lifeboat brought the yacht safely back to Ballyglass Harbour.

Speaking following the call out, Ballyglass RNLI mechanic Allen Murray said: ‘As the summer holidays approach and we continue to enjoy a period of hot weather, we would like to remind everyone to enjoy it but also to respect the water.

‘Always wear a lifejacket and always carry a means of communication. Let someone ashore know when you are leaving, where you are going and when you are due back. Check the weather forecast and tide times. Learn how to start, run and maintain your engine and always carry tools and spares. Should you get into difficulty, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’

Howth RNLI rescue three people and their sailing vessel which had lost steering

Posted on June 25, 2018 at 9:10 AM

Howth RNLI launched their inshore lifeboat to reports of a sailing vessel with three people onboard having lost steering and drifted onto rocks at the base of Howth Head yesterday (Sunday 24 June).

Howth RNLI rescue 3 people and their sailing vessel which had lost steering. Photo: RNLI/Noel Davidson

A telephone call to Howth Yacht Club on was made by the occupants of a sail boat which had been travelling from Poolbeg Yacht Club to Howth to report that they had lost their rudder and were drifting towards the base of the cliffs close to the Bailey lighthouse. Howth Yacht Club alerted Howth RNLI which immediately paged the local RNLI volunteers and launched the inshore lifeboat within 10 minutes.

The inshore Lifeboat was crewed by Ian Martin (Helm), Joss Walsh and Killian O’Reilly. They quickly located the vessel at the base of the cliffs and after checking that the three crew members aboard the yacht were all okay they proceeded to take the casualty vessel under tow to the safety of Howth Marina. The three people aboard the yacht were in good spirits and thanked the RNLI for their help.

The wind was Force 3-4 southerly and the sea state was calm at the time.

Speaking following the call out, Ian Martin, Howth RNLI inshore lifeboat helm said: ‘We have to compliment the 3 people aboard the vessel for their quick action in calling for help when their boat experienced difficulties. We were delighted to be able to launch so quickly and assist and bring them back to Howth Marina.

‘We remind everyone enjoying this good weather to always respect the water. Irish waters can be dangerously unpredictable. The main risks that catch people are unexpected entry, cold water shock and rip currents and waves. Should you get into difficulty call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’

Swimmer brought to safety by Wicklow RNLI

Posted on June 25, 2018 at 1:10 AM

Wicklow Inshore lifeboat went to the assistance of a swimmer who got into difficulty while participating in an open sea race near Wicklow harbour on Saturday afternoon (23 June).

File photo of Wicklow RNLI Inshore lifeboat. Photo: RNLI/Tommy Dover

The volunteer lifeboat crew were on exercise nearby when the call for assistance came in, they quickly located the casualty and he was taken from the water. The swimmer was experiencing breathing difficulties, so oxygen was administered while the lifeboat returned to shore.

The casualty was handed into the care of an Ambulance crew and Paramedic on arrival at Wicklow harbour.

Speaking after the call out, Lifeboat Press Officer, Tommy Dover said: ’The swimmer was checked by the Paramedic and thankfully did not require any further medical care, so he was reunited with his family a short time later.’

The crew on the callout were Helm Alan Goucher, John Stapleton and Ian Heffernan.