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For generations, women have saved lives, launched lifeboats and raised millions for the RNLI. At Clogherhead and Dunmore East RNLI, among many others, women are continuing this lifesaving legacy.

In Clogherhead, Co Louth, as far back as March 1904 — because of circumstances at the time — it is reported that local women launched the lifeboat. The usual land crew were not available because of an incident at sea involving local fishermen who would usually have carried out the launch.

Fifty-four years since the first woman qualified as an RNLI crew member, women make up around 12.3% of the RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew, a figure which is steadily growing.

Clogherhead RNLI volunteer Lisa Levins said: “International Women’s Day is all about girl power, but we are one crew and everyone is equal regardless of what role they do for the wider Clogherhead RNLI team. It doesn’t matter if you are female or male, we are all working together to save lives and keep people safe.’

Volunteer Barbara Kirk said: “If we can inspire other women and girls to think that this is something they can do too, then that is a bonus.

“To anyone thinking about joining the RNLI, just give it a go. Even if you haven’t got any background on the water or don’t know your way around a boat, there are roles for everyone and the training and support is comprehensive.”

Raina Freiberg is a volunteer crew members on Dunmore East RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat | Credit: RNLI/Nigel MillardRaina Freiberg is a volunteer crew members on Dunmore East RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat | Credit: RNLI/Nigel Millard

Elsewhere, Raina Freiberg joined the RNLI in Tramore in 2005 at the age of 18, eager to make a difference in her community.

Now part of the Dunmore East RNLI lifeboat crew in Co Waterford, she is proud to have served on four lifeboats and three different lifeboat classes, gaining valuable experience and skills over the course of nearly 20 years service with the charity.

“As a woman in the RNLI, I feel privileged to be part of the station where Frances Glody paved the way in RNLI history,” Raina said.

In 1981, Dunmore East’s Frances Glody became the first female RNLI all-weather lifeboat crew member in Ireland. Today, women make up around 12.3% of the RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew, a figure which is steadily growing.

Raina is pleased to see the changes over the years, such as the new crew kit designed specifically for women. She says it's the little things that make big differences: “I’m thrilled to see all-female crews saving lives at sea and I believe that there is an opportunity for women to fulfil any role they desire in the RNLI. We are all working together to save lives and keep people safe.”

Frances Glody was Ireland’s first female RNLI all-weather lifeboat crew member when she joined the Dunmore East unit in 1981 | Credit: RNLI ArchiveFrances Glody was Ireland’s first female RNLI all-weather lifeboat crew member when she joined the Dunmore East unit in 1981 | Credit: RNLI Archive

Sue Kingswood, RNLI inclusion and diversity manager added: “Creating an inclusive culture which supports diversity is key to our long-term sustainability. So, we’re working hard to make sure that a wide range of people see the RNLI as a charity where they’re welcome as volunteers, supporters or staff.

“As we approach our 200th anniversary, women are now more evident in operational search and rescue roles throughout the RNLI than they have ever been before. They are also better represented across operational management and in SAR training roles, which is great to see.

“However, we still have a long way to go to achieve the representation we would like, not only where women are concerned, but across a much broader spectrum of diversity too.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

This year will see the welcome return of the annual Dunmore East RNLI Open Water Swim in County Waterford, which will take place on Sunday, 28th May 2023.

Hundreds of swimmers will be taking to the water starting from the slip at the Waterford Harbour Sailing Club in Dunmore East. There will be three swim options with distances of 1600m, 800m and 500m. The first swim will start at 11.30 am.

Hundreds of swimmers starting from the slip at the Waterford Harbour Sailing Club in Dunmore East for the RNLI open water swim Hundreds of swimmers starting from the slip at the Waterford Harbour Sailing Club in Dunmore East for the RNLI open water swim 

With growing awareness of the health benefits of swimming and the recognition that open water swimming can provide an additional workout and also a mental health boost, Dunmore East RNLI will once again host this significant event that will see people take part in a rewarding swim challenge in a safe environment whilst also supporting the important work of the RNLI.

Speaking at the launch, chair of the fundraising branch at Dunmore East RNLI, Margaret Barry, said, ‘I can’t believe that it’s been six years since our last swim event, and we are excited to be relaunching for 2023. An event like this provides essential funds for our volunteer lifeboat crew to continue vital life saving work here in Dunmore East. We live in one of the most beautiful parts of the country with a stunning coastline, and it is the perfect location for a swim!’

Registration will be available online from Wednesday, 1st of February via Eventbrite.com.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Waterford City and County Council has been criticised for its use of bleach to disinfect streams that enter the sea near two popular coastal bathing areas, as TheJournal.ie reports.

The council says it uses sodium hypochlorite to sanitise streams near beaches at Dunmore East and Tramore during the summer bathing season, citing the prevalence of children playing in the waters.

