Wednesday 22 May 2019

Lifeboat launched twice in first week

Myles Buchanan

The new Wicklow RNLI Lifeboat Jock and Annie Slater was launched twice in what was her first week of service since arriving in Wicklow.

The Jock and Annie Slater relief lifeboat replaced the Annie Blaker, the last Tyne class lifeboat in the RNLI fleet, which was officially retired last Friday, April 4. The slipway-launched lifeboat has been the busiest all-weather lifeboat in the history of the station - being involved in over 340 services, and rescuing over 400 people, since her arrival in 1989.

The first callout for the Jock and Annie Slater under the command of coxswain Ciaran Doyle took place on Tuesday, April 9, when the all-weather lifeboat was launched to assist a whelk fishing vessel suffering from engine failure eight miles north of Wicklow Harbour. The drifting vessel was located two miles east of Kilcoole at 11.10 a.m..

Weather conditions in the area at the time were wind easterly force five, with moderate sea. A towline was quickly established, and the trawler was taken in tow. The fishing vessel and three crew were brought safely alongside the south quay shortly after 12.30 p.m..

The volunteer crew and the Jock and Annie Slater were soon back in action again just over 48 hours later on Friday, April 13.

The RNLI were alerted by pager at 1.05 p.m. following a Coast Guard launch request to assist fishing boat with engine failure.

The lifeboat was put to sea just before 1.15 p.m. and headed toward the fishing vessel which was located 23 miles north east of Wicklow Harbour.

The Jock and Annie Slater will continue to operate from temporary facilities at the South Quay while the slipway and station are redeveloped to accommodate a new permanent lifeboat, which is expected to arrive in 2022.

Wicklow People