05 Oct 2022

Lough Derg RNLI takes charge of new rescue craft

Tipperary rescue service honoured to accept the Jean Spier

Lough Derg RNLI takes charge of new rescue craft

Liam Maloney, Lough Derg RNLI, celebrates the arrival of the Jean Spier with Robert Spier, who donated the craft to the RNLI

Lough Derg RNLI, which is based in Dromineer outside Nenagh, has taken charge of its latest rescue boat, the Atlantic 85 B911 class Jean Spier.

The first group of volunteer crew went afloat with their trainer assessors Helena Duggan and Stephen McNulty, this Monday and the crew will train in three hour shifts everyday this week.

The naming ceremony for the new lifeboat took place at the RNLI Lifeboat College at Poole in the south of England last Saturday, November 10.

The new lifeboat was donated to the charity by Robert and his late wife, Jean Spier, and, having identified Lough Derg RNLI as a station in need of a new lifeboat, the RNLI have put the lifeboat on service on Lough Derg.

Volunteer crew from Lough Derg RNLI and members of the Lough Derg RNLI Fundraising Committee travelled to Poole for the naming ceremony.

In 2016, Robert and Jean Spier, active supporters of the RNLI, intended that together they would donate a new lifeboat to the charity, and were delighted when the Lough Derg B class became available to support.

Sadly, Jean died in October 2017 and Robert is dedicating the new lifeboat, an Atlantic 85 B911 Jean Spier, in her name. 

Niamh McCutcheon, an RNLI Irish Council member and chairperson of Lough Derg Fundraising Committee, accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the RNLI before handing it into the care of Lough Derg RNLI.

Mrs McCutcheon thanked Robert and Jean for “so generously agreeing to fund this lifeboat following your many years of fundraising for the RNLI” and extended an open invitation to Mr Spier to come to Dromineer to visit the station and crew.

Accepting the lifeboat on behalf of the volunteer crew of Lough Derg, Liam Maloney, lifeboat operations manager said: "How proud we are to get this state-of-the-art lifeboat for our station and also to express how grateful and humbled we are by the extremely generous gift from you Robert and your late wife Jean."

Mr Maloney said that the new lifeboat promised quicker response times with more space for casualty recovery and was able to carry more crew during training exercises.

"But most importantly for launch authorities at the station, we have radar to guide our crews home on dark nights and in foggy conditions," he said.

Mr Maloney read a poem, Lifeboat, specially composed for the occasion by Eleanor Hooker, volunteer RNLI helm and poet.

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