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Clifden RNLI search North Connemara Coast after emergency beacon activation

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteer crew joined in a multi-agency operation after an emergency signal was activated in the area around Letterfrack, County Galway.

RNLI/Nigel Millard

Clifden RNLI

Both Clifden lifeboats were launched this morning (Monday 13 March) to conduct a search after an EPIRB distress signal was detected by Malin Head Coast Guard. An Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) is a device to alert search and rescue services in case of an emergency out at sea.

Deputy Launching Authority Saul Joyce launched Clifden RNLI’s Shannon class all-weather lifeboat (ALB) St Christopher under the command of Coxswain Alan Pryce with mechanic Joe Acton, navigator Dan Whelan and crew of Andy Bell, Chris Nee and John Heffernan. The ALB made best speed to the search area of Mullaghloss on the Renvyle peninsula. Whilst en route and with more information becoming available, Clifden RNLI’s Atlantic 85 was launched with Thomas Davis at the helm and crew of Kevin Ryan and Shane Conneely.

The Irish Coast Guard Sligo based Helicopter, Rescue 118 was also tasked to search along with Cleggan Coast Guard units. An extensive search was carried out of the reported areas by all assets with a large portion of the north Connemara coast searched. With all involved satisfied that there was no vessel in distress in the area the Coast Guard stood down all assets and the volunteer crew returned to station.

Clifden RNLI Coxswain Alan Pryce said: 'This morning’s call demonstrates how a well coordinated multi agency search can cover a very large area thoroughly and efficiently. Thankfully there was no vessel in distress on this occasion but we remain ready to respond every time the pager goes.'

Speaking about EPIRBs Alan added, 'Emergency beacons are a lifesaving piece of equipment, I would encourage any boat owners to check the service status and registration details of any beacons on board. If you don’t have an EPIRB you should consider getting one because they will help search and rescue services to pinpoint the location of a vessel in distress.'

Ends

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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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