The East Cork village from where the lifeboat station crew carried out what is regarded as the most famous rescue in Irish lifeboat history, to the Daunt Rock Lightship off Cork Harbour, is in need of volunteers for its present-day crew, writes Tom MacSweeney.
That rescue was carried out aboard the historic Mary Stanford lifeboat, now preserved in the village as a commemorative memory of what that crew achieved on February 7, 1936.
Eighty-two years later, on next Monday week, February 19, as Afloat.ie reported here a meeting will be held in the village for all those interested in volunteering to help the lifeboat. The RNLI is looking for lifeboat crew members and volunteer fundraisers.
Mary Creedon, RNLI Community Fundraising Manager, has called on any volunteers who may be interested to “come along to the station on Tuesday, 19 February, at 7.30 p.m. to find out more. We are looking for anyone who is willing to offer some of their free time to join what I believe to be, one of the most exhilarating and rewarding voluntary services that is out there. Every volunteer receives first class training from the RNLI and learns new skills which can benefit them in many walks of life. Lifeboat crew members need to have a reasonable level of fitness, have good eyesight and not be colour blind. We are looking for a range of community lifesaving volunteers - shore crew play an essential role in the launch and recovery of the lifeboat when it goes on service and we need volunteers to help us fundraise and share our safety messages.”
Nineteen-year-old Sile Scanlon is one volunteer who joined the volunteer lifeboat crew after she herself was rescued. Sile explained: ‘A few years ago I was kayaking just off Ballycotton with three friends when the weather deteriorated and we got into difficulty. There was a big swell as a result and we were afraid that are our kayaks might capsize. We raised the alarm and made our way to the lighthouse where Ballycotton RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat came to our assistance.’
Sile is now two years on the lifeboat crew and loves being a volunteer.
“Growing up in Ballycotton I have always had a love for the sea and with my family so involved, the RNLI has always been close to my heart. I always wanted to join the crew but when I was rescued myself, I experienced first-hand the value of the charity’s community lifesaving work. Whether a volunteer is a seagoing crew member or is on the shore helping to prepare the lifeboat for launch or fundraising to make a rescue possible, their contribution really does makes a difference. I find it is also very satisfying to give back to your community and to be part of a great team,” she says.
Anyone who feels they have the time and commitment to volunteer for the charity which is on call 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, is invited to attend the meeting or to email their interest to: [email protected]