Nine local crew now trained in use of Owenahincha's new RIB

August 24th, 2016 7:25 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

The nine crew members who were trained were, from left: Fiona Cantwell, Noel O'Regan, Ken Leahy, Tony O'Sullivan, Pat Buckley, Éamon Hayes, Pat Pearse, John O'Donovan and Tony Case.

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DESPITE being formed only a few months ago, the members of the Owenahincha Bay Water Safety Association (OBWSA) have already successfully trained nine crew members in the use of a donated RIB (rigid inflatable boat).

The boat was kindly donated by the family of Jonathan Herlihy, 22, from Glanmire, who tragically lost his life 10 years ago this September while going to the rescue of a couple who got into difficulty swimming off Owenahincha. Peter O’Keeffe, 36, from Model Farm Road in Cork city, also lost his life while trying to rescue the couple.

Following the donation of the boat, locals and friends of the Herlihys who holiday in Owenahincha set up the Owenahincha Bay Water Safety Association (OBWSA), with the aim of educating people about water safety and the use of the beach in Owenahincha.

‘Since the RIB was donated we have been very busy and we now have nine volunteers trained in using it, and it received an upgrade of equipment and engine work,’ said Noel O’Regan, the group’s PRO. ‘The upgrades included GPS, navigation lights, structural strengthening, towing bridle and a VHF radio and a splash visor for the console,’ he explained.

‘Over the course of the summer nine crew members have been trained and certified to operate the RIB and plans are also underway to bring water safety events to Owenahincha Beach during 2017. OBWSA plan to educate kids, teens, adults on CPR, secondary drowning, AED and basic first aid.’

Fr O’Hea blessed both the crew and the RIB at a special ceremony at Hayes Caravan Park last Saturday, which drew a large attendance.

See ‘Owenahincha Bay Water Safety Association’ on Facebook for more.

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