Volunteer Tom Hayes passes out as fully qualified crew member at Lough Derg RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

Following his final assessment with Helena Duggan, RNLI Assessor/Trainer, earlier this month, Tom Hayes has been passed out as a fully qualified lifeboat crew member with Lough Derg RNLI.

Tom in his RNLI kit standing by the bow of the lifeboat

RNLI/Eleanor Hooker

Tom Hayes, volunteer crew member, Lough Derg RNL

Encouraged by volunteer helm, Dom Sharkey, Tom joined the station first as a Deputy Launching Authority, a responsibility he held for two years. The role of Deputy Launching Authority is central to operations within all RNLI lifeboat stations, as he/she will make the decision to launch the lifeboat when a request is made by the Coast Guard to do so. Once the decision to launch is made, crew pagers are activated and both lifeboat crew and shore crew immediately travel to the station to attend to the call out.

Watching volunteers train and launch on Shouts, and encouraged by Liam Maloney, former Lifeboat Operations Manager (now Deputy Launching Authority), Tom decided to enrol as a trainee lifeboat crew at the station. Tom says he had no previous boating experience, but that his training was ‘comprehensive, and very educational’. He commends the support his received from his fellow volunteers saying they were ‘exceptionally generous with their time and experience’.

Tom says that when his pager goes off it’s a ‘get your keys and go scenario’, adding ‘of course I wonder what kind of a call out it’s going to be, but I feel good that I’m with a great team and that we’re going to help someone’.

From Limerick originally, Tom and his family live just outside the busy market town of Nenagh. As a transport driver for Waterways Ireland, Tom’s office is located in Portumna at the northern end of Lough Derg, where, he says, he can see the lake from his desk. He says being a fully qualified crew is a ‘great achievement for me, I love being able to give something back to the community and that certainly is the case with the RNLI’.

If you think you would like to become a volunteer with the RNLI, you can read more here on what it entails here https://rnli.org/support-us/volunteer/how-you-can-volunteer/be-a-lifeboat-station-volunteer


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Notes to editors

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Eleanor Hooker, Lough Derg RNLI volunteer helm and Lifeboat Press Officer on 0877535207 or [email protected] or Nuala McAloon, Regional Media Officer on 0876483547 [email protected] or Niamh Stephenson, Regional Media Manager on 0871254124 or [email protected]

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Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around Ireland and the UK. The RNLI operates 46 lifeboat stations in Ireland. The RNLI is independent of government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, the charity has saved over 142,700 lives.

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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