Busy time for Helvick Head RNLI with two callouts during station celebrations
The expertise of Helvick Head RNLI was called upon twice over the weekend to assist a beachgoer with a leg injury and to launch their inshore lifeboat following a report that three sailors were in difficulty in Dungarvan bay.
During a bright and sunny Saturday afternoon (20 August), Helvick Head RNLI were paged at 4.30pm to give onshore first responder assistance to a casualty in Helvick Head cove. The female tourist had sustained a dislocated knee whilst sitting on the rocks and was supported by a number of crew members until an ambulance arrived. She was treated on scene by paramedics before being transferred to hospital and later released to recover at home. A family member visited the station the following day to thank all involved as it materialised that this was not the first time the casualty had encountered the lifeboat services. Over 20 years ago she had been one of a number of children cut off by the tide at Faill an Staicin beach and who was rescued by the lifeboat crew.
The following day (Sunday 21 August), Helvick Head RNLI were celebrating the 25th anniversary of the reopening of the station with an Open Day to recognise the relationships held with other local emergency services. Whilst conducting an exercise, in front of local crowds, with the crews from the Irish navy vessel LE George Bernard Shaw, Rescue 117 helicopter and Youghal RNLI, the volunteer lifeboat was redirected at 3.52pm at the request of the Irish Coast Guard. It followed a report that an 18 foot pleasure boat had broken down in Dungarvan bay.
The lifeboat, helmed by Richard Haines and with crew members Alan Kelly, Pat Devereux and Rian Kelly onboard, made its way to the reported location through choppy waters and Force 3-4 north westerly winds. Once on scene, the crew assessed the situation and found the three male casualties to be safe and well. As the boat had sustained engine failure, a decision was made to tow it back to Helvick Head pier.
Speaking following the call out, John Condon, Helvick Head RNLI Deputy Launching Authority said: ‘The casualties did the right thing by calling for help when they realised they were in difficulty. We would remind anyone planning a trip to sea to always go prepared. Wear a lifejacket and be sure to carry a means of communication. Should you get into trouble or see someone else in difficulty, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’
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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