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Lifeboat rescues on the double


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Lifeboat rescues on the double Lifeboat rescues on the double

Last weekend was a busy one for the volunteer members of Galway RNLI’s lifeboat crew as the summer sun saw two serious incidents on the water in the city.

In the first incident, the lifeboat launched – on foot of a request from  the Irish Coast Guard – shortly after 4am on Saturday morning to rescue a casualty who had fallen from Nimmo’s Pier.

The inshore lifeboat was helmed by Brian Niland with crew members Dave Badger, Lisa McDonagh and James Rattigan onboard. They were supported by shore crew Mike Cummins, Shane Austin, Aaron O’Reilly, Frank Leonard and Ian Claxton.

The lifeboat and crew reached the casualty, who landed on a sand bank and had suspected upper limb injuries, within minutes.

Two of the crew who are trained in first aid, got out of the lifeboat onto the sand bank and using a stretcher were able to safely bring the casualty onboard the lifeboat.

The lifeboat and crew arrived back to the lifeboat station just before 5am where an ambulance was waiting to bring the casualty to hospital.

“Weather conditions were good this morning and even though it was dark, there was good visibility and the sea was calm,” said Galway RNLI Helm Brian Niland.

“Low tide was at 4.30am and this worked in our favour as it meant that the casualty was not in any imminent danger of being swept out to sea. However, time is of the essence in situations like this,” he added.

Later on Saturday evening last, Galway RNLI’s volunteer crew launched their inshore lifeboat to rescue a man who was cut off by the incoming tide and became stranded on Grey Rock off Silverstrand beach, near Barna.

Helmsman David Oliver and crew members Stefanie Carr, Lisa McDonagh and David McGrath were supported by shore crew David Badger, Mike Cummins, Aaron Connolly, James Rattigan, Ian Claxton, Olivia Byrne and Sean McLoughlin.

Conditions were good with a calm sea and due to the current spell of good weather, it was still warm when the lifeboat arrived on the scene at around 9.50pm.

Once there, the crew brought the casualty who was safe and well onboard the lifeboat and returned with the casualty to the lifeboat station at the New Docks.

Galway RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Mike Swan described it as a busy day, ‘particularly for members of the crew who either went out on the lifeboat on both rescues or provided support on the shore by launching the lifeboat and afterwards washing it down, refuelling and getting it ready for the next call out’.

“We faced two very different scenarios in the past 24 hours, and it is a credit to the dedication of our volunteer crew and their commitment to ongoing training that both rescues went so smoothly,” he said.

“Walking around coasts is a very safe activity most of the time. Our advice is to always take a means of calling for help and to check the weather and tides.

“Tide times and heights vary throughout the month and can easily catch you out if you haven’t checked them. If you get into difficulty or see someone in difficulty, please dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard,” he added.


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