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Red Bay and Larne RNLI bring 17 fishermen to safety after Spanish trawler gets into difficulty

Red Bay and Larne RNLI came to the aid of 17 fisherman last night (Thursday 11 March) after their 35m Spanish trawler got into difficulty 11 miles east of Cushendall.

The volunteer crews at both stations were requested to launch their all-weather lifeboats just before 7.30pm following a report from Belfast Coastguard that the trawler had lost all power and was drifting into a shipping lane.

Weather conditions at the time were challenging with Storm Force 10 gusts of up to 54 knots and high seas recorded during the course of the call out.

Red Bay RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat under Coxswain Paddy McLaughlin and with five crew onboard, was on scene first to assess the situation. Larne RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat meanwhile, under Coxswain Frank Healy and with four crew members onboard, was diverted from a training exercise and made its way to the scene.

Red Bay RNLI began to work with the crew of the trawler to establish a towline while the all-weather lifeboat from Larne illuminated the scene in what were dark, wet and windy conditions.

The lifeboat started a slow tow to bring the vessel back to Red Bay but the extreme weather forced the tow to part mid-way.

Larne RNLI established a second tow and brought the trawler the remainder of the way into Red Bay where it was secured at 11pm.

Both lifeboats were requested to launch once again this morning after the trawler began to drag its anchor out of Waterfoot. In much better conditions and daylight, Red Bay RNLI safely towed the vessel into the shelter of Red Bay.

Speaking following the call out, Larne RNLI Coxswain Frank Healy said: ‘Weather conditions on scene last night were extremely challenging for all involved and I would like to commend our volunteers both here and in Red Bay for their teamwork over the three and half hours as they worked in darkness amid Force 10 winds gusting up to 54 knots and high seas. Our volunteers are highly skilled and trained for all eventualities at sea and that was certainly put to the test last night but we were delighted to help and bring the fishermen to safety.’

Arklow RNLI launch to assist Fishing Vessel

Arklow RNLI launched at approximately 12.14pm on Wednesday 10th March to assist a fishing vessel in need of assistance following a Launch Request from the Irish Coast Guard.

The volunteer crew left their lunch and and within minutes of the request were aboard RNLB Ger Tigchlearr and underway.

In challenging conditions and rising winds and seas, The Allweather Trent Class lifeboat Ger Tigchlearr made its way to the reported position approx. one quarter mile Noth East of Arklow Pier.

Once on scene the casualty vessel with 3 persons aboard was located and it was confirmed that the vessel had lost propulsion.

A towline was established and the casualty vessel was towed back to Arklow where all hands came ashore safely.

Following the incident, Mark Corcoran, Community Safety officer at Arklow RNLI said: “Whether you are a professional fisherman or a leisure boat user, We would like to once again remind people to Respect the Water and always wear a lifejacket and carry a means of calling for help like a marine radio, I’d also like to note that this our first callout of 2021 has also been the first callout for our new fulltime station mechanic James Russell, so congratulations to James on his new role here at Arklow Lifeboat Station”

Skerries RNLI carries out medical evacuation of crewman from survey vessel

Skerries RNLI carried out a medical evacuation of a crewman who was feeling unwell from a survey vessel six miles north of Skerries last night (Wednesday 10 March).

Shortly after 8pm Skerries RNLI were tasked by Dublin Coast Guard following a call from the skipper of the vessel requesting medical assistance for a crew member who had been feeling unwell for a number of hours and was showing no signs of improvement.

The lifeboat was launched and proceeded directly to the co-ordinates provided. As they approached the survey vessel, a boarding ladder was lowered on the starboard side. The lifeboat was carefully manoeuvred into position, and the casualty was helped on board. The lifeboat crew carried out an initial assessment of the casualty and tried to keep them as comfortable as possible on the way back to the station.

An ambulance was waiting at the station when the boat returned, the casualty was passed over into the care of the paramedics from the National Ambulance Service and taken to hospital for further assessment.

The lifeboat and station were deep cleaned and made ready for the next call out.

At the time there was a force five to six south to south west wind blowing and there was a moderate sea swell.

Speaking about the call out, volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for Skerries RNLI, Gerry Canning said: ‘It wasn’t a particularly pleasant evening to be out on a lifeboat, but our volunteers are always ready to go when they get the call. It was great to have the ambulance waiting on arrival and we wish the gentleman a speedy recovery.”