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Special Plaque Remembers Portrush Lifeboat Tragedy

1st November 2010
Special Plaque Remembers Portrush Lifeboat Tragedy
A Special plaque presented to Portrush Lifeboat in honour of those who have lost their lives On the 1st November 1889 the Portrush Lifeboat launched to a boat in peril at Portballintrae. A ship had been reported in difficulties near the White Rocks and the Portrush lifeboat 'The Robert and Agnes Blair' set off swept along the coast by high winds. Less than an hour later the lifeboat was lying damaged on the beach east of Portballintrae and, three of the crew that set out that night were dead. The Robert and Agnes Blair was a new Lifeboat and the third lifeboat to be sent to Portrush. The boat had been at Portrush barely and month and this was her first callout.
The three volunteer crew men who lost their lives were James McAlister, a local fisherman, William McNeill and Galbraith Hamilton Grills, the Chief Officer of the Coastguard at Portrush.
To-day on the anniversary of that tragic night, William McNeill's great grandson Ronald Handy and his wife Lily presented the Station with a plaque in memory of the three crew men who lost their lives on that November night in 1889.
On an interesting note, Tracey McAlister the great great granddaughter of James McAlister is presently the press officer for Portrush Fundraising team, thus continuing the family links with the Lifeboat.
Published in RNLI Lifeboats Team

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