The volunteer crew of Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat were requested to launch this afternoon (Sunday 16 April 2017) to assist a dive boat with 4 persons on board, which had broken down.
The alarm was raised around 1:50pm with Malin Head Coast Guard who immediately requested the launch of the Bundoran Lifeboat and also tasked the Killybegs Coast Guard Rib.
The Bundoran Lifeboat launched at 2pm to the dive boat which was around a mile north of Bullockmore, (west of St John’s Point). The Killybegs Coast Guard rib took the dive boat under tow to Killybegs Harbour with the Bundoran Lifeboat accompanying both vessels.
On returning to the station around 90 minutes later, Volunteer Lifeboat Crew member with Bundoran RNLI Richard Gillespie said ‘the people on board the dive boat were absolutely correct to call the Coast Guard and have ourselves and Killybegs launched. While they were in no immediate danger, the longer they left the call, the more chances there were of something going wrong. We would always encourage boat users to contact the Coast Guard on the first sign of a problem so we can be there to help sooner rather than later.’
The Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat remains on call 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. In case of emergency call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.
In advance of the planned surface search tomorrow (Saturday 8 April) for the missing crew of Rescue 116 the RNLI will assist the Irish Coast Guard and Naval Service with coordinating a large sea area search from Donegal to Mayo. This follows a request from local fishing organisations.
RNLI lifeboats from Ballyglass, Achill, Sligo, Bundoran and Arranmore, along with Killybegs and Killala Coast Guard, will be on scene for the day and will keep in communication with all vessels. The RNLI wishes to join with the Coast Guard in stressing the importance of safety for every person taking part in the search. Each individual should be wearing a personal floatation device and have access to a working VHF for communications.
While engaged in the search the RNLI lifeboats will remain on call and available for search and rescue operations. Should an RNLI lifeboat need to respond to an emergency elsewhere a designated deputy vessel will be appointed.
Commenting on the planned search RNLI Lifesaving Manager Gareth Morrison said, ‘Since the loss of Rescue 116 our lifeboat crews from Ballyglass and Achill, later joined by Arranmore, Sligo and Bundoran have spent a huge number of hours out searching. This has been in conjunction with our colleagues in the Coast Guard, Naval Service, Civil Defence and on local vessels. Most of our lifeboat crew are volunteers who have left families and jobs to engage in the search. I want to take this opportunity to thank all the RNLI lifeboat crews, station personnel and wider communities who have taken part.’
‘With everyone involved in the search on Saturday staying vigilant and safe and following the directions from the on scene coordinators we will cover a huge area safely. We also ask that people continue to keep a lookout for any debris and report findings to the Coast Guard.’
He concluded, ‘Our thoughts remain with the families and colleagues of the crew of Rescue 116 ’