Family express thanks to Achill Island RNLI following father’s safe return home

Lifeboats News Release

Achill Island RNLI were delighted yesterday evening to be able to bring a patient they had medically evacuated from Inishturk almost two months ago, back to his family home.

The volunteer lifeboat crew had provided a medical evacuation for John O’Toole (88) from his home on Inishturk on 28 June, bringing him to Achill Island where he was transferred to Mayo University Hospital suffering from a severe infection. He was later moved to a nursing home where he remained for four weeks before becoming well enough to finally return home. John was surrounded by his wife Mary and daughters Phil Kilbane and Anne Maher prior to his departure from Achill Island in flat calm sea conditions and glorious evening sunshine.

Speaking of her father’s dramatic recovery, Anne said: ‘The doctor told us Dad could have died if the lifeboat didn’t take him off the island back in June.’ Echoing the appreciation of her sister, Phil Kilbane continued: ‘The people of both Clare Island and Inishturk are forever grateful for the help and assistance of Achill Island RNLI to the islanders. A big thank you to the crew who volunteer their time, day and night, and for bringing our Dad back home safely this evening.’

Prior to the departure, local family Katie and John Sweeney and their son Seamus Tiernan were present on the pier to wave John off. Seamus, a talented and well-known musician, played some traditional Irish tunes for John, much to his delight, as he boarded the Sam and Ada Moody.


RNLI/Eilish Power

Right to left: Anne Maher, Michael Cattigan, Achill Island RNLI Lifeboat Mechanic, John O'Toole, Patrick McNamara, Achill Island RNLI Lifeboat Crew and Phil Kilbane.

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.

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 by email.