Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sad News - John Healy, Monkstown RLSS

It is with great sadness that we heard of the passing of John Healy a good friend of sthoee and many of us here personally.

A young man taken in his prime

John was a keen First Aider with St John's Ambulance and had been active in lifesaving for a long time. In recent years he had completed his Beach TA with us on Claremont. John gave much of his time to the RLSS as treasurer over many years. Even when he hung up his hat he gave time, probably most notably when he assisted the branch when irregularities were discovered.

We've known John as a friend for many years and, no doubt, many stories will be shared in the coming days. We were swimming on Sunday when the news came though, as one of our trainers said there'll be no more "one last question".

To his wife and family and to his greater family in Monkstown RLSS we extend our sympathies,

you are all in our thoughts and prayers


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ireland's Beach Lifeguards - Orla's Blog

Lifeguarding has evolved greatly over the years.

There was once a time when a Lifeguard relied solely on their physical attributes to conduct a rescue.
However, in recent times, we have seen significant advances in the equipment available to Beach

Equipment such as surf skis, kayaks, Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIB), and All Terrain Vehicles (ATV)
including quad bikes are a frequent sight along the eastern seaboard.

So what does this mean for beach users?

The availability of such equipment enables Beach Lifeguards to patrol a more extensive area of beach, allowing members of the public to enjoy more of the beach in a safer environment! It also means that the incident response time of the Lifeguard team is significantly reduced.

No doubt, the use of this sophisticated equipment requires training and skill. A license is necessary to
operate a RIB for example. Courses in powerboat usage are widely undertaken by Beach Lifeguards
in Ireland nowadays. The standard of lifeguarding is improving as more and more Lifeguards become
engaged in continuous professional development and specialist training in the use of the latest

Our beaches are becoming safer environments than ever before!

Lets continue to enjoy the vast and breathtaking coastline that Ireland has to offer.

Stay safe!


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Something about Sthoee... - Dónal's blog

Something about Sthoee... 

I started back in Sthoee just before I turned 13. That's just over 7 years ago and the last year Sthoee spent in St. Paul's swimming pool. I've got to say; I'm not sure how I've lasted this long.

I'd been swimming in the CRC for a good few years. I was told by my swimming teacher there, that the only natural progression for would be to join a lifesaving club – Sthoee she suggested. My mam took this more seriously than I did myself, and of course it wasn't long before she had me enrolled for the following year. 

When I started I didn't hate Sthoee, but I didn't love it either. I had one or two friends who I had a good laugh with. In school I'd never been the most outgoing and yet in Sthoee it was different. At times I'd say it was hard to get me to shut up 

I did my pool lifeguard qualification at 16.  After finishing it, two of my closer friends left, and I was left in a class with others who I'd rarely talked to, previously, but suddenly became close friends with. Though they've all left Sthoee at this point, I'm still in touch with most of them.

It was last year most of them left. And I remember deliberating myself whether I'd walk away too. Then Michael asked me to go on their new "Survive and Save" instructors course and, after some thought, I decided to say yes.

I'm still here now! I've met more good people and learned more useful skills than I thought I would at the start. I've lost nothing, but gained a lot. And even after all these years I can't really remember why, or when exactly, Sthoee became something I wanted to be part of.

Whatever the reason, I'm glad it happened.  


Saturday, November 17, 2012

.... but do not be late

Ireland's search and rescue starts this Sunday at 630

Tune in to see lots of familiar faces and locations

630? Tape it,  do not be late

From RTE. ie

RTÉ Cork brings its third Search and Rescue series to the air on Sunday 18 November. Following on from the success of the two Irish Coast Guard helicopter rescue series, Rescue 115 and Rescue 117, Ireland's Search and Rescue is a bigger and bolder project. The year-long production involved approximately 100 cameras which were used by rescue teams across the country to capture the work they do.

The six part series, presented by Claire Byrne, tells the story of Ireland's Search and Rescue across the country, from Kerry to Donegal, Doolin to Dublin, working with all four Irish Coast Guard helicopter bases in Dublin, Waterford, Shannon and Sligo as well as RNLI stations and Mountain Rescue teams nationwide. This series also shows the work of Cork City Fire Brigade and volunteer Coast Guard groups like Doolin and Howth.

