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First call out for Clifden RNLI’s new Shannon class all-weather lifeboat

The volunteer crew of Clifden RNLI joined Aran Islands RNLI and Shannon-based Rescue 115 helicopter to carry out a search of the waters around Bunowen Bay on Friday night (3rd June).

A member of the public reported seeing a distress flare in the area around Bunowen, west of Ballyconeely at midnight on Friday 03 June. Shortly afterwards the crew launched the new Shannon class all weather lifeboat St. Christopher, her first call on service since being brought to Clifden three weeks ago.

The weather conditions were good and the seas were calm overnight, a full search of the area to the south east of Slyne Head was carried out over several hours. As no evidence of a casualty vessel was found the crew were requested by the Coast Guard to stand down. The crew and St Christopher were back at base at 4am. The new “launch a memory lifeboat” was refuelled, cleaned down and made ready for the next launch.

James Mullen, Clifden RNLI coxswain said, “As a crew we are ready to respond 24 hours a day, whenever the pager goes. The search was stood down last night but it could have been a serious incident, it is so important to call the rescue services on 112 or 999 to report any concerns. We are grateful to the person who raised the alarm last night and thank the volunteer crew who sacrificed a night’s sleep to ensure a successful outcome.

“It is also worth reminding people that using fireworks in a coastal area can be mistaken for distress flares which will trigger an emergency response. Please notify the Coast Guard if you intend setting off fireworks anywhere near the coast.”

The operation was conducted by James Mullen (coxswain), Andy Bell, Daniel Whelan, Owen Hayes and Conor Ryan.