Baltimore RNLI lifeboat history is recounted in centenary book

December 14th, 2019 7:15 AM

By Southern Star Team

Crew members from RNLI Baltimore Lifeboat, Kieran Cotter (coxwain), Ronnie Carthy, Marty O’Driscoll and Amy Kearney, with author Éamon Lankford, presenting Phil Coulter, a staunch RNLI supporter, with a copy of ‘Baltimore Lifeboat - A Community Story’. Also included is Joan Lucey, Vibes & Scribes bookshop in Cork. (Photo: Brian Lougheed)

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A NEW book on the history of Baltimore’s RNLI will mark the centenary of the lifeboat station.

The book, launched in Baltimore last weekend, is entitled Baltimore Lifeboat: A Community Story, was written by Éamon Lankford, and all proceeds are going to Baltimore RNLI.

The book reflects the long and proud commitment of the Baltimore community to its lifeboat since the first boat, The Shamrock, was placed on station there in September 1919.

Lankford examined records held at RNLI headquarters at Poole in Dorset, as well as the minutes of early meetings of Baltimore RNLI branch from 1913 onwards and the return of service books at Baltimore RNLI Station, 1919 – 2010.

He has also interviewed members of the volunteer crews who man the lifeboat as well as women and men from the wider community who have given years of active, committed support in a variety of ways to the RNLI.

Drawing on a vast store of family and community memory, their personal and sometimes poignant contributions give the story colour and spirit.

The book begins with a brief resumé of the early days of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), from its foundation in 1824 in what was then The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. There follows an account of early negotiations during the turbulent years of WWI, by the first Baltimore committee to secure a lifeboat for the village that would service the seas around the West Cork coast.

Lifeboat crews from early times are recalled and lists of personnel compiled up to the present. Boats, too, are named and listed – all-weather boats, inshore ribs and relief boats from the first lifeboat, The Shamrock, to today’s world class Alan Massey.

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