Busy weekend for Skerries RNLI volunteers

Lifeboats News Release

Skerries RNLI volunteer crew had a busy weekend responding to calls to stranded walkers on Friday (22 January) and a missing swimmer on Sunday (24 January).

Skerries RNLI volunteers watch as Rescue 116 prepares to winch the casualties

RNLI/Gerry Canning

Skerries RNLI volunteers watch as Rescue 116 prepares to winch the casualties

Shortly before 4.30pm on Friday (22 January) afternoon Dublin Coast Guard tasked Skerries RNLI following a call from An Garda Síochána reporting that a number of people had been cut off by the rising tide on Barnageeragh beach.

The lifeboat was launched and proceeded to the area indicated. The crew quickly spotted one adult and three children at the base of the cliff above the waterline. The lifeboat was manoeuvred as close as possible before one of the volunteers was sent ashore to assess the situation.

The casualties were not injured, however, conditions underfoot in the area were very poor due to a large number of submerged rocks covered in seaweed and algae. Following a consultation with members of the Skerries Coast Guard unit who were at the top of the cliff, it was decided that due to the falling temperatures and rapidly fading light, the safest option would be to request the assistance of the Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116.

The crew member stayed with the casualties to reassure them and keep them calm until the helicopter arrived and to offer any assistance required to the helicopter crew.

The casualties were winched aboard the helicopter and brought safely to their base at Dublin Airport. The lifeboat recovered their fellow crewman before returning to the station and preparing the lifeboat and station for the next call. The casualties later returned home safe and well.

On Sunday (24 January) the volunteer crew were paged again shortly after 12.30pm following a call to Dublin Coast Guard from a concerned family member when a swimmer in Skerries had not returned at the expected time.

The lifeboat launched immediately and made it’s way around the headland to the swimming platform known locally as The Springers. Upon arrival it was quickly established that the swimmer had since made it safely ashore. They were very well equipped for cold water swimming and required no assistance. The lifeboat was stood down and returned to the station.

Speaking about the call out, volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for Skerries RNLI, Gerry Canning said: ‘Friday afternoon was a fantastic example of how well all the emergency services work together, with full time emergency service personnel and volunteers working alongside each other seamlessly to get the best possible outcome. Thankfully the call for the swimmer on Sunday was a false alarm with good intent. We encourage anyone who thinks someone may be in difficulty in or near the sea to dial 999 and ask for the Coast Guard. The earlier they make that call the better.”

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Gerry Canning, Skerries RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 087 988 4965 or email gerryjcanning@gmail.com or Nuala McAloon, RNLI Ireland Media Officer on 087 648 3547 or email Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org.uk or Niamh Stephenson, RNLI Ireland Media Manager on 087 1254 124 or Niamh_Stephenson@rnli.org.uk

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 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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.