New Cork inshore lifeboats in Youghal and Crosshaven

Two new B class Atlantic 85 inshore boats handed over at separate naming ceremonies

The official introduction of new inshore lifeboats in both Youghal and Crosshaven in Co Cork at the weekend will enhance the service provided by the RNLI to seafarers with both new boats better equipped to operate in poor visibility, according to the RNLI.

Both boats, the 'Gordon and Phil' in Youghal in East Cork and the 'John and Janet' in Crosshaven in Cork Harbour are Atlantic 85, the latest version of the B class inshore lifeboat used by the RNLI at stations all around the coasts of Ireland and the UK.

According to Nuala McAloon of the RNLI, the new Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat, which has been introduced into the service over the last number of years, is powered by two 115 horsepower engines and has a stronger hull and greater top speed than her predecessor.

“The added radar allows the crew to operate more effectively in poor visibility and she also has VHF direction-finding equipment. The vessel also has a manually operated self-righting mechanism which combined with inversion-proofed engines keep the lifeboat operational even after capsize.”


The new boats were delivered to Youghal and Crosshaven RNLI earlier this year and both have been involved in several rescue missions during the course of the summer but were formally named and officially handed over to the two stations at separate ceremonies this weekend.

The new inshore Youghal boat was purchased with a bequest from the late Gwenda Bull, a native of Brighton in the UK who was a strong supporter of the charity's volunteers in saving lives at sea, and is named in honour of the late Ms Bull's parents, Gordon and Phil.

The new boat, which was named on Saturday by eight-year-old local girl Izzy O'Connell and Youghal RNLI Deputy Launching Authority, Albert Muckley, replaces the Patricia Jennings which was launched 175 times over the last 13 years, saving nine lives and rescuing 233 people.

Fergus Hopkins, Youghal RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said that the naming ceremony was a very special occasion for Youghal RNLI Lifeboat Station, which was founded in 1857,and they were especially grateful to the late Ms Bull for her generous legacy which funded the new boat.

"Last year Youghal RNLI launched 12 times and rescued 10 people and we know the new Atlantic 85 lifeboat, Gordon and Phil will continue to assist our volunteer crew as they go about their lifesaving work," said Mr Hopkins.

Meanwhile, the new Crosshaven boat was funded by funded by an anonymous donor who was represented at Sunday’s naming ceremony by Irish marine journalist Tom MacSweeney who formally handed the lifeboat into the care of the RNLI.

The new lifeboat was officially named by Paddy Crowley whose late father Con was the long serving helm of the Crosshaven boat and the new craft replaces Miss Betty, the station's first permanent lifeboat, which was on service in Crosshaven since the station was formally established 14 years ago.

Crosshaven RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Patsy Fegan said that all at the station were grateful to the anonymous donor who funded their new lifeboat. "Since the lifeboat went on service in June, it has launched 17 times and rescued 34 people," he said.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times