CROSSHAVEN’S new lifeboat was launched at a special ceremony in the town recently.
The honour of naming the new boat went to Paddy Crowley, son of the late Con Crowley, who was a helm at the station prior to his sudden death last year.
Irish marine journalist Tom McSweeney was invited to represent the anonymous donor of the new lifeboat John and Janet, and hand her over to the RNLI.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr MacSweeney said: ‘On this occasion, the incredibly generous donor of this new lifeboat has decided to remain anonymous. We can all agree this is an incredible act of kindness and so I offer my sincere thanks to the donor and I know this lifeboat will be a much-loved asset to the community of Crosshaven.’
Clayton Love, RNLI vice-president, accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the RNLI and handed her into the care of the Crosshaven lifeboat crew. It was Mr Love’s family who kindly donated the station’s former lifeboat, Miss Betty.
On accepting the lifeboat, Patsy Fegan, the lifeboat operations manager said: ‘People from all walks of life represent our volunteers who, without a thought at any time day or night, will drop everything when their pager goes off and come down to the station. When the crew arrive here, they prepare themselves and the boat, don their suits and go to sea to save the lives of others. This new Atlantic 85 class lifeboat will help to keep our volunteer crew safe, as they rescue others.’
The Very Reverend Fr Pat Stevenson and Reverend Isobel Jackson lead the Service of Dedication before Paddy Crowley officially named the lifeboat John and Janet.
Last year, Crosshaven RNLI launched 42 times and rescued 50 people. The new lifeboat replaces Miss Betty, the station’s first permanent lifeboat, which was on service in Crosshaven since the station was formally established 14 years ago.
The new state-of-the-art Atlantic 85 lifeboat was introduced into the RNLI fleet in 2005.
The lifeboat is 8.4 metres in length and weighs 1.8 tonnes.
Improvements on its predecessor include a faster top speed of 35 knots, radar, provision for a fourth crew member, and more space for survivors.
Fast, manoeuvrable and reliable, the B class operates in rough weather conditions, capable in daylight up to force seven and at night, to force six winds.
The new lifeboat is the latest version of the B class.