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Arranmore RNLI volunteer recognised for 25 years service to charity that saves lives at sea

Arranmore RNLI volunteer Nora Flanagan has been recognised by the charity for 25 years of selfless dedicated service.

Nora who is a retired nurse and the station’s Lifeboat Press Officer, first got involved with the RNLI in 1995 when she became the first female crew member to join Arranmore RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat crew.

‘I remember my first call out well,’ Nora recalls. ‘We were involved in an all-night search for a fisherman who fell overboard a trawler and I remembering finding that challenging. The next day my pager went off again, this time for a medical evacuation. I was more confident on this call out when I was helping the injured person. It was then I realised and understood that there is a role for everybody who wants to join a lifeboat crew.’

It wasn’t just at sea that Nora became a hands-on volunteer. She also got involved with the local fundraising team and later became the station’s volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, a role she still holds.

‘This involves writing news releases and doing local radio interviews after call outs and keeping in touch with the local media about any activity that is going on at the station such as safety awareness and education, fundraising and events.’

One of the highlights over the years was a visit to the RNLI College in Poole, where Nora was asked to represent the RNLI in Ireland, for the launch of Volunteer Spirit, a lifeboat which was funded by selling badges.

‘That was a huge honour for me personally, but overall, I have had an exceptional 25 years with the RNLI and I love being part of an organisation that is one big family.’

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Nora could not be presented with her medal in person but said she was delighted to receive the recognition from the RNLI which came with a warm word of thanks from the charity for having achieved over 20 years of extraordinary service.

Wicklow Rescue

Wicklow all-weather lifeboat towed a yacht and its two crew to safety on Wednesday after the vessel’s engine failed. The Shannon class lifeboat under the command of Second Coxswain Ciaran Doyle located the yacht six miles north of Wicklow Harbour.

Sea state was moderate with wind north westerly force four. A towline was quickly established, and the yacht was towed back to Wicklow harbour, where the two sailors were landed safely ashore. The crew on the call out were Coxswain Ciaran Doyle, Mechanic Brendan Copeland, David O’ Leary, Carol Flahive, Ian Heffernan and Andrew Carlin.