Baltimore Lifeboat station hosted an inter-agency training exercise on Sunday 24th March last. The aim of the exercise, coordinated by Niall Twomey, Civil Defence West Cork, was to provide a focused inter-agency training environment in which all personnel will be able to liaise and standardise operating procedures, to prepare for any future taskings in a maritime search scenario. Five agencies participated in a co-ordinated search exercise, which focused on the fundamentals of task briefings, communications, search patterns, navigation and teamwork (Goleen and Toe Head Coast Guard, Schull Inshore Rescue, Cork West Civil Defence and Baltimore Lifeboat). In bitterly cold weather conditions, the boats rendezvoused at Cunnamore in a simulated search for two Kayakers missing overnight. The Baltimore all-weather lifeboat assumed on scene command, directing the 5 ribs to carry out searches in specific areas. Later the 6 boats conducted parallel search patterns in Baltimore Harbour. Lifeboat Operations Manager Tom Bushe commented, that ‘the resources and experience deployed show the level of commitment to lifesaving in the West Cork area’.
In January, the Lifeboat Station was a nominee for the Local Authority Members Association Awards in recognition of a major search and rescue operation for two missing kayakers last August. Upon hearing a faint whistle, Baltimore RNLI entered a cave using a small inflatable rescue boat. John Kearney volunteered to swim further in and waded another 50 metres to where he found the missing kayakers.
The lifeboat was involved in searches in tragic circumstances twice this year. In February the all weather lifeboat joined in a search for a Spanish fisherman lost overboard and whose remains were never recovered. Earlier this month both lifeboats assisted in the search and recovery of a father and daughter at Audley Cove.
Michael Walsh, RNLI Sea Safety officer is running a free sea safety road show and lifejacket clinic on Baltimore Pier Sat. April 6th , 10am- 4pm. The RNLI Sea Safety Road show will show you what to check if you bring your life jacket along. Also, talk to us about ‘Cold Shock’, ‘Man Overboard’ and ‘Calling for Help’.