But the chemical compound is considered harmful to flora and fauna by various State agencies, with NGOs like Coastwatch Ireland also expressing their concern.

TheJournal.ie has much more on the story HERE.

As Afloat reported on August 16th, Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) says it is investigating the “very concerning” claim

Published in Coastal Notes

As previously reported the Port of Waterford announced an operating profit of €1.1 million for 2021, up from €700,000 on the year.

Turnover was €7.7m and shareholder's funds ended the year at €34m.

Bulk throughput in 2021 came in at 1.7 million tonnes, an 11% increase on 2020, while containers handled remained broadly in line with 2020.

The port said that activity for the first half of 2022 demonstrates that the business is again showing positive momentum in 2022 with bulk handling ahead of 2021 by over 12% at the half year and laden container throughput up 5% on last year.

Frank Ronan, Chief Executive, said the port performed well in 2021 despite the many challenges faced in that year.

RTE News also reports on the welcome return of the cruiseship sector to the south-east region, where Afloat adds a further nine callers are scheduled this season.

Published in Cruise Liners

A total of 52 boats from a dozen clubs around the island competed in the Topper Irish National Championships hosted by Waterford Harbour Sailing Club in Dunmore East from July 1 to 3.

The event offered sailors an opportunity to show what they are capable of in a range of weather conditions, from Friday’s strong gusts and heavy swells to Sunday’s much lighter
winds and calmer seas.

Friday’s conditions in particular offered some challenging and exhilarating moments for the junior fleet. A southwesterly wind ranging from 15kt to 18kt in the first race had begun gusting 25kt by the second race. On the downwind leg in race 2, one Topper was clocked at 11.5kt.

 Topper Irish National Championships

The gusts and the 2m-3m swell made for a tough day for all involved, and the safety team were kept busy under the careful oversight of Safety Leader Philip Scallan.

Race Officer Michael Conway and Philip Scallan assessed conditions after race 2 and decided to postpone the planned third race and let everybody come ashore.

On Saturday, there was still a good strong SW breeze of 15-18kt, and while the bright sunshine made for more pleasant conditions, the sailors still had a big swell to contend with during the day’s three races. The strong wind took its toll on the junior fleet with quite a few retiring after the 2nd race.

On Sunday, the fleet was greeted with a complete contrast of calm conditions and a wind that barely reached 8-10kts. The change in wind strength also brought a change in the results pattern over the three races, with some sailors taking the opportunity to show what they can do in lighter winds.

 Topper Irish National Championships

Bobby Driscoll of Ballyholme Yacht Club led the fleet throughout Friday and Saturday with an impressive 5 bullets by the end of Saturday, and a 10th and 2nd on Sunday, to claim the overall title. RCYC’s Liam Duggan maintained his second place spot through the first four races to eventually come second overall, while clubmate Riona McMorrow Moriarty remained a strong contender throughout, taking third place overall and first junior female.

In the 4.2 fleet, Calum Pollard of County Antrim Yacht Club had an unbroken run of seven first place positions, with lively competition for the second and third spots. WHSC’s Lúí Ivory took second place, and clubmate Niamh Lynch was third.
With as many as 40 sailors competing in the Topper Nationals also due to take part in the World Championships, many spent Sunday evening packing their boats into a container fotransport to Lake Garda. Competitors praised the well-organised event, which was sponsored by Toyta Waterford and Suirway, and warm WHSC welcome they got over the weekend, including a youth disco on Saturday.

Selected overall Topper Irish National Championships results

Main fleet
1 – Bobby Driscoll (RNIYC/BYC)
2 – Liam Duggan (RCYC)
3 - Riona McMorrow Moriarty (RCYC)
4.2 fleet
1 - Calum Pollard (County Antrim Yacht Club)
2 – Lúí Ivory (WHSC)
3 – Niamh Lynch (WHSC)
Youth female
1 - Autumn Halliday (Strangford Lough YC)
2 – Katie Brow (BYC)
3 – Isabelle Passberger (WHSC)
Youth male
1 - Bobby Driscoll (RNIYC/BYC)
2 – Liam Duggan (RCYC)
3 – Rian Collins (RCYC)
Junior female
1 - Riona McMorrow Moriarty (RCYC)
2 – Emily McAfee (BYC)
3 – Chloe Craig (Carrickfergus SC)
Junior male
1 – Cormac Byrne (Strangford SC / BYC)
2 – Joseph Robinson (BYC)
3 – Henry Nelson (BYC)

Full results here

Published in Topper

At a special naming ceremony and service of dedication held today (Sunday 26 June), volunteers at Dunmore East RNLI officially named their all-weather Shannon class lifeboat, William and Agnes Wray.

