THE CLIFDEN Lifeboat Station has become the first on the west coast of Ireland to take delivery of one of the RNLI’s Shannon class lifeboats.
On Aug 1, the RNLI said the Brianne Aldington replaces the Galway station’s 15-knot Mersey class lifeboat, which is to be sold. The new lifeboat comes from the charity’s relief fleet, having been built two years ago. The 24 strong Connemara-based crew are a family affair, with two of the station’s four Coxswain’s being brothers, and a husband and wife and a father and son.
Clifden Coxswain James Mullen said: “Four years ago, we received our first all-weather lifeboat, the Fisherman’s Friend, on a two year trial and we were thrilled with her. It meant that we could launch in all-weathers and cover greater distances.
“Bringing the 25-knot Brianne Aldington home on the last leg from Baltimore to Clifden was a proud moment. As we rounded Loop Head, we hit a bit of weather which really made her dance. The ergonomic seats bear the force of the impact of the lifeboat hitting the waves.
“The improved communications mean the crew can talk to each other by linked headsets and can hear each other above the noise and receive information directly from the Coast Guard.” There are also currently two Shannon class lifeboats at Lough Swilly in Donegal and Clogherhead in Louth with a relief lifeboat at Wicklow.