Station history

The Committee of Management decided in 1988 that the relief Arun class lifeboat ON1052 City of Bradford IV be allocated to Ballyglass in June 1989 for 12 months operational evaluation with long-term aim of establishing Ballyglass as a permanent lifeboat station.

The City of Bradford IV lifeboat arrived at Ballyglass on 26 August 1989 and was officially placed on service on 17 October 1989 when the station was opened.

1989

Station established on 17 October.

1990

The City of Bradford IV was replaced in service by the Arun class lifeboat ON1159 Mabel Williams 

1993

New boathouse and slipway completed in January. The boathouse includes housing for the boarding boat, a souvenir sales outlet, workshop, assembly area, toilets and shower, a crew room, observation room and a galley.

1995

A new boathouse and slipway built at a cost of £150,000 and was officially opened on 28 May.

1998

Bronze Medal awarded to Ciaran Doyle of the Garda Underwater Unit, The Thanks of the Institution inscribed on Vellum awarded to Joseph Barratt and Michael Heffernan (posthumously) from Grainne Uaile Sub Aqua Club, and Framed Letters of Thanks signed by the Chairman for Assistant Mechanic John Gaughan and crew member Cathal Reilly for a service on 25 October 1997 when the lifeboat launched at 1820 to search for four people reported overdue in their 16ft curragh.  A local fishing vessel reported voices in a cave west of Horse Island, 18 miles from Ballyglass.  On arrival at the scene the Y boat was launched with John Gaughan and Cathal Reilly on board.  They went 650 feet into the cave where voices were heard and the casualties spotted on a ledge, 20 feet above sea level, but unreachable because of the heavy breaking swell.  Local divers, Michael Heffernan and Joseph Barratt, volunteered to assist the lifeboat crew and entered the cave in an IMES rescue boat.  They entered the water with a line and appeared to clear the breakers before being caught and dragged by the backwash.  The recall sign was felt on the line and it was quickly retrieved.  Joseph Barratt was recovered and landed to the IMES rescue boat, but Michael Heffernan was not.  All this while the lifeboat and three other fishing vessels were at the cliff face illuminating the cave, assisted by local firemen with halogen lamps. At this point it was decided to wait for daybreak to continue the rescue.  After an unsuccessful attempt by the IMES boat Ciaran Doyle volunteered, and swam 1,000ft through vicious seas carrying 300m of rope, enabling a line to be secured to the IMES rescue boat and the casualties to be towed through the break, nearly capsizing three times, to safety.

The new station Severn Class lifeboat ON1235 Bryan and Gordon was placed on service 14 Aug 1998. This lifeboat was funded by Mr B C Griffiths & Mr G W Griffiths.  Lifeboat ON 1159 Mabel Williams has been withdrawn to the relief fleet.

2002

Relief lifeboat D-492 Lawnflight was placed on station for evaluation on 14/5/2002. The ILB boathouse is at Belmullet.

2006

A Framed Letter of Thanks signed by the Chairman of the Institution, Admiral Sir Jock Slater, presented to Coxswain Patrick Walker in recognition of his seamanship and Judgement during the service to the yacht Rondo on 18/19 February 2005.  A young man was saved from the yacht in the dark, in rough seas and gusting gale force winds.

2007

On 7 November the Trustees formally agreed that Ballyglass is established as a co-located ALB and D class station.  On December 7 a new ILB facility was completed at a cost of £276,000.

2008

The new station D class lifeboat D-687 The Western was placed on service on 1 February.  Lifeboat has been withdrawn to the relief fleet.

MEDAL RECORD

One Bronze Medal was awarded in 1998.