Lough Derg RNLI celebrates volunteers on International Womens Day
For generations, women have saved lives, launched lifeboats, and raised millions for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI). At Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat Station, women are continuing this lifesaving legacy.
Today on International Women’s Day we celebrate the women of our station and thank them.
Ania Skrzypczynska, a busy mother of one, joined
RNLI as a volunteer crew member in 2020.
Ania, a Polish native, says she joined the RNLI because she wanted to ‘become part of the community after moving to Dromineer. After the first few training sessions at the lifeboat station, I had got to meet really nice, friendly people and found it to be a great experience’.
‘Then after passing my assessments and going out on the lifeboat, it was like the beginning of an adventure for me.
Being a mum of a small and very active boy, for the moment I am restricted with the amount of time I have to spare between my full-time job and family life. However, I know that in the future I will be able to get more involved in the life of the station.
I am looking forward to becoming a fully qualified crew member. I like new challenges and I want to channel it towards learning how to help others. And by living so close to Lough Derg, I want to learn more about the lake, its beauty and, its dangers.’
It is 54 years since the first woman qualified as an RNLI crew member, women make up around 12.3% of the RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew, a figure which is steadily growing.
Eleanor Hooker, volunteer helm said: ‘International Women's Day celebrates women’s achievements and the empowerment of all women. Irrespective of what role volunteers perform for the wider Lough Derg RNLI team, we are one crew and everyone is equal. It doesn’t matter if you are female or male, we are all working together to save lives and keep people safe.’
Ciara Lynch, volunteer crew said: ‘If we can inspire other women and girls to think that this is something they can do too, it makes what we do even more rewarding’.
Doireann Kennedy, a sailor and volunteer crew at Lough Derg RNLI would encourage ‘anyone thinking about joining the RNLI to just give it a go. Even if you haven’t got any background on the water or don’t know your way around a boat, there are roles for everyone and the training and support is comprehensive’.’
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.’
RNLI media contacts
For more information, please contact Eleanor Hooker, Lough Derg RNLI volunteer helm and Lifeboat Press Officer on 087 7535 207, email [email protected]
or Nuala McAloon, RNLI Regional Media Officer on 087 648 3547 or email [email protected] or Niamh Stephenson, RNLI Regional Media Manager on 087 1254 124 or [email protected]
For more information on the RNLI please visit rnli.org. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI News Centre rnli.org/news-and-media.
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI is the charity that 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 142,200 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.
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.