New lifeboat for the west is named


Over the last decade, the RNLI's lifeboat service on the west coast has improved dramatically, with some £10 million invested in new boats and stations. The naming and dedication of the latest boat, a semi-rigid inflatable based in Galway docks, was therefore the occasion for a particular celebration.

Several hundred guests gathered at the newly-built lifeboat station on Saturday for the dedication and blessing, conducted by Bishop James McLoughlin, the Rev Paul Mooney and the Rev Robert Cobain. The 7.5 metre boat was named Dochas by Ms Susannah Kipling, who travelled from Poole in Dorset for the occasion with her husband, Mr Ray Kipling, who is deputy director of the RNLI. The name was chosen by means of a competition in the local media.

The Atlantic 75 class boat is the fastest in the RNLI fleet, with a top speed of 29 knots. It is ideal for working in shallow water or shoals, as it floats on three feet of water. It can travel for three hours at top speed, giving it a considerable range.

The £75,000 cost of the boat was raised locally, and a further £75,000 was contributed to the cost of the lifeboat station. The 22 volunteers who crew the boat include two fishermen, a college student, a school principal, a plumber, a bus driver, a mechanic, a helicopter pilot, a house painter and an environmentalist. Three of them are women.