By Ivan Smyth
Clifden RNLI has welcomed its new £2.4 million lifeboat. There was also a big ‘dry land’ welcome for the new Shannon-class lifeboat, the first all-weather lifeboat to use waterjets instead of traditional propellers.
The new 25 knot vessel will significantly cut response times for the crew and help them reach casualties faster.
It was developed to operate in the worst of sea conditions and is self-righting, automatically turning the right side up in the event of capsizing.
And this is also the first time that an Irish river has been used as a name for a lifeboat in the 195-year history of the RNLI.
The Shannon-class lifeboat replaces the Clifden station’s 15 knot Mersey vessel which will be retired.
The Clifden crew alone helped 26 people to safety while the Galway Lifeboat Station aided nine individuals. The Aran Islands crew assisted eight people to safety.