The volunteer lifeboat crew of Howth RNLI launched both their inshore and all-weather lifeboats to three separate incidents yesterday – the hottest day on record in Dublin.
The inshore lifeboat was launched at 2.20pm to reports of a missing child on Portmarnock beach.
The Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 from Dublin and the Howth Coast Guard unit were also tasked to assist.
As the first incident was unfolding, a ‘Pan-Pan’ or urgent message was broadcast from a yacht with three people onboard that was in difficulty five miles North East of Howth.
The Howth all-weather lifeboat which was launching to the missing child at the time was re-directed to this incident.
Once on scene at Portmarnock beach, the crew of the inshore lifeboat were informed the missing child was located on the beach and was placed into the care of the Howth Coast Guard team.
The inshore lifeboat was then requested to accompany the all-weather lifeboat to the yacht in difficulty.
The yacht was located five miles offshore with rigging problems and unable to make way due to the moderate winds .
The crew of the yacht were directed to hold the boat steady on a particular compass heading while the Coxswain of the all-weather lifeboat manoeuvred the lifeboat alongside to transfer a crew member on board.
The RNLI crew member worked with the yacht’s crew to secure the rigging. Once safe, the all-weather lifeboat escorted the yacht to Howth harbour.
A spokesperson for the RNLI said that “while on its way to the yacht in difficulty, the inshore lifeboat was again requested by Dublin Coast Guard to another incident.
“A powerboat with a family of four onboard had suffered engine failure and was being blown ashore off Portrane.
“Once on scene a passing boat had come to the family’s assistance and secured a tow. The crew of the inshore lifeboat then escorted the boat to the safety of Malahide marina.”
Speaking following the three incidents, Howth RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, Colm Newport said: ‘Thankfully the outcome of all of these incidents was positive with the missing child located safe and well and the crews of both the yacht and powerboat returned safely ashore.
“Our volunteer crew train regularly to deal with all types of incidents on the water. As the sun shines and more people spend time on the water it’s the charity’s busiest time for its lifeboat crews.
“When going to the beach, it’s important to swim where lifeguards are present and to swim between the red and yellow flags.
For boat owners, it’s important to ensure you have undergone the right training so that you can develop your skills to be prepared for when things go wrong.
“Your engine should be 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.”