A packed Coastguard station on a wet Saturday afternoon in Greencastle saw the unveiling of the much anticipated 200,000 euro nine-metre lifeboat.
Blessed by representatives from the local churches , the St. Finnan’s boat will provide the crew with a faster and safer way to get to incidents, holding up to six people in the process.
Members of the community, Gardai, coastguard personnel and local representatives in the village turned out to see the new boat underlying the importance the coastguard has in the community.
Officer in charge, Charles Cavanagh pointed to the rescue of six fishermen carried out by the Sligo, Malin Head and Belfast coastguard on Friday morning.
“It is very poignant that we should be getting this boat the day after crew from a local fishing trawler, Amy Jane, were rescued off Malin Head. I would like to congratulate the RNLI and the coastguards involved in the mission.”
He commented how the Greencastle Coastguard unit had “come a long way” since it was re-established.
“When we started we had a small 14 foot inflatable boat which in bad weather wasn’t operational so I would definitely say we have come a long way in terms of standards. I would like to thank the Minister of Transport for making the funding available for the project.”
Representing the Minister, Deputy Joe McHugh said he was delighted to be invited and that Friday’s events were a “good news” story from a safety point of view.
“The safety measures taken by the fishermen who were on the boat helped make the rescue mission possible. Of course it must have been traumatic for them but it was a perfect example of cross border agencies and sea and air services working together. It is a massive objective but each these groups have the same aim - to save lives.”
Deputy McHugh said the voluntary element in the Coastguard was “unique” as there was a determination and strive for “excellence” against the members.
In attendance on the day, representing an Gardai Siochana, Buncrana Inspector David Murphy said it was nice to see so many local people in the community supporting the work of the coastguard.
Speaking after the blessing local Labour councillor Martin Farren said he would like to congratulate the Greencastle coastguard on receiving this excellent boat.
He added it was nothing more than they deserved.
“They are a great bunch of people who carry out a very dangerous job voluntarily, we are very fortunate to have this calibre of people living in our community.
“This launch comes the day after the rescue of six fishermen from a crabber off Malin Head, thankfully all the crew members are safe and well following the excellent work carried out by the emergency services. This emphasises the necessity of modern equipment to safeguard our fishermen and other users of the coastal waters, ” concluded the Moville man.