Portaferry Lifeboat - Rescues
RNLI Lifeboat House, The Strand, Portaferry, Co Down, Northern Ireland

Portaferry lifeboat crew working with coastguard and ambulance personnel

 

Rescue & Service Records

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2013 Please scroll downwards to find date of Service
27 March 2013 @ 21:46

Portaferry Lifeboat launched on service at the request of Belfast Coastguard following reports of a red distress flare seen off Kircubbin, Strangford Lough.

Searches carried out between Bloody Burn Bay and the Sand Rock Pladdy.

Police helicopter, police vehicles and 2 coastguard teams were also involved in the search.

HM Coastguard team located a spent distress flare casing on the beach at Monaghan Bank, Kircubbin.

Lifeboat, stood down and returned to station at 23:30. 

Incident recorded by HM Coastguard as a genuine report by a member of the public due to an intended 'FALSE ALARM WITH MALICIOUS INTENT'

Note: ALWAYS report the sighting of red distress flares by dialling 999 and asking for the Coastguard.

16 April 2013 @ 16:42

Portaferry Lifeboat, 'Blue Peter V', launched on service at the request of Belfast Coastguard following a 999 report that a windsurfer was ashore on Pig Island, Strangford Lough, with a suspected dislocated shoulder.

On arrival of the lifeboat off Pig Island, a crew member entered the water and waded ashore to ascertain the status of the casualty.  It was decided to evacuate the wind-surfer by lifeboat and an additional crew member then made his way ashore to assist in taking the injured person on board the lifeboat.

The casualty was then transferred by the lifeboat to a jetty at Newtownards Sailing Club where coastguards were in attendance.  

Paramedics transported the injured windsurfer to hospital.

Lifeboat returned to station at 18:15

8 June 2013 @ 16:21

Belfast Coastguard requested the lanuch of Portaferry Lifeboat following reports received from local police that a jet ski with one person on board was missing for over 1 hour off Minerstown Beach, Tyrella, County Down.

Portaferry Lifeboat launched to search the area.

Shortly afterwards local RNLI Lifeguards located the missing person and their broken down jet ski.

Portaferry Lifeboat stood down and returned to station at 16:30.

9 June 2013 @ 12:01

Crew paged by Belfast Coastguard following receipt of a VHF distress message & a 999 call reporting a yacht in difficulties in the 'Narrows' of Strangford Lough, County Down, after reportedly colliding with the Seagen water turbine generator.  

Reports also received that one of the crew of four had fallen overboard during the incident and whilst recovered by the yacht's crew might require medical assistance. Emergency ambulance dispatched to Strangford village.   Other vessels in the area responding to assist.

Portaferry Lifeboat, 'Blue Peter V', launched on service and quickly located the 38ft yacht with 4 persons on board.   The vessel was found to be dismasted and had fouled onto a speed-limit marker bouy located a few cables off the Portaferry Lifeboat Station.  

A sailing club rescue craft with an off-duty nurse on board also attended the yacht and it was decided prudent to transfer two of the crew to hospital for observation.  

The lifeboat crew were able to cut the yacht free from the speed marker bouy but because the mast and sails were dragging in the water it was not possible to manouver the vessel into safer waters. The yacht was then towed out of the 7 knot tidal race into slacker water.  It was agreed to cut the rigging and sails free to enable it to be towed to a place of safety and to avoid further damage to the vessel. The casualty vessel was then taken under tow by the lifeboat to a mooring off Strangford village.

Portaferry Lifeboat returned to station at 13:45

9 June 2013 @ 15:23

Portaferry Lifeboat launched at the request of Belfast Coastguard following reports of a missing male adult swimmer in Barr's Bay, close to Newtownards Sailing Club.  

Swimmer had not returned ashore when expected.

Coastguards from Portaferry and Bangor dispatched to search the shoreline area.

Missing swimmer located on Pig Island and brought ashore by a local RhIb

Portaferry Lifeboat stood down and returned to station at 16:15.

15 June 2013 @ 13:07

Portaferry Lifeboat launched on service following a 999 call to HM Coastguard reporting that a small dory with 2 persons on board was drifting off Gransha Point, Strangford Lough after suffering engine failure.

Lifeboat crew located the dory West of Gransha Point when the 2 persons on board were found to be busy bailing several inches of water out of their craft.

Both persons taken on board the lifeboat whilst the dory was secured.  The dory was then taken under tow to Whiterock from where the occupants had left earlier in the day.