As well as showing rescue footage, we also profile individual groups and show how many agencies work together in dangerous environments to save lives. Volunteers are a vital part of Search and Rescue across Ireland. Across the country builders, fisherman, nurses, engineers and doctors give up their spare time to organisations like the RNLI, Mountain Rescue and the Irish Coast Guard units.

Monday, November 12, 2012

sthoee surf: John's blog

Rescue Board

The october bank holiday is a funny thing, while many people use this weekend as the rev up to halloween and are thinking of fancy dress, trick or treat, going out or even hiding away from it all, we at STHOEE believe there is another purpose for this particular holiday.

Surfing preferably somewhere in the west, on rescue boards, or surf skis, or even our own boards, or boards we have begged borrowed or well, you know, the other thing, where your mate leaves his board in your house long enough for him to think its actually your board! ( thakns pete paulie K and peadar!)
This year a new crop of foolhardy intrepid STHOEEians followed in the tradition of joining us older folk on a spin to the bustling metropolis of Bundoran for a weekend of craic, paddling, swimming, surfing, and of course the obligatory "trip over the falls", "diving for pearls" or into "big green washing machine",  All of those are just jaunty surf speak ways of describing getting it wrong, falling in and having the Atlantic Ocean teach you a thing or two about wave dynamics.

Crew @ Tullan

I remember the first time I went away with this informal bunch of mates on the annual unofficial surf pilgrimage, taking a step into the unknown at 17 or thereabouts sliding a shiny new bic plastic popout board into the luggage compartment of a bus eireann bus and camping in a wet field of a campsite inInniscrone, just a short walk over the dunes to the beach for some wet cold surfing. 

At that stage i'd only been involved in STHOEE for about a year, but even by then I knew there were mates for life in the club and that i'd find it very hard to leave.  Fast forwarding it 12 years and the same faces, and plenty of new ones are joining us on these informal non union equivelent spins to the beachier parts of the country.  the only difference being that now we have newer and shinier toys to play with  - like the paddle boards.

Catching a wave on a paddleboard is different... very different....

About 4-5 years ago we got them and took them to Streedagh strand in Sligo one of these weekends, and as a day it was unforgettable - cold crisp morning brightening to mild sun, an offshore breeze, good swell pushing the waves to 6' glassy walls of water steaming in in beautiful straight sets to the beach.  I remember paddling out for the first time, KP about 10 metres away, punching out through the lip of the waves, amazed at how easy they were to paddle through the waves, but having the odd wobbly balance moment, getting out back at last and sitting up, looking at benbulben, a dusting of frost on the slopes and thinking to myself, this is what its all about, doing something fun, in the water, with my mates, and about to take a step into the unknown. 

I remember turning the board, paddling a little back towards the shore as another set came in, nervous, wondering what happens when you catch a wave with one of these things.  One thing that I clearly remember is the silence that comes between high waves, where you dip into the trough between them and it all goes quiet, then you hear the hiss and rumble of the next one catching up on you. Paddling  like i was being chased by a pack of angry dogs was next, trying to make sure that i caught the wave, but I needn't have worried there's so much foam in the boards that they catch pretty much anything.

Before I could think of much more the board took off like a rocket, with me clinging to it for dear life, grabbing the staps and pulling myself up onto my knees.  I remember kneeling right at the back , looking out at the beach, then down at the nose of the board as 6' of it stood straight out from the wave in thin air, the rest, buried back into the wave just under the lip thinking to myself, this is amazing, I cant believe I'm actually up here.  But like many things to do with the ocean, i was soon taught a lesson - dont get cocky with the atlantic, as the thin air gravity situation did its thing at the nose i watched it drop, and hit the face of the wave and shoot off down it, me managing to hold it for a few seconds before i was spat off over the nose and sent for a trip through the washing machine.

I popped back to the surface, got to the board again, looked around and thought, wow , more of that please but this time don't kneel up right away!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Reindeer Lifeguards

Ok you'be been around us for a while ...

Would you be able to find Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen?
or John Paul George and Ringo?
Ken and Barbie perhaps?
Do you know what Jedi is ?
Tow-B or Toby?

