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Galway RNLI respond to three callouts in one day

Lifeboats News Release

Galway RNLI's volunteer crew were requested by the Irish Coast Guard to launch following reports of a swimmer in difficulty off Salthill on Wednesday evening (09 August) and were requested to launch again three hours later to assist a fishing boat which had run aground near Cockle Rock, Renville.

Four crew on board an Atlantic 85 travelling from right to left at speed with Mutton Island and lighthouse in the distance behind on the horizon

RNLI/Nicholas Leach

The Galway RNLI volunteer crew on board Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Binny during a recent exercise on Galway Bay

Shortly after that rescue, the crew came to the assistance of another boat which had lost its steering.

The lifeboat was launched for the first call out at around 5.30pm with crew members Dave Badger, Shane Austin, Gregg Cullen and Brian Niland on board and they made their way to the area where the swimmer was last seen. There the crew joined the search efforts along with the Irish Coast Guard Rescue 115 helicopter and a local cargo boat which had been on its way to Galway Docks. Sea conditions were calm and it was a warm sunny evening with good visibility.

The search was stood down when it was reported that the swimmer had made their way to shore and was safe. The lifeboat crew returned to the station where shore crew Aaron O’Reilly and James Rattigan helped wash down and refuel the lifeboat.

Shortly before 9pm the lifeboat was requested to launch again, along with the Irish Coast Guard Rescue 115 helicopter, to assist a 30 foot fishing boat with two people on board which had run aground near Renville. Conditions were good, however daylight was starting to fade. The lifeboat with crew Dave Badger, James Rattigan, David McGrath and Ian Claxton on board, established a tow line to get the fishing boat off the rocks and once it was confirmed that there was no damage to the hull, the fishing boat was released from the tow and was able to return to harbour under its own steam.

While still in the vicinity of Renville, the lifeboat crew came to the assistance of a 21 foot half-decker fishing boat with one person on board which had lost steering and was unable to manoeuvre. The lifeboat towed the boat to its mooring buoy at Renville and once the boat was secured, brought the person on board safely ashore.

Dave Badger who was Helm on board the lifeboat for all three rescues said: ‘It was an exceptionally busy evening for the lifeboat crew and for the shore crew who provided support back at the station including Brian Niland, Mike Cummins, Seán McLoughlin, Aaron O’Reilly and Seán Óg Leydon. It doesn’t happen often that we deal with three rescues in one evening, but our training prepares us to be ready for whatever comes our way.

‘This evening we saw that even in good weather and with calm sea conditions, incidents can happen. It’s really important to have a means of calling for help and if you get into difficulty or see someone in difficulty in the water, please 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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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.