The volunteer crew of Bundoran RNLI were last night (March 31st 2016) requested to launch by Malin Head Coast Guard to reports of a person in the water at the pier in Donegal Town.
Following a 999 call from some passers by, the lifeboat was paged just after 11.45pm and launched around 11:53pm, proceeding to Donegal Town. On arrival on scene at 12:15am the crew commenced a search of the pier area in coordination with the Sligo based Rescue 118 Helicopter, the Killybegs Coast Guard boat, Gardai, Fire Service and HSE Ambulance.
Shortly after 1am, a person was recovered from the water and handed over to the waiting ambulance crew on the pier but was sadly later pronounced dead.
The management and crew of Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat extend sympathies to family and friends of the deceased.
(Picture shows the Bundoran Lifeboat being recovered just before 2am on Friday morning 1st April following its return from Donegal Town)
Bundoran RNLI represented in the Easter 1916 centenary commemoration – charity’s role in maritime life-saving work recognised
Donegal RNLI volunteer lifeboat and shore crew were represented in the Easter Sunday 1916 centenary commemoration which saw over seven hundred members of the Irish emergency services taking part in the biggest parade in the history of the state. In total fifty RNLI volunteers came from lifeboat stations around the Irish coast and inland to parade through Dublin City Centre to mark the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising. The RNLI formed part of the emergency services section of the parade which recognised the ‘blue-light’ agencies serving the Irish state since its foundation.
Four Donegal RNLI volunteers made the trip to Dublin for the parade to join with their colleagues from around the country. They were from Paddy Murphy, Seamus McDaid and Sean Quirke from Lough Swilly RNLI and Shane Smyth from Bundoran RNLI. The RNLI contingent was accompanied by a new Atlantic 85 lifeboat, which following its debut in the parade, will be transported to Cork to go on operational service, and two RNLI landrovers used in the launching of inshore lifeboats.
The parade was preceded by a short ceremony which included a reading of the 1916 Proclamation and the President of Ireland Michael D Higgins laying a wreath on behalf of the people of Ireland, followed by a minute’s silence observed for all those who died during the Rising.
The event involved over 3,000 participants, largely from the Irish Defence Forces with 793 people from the emergency services. Represented along with the RNLI were An Garda Siochána, Dublin Fire Brigade, the National Ambulance Service, St John Ambulance, Irish Coast Guard and the Civil Defence.
Commenting on the commemoration RNLI Divisional Operations Manager Owen Medland said, ‘ I wish to thank all the RNLI volunteers from Donegal who made the journey to Dublin to represent the charity for this historic occasion and I particularly want to acknowledge the volunteer lifeboat crew who came from Lough Swilly RNLI in the aftermath of the recent tragedy in Buncrana. The thoughts of all RNLI volunteers are with them and the families of those who were lost in the recent tragedy.’
‘Irish volunteers have played an important role in search and rescue on these shores since the RNLI was established here in 1826. Our three stations in Lough Swilly, Arranmore Island and Bundoran are part of a larger group which has the community at its heart.’
The annual Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat Dinner Dance was launched recently as part of the Bank of Ireland Enterprise Event.
The dinner dance, now in its 41st year is the flagship fundraising event for the charity that saves lives at sea and will be held once again at the Great Northern Hotel in Bundoran on Friday 29th January 2016.
As part of Bank of Ireland’s Enterprise Town event which happened recently, the charity applied for match funding from the bank and received the news in the past week that they had been successful.
Event director Cormac McGurran said ‘we are grateful to Bank of Ireland for their contribution. We were forced to cancel the soapbox race during the year due to bad weather which had an effect on our fundraising. Mike Denver is this year’s artist and a great night of food, fun and music is promised on January 29th.’
Tickets are on sale locally from all lifeboat crew members, BMG Hardware Bundoran, McNern Barbers Ballyshannon, Temptations Beauty Studio Ballyshannon and Bundoran Tourist Office and would make an ideal Christmas present.
