For 175 years, the Aran Islands Lifeboat station has covered the dramatic, rocky wilderness facing outwards to the Atlantic Ocean. Formerly known as Galway Bay until 1995, the lifeboat crews have been presented with over 20 awards for gallantry.
This station is classed as an Observe station. Observe stations also welcome visitors but many are in inaccessible places and best suited to maritime rescue rather than visits. However, they are situated in stunning locations so why not enjoy the local area, using the station as a starting point?
The RNLI is counting down to Mayday, the charity’s national fundraising campaign, which recognises Irish volunteer lifeboat crews around the country and raises funds to help them continue their work saving lives at sea.
Aran Islands RNLI in county Galway assisted six fishermen from a 24m trawler yesterday (Thursday 18 April).
A surprise return visit to the Aran Islands was made recently by former Galway Bay RNLI lifeboat Frank Spiller Locke. This restored Barnett class lifeboat was stationed at the Aran Islands from 1977 to 1985.
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Aran Islands Lifeboat StationKilronanCo GalwayRepublic of Ireland
Station opening times
By appointment only
Parking, Disabled Parking, Disabled Access
Visitor contact telephone
087 282 1318
Specific crew member details for this lifeboat station are not available here at the moment.
More than 4,800 lifeboat crew members around the UK and RoI drop everything when their pagers go off, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Only 1 in 10 crew members has a professional maritime occupation. Men and women of all ages and all walks of life crew the RNLI lifeboats around our coasts and waterways.
Lifeboat name: David Kirkaldy
Lifeboat class: Severn
Funded by: Mr David Kirkaldy
Read more about the Severn
1830Silver Medal awarded to Bartholomew Hynes, Coastguard, for the rescue by sailing boat of five men from the Brig Lillies that was wrecked on Black Rock in violent weather on 20 November 1830.
1837Silver Medal awarded to Lieutenant James Robertson RN for the rescue by boat of two people form a small Irish hooker, which sank off Trout Rock in a south-westerly gale on 30 Apri1 1837.
1847Silver Medal awarded to Coastguard James McKenzie, for the rescue, from the rigging, of the sole survivor of the vessel Sea Horse on 7 February 1847.
1851Silver Medals awarded to John Hein, and Thomas Larkin, Master and Mate of the Russian Barque John when the rescued by longboat 14 people from the yacht Owen Glendower on 26 September.
1927Station established by the Institution.
1938Bronze Medals awarded to Coxswain John Gill, Mechanic Joseph Doyle, Bowman P Flaherty and crew members W Gorham, P Gill, J Flaherty and T Flaherty for the rescue of 12 men from the trawlers Nogi and Hatano on 16 August.
1962Bronze Medals awarded to Coxswain Coleman Hernon, Assistant Mechanic B Mullen and crew members T Joyce and P Quinn for the rescue of eight men and a dog from the motor vessel June that ran aground off Mutton Island in a south-westerly Force 7 gusting Force 9 Gale, with a rough sea and visibility much reduced by squalls of hail and rain on 16 January 1962. The coxswain manoeuvred the lifeboat as close to Mutton Island lighthouse as possible and using a boarding boat, made fast by line, B Mullin, T Joyce and P Quinn took turns in rowing to the lighthouse to rescue the eight survivors. The boarding boat was swamped on several occasions and altogether seven attempts were made before the rescue was successfully completed. Throughout the rescue Coxswain Hernon manoeuvred the lifeboat with considerable skill in broken water and strong gale force conditions that added a considerable element of danger.
1967Framed Letters of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution, Admiral Sir Wilfrid Woods, were awarded to Coxswain Coleman Hernon, Second Coxswain Thomas Flaherty, Bowman Brian Fitzpatrick, Mechanic Bartley Mullin, and crew members Jack Gill, Anthony O’Brien, Malachy Beatty, Thomas Joyce and Patrick Mullin in recognition of their courage in boarding the lifeboat on 25 October to rescue eight men from the Greek motor vessel Razani of Pireaus. It took two hours to board the lifeboat and three times the 18ft 6in boarding boat was driven back on to the beach by the south-south-westerly storm and very rough sea. An additional monetary award was also made to each man.
1987Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to Coxswain/Mechanic Bartley Mullin in recognition of the seamanship and determination displayed by him when the lifeboat landed 21 crew from the fishing factory ship Cornelis Vrolijk, which had run aground on Lower Gorumna Island in a south-south-easterly storm and very rough seas on 9 November 1986.
1990Renovation of a derelict boathouse that is situated adjacent to the present boathouse to provide better crew facilities was completed in October.
Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to Coxswain Padraic Dillane and crew members Seamus O’Flaherty and Mairtan Fitzpatrick for the rescue of two skin-divers in difficulties off Doolin Point in winds gusting to storm force and very rough seas on 14 August 1989. Coxswain Dillane skilfully manoeuvred the lifeboat close inshore and launched the Y boat. Crew members S O’Flaherty and M Fitzpatrick manned the Y boat and with courage and skill successfully rescued the two skin-divers and transferred them to the lifeboat.
1995At a meeting of the Executive Committee held on 29 March, it was resolved that Galway Bay would be renamed Aran Islands lifeboat station on 1 August.
2001The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum accorded to Second Coxswain Patrick Mullen in recognition of his dedication, leadership and skilful seamanship when the lifeboat launched three times and spent over 30 hours at sea on 3,4 and 5 October 2000, searching for survivors from a sunken Spanish trawler. The search was made in atrocious gale force conditions in an area renowned for its dangerous submerged rocks. Mechanic John Mulkerrin received a formal Chairman’s Letter for his part in the three services.
MEDAL RECORDThe men of Galway Bay have been awarded 16 Medals, 5 Silver and 11 Bronze, the last being voted in 1962.
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number CHY 2678 in the Republic of Ireland | RNLI (Trading) Ltd - 01073377, RNLI (Sales) Ltd - 2202240, RNLI (Enterprises) Ltd - 1784500 and RNLI College Ltd - 7705470 are all companies registered at West Quay Road, Poole BH15 1HZ. Images & copyright © RNLI 2013.