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Reindeer Run Returns Next Month To Support Dublin's Lifeboats

25th October 2014
Reindeer Run Returns Next Month To Support Dublin's Lifeboats

#RNLI - Due to popular demand, the RNLI Reindeer Run returns this year to raise funds for the lifeboat institution and its volunteer crews in Dublin.

The charity event encourages people to have fun while supporting the RNLI in their work saving lives at sea.

This year the Reindeer Run is being held on Sunday 30 November at Marlay Park, Rathfarnham with a Santa Saunter, 1.5km and 3km Rookie Runs for younger participants and 5km and 10km routes for runners and walkers. Registration for the event is now open.

Well-known author and adventurer Teena Gates will be present on the day to start the fun and put the participants through their paces, with a warm up before the event co-hosted with Rookie the Reindeer.

Since leaving 98fm as head of news, Gates motivates and inspires others through her challenges and passion for fitness through such challenges as her climb to Everest base camp.

"I can’t think of a better way to support the RNLI than coming out and having fun by walking or running around Marlay Park for the lifeboats," she said.

"I know first hand the incredible work the volunteer RNLI lifeboat crews carry out along the coast and I encourage people to turn up, show their support, get in some exercise and raise funds for this wonderful charity.

"So many people across Dublin are taking up exercise and events like these are a great way to blow off the cobwebs and give it a go. Last year hundreds of people from across Dublin, north and south, took part in the Reindeer Run and I hope we can beat that number this year.

"The sight of hundreds of people gallivanting around Marlay Park in their red Reindeer Run t-shirts with antlers on top of their heads was a sight I will never forget."

Speaking at the launch, Howth RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew member Lorcan Dignam said: "We are so grateful to the many people who raise funds to keep the lifeboats afloat in Dublin.

"The RNLI is a charity and relies on the generosity of the public to ensure that we can go to sea at any time to save lives with the best in equipment and training. People never know when they will need us but we will always be there."

Adding his voice to the call for registrations, Skerries RNLI crew Gerry Canning said: "The RNLI has been very busy this year and the demand for our services sees us helping many people off our coast.

"It’s not just people in boats that we help, but everyone who uses the water including swimmers, kayakers and people who get cut off by rising tides. Funds raised by the public go to support our training, kit and equipment."

Dun Laoghaire RNLI crew Damien Payne added: "Last year I did the 5km Reindeer Run in my full lifeboat kit and the support I received from the other runners and walkers along the route was fantastic.

"There are three Dublin RNLI lifeboat stations which are part of a ring of 45 throughout Ireland. Volunteer lifeboat crew are trained and ready to launch at any hour of any day, all year round, to respond to calls for help at sea and I am proud to be one of them.’

Last year Dublin lifeboats launched a total 124 times and brought 166 people to safety, 18 of those were young people. Registration is now open HERE or at or via email at [email protected] and costs €10 for the 1.5km and 3km Santa Saunters or €20 for the 5km and 10km.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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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Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) in Ireland Information

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is a charity to save lives at sea in the waters of UK and Ireland. Funded principally by legacies and donations, the RNLI operates a fleet of lifeboats, crewed by volunteers, based at a range of coastal and inland waters stations. Working closely with UK and Ireland Coastguards, RNLI crews are available to launch at short notice to assist people and vessels in difficulties.

RNLI was founded in 1824 and is based in Poole, Dorset. The organisation raised €210m in funds in 2019, spending €200m on lifesaving activities and water safety education. RNLI also provides a beach lifeguard service in the UK and has recently developed an International drowning prevention strategy, partnering with other organisations and governments to make drowning prevention a global priority.

Irish Lifeboat Stations

There are 46 lifeboat stations on the island of Ireland, with an operational base in Swords, Co Dublin. Irish RNLI crews are tasked through a paging system instigated by the Irish Coast Guard which can task a range of rescue resources depending on the nature of the emergency.

Famous Irish Lifeboat Rescues

Irish Lifeboats have participated in many rescues, perhaps the most famous of which was the rescue of the crew of the Daunt Rock lightship off Cork Harbour by the Ballycotton lifeboat in 1936. Spending almost 50 hours at sea, the lifeboat stood by the drifting lightship until the proximity to the Daunt Rock forced the coxswain to get alongside and successfully rescue the lightship's crew.

32 Irish lifeboat crew have been lost in rescue missions, including the 15 crew of the Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) lifeboat which capsized while attempting to rescue the crew of the SS Palme on Christmas Eve 1895.


While the number of callouts to lifeboat stations varies from year to year, Howth Lifeboat station has aggregated more 'shouts' in recent years than other stations, averaging just over 60 a year.

Stations with an offshore lifeboat have a full-time mechanic, while some have a full-time coxswain. However, most lifeboat crews are volunteers.

There are 46 lifeboat stations on the island of Ireland

32 Irish lifeboat crew have been lost in rescue missions, including the 15 crew of the Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) lifeboat which capsized while attempting to rescue the crew of the SS Palme on Christmas Eve 1895

In 2019, 8,941 lifeboat launches saved 342 lives across the RNLI fleet.

The Irish fleet is a mixture of inshore and all-weather (offshore) craft. The offshore lifeboats, which range from 17m to 12m in length are either moored afloat, launched down a slipway or are towed into the sea on a trailer and launched. The inshore boats are either rigid or non-rigid inflatables.

The Irish Coast Guard in the Republic of Ireland or the UK Coastguard in Northern Ireland task lifeboats when an emergency call is received, through any of the recognised systems. These include 999/112 phone calls, Mayday/PanPan calls on VHF, a signal from an emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) or distress signals.

The Irish Coast Guard is the government agency responsible for the response to, and co-ordination of, maritime accidents which require search and rescue operations. To carry out their task the Coast Guard calls on their own resources – Coast Guard units manned by volunteers and contracted helicopters, as well as "declared resources" - RNLI lifeboats and crews. While lifeboats conduct the operation, the coordination is provided by the Coast Guard.

A lifeboat coxswain (pronounced cox'n) is the skipper or master of the lifeboat.

RNLI Lifeboat crews are required to follow a particular development plan that covers a pre-agreed range of skills necessary to complete particular tasks. These skills and tasks form part of the competence-based training that is delivered both locally and at the RNLI's Lifeboat College in Poole, Dorset


While the RNLI is dependent on donations and legacies for funding, they also need volunteer crew and fund-raisers.

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