This morning, Sunday 6th September, the volunteer crew undertook a training and familiarisation exercise with the crew of the Irish Coast Guard’s Sligo based rescue helicopter, “India Romeo Charlie” or “Rescue 118” when on mission.
Just before 10am the helicopter landed on the pitch of Bundoran GAA and within minutes the briefing began with winch operator Ger Fagan talking the crew through the “high line”. This is the process by which somebody is winched up to or down from the helicopter when it is in the air and is commonly used to transfer a casualty safely from ground to air in an emergency situation.
More often than not when the helicopter and the lifeboat are involved in a rescue locally, the lifeboat will be on scene first as well as shore crew so it is important that the Tractor, Shore & Trainee Crew in addition to ILB Crew know how to deal with the high line procedure properly. Once the briefing was complete, 5 of the crew were taken in the helicopter for familiarisation and were then told the only way out was by winch!
As someone who is not great with heights I was a little apprehensive about doing this but I knew I was in safe hands with Ger and Ballyshannon man Ciaran Ferguson at the pilot controls. I got into the harness and shimmied over towards the door holding tight to the winch rope and next thing I was in the air. Seconds later it was all over and I as on the ground. Two more crew followed me and the chopper took off to do a sea exercise with the lifeboat.
It was time for the boat crew to put into practice what they had just learned at the GAA pitch, at sea. Maneuvering the boat in coordination with the downdraft from the S92 helicopter is tricky with a lot of skill required to ensure the lifeboat is positioned correctly underneath so as not to be affected too much. Three of the crew were winched up and down from the helicopter during the stationary winching using the hi-line technique with many interested spectators watching from the shore.
Our thanks to Pat Walsh and all at Realt Na Mara GAA club for facilitating our training this morning and also to the crew of EI-ICR/Rescue 118 – Captain Ciaran Ferguson, Ger Fagan, Sean Redahan and Richard Wallace.
Bundoran RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager Tony McGowan was recently awarded the Gold Badge for outstanding contribution to the work of the RNLI at a special ceremony at London's Barbican.
His citation read as follows: Tony is an experienced and professional seagoer with an instinctive knowledge of the Donegal coast and the conditions that his Bundoran lifeboat crew may have to face in the course of their lifesaving duties. Having been involved with the RNLI for over twenty years, eighteen of those at Station Honorary Secretary and latterly as LOM, he has helped shape a committed and enthusiastic team both operationally and in fundraising. Tony has made a significant contribution to the saving of lives off the cost of Donegal and to the RNLI both in Bundoran and in the wider RNLI. Tony is well deserving of the award of the RNLI’s Gold badge.
The badge was presented by HRH Prince Edward - The Duke of Kent.
Photo shows Captain Tony McGowan being presented with his medal - credit Jon Stokes.
The volunteer crew of Bundoran RNLI lifeboat were called out on Sunday evening (9 August 2015) to a body boarder in difficulty at Rossnowlagh Beach.
Following a 999 call to Malin Head Coast Guard, the crew were paged just before 7pm and were launched in just under 5 minutes from Bundoran pier. Shortly before 7.15pm they arrived on scene at Rossnowlagh where the body boarder, a male in his 50s, had made it to shore. Two of the lifeboat crew, one an EMT, went ashore to check the casualty out for injuries. Moments later the Rescue 118 helicopter arrived from Sligo and landed on the beach and made the decision to airlift the body boarder to Sligo Regional Hospital.
Speaking on their return to the lifeboat station, Bundoran RNLI volunteer helm Elliot Kearns said “as the RNLI’s Respect The Water safety campaign begins in earnest, this evening’s incident is an example of how unforgiving the sea can be even on a moderately calm evening. We’re thankful that the gentleman made it to shore and was checked out by the paramedics on board Rescue 118.’
Further safety information and details on the RNLI’s Respect The Water campaign are available at www.rnli.org/respectthewater
Lifeboat Press Officer