The tragic death of coastguard Caitriona Lucas last week highlighted the great dangers to which our emergency services are exposed on a regular basis.
The Galway public has a chance to honour those who show such bravery, this Sunday when the RNLI Galway Lifeboat Station will throw open its doors to the public, to offer a rare glimpse of the inner workings of this vital public voluntary service that saves over 1,000 lives every year in Irish waters.
Between 12.00pm and 4.00pm, visitors are welcome to tour the lifeboat station, inspect the Galway lifeboat ‘Binny’, and hear first-hand accounts from the voluntary crew about how the service operates.
Mike Swan, Galway Lifeboat Operations Manager, said “Galway Bay is a recreational and commercial water area and safety is a vital factor for everyone who uses the sea. RNLI volunteer crews are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, forming a ring of safety around our coastline.
“Our station Open Day is a great way to introduce the public to the importance of sea safety, meeting the crew and we will be displaying all the artwork from schools around Galway as part of our Art Competition, we’d a great response to last year’s competition and we’re looking forward to receiving a huge entry. The crew are only too happy to share their experiences so we welcome everyone along”
Visitors will have the opportunity to see ‘Binny’ launch and ask questions of the crew. Meet Stormy Stan, Toss a Welly and see how long it takes to get in to a Crew Suit. Other Coastal Rescue and Emergency Services will be on hand to display their services along our coastline.
Experts will be at the Respect the Water road show to talk about water safety and visitors will have an opportunity to feel the force of a tonne of water. As well as carrying out rescues, the RNLI also aims to save lives at sea by preventing people from getting into difficulty in the first place. Safety advice for all water users including fishermen, motor-boaters and sailors will be available at the Station. There will be something for all the family to enjoy.
The Lifeboat is 22 years in Galway — it was opened in 1995 because of the increasing number of search and rescue incidents in the area. Today the station operates an inshore B class Atlantic 85 lifeboat called ‘Binny’. In 2015 the station had 34 ‘Shouts’ (call-outs ) and to date in 2016 have had 44
The Crew at Galway Lifeboat Station appreciates the ongoing support of the public and are looking forward to welcoming young and old to their open day.