AFTER nearly ten years of impeccable service, the Bantry Lifeboat ‘St Brendan’, which was sent away for a complete refurbishment, is back in action again.
Paid for nearly entirely by money raised in Bantry and the surrounding area, this purpose-built boat was commissioned in 2006, and was the first new boat that the association had been able to buy.
Since its purchase in 2006, the committee and crew have been working to generate sufficient funds to replace the boat after ten years. Following a recent survey of the lifeboat, the decision was made to refit the current hull as it was still in such excellent condition. The original manufacturers – MST – were contacted and a plan and price agreed upon.
St Brendan went back to MST in April this year and a temporary replacement was provided, ensuring that the 24-hour search and rescue service continued uninterrupted. The refurbishment covered the upgrade of existing equipment and included a hybrid touch multiscreen with GPS, AIS Class A and depth sounder.
A modern VHF / DSC radio along with an engine management system. The most important addition was the 12.7” Raymarine radar system which will further improve the crew’s search capabilities in restricted visibility and at night.
The work took a total of ten weeks to complete and covered the hull, sponsons and servicing of the Evinrude two stroke engines. The total cost came to €82,000 – almost one third the cost of a new boat and will ensure St Brendan’s continued service for up to ten years.
The Lifeboat station has also announced the addition of changing facilities for female crew members, including lockers and toilet and changing cubicles. John Minehane of ACRA Flooring sponsored the fitting of the new flooring system. The Lifeboat fundraisers thanked the community of Bantry for their continued support and donations. Bantry Lifeboat is now nationally recognised as a resource for the Coast Guard and a member of Community Rescue Boats Irl.
The Lifeboat Association will host a Christmas carol concert in Bantry House on Sunday December 6th.