For nearly 130 years a lifeboat has provided search and rescue cover off the Kerry coast of Ireland. During its history the crews have been honoured with several awards for gallantry. Today, the station operates the largest RNLI lifeboat, a Severn class.
Valentia Lifeboat Station went en fete on 1st June to celebrate the award to them.
Fenit RNLI in county Kerry is counting down this week to Mayday, the charity’s annual national fundraising campaign.
Maria Corkery from Killarney in county Kerry, is a finalist in the RNLI competition for children to name one of the first Shannon class lifeboats, the charity’s newest and most advanced all-weather lifeboats*.
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Valentia Lifeboat StationValentia HarbourCo KerryRepublic of Ireland
066 947 6100
Station opening times:
Parking, Disabled Parking
Visitor contact telephone:
066 9476141087 2418973
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: John & Margaret Doig
Lifeboat class: Severn class
Funded by: Bequest of Miss Mary Doig together with other legacies
Read more about the Severn
Station established by the Institution in 1864 at Reenard Point facing the Island of Valentia. Closed in 1896, the station was reopened in 1946.
1828Silver Medals awarded to Coastguard boatman, William Rowe, Joseph Ronowden, William Mark, Richard Jeffers and Nicholas Hanning for rescuing 18 persons from the rigging of the brig Veronica that was driven ashore in mountainous seas and wrecked in Dingle Bay on 7/8 December.
1861Silver Medal awarded to Coastguard Hugh Cooper, in recognition of his gallant and prompt exertions in putting out in a boat and rescuing two men from the barque Florence Graham which was wrecked during strong gale force winds at Dingle Bay on 24 January.
1864Lifeboat house constructed at a cost of £168.
1869Lifeboat house moved to Valentia at a cost of £70. The only crew available lived on the island.
1890A new lifeboat was sent to the station in 1890. It arrived by train at Killorglin, which at the time was the nearest railway station. Valentia lifeboat crew sailed and rowed the lifeboat the 40 miles to station and the carriage was to be taken by road. During the unloading of the carriage from the railway wagon, A Mr Thomas Linahan was killed. He is believed to have been a railway employee or contractor.
1939-45An auxiliary rescue boat was placed at Valentia during the war to help aircraft personnel forced down by bad weather, engine failure or injury, as they flew in from the Atlantic.
1946The Institution opened a new permanent lifeboat station.
1963Bronze Medal warded to Motor Mechanic John Joseph Houlihan for rescuing, in the lifeboat’s boarding boat, two men from a canoe that capsized in a northerly near gale on 2 September. He found the two men in the water, dragged one who was near to collapse into the boarding boat and told the other to hold on to the transom. He then, with great difficulty, returned to the beach. The Maud Smith award for Gallantry was presented for this service..
1970Silver Medal awarded to Coxswain Dermot Walsh, and The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum awarded to Bowman P Murphy and crew members J Curtin, J Curran and N Murphy when the lifeboat rescued 10 men from the motor vessel Oranmore of Limerick that had drifted towards the Kerry Head Shoal with her engine broken down, in a west-north-westerly gale with very rough seas, on the night of 20/21 February.
1983The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum was accorded to Motor Mechanic John Joseph Houihan in recognition of the promptness, sound judgement and seamanship displayed by him when he proceeded in a fishing boat to Culloo Head and rescued an angler who had been washed off rocks in a strong westerly wind and a very rough sea on 26 August 1982.
1985Framed letters of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution, the Duke of Atholl, awarded to the coxswain and crew in recognition of the thoroughly professional manner in which they carried out their duties on 23 June in the lifeboat Margaret Frances Lovewhen. They recovered five bodies when an Air India Boeing 747 crashed approximately 115 miles south west of Valentia.
1989A Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution, the Duke of Atholl, was awarded to Coxswain Seanie Murphy in recognition of his seamanship and leadership during the 12 hour service to the trawler Big Cat which had broken down and was aground on Beginnis Island on 13 January. The lifeboat Margaret Frances Love was officially off service at the time with a defective engine. However, such was the urgency of the situation that the coxswain proceeded on the remaining serviceable engine in a strong southerly gale and rough seas to the assistance of the casualty. A rescue from seaward was too dangerous and the services of the local Cliff Life Saving Service and a helicopter, together with volunteers, were called upon to help in the rescue of the Big Cat’s crew.
1995New boathouse constructed on the existing site of the old boathouse which provided very little in the way of crew facilities. The new boathouse includes housing for boarding boat and improved crew facilities.
1996The new Severn class lifeboat ON1218 John and Margaret Doig was placed on service on 29November.
1997A Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution was awarded to Coxswain Seanie Murphy in recognition of his skill and seamanship during a service on 30 July. Four people had been swept into the sea from rocks at Culloo Point. The westerly winds were causing a heavy swell. Two people were seen to be swimming outside the surf line, 10 metres from the cliff face. They were thrown a line, gently towed into calmer water, recovered and treated for cuts and bruises. The search continued and an unconscious man was found floating. He was recovered and resuscitation attempted, but to no avail. A paramedic winched down from a rescue helicopter pronounced life extinct. Having landed these three, the lifeboat searched, unsuccessfully for the fourth man until the light failed.
MEDAL SERVICESeven Silver Medals and one Bronze Medal have been awarded, the last being voted in 1970.
Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Registered charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland | RNLI (Trading) Ltd - 1073377, RNLI (Sales) Ltd - 2202240, RNLI (Enterprises) Ltd - 1784500 and RNLI College Ltd - 7705470 are all companies registered in England and Wales at West Quay Road, Poole, BH15 1HZ. Images and copyright © RNLI 2015.