Wicklow RNLI Operations Manager Retires
Des Davitt, Operations Manager at Wicklow lifeboat Station since 2004, has retired after 27 years volunteering with the RNLI.
Des joined the RNLI Wicklow committee in 1993, becoming vice chairman in 1995 and taking charge of all fundraising for the branch with support from the Ladies Guild.
Des was chairman of the appeal committee who raised funds for the provision of a new inshore lifeboat and an extension to the boathouse to house the new lifeboat in 1996.
The appeal was so successful that the target figure was reached with 6 months still to run. In all £64,000 was raised by Des and the Committee, which covered the cost of the D Class lifeboat Inbhear Deas and the extension to the boat house.
In 2001, he was awarded the bronze badge for his services to fundraising. Three years later, he took over the new position of lifeboat operations manager – formerly honorary secretary – from the retiring Kevin Desmond. Fundraising then became separate from Operations.
In 2016 Des was awarded inscribed binoculars in recognition of his long service to the RNLI. As lifeboat operations manager, Des was responsible for all operational activities at the station and over the years has seen the arrival of a ‘state of the art’ Shannon Class lifeboat and the retirement of the last Tyne class boat in the RNLI Fleet. Over the last year Des has ensured Wicklow Lifeboat Station remained operational at all times during the Covid-19 restrictions.
Wicklow RNLI Press Officer, Tommy Dover said: ‘We would like to thank Des for his commitment to Wicklow Lifeboat Station over the past 27 years and we wish him all the best on his retirement. Unfortunately, due to the present Covid-19 restrictions we were unable to give Des a proper send off, but the crew hope to meet up for a farewell pint with him in the not too distant post Covid future.’
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.