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Displaying items by tag: Morgan Oliver

A tribute to the Oliver fishermen of Galway’s Claddagh and all those who have lost lives at sea is reflected in a moving short film spearheaded by arts consultant Brendan Savage.

Entitled Sea of Souls, the film captures images of 600 floating candles on the Claddagh basin, set to the music of The Galway Baytones male voice a capella group singing the 18th-century Scottish song The Parting Glass.

The film is intended to remember the Olivers and all sea fatalities, and to highlight the role of the Galway RNLI inshore lifeboat and Water Safety Ireland.

Savage, who is from the Claddagh, lost his own father in a trawler sinking, and says he was overwhelmed with sadness when father and son Martin and Tom Oliver lost their lives within 24 hours of each other after an incident in Galway Bay in early November.

The two men were close relatives of fishermen Patrick and Morgan Oliver who have been involved in a number of rescues, including locating the two paddleboarders, Sara Feeney and Ellen Glynn, after they went missing off Furbo last August.

“When you lose someone to the sea, it changes your relationship with the sea forever, and sadly I understand that that is like,” Savage explains.

His father Tom Savage (59) died when the trawler he was crew member of was sunk by a container ship under San Francisco’s Golden Gate bridge almost three decades ago.

“One Russian crew member survived, but my father and his skipper did not - and the skipper’s body was never found,” Savage says.

“As a child, I was taught that on stormy nights a candle was placed in the window to guide home the souls of those lost at sea,” he says.

Shortly before Christmas, he recruited a group of volunteers to help assemble 600 floating candles, timed to light up every evening for five hours.

He then secured the support of Heavy Man Films to document it for a video which is now available to view on YouTube.

Savage said a large number of individuals and businesses supported the initiative, including Galway City Council arts officer James Harrold and Water Safety Ireland deputy chief executive Roger Sweeney.

Peter Connolly and members of Badóirí an Cladaigh helped set up the elaborate candle display, and also illuminated their vessels berthed in the Claddagh basin.

Dr Brendan O’Connor of Aquafact conducted the environmental impact study, Tripart Hardware contributed equipment and many individuals also gave of their time.

“There was a lot of tying string, working with glue, securing the candles to a rope, and helping out with some 8,000 different tasks in all,” Savage says.

“It was a very affirming project for that reason, and the Baytones came down to sing on a cold wet winter’s night,” he says.

Roger Sweeney of Water Safety Ireland said that the 600 candles had particular symbolism, representing some half of the number of fatalities in Irish waters over a decade.

It is anticipated that the initiative may become an annual event with floating candles raising funds for the RNLI and Water Safety Ireland, he says.

Sea of Souls can be viewed below

Published in Galway Harbour

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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