Back to back call outs for Skerries RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

Skerries RNLI responded to two call outs back to back last night (Tuesday 01 September), responding first to reports of a flare sighting in Rush, followed immediately by a request to assist a person who had fallen from a cliff in Balbriggan.

Skerries RNLI Launching their Atlantic 85 in the dark

RNLI/Gerry Canning

Skerries RNLI Launching their Atlantic 85 in the dark

Shortly before 8.30pm, the volunteer crew from Skerries were tasked to investigate multiple reports to Dublin Coast Guard of a red distress flare in the vicinity of the North beach in Rush. The Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat “Louis Simson” was launched and the crew proceeded to make their way to Rush.

While en route, they liaised with a yacht in the area who also confirmed the sighting. There were no immediate signs of a vessel in distress when the lifeboat arrived on scene so a search pattern was initiated. Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 joined the search shortly after, while Skerries Coast Guard also carried out search on land.

Eventually it was determined that the flare had most likely been fired from land, and with nothing else found the search was called off and the lifeboat was stood down. However, all Search and Rescue assets were immediately re-tasked to an incident involving a man who had fallen from a cliff in Balbriggan.

As the lifeboat approached the scene in Balbriggan, the crew could see that the paramedic winchman from Rescue R116 was already with the casualty and had begun casualty care. The lifeboat was positioned as close to the shore as possible and a member of crew swam ashore to assist. They were joined by members of the Skerries Coast Guard unit and members of the An Garda Síochána.

The casualty was carefully transferred to a stretcher before being winched aboard the helicopter and airlifted to hospital. The lifeboat then collected the crew member from shore and returned to the station where the lifeboat, lifeboat station and all equipment were sanitized and made ready for service.

At the time there was a force two to three southerly wind with a slight sea swell.

Speaking about the call out, volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for Skerries RNLI, Gerry Canning said: ‘This turned into a long evening for all the rescue services involved. Thankfully it was a good outcome and another great example of how well all the services work together to help anyone in distress.’

Key facts about the RNLI

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 over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, 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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