On arrival at a slipway at Whiterock, the vessel was over half full with sea water again. Two adult males were landed to safety ashore.

Lifeboat returned to station at 14:25

26 June 2013 @ 20:59

Portaferry Lifeboat launched to assist 8m yacht reported aground in the river Quoile, off Gibb's Island, Strangford Lough, Co Down, with 8 persons on board.

On reaching the casualty vessel the lifeboat crew found that the yacht had been refloated shortly before.  The lifeboat then escorted the casualty to safety at Killyleagh.

Lifeboat returned to station at 21:15.

6 July 2013 @ 12:50

Portaferry Lifeboat on a public relations exercise off Kircubbin Sailing Club, Strangford Lough, when tasked to and incident off Cloughey Bay, County Down involving 3 children reported to be adrift on an inflatable toy.

Coastguards and a police helicopter were also tasked to the area.

After a lengthy passage and shortly before the arrival on scene of Portaferry Lifeboat the children were landed to safety ashore aided by local coastguards.

Lifeboat then returned to station

6 July 2013 @ 16:02

Portaferry Lifeboat launched to an incident off Killyleagh, County Down, involving a 15ft speedboat that had broken down.

Prior to the arrival of the lifeboat the casualty vessel had been assisted by another craft in the immediate area and had been towed to a pontoon at Killyleagh

Lifeboat was then stood down and returned to station at 16:30

7 July 2013 @ 09:49

Portaferry Lifeboat launched following reports of a woman having sustained a back injury on Salt Island, Strangford Lough, County Down.

On arrival of the lifeboat at Salt Island the crew confirmed that urgent medical assistance was required.  Two crew members remained with the casualty whilst the lifeboat collected two paramedics at Killyleagh.  On the arrival of the paramedics it was deemed that the injuries were too serious to evacuate the casualty by sea.

An Irish Coast Guard helicopter which was on exercise in the Dublin area was then tasked.  On arrival, hand smoke flares were used by the lifeboat crew to guide the Coast Guard helicopter to a safe landing site and at 11:21 the SAR helicopter evacuated the casualty to a landing site at Musgrave Park Hospital, Belfast when the casualty was transferred by ambulance to the nearby Royal Victoria Hospital.

Lifeboat released and made-way to return to station.

7 July 2013 @ 11:45

Whilst on passage to Portaferry Lifeboat Station from the previous incident, Portaferry Lifeboat was tasked to assist a 5m dory with engine problems that was reported to be adrift close to Tip Reef in the area of Ringhaddy Sound, Strangford Lough, with two adlult males on board.

Both persons were taken on board the lifeboat and fitted with lifejackets.  The dory was then taken under tow by the lifeboat to a slipway at Whiterock where the two adult males were landed to safety ashore.

Portaferry Lifeboat then returned to station at 13:25.

Note: Also rescued on 15 June

20 July 2013 @ 15:03

Portaferry Lifeboat launched to investigate a vessel on fire following several 999 calls to H M Coastguard reporting the sighting of thick smoke off the Bortree Rocks in Strangford Lough.  

Irish Coast Guard SAR helicopter tasked to the area.  Coastguard teams also deployed to search the shoreline area.

Portaferry Lifeboat carried out an extensive search of the sea area and nothing was found.  

SAR helicopter on route to the area stood down.  Portaferry Lifeboat also stood down and returned to station at 16:25

Coastguard teams continued with a second search of the shoreline area and subsequently discovered that the smoke had origionated from the burning of waste on a small mooring barge that had subsequently been towed ashore.

24 July 2013 @ 19:08

Lifeboat launched on service following a 999 report to Belfast Coastguard of a 5m cabin cruiser without engine power drifting seaward in the Strangford Narrows with 2 persons on board.

Lifeoat crew quickly located the casualty vessel close to the Seagen marine turbine.

Tow line attached and the casualty vessel was taken to Strangford village where two persons were landed to safety ashore.

Lifeboat returned to station at 19:46

26 July 2013 @ 15:54

999 call received by Belfast Coastguard reporting that a kayaker had capsized in Killough Bay, near Ardglass, County Down, and was attempting to swim ashore

Portaferry Lifeboat launched on service and proceeded to Killough.  On arrival the lifeboat crew found that 2 kayakers had been assisted by a local boat and a third kayaker had made their way ashore unaided.  Two kayakers feeling unwell after swallowing sea water and attended ashore by paramedics.

Portaferry Lifeboat released from service and returned to station at 16:50

27 July 2013 @ 22:37

Report received by Belfast Coastguard from a member of the public reporting that a RhIB was drifting seaward in the Strangford Narrows on a strong ebb tide.

