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Lough Ree RNLI’s New Lifeboat Station Officially Opened and Atlantic 85 Class Lifeboat Named Tara Scougall

11th June 2022
Lough Ree RNLI officially opened its new state-of-the-art lifeboat station and named its inshore Atlantic 85 class lifeboat, Tara Scougall, in memory of a beloved, daughter, wife and mother. The event coincided with Lough Ree RNLI’s tenth anniversary on the lake
Lough Ree RNLI officially opened its new state-of-the-art lifeboat station and named its inshore Atlantic 85 class lifeboat, Tara Scougall, in memory of a beloved, daughter, wife and mother. The event coincided with Lough Ree RNLI’s tenth anniversary on the lake Credit: Tom Cunningham

At a special naming ceremony and service of dedication held today (Saturday 11 June), Lough Ree RNLI officially opened its new state-of-the-art lifeboat station and named its inshore Atlantic 85 class lifeboat, Tara Scougall, in memory of a beloved, daughter, wife and mother. The event coincided with Lough Ree RNLI’s tenth anniversary on the lake.

The honour of officially opening the station went to the RNLI’s Chief Executive Mark Dowie who was visiting from England, while the privilege of naming the lifeboat went to Eleanor and Edward, children of the late Tara Scougall, who the lifeboat is named after.

The privilege of naming the lifeboat went to Eleanor and Edward, children of the late Tara Scougall, who the lifeboat is named after Photo: Tom CunninghamThe privilege of naming the lifeboat went to Eleanor and Edward, children of the late Tara Scougall, who the lifeboat is named after Photo: Tom Cunningham

Tara, daughter of John and Diana, and wife to James, was only 43 when she died prematurely from cancer. She had lived an active life on the water having been introduced to it as a child by her late father John. Tara shared her father’s passion for sailing and for a period, she also ran an online yachting and boating magazine. An avid traveller and explorer in her professional life, Tara was one of a Microsoft team which was responsible for the creation of Expedia. Tara’s father John, meanwhile, received a lifetime achievement award from the RNLI for his work in supporting the charity.

The new lifeboat station at Lough Ree was built at a cost of €1.2m on a site kindly donated by the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland. It has taken just over two years to complete construction. The state-of-the-art facility provides an ideal training base for the volunteer crew and immediate access to the lake for the lifeboat. It replaces the temporary accommodation at Coosan Point where the volunteer crew first launched their lifeboat from 10 years ago on the 28 June. During the last decade, Lough Ree RNLI has responded to over 460 calls for help and brought more than 1,400 people to safety.

Mark Dowie officially opened the lifeboat station before handing it into the care of Damien Delaney, founding member of Lough Ree RNLI who received the keys to the stationMark Dowie officially opened the lifeboat station before handing it into the care of Damien Delaney, founding member of Lough Ree RNLI who received the keys to the station Photo: Tom Cunningham

During today’s naming ceremony, Mark Dowie officially opened the lifeboat station before handing it into the care of Damien Delaney, founding member of Lough Ree RNLI who received the keys to the station.

James Scougall, husband of the late Tara, then handed the lifeboat into the care of the RNLI and having accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the charity, Mr Dowie then handed her into the care of the station where it was accepted by Kevin Ganly, Lough Ree RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager.

During his address, Mr Ganly said the event was a special occasion for the lifeboat station adding that the crew were most grateful to the Scougall family for their generous gift in memory of their daughter, wife and mother:

‘As Lifeboat Operations Manager along with the deputy launching authorities, part of my job is to authorise her launch when requested. It’s my job to send a message to the volunteers, asking them to get down to the station as quick as possible.

‘When the crew arrive here and get kitted up and head out on the lake, we’ll have peace of mind because this lifeboat will help to keep them safe as they save others. On behalf of all the station volunteers, I would like to thank Diana, James, Eleanor and Edward and the late John and Tara. Your generosity has given Lough Ree a lifesaver.’

The Tara Scougall replaces the first lifeboat in service at Lough Ree, the Dorothy May.

‘As Lough Ree RNLI embarks on its latest phase,’ Mr Ganly continued, ‘it’s apt that the volunteer crew on the Lake of Kings will use a lifeboat named after a woman whose first name invokes Tara – the seat of the High Kings of Ireland.’

Father Patrick Murphy and Reverend William Steacy led the congregation in a Service of Dedication before Eleanor and Edward were invited forward to do the naming.

A crowd of well-wishers turned up to see the lifeboat officially named with a bottle of champagne poured over the side before it launched at the end of the ceremony.

