Rowers return to thank New Quay RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

Last week, an Irish rowing team, who were rescued by New Quay RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat in November 2021, came back to thank the crew and present the station with a donation of £1,000.

Ken Davies

The Irish ocean rowing team returning to thank New Quay RNLI crew members

The team is training for the Talisker Atlantic Challenge, a 3,000 mile rowing race, from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Antigua in the Caribbean. During a training run from Wicklow to Aberystwyth, the rowers found themselves in difficulty in the middle of the Irish Sea, as their boat capsized during Storm Arwen.

New Quay RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat launched in response to the mayday call, together with Barmouth RNLI lifeboat and a HM Coastguard rescue helicopter from Caernarfon. One of the rowers had suffered a head injury and was airlifted to hospital. In gale force winds and heavy seas, the three remaining rowers were plucked from the water, 18 miles from shore, by New Quay RNLI’s volunteer crew members.

After their dramatic rescue, the rowing team began raising money for the RNLI, the charity that saves lives at sea, as a way of expressing their gratitude. They have also chosen the RNLI as one of the charities they will be supporting during this year’s Talisker Challenge. The annual race begins in early December, with each team rowing in excess of 1.5 million oar strokes during a race which takes over a month to complete.

While on their way from Ireland to Essex to pick up a new ocean rowing boat, the rowers called in at the lifeboat station in New Quay to say thanks to the crew and to present a cheque for £1,000.

Reflecting on their experience, one of the rowers said, “I remember the weather came in much quicker and much worse than we had predicted. The relief on seeing that lifeboat coming towards us was immense.

“I have nothing but praise for the professionalism and efficiency of the RNLI volunteers who saved our lives, they were quite simply remarkable. We were brought back into the shelter of New Quay and the crew were so welcoming and hospitable.”

“We got to go back home to our families that day, but our loved ones could have been facing a very different Christmas had it not been for these fantastic volunteers. I’d urge everyone to support the RNLI as you just never ever know when you’re going to need their help.”

Another of the rowers added, “We wanted to come back and say thanks a million to all the New Quay RNLI crew. Both myself and my family will be forever grateful.”

Daniel Potter, New Quay RNLI’s Coxswain said, “In my 44 years as a lifeboat man, I’ve been on hundreds of shouts, but I can honestly say I’ve never felt such relief that these men were recovered safely. To return them safely to their families is job satisfaction on another scale. I’m not ashamed to say it, there were tears on the boat on that day and it was great to meet up with them again.

“I’d like to thank them for their kind donation of £1,000 and we wish them the best of luck for their Atlantic rowing challenge later this year.”

The RNLI provides a 24-hour search and rescue service around the UK and Irish coasts and depends entirely on voluntary donations maintain this service. If you would like to donate to New Quay Lifeboat Station, please go to: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/new-quayrnli.


RNLI media contact

For more information contact Kate Williams, New Quay Lifeboat Press Officer at [email protected] or 07786 550054. Alternatively contact Eleri Roberts, RNLI Media Officer on 01745 585162 / 07771 941390.


RNLI

The ocean rowing boat capsized at sea

RNLI

A thank you mug from the Irish ocean rowers

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.