Just after a scheduled training exercise with Waterford based Irish Coast Guard helicopter, Rescue 117, the Baltimore all-weather lifeboat was requested to go to the assistance of a 33ft motor boat with one person on board that had become propped on pot buoys within Baltimore harbour. The skipper of the motor boat knew that the lifeboat was just returning to base so he called them for assistance on his VHF at 18.47.
The lifeboat with eight volunteer crew onboard, coxswain Kieran Cotter, mechanic Cathal Cottrell and crew members Emma Lupton, Ronnie Carthy, David Ryan, Jim Griffiths, Ryan O’Mahony and Eoin Ryan reached the casualty vessel at 18.50pm. Another motor boat skippered by former lifeboat crewman Torsten Marten was nearby at the time. Rather than deploying the y-boat from the all-weather lifeboat, the mechanic Cathal Cottrell asked him to assist in transferring two of the lifeboat crew members to the casualty vessel.
Once the crew had assessed the situation they secured the vessel alongside the all-weather lifeboat and brought her to the north pier in Baltimore. Once the casualty vessel was secured to the pier and the skipper was happy, the lifeboat then returned to Baltimore lifeboat station, arriving at 7.18pm.
Conditions at the time were calm with a northerly force 2-3 wind and no sea swell within the harbour.
Speaking following the call out, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer, said: ‘The skipper of the motor boat realised immediately that he needed assistance and as he had been watching the lifeboat and helicopter demonstration minutes before he knew that the quickest way to alert the lifeboat was to call them directly on channel 16 on his VHF. It is vital for anyone going to sea to always carry a means of communication such as a mobile phone or VHF in order to raise the alarm should they require help.
'This call out comes on the eve of Baltimore lifeboat’s centenary celebration. The first Baltimore lifeboat, the Shamrock, arrived 100 years ago on September 8th, 1919. In addition to centenary celebration on Sunday, Baltimore lifeboat are also holding the naming ceremony and dedication of its Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat the "Rita Daphne Smyth," which arrived on station last year.’