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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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.

Courtmacsherry Harbour RNLI in 9 hour Callout to a Yacht in trouble 40 miles off Seven Heads in West Cork

Posted on June 23, 2018 at 7:50 PM

Courtmacsherry RNLI All Weather Lifeboat was called out at 5.20 pm on evening Friday (22 June) to go to the aid of a solo sailor in a 31 ft Yacht that had got into difficulties 40 miles off the Seven Heads in West Cork.

Courtmacsherry Harbour All Weather the Lifeboat arrives back Courtmacsherry Harbour with stricken vessel in tow. Photo: RNLI/Courtmacsherry Harbour.

The Courtmacsherry Lifeboat under Coxswain Kevin Young plus a crew of five launched the All Weather Trent class Lifeboat immediately and proceeded at full speed to the distress area.

The yacht was on its voyage from The Azores when it developed mechanical difficulties and sought help.

Arriving at the scene at 7.30pm, the Lifeboat succeeded in taking the stricken vessel in tow and commenced its long and slow journey back to Courtmacsherry Harbour.

The Lifeboat has now arrived safely back into Courtmacsherry Harbour at 2.15 am with the causality in tow and both have berthed at the Pier Pontoon. The Lone skipper of the offshore yacht "Quadrille" was glad to be in the safe surrounds of Courtmacsherry tonight after spending 10 days at sea on his voyage from the Azores off North Africa to Milfordhavsn in Wales. The Skipper Rees Hopkins from Cardiff has been on a singlehanded round the world sailing trip for the past 11 months and he lost power with mechanical failure three days ago. By accident tonight he has landed in his 17th Country and mighty happy to do so. He was completely knocked down in the Atlantic Ocean on the way from the Carribean a few months ago and is looking forward to a few quieter and restful days in Courtmacsherry.

The voluntary Crew of the Lifeboat on this callout were Coxswain Kevin Young, Mechanic Pat Lawton and crew members Dara Gannon, Ciaran Hurley, Austin McKenna and Evin O Sullivan.

Lifeboat Station Voluntary Operations Manager Brian O Dwyer commented " We are full of praise for the fast response of this evenings voluntary crew and in carrying out the rescue with skill and precision over a 9 hour period"

The local link with the Gaa was evident in tonight's crew with noted Gaa Referee Pat Lawton plus Gaa club players Ciaran Hurley and Evin O Sullivan on board. Ciaran was just setting off to go to Schull to play a football match when the bleepers went off and instead of traveling 40 miles on the western roads, he ventured 40 miles out to sea in a similar direction. Pat was on his way to referee an under 12 match in the local pitch when his bleeper went off. This year the RNLI and the GAA have forged links in the Respect the Water Campaign to help prevent drownings at sea.

The Lifeboat was refuelled and is back at its mooring in readiness of whenever the next callout comes.

It's Open Day at the Station on this coming Sunday June 24th from 2 to 5.30pm and please come along and take a tour of the Lifeboat at the Pier Pontoon and sample how the Lifeboat Station works. Many more essential rescue services such as the Coastguard, the Civil Defence, the Gardai, the West Cork Underwater Rescue Services and the Navy will be open to the Public at the Pier.

Enniskillen RNLI rescues two people after a boat breaks free from jetty

Posted on June 14, 2018 at 8:00 PM

Enniskillen RNLI have rescued two people on Lower Lough Erne after their 42ft cruiser broke free from the jetty it was moored at during high winds.

Photo: Enniskillen RNLI

Belfast Coastguard requested the launch of the charity’s inshore lifeboat on Thursday morning (Thursday 14 June) at 6.42am. The volunteer crew proceeded north to Rossigh where they found the stricken vessel close to the shoreline south of Rossigh. With increasing winds through the night the vessel had broken free from its mooring and some of the jetty was still secured to the boat.

The winds were starting to settle but they were estimated to be a force 6 or 7 when launching from the Lough Erne Yacht Club.

The lifeboat managed to refloat the vessel and brought it into safer water. The hire company took charge of the cruiser with the lifeboat accompanying them to a sheltered location.

After the rescue Gary Jones, Enniskillen RNLIs Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘With challenging conditions this morning the crews training was put into action and brought the two people and vessel to safety’.

Early morning callout for Castletownbere RNLI to rescue yacht with five on board

Posted on June 14, 2018 at 1:00 AM

Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat were tasked on Wednesday morning (13 June) at 5.22am by the Valentia Coast Guard to go to the assistance of a 32 foot Belfast-registered yacht which had its propeller snagged in lobster pots near Dursey Island in County Cork.

