Bundoran Lifeboat Station

Saving Lives at Sea

Press Releases 2014

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Bundoran lifeboat station welcomes innovative students


The crew of Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat, together with local fishermen and members of Irish Water Safety recently welcomed a group of students from Lucan, County Dublin who had created a new school’s guide to water safety in Ireland’s rivers, lakes and seas.


The group of students from St Joseph’s College in Lucan are participating in the 2014 Young social Innovators programme and were tasked with picking an issue of concern in their local area and to take action to change it for the better.


They decided to tackle the ongoing problem of drowning particularly after the tragic summer last year when so many young people lost their lives needlessly during the hot spell. Their vision for the information pack is to “think before you splash” – encouraging young people to become more involved in water activities and to increase their awareness of the water. The pack consists of a lesson plan for teachers as well as a local ecology & water safety survey, 10 water safety rules and more.


Speaking during the visit, Bundoran RNLI Crewmember Killian O’Kelly said ‘it’s heartening for us who volunteer to save lives at sea to see this initiative being undertaken so enthusiastically by this group of students – they are to be commended for such an excellent piece of work and if it helps to save one life this summer then it’s time well spent.’


The group hope to make the booklet available online in the coming weeks.



Bundoran lifeboat station damaged hours after major fundraiser


Just hours after the annual Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat dinner dance ended on Friday night, a combination of high tide and heavy swell caused damage to Bundoran Lifeboat Station.


Crew began to arrive at the lifeboat station at around 7.20am and discovered the damage as the seas had broken down the main front door as well as the bottom panel in the large doors, behind which the lifeboat is kept.


Ahead of high tide again on Saturday evening, as a precautionary measure the lifeboat was moved to higher ground but remained on service throughout the period.


Lifeboat Operations Manager for Bundoran RNLI Tony McGowan said ‘despite the force of the sea, we only suffered a small amount of damage and we are happy to note that the lifeboat itself wasn’t damaged and remained available for service. It was an early start following the dinner dance on Friday night and we would like to thank all of those who turned out on the morning. I would also like to point out, having viewed CCTV of the time of the impact, it was remarkable how one big surge which was at least two metres higher than the rest caused the damage. It is easy to see how people can be caught out in such conditions and I would urge people to keep well away from the water in such circumstances.’


Monday, 20 January 2014

Bundoran RNLI called to assist pleasure craft at Mullaghmore


The crew of Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat were tasked on Sunday afternoon (19th January) for their first callout of 2014, to an 18 foot pleasure craft with two persons on board which suffered engine failure off Mullaghmore Head in County Sligo.


The alarm was raised with Malin Head Coast Guard shortly before 4pm on Sunday afternoon by mobile phone and the lifeboat launched within 3 minutes as many of the crew were already on station completing their Advanced Cardiac First Responder course. On arriving at the scene, the crew found that the occupiers of the pleasure craft were being assisted by local charter fishing boats. The Bundoran lifeboat crew then took the craft under tow to Mullaghmore harbour and returned then to the lifeboat station.


Speaking afterwards, Lifeboat Launching Authority for Bundoran RNLI Patrick O’Doherty said ‘we were happy to assist the boat owners who had the misfortune of having their engine lose power while out on a Sunday afternoon. We would advise all boat owners to ensure that they have a means of contacting the Coast Guard in case of emergency when out on the water. We would especially recommend the use of a handheld VHF radio which also allows our equipment on the lifeboat to locate a signal quickly’.


Bundoran RNLI launched to divers in difficulty

On Saturday afternoon (12th July 2014), the volunteer crew of Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat were launched on service to a report of divers in difficulty off St John’s Point near the lighthouse.
Within six minutes of being paged by Malin Head Coast Guard, the Bundoran Lifeboat “William Henry Liddington” was en route to the scene just after 4.30pm. On arrival, along with the Killybegs Coast Guard Boat and vessel “Red Manta”, the man in his 50s had been taken to shore where CPR had commenced.

Upon the arrival of the Sligo based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 118, Bundoran Lifeboat transferred the casualty to the nearby White Strand area to facilitate the helicopter landing. CPR was continued on the Bundoran Lifeboat by one of the crew who is an advanced paramedic assisted by another member of the volunteer crew who is an EMT, until the man could be transferred to a waiting ambulance and airlifted to Sligo General Hospital. Afterwards, helm of the Bundoran Lifeboat Daimon Fergus expressed thanks to the crews of the Killybegs Coast Guard, Rescue 118 and to the people at the scene for their assistance.

