Four Clifden RNLI crew members recognised for rescuing a lone sailor

Lifeboats News Release

Four Clifden RNLI crew members who went to the aid of a sailor stranded on the rocks of Inishark have received letters of commendation for their role in the complex rescue operation.

On 20 September, 2019, in severe weather conditions, Clifden RNLI’s all-weather Shannon class and inshore Atlantic 85 lifeboats were launched at the request of the Irish Coast Guard. A sailor had come into difficulty after his yacht suffered engine failure at Inishark island. The volunteer crew were on the scene within 30 minutes and located the casualty who had made his way onto the rocks.

The operation was hampered by a south east Force 7/8 onshore wind but Helm Alan Pryce, using experience and training, was able to safely put a crew member ashore to assess the casualty. The casualty did not have life threatening injuries but given the severity of the weather, the safest option was to request the assistance of the Irish Coast Guard Rescue helicopter 118 from Sligo which winched the casualty to safety.

Clifden RNLI volunteers Alvin Bell, his father Andy Bell, Ian Shanahan and Alan Pryce manned Clifden’s Atlantic 85 lifeboat during this challenging rescue operation and they recently received letters of commendation from John Payne, the RNLI Director of Lifesaving Operations, for their service.

John Brittain, Clifden RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager congratulated the crew saying: ‘Alvin, Andy, Ian and Alan have shown continued commitment to Clifden RNLI and I am delighted that their selfless courage and dedication has been recgonised with a letter of commendation. This particular rescue highlights the level of training, skills and seamanship of our volunteer members and we are very grateful for the role they play in saving lives at sea.’

Ends

Photo: Clifden RNLI Helm Alan Pryce receives a letter of commendation from Clifden RNLI Chairman Percy Hyand

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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 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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