Fethard RNLI mark special anniversary with major search and rescue exercise
Over the weekend Fethard RNLI marked the 25th anniversary of the reopening of their lifeboat station, with an impressive search and rescue display off Baginbun Beach in Wexford.
The search and rescue demonstration involved Fethard RNLI and their flanking lifeboat stations, Dunmore East RNLI and Kilmore Quay RNLI along with Fethard Coast Guard and Rescue 117. The Wexford based lifeboat station had been off service for a period of 82 years before locals were successful in getting the historic lifeboat station reopened with an inshore lifeboat in 1996.
As the weather held off, a crowd gathered to observe lifeboat crews from Fethard, Dunmore East and Kilmore Quay, carry out a scenario which saw the three RNLI lifeboat crews work as a team to form search patterns to locate survivors of a fictional light aircraft, which had reportedly come down just off Baginbun Head. When located, the casualties were brought ashore where the volunteer crew of Fethard Lifeboat administered casualty care and transferred them into the care of Fethard Coast Guard. In the final part of the exercise, Waterford based Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117 flew overhead; in this scenario the helicopter crew would have airlifted the casualties onboard to receive more urgent medical care and transport to hospital.
Also present on the day were members of the RNLI’s Water Safety team, who provided advice and handed out waterproof pouches to water sports enthusiasts for the safe keeping of their mobile phones when they are out on the water.
Speaking about the joint exercise to mark the 25th anniversary, Volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager for Fethard RNLI, Walter Foley said, ‘This major exercise between the three RNLI lifeboat stations, Fethard Coast Guard and Rescue117 shows the public the services that are available to them when things go wrong. It highlights the importance of always carrying a means of calling for help on your person and to call 999 or 112 if you or someone else gets into trouble.’
Walter continued saying ‘We, at Fethard RNLI, would like to thank all the volunteers who gave up their time to take part in the exercise, and we would especially like to thank the public, our supporters, who came out even when the weather was not looking too great. It’s been an incredible 25 years and we look forward to serving our community for many more years to come.’
RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact Fethard RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer Mark Brennan Tel: 086 26 79624 email: Mark_Brennan@rnli.org.uk or Niamh Stephenson, RNLI Ireland Media Manager Tel: 087 1254 124 or Niamh_Stephenson@rnli.org.uk or Nuala McAloon, RNLI Ireland Media Officer Tel: 087 648 3547 or email Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org.uk
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.