 In sthoee we have some concessions to lunacy, to keep track of gear everything has log numbers so if you flip over a little anne mannekin you will see log numbers and tracking data.

This allows us to check that gear is serviced and allows us find everything ...... but being sthoee it gets complicated

We also encourage gear naming ...... so torpedo buoys and Peterson Tubes are named after reindeer and Beatles, Boats get star wars references, Ski named after popular dolls.

There is little rhyme or reason to how we name stuff, some names stick better than others - but they all get names so if you look closely someone has been there with a thick black marker

The brick is a mannekin that people can sign, - our skelleton mannekin is called dave (not really sure because if it was that it cost us an arm and a leg or not)

Next time you are using gear have a look for a name We've new mannekins and ski due shortly - want to name them?

Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen?  Peterson tubes
John Paul George and Ringo? Peterson tubes
Ken and Barbie ? surf ski
Jedi ? Rescue boat
Tow-B or Toby?  a boat, a boogie board

and Dolly is a dolly

Friday, November 9, 2012

Somewhere Under the Rainbow!

“Somewhere under the rainbow; there’s a beach!
There’s a beach where your dreams, they really can come true!

That life-guard-ing would last for ever
And on the beach you’d find me....”

Ok, so you get the picture!

In fairness though, Lifeguarding is probably the greatest job in the world, except if you are James Bond or Barack Obama! Although, there is less chance you’ll be shot at if you work on the beach than if you are a spy for her Majesty’s government! Also, you don’t have to get re-elected! 

Well, kinda! If you do a good job, the council who employed you, will more than likely take you back to work for them the next year.

What else is cool about working on the beach then? 

Well for starters you get a cool uniform and deadly equipment. Next, you get to meet loads of cool people. Furthermore, everyone respects you and wants your opinion/advice. 

And lastly; did I mention you’re paid for all this and for saving people’s lives!! So in many ways, your job is every bit as important as Barack’s and more respectable than James’ (since you don’t regularly start your day by planning to kill someone!).

One piece of advice then:

Get out there and get qualified before the next summer season!

Ciarán deBúrca

Interested in Beach Lifeguarding?  
For AED , lifesupport, resuscitation 
For everything else including junior lifeguard, rookie lifeguard, lifesaving, bronze medallion, survive & save, nplq pool lifeguard its

Updates all month......

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Beach Lifeguard Jobs in Ireland; part 1 Dublin

Did you know that Dublin Beaches are patrolled by Beach Lifeguards employed by three local authorities for the provision of Beach Lifeguards?

Fingal County Council from Balbrigan to Claremont
Dublin City Council for Dollymount / Bull Island 
Dún Laoghaire Rathdowne County Council for Seapoint to Killiney

you can check out the beaches on the Dublin beach guide 

View Dublin Beach Guide by in a larger map

Interested in Beach Lifeguarding?  
For AED , lifesupport, resuscitation 
For everything else including junior lifeguard, rookie lifeguard, lifesaving, bronze medallion, survive & save, nplq pool lifeguard its

Updates all month......

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Paul's 21st blog

Its hard to believe 21 years have gone by since I started in Sthoee.

As we look to the future and to the next 21 years its always nice to look back to the years gone by.

Well that's why we take photos to look back at the good times. You can't always point to a defining moment in your life but the day I put my name down to join a lifesaving class was definitely my moment. That Sunday evening and for me was November 10th the second official week of Sthoee was life changing.

Over the years you make many, many friends and for me I met my wife because of Sthoee. Sthoee has changed over the years and indeed for the better but always keeping our values. We have moved from St.Paul's Swimming pool to DCU and we have moved beaches too.

Its nice that we are settled in Claremont Beach with our own facilities there to store our gear. The years of having to carry it with us on the tops of cars and alot of the times on the train although fun you were tired even before you got to use it.

Lifesaving in the pool is great fun and always enjoyable ( or else we wouldn't do it ) but if you ask me and a lot of the others they will remember the Open water stuff.

From Balscadden beach to going out to the Forty Foot in Sandycove to the good times we are having now in Claremont. If you are not going to the Sea you are really missing out.

