Posthumous degree for Irish coast guard volunteer who died on search mission

The first Irish Coast Guard volunteer to die on a search mission has been awarded a posthumous degree.

Caitrionas Lucas, 41, a librarian from Co Clare, had been studying for a BSc in information and library studies when she died at sea off the coast of Co Clare last September.

The mother of two, who also volunteered with the Search and Rescue Dog Association and was an artist, drowned when the rescue boat she was in with two colleagues capsized in heavy Atlantic swell off Kilkee.

She had been studying by distance learning with Aberystwyth University in Wales since June 2015.

The college held a minute’s silence as it honoured her at a graduation ceremony attended by widower Bernard and the couple’s son Ben on Thursday.

Professor Judy Broady-Preston, director of the Institute of Professional Development at the university, said the honour was about remembering Ms Lucas’s life and achievements.

"An excellent and popular student, Caitriona was due to complete her degree in 2017. Aber students and staff remember her lively personality, energy, enthusiasm and professional commitment," she said.

Ms Lucas, originally from Ballyvaughan, Co Clare, was the first member of the Irish Coast Guard to die on duty.

She volunteered about 700 hours a year with the service and had been working with them for about 10 years.

She and her husband were both members of the Doolin unit.


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