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Two New RNLI Inshore Atlantic 85 Class Lifeboats Officially Named in County Cork

11th September 2016
Paddy Crowley with the RNLI Crosshaven crew Paddy Crowley with the RNLI Crosshaven crew Photo: RNLI

There were double celebrations for the RNLI in County Cork this weekend with two new lifeboats officially named and blessed in Youghal and Crosshaven.

At a special ceremony held on Saturday, Youghal RNLI officially named its new Atlantic 85 class lifeboat, Gordon and Phil, while today (Sunday 11 September) Crosshaven RNLI named its new lifeboat John and Janet.

The honour of naming Youghal’s new lifeboat went to eight-year-old Izzy O’Connell, and Albert Muckley, Deputy Launching Authority.

Izzy who was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2014 is a friend of the station. The lifeboat crew who have admired Izzy’s determination and courage, wanted her to play a special part in their day.

Ahead of the naming, Catherine Fitzgerald Hourigan, who has held several fundraising events in aid of the station, was invited to represent the late donor Gwenda Bull, and hand the new lifeboat to the RNLI.

Peter CrowIey, RNLI Vice President, accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the RNLI before handing her over into the care of Youghal Lifeboat Station. The lifeboat was then accepted on behalf of the crew by Lifeboat Operations Manager Fergus Hopkins.

Gwenda Bull, who lived in Brighton, East Sussex, admired the work of the RNLI as did her family. She funded various equipment for Shoreham lifeboat station and went to see the new Tamar lifeboat arrive at Shoreham back in December 2010.

Miss Bull also kindly funded the purchase of a new inshore lifeboat, to be named Gordon and Phil in memory of her parents. She was happy for the lifeboat to go on station wherever it would be of most benefit around the coast, so her funds were used to purchase the new B class lifeboat in Youghal.

Mr Hopkins remembered and thanked Miss Bull, adding that her generosity had given Youghal RNLI a lifesaver.

‘When the crew arrive here,’ he said, ‘and get kitted up, and head out to sea, we’ll have peace of mind. Because this lifeboat will help to keep them safe, as they save others’.

Pat O’Keefe, fundraising committee member recounted a historical call out before the Very Reverend David Herlihy, Parish Priest, the Very Reverend Alan Marley and the Reverend Tim Kingston lead the Service of dedication. Izzy and Albert then officially named the lifeboat Gordon and Phil, while pouring a bottle of champagne over the lifeboat which then put to sea.

The new lifeboat replaced Patricia Jennings which during her 13 years in Youghal launched 175 times with its crews saving nine lives and rescuing 233 people.

The celebrations moved to Crosshaven this afternoon where the honour of naming the lifeboat went to young Paddy Crowley, son of the late Con, who was a helm at the station prior to his sudden death last year.

Afloat journalist Tom MacSweeney was invited to represent the anonymous donor of the new lifeboat John and Janet and hand her over to the RNLI.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr MacSweeney said: ‘On this occasion, the incredibly generous donor of this new lifeboat has decided to remain anonymous. We can all agree this is an incredible act of kindness and so I offer my sincere thanks to the donor and I know this lifeboat will be a much loved asset to the community of Crosshaven.’

Clayton Love, RNLI Vice President, accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the RNLI and handed her into the care of the Crosshaven lifeboat crew. It was Mr Love’s family who kindly donated the station’s former lifeboat, Miss Betty.

On accepting the lifeboat, Patsy Fegan, Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘People from all walks of life represent our volunteers who without a thought at any time day or night will drop everything when their pager goes off and come down to the station. When the crew arrive here, they prepare themselves and the boat, don their suits and go to sea to save the lives of others. This new Atlantic 85 class lifeboat will help to keep our volunteer crew safe, as they rescue others.’

The Very Reverend Fr Pat Stevenson and Reverend Isobel Jackson lead the Service of Dedication before Paddy Crowley, son of the late Con, officially named the lifeboat John and Janet.

Last year, Crosshaven RNLI launched 42 times and rescued 50 people. The new lifeboat replaces Miss Betty, the station’s first permanent lifeboat, which was on service in Crosshaven since the station was formally established 14 years ago.

The new state of the art Atlantic 85 lifeboat was introduced into the RNLI fleet in 2005. The lifeboat is 8.4 metres in length and weighs 1.8 tonnes. Improvements on its predecessor include a faster top speed of 35 knots, radar, provision for a fourth crew member and more space for survivors.

Fast, manoeuvrable and reliable, the B class operates in rough weather conditions, capable in daylight up to force seven and at night, to force six winds.

The new lifeboat, an Atlantic 85 is the latest version of the B class.

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.

© Afloat 2020

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