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Clifden RNLI receive first Shannon class lifeboat for the West Coast of Ireland

Lifeboats News Release

Clifden RNLI have become the first lifeboat station on the west coast of Ireland to receive the latest in lifeboat technology, the Shannon class lifeboat.

RNLI/Michael McLaughlin

Arrival of Shannon class lifeboat to Clifden RNLI

The vessel is the first modern all-weather lifeboat to be propelled by waterjets instead of traditional propellers, making it the most agile and manoeuvrable all-weather lifeboat in the search and rescue charity’s fleet. The new 25-knot lifeboat replaces the station’s 15-knot Mersey class lifeboat, significantly cutting response times for the county Galway lifeboat crew and reaching casualties faster.

The twenty-four-person strong Connemara based volunteer lifeboat crew are a close-knit community. Two of the station’s four Coxswains are brothers, there is a husband and wife serving on the lifeboat as well as a father and son. There are currently two Shannon class lifeboats at Lough Swilly in Donegal and Clogherhead in Louth with a relief lifeboat in Wicklow. The introduction of the Shannon class lifeboat into Clifden represents a major investment by the charity, €2.4 million, into search and rescue on the west coast.

Commenting on the arrival, Clifden RNLI Coxswain James Mullen said, ‘Four years ago we received our first all-weather lifeboat on a two-year trial, and we were thrilled with it. It meant we could launch in all-weathers and cover greater distances. However, with the arrival of the Shannon we have 21st century lifeboat design and technology. Bringing her home on the last leg home from Baltimore to Clifden was a proud moment. As we rounded Loop Head, we hit a bit of weather and we really made her dance. The ergonomic seats bear the force of the impact of the lifeboat hitting the waves and the improved communications technology means the crew can talk to each other by linked headsets and can hear each other above the noise and receive information directly from the Coast Guard.’

Clifden’s new Shannon class lifeboat is named Brianne Aldington and comes from the RNLI’s relief fleet having been built two years ago. The station’s former lifeboat will be sold on as the charity has upgraded its entire fleet to a 25-knot capability.

The first planned outing for the new lifeboat is to visit the nearby island communities where the lifeboat can be called on to respond to urgent requests for medical evacuations. Both Inishbofin and Inishturk are first in line to receive a visit and have a tour of the new lifeboat that will serve the west coast.

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For more information please telephone Niamh Stephenson, RNLI Media Manager on 087 1254 124 or Niamh_Stephenson@rnli.org.uk or Phoebe Igoe RNLI Media Placement Officer Tel: 087 397 9970 email: Phoebe_Igoe@rnli.org.uk Clifden RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer Tel: 086 4006666 email: catpryce@gmail.com or Nuala McAloon, RNLI Ireland Media Officer on 087 648 3547 or email Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org.uk or

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Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around Ireland and the UK. The RNLI operates 46 lifeboat stations in Ireland. The RNLI is independent of government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, the charity has saved over 142,200 lives.

RNLI/Michael McLaughlin

Arrival of Shannon class lifeboat to Clifden RNLI

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.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.