Skerries RNLI volunteer crew member and his mum feature in Christmas appeal

Lifeboats News Release

Skerries lifeboat volunteer, Joe May, and his mum Teresa are the faces of the RNLI’s Christmas mailing appeal, hoping to raise vital donations after an unprecedented summer facing the challenges of saving lives during the coronavirus pandemic.

Joe May with his mum Teresa


Joe May with his mum Teresa

In the appeal letter, which is being delivered to thousands of households across Ireland, Teresa May, talks about how proud she is of her children, with daughter Sheila being on the lifeboat crew too.

As a mother she admits to worrying when they are called out to save others who are in trouble and admits to feeling a huge sense of relief when they return home safe.

Teresa has lived by the harbour in Skerries for 50 years and the lifeboat is part of her family’s life. She describes being well used to countless family events interrupted by the sound of the pager. Teresa’s husband, Joe Snr, was also part of the crew.

Joe currently runs the Joe May pub on the harbour which has been in the May family since 1865. Regulars at the pub know that if Joe is seen rushing out the door, he is off to save lives.

Teresa said: ‘It can be difficult seeing your children leave when the pager goes. I worry about them and what they might go through when out on a shout. Even at Christmas, I know lifeboat crew have to drop everything and run out the door to go and save someone’s life.’

Volunteer crew member Joe commented: ‘The best Christmas gift RNLI volunteers wish for is for people to support our Christmas appeal. Funds raised will provide the lifesaving kit we need when out saving lives in all weathers. We’ve had a very challenging summer, rescuing those in difficulty in the midst of a pandemic. As lockdown restrictions lifted, people flocked to the coast and lots of people needed to be rescued by lifeboat crews like ours, right across the country.’

Due to coronavirus restrictions, the popular Skerries RNLI Raft Race, had to be cancelled as well as the station’s beloved Flag Day. Similar closures and cancellations have cost the RNLI.

The RNLI has spent a significant amount this year on PPE, including thousands of face masks, gloves and hand sanitiser. This is money the charity hadn’t budgeted for but needed to be spent to keep its lifesavers and the public protected during the coronavirus crisis.

RNLI lifesavers continued to work tirelessly throughout the pandemic to keep people safe as lockdown restrictions eased and people flocked to the coast. As a charity, the RNLI relies on the support of the public to continue saving lives – and that support is needed now more than ever. The charity has launched its Christmas Appeal. To support, visit:


RNLI media contacts

For information contact Niamh Stephenson, RNLI Media Manager Tel: 087 1254 124 email or Nuala McAloon, RNLI Media Officer Tel: 087 648 3547 email

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 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 by email.