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RNLI receives €5,000 donation from Galway Shipping Company to fund lifeboat charity’s lifesaving work

Representatives from the City of Galway Shipping company visited Galway RNLI during their weekly training session, to present the charity with a donation of €5,000. The company, which has been in operation since 1947, is based a short distance from the Galway lifeboat station, at New Docks. This donation brings the amount raised for the charity in Galway this year, to €100,000, with a recent legacy and a donation from the Marine Institute.

Before the volunteer lifeboat crew went out on their training exercise, Galway Shipping’s General Manager Tom McElwain and board members John Coyle and Dr John Killeen met with Galway RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Mike Swan and some of the team based at the lifeboat station, to present the €5,000 donation.

Representatives from the City of Galway Shipping company visited Galway RNLI to present the charity with a donation of €5,000. In the boat, from left: Galway RNLI volunteer crew Frankie Leonard, David McGrath, James Corballis and James Rattigan. Standing, from left: Paul Carey, Galway RNLI; Tom McElwain, City of Galway Shipping; Pat Lavelle, Galway RNLI Fundraising; John Coyle, City of Galway Shipping company board member and RNLI Vice-President; Stefanie Carr, Galway RNLI; Dr John Killeen, City of Galway Shipping company board member and RNLI Trustee; Pierce Purcell, Galway Maritime; Mike Cummins, Galway RNLI and Seán Óg Leydon, Galway RNLI.

The City of Galway Shipping Company have made the donation in support of the lifesaving work of the RNLI, which will next year be celebrating 200 years of search and rescue. The company’s board members are all successors of the founders and are admirers of the work of the lifeboats. John Coyle is also a former Chairperson of the RNLI’s Irish Council and Trustee of the RNLI, while Dr John Killeen is the current Chairperson of the Irish Council and a Trustee of the charity.

Speaking at the cheque presentation, John Coyle said: ‘With Galway Shipping based a short distance from the lifeboat station, we have all seen first-hand, the volunteers launching, in all weathers and at all hours of the day and night, to rescue people. The lifeboat crew based here and at the stations around the country do a fantastic job and the shareholders are proud to give this donation to the charity for their lifesaving work. With the RNLI celebrating its 200th anniversary next year, I hope there will be many such occasions in the future.’

Galway RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Mike Swan added: ‘We are delighted to receive this donation on behalf of the RNLI. The investment in our lifeboat, the kit our volunteers wear and the training everyone must undertake, can be seen every time we launch. We have a great bunch of people who volunteer their time to help others. Behind the crew is a strong team that supports the lifesaving on the water. Our volunteers all work in different jobs in the community but are united in a common goal, to save lives. We are extremely grateful for the generosity of our donors that supports us in doing this.’

The month of May is the RNLI’s Mayday appeal. People can run, walk, hop or skip a mayday mile a day to raise funds for the lifeboat crews and help save lives at sea. See for details.

University of Galway Clinical Simulation and Interprofessional Education Facility visit to the Galway Lifeboat Station

In other Galway RNLI news, the volunteer lifeboat crew welcomed Prof Dara Byrne, Philip Parakal Augusthinose and Mike Smith to the station on Thursday (13 April) to see first hand how the RNLI station operates and how clinical simulation can enhance casualty care and first aid training. The visit was part of ongoing engagement between the University’s College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and the RNLI crew.

Earlier this year volunteer crew member Olivia Byrne, who is also a nurse and helps deliver some of the first aid training to her fellow crew members, spent a half day in the University’s Clinical Simulation and Interprofessional Education Facility putting skills learned into practice. Olivia said: ‘The technology in use at the University for learning is incredible. I was able to practise resuscitation techniques on full-body manikins which were programmed to simulate the very specific conditions that casualties that we rescue are exposed to such as water and cold. The manikins reacted to treatment as close to a real-life patient experience as is possible.

RNLI crew with Mike Smith, Prof Dara Byrne and Philip Parakal Augusthinose from the University of Galway Clinical Simulation and Interprofessional Education Facility during a recent visit to the Galway Lifeboat Station. Back row from left: Mike Smith, Sean McLoughlin, Philip Parakal Augusthinose, David McGrath, Mike Cummins, Mike Swan Lifeboat Operations Manager, Dr Dan Murphy and James Rattigan. Standing from left: Ian Claxton, Helena Duggan RNLI Staff, Olivia Byrne and Prof Dara Byrne

‘I was delighted to be able to show Prof Byrne and colleagues around our station and give them an insight into the work we do and how our training is used in practice. During their visit they met with the crew and were even able to see how we prepare for and launch our inshore lifeboat which was out on the water as part of our continual training and crew assessment.

‘I look forward to further collaboration with the University and am very grateful for the expertise they shared, the time that they dedicated to our RNLI crew and for a very generous donation of medical supplies. There are only three simulation centres of this type in Ireland with the newest and most advanced here in Galway. We are very fortunate to be based so close to this incredible facility.’

Professor Dara Byrne, Professor of Simulation, College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences said: ‘We are delighted to support our friends and colleagues in the RNLI with simulation equipment and education. They are a dedicated and crucial part of the healthcare family providing essential emergency service and care.

‘They work as a team and interface with other emergency services so simulation can support their technical and non-technical skill requirements as part of their training programme. We are excited to begin a series of trauma talks and other activities with them and will be seeing them in the interprofessional simulation facility soon. A very exciting collaboration for us all and one that recognises the value and importance of the RNLI team and the support that they provide for our community.’

Mike Swan, Galway RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager added: ‘Lifeboat volunteers need and deserve the very best training and equipment to keep them safe when they launch to a rescue. Crews don’t just learn boathandling skills – they learn everything from navigation and engine repair to first aid and sea survival. We provide them with comprehensive training and recognised qualifications.

‘Our mission is to save lives at sea and we can only do that with the support of our community here in Galway. The University of Galway is an important part of our community and we appreciate the valuable support of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.’