NAMED after the woman who was a lifelong supporter of Kinsale RNLI, the new Atlantic 85 class lifeboat arrived at Kinsale lifeboat station last week with a splash.
‘Miss Sally Anne Baggy II - Never Fear, Baggy’s Here’ replaces ‘Miss Sally Anne Baggy’, which is being retired after 15 years of service.
Those years saw her involved in countless high profile incidents, including the rescue of 30 young people from the training ship ‘Astrid’ in 2013.
The new boat is named in honour of the late Sally Anne Odell, who passed away last November, but was a lifelong supporter of the RNLI and was known to the crew as ‘The Godmother.’
‘She paid for the original Kinsale lifeboat and RNLI station and remained in close contact with the crew,’ explained Tricia Tyson, press officer of Kinsale RNLI. ‘Sadly she died on November 27th last, but made a provision in her will for the new Kinsale boat and associated costs for the duration of its working life. It’s a bittersweet day for us as it’s great to have a new boat but so sad Sally is not here to share it with us.’
The new lifeboat has some advancements on its predecessor, too, and the Atlantic 85 design allows room for four crew members and more kit than the Atlantic 75 lifeboat which, only had room for three crew members.
The lifeboat is also powered by two 115 horse power engines and has a stronger hull and greater top speed of 35 knots. Also the added radar allows the crew to operate more effectively in poor visibility and there is also VHF direction-finding equipment.
Tricia said the new lifeboat has a manually operated self-righting mechanism which, when combined with inversion-proofer engines, keeps the lifeboat operational even after capsize.
‘The Atlantic 85, which was introduced to the RNLI fleet in 2005, also carried a full suite of communications and electronic navigation aids, as well as searchlight, night vision equipment and flares for night-time operations.’
Kinsale’s RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew began a period of familiarisations training on Monday afternoon under the guidance of RNLI assessors, with a view to it being fully operational by the end of the week. It will be officially named at a special ceremony and service of dedications at Kinsale RNLI’s lifeboat station later this month.
A special plaque will also be unveiled there to remember Sally Anne’s magnificent legacy and her outstanding contribution to saving lives at sea.
Kinsale Lifeboat operations manager Kevin Gould said that they are proud to be the custodians of this new lifeboat that will allow their team to save many more lives in the years to come.
As the RNLI is a charity, it relies on voluntary contributions and legacies.
‘It is a fitting testament to the spirit and generosity of Sally Anne Odell,’ said Kevin.