Five New Crew Members on Call for the First Time this Christmas at Lough Derg RNLI

A busy mother of one is among five new volunteer crew members who will be on call for the first time this Christmas at Lough Derg RNLI.

One male and one female RNLI crew member stands and smiles in full RNLI kit.

As the charity launches its Christmas appeal, Ania Skrzypczynska, a native of Poland, is preparing to swap traditional festivities for the cold waters of the December lake, should the call for help come in. She is urging the public to help her crew and the thousands of other volunteer crews on call over the Christmas period, to continue their lifesaving work.

‘I joined the RNLI because I wanted to become part of the community after moving to Dromineer,’ Ania explains. ‘After the first few training sessions on the lifeboat, I had got to meet really nice, friendly people and found it to be a great experience. Then after passing my first assessment and being allowed to go on the lifeboat, it was like the beginning of an adventure for me. 

‘Being a mum of a small and very busy boy, I am restricted with the amount of time I have to spare between my full-time job and family life. However, I know that in the future I will be able to get more involved in the life of the station. I am looking forward to becoming a fully qualified crew member. I like new challenges and I want to channel it towards learning how to help others. And by living so close to Lough Derg, I want to learn more about the lake, it’s beauty and, it’s dangers.

Among the other new crew members at Lough Derg RNLI, are Richard Nolan, Ciara Lynch, Eimear Kelly and Ciara Moylan.

For Richard, his knowledge from youth of the work the RNLI did on the lake was a major influence in his decision to join the crew, but he also found that having lived away from home in London for almost 10 years, it was a good opportunity to re-integrate into his community.

‘With living on the lake, I knew the RNLI would not only give me a network of people, but the skills and knowledge you need regarding safety on the water. I have really enjoyed how volunteering with the RNLI has engaged me and been a beneficial use of my spare time. It has been great to have a set amount of time each month when I can leave work and the personal stresses of life aside and focus on learning and perfecting the skills we as volunteer crew members need to carry out our work.’

Like Ania and Richard, each RNLI crew member signs up to save every one from drowning – it has been the charity’s mission since 1824. 

This Christmas many will leave their loved ones behind to answer the call, each time hoping to reunite another family, and see those in trouble on the water safely returned. Over the past decade, RNLI lifeboats have launched over 1,200 times during the festive period. But these rescues would not be possible without donations from the RNLI’s generous supporters, helping to fund the essential kit, training and equipment needed by lifeboat crews all year round. 

Richard says: ‘This is my first Christmas on call, and I know even over the festive period, our lifesavers are ready to drop everything at a moment’s notice and rush to the aid of someone in trouble on the water. At this time of year, the weather can be at its worst and lives can be on the line.

‘We know that every time our crews go out, they hope for a good outcome, but sadly this sometimes isn’t the case. We hope that this year’s Christmas appeal will show people just how tough it can be, but also that with their help we can get so much closer to our goal of saving every one.’ 

To make a donation to the RNLI’s Christmas Appeal visit: RNLI.org/Xmas

Ends

RNLI media contacts 
For more information please contact Nuala McAloon, RNLI Regional Media Officer on 00353 87 648 3547 or email Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org.uk or Niamh Stephenson, RNLI Regional Media Manager on 00353 87 1254 124 or Niamh_Stephenson@rnli.org.uk 


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For more information on the RNLI please visit rnli.org. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI News Centre rnli.org/news-and-media.


Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around Ireland and the UK. The RNLI operates 46 lifeboat stations in Ireland. The RNLI is independent of government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. 
Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, the charity has saved over 142,200 lives.


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.