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25th RNLI Helvick Swim & BBQ celebrated in style

Lifeboats News Release

A total of seventy-three swimmers took part in the 25th Annual Sponsored Swim from Ballinacourty to Helvick Pier last Sunday 28 July, in perfect conditions under blue skies with a gentle breeze behind them.

RNLI/Miriam Foley Macleod

Joan Clancy, RNLI Hon Fundraising Press Sec; Ian Walsh; Fergal Concannon; Anna Classon, RNLI Head of Operational Policy & Standards, Policy Development (Ireland & The Isle of Man)

Thirty-five opted for the two kilometre distance from a point off Ballinacourty Lighthouse and 38 swam the four kilometres from Ballinacourty Pier to Helvick Pier where there was a party in full swing of family, well-wishers and supporters to greet them all.

Speaking about the event Fundraising Chairman Kevin O’Morchoe said: “The regime of training and commitment of our Sponsored Swimmers and all our volunteers on land and on sea is so much appreciated by the RNLI Helvick Head Lifeboat Station.”

While it was a day of fun and celebration for all ages, there was also some sadness due to Michael Wright, also known as the Mad Hatter having passed away suddenly last January. A plaque was unveiled in memory of Michael on Helvick Pier.

RNLI Fundraising Press Secretary Joan Clancy said “Michael volunteered his talents in his own unique style of continuity at the RNLI Helvick Swim & BBQ from as far back as 2005. Over the years people said they were coming to see the Mad Hatter as much as the Swim & BBQ. Michael’s artistic contribution to Helvick Lifeboat Station will live forever.”

WLR FM’s Oliver Carroll volunteered as celebrity MC for the day while Andy McCloskey broadcast live from Helvick pier. The crew both aboard RNLB Robert Armstrong and in their gear welcoming swimmers on arrival to the slipway, and the courtesy visit of Search & Rescue 117 Helicopter from Waterford Airport added to the wonderment of this great community event in support of the RNLI.

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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/Miriam Foley Macleod

Sponsored swimmers Sean Drohan and Siubhan Nielsen from An Rinn

RNLI/Miriam Foley Macleod

Lisa Mangan in Ballinacourty ahead of the 25th Annual RNLI Helvick Sponsored Swim

RNLI/Miriam Foley Macleod

Dr Brid Slevin support kayaker at the annual RNLI swim

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

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.