• It's been a busy week for the Aran Islands RNLI as the volunteer crew were called out to help a tourist who fell on rocky ground yesterday evening.

    The crew were asked to launch the all-weather lifeboat at 6pm following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to transport a patient to Rossaveal Harbour and on to a waiting ambulance.

     The American tourist, who was on a trip to Inis Mór at the time, had fallen on rocky terrain and sustained a suspected fractured ankle.

    The casualty was brought by lifeboat to Rossaveal, and then taken to hospital by ambulance.

     Aran Islands RNLI Coxswain John O’Donnell said medical evacuations are a routine part of the lifeboat’s work on the islands.

    Earlier this week, the same volunteer crew had two call-outs on Monday night -one for a medical evacuation and the second to assist a lone sailor who yacht ran aground in Kilronan Harbour.



  • Aran Islands responded to two medical evacuations yesterday evening.

    The volunteer crew members were asked to launch their all-weather Severn class lifeboat “David Kirkaldy, at 4.50pm by the Irish Coast Guard.

    An elderly man on the neighbouring Island of Inis Meain had sustained an injury from an earlier fall and required further medical attention.

    Weather conditions at the time of launching were choppy.

    Once the patient was transferred safely aboard and under the supervision of the volunteer crew members, the lifeboat headed straight for Rossaveal harbour and the awaiting ambulance.

    The volunteer crew members were then asked to launch their lifeboat at 11.05pm last night by the Irish Coast Guard as a sick man on Inis Mór required further medical attention.

    The lifeboat launched under Coxswain John O'Donnell and a full crew once again. 

    Conditions were again choppy at sea, with a 2m swell and a west to south westerly force 6-8 wind.

    With the patient safely aboard the lifeboat and under the supervision of the volunteer crew members, the lifeboat made her way to Rossaveal harbour and the awaiting ambulance for transfer. 

  • A barge that drifted from Canada six months ago has been located off the north Mayo coast.

    The 26-metre long vessel was reported missing from Labrador, Newfoundland last November.

    It was spotted off the coast by a fishing vessel yesterday evening and the Ballyglass based RNLI crew was tasked to bring it ashore.

    It took the crew seven hours to secure the barge and bring it to a mooring point.

    The vessel had travelled more than 3,000 kilometres since it was last seen.

    RNLI crew members towed it to Ballyglass harbour, finally getting it to safety at 2am.

    When they reached Ballyglass there was no room to tie up the barge so it has been moored on the lifeboat's own mooring for the time being.

    Padraic Sheeran who is the Ballyglass Lifeboat Operations Manager told Midwest News this evening It’s now in a safe place in Shanahee.

  • The RNLI says they have over 1,500 lifeboat volunteers ready to drop everything if a call for help comes in this Christmas.

    But they'd all prefer if their safety message got there first.

    The Irish Coast Guard says 'stay back, stay high and stay dry.'

    With Christmas swims scheduled across the region, the RNLI's Seán Dillon says a few precautions can go a long way – for both Christmas and New Year swims.

    Firstly never swim alone, and remember that swimming in open water is very different from swimming in a pool. It’s colder, there may be unseen currents or waves.

  • A man was rescued from a dangerous situation in Connemara yesterday afternoon by the volunteer crew of the Clifden RNLI, together with Coast Guard helicopter personnel and Cleggan Coast Guard volunteers.

    A couple were out walking at Slackport,a remote place on Slyne Head close to Ballyconneely, when the man fell on the shoreline, trapping his leg in rocks. He was trapped on the high water mark and unable to free himself and the rising spring tide gave cause for alarm as it was possible that it could reach his location.

    The couple called for help and Clifden’s Atlantic 85 in-shore lifeboat was launche, followed by the Mersey class all weather lifeboat.

    The Atlantic 85 was first on the scene and crew man Alan Pryce went ashore to assess the situation and administer first aid.

    Members of Cleggan Coast Guard Unit and the winch man from the Sligo based Rescue 118 then arrived on scene and with the additional help they were able to safely manoeuvre the man into a position where he could be freed. Once freed and examined, his injuries were found to be minor and Rescue 118 airlifted him back to safety.

