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Clifden RNLI to bring their new ‘Launch a Memory’ lifeboat home with 10,000 names onboard

A new all-weather RNLI Shannon class lifeboat is on its way home to its permanent base at Clifden in Connemara, where it will save lives off the west coast of Ireland. The lifeboat is a special one in the Irish fleet as it carries the names of over 10,000 people onboard, put there by members of the public through a special fundraising initiative which was run by the search and rescue charity back in 2020.

The lifeboat is due to arrive at Clifden next weekend (Saturday 14 / Sunday 15 May) with an opportunity for the public to get up close to the lifeboat on the Sunday morning at low tide when the vessel crew will be beached at the back of the lifeboat station on Clifden beach.

Clifden RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew have left Ireland for Poole in Dorset, to collect their new lifeboat and will be bringing it home with stopovers in Plymouth, Penlee, Ballycotton, Kinsale and Valentia. They are due to arrive in Clifden on Saturday 14 May at 2.30pm where the boat will be accompanied into the harbour by a local flotilla. On Sunday 15 May, the public are being invited to view the new lifeboat on Clifden beach at low tide from 9.30am until 12.30pm.

Through the ‘Launch a Memory’ campaign, people were able to record a loved one’s name on the lifeboat by making a donation to the RNLI and submitting a loved one’s name to be recorded onboard. The name of each person features within the lifeboat’s letters (RNLI) and numbers of the lifeboat.

Commenting on the arrival, Clifden RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager John Brittain said, ‘We have been working towards this day for a long time. It is an honour for us to carry these 10,000 names onboard our new lifeboat the St Christopher. Every time we launch, they will accompany the lifeboat crew on its lifesaving mission. We hope to welcome our supporters and members of the public down to see the new lifeboat on the Sunday (15 May) where they can get up close to the vessel and if they have a loved one onboard, they can see where the name is recorded. I know there are many incredibly moving stories behind each name and we hope to do them all proud.’

Information on the campaign including a search tool to find where a particular name is placed on the lifeboat, is available on the RNLI website at this address https://rnli.org/support-us/give-money/donate-in-memory/launch-a-memory/clifden-updates