Early morning callout for Castletownbere to yacht. Photo: RNLI/Castletownbere

The lifeboat Annette Hutton, under command of Coxswain Dave Fenton, was launched within minutes. Forty minutes later, the yacht, with five people on board, was located in a one-metre swell and Force 4 south-westerly winds near Dursey Island.

Lifeboat crew were able to successfully release the disabled yacht which is currently heading for Castletownbere. Castletownbere RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, Paul Stevens, commented: ‘This was a straightforward rescue. The crew of the yacht were prudent to call the emergency services when they did. With worsening weather conditions later today, had they not made the call, the outcome could have been very different’.

Carrybridge RNLIs new Atlantic 85 lifeboat named Douglas, Euan & Kay Richards

Posted on June 11, 2018 at 6:25 AM

At a special naming ceremony and service of dedication held on Saturday (9 June), Carrybridge RNLI officially named its new Atlantic 85 class lifeboat, Douglas, Euan & Kay Richards, at the lifeboat station on Upper Lough Erne.

Carrybridge RNLI’s new Atlantic 85 lifeboat named Douglas, Euan & Kay Richards. Photo: RNLI/Nicholas Leach

The honour of handing over the lifeboat and officially naming her went to Dr Barbara Stewart who represented the donor, and to Kay, one of Dr Stewart’s three children who the lifeboat is named after.

The lifeboat which went on service last November was funded by The John and Elizabeth Allan Memorial Trust.

The inshore lifeboat which is now located at Carrybridge and which has launched 13 times since going on service, was officially named Douglas, Euan & Kay Richards.

During the naming ceremony, Christopher Brooke, member of the RNLI Council of Ireland, accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the charity, before handing her over into the care of Carrybridge Lifeboat Station. Sam McCreery, Station President, accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the crew.

Mr McCreery said the event was a proud day for the lifeboat station adding that the crew were most grateful to The John and Elizabeth Memorial Trust for the generous gift which had funded the lifeboat.

On accepting the new lifeboat, Mr McCreery acknowledged the service of the station’s outgoing Atlantic 75 class lifeboat Duckhams 2001, which while on service at Carrybridge RNLI launched 64 times and brought 113 people to safety.

‘While we’re sad to say farewell to Duckhams 2001, the Atlantic 75, which has served the station faithfully for two and a half years,’ he said, we look forward to writing a new chapter in the station’s history with the arrival of this new B class Atlantic lifeboat.’

Looking forward, Mr McCreery explained that the new lifeboat, an Atlantic 85, was the third generation B class lifeboat to be built, capable of speeds up to 35 knots. Fast, manoeuvrable, agile and versatile, it came with all the qualities of its predecessors but more.

He went on to explain how the lifeboat was ideally suited to rescues close to the shore and could withstand challenging conditions on inland waterways such as Lough Erne, making it an exemplary search and rescue craft.

The Atlantic 85, he told those gathered, had quicker response times, more space for casualty recovery and was able to carry an extra crew member.

‘The Atlantic 85,’ he said, ‘along with the Rescue Water Craft will be well suited to the waters of Upper Lough Erne because of the complex maize of islands which it will have to navigate using state of the art navigation equipment. Its range of cover from Belturbet to Enniskillen is a total of 26 miles.

‘This B class Atlantic 85 lifeboat means that we now have the latest and finest rescue equipment available. I know that when the crew head out on the water for training or on a shout, we’ll all have peace of mind that this lifeboat will help to keep them safe.’

The service of dedication that followed was led by Canon Mark Watson. The lifeboat was then officially named by Dr Barbara Stewart and her daughter Kay.

A crowd of well-wishers turned up to see the lifeboat officially named with a bottle of champagne poured over the side of the boat before it launched at the end of the ceremony.

Among the guests on the platform party were Tom Bailey, Carrybridge RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, who welcomed guests and opened proceedings, Dr Barbara Stewart, donor representative who handed the lifeboat into the care of the RNLI, Christopher Brooke, member of the RNLI Council of Ireland who accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the RNLI and handed it over into the care of Carrybridge Lifeboat Station, Sam McCreery, Station President who accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the crew, Canon Mark Watson, and Kay Richards who along with her mother Dr Barbara Stewart, formally named the lifeboat, and Archie Birrell, Chair of the Lough Erne Fundraising Group who delivered a vote of thanks and closed the ceremony.

