Over 250 years of lifesaving service to Bundoran RNLI celebrated

Lifeboats News Release

Tributes were paid on Saturday night (2nd April 2022) to 5 retirees and 7 long service recipients for their commitment and dedication to Bundoran RNLI which amounts to over 250 years of saving lives at sea at the charity.

The event at the Great Northern Hotel was the first major gathering for the crew since 2019 and marked the retirement of 5 personnel including Cpt Hugh Anthony (Tony) McGowan following 28 years at the station, 25 of those in the position of Lifeboat Operations Manager.

Other retirements marked on the night included those of Hugh John Patton as Deputy Launching Authority (28 years), Michael Goodwin - Deputy Launching Authority (5 years), Frank Bourke - Fundraising (25 years) and Patrick McMorrow, Deputy Launching Authority.

The long service of 7 volunteer lifeboat crew members was also marked, with medals presented by the RNLI’s Lifesaving Lead for Ireland Owen Medland. Recipients of long service medals were Elliot Kearns (20 years), James Cassidy (21 years), Michael Patton (22 years), Geraldine Patton (23 years), Dr Philip Murphy (23 years), Brian Gillespie (23 years) and Shane O’Neill (25 years).

Reminiscing over his time, outgoing Lifeboat Operations Manager Tony McGowan thanked his colleagues from the past 28 years adding that all times the station was a team effort and remarked on all the positive changes he has seen over the years including children of crew members now grown up and becoming crew members themselves. The RNLI’s Owen Medland added that “while one era is ending, a new one is beginning at the station and I wish the management team and volunteer crew well into the 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 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.

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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.