5 August 2021
By Mary Bermingham
Baltimore RNLI was launched earlier this evening following the activation of an alarm from a personal locator beacon within Baltimore Harbour in West Cork.
The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their inshore lifeboat at 6.54pm following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to help locate an active Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) which was going off within the anchorage area of Baltimore Harbour.
Baltimore inshore lifeboat proceeded to the area using their onboard direction finding equipment to locate where the beacon was going off. The equipment brought them to a yacht at anchor with people onboard. Unbeknownst to the crew aboard the yacht, the PLB was active in one of their life jackets. Once the PLB was deactiviated the lifeboat received confirmation from the Irish Coast Guard that they could return to station. They proceeded to Baltimore lifeboat station, arriving at 7.11pm.
There were four volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat, Helm Micheal Cottrell and crew members Kieran O’Driscoll, Kieran Collins and Ryan O’Mahony. Assisting at the boathouse were Jerry Smith and Seamus O’Driscoll. Conditions within the harbour during the call were calm with a westerly force 5 wind and 0.5m sea swell.
Speaking following the call out, Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘Thankfully the activation of the alarm today was not due to someone in danger, but this call does highlight how important a PLB is and how well the equipment onboard the lifeboat can accurately locate one that is activated. If you get into difficulty at sea or along the coast, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.’