Skerries RNLI is looking for new volunteer crew members to join its search and rescue service in north county Dublin.
The station currently has 18 lifeboat and three shore crew to cover its service on the north east coast of Dublin but is now calling on new volunteers to come forward and find out how they can get involved in helping the charity continue to save lives at sea.
Skerries RNLI has over 100 years aggregate service and has been operating as an inshore lifeboat station for over 25 years. The Current Atlantic 85 lifeboat, "Louis Simson", placed on service 2013, provides cover for part of the east coast of Ireland.
Last year, the lifeboat in Skerries launched 10 times, bringing 16 people to safety.
Now, Niall McGrotty, Skerries RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager is calling on any volunteers who may be interested to get in touch and find out more:: ‘We are looking for anyone aged 17 years and over, working or living in Skerries who is willing to offer some of their free time to join what I believe to be, one of the most exhilarating and rewarding voluntary services that is out there. Ideally we are looking for volunteers with daytime availability. Every volunteer receives first class training from the RNLI and learns new skills which can benefit them in many walks of life. Lifeboat crew members need to have a reasonable level of fitness, have good eyesight and not be colour blind. Anyone who would like to volunteer but feels they would not meet the requirements for lifeboat crew should in no way be put off, as shore crew also play an essential role in the launch and recovery of the lifeboat when it goes on service’.
Skerries RNLI responded yesterday evening (15 May) to reports of a personal water craft in distress off the Martello tower in Loughshinny.
Dublin Coast Guard tasked Skerries RNLI just after 6pm, having receiving a 999 call about a person on a personal water craft who appeared to be signalling for help. The location was given as being in line with the Martello tower situated on a headland near Loughshinny harbour.
The lifeboat was launched with volunteer Eoin Grimes at the Helm and crewed by Emma Wilson, Steven Johnson and AJ Hughes.
Arriving on scene the crew quickly located the casualty, a 17 year old man, whose personal watercraft had encountered mechanical difficulties and was drifting. The man was taken on board the lifeboat and his vessel was taken under tow. He was returned to portmarnock beach where he had friends waiting to offer assistance. The lifeboat then returned to station.
Speaking after the call out, Niall McGrotty, Lifeboat Operations Manager for Skerries RNLI said: ‘With the good weather meaning more people are taking to the sea, we would like to remind people that it is advisable to have their vessels fully serviced after the winter and to always carry a means of contacting the shore.’
Skerries RNLI responded this afternoon (12 May) to reports of swimmers in difficulty off a local swimming area known as The Springers.
The pagers sounded shortly before midday after Dublin Coast Guard received reports that a number of swimmers were caught in a rip current and were unable to get back to shore.
Skerries RNLI volunteers launched the lifeboat with David Knight at the Helm and crewed by Philip Ferguson, Emma Wilson and AJ Hughes.
Arriving on scene the crew discovered that there were four casualties in the water spread over a large area in between Red Island headland and Colt Island. The lifeboat quickly began recovering the casualties into the lifeboat. With a large sea swell running and the casualties suffering from fatigue and early symptoms of hypothermia, it was necessary for one of our volunteers, Philip Ferguson to enter the water to assist them in getting on board.
Once all the casualties were on board the lifeboat returned to the station and recovered immediately to the warmth of the boathouse. Once inside the boathouse the casualties were monitored and treated for mild hypothermia but were all fit and well leaving the station.
Skerries Coast Guard unit and the Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 were also tasked. The helicopter stood by while the lifeboat recovered the casualties from the water.
Speaking after the call out, Gerry Canning, Lifeboat Press Officer for Skerries RNLI said: ‘Rip currents are a major cause of accidental drowning on beaches across the world. Even if you know an area well, the currents may change based on the weather and tides. The speed of response is crucial in cases like this and our volunteers did an excellent job in getting there as safely and quickly as possible. ’
Skerries RNLI volunteer crew headed to the West coast this month as they paid a visit to their colleagues in Clifden RNLI.
