A WOMAN whose great aunt was lucky to “jump ship” from the ill-fated Titanic is to open a lifeboat station on the south coast.
It’s the second time that Kinsale RNLI will have been grateful for the generosity of Sally-Anne Odell, known to her friends as Baggy.
In 2003, Ms Odell, who lives in southern England, donated €80,000 to help the RNLI unit purchase an inshore lifeboat.
As a thank you, the crew named the boat after her.
Tomorrow, Ms Odell will get off a cruise ship and visit the harbour town where she will be guest of honour at the official opening of the new lifeboat station.
The RNLI would not disclose the amount of money Ms O’Dell donated to the lifeboat station, which cost nearly €1 million, but said she was “a very generous donor”.
Some of the money was also donated by the Riverdance group, which selected the RNLI as their chosen charity on their recent successful summer tour.
The new lifeboat station is a purpose-built building providing the volunteer lifeboat crew with modern changing facilities and storage for their B Class inshore lifeboat. The building replaces the temporary facilities from which the crew have operated since 2003.
“This event marks the culmination of many years of effort by fundraisers and advocates, which in 2003 saw Kinsale RNLI established as the 41st lifeboat in Ireland,” an RNLI spokeswoman said.
Ms O’Dell’s great aunt, Kate, travelled on the Titanic’s maiden voyage from Southampton to Cherbourg and then on to Cobh, or Queenstown as it was known at the time.
Fortunately for her, she then decided to leave the vessel, which sank off Nova Scotia during the early hours of April 15, 1912, with the loss of 1,517 lives.
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