False Alarm Flares

Categories: Shouts
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Published on: February 3, 2008

Date: 03/02/2008

The RNLI Baltimore Lifeboat launched at 0130 during the height of Sunday morning’s storm. Flares were reported off Castletownsend and it was feared a vessel may have been in distress. The Irish Coast Guard coordinated a search involving Baltimore and Courtmacsherry Lifeboats along with Coast Rescue personnel.

With South Westerly winds reaching strong gale force 9 and a heavy swell of 5-6 meters, conditions at sea were challenging. The Lifeboats conducted a search along the coast in dangerous on-shore winds. The recent stranding of the Portrush Lifeboat is a stark reminder of the hazardous conditions the RNLI crews can find themselves in during such operations. The search proved fruitless as no trace was found of any vessel in the area. It is assumed that the sighting of flares was not associated with any vessel at sea but it is important that members of the public do report such sightings. Distress flares are always distinctly red in colour with a pinkish glow around them and descend slowly from a height by parachute or may be handheld and waved from a boat in distress.

Baltimore’s Tyne class All  Weather Lifeboat Hilda Jarrett  with her crew of six returned to the boathouse at 0530 after a tough 4 hours at sea. Recovery at the slip was hampered by strong crosswinds but on the second attempt the boat was safely rehoused.

Crewing the lifeboat were Coxswain Kieran Cotter, Mechanic Gerry Smith, Don O Donovan, Revlin Minihane  Sean McCarthy and Ronnie Carthy. Micheal Cottrell, Rianne Smith and Kate Callanan assisted on the slip with the launch and recovery.

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