Archives for News (103)

Ready for Home

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Published on: February 10, 2012

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The Alan Massey displays her colours as she sets out on her passage to Baltimore. Tonight she berths in Weymouth. Estimated time of arrival 19:00

Station Shoreworks – views from the water

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Published on: February 9, 2012

Photos courtesy Simon Duggan

2011 Statistics Released

Categories: News, Statistics
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Published on: February 7, 2012

 

2011 saw RNLI  Baltimore lifeboats launch 22 times to a variety of callouts. 33 people were rescued over the course of the year by volunteer lifeboat crews who spent over 740 hours on service at sea. 7 of the shouts occurred during the hours of darkness.

 

The inshore lifeboat Bessie was launched 9 times and the all weather life boat Hilda Jarrett 13 times last year. Later this spring Hilda Jarrett will be replaced by a new Tamar class lifeboat, the Alan Massey. Shoreworks are already underway to accommodate the new lifeboat on a purpose built berth at the Bullpoint Station.

Commenting on the 2011 statistics RNLI Deputy Divisional Inspector Gareth Morrison said: ‘Our lifeboat volunteers continue to show selfless dedication and commitment to saving lives. Some stations are extremely busy while others have less callouts but spend long hours at sea in awful conditions. There were some outstanding rescues last year including that to Rambler 100, in which Baltimore RNLI recovered 17 crewmembers off the upturned hull of the racing boat during the Fastnet race. Sadly there were also long searches for missing loved ones.

‘The work of the volunteer lifeboat crews could not be made possible without the generosity of the public who in difficult times continue to support Irish lifeboat crews.   While these figures give an interesting insight into search and rescue by the RNLI on Irish waters they are by no means the full story. As well as working to save lives at sea the RNLI provides other programmes and services for the public including sea safety advice and clinics, education roadshows and visits to lifeboat stations.’

The 2011 figures are being released in the wake of the RNLI Lifejackets for Lifesavers campaign which will see every lifeboat station in Ireland take delivery of new specially designed lifejackets in September. The lifejackets have been commissioned by the RNLI for search and rescue work and have been given the seal of approval from lifeboat volunteers. The cost of providing the lifejackets for all 43 lifeboat stations in Ireland is estimated at €160,000.

A lunch on the ocean wave

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Published on: February 7, 2012

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Push to begin

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Published on: February 6, 2012

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Crew PCT commences

Tamar Berth Progress

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Published on: February 2, 2012

 

Running at 29 knots

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Published on: February 1, 2012

Carrier Landing Exercise

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Published on: February 1, 2012

Baltimore Lifeboat Station History – Lesson 2

Categories: History, News
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Published on: January 30, 2012

1979 Fastnet Rescue

The race began on Saturday, August 11, 1979.  303 yachts and 2,700 sailors set out on the 608-mile race from the Isle of Wight. The course took the yachts westwards across the Irish Sea, around the Fastnet Rock 3 miles West of Cape Clear and back. The race began in fine weather with no warning of what was to come. Many of the larger yachts were rounding the Fastnet when weather conditions deteriorated rapidly as a Force 10 gale swept across the North Atlantic at an alarming rate.

The yachts were pounded by 40-foot breaking waves and rescue helicopters and lifeboats struggled to save them. These conditions endured for 20 hours. Rescue crews pulled 136 sailors from their yachts or the sea, but 15 men died, two of whose bodies were never found. Only 85 boats managed to finish the race, while five sunk and a further 24 were abandoned. One of the few boats to reach the finish line in Plymouth was Morning Cloud skippered by former UK Prime Minister Edward Heath.

Three Irish Yachts were competing for the Admirals cup and were in pole position before the last race, of the series, the Fastnet. When Regardless lost her rudder that was the end of the Irish dream. The boat was towed into Baltimore by the lifeboat The Robert. A second Irish yacht Golden Apple of the Sun lost her rudders too, and the boat was abandoned by her crew in favour of a helicopter when another gale was forecast for that night. The third Irish boat Invincible made it across the finishing line.

Special regulations were brought in following the disaster to make it mandatory for competing yachts to carry VHF equipment and reduced the total numbers of yachts competing.

The 25th anniversary was commemorated in 2004 by a wreath laying ceremony which took place at sea, off North Harbour, Cape Clear Island. Coxswain Kieran Cotter laid the wreath from aboard the L.E. Eimear in the company of Terence Johnson Deputy Chairman, RNLI Ireland, and Commanader Kavanagh of the L.E. Deirdre, the Irish naval ship that took part in the rescue operation. The L.E Grainnuaile stood by during the ceremony and was accompanied by a large flotilla of pleasure craft.

Our current Coxswain Kieran Cotter was part of the lifeboat crew that spent over 20 hours at sea onboard the Robert. A commemorative plaque was presented to Kieran and members of the Baltimore Lifeboat. The citation reads; “The heroic work of Coxswain Christy Collins and crew of the Baltimore Lifeboat, The Robert, who rescued the crew of the Regardless and Marionette and towed both yachts to Baltimore is acknowledged as an extraordinary feat of seamanship conducted during the storm in which the 15 Fastnet race competitors perished”.

The photo above is dated 15th August 1979 and was taken by Anne Minihane. It shows the Robert back out on duty shortly after the heroic efforts of the previous days.

If you have photos of lifeboats stationed at Baltimore we would love to see and share them. Photos can be uploaded through the form on the website contacts page.

Baltimore Lifeboat Station History – Lesson 1

Categories: History, News
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Published on: January 27, 2012

Pictured here is Louis Nolan, lifeboat mechanic on the first lifeboat stationed at Baltimore. This photo was taken prior to 1945 in the station boathouse, showing the stern of lifeboat ON649 The Shamrock (also known as the Duke of Connaught). The Watson class lifeboat was stationed here from  from 17 August 1919 until 11 October 1949. Louis’s father Bill served on the Shamrock as Coxswain and Louis’s son Billy later served on the Sarah Tilson.

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