Larne RNLI celebrate family connections on National Volunteering Week
Larne RNLI is made up of many volunteers from volunteer crew members answering the call when the pager sounds to volunteer fundraisers who work tirelessly to raise vital funds for the charity.
Larne RNLI has a close knit group of volunteers with a strong family ethos and team approach to ensure everyone plays their part to help save lives at sea in the Larne area.
Many lifeboat stations around the UK and Ireland have generations of families who are passionate about keeping our local waters safe and have volunteered their time to do so. Larne is particularly special as it has seven different families where sons and daughters have followed in their parents footsteps and now also volunteer at the station. Larne RNLI Coxswain Frank Healy has volunteered at Larne RNLI since the station was created 25 years ago and his son Jack joined the crew as soon as he reached the minimum age set by the RNLI.
Larne RNLI Coxswain Frank Healy said: 'It’s commendable to see the younger generation so keen and giving up their time to volunteer at the station. I’m particularly proud that my son Jack has joined the crew and I thoroughly enjoy working alongside him on the lifeboat. It’s great to see the next generation progressing through their training and doing their bit to help save lives at sea in our local area.'
Larne RNLI crew member Jack Healy said: ‘I’ve always looked up to my dad as Coxswain and seen how passionate he is about the work of the RNLI. This inspired me to volunteer as crew at Larne as soon as I reached 17 years old and I’m really glad I did.'
Allan Dorman volunteers for Larne RNLI as Lifeboat Operations Manager with his son Chris and daughter Pamela. They now hold the roles of Deputy 2nd Coxswain and Helm respectively.
Larne RNLI Helm Pamela Leitch said: 'I watched my brother head out on the lifeboat and saw my dad volunteering as Operations Manager. I thought that as I was brought up around water from a very young age that I could put something back into my community and follow in their foot steps to become a crew member. We all feel very proud to be part of such a big family at Larne Lifeboat Station.'
Pamela's father, Larne RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Allan Dorman said: 'The RNLI is a family and here at Larne we can definitely say we are that. Not only do we have seven sets of parents and their children involved at the station but also five married couples from volunteer crew, fundraising committee to our press team. Whether related or not, there’s a great camaraderie between each volunteer at Larne Station.'
In 2019 Larne RNLI is celebrating 25 years of local volunteers providing a 24hour 7day a week rescue service to the Larne area. Over the last 25 years Larne lifeboats have launched many times saving numerous lives at sea. To celebrate the work of volunteers and the support the local community have provided, Larne RNLI are holding an Open Day at the Lifeboat station on Olderfleet Road on Saturday 22 June from 12pm-4pm. Everyone is welcome to come along, meet our volunteers and enjoy a fun filled day.
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, in a normal year, 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.