Kerry RNLI crews urge support for Christmas Appeal
Volunteer lifeboat crews are calling on the people of Kerry to support the charity’s annual Christmas appeal after volunteers faced an unprecedented year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The RNLI has seen a drop in income in 2020 as traditional fundraising activities had to be cancelled. This was despite the lifesaving charity having to spend extra funds to ensure its volunteer lifeboat crews including those at Valentia and Fenit RNLI, had the vital PPE, such as face masks and gloves to keep their lifesavers safe.
Yet, during an extraordinary year and while facing new challenges in saving lives at sea, lifeboat crews wearing additional PPE and adapting to restrictions, continued to respond to the pager and work tirelessly throughout the pandemic to keep people safe.
As lockdown restrictions eased and between the months of July to October, lifeboats at Ireland’s 46 stations, launched 512 times with their crews bringing 793 people to safety. The statistics reflect an increase of 33 more launches and 164 more people aided, on the same four-month period last year.
Michelle O’Shea, Valentia RNLI Deputy Launching Authority said 2020 had been a challenging year for RNLI volunteers: ‘Thankfully, with many additional safety measures and procedures in place to ensure our safety, our crews have remained on call 24/7 throughout the pandemic. Our volunteers have their standard PPE but now also wear masks and gloves and take extra precautions at sea. We know the extra PPE comes at a financial cost to the charity and during a time when fundraising activity has had to be halted.
‘The best Christmas gift RNLI volunteers like us in Valentia and Fenit can wish for, is a kind donation to our Christmas appeal. Funds raised will provide the lifesaving kit we need when we are at sea and helping to bring someone to safety.’
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. To support, visit: RNLI.org/Xmas
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.