Lifeboat Cover to be Extended to Sligo

Irish Times, Wednesday, February 18, 1998

By Lorna Siggins, Marine Correspondent

Lifeboat cover is to be extended on the north-west coast this summer, when Sligo receives a new inshore rescue vessel on a trial basis. The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) intends to recruit a potential volunteer crew in the Rosses Point area of County Sligo for the temporary station. Six selected members will attend an intensive training course in Cowes in April, in preparation for the arrival of a D Class craft in early summer.

Sligo Yacht Club is to allow the RNLI to place a portable building on its land, subject to planning permission. The institution is also in discussion with Sligo County Council about another site, and the local authority has been extensively supportive of the initiative, according to the RNLI’s national organiser, Ms Claire Brennan.

The decision has been welcomed by the Sligo Bay Lifeboat Committee, chaired by Mr. Brendan Healy, an orthopaedic surgeon, and the RNLI’s Sligo branch, chaired by Mr. Stuart Greer, which has been fund-raising for the last 20 years. The move reflects the substantial interest in watersports in the area. A recent survey indicated that over 50 percent of the adult population in the Republic now engage in a water-based leisure activity.

The RNLI now has 44 lifeboats at 37 stations around the coastline. Some 11 of these are on the west coast, compared to only three, at Arranmore, County Donegal, Galway, and Valentia, County Kerry, a decade ago. The first two in a series of new inshore west coast stations were established at Clifden, County Galway, and Lough Swilly, County Donegal, in 1988, followed by the offshore station at Ballyglass, County Mayo, in 1989.The most recent additions are Achill Island (1996) and Castletownbere, County Cork (1997).

Last year voluntary RNLI crews launched on 515 occasions. They saved 169 lives and brought 354 people ashore. The RNLI co-operates with the Department of the Marine’s Irish Maritime Emergency Service, which is to be transformed into a national coastguard under new legislation later this year.

For more information about the work of the RNLI go to