Howth RNLI heroes rescue six people over sunny weekend

by Rose Barrett
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As the sunny weather continued, Howth RNLI volunteers attended two separate incidents last weekend and brought six people home safely, writes Rose Barrett.

The voluntary lifeboat crew of Howth RNLI launched their inshore lifeboat to two separate incidents over the weekend, in both cases where boats had suffered engine failure. 

On Friday night May 26, shortly after 9.30pm, RNLI crew received reports of a sailing yacht with three people on board which had suffered engine failure on its passage from Malahide to Howth. Weather conditions were good with light winds so the lifeboat located the yacht easily. As darkness began to fall, the crew passed a tow line from the lifeboat and the yacht was towed back to Howth harbour.

At 09:37am on Sunday last, the crew were alerted by Dublin Coast Guard following a 999 call that a small motorboat with three people on board was in difficulty and drifting towards rocks just east of Howth harbour.

Again it was the voluntary lifeboat crew to the rescue. With a moderate wind coming from the North East, this caused an onshore wind and breaking waves onto the East pier of Howth. The Howth Coast Guard unit were also tasked to assist from the shore.

The crew of the boat in danger had deployed an anchor which was holding them just off the rocks. Again, the lifeboat attached a tow rope and safely towed the motorboat out of the breaking waves and returned them to the safety of Howth harbour.

Speaking after Sunday’s event, Howth RNLI inshore lifeboat helm Tom Ryan said: “The member of the public did the right thing in calling the Coast Guard straight away. When the winds are blowing onshore and a boat is broken down, every minute counts. Our volunteer crew responded quickly once the pager went off and we launched the lifeboat within minutes. 

“Once at the scene, we cast a tow line to the boat and instructed them to discard the anchor. We quickly pulled them through the breaking waves away from the rocks. We established that all three persons on board the motorboat were well and then towed the boat back to Howth harbour.”

RNLI Tips to boat owners

As the summer weather takes hold, and more people are heading out on the water, the RNLI have some helpful guidance for boat owners.

“Ensure you have undergone the right training so that you can develop your skills to be prepared for when things go wrong.

“Take time to ensure your engine is well maintained, and if you do get into difficulty, make sure you have an anchor on board and a means of calling for help. Our volunteer lifeboat crew are on call 24/7 and if you do get into difficulty or you see someone in trouble call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.” 

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