Tragedy was averted this evening 3rd August after a RIB with 5 persons onboard called for assistance. The alert that a RIB was adrift in the Gascannane Sound off Sherkin Island came at 18:24. Later this was revised to a position 100 metres off rocks East of Schull Harbour. The all weather lifeboat was launched with a crew of 7 on board at 18:32. Weather conditions at the time were as follows; West South West Winds Force 6-7, Sea State – Rough The stricken RIB had put out an anchor to try and hold her position but it was not holding. The lifeboat advised putting out as much rope as possible to try & secure the anchor. The lifeboat also used VHF direction finding to locate the RIB.Schull Inshore Rescue were first on scene at Coosheen point East of Schull Harbour. They established a tow with the 8 metre blue and orange RIB. Baltimore Lifeboat arrived minutes later at 18:51 and stood by to support the tow back into Schull.On board were Kieran Cotter Coxswain, Jerry Smith Mechanic, Brendan Cottrell, Jim Baker, Colin Whooley, Don Donovan and Pat Collins
The last seven days have proved to be a busy time for Baltimore Lifeboats, with six callouts during the period. Baltimore all-weather lifeboat was called upon four times, to perform services that included, a MEDIVAC from Sherkin Island when a youth suffered injuries from a fall, to assist yachts in [...]
The lifeboat carried out a medical evacuation from Sherkin Island this morning 18 July. The call for assistance came at 11:09. The lifeboat proceeded directly to the pontoon in Sherkin and a medical team were sent ashore to do a medical assessment. A woman was stretchered aboard the lifeboat and was passed into the care of the ambulance service at Baltimore.
Baltimore Lifeboat was launched at 11.38pm last night 11 July to convey a sick teenager from Cape Clear to Baltimore. The teen who was suffering from an appendicitis was transferred from the Island aboard ‘Alan Massey’ to Baltimore Lifeboat Station, from where an ambulance brought her to hospital in Cork. [...]
Baltimore RNLI is continuing their search this morning for a third person who got into difficulty off the coast of west Cork following a tragic accident yesterday evening (Tuesday 30 June). The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their inshore and all-weather lifeboats at 5.15am and are continuing to search in the [...]
A rare opportunity to secure a piece of Baltimore Lifeboat history came to light earlier last month. An extremely scarce and very fine Royal National Lifeboat Institution Silver Gallantry Medal, George V, awarded in 1917 to the Venerable Archdeacon John Richard Hedges Becher, for the gallant rescue of survivors from the SS Alondra came up for sale. The medal was being sold from a private collection and had previously been on public display at the base of Lagan Search & Rescue – the independent lifeboat service for Belfast. Donations to defray the costs of medal purchase are very welcome as is any additional information concerning the fate of Archdeacon Becher – please contact Tom Bushe.
The exact cause of the wrecking of the Alondra is not entirely clear. What is known is that the ship ran aground on Kedge Rock. After its grounding sixteen of the Alondra’s crew were able to get aboard one of three ship’s lifeboats,
but ended up drowning before they could reach safety. Another man died on board. Meanwhile, the Archdeacon John Richard Hedges
Becher, who was serving as the Honorary Secretary of the Baltimore (RNLI), set out to re
scue the stranded crew. He failed to reach the Alondra on the first try, then again on the second. When the sun rose, they set out a third time. In total, 23 men were rescued from the steamboat with the assistance of Royal Navy trawlers. The RNLI awarded Silver Medals for Gallantry to both Archdeacon Becher and to Lieutenant Sanderson for assisting with t
he rescue. In 1913, the RNLI had established a lifeboat base in Baltimore, which could have been of assistance in rescuing the crew of the Alondra. Unfortunately, the outbreak of the Great War delayed the official opening of the base until 1919.
This famous rescue has been the subject of a recent film as part of the RNLI’s commemoration of the Great War. The film was made in Baltimore and features lifeboat crew alongside a cast drawing from talent in Baltimore Amateur Drama. The film was last screened in May 2015 in the National Library of Ireland.