The lifeboat which went on service in September last year is named after the Manchester couple who were happily married for over 60 years and who had three children, all of whom have had a proud connection to the sea.

The honour of handing over the lifeboat and officially naming her, went to Robin Malcolm, a representative of David Malcolm, a secondary funder of the lifeboat, assisted by crew member Brendan Dunne. The Shannon is the third all-weather lifeboat that Brendan, a volunteer with the RNLI for 37 years, has served on. He was also crew on the Waveney class, St Patrick and the Trent class Elizabeth and Ronald.

Dunmore East RNLI's All-Weather Shannon Class LifeboatDunmore East RNLI crew on the All-Weather Shannon Class Lifeboat for the christening ceremony

The Shannon replaces the station’s Trent class lifeboat which was on service in Dunmore East since 1996. During those 25 years, Elizabeth and Ronald launched 412 times, bringing 821 people to safety, 20 of whom were lives saved.

During today’s naming ceremony, John Killeen, RNLI Trustee and Chair of the RNLI Council in Ireland, accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the charity before handing her into the care of Dunmore East RNLI.

Deputy Launching Authority Karen Harris accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the station ahead of the Shannon being blessed in a service of dedication led by Father Brian Power and the Reverend Bruce Hayes. The lifeboat was then officially named William and Agnes Wray.

During her address, Karen said the event was a special occasion for the lifeboat station adding that the crew were most grateful to the donors for their generous gift which had funded the lifeboat.

‘As Deputy Launching Authority, part of my job is to authorise her launch when requested. It is my job to send a message to the volunteers, asking them to get down to the station as quickly as possible. When the crew arrive here and get kitted up and head out to sea, we will have peace of mind because this lifeboat will help to keep them safe as they save others. So, on behalf of all the station volunteers, I would like to thank the donors. Your generosity has given Dunmore East a lifesaver.’

Dunmore East RNLI's All-Weather Shannon Class LifeboatThe lifeboat now stationed in the popular Waterford fishing village is the first Shannon class in the RNLI fleet to be based in the south-east of Ireland.

The Shannon class lifeboat is the first modern all-weather lifeboat to be propelled by waterjets instead of traditional propellers, making it the most agile and manoeuvrable all-weather lifeboat in the RNLI’s fleet. The naming of the class of lifeboat follows a tradition of naming lifeboats after rivers. When the Shannon was introduced to the RNLI fleet, it became the first time an Irish river was chosen, and it was done so to reflect the commitment and dedication of Irish lifeboat crew for generations.

Dunmore East RNLI was established in 1884. Since then, the crews have received 18 awards for gallantry.

Among the guests on the platform party were Eddy Stewart-Liberty, Lifeboat Management Group Chair, who welcomed guests and opened and closed proceedings, RNLI Trustee John Killeen who accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the RNLI and handed it into the care of Dunmore East Lifeboat Station, Karen Harris, Dunmore East RNLI Deputy Launching Authority, Robin Malcolm representing David Malcolm and Brendan Dunne who named the lifeboat and David Carroll, author of Dauntless Courage, who delivered a vote of thanks.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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An all-weather Shannon class lifeboat for Dunmore East RNLI is to be officially named William and Agnes Wray during a ceremony at Dunmore East Lighthouse at 2pm this Sunday 26 June. 
 
The lifeboat, which went on service in September last year, is named after William and Agnes Wray from Manchester. The couple were happily married for over 60 years and had three children, all of whom have had a proud connection to the sea.

The lifeboat which is now stationed in the popular Co Waterford fishing village is the first Shannon class in the RNLI fleet to be based in the south-east of Ireland.
 
It replaces the station’s Trent class lifeboat Elizabeth and Ronald, which was on service in Dunmore East since 1996. During those 25 years, the lifeboat launched 412 times, brining 821 people to safety, 20 of whom were lives saved.
 
Speaking ahead of the naming ceremony, Eddy Stewart-Liberty, Dunmore East RNLI lifeboat management group chair said: “This is a very special occasion for our station, and we are most grateful for the legacy left to the RNLI in William and Agnes Wray’s name.

“We know the family had a strong connection to the sea and our volunteers are delighted and proud to be the custodians of this lifeboat named after the couple which will help us to continue to save lives at sea for generations to come.”

Dunmore East RNLI welcomed the new €2.4 million Shannon class lifeboat in September 2021 | Credit: Patrick BrowneDunmore East RNLI welcomed the new €2.4 million Shannon class lifeboat in September 2021 | Credit: Patrick Browne
 
William and Agnes Wray entered the water for the first time at the RNLI college in Poole in August last year where the charity’s all-weather lifeboats are built.

