The new Lough Swilly lifeboat was officially named the ‘Derek Bullivant’ at a ceremony in Buncrana yesterday.
Lough Swilly Lifeboat Station was the first in Ireland to receive the new styled Shannon lifeboat, which has a top speed of 25 knots and 250 nautical miles, with its modern design it can operate in some of the worst sea conditions.
Since it’s introduction to the North West last year, the lifeboat has been called out a total of 19 times.
The official naming of the “Derek Bullivant” was carried out by Arklow man Jimmy Tyrrell, an RNLI volunteer for 46 years who spearheaded the campaign to have a lifeboat class named after an irish river.
That wish was finally realised with the design and manufacture of the Shannon class lifeboat.
Accepting the lifeboat, Lough Swilly Lifeboat Operations Manager John McCarter said while Buncrana and the Lough Swilly catchment have seen their share of tragedy, they are resolved to working harder and keeping their equipment up to date.
He said there are thirty volunteers at Lough Swilly RNLI, a number of them serving for many years
In the 29 years since Lough Swilly RNLI was established, he said, crews have launched 741 times, brought 568 people to safety and saved forty-nine lives.
Pictures – Clive Wasson