Kinsale RNLI names new lifeboat in memory of donor, ‘godmother' and friend
With the sun shining down on the assembled crowd, a new Atlantic 85 B class lifeboat for Kinsale RNLI was officially named Miss Sally Anne Baggy II - Never Fear, Baggy's Here during a ceremony at the Kinsale lifeboat station on Saturday (25 August).
The lifeboat which only went on service last month was funded by Miss Sally Anne Odell who has been a close friend of the station and a generous benefactor until her death last year.
The full name of the new lifeboat was the choice of the donor and reflects her sense of humour. It is to be a reminder to the lifeboat crew that their ‘godmother’ is always with them.
The Atlantic 85 class lifeboat replaces the Miss Sally Anne Baggy, which has been retired after 15 years of dedicated service that have seen her involved in countless high profile incidents including the rescue 30 young people from the training ship Astrid in 2013, and rescuing three fishermen from treacherous seas as their trawler Sean Anthony sank in 2016.
Opening the ceremony, Kevin Gould, Kinsale RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘This is a very special occasion for our lifeboat station and although it is tinged with sadness as Sally Anne is no longer with us, we want to give her lifeboat the naming ceremony befitting its status. Sally Anne was a lifelong supporter of the RNLI and was affectionately known to the crew as ‘The Godmother.’ She will always be remembered by our community and we will forever be grateful for her care and affection. She funded the original Kinsale lifeboat and part of the station, and kept in close contact with the crew throughout the years.’
Robert Acton took the part of Miss Odell and gifted the lifeboat into the care of the RNLI. Accepting the lifeboat on behalf of the Institution, RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager Brian O’Driscoll, who is a former lifeboat station Coxswain with Castletownbere RNLI, spoke of how inshore lifeboats have been keeping people safe in this part of the world since 2003. He praised the volunteers with Kinsale RNLI who he said, ‘give up their time and are the embodiment of willingness and selflessness in helping others in need.’
Kinsale RNLI Helm James Grennan was chosen to accept the lifeboat on behalf of the station and the vessel was named by Valerie Good, Chairperson of the fundraising team who poured champagne over the bow of the lifeboat, a tradition that has been undertaken at every lifeboat naming ceremony for many years.
The Vote of Thanks was given by Tricia Tyson, volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for the station and the music was provided by a choir representing all Kinsale churches. Rev Peter Rutherford and Fr. Peter Keogh delivered the service of dedication.
The Atlantic 85 is a B class inshore lifeboat designed to operate in shallower water. It is one the fastest lifeboats in the fleet with a top speed of 35 knots. Inshore lifeboats like the Atlantic 85 are ideal for rescues close to shore or cliffs, among rocks, or even in caves. They can handle challenging open sea too and operate in a force seven in daylight and at night up to force six winds.
There was attendance from many RNLI lifeboat stations including, Courtmacsherry, Crosshaven, Union Hall, Youghal and Dunmore East.
RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact Tricia Tyson Kinsale RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer email: Trcia_Tyson@rnli.org.uk Tel: 083 1529282 or Niamh Stephenson RNLI Public Relations Manager Tel: 087 1254 124 / 01 8900 460 email Niamh_Stephenson@rnli.org or Nuala McAloon RNLI Press Officer Tel: 087 6483547 email: Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org
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.