During the build, volunteers at Dunmore East RNLI were kept up to date on the progress. Ahead of its arrival home, the lifeboat crew had to meet a demanding training schedule as they learned how to launch and operate a new class of lifeboat.
 
The Shannon class lifeboat is the first modern all-weather lifeboat to be propelled by water jets instead of traditional propellers, making it the most agile and manoeuvrable all-weather lifeboat in the RNLI’s fleet.

And its naming of the class of lifeboat follows a tradition of naming lifeboats after rivers. When the Shannon was introduced to the RNLI fleet, it became the first time an Irish river was chosen, and it was done so to reflect the commitment and dedication of Irish lifeboat crew for generations.

Dunmore East RNLI was established in 1884. Since then, the crews have received 18 awards for gallantry.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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A fleet of more than 70 Lasers (ILCA class) from 20 clubs around the country will be arriving in Dunmore East this weekend to compete in the two-day Port of Waterford Laser Connaught Championships, which is taking place on May 7 and 8.

Expected to compete are a number of the Dun Laoghaire sailors that featured recently at the Masters' Championships in Spain

Racing starts at 12 midday on Saturday and 10 am on Sunday, with three races planned per day.

Waterford Harbour Sailing Club itself is home to a growing Laser fleet at all levels, and sailors at the club recently had a highly successful training weekend with Tokyo campaigner Aisling Keller.

Seven local sailors will be taking part this weekend.

There are historical links between the popular single-handed dinghy and Waterford, as the city was one of the global manufacturing bases for the boat. The Laser was manufactured at the Performance Sailcraft plant in the industrial estate for a period during the 1970s and early 1980s.

WHSC Commodore Roy Power said he was delighted to welcome the ILCA event back to Dunmore East. “We’re always thrilled to host visiting sailors at Dunmore East and show off the spectacular sailing this part of the country has to offer. We’d like to thank Port of Waterford for their generosity in sponsoring the Championships.”

Published in Laser

Are you a good communicator and willing to engage with the media? If so, Dunmore East RNLI may have just the volunteer role for you.

The Co Waterford station is currently recruiting for the position of volunteer lifeboat press officer.

The successful candidate will be responsible for keeping local media informed of lifesaving activity and promoting newsworthy rescues, lifeboat station events and RNLI campaigns via a variety of channels.

Established in 1884, Dunmore East Lifeboat Station provides search and rescue cover to the South East Coast of Ireland, operating an all-weather Shannon class lifeboat. Dunmore East crews have received 17 awards for gallantry.

For more on the role and how to apply, see the RNLI website HERE. The closing date for applications is Sunday 27 March.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association invite participation in their next Zoom session “Dauntless Courage: The History of the RNLI Lifeboats, their crews and the Maritime Heritage of the Dunmore East Community,” which will be given by David Carroll on Thursday 25th November at 20.00 hrs.

DBOGA member David Carroll, the author of the best-selling Dauntless Courage, was brought up in Dunmore East, where his father Captain Desmond Carroll was the Harbour Master from 1947 until 1969.

His passion for lifeboats stems from that time. His father operated the shore radio transmitter located in the old pilot station whenever the Annie Blanche Smith lifeboat put to sea. His mother, Freda, always volunteered with a collection box for the RNLI on Regatta Day, and made sure that the support of all visiting yachts to the harbour was called upon.

Now living in Dublin, David has not forgotten his roots, and has retained a deep interest in the maritime life of Dunmore East. In 2020 Dauntless Courage was published as a fundraising project for the Lifebats, and sales of this book have generated over €31,000 for the RNLI to date.

Please come early to be sure of getting a good seat!

DBOGA Fundraising for HOWTH RNLI: Pre-Covid, we listened to talks together at Poolbeg while passing the Yellow Welly around for your €5 donation. In Zoom Land we can’t
do that, but the RNLI still urgently needs funds.

Please click on:  www.justgiving.com/fundraising/DBOGAHowthLifeboat to dob your €5 in. Thank you!

The details of this Zoom meeting are:
• Topic: David Carroll Talk
• Time: November 25th 2021, at 20.00hrs
• Link to join the meeting: 
hKps://us02web.zoom.us/j/89681992382?pwd=STZXcXArN3pKZ1cvcU1Cc1VaeURLZz09
• Meeting ID: 896 8199 2382
• Passcode: 390434

Leading Dunmore East lifeboat crewman Brendan Dunne and maritime historian David Carroll. Brendan Dunne played a leading role in the very successful sales and distribution of David’s book Dauntless Courage. Photo courtesy Dunmore east RNLI.Leading Dunmore East lifeboat crewman Brendan Dunne and maritime historian David Carroll. Brendan Dunne played a leading role in the very successful sales and distribution of David’s book Dauntless Courage. Photo courtesy Dunmore east RNLI.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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