Courtmacsherry RNLI in early call to distress flare sighted off Coolmain Beach

Lifeboats News Release

Courtmacsherry RNLI's lifeboat, Frederick Storey Cockburn was called out at 1.25am this morning (Tuesday) after a distress flare was seen off Coolmain Beach in the general Garrettstown area of Courtmacsherry Bay.


Courtmacsherry RNLI

A person in the Harbour View area overlooking Coolmain, had seen a distress flare in the sky and had heard the sound of the flare being fired which had awoken her dog as well. She immediately contacted the Coast Guard and within minutes the rescue services were mobilised.

Under Coxswain Mark Gannon and a crew of six, the Courtmacsherry lifeboat was underway quickly and immediately made its way to the area where the distress signal was seen. Also mobilised was the Irish Coast Guard Unit from the Old Head of Kinsale / Seven Heads who concentrated on the land search of the area. As part of a very detailed search on the sea and shore, both the lifeboat and Coast Guard used their powerful lights to illuminate the entire coastline from Harbour View to Garrettstown. The lifeboat also lit up the skyline with the firing of specialised parachute flares during the search.

Just after 3am this morning after the entire of the coastline was searched, with nothing observed, the lifeboat was stood down and returned to its base in Courtmacsherry.

Commenting on this morning’s early call out, Brian O'Dwyer, Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager thanked the 14 lifeboat crew members along with station officers who raced from their beds at an early hour and were at the station within minutes in order to help anyone in danger: 'While nothing was found this morning, it was so important that any sighting of a distress flare in the sky is immediately reported to the rescue authorities by dialling 999 or 112, as vital minutes in such a situation can be critical, as one never knows how serious an incident may be.'

The crew on board the lifeboat this morning were Coxswain Mark Gannon, mechanic Stuart Russell and crew members Ken Cashman, Chris Guy, Dave Philips, Denis Murphy and Dean Hennessey. Also at station this morning were other crewmembers Kevin Young, Micheal Hurley, Sean O'Farrell, Conor Dullea, Pat Lawton, Austin McKenna and Jim O Donnell.

The lifeboat refuelled after the call out and returned back to its mooring just before 4am in readiness of whenever the next call to action may occur. A welcome cup of tea and biscuits was part of the debriefing of crew and station officers in the lifeboat house just after 4am this morning. It was the station's second call out in a week following last week’s launch to a kite surfer in difficulties.


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The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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