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. 

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All in a Row for eight hour marathon challenge set to showcase Dublins River Liffey while raising funds for charity

Posted on November 28, 2018 at 9:00 AM

All In A Row 2018 comes to the capital’s River Liffey this Saturday, 1 December, challenging teams rowing 40 skiffs, kayaks, canoes and currachs to exceed a 1,000km target in eight hours.

The organisers are hoping to exceed last year’s target of rowing 1,000km during the event on the river, starting from St. Patrick’s Rowing Club at the Tom Clarke Bridge (formerly the East Link Bridge) and finishing at the Ha’penny Bridge.

The challenge is being undertaken with the aim of showcasing the River Liffey as one of Dublin’s best amenities, while raising funds for the water related charities, the RNLI and the Irish Underwater Search and Recovery Unit.


The event will start at 8am next Saturday and at 12 noon all boats will gather in front of the Sean O’Casey footbridge. A wreath laying ceremony, attended by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Nial Ring, will also take place to commemorate all those who have lost their lives through drowning. We remember particularly the crew of Naomh Gobnait who rowed 2,500 Klms from the Liffey to Santiago de Compostela and who later lost a valued crew member. A film chronicling the trip is playing in Irish cinemas.


The RNLI, the charity that saves lives at sea, will have an Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat on display for people to view during the day. Fast, manoeuvrable and reliable, the B class lifeboat operates in rough weather conditions, capable in daylight up to force seven and at night, to force six winds. The lifeboat is ideal for rescues close to shore, near cliffs and rocks and can also be beached in an emergency without causing damage to its engines or steering gear. The Atlantic 85 carries a full suite of communication and electronic navigation aids, as well as a searchlight, night-vision equipment and flares for night-time operations.


The lifeboat will be berthed alongside the Jeanie Johnston replica famine ship. The event is also being used as an opportunity to engage with inner city Dublin schools whose pupils have been invited to the Dublin Docklands Offices to learn about water safety through the RNLI’s Respect the Water campaign and how they can volunteer in their communities to help save lives at sea. The city’s Sea Scouts will also be participating in the event.

Many Dublin rowing clubs have their home on the River Liffey and are a regular sight on the water. At the port end of the river is St. Patrick’s Rowing Club, Stella Maris Rowing Club, East Wall Water Sports Group and Poolbeg Yacht and Boat club. Ringsend Basin is home to the Plurabelle Paddlers (dragon boats) and the Dublin Viking Dragon boats. At the other end of the city beyond Heuston Station there are many river rowing clubs and kayaking clubs, including Phoenix Rowing Club.


On 1 December the many boating clubs of the Liffey will be joined by rowing clubs from other parts of Ireland, to raise funds for the RNLI and the Irish Underwater Search and Recovery Unit.


Commenting on the event, the All In a Row Team said, ‘Everyone knows the River Liffey but most people don’t know how far it stretches and how many rowing groups use it regularly. There is a vibrant boating community on the River Liffey and these clubs regard it as the living artery of the city and one of Dublin’s great and undervalued amenities.’

‘After the beautiful summer we’ve had, we know that people are drawn to the water, whether on the coast or inland to enjoy different water sports. The Liffey is an undervalued and underused resource that is right under people’s noses and we want to encourage them to use it and to use it safely. From school children right up to seasoned rowers, this is a great opportunity to draw people down to the Liffey and learn about water safety and the fun activities they can do on the water all year round.’

Castletownbere RNLI respond to Mayday to rescue six fishermen from drifting boat

Posted on October 11, 2018 at 5:55 AM

Castletownbere RNLI responded to a Mayday and rescued six fishermen yesterday evening (Wednesday 10 October) after their boat lost power and drifted rapidly towards the shore.

Photo: Castletownebere RNLI

The volunteer crew were requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat at 7.30pm following a Mayday alert to the Irish Coast Guard that a 25m fishing boat with six people onboard had lost power due to a fouled propeller and was drifting at the entrance to the harbour in Castletownbere.

With time of the essence, the lifeboat under Coxswain Dean Hegarty and with four crew members onboard, launched immediately and was on scene within five minutes, at which point the vessel was 20m from the shore. The boat had been blown into a small area by Pipers Rock at the harbour mouth in south westerly 8-9 gale force conditions and amid a 4-5m swell.

The lifeboat crew quickly worked to establish a towline and remove the boat and her crew from immediate danger before bringing them safely back to Castletownbere.

Speaking following the call out, Paul Stevens, Castletownbere RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘Time was of the essence this evening and I would like to commend our volunteer crew for the fast response that had them on scene and providing help within 10 minutes of the Mayday. Given the weather conditions and how close the fishing boat was drifting to the shore at this point, the lifeboat’s timely arrival managed to avert a potential tragedy. The fishermen did the right thing in raising the alarm when they did and we would like to wish them well following what must have been a challenging experience.’

Arklow RNLI Rescue 4 People in Separate Callouts

Posted on October 8, 2018 at 1:10 AM

Arklow RNLI launched twice over the weekend (Oct 6&7) following Launch requests from the Irish Coastguard and alerts from members of the public and Gardai.

Arklow All-Weather Lifeboat 'Ger Tigchelaar'. Photo: RNLI/Arklow

The first launch on October 6th at 1.25pm was to a yacht which had gotten into difficulty and was without power , the vessel was about 1 mile east of Arklow harbour with 3 persons aboard, The vessel and its crew of 3 sailors were towed safely back to Arklow.

The second launch was very early Sunday morning at approximately 2.30am ,  All-Weather Lifeboat Ger Tigchelaar and her volunteer crew were once again requested to launch to a report of a person in the water in the harbour at Arklow, thanks to witnesses on scene who saw the person enter the water, the local Gardai and Coast Guard and Arklow RNLI were immediately alerted.

Our volunteers launched Arklow Lifeboat, and proceeded to the location near the river entrance, where the members of the public and local Gardai had located the person in the water and had managed to engage with the casualty and throw a lifebelt in efforts to keep the casualty afloat, till the lifeboat arrived on scene minutes later.

Once on scene, our crew managed to get the casualty aboard the lifeboat and administered casualty care while quickly returning to the lifeboat station, the casualty was then removed to hospital by ambulance.

Following the incident, Mark Corcoran Community Safety Officer at Arklow RNLI said:

“We would like to extend huge thanks to the members of the public who alerted the Coast Guard and the local Gardai to this incident, without this early Call for Help and assistance during the rescue, this incident could have ended very differently, I’d like to remind people once again, Please Respect the Water and always wear a lifejacket and carry a means of calling for help when going out on or near the water”

Further Water Safety Information can be found at

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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