Throughout the event, guests were treated to music and song performed by Dermod Foy and P.J Stacey, who together delivered the lifeboat anthem, Home from the Sea and Where the Three Counties Meet. The national anthem was led by the Band 2 Brigade who also led the lifeboat launch at the end of the ceremony with a performance of Zadok the Priest by George Frideric Handel.

Among the guests on the platform party were Mary Hearty, Lough Ree RNLI Lifeboat Administrative Officer, who welcomed guests and opened proceedings, RNLI Chief Executive Mark Dowie who officially opened the lifeboat station and accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the RNLI, Damien Delaney, founding member of Lough Ree RNLI, James Scougall who handed the lifeboat into the care of the RNLI and his children Eleanor and Edward who named the lifeboat, Kevin Ganly, Lough Ree RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, and Lough Ree RNLI Helm Shane McCormack who gave a vote of thanks and closed proceedings.

The Atlantic 85 class lifeboat was introduced into the RNLI fleet in 2005. The lifeboat is 8.4m in length and weighs 1.8 tonnes. Improvements on its predecessor include a faster top speed of 35 knots, radar, provision for a fourth crew member and more space for survivors.

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Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) in Ireland Information

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is a charity to save lives at sea in the waters of UK and Ireland. Funded principally by legacies and donations, the RNLI operates a fleet of lifeboats, crewed by volunteers, based at a range of coastal and inland waters stations. Working closely with UK and Ireland Coastguards, RNLI crews are available to launch at short notice to assist people and vessels in difficulties.

RNLI was founded in 1824 and is based in Poole, Dorset. The organisation raised €210m in funds in 2019, spending €200m on lifesaving activities and water safety education. RNLI also provides a beach lifeguard service in the UK and has recently developed an International drowning prevention strategy, partnering with other organisations and governments to make drowning prevention a global priority.

Irish Lifeboat Stations

There are 46 lifeboat stations on the island of Ireland, with an operational base in Swords, Co Dublin. Irish RNLI crews are tasked through a paging system instigated by the Irish Coast Guard which can task a range of rescue resources depending on the nature of the emergency.

Famous Irish Lifeboat Rescues

Irish Lifeboats have participated in many rescues, perhaps the most famous of which was the rescue of the crew of the Daunt Rock lightship off Cork Harbour by the Ballycotton lifeboat in 1936. Spending almost 50 hours at sea, the lifeboat stood by the drifting lightship until the proximity to the Daunt Rock forced the coxswain to get alongside and successfully rescue the lightship's crew.

32 Irish lifeboat crew have been lost in rescue missions, including the 15 crew of the Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) lifeboat which capsized while attempting to rescue the crew of the SS Palme on Christmas Eve 1895.

FAQs

While the number of callouts to lifeboat stations varies from year to year, Howth Lifeboat station has aggregated more 'shouts' in recent years than other stations, averaging just over 60 a year.

Stations with an offshore lifeboat have a full-time mechanic, while some have a full-time coxswain. However, most lifeboat crews are volunteers.

There are 46 lifeboat stations on the island of Ireland

32 Irish lifeboat crew have been lost in rescue missions, including the 15 crew of the Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) lifeboat which capsized while attempting to rescue the crew of the SS Palme on Christmas Eve 1895

In 2019, 8,941 lifeboat launches saved 342 lives across the RNLI fleet.

The Irish fleet is a mixture of inshore and all-weather (offshore) craft. The offshore lifeboats, which range from 17m to 12m in length are either moored afloat, launched down a slipway or are towed into the sea on a trailer and launched. The inshore boats are either rigid or non-rigid inflatables.

The Irish Coast Guard in the Republic of Ireland or the UK Coastguard in Northern Ireland task lifeboats when an emergency call is received, through any of the recognised systems. These include 999/112 phone calls, Mayday/PanPan calls on VHF, a signal from an emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) or distress signals.

The Irish Coast Guard is the government agency responsible for the response to, and co-ordination of, maritime accidents which require search and rescue operations. To carry out their task the Coast Guard calls on their own resources – Coast Guard units manned by volunteers and contracted helicopters, as well as "declared resources" - RNLI lifeboats and crews. While lifeboats conduct the operation, the coordination is provided by the Coast Guard.

A lifeboat coxswain (pronounced cox'n) is the skipper or master of the lifeboat.

RNLI Lifeboat crews are required to follow a particular development plan that covers a pre-agreed range of skills necessary to complete particular tasks. These skills and tasks form part of the competence-based training that is delivered both locally and at the RNLI's Lifeboat College in Poole, Dorset

 

While the RNLI is dependent on donations and legacies for funding, they also need volunteer crew and fund-raisers.

© Afloat 2020

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