The volunteer crew of the Bundoran RNLI lifeboat were paged by Malin Head Coast Guard this evening to the aid of six teenagers who had been cut off by the tide at the West End of Bundoran.

The lifeboat “William Henry Liddington” launched just after 8.30pm with four crew on board and were on the scene within two minutes to find the group of five Spanish students and their leader who had climbed down to the water’s edge but were unable to make their way back and became trapped by the tide. The six, none of whom were injured, were helped on board by the lifeboat crew and brought safely back to the station where they thanked the crew. Conditions in the area were said to have been good at the time.

The Sligo based Rescue 118 helicopter also arrived on scene.

Helming the lifeboat on the callout Dessie Daly said: “This was another shout that had a happy ending. We thank the member of the public who made the initial emergency call and remind anyone who sees anyone in danger on the coast to call 999 or 112 and don’t assume that somebody else has done it.”

Bundoran RNLI launched to an overturned jet-ski yesterday afternoon (Saturday 2 August).

Just after 4pm, the volunteer lifeboat crew was paged by Malin Head Coast Guard to four people in the water off Murvagh Beach following the capsize of their jet-ski.
In overcast conditions, the lifeboat William Henry Liddington launched within six minutes of the initial request and made their way across Donegal Bay to the scene on the Rossnowlagh side of Murvagh. The Sligo based Rescue 118 helicopter also launched to the scene.
Upon arrival, the RNLI crew found that the family of four from Northern Ireland had made their way safely to shore. A member of the crew went ashore to ensure that the family were ok.

Bundoran RNLI Helm Brian Gillespie said: ‘Thankfully the family were wearing lifejackets, otherwise this could have been a much more serious situation. We would remind sea and water users to always wear a lifejacket when heading for the water and as always if a member of the public sees someone in danger on the water to call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Bundoran RNLI launched to family trapped on rocks

The volunteer crew of Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat were paged by Malin Head Coast Guard this afternoon (Wednesday 6 August) to a family of four who became trapped on rocks near Tullan Strand, Bundoran. A member of the public who heard the family calling for help phoned 112 to alert the Coast Guard who quickly paged the lifeboat at 17:49.

Within minutes of the alert, the Bundoran lifeboat launched and was quickly on scene however the water was too shallow to bring the boat closer to the family. Shortly afterwards the Sligo based Rescue 118 helicopter who were also tasked, arrived on scene and commenced winching the family into the helicopter. The helicopter crew then winched the family onto the beach where they were met by members of the RNLI Shore Crew.

Helm Dessie Daly said ‘the situation may have been much worse had the member of the public not heard the shouts for help. We are thankful that they made the quick decision to call the emergency services and get us launched.’

Bundoran RNLI launch to report of red flare


At 10.40pm on Saturday night (6th September) the volunteer crew of Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat were asked to launch by Malin Head Coast Guard to reports of a red flare being sighted somewhere in Donegal Bay.


A red flare is universally known as a distress signal and when an emergency call was made by a member of the public from Ballyshannon, the Watch Officers at Malin Head immediately requested the launch of Bundoran RNLI Lifeboat and also tasked the Killybegs Coast Guard boat.


As the caller was unsure of the precise location of the flare, sighting it somewhere between Ballyshannon and St John’s Point, both boats commenced searches of the area looking for a vessel that may have set off an emergency flare.


As the searches were underway, information was received that fireworks had been set off on the coastline in the bay around the time of the emergency call to 999. Even though it was determined that this was the most likely cause of the red flare sighting, both boats continued to search the area until the Coast Guard was satisfied that no vessel was in trouble. Both units were then stood down after one hour.


Speaking on their return to the lifeboat station around midnight, Karol McNern who was helm of the Bundoran Lifeboat said ‘Thankfully this was just a false alarm and we are, as always, happy to launch to something that people may be unsure of rather than not be launched at all. We would however urge anybody who is planning on setting off fireworks, chinese lanterns or anything that could be mistaken for a distress flare, near the coast, to please inform the Coast Guard in advance of the approximate time and location so that Search & Rescue assets need not be unnecessarily launched.


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This site was last updated 09/09/14