Baltimore Community News Winter 2010

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Published on: November 25, 2010

Baltimore Busiest in Summer 2010

RNLI Chief Executive Paul Boissier, was given a whistle stop tour of the Baltimore Lifeboat area of service, including a close up encounter with the Fastnet Lighthouse during a visit to the station on November 19th.

RNLI Divisional Inspector Martyn Smyth and RNLI Trustee Peter Crowley had accompanied Mr Boissier on a visit to our Station which included participating in a lifeboat exercise with the ALB, Hilda Jarrett. Mr Boissier was transferred to Bessie in the lee of the calf islands and the ILB  whisked him off to the Fastnet Lighthouse. Weather conditions were favourable and the Fastnet Lighthouse was impressive in the relatively calm sea prevailing at the time.

Mr Boissier later commented on the challenging coastline and waters in which the Baltimore lifeboats operate. He complimented the local team on the world class service being provided through volunteer efforts. Baltimore fields an operations team in excess of 50 volunteers who are involved in launching and crewing the lifeboats, and a fundraising committee that consistently performs well beyond what could be expected of such a small village.

It was a busy summer for the Lifeboats in Baltimore. Figures for summer 2010 show that RNLI lifeboats were requested to launch 312 times during June, July and August in the Republic of Ireland. Baltimore was the busiest station with a total of 23 services closely followed by the Aran Islands and Dun Laoire Lifeboat stations.

One such summer shout provided a dramatic demonstration of air/sea rescue for the large crowd gathered in Baltimore square. On the 28th of August a 32 ft yacht sailing out of Schull Harbour with four adults and one child on board suffered an unexpected gybe when sailing downwind. A crewmember was struck by the boom and knocked overboard in a semi-conscious condition. Fortunately he was wearing a lifejacket. The crew of the yacht were unable to recover the casualty who was plucked from the water by a motor boat in the vicinity. Baltimore all weather lifeboat Hilda Jarrett under the command of coxswain Kieran Cotter and Baltimore inshore lifeboat Bessie, helmed by John Kearney were alerted and made best speed to the location one mile south-east of the Beacon. Two lifeboat crewmembers boarded the rescuing vessel to offer medical assistance as the boat returned to Baltimore Harbour. Meanwhile Coastguard Helicopter 115 from Shannon, had arrived on scene and due to the condition of the casualty, winched him on board for rapid transfer to Cork University Hospital. Baltimore Lifeboat coxswain Kieran Cotter commented afterwards ‘ the man’s life was saved by the wearing of a lifejacket’.

We have just launched a facebook page to make station activities more widely known at www.facebook.com/baltimorelifeboat. In the spirit of social media, contributions are welcome from anyone who has a story to tell or a photo to share. Facebook users can post on the wall and upload relevant photos and video once they have joined the page by ‘liking’ it. We hope that the facebook page will be a good way for our station to keep in touch with distant friends, relatives and supporters. We wish them and your readers a very Happy Christmas and safe passage in 2011.

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