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Dunmore East RNLI Welcomes New €2.4m Shannon Class Lifeboat to Waterford Harbour

26th September 2021
Dunmore East RNLI welcomes the new €2.4 million Shannon class lifeboat
Dunmore East RNLI welcomes the new €2.4 million Shannon class lifeboat Credit: Patrick Browne

A new addition to lifesaving in the South-East of the country, arrived today (Sunday 26 September 2021), when Dunmore East RNLI brought their €2.4 million Shannon class lifeboat to its new home. A six-person lifeboat crew from Dunmore East RNLI travelled to collect the state-of-art lifeboat from the RNLI’s All-Weather Lifeboat Centre in Poole earlier in the week, before making the journey home onboard the new vessel.

A warm welcome awaited the crew as lifeboats from Kilmore Quay and Fethard RNLI formed a guard of honour, alongside the station’s retiring Trent class lifeboat Elizabeth and Ronald, which has been on service since 1996. Irish Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue 117 was also in attendance overhead as was Dunmore East Coast Guard and the local Fire Service.

The new lifeboat is to be named William and Agnes Wray and it’s the first of its class to be based in the south-east. Its arrival was a particularly special day for two of Dunmore East’s lifeboat crew. Coxswain/Mechanic Roy Abrahamsson brought the new Shannon class lifeboat into Dunmore East harbour, just as his late father, Coxswain/Mechanic Walter Abrahamsson, did before him, when he was onboard the Trent class lifeboat which came to Dunmore East in 1996. This is also the third all-weather lifeboat that Brendan Dunne, a volunteer crewmember with the RNLI for 36 years, will have served on. Brendan was lifeboat crew on the Waveney Class St. Patrick and the Trent class Elizabeth and Ronald.

Lifeboats from Kilmore Quay and Fethard RNLI formed a guard of honour for the new arrival into Dunmore EastLifeboats from Kilmore Quay and Fethard RNLI

The arrival of the new lifeboat means a demanding training schedule for the entire station in the weeks ahead. The Trent class lifeboat Elizabeth and Ronald will remain on call until lifeboat crew are familiar with their new lifeboat, and they officially inform the Coast Guard that the William and Agnes Wray is on service, and that Elizabeth and Ronald has been stood down.

The Shannon class lifeboat is the first modern all-weather lifeboat to be propelled by waterjets instead of traditional propellers, making it the most agile and manoeuvrable all-weather lifeboat in the RNLI’s fleet. The naming of the Shannon class of lifeboat follows a tradition of naming lifeboats after rivers and it's the first time an Irish river has been chosen. It was chosen by the RNLI to reflect the commitment and dedication of Irish lifeboat crew over generations.

Commenting on the arrival, Dunmore East RNLI Coxswain Roy Abrahamsson said, ‘This is a very proud moment for the lifeboat crew, the station’s fundraisers and the community of Dunmore East. While we have huge affection for our current Trent class lifeboat, which has served us so well and brought many people home, we are thrilled to receive a state-of-the-art Shannon class lifeboat, the first of its type to be based in the South-East. It’s a huge investment by the RNLI in lifesaving for this area and will help us to continue to save lives at sea for generations to come.’

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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