"Proud day" for RNLI in Buncrana
THE first Shannon class
RNLI lifeboat to go on service in Ireland was
officially named on Saturday during a special
ceremony in Buncrana.
The €2.4m life-saving vessel which has already been
on 19 call-outs since its arrival on the North West
coast last year was officially named the ‘Derek
Bullivant’ by the man responsible for getting the
RNLI’s latest class of lifeboat named after an Irish
Arklow man Jimmy Tyrrell was with the RNLI for 46
years, making him the charity’s longest serving
lifeboat operations volunteer on his retirement.
He was asked by Lough Swilly RNLI to officially name
the lifeboat and he did so in the time-honoured
tradition of pouring champagne over the bow of the
lifeboat to cheers from the large crowd.
RNLI honorary governor Jimmy Tyrrell
officially names the Lough Swilly RNLI lifeboat
'Derek Bullivant' on June 25, 2016.
It was an emotional day
for Mr Tyrrell, whose family are well-known and
respected boat builders.
"During my lifeboat career I have seen many changes
in lifeboats, from wood, to steel, to fibre-glass
and to today’s composite construction. However, one
thing that has not changed in the RNLI and that is
its people. The basic commitment of crews is the
same. Generations of them have put their lives on
the line and sometimes lost their lives trying to
help those in peril on the seas," said Mr Tyrell.
Some of the Lough Swilly RNLI
volunteer lifeboat crew on board their Shannon class
lifeboat 'Derek Bullivant'.
A small service of
blessing led by Buncrana parish priest Fr Francis
Bradley and Church of Ireland rector Reverend Judi
McGaffin also took place.
The 'Derek Bullivant' lifeboat was funded by
legacies from Derek Bullivant and Valerie Walker.
Lifeboat operations manager John McCarter said:
"While we are in celebratory mood today God knows we
have seen and been closely involved in our share of
tragedy around our community, and we remember all
those who have suffered great loss at the mercy of
the sea. However at Lough Swilly RNLI it also
strengthens our resolve to work harder and keep our
equipment state of the art to enable us to provide
search and rescue service around our coast. The
'Derek Bullivant' lifeboat is testament to that."
Saturday was a "proud day" for Lough Swilly RNLI's
30 male and female volunteers. In its 29 year
history, the local crew have launched 741 times,
brought 568 people to safety and saved 49 lives, the
ceremony was told.