Portaferry Lifeboat, 'Blue Peter V', launched on service and located the casualty vessel under tow by a local vessel and heading towards Strangford harbour.

Both vessels escorted into Strangford harbour and the lifeboat then returned to station at 23:00

3 August 2013 @ 17:44

LOM contacted by Belfast Coastguard requesting the immediate launch of Portaferry Lifeboat following receipt by Falmouth Coastguard of a distress signal via satellite from an EPIRB located in the Ringhaddy area of Strangford Lough.

Portaferry Lifeboat launched to search the area.

Whilst on passage the lifeboat was stood down following information relayed by Belfast Coastguard that the source of the EPIRB signal had been located.  The distress signal was from a yacht in Ringhaddy whose owners had been contacted by HM Coastguard.   Yacht owner advised that their EPIRB had been activated accidentally.

Lifeboat returned to station at 17:50

5 August 2013 @ 22:20

Lifeboat launched following a 999 call to H M Coastguard to search for a sailing dinghy with 2 persons on board, reported as missing as not returned as expected to East Down Yacht Club in Strangford Lough since leaving at 17:00 earlier in the evening.

Coastguard teams from Bangor, Portaferry and Newcastle alerted to search the coastline.  Police helicopter tasked to assist.

On the arrival of Portaferry Lifeboat in the search area, a club rescue boat was requested to search South of the sailing club whilst the crew of the lifeboat would search the sea`area to the East and North.

The reported missing dinghy, with two persons safely on board, was located by the Portaferry Lifeboat off Island Taggart at 23:10 and were then escorted to safety ashore at East Down Yacht Club.  The sailing dinghy had become becalmed and the occupants had been paddling their way back to the yacht club.

Coastguard search teams on route to the search area were stood down.  Request for search by police helicoper cancelled.

Portaferry Lifeboat returned to station 23:42

22 August 2013 @ 01:28

Portaferry Lifeboat launched on service following a 999 call to Belfast Coastguard reporting two persons stranded on Rough Island, located at the northern end of Strangford Lough.

(Rough Island is accessed by a causeway from Island Hill that is submerged during the latter half on an incoming [flood] tide and part of the subsequent falling [ebb] tide)

Two adults, one male and one female, were quickly located by the lifeboat crew and taken to safety ashore at Island Hill where coastuguards were in attendance.

Lifeboat returned to station at 03:15

24 August 2013 @ 19:51

Portaferry Lifeboat launched on service following a 'Mayday' call from the yacht Java reporting that a converted fishing trawler, the Families Pride, with 4 persons on board, was taking on water and was in danger of sinking in a position South of Ringhaddy, Strangford Lough.

When Portaferry lifeboat arrived on scene the 4 persons aboard the casualty vessel had been transferred to safety aboard the yacht Java.

Portaferry Lifeboat crew secured a line aboard the casualty and proceeded to tow the vessel towards Ringhaddy in an attempt to beach it whilst a salvage pump was being transported from Portaferry Lifeboat Station towards the area by the lifeboat station mechanic in his own vessel.  

With the assistance of the yacht Java the lifeboat then took the casualty vessel to a pontoon at Ringhaddy and then proceeded to collect the emergency pump from the vessel that was then enroute to Ringhaddy.  

On the return of the lifeboat to Ringhaddy the emergency water pump was used to lower the water level sufficiently to allow the casualty vessel to be moved further up the beach so that a mains supply could be connected to charge the vessel's batteries and run its bildge pump.

Portaferry Lifeboat returned to station at 21:45

30 August 2013 @ 14:54

Portaferry Lifeboat launched on service following a 999 call to Belfast Coastguard reporting a vessel aground close to the entrance of Ardglass harbour

On arrival of the lifeboat on scene, the 3 persons who had been aboard the casualty vessel (a 5m Orkney fishing boat) had made their way on to nearby rocks.  The lifeboat helmsman then requested the 3 persons to make their way up to safety on the top of the rock face assisted by local coastguards at which time the casualty vessel was more than half submerged.

Photo: Portaferry RNLI

Whilst the lifeboat was preparing to return to station the 3 persons from the stricken vessel climbed down the rock face onto a small local vessel which then proceeded to take them back to the harbour.   

Portaferry Lifeboat then escorted the vessel into the safety of Ardglass harbour before returning to station at 16:15.

