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RTÉ's Nationwide To Feature Ballycotton's Lifeboat 'Mary Stanford'

1st August 2014
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RTÉ's Nationwide To Feature Ballycotton's Lifeboat 'Mary Stanford'

#RNLI - Ballycotton is in the news again, this time in a feature on RTÉ One's Nationwide next Wednesday 6 August exploring the East Cork town's efforts to bring home their former lifeboat Mary Stanford.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the famous lifeboat was saved from being scuttled earlier this year and returned to her spiritual home in Ballycotton in late April.

The Mary Stanford served at Ballycotton for 29 years from 1930 to 1959 and took part in 41 rescues in that time, saving a total of 122 lives.

She was also involved in of the most famous rescues in RNLI history, which took place in February 1936 when she responded to a distress signal from the Daunt Rock Lightship which broke its mooring in a storm.

After a 63-hour mission, the Mary Stanford rescued all eight crew of the lightship and returned to Ballycotton safely. The crew all received RNLI Gold medals.

Unfortunately the Mary Stanford lay rotting in the water at Grand Canal Dock in Dublin after a failed attempt to maintain the boat.

But earlier this year, after local fundraising in Ballycotton, brothers Brendan and Colm Sliney and Colm's son Aidan made the trip to Dublin to bring the vessel back home.

They hired a crane to take the boat from the water and place her on a truck which made the journey to Ballycotton in two stages.

"We just had a few inches to spare going through the Dublin Port tunnel but we got through," recalls Colm Sliney after a heart-in-mouth journey down the motorway to Cork.

In April the team re-grouped to place the Mary Stanford onto a specially built plinth on the cliff walk above Ballycotton, and there were some heart-stopping moments during this mission, too.

The community in Ballycotton now plans to restore the exterior of the lifeboat to her former glory.

The Mary Stanford item will feature on Nationwide on RTÉ One next Wednesday 6 August at 7pm and afterwards on the RTÉ Player.

MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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