Portrush RNLI has four firsts on one service

Lifeboats News Release

Portrush inshore lifeboat was launched tonight (Tuesday 2nd May) at 5.45pm to reports of a dog that had fallen into the water at the Whiterocks.

This launch however was different in that it saw a series of firsts for the crew and operations team on duty.

What was unique about this shout was the number of firsts that happened. Firstly it was the new Lifeboat Operations Manager, Keith Gilmore’s, first official shout. Not that Keith is a stranger to the station as he has been a crew member and a Deputy Launching Authority at the station before taking over at midnight on 2nd May from the previous post holder Robin Cardwell.

The second ‘first’ that occurred was Johnny Weston’s first shout as helm of the Inshore Lifeboat. Johnny is a long-time member of crew, and relished his first shout as helm.

The third ‘first’ belonged to female crew member Hannah Ritchie. Hannah had been on 'shouts' before but the lifeboat had always been stood down before they left the harbour, this time Hannah got her chance and to top it all it she was along with her Dad, crew member Stevie Ritchie.

Sadly despite the best efforts of the lifeboat crew the dog did not survive the ordeal and the lifeboat crew carefully recovered it and returned it to its owner.

Portrush RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Keith Gilmore said: 'The RNLI will always respond to reports of a dog in the sea. Also where there is a dog there is a potential owner who will risk their own safety to rescue their dog. Unfortunately this story did not have a happy ending and we would remind all dog owners to keep dogs on a lead when walking along cliff paths.'

The lifeboat and the crew returned to station at 6.15pm


RNLI media contacts
For information please contact Judy Nelson Volunteer Lifeboat press Officer, Portrush on 07736923936 or e-mail judynelson60@btinternet.com

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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.

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