30 August 2013 @ 21:00

Portaferry Lifeboat launched on service following a 999 call to Belfast Coastguard reporting a 8.5m yacht with engine failure close to the Butter Pladdy with 2 persons on board.

Portaferry Lifeboat arrived in the search area and was unable to locate the casualty vessel.

Following third party mobile communications with the casualty via the lifeboat station it was established that the casualty vessel had a hand-held VHF radio on board but with a low battery.

Portaferry Lifeboat then put up a white parachute illumination rocket to let the casualty vessel know that they were searching in the area.  As requested, the yacht then set off a red distress flare to identify its position.  The red flare was spotted by the lifeboat crew to the South of their position and following the firing of 3 more white parachute rockets by the lifeboat crew the casualty vessel was located 4 miles South of the initial reported position.

Following the location of the casualty vessel a lifeboat crew member was put aboard the yacht which was then towed to Portaferry Marina where 2 persons were landed to safety ashore.

Lifeboat returned to station at 23:15 

15 Sept 2013 @ 00:11

Red flares reported in the Ballyquinton Point area (near the entrance to Strangford Lough)

Portaferry Lifeboat launched to search the area.  Portaferry Coastguard Team tasked to search the shoreline.

The passenger liner Emerald Princess, 5 nm East of Bar Pladdy buoy, assisted in a visual and radar search of the area.

Following an extensive search nothing was found and Portaferry Lifeboat released and returned to station

18 Sept 2013 @ 12:30

Portaferry Lifeboat, 'Blue Peter V', launched on service following receipt of a MAYDAY call by Belfast Coastguard from a 7m fishing vessel, reported as sinking off the Butter Pladdy, near Kearney Point, with one person on board.  Attempts by Belfast and Liverpool Coastguard to re-establish communications with the vessel in distress were unsuccessful.

Donaghadee all-weather lifeboat and an Irish Coast Guard SAR helicopter, Rescue 116, also tasked to the area.  Coastguard teams from Bangor and Portaferry tasked.

On the arrival of Portaferry Lifeboat in the search area at 13:04, the fishing vessel had sunk and an immediate search was commenced for the missing fisherman in moderate seas with northwesterly winds reaching force 6.  Several minutes later (13:15) the fisherman (who was wearing a lifejacket) was found by the crew of Portaferry Lifeboat and was assisted into the lifeboat by the lifeboat's helmsman, Marko Petric, who had entered the water.

The casualty was found to be in a distressed state and very cold.  Immediate medical assistance was requested.  Following the administration of first aid by the lifeboat crew and efforts to warm the casualty it was decided to proceed towards Portavogie.    

Shortly afterwards the Donaghadee Lifeboat and an Irish Coast Guard SAR helicopter arrived in the area and it was then more expedient to transfer the casualty to hospital by helicopter.

At 13:37 it was reported that the casualty had been safely winched into the SAR helicopter after which he was flown to a landing site at Musgrave Park Hospital, Belfast, and transferred by ambulance to the Royal Victoria Hospital.

Following the rescue, Donaghadee and Portaferry lifeboats were requested to search the area for debris and any signs of pollution. Following completion, Portaferry and Donaghadee lifeboats were then stood down

Portaferry Lifeboat returned to station at 14:20   

8 Oct 2103 @ 10:26

Portaferry Lifeboat launched on service following a 999 call to H M Coastguard from an adult male who was stranded on Green Island, off Portavogie, County Down, whilst gathering shellfish and was cut-off by the incoming tide.  Donaghadee all-weather lifeboat also tasked

Portaferry Lifeboat arrived off Green Island and located the stranded person and was able to get close into the shoreline where two of the crew were able to enter the shallow water to manouver the lifeboat further in-shore to take off the stranded male.  The casualty was then taken aboard the lifeboat.

Shortly afterwards, Portaferry Lifeboat proceeded to Portavogie harbour where one adult male was landed to safety ashore.

Portaferry and Donaghadee lifeboats were then stood down by H M Coastguard.

Portaferry Lifeboat returned to station at 11:45

21 Dec 2013 @ 10:51

Diver reported to be overdue near Ringhaddy, Strangford Lough after making a walk-in dive from the shore.

Portaferry Lifeboat launched on service in strong to gale force north-westerly winds.   Police helicopter also tasked to the area.

Whilst on passage to Ringhaddy the missing diver was located and with on-shore assistance was able to make their own way to safety ashore.

Portaferry Lifeboat was stood down and returned to station at 11:15

27 Dec 2013 @ 17:01 Crew paged to Lifeboat Station. Crew stood down prior to launch of lifeboat.
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