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Clogherhead RNLI Launches €150K Lifeboat Appeal

12th June 2017
Branch chairman Noel Phillips, lifeboat crew Derek Shevlin, Drogheda Harbour Master Captain Martin Donnelly, Drogheda Mayor Oliver Tully and lifeboat crew Barbara Kirk at the launch of Clogherhead RNLI’s lifeboat appeal Branch chairman Noel Phillips, lifeboat crew Derek Shevlin, Drogheda Harbour Master Captain Martin Donnelly, Drogheda Mayor Oliver Tully and lifeboat crew Barbara Kirk at the launch of Clogherhead RNLI’s lifeboat appeal Credit: RNLI/Jimmy Weldon

#RNLI - Clogherhead RNLI in Co Louth officially launched the station’s €150,000 Shannon lifeboat appeal on the final day of the Drogheda maritime festival yesterday (Sunday 11 June).

The total cost of Clogherhead’s new Shannon class all-weather lifeboat will be in the region of €2.5 million, the majority of which will be provided through an Irish legacy.

However, the lifeboat station must raise €150,000 towards the cost of the project through a community appeal before the lifeboat is due to go on service in 2019.

The current Clogherhead lifeboat, Doris Bleasdale, is a Mersey class that can reach a top speed of 15 knots.

In the last five years, the lifeboat crew in Clogherhead have launched their lifeboat 58 times and brought 60 people to safety.

With a Shannon class lifeboat, designed by Derry man Peter Eyre, those launches will be even faster with its top speed of 25 knots, and improved range and manoeuvrability thanks to its waterjet propulsion, which also allows the vessel to operate in shallow waters and be intentionally beached.

The official launch took place in the presence of the Mayor of Drogheda Oliver Tully and the Drogheda Harbour Master Captain Martin Donnelly on the new pier for visiting yachts at Drogheda Port, which was itself launched at the weekend during the Irish Maritime Festival.

Speaking at the launch, Drogheda Mayor Oliver Tully paid tribute to the Clogherhead lifeboat crew.

“When we hear of the RNLI going to sea we think of Clogherhead and we think of the all the lives you have saved and your predecessors before you. I would like to thank you for the tremendous work that you do. It is the Clogherhead lifeboat but is supported by everyone in the surrounding area.”

The Mayor also hailed lifeboat mechanic Padraig Rath for keeping the current lifeboat in pristine condition for 24 years.

Coxswain Tomas Whelehan added: “We are delighted that this day is finally here and we can announce the news of a Shannon class lifeboat for the east coast. We have been overwhelmed with the goodwill of people and offers of support. This new lifeboat will represent everyone in our communities as well as those who visit our shores for work or pleasure.

“Our lifeboat crew launch in all conditions at any time of night or day to bring loved ones home. The least we can do is give them the very best in lifeboat technology. Not all callouts are rescues and sometimes there is tragedy but whatever the call, our crews are always ready to answer it and our lifeboat always ready to be launched.”

For further details of how to get involved with the Clogherhead RNLI Shannon project, contact the station at 041 982 2600 and follow the Facebook page for updates.

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.

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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