Northern Ireland Justice Minister visits Portrush RNLI volunteers
Northern Ireland Justice Minister Claire Sugden visited her local lifeboat station Portrush RNLI today (Saturday 15 October) to pay tribute to the work they do on the North Coast.
The Minister was keen to meet all the volunteers including lifeboat crew, fundraisers and the operations team. She met Coxswain Des Austin and Lifeboat Operations Manager Robin Cardwell in the lifeboat House firstly to hear about the work of the volunteers and the rigorous training they underwent in order to achieve the competencies to be able to save lives at sea. She then met Sharman Finlay, Chair of the fundraising team and Dorothy Weeks, supervisor of the very successful Lifeboat Shop to hear about the importance of fundraising activities to support the volunteer crew.
The Minister then met the volunteer crew of the inshore lifeboat and then went on board the All-weather Boat to get a tour of the vessel and then experienced a launch as the crew took her out of the bay so she could see for herself, what the crew experienced when they went out on a shout.
Portrush RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Robin Cardwell LOM said; ‘We were delighted to welcome the Minister to her local station and to give her an opportunity to see for herself the operations of a busy lifeboat station. We were thrilled that the Minister had the opportunity to see the all-weather lifeboat in action and to have a chat with the volunteer crew, operations team and fundraisers’.
The Minister commented, ' ‘The RNLI provides an invaluable service in keeping the public safe around our coastline. The men and women who volunteer to answer emergency calls in all weathers have helped save countless lives and I commend them for their dedication and commitment.'
The RNLI aims to reduce drowning by 50%, across the UK and Ireland by 2024. Given the dedication and enthusiasm I have seen demonstrated by the Portrush crew, I am confident that they will succeed.”The RNLI aims to reduce drowning by 50%, across the UK and Ireland by 2024. Given the dedication and enthusiasm I have seen demonstrated by the Portrush crew, I am confident that they will succeed.'
RNLI media contacts
For more information please telephone Judy Nelson, Portrush RNLI Volunteer Press Officer on 07736923936, email email@example.com or Nuala McAloon RNLI Press Officer Tel: 00 353 87 648 3547 or email Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org.uk or Niamh Stephenson RNLI Public Relations Manager Tel: 00 353 87 1254 124 or Niamh_Stephenson@rnli.org.uk
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.