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World Irish Dancing Competitors Swap Pumps for their Wellies in Support of RNLI

16th April 2017
 Tara Brady, Doireann Ní Ryan, Allah Marsh, Ava Lawrence, Ella Kennedy and Ronan O’Brien pictured dancing in RNLI yellow wellies on the Ha’penny Bridge in Dublin Tara Brady, Doireann Ní Ryan, Allah Marsh, Ava Lawrence, Ella Kennedy and Ronan O’Brien pictured dancing in RNLI yellow wellies on the Ha’penny Bridge in Dublin

The 2017 World Irish Dancing Championships come to a close in Dublin today but not before a group of the budding dance stars swapped their pumps and hard shoes for the RNLI’s yellow wellies to show their support for Mayday, the charity’s annual national fundraising campaign which is calling out for people to ‘Do your bit, fund our kit’.

The talented troupe of Irish dancers who were competing in the 47th World Irish Dancing Championships organised by An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha, showed off their signature moves in bright yellow wellies in Dublin’s city centre to encourage the public to support Mayday, which is raising funds for crucial RNLI kit for the charity’s brave volunteer lifeboat crews.

Worn by generations of crews to grip the deck in slippery conditions, the iconic yellow wellies keep crew members safe and steady on stormy seas. Just like Irish dancing shoes, RNLI-issue sea boots have reinforced toecaps to protect the crews’ feet.

Doireann Ní Ryan from the Ryan School of Irish Dancing in Tipperary said: ‘Swapping my Irish dancing shoes for yellow wellies has been a humbling experience. I couldn’t dance without my pumps or hard shoes and the RNLI’s volunteers couldn’t save lives at sea without their yellow wellies and the rest of their lifesaving kit. So, I’d encourage everyone to visit RNLI.org/Mayday to see how they can support the RNLI’s Mayday campaign.’

Mayday distress calls can come in any time, day or night, 365 days a year, with volunteer crew members from 46 lifeboat stations in Ireland on standby to drop everything in an instant to save lives at sea.

Pauline McGann, RNLI Community Fundraising Manager said: ‘Our crews rely on lifesaving kit, like their yellow wellies, lifejackets and helmets, when they go out in all weathers to save lives at sea. From sponsored bike rides and welly walks, to running a bake sale, there are all sorts of ways to raise money for the RNLI this Mayday. Visit RNLI.org/Mayday to download a fundraising pack and see how you can do your bit to fund our kit.’

Money raised through Mayday fundraising events will help kit out RNLI lifeboat crews so they’re ready to face the harshest conditions at sea, with it costing €2,168 to provide an all-weather lifeboat crew member with all of the vital kit they need during a rescue.

Mayday fundraising events are taking place right across Ireland, many with a yellow welly theme.

In Dublin, a D class lifeboat will be on display in Grand Canal Square as yellow welly pin badges will be sold on Thursday and Friday 27 and 28 April from 10am to 4pm. An Atlantic 85 class lifeboat will be on display on Patrick Street in Cork city where badges will be on sale on the 28 and 29 April. Meanwhile, across the west of Ireland, badges will be on sale at various shopping centres and supermarkets over two weekends from the 29-30 April and 5-6 May. Mayday badges will also be on sale in Aldi stores on Mayday, Monday 1 May.

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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