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Dun Laoghaire RNLI Names New Lifeboat 'Joval' in Memory of Devoted English Couple who Retired to Offaly

12th June 2022
Dun Laoghaire's newest lifeboat, the D class Joval.  The D-class lifeboat is the smallest in the RNLI fleet, but it saves the most lives
Dun Laoghaire's newest lifeboat, the D class Joval. The D-class lifeboat is the smallest in the RNLI fleet, but it saves the most lives Credit: Nick Leach

Dun Laoghaire RNLI’s new D-class lifeboat was named Joval in a ceremony held on Sunday (12 June) at the bandstand on the town's East Pier. The unusual name comes from a request by the late donor, Mrs. Valerie Staunton, that an inshore lifeboat be funded by her legacy and that the vessel be named after both her and her late husband, John. The couple, both from London, fell in love with Ireland when visiting the country in the 60s and settled here in their later years.

For the ceremony, the station turned the iconic bandstand on the East Pier into a stage with music provided by both Kilmacud Crokes Choir and musicians from Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann.

The donor, the late Mrs. Valerie Staunton, was well represented by friends and former neighbours who were delighted to see the lifeboat that bore John and Valerie’s name and to meet the lifeboat crew who would be carrying out rescues in the new craft. Amber Craughwell, daughter of Mrs. Staunton’s Executor attended with her husband Manus Hingerty and neighbours and friends of the couple from Offaly, Maria McGarry Curley and Jacqueline Duffy, named the lifeboat.

 L-R RNLI Visiting the new lifeboat ‘Joval’ at the inshore boathouse before the ceremony, Trustee and Irish Council Member Paddy McLaughlin with friends and neighbours of the late Mr and Mrs Staunton; Amber Craughwell, Manus Hingerty, Maria McGarry Curley and Jacqueline Duffy L-R RNLI Visiting the new lifeboat ‘Joval’ at the inshore boathouse before the ceremony, Trustee and Irish Council Member Paddy McLaughlin with friends and neighbours of the late Mr and Mrs Staunton; Amber Craughwell, Manus Hingerty, Maria McGarry Curley and Jacqueline Duffy Photo: Nick Leach

Master of Ceremonies was Dun Laoghaire RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Ed Totterdell.

For the lifeboat naming ceremony, the RNLI station turned the iconic bandstand on the East Pier into a stageFor the lifeboat naming ceremony, the RNLI station turned the iconic bandstand on the East Pier into a stage Photo: Nick Leach

The lifeboat was accepted into the care of the Institution by RNLI Trustee and Irish Council member Paddy McLaughlin, who himself is a lifeboat Coxswain from Red Bay in county Antrim. In accepting the vessel Paddy said, "I know how special these events are to a station. This isn’t just an occasion but rather an acknowledgement of an incredible lifesaving gift that a donor has given us, a gift that will go on many journeys with the lifeboat crew and one which will save many people over its lifetime."

"The power and the responsibility of the D-class can’t be denied. It was designed and built for a very clear purpose, it’s speed and efficiency making it so effective in saving lives. A highly manoeuvrable, inflatable lifeboat, it generally operates close to shore, coming into its own for searches and rescues close to cliffs and shores, something very familiar to this lifeboat crew."

Dun Laoghaire RNLI's newest lifeboat Helm, Ms. Laura JacksonDun Laoghaire RNLI's newest lifeboat Helm, Ms. Laura Jackson Photo: Nick Leach

The honour of accepting the lifeboat into the care of Dun Laoghaire RNLI fell to the station’s newest lifeboat Helm, Ms. Laura Jackson. Speaking on behalf of the crew she added, "It is a very proud and memorable day for us all. Unfortunately, we do have to say goodbye to our last D class lifeboat Realt na Mara. It served the station faithfully for twelve years but we are very excited to start a new chapter on Joval."

Laura continued, "The D-class lifeboat is the smallest in the fleet, but it saves the most lives. Here is Dun Laoghaire it is put to the test. The lifeboat could be called multiple times a day to a range of different scenarios. From people being cut off by the tide at Sandymount Strand to a swimmer that urgently needs to be rescued. The versatile and adaptable lifeboat is well suited to Dublin Bay and its surrounding shoreline. The lifeboat has been part of the harbour’s history since the 1800s and it remains so to this day."

A Service of Dedication was then held with Rev Gary O’Dowd, Deacon Kellan Scott, and Father Paul Tyrell.

Before the naming of the lifeboat, Maria McGarry Curley and Jacqueline Duffy, friends and former neighbours of Valerie and John Staunton, who had both made the journey from Offaly, shared some details of the couple’s life with the crowd. They came from London and fell in love with Ireland on their first trip here, cruising on the Shannon in the late 1960s. They made many trips to the country and toured the island before they bought their own boat for fishing in the 1980s which they moored in Lusmagh, County Offaly. It was here they retired to in 1993 and their motivation to fund a lifeboat came from their love of the water. The couple also had a great awareness of the dangers of the water and the need for lifesaving equipment. The lifeboat they have funded is the manifestation of that wish, and the couple would be very proud to see to see where their legacy has gone.

The new lifeboat was helmed for the occasion by Nathan Burke, with crew members Chris Watson and Hazel ReaThe new lifeboat was helmed for the occasion by Nathan Burke, with crew members Chris Watson and Hazel Rea Photo: Nick Leach

The new lifeboat was helmed for the occasion by Nathan Burke, with crew members Chris Watson and Hazel Rea. The champagne for the naming had been carefully stored aboard the lifeboat at the time of its launch and with the signal given, the lifeboat was officially named Joval, and the champagne was poured over the bow by the Helm.

The final Vote of Thanks was given by Deputy Launching Authority Robert Fowler and refreshments were provided at the National Yacht Club. Guests who attended the ceremony included An Cathaoirleach of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, Councillor Lettie McCarthy, and members of Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard. The station would like to extend their thanks to everyone who attended and made the day one to remember.

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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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