Monday 14 October 2019

RNLI opens doors for insight into its life-saving activities

At the Wexford RNLI Open Day were, from left, James Flood, Damien Foley, David Marskell and Frank O’Brien
At the Wexford RNLI Open Day were, from left, James Flood, Damien Foley, David Marskell and Frank O’Brien

Brendan Keane

The Wexford branch of the RNLI opened its doors recently to give local people an insight into what the organisation does and to give the public an opportunity to view the local branch facilities.

The PRO for the unit, Lorraine Galvin, spoke to this newspaper about the event and said it was organised to give people better access to the organisation.

Crew members were on hand to talk to people and to give advice about safety while on the water.

The local branch is one of the busiest in the county and over the last fortnight was involved in three separate call outs.

Ms Galvin highlighted the fact that members of the public shouldn't be afraid to call the emergency services if they think someone is in difficulty on a river or out at sea.

'The important thing is that people ring the correct number,' she said.

The correct approach is for people to phone 999 or 112 and then report what they've seen.

'They [the emergency services] will then task the lifeboat and the Gardai might be called as well depending on the incident,' said Ms Galvin.

The RNLI advises people not to enter water themselves but to always look out for life buoys that could be thrown to people in difficulty to help them.

'We have saved three people from drowning since the start of the year,' said Ms Galvin. The lifeboat has around four or five major call-outs per year and the crew also trains twice-a-week to constantly update their skills. A significant aspect to the RNLI that members of the public often forget is that it is a volunteer-led charity organisation and the crew members don't get paid for what they do. In addition to its work as part of the rescue services members of the RNLI also volunteer their time, on occasion, to ensuring people's safety social events taking place on water.

The open day was a great success and the organisers were delighted to showcase their facilities.

Wexford People