Volunteer lifeboat crews with Aran Islands RNLI will now be able to launch their all weather Severn Class lifeboat faster following the installation of a 24 metre pontoon.
The new stable platform will also ensure the transfer of casualties onto or from the lifeboat can be done more easily and safer.
The 56 tonne structure is situated in the harbour between the new breakwater and the original pier.
The work brings to completion a major building project on Inis Mór which has also seen a new lifeboat station built on the site of the old one, giving the volunteer lifeboat crew better facilities including a crew changing area and training room. It represents a significant investment by the charity for the island based lifeboat station, which has been in existence since 1927.
Speaking on the recent works, RNLI divisional operations manager Owen Medland, said: “This development makes the operation of the Aran Islands lifeboat safer for the crew. Maintenance is easier with shore power and water close at hand. Also, most importantly, the transfer and handling of casualties can be done with minimum disruption and on the shore.
“ It has been a long wait, but we are all delighted to finally see the Aran Islands RNLI crew and supporters provided with appropriate modern facilities.”
Aran Islands RNLI coxswain, John O’Donnell, added: “This is a very welcome development for the lifeboat station and the whole community. Many of our callouts are medical evacuations and to have this new stable berth for the lifeboat means that a casualty can be safety moved with a minimum of discomfort. It will also shave a few minutes off our launch times which in some search and rescue situations can be vital.”