Dunmore East RNLI celebrates International Women’s Day
For generations, women have saved lives, launched lifeboats, and raised millions for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI). At Dunmore East RNLI, women are continuing this lifesaving legacy.
At the age of 18, Raina Freiberg, joined the RNLI in Tramore in 2005, eager to make a difference in her community. Now part of the Dunmore East RNLI lifeboat crew, she is proud to have served on four lifeboats and three different lifeboat classes, gaining valuable experience and skills over the course of nearly 20 years service with the charity.
Raina said: ‘As a woman in the RNLI, I feel privileged to be part of the station where Frances Glody paved the way in RNLI history.’
In 1981, Dunmore East’s Frances Glody became the first female RNLI all-weather lifeboat crew member in Ireland. Today, women make up around 12.3% of the RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew, a figure which is steadily growing. Raina is pleased to see the changes over the years, such as the new crew kit designed specifically for women.
She says it's the little things that make big differences: ‘I’m thrilled to see all-female crews saving lives at sea and I believe that there is an opportunity for women to fulfil any role they desire in the RNLI. We are all working together to save lives and keep people safe.’
Sue Kingswood, RNLI Inclusion and Diversity Manager said: ‘Creating an inclusive culture which supports diversity is key to our long-term sustainability. So, we’re working hard to make sure that a wide range of people see the RNLI as a charity where they’re welcome as volunteers, supporters or staff.
‘As we approach our 200th anniversary, women are now more evident in operational search and rescue (SAR ) roles throughout the RNLI than they have ever been before. They are also better represented across operational management and in SAR training roles, which is great to see.
‘However, we still have a long way to go to achieve the representation we would like, not only where women are concerned, but across a much broader spectrum of diversity too.’
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.