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Wexford RNLI to Name New Inshore Lifeboat Alfred William Newman

25th September 2015

A new D class lifeboat for Wexford RNLI is to be officially named Alfred William Newman during a ceremony at the lifeboat station in the town centre at 2pm tomorrow, Saturday 26 September. The lifeboat which went on service in June was funded by Alfred William Newman who, through a bequest in his Will, provided the D class lifeboat to enable crews to continue Wexford RNLI’s lifesaving service.

The RNLI which has strong links throughout Ireland with the Commissioner of Irish Lights has asked Chief Executive Yvonne Shields, to have the honour of naming the new lifeboat at the station during tomorrow’s event.

Nick Bowie, Wexford RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager is looking forward to the naming ceremony. He said: ‘As the Operations Manager here, it’s a proud and satisfying moment to see the crew get such a capable rescue water craft. As well as celebrating the naming of this lifeboat, this event gives us the chance to say a warm thank you to the donor, Alfred William Newman whose generous bequest funded the lifeboat.’

The RNLI formally established a lifeboat station in Wexford in 2002 but its lifeboating history goes back some 77 years prior to that.

The original Wexford Lifeboat Station, located at the Fort at the mouth of Wexford Harbour was opened in 1838. It had two lifeboats on station, one for the offshore waters and a smaller lifeboat for the shallower waters of the harbour. Severe storms decimated the Fort village and its linking causeway in 1925 and the larger lifeboat had to be temporarily stationed at Wexford Quay. She was eventually permanently re-stationed at Rosslare Harbour, leaving the local boating community in Wexford to deal with emergencies within their harbour.

Many years later in 1993, following the tragic drowning of Paddy Busher, a local group was mustered to establish Wexford Harbour Inshore Rescue as a declared maritime emergency resource for Wexford Harbour and their lifeboat was named Paddy Busher. In 2002 this service formally became part of the RNLI.

The D class lifeboat has been the workhouse of the RNLI’s lifesaving service for nearly 50 years. It is inflatable but robust; highly manoeuvrable and capable of operating much closer to shore than all-weather lifeboats. It is specifically suited to surf, shallow water and confined locations, often close to cliffs, among rocks or even in caves.

First introduced to the fleet in 1963, the design of the D class has continued to evolve since its introduction and the latest version was introduced in 2003. As with all D class lifeboats, the Alfred William Newman has a single 50hp outboard engine and can be righted manually by the crew after a capsize. Onboard equipment includes both fitted and hand-held VHF radios, night-vision equipment, and first aid kit, including oxygen.

The 5m lifeboat is tractor launched and has a 25knot maximum speed. It can carry up to three lifeboat crew and five survivors.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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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.

FAQs

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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