independent

Friday 24 November 2017

RNLI issues warning to pleasure boat owners

By Maria Pepper

The Rosslare Harbour all-weather lifeboat.
The Rosslare Harbour all-weather lifeboat.

The RNLI has issued a warning to pleasure boat owners to exercise caution when planning trips at sea during the summer after the Rosslare Harbour lifeboat was involved in two rescues in the space of three days last week.

The lifeboat went to the assistance of three men whose motorsailer boat ran aground on the east side of the Blackwater Bank and also rescued another trio of sailors whose motorboat experienced mechanical problems and broke down off the Wexford coast.

The first incident happened on Monday after a 37ft boat went aground and broke its steering in good weather conditions

A volunteer lifeboat crew launched the RNLI's all-weather lifeboat after receiving a report from the Irish Coastguard that a vessel was in difficulty.

The lifeboat under Coxwain Art Sheil, with six crew members, launched at 4.40 p.m. and made its way to the scene, arriving at 5.20 p.m.

Cahore inshore lifeboat was also tasked and was on the scene first.

Rosslare lifeboat crew worked with the Cahore lifeboat crew to get the vessel off the bank, an operation that was successfully completed at 6pm. The three men on board were safe and well.

Two lifeboat crew members boarded the casualty vessel and attached a towline. The lifeboat then towed the motorsailer back to Rosslare Harbour.

In the second rescue, the lifeboat under Coxwain Eamon O'Rourke with a crew of six, launched at 3pm last Wednesday after the Coastguard reported that a vessel was in difficulty eight milies north east of Rosslare Harbour.

The sailors had been on route from Dun Laoghaire to Kilmore Quay when the motorboat experienced mechanical problems. Weather conditions were good at the time with a slight westerly wind.

At the scene, the lifeboat crew stood by as the sailors got their vessel started again. The lifeboat then escorted the motorboat safely into Rosslare Harbour.

Following the rescues Rosslare Harbour RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager David Maloney said the crews on board both vessels acted correctly and raised the alarm when they got into difficulty.

'We would encourage anyone planning a trip at sea this summer to go prepared and to always respect the water. If you do get into trouble, the RNLI provides a 24-hour search and rescue service and our volunteers in Rosslare are always willing and ready to respond to help anyone in need.'

'Sailing and motorboating are popular pastimes, especially at this time of the year. We would remind sailors and anyone taking to the sea to always wear a lifejacket. Always have a means of calling or signallying for help and ensure that everyone on board knows how to use it,' said David.

'Always check the weather forecast and tide times and make sure that someone ashore knows where you are going and who to call if you don't return on time.' If you get into difficulty at sea telephone 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.

Wexford People

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