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Fethard RNLI Name Lifeboat Naomh Dubhán in a Ceremony with Strong Emphasis on Community

1st July 2018
Fundraising and Operational volunteers of Fethard RNLI Fundraising and Operational volunteers of Fethard RNLI Credit: Jack Butler

Volunteers with Fethard RNLI gathered at the lifeboat station over the weekend (Saturday 30 June) for a naming ceremony and a service of dedication for their new lifeboat Naomh Dubhán. In glorious sunshine, operations crew, fundraisers, station management, friends and supporters came along to mark the occasion.

Oonagh Hearne Messette, Chair of the Fethard Fundraising Group represented all the members of the community, near and further afield, who had raised the funds necessary for the purchase of the €65,000 lifeboat. She passed the lifeboat into the care of RNLI Headquarters, which was represented by Joe Moore, Area Lifesaving Manager 

In her remarks, Oonagh spoke about the appeal, ‘On the 20th of February 2016 we launched the Special Appeal to raise money for this Lifeboat. We completed the task in under a year. The fundraisers I am representing here are from Rinn Dubhán, which is the whole peninsula and from Carrig–on–Bannow, up to New Ross, over the river to Waterford and up to Dublin. The range of events and the money raised really shows the community spirit and commitment to our Lifeboat and by extension, the RNLI.’

Oonagh made special mention of the Waves Festival at Loftus Hall, which brought in half the total. ‘The support of Aiden Quigley, his family and staff; the sponsors, the volunteers on the day, and the organisational skill and determination of Rebecca Doyle led to an amazing unique event.’

As part of the ceremony, the lifeboat is passed from the Institution into the care of the station and its volunteers. Representing them, Tony Molloy, Fethard RNLI Deputy Launching Authority said, ‘While we are sad to say farewell to our previous boat, Tradewinds, which has served the station for the last ten years, we look forward to writing a new chapter in the station’s history with the arrival of this new D- class lifeboat.’

‘A fast and agile rescue boat, the D-class can be operated in surf, and in shallow water close to the beach. Because of its size, it is easily transported by road and launched at a number of different launch sites around the area, Fethard Dock, Slade, Duncannon, Ballyhack, St. Kearns, Barrystown and Cullenstown, depending on the location of the reported casualty.’

During the ceremony music was provided by Fethard RNLI Flash Mob Choir and Rev. Ivan Dungan carried out the service of dedication which included the lifeboat prayer. 

John Hearne, Chairperson of the Fethard Lifeboat Management Group opened the proceedings and spoke of the incredible support the lifeboat volunteers received from their loved ones. He said, ‘For each volunteer with a role here at the station there are several more people in the background, maybe who didn’t actually volunteer at all for the job of being the one to keep family life on track while their other half is off life boating. And when the pagers go off and the 34 active operational members drop everything and hurry here to the station there could be someone waiting at home. While we sing the praises of the active volunteers today I want you to spare a thought for their support crew who enable them to carry on.’

The name Naomh Dubhán was chosen in recognition of the saint who came to the Hook Peninsula from Wales in 452 A.D and established a monastery. It is believed that St. Dubhán lit the first warning beacon for ships on the Hook Peninsula shortly after his arrival. This beacon was maintained by monks for 700 years until Hook lighthouse was built.

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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