John Richard Hedges Becher’s death was announced in the Times on the 7th May 1929. The announcement read “Deaths - At Nakuru Hospital Kenya, after surgery, John R H Becher, Archdeacon of Ross, father of Mar
y Littleton, Ballyheary, Ashford, Co Wickford & Norah Trench, Molo, Kenya. The Southern Star, on the 11th May 1929, also reported “….the death this week of the Venerable Archdeacon Becher….He was the son of the Late Michael Becher of Carriganear, Maulbrack, Skibbereen, and subsequently of Ardralla House, Newcourt, Skibbereen and he was nephew of the late Mr John R H Becher of Lough Ine House, and cousin-German of The Rev Henry Becher, ex Dean of Ross. The late Archdeacon ministered in Youghal…to Castletownsend…to Baltimore…to Bantry…he was instrumental in bringing a Life Boat to Baltimore…for his health he went to Kenyan Colony. Everybody liked & most people loved him.”
On Sunday May 10th at 16:50 Baltimore Lifeboat responded to a distress call from a fishing boat that had broken down approx. 40 nautical miles south of Baltimore. The vessel was Irish registered at Sligo with a displacement of approx. 100 tonnes, Mizen Head Coast Guard reported 5 people on board at the time that the alert was raised. The all-weather lIfeboat Alan Massey was launched at 17:00 under the command of coxswain K. Cotter, with crew, J. Smith, P. Collins , K. Collins, A. Bushe, B. McSweeney and G. Sheehy as crew. The lifeboat proceeded south and directly into the prevailing swell which made progress slow, about 14 to 17 knots. Wind was from the South Force 5-6, visibility moderate, sea state rough to very rough (2.5-4.0m and 4.0-6.0m) the swell being predominately 3 to 4 metres but at times 5 metres. The distressed vessel was sighted at at 19:35. The lifeboat established a tow at 19:55 shortly after arriving on scene. The return journey was a lot smoother than the journey out and averaged about 6.5knots, making the shelter of Baltimore Harbour at at 02:15 on Monday morning. A falling tide delayed berthing, but eventually the fishing vessel was secured at the pier at 03:20. Coxswain Kieran Cotter commented afterwards ‘it was a difficult shout because of the distance from shore and the weather conditions, its great to have such an experienced crew who performed excellently under arduous conditions”
On 25 May a flare was sighted in Baltimore Harbour at 2:15. The inshore lifeboat was launched immediately under the command of Helm Jerry Smith and proceeded directly towards the the Cove where a 10 metre yacht which had been attempting to reach her own mooring had fouled her propellor. There were three adult males on board at the time. The lifeboat took a rope from the bow of the yacht to the mooring. Once secured the lifeboat returned to station, the whole operation being completed in 45 minutes. On board the Alice and Charles were Helm Jerry Smith with crew Youen Jacob & John Kearney. Slip crew: Tom Kelly, Rianne Smith & Sean McCarthy
On 20 May a joint exercise was held on
combining the efforts of RNLI Baltimore, RNLI Union Hall, Toe Head Coastguard. Schull Community Inshore Rescue & Civil Defence. This was a valuable exercise in anticipation of a busy Summer season when so many people take to the water to enjoy the great boating areas of West Cork. We encourage all boaters to take care and stay safe. We’re always here to help but prevention is the best cure! Respect the Water.
The all weather lifeboat was launched this morning 18 June, when reports were received that a yacht had been dismasted 5 nautical miles south of the Fastnet Rock. The hi-tech 21ft racing yacht has been competing in a race from France around the Fastnet and back when the top section [...]
Following on from last year where a number of thefts took place on the Mizen Head and the Baltimore area An Garda Siochana Schull are launching a Crime prevention campaign for the summer of 2015 aimed at raising awareness with people who own boats, kayaks, canoe’s and any other form of maritime equipment. Please see the information leaflet below or contact Michael Walsh RNLI Sea Safety Officer.
A flare was sighted in Baltimore Harbour this afternoon 25th May at 2:15. The inshore lifeboat was launched immediately under the command of Helm Jerry Smith. They proceeded directly towards the the Cove where a 10 metre yacht which had been attempting to reach her own mooring had become became [...]