RNLI Launches €150K Lifeboat Appeal at Drogheda Maritime Festival
RNLI officially launched the stations €150,000 Shannon
lifeboat appeal on the final day of the Drogheda National Maritime
Festival (Sunday 11 June) in the presence of the Mayor of Drogheda
Oliver Tully and the Drogheda Harbour Master Captain Martin Donnelly.
The Shannon is the latest class of all weather lifeboat in the RNLI
fleet and the most technologically advanced. It is also the first
class of RNLI lifeboat to be named after an Irish river, recognition
of the role carried out by lifeboat volunteers in Ireland over the
last 190 years.
total cost of the new Shannon will be in the region of €2.5
million and the majority of the funding will be provided through
an Irish legacy. The charity is asking Clogherhead RNLI to raise
€150,000 towards the cost of the project through a community
appeal. The launch marks the official start of the appeal which
the organisers hope will bring in the funds needed before the lifeboat
is due to go on service in 2019.
current lifeboat based at Clogherhead, Doris Bleasdale, is a Mersey
class lifeboat that can reach a top speed of 15 knots. The Mersey
was introduced into the RNLI fleet in 1988 and the last Mersey class
lifeboat was built in 1993, the same year Clogherhead RNLI received
their Mersey class lifeboat.
the last five years lifeboat crew in Clogherhead have launched their
lifeboat 58 times and brought 60 people to safety. With the Shannon
class lifeboat those launches will be even faster with the new lifeboats
top speed of 25 knots. The Shannon is the first lifeboat to be propelled
by waterjets instead of traditional propellers, making it the most
agile and manoeuvrable all-weather lifeboat in the fleet. Waterjets
allow the vessel to operate in shallow waters and be intentionally
lifeboat was developed to operate in the worst of sea conditions
and is self-righting, automatically turning the right side up in
the event of a capsize. Its unique hull is designed to minimise
slamming of the boat in heavy seas and the shock-absorbing seats
further protect the crew from impact when powering through the waves.
The lifeboat also has a range of 250 nautical miles, which makes
it ideal for offshore searches and rescues in calm and rough seas.
Shannon lifeboat has another Irish connection. Peter Eyre, an RNLI
Engineer from Derry who works at the charitys headquarters
in Poole, was instrumental in the development of the new lifeboat,
designing the hull form at the age of 24. He studied at Foyle College
before studying Ship Science at the University of Southampton and
undertaking a work placement with the RNLI. Peter was also rescued
at a young age by Lough Swilly RNLI when the yacht they were on
got into difficulty.
official launch took place on the new Jetty at Drogheda Port. Present
at the launch were Drogheda Mayor Oliver Tully, Drogheda Harbour
Master Captain Martin Donnelly, Clogerhead RNLI Lifeboat Operations
Manager Declan Levins, Chairman of the Clogherhead Lifeboat Manager
Group Noel Phillips, Clogherhead RNLI Fundraising Chairperson Mary
Hayes, Lifeboat Coxswain, Tomas Whelehan, Lifeboat Mechanic Padraig
Rath, lifeboat crew, station management and the volunteer fundraisers.
at the launch Drogheda Mayor Oliver Tully paid tribute to the Clogherhead
lifeboat crew, When we hear of the RNLI going to sea we think
of Clogherhead and we think of the all the lives you have saved
and your predecessors before you. I would like to thank you for
the tremendous work that you do. It is the Clogherhead lifeboat
but is supported by everyone in the surrounding area.
Mayor also paid tribute to lifeboat mechanic Padraig Rath for keeping
the current lifeboat in pristine condition for 24 years.
on the launch of the appeal Coxswain Tomas Whelehan said, We
are delighted that this day is finally here and we can announce
the news of a Shannon class lifeboat for the east coast. We have
been overwhelmed with the goodwill of people and offers of support.
This new lifeboat will represent everyone in our communities as
well as those who visit our shores for work or pleasure.
lifeboat crew launch in all conditions at any time of night or day
to bring loved ones home. The least we can do is give them the very
best in lifeboat technology. Not all callouts are rescues and sometimes
there is tragedy but whatever the call, our crews are always ready
to answer it and our lifeboat always ready to be launched.
further details of how to get involved with the Clogherhead RNLI
Shannon project please contact Clogherhead Lifeboat Station at 041
9822600 and follow us on Facebook for updates facebook.com/ClogherheadRNLI/.