Arklow RNLI rescues lone swimmer

Posted on June 11, 2018 at 6:00 AM

Following a pager alert at 10.22pm on Saturday (9 June), Arklow RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat was launched following a report of a lone swimmer in difficulty and being carried out to sea.

Arklow lifeboat Ger Tigchelaar returns to harbour after rescuing lone swimmer. Photo: RNLI/Arklow

The report had come in via a concerned member of the public who had been out walking at North Quay. The member of the public had no phone and headed to the end of the North pier where some fishermen called 999 and alerted the Gardaí and the Coast Guard, who in turn tasked Arklow RNLI to launch.

Following the launch the lifeboat and her crew were underway and enroute to the casualty within minutes. Some fishermen and others on the quayside had maintained eye contact with the swimmer and were able to give the lifeboat volunteers assistance with location. In rapidly darkening but calm conditions the lifeboat crew located the casualty approximately a quarter mile south of Arklow harbour and using the Rescue A Frame were able to recover the now tiring swimmer.

Following the recovery, the swimmer was brought ashore at Arklow Lifeboat station and was handed over to the care of the waiting ambulance crew and Gardaí.

The swimmer was found to be in good spirts and was transferred home a short time later.

Following the incident, Mark Corcoran Community Safety Officer at Arklow RNLI said: ‘We would like to thank the member of the public and the fishermen who were out on North Quay last night, their early call for help allowed our volunteers to be able to make good time in getting to and recovering this casualty. We would like to encourage people to always remember to carry a means of calling for help and if they do spot anyone in the water who might be in difficulty to always call 999 or 112 and ask for Coast Guard.’

Further water safety information can be found at

Fenit RNLI respond to five call outs in a week

Posted on June 5, 2018 at 11:40 AM

Fenit RNLI lifeboat volunteer crew responded to a number of calls received from people experiencing difficulties while using the sea this week.

RNLI Trent Class Lifeboat. Photo: Pat Nolan

The callouts included assisting a person requiring medical assistance, a person getting into difficulty while swimming and assisting with a sailing vessel which was experiencing mechanical problems.

The all-weather lifeboat was launched twice near Ballydavid in West Kerry. The seafarer and vessel were brought to a local pier. The inshore lifeboat was used to attend to an incident involving a swimmer who got into difficulty at a local beach in Fenit.

In another call out this week a medical emergency arose close to another beach in Fenit. The Shannon Coast Guard also attended. Upon safe arrival back on shore an ambulance was waiting on Fenit Pier to give medical attention to the person.

Fenit RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, Gerard O’Donnell said that the volunteer crew had experienced a busy week and were very pleased and relieved that all call outs had resulted in good outcomes. The good spell of weather had naturally increased the number of people using the beaches and surrounding coastline.

He added ‘Fenit RNLI encourages all sea users to be extra vigilant while using the sea’. Furthermore he added that ‘people should never be embarrassed or afraid to call the RNLI or Coast Guard if there is a concern that anyone is in danger at sea’.

If, at any time you see someone in trouble in the water or need assistance at sea, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.

Lough Derg RNLI launch to cruiser run aground south of Tullabeg with two people

Posted on June 4, 2018 at 4:20 AM

Lifeboat crew with Lough Derg RNLI had a Sunday (3 June) lunchtime callout over the bank holiday weekend to assist two people onboard a 27ft cruiser which had run aground at Tullabeg.

Lough Derg RNLI launch to cruiser run aground at Tullabeg. Photo: RNLI/Lough Derg


Conditions for the callout were calm with a force two and a westerly wind. Visibility was excellent. The lifeboat was on scene in minutes when the call came in at 12.15pm as the crew were already on exercise in the area.

After arriving on scene one lifeboat crewmember boarded the cruiser to check on the condition of the two crew and to make sure the vessel was intact and not taking on water. Once it was established that the two people were fine and there was no structural damage to the cruiser, the lifeboat crew then towed it out to deep water to allow the craft to continue on its way. The lifeboat waited a short time to ensure the cruiser was able to proceed safety before they returned to station.

Commenting on the callout, Lough Derg RNLI Helm Owen Cavanagh said, ‘With the good weather continuing there are a lot more people on the water. We would always advise to plan any water based activity well in advance and if out on a boat to make proper preparations for the trip, including taking the correct equipment and keeping a close eye on the surroundings.’

Lifeboat crew for the callout were Helm Owen Cavanagh and Barry Morkan and Joe O' Donoghue.