Rescue boats

I originally had two pages about workboats on Irish inland waterways. One page covered Waterways Ireland’s fleet; the other covered the rest. However, the number of workboats is far greater than I had imagined and I have to split up the two pages. To start with, I’ve given rescue boats a page of their own. This page includes boats originally covered on the Non-WI workboats page as well as a few additions.

I don’t have photos of all the rescue boats on the waterways: for instance, I have none of the Lough Erne RNLI boats, the Irish Red Cross Lough Corrib/Lough Mask rescue boat or the Lough Neagh Rescue service. However [addendum January 2013] I now have some pics of the Lough Ree RNLI boat, thanks to Giles Byford.

My understanding is that some rescue services are official “designated resources”, which the Coast Guard (or NI equivalent) can call on at any time. They include all the RNLI boats, the Lough Neagh boats and the Killaloe- and Limerick-based boats. The Killaloe service began as Killaloe-Ballina Search and Rescue but became itself a unit of the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard provides VHF cover and coordinates rescues on the Shannon.

There are other voluntary services, some dedicated to rescue and others run eg by diving clubs, that offer their services and take part in both searches and rescues. These include the Mountshannon and Athlone Sub-Aqua Club boats. If anyone can improve on that explanation, do please leave a comment. And if you feel your service should be included here, I’d welcome photos and information.

Killaloe–Ballina Search and Rescue

The Killaloe-Ballina Search and Rescue (KBSR) service started with the two shown below.

KBSR boat 1

KBSR boat 1

KBSR boat 2

KBSR boat 2

However, the Coast Guard prefers rigid inflatable boats (RIBs), so it re-equipped the unit.

Killaloe Coast Guard's smaller boat

Killaloe Coast Guard’s smaller boat

Killaloe Coast Guard's larger boat

Killaloe Coast Guard’s larger boat

RNLI Lough Derg

Here is the RNLI boat based at Dromineer on Lough Derg, escorting a cruiser to Rossmore Pier.

RNLI's Dromineer boat at Rossmore

RNLI’s Dromineer boat at Rossmore

And here is the RNLI taking over the tow of a crippled cruiser to take it to Williamstown.

Lifeboat on the way

Lifeboat on the way

Nearly there

Nearly there

Coming alongside the casualty

Coming alongside the casualty

Preparing to tow

Preparing to tow

Under way

Under way

Heading for Williamstown

Heading for Williamstown

RNLI Lough Ree

The Lough Ree lifeboat station is on a one-year trial to enable the RNLI to assess whether to station a boat there permanently. The photos below were taken by Giles Byford, writer of the unmissable Hawthorn Blog, to whom I am grateful for permission to reproduce them.


The boat ashore (thanks to Michael, I presume)


“Hello, Concepta.” “I’m not Concepta: I’m Attracta.”






Under way


_ _ _ E _ _ A T

Athlone SubAqua Club

This is the Athlone SubAqua Club’s RIB on its way to look at a grounded cruiser near Clonmacnois.

Athlone SubAqua Club's RIB

Athlone SubAqua Club’s RIB

Portumna Water Rescue Service

Here is the Portumna Water Rescue Service at Dromaan on Lough Derg.

Portumna Water Rescue Service

Portumna Water Rescue Service

Waterford City River Rescue

This service is based on the tidal River Suir.

Waterford City River Rescue

Waterford City River Rescue

Carrick-on-Suir River Rescue

The Suir is tidal up past Carrick, but the River Rescue service gets around. I spotted the van and trailer at Cahir Castle, beside the Suir.

Carrick-on-Suir River Rescue 4_resize

Two aluminium [I think] dories on one trailer

Carrick-on-Suir River Rescue 5_resize

They can easily get two boats afloat, even in relatively shallow water

Carrick-on-Suir River Rescue 8_resize


Carrick-on-Suir River Rescue 9_resize

The crewcab van

Carrick-on-Suir River Rescue 10_resize

Ready to go

Carrick-on-Suir River Rescue 13_resize

The trailer

Carrick-on-Suir River Rescue August 2012 01_resize

Afloat in Carrick 1

Carrick-on-Suir River Rescue August 2012 02_resize

Afloat in Carrick 2

Carrick-on-Suir River Rescue doesn’t seem to have a website, but it is in need of funds; read about it here.

North Tipperary Civil Defence

I photographed the North Tipperary Civil Defence 4WD vehicles at Ballina on the Shannon: they had launched their RIBs and were out on exercise.

Civil Defence 4WD 2 (July 2009)

Civil Defence 4WD 1 (July 2009)

Civil Defence 4WD 1 (July 2009)

Civil Defence 4WD 2 (July 2009)

I didn’t manage to photograph their boat until January 2012, when they kindly posed at the start of a training session on a very cold day.

North Tipp Civil Defence RIB at Dromineer 07_resize

Boat and crew

North Tipp Civil Defence RIB at Dromineer 09_resize

Preparing to launch

North Tipp Civil Defence RIB at Dromineer 10_resize


Kilkenny Civil Defence

Kilkenny Civil Defence training session on the Shannon

Kilkenny Civil Defence training session on the Shannon

LiMerick marine rescue

Here’s their Land Rover at Shannon Sailing for a training session …

Limerick Marine SAR at Shannon Sailing 01_resize

Limerick Marine Rescue Land Rover

… with their boat and the training boat.

Limerick Marine SAR at Shannon Sailing 02_resize

On the water

More information and photos welcome.
[non-wi wb 10]

One response to “Rescue boats

  1. Pingback: Inland lifeboats to be exempt from VAT | Irish waterways history

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