2001: First inland lifeboat station

Lough Erne in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, is home to the RNLI’s first non-tidal inshore lifeboat station.
First inshore lifeboat station enniskillen

Photo: RNLI / Nicholas Leach

Inshore lifeboat at Enniskillen (Upper) with lifeboat station rebuilt in 2015 in the background

Lough Erne in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, is home to the RNLI’s first non-tidal inshore lifeboat station.

When Enniskillen RNLI opened on Lower Lough Erne in May 2001, it became our 225th lifeboat station, and our first inland station.

A year later, a second inshore lifeboat went into service – on Upper Lough Erne, at Carrybridge. Lifeboats have been in continuous service at Enniskillen (Upper and Lower) since 2002.

Enniskillen (Lower) is based at Killadeas, at Lough Erne Yacht Club, on the lower lough’s northern shore.

The facilities at Enniskillen (Upper) were initially basic, but have seen a big improvement. In 2015, we provided a brand new station building containing a boathall, mechanics workshop, and changing, training and other facilities.

Enniskillen RNLI is unique in two ways:

  • It’s our only lifeboat station to operate four lifeboats – two B class Atlantic 75s and two inshore rescue boats – which patrol two distinctly different waterways.
  • And it’s the only station to operate a search and rescue service in two separate countries. The 26-mile long Lower Lough Erne, and Upper Lough Erne that flows into it, straddle the border between the UK (Northern Ireland) and the Republic of Ireland.

Lough Erne is a magnet for anglers, rowers, wakeboarders and other watersports enthusiasts, which keeps our Enniskillen crews busy.

David Reid, Helmsman - Enniskillen

Photo: Donnie Phair

David Reid, Helm at Enniskillen RNLI