Once a year the volunteers in Skerries RNLI undertake a team building and fact finding trip to other rescue services and lifeboat stations. Despite being located on the opposite side of the country, Skerries RNLI and Clifden RNLI had previously exercised together, along with Clogherhead RNLI off the East coast back in 2014. On that occasion the Clifden crew were being trained on the Mersey class ALB that is currently being trialled at their station.
Last weekend (16 April), Clifden RNLI launched all three of their lifeboats, a Mersey class all weather lifeboat, an Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat and a D class inshore lifeboat, to take the volunteers from Skerries afloat and give them a taste of the challenges they faced on the West coast and at their own station in particular.
Skerries RNLI would like to thank volunteers Philip Ferguson and Laura Boylan for organising the trip. Irish Rail, who very generously subsidised the travel costs and most importantly all of the volunteers at Clifden RNLI for giving up their time and extending a warm welcome.
Speaking about the exercise, Gerry Canning, Lifeboat Press Officer for Skerries RNLI said: ‘It’s always a great learning experience for our volunteers to see the challenges that face other crews around the coast, and how they deal with them. The guys from Clifden RNLI were fantastic and really pulled out all the stops to make sure we went afloat and got a good insight into why they require each of their boats.’
Skerries RNLI volunteer crew members rescued a dog that had been stranded on rocks by the tide this afternoon (12 January)
'Mollie', a border collie cross, had been missing since the previous evening after becoming frightened and running away. She was spotted this morning in the Red Island area in Skerries. However by the time her owners had located her she had made her way onto the rocks behind the lifeboat station and had been cut off by the rising tide.
At the time a combination of the location and conditions meant that launching the lifeboat and attempting a rescue from the sea was not an option. However, volunteer lifeboat crew David Knight and AJ Hughes were able to wade safely out to the rocks from the shoreline wearing their personal protection equipment and using a safety line and safely recover Mollie.
Mollie was handed over to her grateful owners at the shoreline who took her straight to the Vet for a full check-up.
Skerries RNLI responded to their first call out of 2016 this morning (02 January) as they launched to reports of swimmer in difficulty on the North beach in Rush.
The pagers sounded shortly before 10am after Dublin Coast Guard received reports that a man swimming at the North beach in Rush was having difficulty getting back to shore.
Skerries RNLI volunteers launched the lifeboat with Conor Walsh at the Helm and crewed by Paddy Dillon, Emma Wilson and Steven Johnston.
At the time there was a moderate sea swell and a force four easterly wind.
Skerries Coast Guard unit and the Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 were also tasked. While the lifeboat was en route to Rush, a local person launched their sea kayak to provide assistance to the man and managed to help him to the beach. Skerries Coast Guard unit assessed the casualty and provided first aid before he was transferred by helicopter to hospital. The lifeboat was stood down and returned to base.
Speaking after the call out, Gerry Canning, Lifeboat Press Officer for Skerries RNLI said: ‘We have had a lot of wind, rain and large seas lately. So we would advise everyone to exercise caution in or around the water. Even if you know an area well, the currents are likely to be quite different at the moment.’
Skerries RNLI towed a yacht with two men on board to safety yesterday evening (09 August) after the vessel suffered engine failure.
At 7.30pm Skerries RNLI were tasked by Dublin Coast Guard to assist a small yacht that had suffered engine failure near Shenick Island off the coast of Skerries. The alert had been raised by a fishing vessel in the area.
The lifeboat, with volunteer Philip Ferguson at the Helm and volunteers Joe May, A.J Hughes and Peter Kennedy on board, launched and proceeded to the coordinates given by the fishing vessel. Conditions at the time were very favourable with calm seas and force one to two south easterly winds. The vessel was quickly located and after checking that all on board were well and not in need of first aid, the lifeboat towed the casualty to the safety of Skerries harbour.
Speaking after the call out, Gerry Canning, Lifeboat Press Officer for Skerries RNLI said: ’Thankfully the crew of the fishing vessel took the time to see if everything was ok. We would urge anyone going to sea to check all their equipment and carry a working VHF radio as mobile phone signals are very unreliable once you are away from the shore.’