Baltimore Community News Summer 2011

Categories: News
Published on: June 14, 2011

Baltimore Lifeboats Save Lives at Sea.

Baltimore lifeboat crews proved their worth again this Spring when they were involved in two separate rescues that could have otherwise had perilous consequences.

Most recently in the early hours of Sunday morning 12th June, two Danish men in their sixties were in difficulty on a yacht 28 miles South West of Baltimore. The 36ft yacht had left the Azores 11 days previously heading for Kinsale.

Following instruction from the Coastguard, the all weather lifeboat Hilda Jarrett, was launched at 02:10 in gale force weather conditions with a 3-4 metre swell from the South East. Radio contact was established within half an hour. The yacht was in serious peril. Her engines were disabled, one of the crew was suffering from prolonged sea-sickness since leaving the Azores and the remaining crew had not slept in 48 hours. The yacht was sailing North under reefed mainsail using self steering gear. It was impractical to tow the yacht back to Baltimore into the gale force winds. The lifeboat stood by as the yacht proceeded North. At daybreak, Coxswain Eoin Ryan, skillfully maneuvered, the 47ft lifeboat alongside the yacht, to allow the safe transfer of Mechanic Cathal Cottrell who had bravely volunteered to go onboard. Cathal who is an experienced sailor was able to take control of the yacht.

Meanwhile the coastguard had mobilized Castletownbere lifeboat which arrived on scene at 5:15 approx to established a tow. The yacht was towed across the weather to safety with Cathal Cottrell at the helm of the yacht, arriving in Castletownbere at 08:00. One of the men received medical attention locally on arrival. The Hilda Jarrett made the 20 mile passage back to Baltimore arriving on station at 8:30

Lifeboat Crew: Coxswain Eoin Ryan, Mechanic Cathal Cottrell, Jerry Smith, Colin Whooley, Sean McCarthy, Brian McSweeney.Shore Support: Micheal Cottrell, Vincent Roantree, Donal O’Donovan and Jason Pavry

The previous rescue on 29th April involved the combined strengths of both Baltimore Lifeboats and crews in averting a catastrophe at sea, when a young fishermen fell overboard 11 miles South of Baltimore Harbour.

Valentia Coastguard alerted the Baltimore lifeboat station at 12.43pm and both the inshore lifeboat Bessie and the all weather lifeboat Hilda Jarrett were put to sea by their RNLI volunteer crews.   The inshore lifeboat with its greater turn of speed, arrived on scene within 20 minutes. Crew member Ronan Callanan administered oxygen to the stricken fisherman stabilising his condition, which had been serious due to long immersion in water. Further medical attention was offered by all weather lifeboat crewman Jerry Smith when it arrived on scene 20 minutes later.

Given the seriousness of the fisherman’s condition it was decided that an airlift was the most appropriate course of action and a rescue helicopter was called.

Helmsman Young Jacob, commended the Captain and crew of the fishing boat in retrieving the fisherman from the water, which was made even more difficult by the choppy sea conditions prevailing. The inshore lifeboat then returned to Baltimore Harbour. However the all weather lifeboat remained at sea, as another distress call was received from a fishing vessel adrift 30 miles offshore.

It took them two hours to reach the vessel and several more to tow her back to shore. Onboard the inshore lifeboat were Helmsman Youen Jacob, crewmen Ronan Callanan and Tadhg Collins. On board the all weather lifeboat are coxswain Aidan Bushe, Cathal Cottrell, Jerry Smith, Ronnie Carthy and father and son team Pat and Diarmuid Collins.

Finally congratulations to Lifeboat Operations Manager, Tom Bushe and Deputy Launching Authority/Treasurer Pat Fehily who were recipients of awards made in recognition of service to the RNLI at a ceremony in Dublin recently.



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