Santa Claus hosts training session at Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat station
When volunteers returned to Lough Ree RNLI Lifeboat station, following a week of frosty weather, they discovered that the station had a secret visitor from the North Pole.
The tell-tale signs were of small footprints on the bench in the workshop, a new bell on the charity’s lifeboat ‘Tara Scougall’ and a missing yellow welly! The alarm had not been disturbed but a box of half-eaten biscuits was found in the crew room and a cryptic message was left on the computer saying, ‘it’s in the cloud!’
When Lough Ree RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer opened his email at the station on Sunday morning (18 December) he found a message from Santa Claus.
The message confirmed what the volunteers had expected. Santa said he knew that ‘Lough Ree RNLI had a new building that had no chimney and he wanted to test a new system with his helpers and reindeer to gain access to houses with no chimneys.’
The helpers also used the workshop of Bernie the Elf to include European fittings and batteries on some presents. Comet the reindeer also had an update on new distribution strategies from some of the logistic companies based around Athlone.
It has since emerged that Santa and his little helpers had to launch the lifeboat to rescue Donner and Blitzen from Hare Island after they flew across Lough Ree in search of food. On the way back the crew rescued Rudolf who was stranded on the Hexagon Shoal and would never have been spotted were it not for his red nose!
On a lighter note, it’s reported that Mrs Claus had a well- earned spa break on crew member Shane’s hot tub boat.
In his e mail Santa thanked Lough Ree RNLI for the use of the facility and said he hoped that the crew would be safe and well as they remained on call all over Christmas.
He had one special request which was for a photograph of the new volunteers this year so that he could say Ho! Ho! Ho! if he met them on a shout on Christmas Eve and return the missing yellow welly that had got stuck on Cupid’s hoof!
Responding to the excitement Lough Ree RNLI Operations Manager Kevin Ganly said: ‘visitors are always welcome to the lifeboat station and this Christmas all volunteers, including new crew members (pictured) will be on call 24 hours a day to respond to any emergencies.’
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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