  • The RNLI and GAA are bringing a winning partnership to coastal communities around the country.

    They've signed up water safety ambassadors to deliver water safety advice to young GAA fans about the risks of drowning.

    The RNLI's Paddy McLaughlin says the collaboration is encouraging a whole generation to be safer around open water.

  • The RNLI and the Irish Coast Guard have issued a joint call this May Bank Holiday weekend for people to stay safe on and near water as the expected warmer weather and brighter evenings will see more people spending time outdoors.

    The maritime organisations caution that an improvement in the weather does not mean warmer water temperatures and people should make sure they apply common sense and observe basic safety precautions when engaged in any activity either at sea or along the coast.

    The Irish Coast Guard and the RNLI are asking people to take the time to check that they have all essential safety equipment and that it is fully serviced and that anybody who needs to use it knows what to do.

    If you see someone get into difficulty, dial 112 or 999 and ask for the Coast Guard.

    If possible look for something that floats or that they can hold on to and throw it out to them.

  • The Coast Guard and RNLI have issued a joint safety message for those taking part in water-based or coastal activities over the Christmas and New Year period.

    Both groups are warning that swimming in open water is very different to swimming in a pool due to unseen currents, cold water and waves.

    People are advised not to swim alone, and try and take part in an organised swim, consider wearing a wetsuit for long swims, always swim parallel to the shore and not to mix water sports and alcohol.

    Coastal walkers are advised to avoid any unfamiliar routes and be mindful of changes caused by coastal erosion, as well as the risk of trips and falls.

    Those taking to the water in leisure boats and small fishing boats should carry a mobile phone or personal locator beacon, and always wear a life jacket, as well as checking the weather forecast.

    The RNLI and Coast guard will be available to respond over the festive season.

  • Aran Islands RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew spent nine hours at sea last night to help bring a sick fisherman to safety.

    The crew were requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat by the Irish Coast Guard at 9.45pm last night and go to the aid of the sick fisherman on a French vessel approximately 40 miles west of the Aran Islands. 

    The lifeboat under Coxswain Mairtín O'Flaithearta, was requested to assist the crew of the Irish Coast Guard’s helicopter Rescue 115 from Shannon who had been tasked earlier in the night and were already providing casualty care on scene and had attempted to winch the casualty to safety.

     Once on scene, a lifeboat crew member was transferred on to fishing vessel to assist the helicopter crew. A transfer to the lifeboat was attempted but due to the height of the vessel and the swell this was not possible.

    The lifeboat proceeded to escort the vessel north of the Island where there was more shelter and the swell was only 1m. By this time the fisherman was well enough to be winched by the Irish Coast Guard helicopter and airlifted to hospital.

    The Aran Islands RNLI all-weather lifeboat returned home at 6.30am this morning.

  • Tributes are being paid following the death of longstanding Achill lifeboat volunteer Mattie Stafford who passed away on Friday and is being laid to rest today.

    Achill Island RNLI said it's with deep shock and regret that they learned of the untimely passing of former crew member, emergency Coxswain and current Deputy Launching Authority Mattie Stafford, who brought his skills and ability in seamanship and mechanics to the Achill Island lifeboat over many years.

    Mattie was awarded the RNLI Long Service Medal following 20 years on the lifeboat crew.

    On his retirement from the crew, he took on the roles of Deputy Launching Authority and on the station operations team.

    Achill Island RNLI says his advice, experience and camaraderie will be missed, and has extended sympathies to his wife Kathleen, daughters Jacinta, Caitriona and Genevieve, son Matthew and extended family.

    Mattie's Funeral Mass got underway at 12 noon today in St Patrick's Church, Pollagh followed by burial in Slievemore Cemetery.


  • 65 year old Mary Nolan Hickey is on the final stretch of a three month run around the entire coast of the island of Ireland.

    Mary left her home in Arklow County Wicklow on New Year's Day, and this afternoon she runs home to a massive welcome from friends, family and supporters after raising over € 40,000 for the RNLI. 

    She travelled through County Mayo in February where she received tremendous support from locals.

    As she sets out on her final few hours of the Lap of the Map - Mary says it's gone better than she could ever have expected.