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Six people rescued by Howth RNLI in separate incidents as good weather continues

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteer lifeboat crew of Howth RNLI launched their inshore lifeboat to two separate incidents this weekend to boats which had suffered engine failure.

Howth ILB towing yacht

RNLI/Tom Ryan

Howth Inshore Life Boat towing yacht

On Friday night, shortly after 9:30pm, the lifeboat was launched to reports of a sailing yacht with three people on board which had suffered engine failure on its passage from Malahide to Howth.

Weather conditions were good with light winds. The lifeboat located the yacht under sail but its engine had failed. As darkness began to fall, the crew passed a tow line from the lifeboat and the yacht was towed back to Howth harbour.

At 9:37am Sunday morning the crew were paged by Dublin Coast Guard following a 999 call from a member of the public who witnessed a small motorboat with three people on board in difficulty and drifting towards rocks just east of Howth harbour.

The lifeboat launched within ten minutes of the call with three crew on board. The wind was moderate coming from the North East, causing an onshore wind and breaking waves onto the East pier of Howth. The Howth Coast Guard unit were also tasked to assist from the shore.

The lifeboat reached the motorboat in minutes and it was observed that the crew of the boat had deployed an anchor which was holding them just off the rocks. The lifeboat crew quickly passed a tow line and instructed the crew of the motorboat to discard the anchor and to attach the tow line. The lifeboat towed the motorboat out of the breaking waves and returned them to the safety of Howth harbour.

Speaking following the incident this morning, Howth RNLI inshore lifeboat helm Tom Ryan said: 'The member of the public did the right thing in calling the Coast Guard straight away. When the winds are blowing onshore and a boat is broken down, every minute counts. Our volunteer crew responded quickly once the pager went off and we launched the lifeboat within minutes.

Once on scene, we cast a tow line to the boat and instructed them to discard the anchor. We quickly pulled them through the breaking waves away from the rocks. We established that all three persons on board the motorboat were well and we then towed the boat back to Howth harbour.

As the summer weather takes hold, and more people are heading out on the water, we have some helpful guidance for boat owners: ensure you have undergone the right training so that you can develop your skills to be prepared for when things go wrong; take time to ensure your engine is well maintained, and if you do get into difficulty make sure you have an anchor on board and a means of calling for help.

Our volunteer lifeboat crew are on call 24/7 and if you do get into difficulty or you see someone in trouble call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.'

Howth Coast Guard

Photo of broken down motorboat and Howth Inshore Lifeboat at Howth harbour on Sunday 28 May

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

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.