By Caitlín O’Driscoll
A TOTAL of 44 people were rescued by the lifeboat service in Baltimore in 2018 alone, and 37 in Crosshaven, according to the RNLI.
The figure was revealed as the RNLI prepare for its annual ‘Mayday’ fundraiser which carries on throughout the month of May.
The RNLI stress that the rescues would not have been possible had it not been for generous donations from the public.
Other West Cork RNLI stations which saw crews called out to rescues during the year included Kinsale (12), Courtmacsherry (29), Union Hall (4) and Castletownbere (15). In all, there were 184 people rescued by Cork’s lifeboat station crews in 2018.
The total number of lifeboat launches was 136 in Cork, during the year.
This year the RNLI is calling on the public to ‘do their bit to fund our kit.’
It is hoping to raise €780,000 to fund the crucial kit that volunteer crews rely on, including lifejackets, helmets and the RNLI’s yellow wellies.
It is the generosity of people like Mary Nolan Hickey, who is cycling counter-clockwise around the country to meet her goal of raising 100,000 for the RNLI, that means the charity can save dozens of lives each year.
Mary has the distinction of being the only woman to have completed every single Dublin Marathon – all 38 of them – and even completed the gruelling Marathon des Sables in the Sahara Desert, which is known as the ‘toughest foot race on earth’.
The 65-year-old, who last year ran the coastline of Ireland to raise over €72,000, is hoping to raise an additional €28,000 to donate to the RNLI. To see her official RNLI fundraising page, search for RNLI Lap of the Map on give.everydayhero.com.
The people of West Cork are being urged to back the Mayday campaign. As Castletownbere RNLI coxswain Dean Hegarty explained: ‘Behind every callout there is an amazing team supporting the lifeboat crew. From our shore helpers, to our station management, visits officer and fundraising volunteers, there is a community always ready to answer the call for help. Along with our colleagues in the other emergency services we are proud to be able to help those in trouble. By requesting a Mayday pack or buying a yellow welly pin badge during May, you are helping the lifeboat crews in their work.’
Visit RNLI.org/Mayday to register for a free Mayday pack. The pack provides a host of fundraising ideas. The charity is also encouraging people to show support on their social media, using the hashtag #MaydayEveryDay, or by donating online or buying a yellow welly pin badge.