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New Volunteer Lifeboat Crewmember at Baltimore RNLI Swaps Lifesaving on the Thames for West Cork as Charity Seeks Support for Christmas Appeal

Lifeboats News Release

Baltimore RNLI  has welcomed some new volunteers through their doors since the start of the pandemic. One of these new lifeboat crew volunteers is James Kitt, who joined the West Cork lifeboat station after relocating to Baltimore with his Irish girlfriend Emma.

Male RNLI crew member in rescue kit holds a white RNLI helmet

James was previously RNLI lifeboat crew at Chiswick, on the Thames in London, one of the busiest of the charity’s lifeboat stations. The RNLI is asking the public to support the RNLI this Christmas as lifeboat crews remain on call and ready to drop everything to launch to save those at trouble at sea.

Born in Poole in Dorset, James had worked for the RNLI in the UK some years ago, taking on a water safety role and working on corporate partnerships. He met his Irish girlfriend Emma in the States at a sailing event and the couple decided to relocate to Ireland before the pandemic, moving to Dublin. When the first lockdown came, the couple relocated to Baltimore with James working remotely for an Irish aid organisation. He had been volunteer lifeboat crew at Chiswick in London, a busy lifeboat station and one of four on the Thames. The station operates a powerful E class lifeboat between Richmond and Battersea. However, James has now swapped the busy London life for West Cork and couldn’t be happier finding a lifeboat station where he can use his lifeboat training.

Commenting on his decision to join the lifeboat crew in Baltimore, West Cork, James said, ‘I’m one of a number of new joiners to the lifeboat crew in Baltimore and the level of maritime experience and expertise here is incredible. Although it’s not surprising when you see the love of the sailing here. I’m learning so much from my colleagues and getting into the West Cork way of life. Emma and I love it here and feel very much at home.  Baltimore lifeboat is so embedded in the community, something that’s a little harder to achieve at a busy London station. When there is a callout here everyone is aware of it and the whole place gets behind the crew, it’s fantastic.’

‘When the pager goes, no lifeboat volunteer hesitates to answer the call, and I know first hand that these rescues would not be possible without the donations from the RNLI's generous supporters, helping to fund the essential kit, training equipment needed by Lifeboat crews all year round. Thank you to everyone who supports the appeal this Christmas’

Baltimore RNLI is one of eight lifeboat stations based in Cork, along with Castletownbere, Courtmacsherry, Union Hall, Kinsale, Crosshaven, Ballycotton and Youghal.

To make a donation to the RNLI’s Christmas Appeal visit:

RNLI media contacts 
For more information please contact Kate Callanan, Baltimore RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 0872906607 or email [email protected] or Niamh Stephenson, RNLI Regional Media Manager on 00353 871254 124 or [email protected] or Nuala McAloon, RNLI Regional Media Officer on 00353 87 648 3547 or email [email protected].

RNLI online
For more information, please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the RNLI News Centre.


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.