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Achill Island RNLI crew member in first call ahead of International Women’s Day

Lifeboats News Release

Achill Island RNLI responded to a request for assistance with the medical evacuation of a man on Inishturk today, (Tuesday 7 March).

RNLI/Nigel Millard

Achill Island RNLI trainee crew member Karen Arnold

The volunteer crew launched the station’s all-weather lifeboat Sam and Ada Moody, shortly before 11am following a request from the Irish Coast Guard in Malin Head to assist the Sligo based Irish Coast Guard helicopter, Rescue 118, with the medical evacuation of the man on Inishturk. The crew were undertaking some training with three trainee crew members on the lifeboat’s moorings when the pagers went off. The trainees, Karen Arnold, her husband Andrew Arnold and Alex Blackmun were then able to participate in the call out with three other crew members.

Weather conditions were good at the time, with a northerly Force 2-3 wind and a flat calm sea. The lifeboat under Coxswain Dave Curtis, travelled the distance of approximately 12 nautical miles to Inishturk, passing Clare Island while en route.

Once on scene, the crew observed the helicopter which had already arrived on the island and then proceeded to assist with preparing the casualty for an airlift and securing the area to facilitate a safe take-off for the helicopter. The lifeboat then returned to Achill Island, arriving back at 2pm.

Speaking following the call out, Dave Curtis, Achill Island RNLI Coxswain said: ‘We were delighted to be able to work with our colleagues in the Irish Coast Guard today to carry out this medical evacuation and we would like to wish the patient well. This was a wonderful opportunity for our three trainee crew members who were diverted from a training exercise to this call out, and ahead of International Women’s Day tomorrow, we want to particularly congratulate Karen Arnold on her first service for Achill Island RNLI.’


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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 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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