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Family Whose Great-Grandfather was Recognised for Lifesaving Rescue Pay Tribute to Kilmore Quay RNLI

28th September 2020
Family Whose Great-Grandfather was Recognised for Lifesaving Rescue Pay Tribute to Kilmore Quay RNLI

A Wexford family has expressed thanks to the volunteers of Kilmore Quay RNLI who brought them to safety earlier this summer when their pleasure craft got into difficulty.

James Kehoe and his grandchildren Aisling, 13, Emily, 9, and Orla, 7, were rescued when their 7m boat broke down having sustained engine failure in Ballyteigue Bay, half a mile north west of Forlorn Point in county Wexford. The lifeboat under Coxswain Aidan Bates, went to the family’s aid and towed the vessel safely back to Kilmore Quay.

Such was seven-year-old Orla’s delight at being rescued by the lifeboat, she has since created a scrapbook about her adventure.

Emily, Aisling and OrlaEmily, Aisling and Orla

It also transpires that the family have a close RNLI connection with James’ late father and the girls’ great grandfather, Jimmy Kehoe, a former station mechanic who was awarded a Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum, by the RNLI, for his part in a dangerous rescue off the Saltee Islands 63 years ago.

Jimmy was one of seven crew members on the Kilmore Quay lifeboat Ann Isabella Pyemont, which successfully rescued 10 seamen from the ill-stricken French trawler Augusta Mariste, in a fresh south to southwesterly gale with gusts at times of Force 10, in Ballyteigue Bay on the 19 December 1957.

Kilmore Quay RNLI Coxswain Aidan Bates said: ‘We were delighted to be able to help the family during the summer and tow the vessel back to safety. It was lovely to hear that Orla went to such efforts to create a scrapbook about the rescue and to be reminded of the girls' great-grandfather Jimmy, one of seven former Kilmore Quay RNLI volunteers who were deservedly recognised for their selfless bravery and courage all those years ago.’

OrlaOrla

James Kehoe, skipper of the boat and the girls’ grandfather said: ‘It was good to experience the professionalism of the lifeboat crew through the eyes of my seven-year-old granddaughter Orla who took such a personal interest in the operation from start to finish.

‘When at sea with small children and the unexpected happens, it is so important to do the right thing. A good ship to shore communications system enabled me to contact Rosslare Coast Guard Radio – which is manned 24/7 – give my exact position and explain the situation. There is an instant response and the system works flawlessly.

‘Kilmore Quay RNLI has a proud history going back several generations. The current incredibly powerful all-weather boat is state of the art in terms of nautical sophistication. We always need to bear in mind that the service is manned by men and women who volunteer as crew members and who are prepared to take to the sea on a rescue mission in the most appalling weather conditions. Nothing will deter them in a real-life threatening emergency.

‘It is so important to remember that this incredible service is funded by voluntary donations. This year Covid-19 has meant the cancellation of the annual Lifeboat Day which is a significant fundraising event for the RNLI so next time you see that lifeboat box on a shop counter – be generous.’

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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