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Dunmore East RNLI to officially name Shannon class lifeboat William and Agnes Wray

An all-weather Shannon class lifeboat for Dunmore East RNLI is to be officially named William and Agnes Wray during a ceremony at Dunmore East Lighthouse at 2pm next Sunday 26 June.

The lifeboat which went on service in September last year is named after William and Agnes Wray from Manchester. The couple were happily married for over 60 years and had three children, all of whom have had a proud connection to the sea. The lifeboat which is now stationed in the popular Waterford fishing village is the first Shannon class in the RNLI fleet to be based in the south-east of Ireland.

The Shannon replaces the station’s Trent class lifeboat Elizabeth and Ronald which was on service in Dunmore East since 1996.

Speaking ahead of the naming ceremony, Eddy Stewart-Liberty, Dunmore East RNLI Lifeboat Management Group Chair said: ‘This is a very special occasion for our station, and we are most grateful for the legacy left to the RNLI in William and Agnes Wray’s name. We know the family had a strong connection to the sea and our volunteers are delighted and proud to be the custodians of this lifeboat named after the couple which will help us to continue to save lives at sea for generations to come.’

William and Agnes Wray entered the water for the first-time at the RNLI college in Poole in August last year where the charity’s all-weather lifeboats are built. During the build, volunteers at Dunmore East RNLI were kept up to date on the progress. Ahead of its arrival home, the lifeboat crew had to meet a demanding training schedule as they learned how to launch and operate a new class of lifeboat.

The Shannon class lifeboat is the first modern all-weather lifeboat to be propelled by waterjets instead of traditional propellers, making it the most agile and manoeuvrable all-weather lifeboat in the RNLI’s fleet. The naming of the class of lifeboat follows a tradition of naming lifeboats after rivers. When the Shannon was introduced to the RNLI fleet, it became the first time an Irish river was chosen and it was done so to reflect the commitment and dedication of Irish lifeboat crew for generations.

Dunmore East RNLI was established in 1884. Since then, the crews have received 18 awards for gallantry.