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Skerries RNLI respond to reports of distress flares

Lifeboats News Release

Skerries RNLI responded yesterday evening (22 May) after Dublin Coast Guard received reports that members of the public had seen flares off Balbriggan harbour.

RNLI/Gerry Canning

Skerries RNLI Crew spot a second flare

Skerries RNLI volunteers launched the lifeboat shortly after 9.30pm with Emma Wilson at the Helm and crewed by Stephen Crowley, Joe May and JP Tanner.

The lifeboat made it’s way to Balbriggan harbour where they spoke to a number of sailing and fishing boats in the immediate area prior to conducting a search. Several of the vessels reported sighting a red distress flare but indicated that it may have come from the shore.

As the lifeboat, Skerries Coast Guard Unit and Coast Guard Helicopter R116 were about to begin a search, another flare was sighted. It was confirmed by the lifeboat crew and by Skerries Coast Guard to have been fired from land. Skerries RNLI and R116 were both stood down and returned to base.

Speaking after the call out, Gerry Canning, Lifeboat Press Officer for Skerries RNLI said: ‘Flares are an important piece of safety equipment for any vessel going to sea. They are a means of calling for help if needed. Our volunteers are always ready to drop what they are doing and respond, however, incidents such as this can tie up important resources and could cost lives.’

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Gerry Canning Skerries RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer on 087 988 4965 email or Niamh Stephenson RNLI Public Relations Manager on 087 1254 124 or 01 8900 460 email or Nuala McAloon RNLI Press Officer Tel: 087 6483547 email: or contact RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789

RNLI/Gerry Canning

Skerries RNLI Recover the lifeboat after tonight's call out

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland