A young woman who joined a lifeboat crew after being saved by its members is appealing for more volunteers to help with its important work.
Síle Scanlon, who at 19 is one of the youngest members of Ballycotton RNLI, knows more than most the immense value of having an organisation dedicated to saving lives off our coast.
Four years ago, she and three friends kayaked out to Ballycotton lighthouse for a walk on the island.
As it was August it came as a surprise that the weather turned so quickly.
“There was a big swell and we were afraid that our kayaks might capsize,” she said.
“We raised the alarm and made our way to the lighthouse where Ballycotton RNLI’s all weather lifeboat came to our assistance. We were very grateful.”
She became a crewmember two years ago and last summer was involved in 10 rescues.
“It’s very rewarding. It’s great for me to give something back because I was rescued myself,” she said.
“Growing up in Ballycotton, I have always had a love for the sea and with my family so involved, the RNLI has always been close to my heart.”
Síle and other members of Ballycotton RNLI are calling on new volunteers to come forward and find out how they can get involved and help to continue to save lives.
The RNLI station needs both voluntary fundraisers, crewmembers and onshore support members and will be hosting an open evening at the lifeboat station at 7.30pm on Monday, February 19.
Síle said the station’s volunteers make an invaluable contribution to the RNLI, be it through crewing the station’s all-weather lifeboat, fundraising, or helping the station to share important safety messages.
Mary Creedon, the RNLI’s community fundraising manager, is urging more people to join their fundraising team locally.
“We are looking for anyone who is willing to offer some of their free time to join what I believe to be one of the most exhilarating and rewarding voluntary services that is out there,” she said.
“Every volunteer receives first-class training from the RNLI and learns new skills which can benefit them in many walks of life. Lifeboat crew members need to have a reasonable level of fitness, have good eyesight, and not be colour blind.
“We are looking for a range of community lifesaving volunteers. Shore crew also play an essential role in the launch and recovery of the lifeboat when it goes on service.”
Anyone who has the time and commitment to volunteer for the charity, which is on call 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, is asked to email Mary_Creedon@rnli.org.uk.
The RNLI operates 46 lifeboat stations and relies on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service.
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