Dun Laoghaire RNLI assists thirteen adults and children on busy summer Sunday

Lifeboats News Release

Dun Laoghaire RNLI had a busy afternoon on Sunday (7 August) with three separate callouts all within a matter of hours.

RNLI/Conrad Jones

36ft yacht under tow

They began with a missing child at the Forty Foot, followed by a yacht taking on water with a crew of two adults and five children, and finally, a speedboat with engine trouble and a family of six onboard at Salt Hill.

The volunteer crew were first alerted minutes before 1pm by the Irish Coast Guard, that a child was missing and was last seen in the water by the group of swimmers with them. Thankfully, Dun Laoghaire RNLI, Rescue 116, and local Lifeguards were all stood down when it transpired that the boy had left the water unseen by his companions and appeared on shore ten minutes later. Raising the alarm when you suspect someone is in danger on or near the water is always the correct action to take.

The second callout came in at 5.10pm, for a 36ft yacht with a fouled propeller and no power, which was taking on water. Dun Laoghaire RNLI all-weather lifeboat under the command of Coxswain Mark McGibney with six crew members onboard, made its way to the scene, launching within ten minutes and arriving on scene at 5.30pm. On board the yacht were two adults and five children aged between 10 and 12, all wearing lifejackets and remaining calm. Weather conditions presented a gentle breeze with excellent visibility.

When on scene the Coxswain decided an immediate extraction of all casualties was the safest way to proceed, bringing the lifeboat alongside for the adults and children to come safely aboard the lifeboat, before the lifeboat crew tended to the yacht. A salvage pump from the lifeboat was brought aboard the yacht to assist the onboard bilge pump which was struggling to stem the flow of seawater. Positioning one adult crew member and a RNLI volunteer onboard the yacht, the lifeboat secured a towline and began the journey to shore where all seven casualties’ safety alighted.

Speaking following the call out, Dun Laoghaire RNLI Coxswain Mark McGibney said: ‘We’re delighted we were able to secure the casualties safety within 25 minutes of the alarm being raised. I would encourage anyone setting out to ensure they are completely aware of the dangers of loose and unsecured ropes on deck, and further ensure that in the event of an emergency at sea, a VHF radio be the prime means of communication to the Coast Guard and lifeboat service due to the fact that we can use our radio direction finder as a means of homing in on a casualty’s position. A mobile phone should be a secondary means of communication.”

The third callout of the day came as the lifeboat were dealing with the 36ft yacht and was to a 17ft speedboat which had lost all power. The craft, with a family of six onboard, was unable to proceed and was drifting in the Salt Hill area. The speedboat owner raised the alarm by calling the Irish Coast Guard, and Dun Laoghaire RNLI inshore lifeboat was launched with volunteer Helm Alan Keville and two crew onboard. On arrival at scene, the Helm assessed the situation, and the crew quickly secured a towline to the speedboat, bringing the casualties safely ashore.

Speaking following the call out, Dun Laoghaire RNLI Helm Alan Keville said: ‘It’s vital that no delay is made in raising the alarm when on board a vessel in trouble, early notice makes all the difference, as too does wearing appropriate lifejackets, which in this instance all casualties were thankfully doing.”

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.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

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