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Courtmacsherry RNLI’s New Shannon Class Lifeboat Arrives

22 January 2023 @ 1:45 pm

UPDATE: Confirmed arrival is 1:45pm, Sunday, 22nd January.

Original article at afloat.ie:

The West Cork community of Courtmacsherry are set to welcome the latest RNLI lifeboat to be based in Ireland to their village next Sunday, 22nd January.

This Shannon class lifeboat is unique in the RNLI’s fleet as it has been designed by an Irish engineer and is the first Lifeboat class to be called after an Irish river.

The Lifeboat named “Val Adnams” is due to arrive in Courtmacsherry, led by a flotilla of local boats, at exactly 13.45, which is also the operational number of the lifeboat.

Its arrival marks the start of a new chapter in the story of search and rescue on the south coast.

The Shannon lifeboat is the latest in a long line of search and rescue boats provided by the RNLI to Courtmacsherry over the past 198 years. Courtmacsherry, along with Arklow are the oldest Lifeboat Stations in Ireland, having been founded in 1825. It’s 27 years since the last new Trent class Lifeboat arrived in 1995, and it’s only the 11th Lifeboat to be stationed in Courtmacsherry since the arrival of the first RNLI boat, “The Plenty” in 1825.

A significant proportion of the funding for the new Courtmacsherry Lifeboat has been provided through a very generous donation from Val Adnams, who grew up in Preston and Weymouth in the UK and now resides in Idahoe in the USA.

From a young age, Val Adnams was an avid sailor and sportsperson who possessed an early interest in the Lifeboat Service, as she witnessed the callouts of the local Weymouth Lifeboat going to the help of others in distress at sea. At the age of 23, she moved to Washington DC where she worked on Capital Hill for some years before meeting her lifelong partner in Bandera, Texas, and she now resides in Idahoe. Val Adnams and some of her family intend to travel to Courtmacsherry in September for the Naming Ceremony of the Lifeboat.

Members of the Courtmacsherry Crew under Coxswain Sean O’Farrell departed on Sunday for Poole in Dorset, where they will continue their extensive training and passage journey home.

Of note is that the Shannon class was designed by Derry man Peter Eyre who, as a child, was rescued himself by Lough Swilly RNLI in Donegal. The Shannon class lifeboat is the most modern all-weather lifeboat propelled by water jets instead of traditional propellers, making it the most agile and manoeuvrable all–weather lifeboat in the RNLI’s fleet.

Courtmacsherry voluntary Lifeboat Operations Manager Brian O’Dwyer said, ‘We want the people of Courtmacsherry and the surrounding areas to come on Sunday to welcome the new lifeboat home. The station has been looking forward to this day for a long time, and there is huge excitement. The past few weeks and months have been spent in preparation and training by all the crew to receive this incredible piece of kit from the RNLI. It is the most technologically advanced lifeboat in the fleet, and it will proudly serve the southwest coast for many years to come.’

‘We are incredibly honoured to receive it, and we are grateful to our donor “Val Adnams” and to all those involved at our Station down through the years who have made this day possible. We hope to bring many loved ones safely home in this new lifeboat.’


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