Lifesaving & Life Support will always be the basis so you can go on and be a Lifeguard and a Trainer. Others have gone that step further and have become Doctors, Nurses, Paramedics.

Joining Sthoee may have been your defining moment in your life and have yet to realise it.

We will go on into the next 21 years with all new AED courses, Training courses and who knows what we will be training people to do in the future.

See you out there

Paul Collins

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

All about 112

Imagine a time in Dublin before internet or mobile phones when privately owned fire brigades patrolled the city.

They would only put out a fire if their company “fire mark” was on the burning. Many older buildings still have these fire marks – if you didn’t pay your premium the fire mark was removed!

Nowadays one simple number, 112, gives you access to all emergency services.

You can access water rescue though RNLI / Coastguard, call in Ambulance or Fire Brigade the very best in Rescue, it can even get the Gardaí!

Stuck up a mountain? in trouble at sea? one call will give you direct access to the combined emergency services, they can “task” a helicopter or fire engine, rope rescue or lifeboat; whatever is needed.

Trained professionals take your call and ensure that you get the right help quickly and efficiently.

Remember that you should only use 112 when;
  • Life is at risk 
  • You need an ambulance urgently 
  • Someone is in trouble, or missing, at sea, on cliffs or the shoreline 
  • Someone is injured or threatened 
  • There is a fire or people are trapped
  • Crime/trouble is happening now or the person committing crime is near

112 is Europe wide, it’s easy to find on a phone or mobile and its free   

Remember when you dial 112
Stay calm, Stay focused, Stay on the line


Interested in lifeguarding? 
For beach lifeguard 
For AED , lifesupport, resuscitation 
For everything else including junior lifeguard, rookie lifeguard, lifesaving, bronze medallion, survive & save, nplq pool lifeguard its

Updates all month......

Monday, November 5, 2012

Beach lifeguard trainer assessor

The beach lifeguard programme is a mainstay of sthoee lifeguards Dublin. In a week of big events we are very pleased to announce that our beach training crew is now expanded by nine new beach lifeguard trainer assessors.

Thats nine new beach lifeguard trainer assessors delivering the national beach lifeguard award or nblq courses in Dublin .

Supporting Ireland's premier lifesaving team...... welcome to crew Simon, Ciára, Ciarán, Ciarán eile, Iarla, John, Michéal, Orla and Keith. 

Interested in lifeguarding? 
For beach lifeguard 
For AED , lifesupport, resuscitation 
For everything else including junior lifeguard, rookie lifeguard, lifesaving, bronze medallion, survive & save, nplq pool lifeguard its

Updates all month......

Saturday, November 3, 2012

21 today, seriously

I've been dreading writing this for about a year now, what to put in, what to leave out.

Twenty one years ago, on the 3rd of November, a gang of lifeguards started lifesaving & lifeguard classes, under a nickname that stuck; sthoee. We were told it wouldn't work, every conceivable obstacle was put in our way.

Since then tens of thousands of kids and adults have learned first aid, lifesaving & Lifeguard skills throughout Dublin and elsewhere.

We don't "do" bows but tonight, I would like to break precedent and mention our current crew by name; Ciara, Ciarán, Ciarán eile, Conor, David, Donal, Iarla, John, Keith, Lauren, Laurie, Michéal, Niall, Olivia, Orla, Paul, Peter, Richard, Sam and Simon. Individually good, collectively great.

We could bang on about the numbers, the firsts, the achievements, the accolades, the lives saved but not tonight. Tonight we pause, acknowledge the past, smile and look to the future.

We find ourselves stronger than ever; still reaching for the stars with impossible goals. On this, what should be a weekend of parties we have 9 people on a TA course, activities on the beach and classes running for 3 hours in the pool at every level. Pure class, everything an investment in the future.

And of the founders and the trainers along the way - cheers, we've had so many ups and downs together, we'll raise a glass perhaps a Ballygowan B'. And be straight back to the beach tomorrow at 9am.

still remembered Jane, Carol & Conor; friends taken before their time, still missed. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamacha dílse

go raibh mile maith agaibh.


p.s. the name still sucks