Galway RNLI volunteer crew presented with long service awards
In recognition of their dedication and commitment of time, energy and skills, seven members of the Galway RNLI crew were presented with long service awards for achieving 50, 100, 150 and 200 services.
Each time the crew members respond to their pagers and head out to sea on a rescue, counts as a service. The seven crew had amassed a total of 900 services between them which included 200 services by David Oliver who has been with the Galway RNLI crew since the station opened in 1995.
Mike Swan, Lifeboat Operations Manager with Galway RNLI said: ‘Every year we recognise the dedication of our volunteer crew by presenting long service awards. This year we have a number of crew who achieved significant milestones including Lisa McDonagh with 50 services, Shane Folan and Olivia Byrne with 100 services, Declan Killilea, Brian Niland and David Badger with 150 services in addition to David Oliver with a record 200 services.
‘Our lifeboat volunteers have all kinds of backgrounds and jobs. At a moment’s notice, they readily exchange work, comfort or sleep for cold, wet and fatigue. They spend many hours of their own time training together so they can meet the dangers and challenges they face on search and rescue missions at sea.
‘The awards are not just to celebrate the achievements of the crew who are willing to drop everything at the sound of their pager, but also their families and friends who play a key role in supporting our crew to spend time saving lives at sea and being there for them when they get home after what may sometimes be a very challenging day or night on the water.
‘Our volunteer lifeboat crew is on call 24/7, 365 days a year. The average time from the call from the Coast Guard requesting the lifeboat and crew to launch, to the boat and crew being on the water is approximately 10 minutes, day or night.
‘The area covered by the Galway RNLI Lifeboat and crew is the section of Galway Bay east of a line between Black Head in County Clare and Spiddal, County Galway and includes Barna, Salthill, Galway City and the mouth of the River Corrib, Oranmore, Kinvara, Newquay and Ballyvaughan.
‘Last year our crew and lifeboat launched 33 times and came to the aid of 31 people. This is only possible due to the dedication of our crew who go to sea and the wider group of volunteers who provide shore support and fundraising support which in turn relies on the generosity of our community in Galway further afield.’
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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