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Union Hall RNLI to be formally established on a permanent basis

Lifeboats News Release

Volunteers at Union Hall RNLI are celebrating the news that their lifeboat station in West Cork is to be formally established following a successful trial.

Anne Minihane

The recommendation subject to the provision of a long term shoreworks solution was approved at a recent meeting of the RNLI Trustees.

The RNLI’s 45th lifeboat station in Ireland had been officially put on service at Union Hall in 2014 for a trial period that has lasted three years.

This followed representations that were initially made to the RNLI for a declared search and rescue asset to be established at Union Hall in February 2013.

Since then, the station has operated Maritime Nation, a B class Atlantic 75 lifeboat, from temporary station facilities, launching from a slipway adjacent to Keelbeg pier. Work will now commence towards establishing a permanent building and facilities for the station.

Since going on service, Union Hall RNLI has launched 26 times, saved one life and rescued 42 people.

The station’s lifeboat operates approximately eight miles to the west and 14 miles to the east of the greater Glandore Bay area. It is a popular spot for fishermen and visitors including anglers, rowers, swimmers and sailors. The station is flanked by Courtmacsherry RNLI to the east and Baltimore RNLI to the west.

John Kelleher, Union Hall RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager confirmed that the station had received word from the RNLI Trustees that the trial had been a success and the station, subject to a shoreworks solution, will be made permanent.

‘We have been waiting for this news and to finally get confirmation that the trial has been a success is great - I am delighted not just for our volunteer crew and station management but for everyone who has been involved and supported the setting up of a station here in the locality.

‘I would like to commend the commitment and dedication of our volunteer crew members who have devoted their time to training and to learning and developing new skills to help them save lives at sea. It is thanks to their efforts and those working so hard on the shore - be it to prepare the lifeboat to go to sea or washing it down after a call out, or to educate people about the dangers of water, or to fundraise - that we are now able to provide this service permanently to the community in West Cork and to anyone who may find themselves in distress at sea.’

Paddy O’Donovan, Union Hall Chairman added: ‘I was delighted with the news, it is a vote of confidence in our local volunteers. We wish to thank all the RNLI personnel who visited and helped in this project. We look forward to the next phase in making the station permanent.’

Ends

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Nuala McAloon RNLI Regional Media Officer Ireland on 00353876483547 or email Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org.uk or Niamh Stephenson RNLI Regional Media Manager Ireland on 00353871254124 or Niamh_Stephenson@rnli.org.uk

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.

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