Life savers under strain because of fine summers


THE fine summer weather of the last two years has strained voluntary life saving services. The Dublin Bay lifeboat recorded a 43 per cent increase in activity in 1995-96 for this reason, the RNLI reported yesterday.

The all weather vessel stationed in Dun Laoghaire saved five lives on 28 services to date this year. The inshore vessel was involved in 13 services and saved four lives in the same period. Delivering its annual report last night, the RNLI branch responsible for Dublin Bay also said its new vessel, Anna Livia, was off station for much of this year, due to gear problems and faults.

The Anna Livia, which was the first Treat class lifeboat to be stationed in Ireland, was delivered to Dun Laoghaire in May 1994, after an intensive fund raising campaign. In May of this year, the starboard engine had to be replaced due to a problem with timing gear on the fuel injection pump. It was decided to replace the vessel's bilge keels, a measure taken by the RNLI in Poole for all Treat class lifeboats following an original fault.

The relief Treat vessel, Henry Heys Duckworth, stood in for most of the intervening period until the Anna Livia returned from Holyhead on October 19th. A Waveney class vessel covered the last few weeks.

Dun Laoghaire also marked the 10th anniversary of its in shore vessel this year. The craft has saved 32 lives and has been called to service on 185 occasions over the past decade. The busiest year was 1992, with 26 services, according to the station.