Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Lifeboats Old and New Meet on the Aran Islands

18th July 2012
Lifeboats Old and New Meet on the Aran Islands

#RNLI –  A surprise return visit to the Aran Islands was made recently by former Galway Bay RNLI lifeboat Frank Spiller Locke.  This restored Barnett class lifeboat was stationed at the Aran Islands from 1977 to 1985.  She was previously stationed at Weymouth on the south coast of England.  During her years of lifeboat service she was launched 396 times and saved 181 lives.

The lifeboat was funded through a legacy from Dr. Frank Spiller Locke.  RNLI records show that his widow Mrs E. F. Locke took a strong interest in the work of the lifeboat and her volunteer crew and asked for the returns of service for every callout to be sent to her until her death.

The vessel was built in Cowes during 1958 at a cost of £38,500. It was a Barnett class lifeboat, which was introduced into the RNLI in 1950. Twenty of these 52 ft lifeboats were built by the charity. The institution retired and sold this lifeboat in 1986 and she was rescued sometime later by Colin and Janet Sturmer who are from the Isles of Scilly. They dedicated ten years to restoring this boat to its original form.

aranlifeboatcrew

Pictured on the deck of the former Galway Bay lifeboat in yellow jackets are members of the current Aran Islands RNLI crew who also served on the Frank Spiller Locke lifeboat (L-R) Mairtin Fitz, Micheal O Goill, Johnny Mulkerrin, Enda Mullen.

"It was a lovely surprise to see this lifeboat in the Bay where she used to anchor in the 1980s" said Micheal Heron Aran Islands RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager.

The two lifeboats, retired and current were moored side by side so that past and present crew could look over it. Four of the current lifeboat crew who served on the Frank Spiller Locke, Mairtin Fitzpatrick, Michéal Ó Goill, Johnny Mulkerrin and Enda Mullen, were joined by retired crewmembers Paddy Mullen, Bartley Mullen (Coxswain/Mechanic), Jackie Gill and Tomas Kelly. Many local people also came for a look and remembered stories of times that they or their families needed this lifeboat

Commenting on the visit, serving crewmember Micheal Gill added "there are a lot of differences in the speed and technology of these older boats. She served the west coast well at a time when there were only three lifeboats from Donegal to South Kerry and no helicopters.

This boat is a valuable piece of our maritime heritage, which has been lovingly restored bye Colin and Janet. Hopefully it will visit the west coast again in the future."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Afloat.ie Team

About The Author

Afloat.ie Team

Email The Author

Afloat.ie is Ireland's dedicated marine journalism team.

Have you got a story for our reporters? Email us here.

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading Afloat.ie than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open.

Afloat.ie is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

RNLI Ireland Information

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts.

The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and the Channel Islands.

The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,200 lives.

How many RNLI stations are there in Ireland?

46 stations

The RNLI currently operates from 46 stations in the Republic and Northern Ireland. Different classes of lifeboat are needed for various locations. So RNLI lifeboats are divided into two category types: all-weather and inshore.

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Car Brands

subaru sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton dob
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events 2020

Wave button for Afloat new dates

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

quantum sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating