Lough Ree RNLI volunteer crew assisted 153 people in 2022

Lifeboats News Release

The year just ended was a significant one for Lough Ree RNLI both on and off the water. 2022 witnessed the opening of the charity’s ‘state of the art’ lifeboat station while on the water the volunteer crew responded to 47 call outs during the year.

RNLI/Tom McGuire

Launching in all types of weather, in daylight and darkness, the crew assisted 153 people in 2022 on board 45 boats. In two cases assistance was given to members of the public who encountered difficulties in the waters of Lough Ree.

Lough Ree RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, Kevin Ganly, said: ‘the good news is that all of the calls to assistance had a positive outcome with all members of the public and the volunteer crews coming home safely.’ He concluded that: ‘the charity is entirely dependant on the public to support the operation on Lough Ree.’

Lough Ree RNLI welcomed 16 new volunteers in the past year and now has almost 50 people giving their time and skills to the charity’s operation at Coosan Point.

With 19 volunteers on the boat crew the cost of equipment and training is a significant annual expense. While the initial cost of the charity’s lifeboat ‘Tara Scougall’ was €339k, to keep the boat in service for its lifetime will incur a total cost of €797k. The cost of kitting out a crew member is €4,167 while annual training for each volunteer on the crew is €1,667.

Lough Ree RNLI Treasurer, Vincent Rafter, said: ‘the charity is most grateful to the members of the public who made donations and organised fund-raising events for Lough Ree RNLI in 2022 especially the €100k raised locally for the new lifeboat station.’ He added that: ‘the continued support of the community around the lake, visitors to the midlands and annual donors to the RNLI in 2023 remained critical to the provision of the lifesaving service.’

This coming Thursday (5 January) Lough Ree RNLI hosts a fund-raising table quiz in The Bounty at Buccaneers R.F.C., Athlone at 7.30pm. Tables of four cost €40 and the charity looks forward to welcoming back friends and supporters after the hiatus caused by the pandemic.


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.