Author: Our Reporter
~ 3 minutes read
The reality of every day for a lifeboat crew member means that everything else takes second place – which is fine unless you’re literally left holding the baby.
Aonghus Ó hIarnáin is getting ready for his first Christmas as Aran Islands RNLI station Coxswain but he’s well aware of the demands that an instant response means every day of the year.
So while he’s looking forward to Christmas with fiancée Treasa and baby daughter Eibhlín, he – and the crew – know that the emergency pager means an end to all plans.
“There have been several times where we plan on going for dinner for example only for the pager to go off and then you are gone for a few hours,” he admits.
“There is a need to know where somebody is at all times, for example on a weekend if Treasa goes for a walk or to the shop and I have our baby on my own.
“If the pager goes off, then we need a plan for where Treasa is gone so that I can collect her with our baby and then they come to the station with me and take my car or that I bring the baby to the station and get Treasa’s parents who are living close the station to collect her.
“This is the side that people don’t see when you are full time on call. Credit goes to Treasa for adapting to this and having patience with me as the demands of the job take me at uncertain times day or night.
“Without her support, it wouldn’t have been possible to take this job and make it work. She understands how vital the RNLI is to the island and the west coast and that we signed up to help keep it going,” he says.
Aonghus is another generation of his family – like so many others – who crew the RNLI lifeboats that keep so many safe at sea. But that can only stay going if the funds continue to flow – and that’s why the RNLI has just launched its annual Christmas fundraising appeal.
Caption: Getting ready…Aran Islands RNLI Coxswain Aonghus Ó hIarnáin with his fiancée Treasa and baby daughter Eibhlín.
To make a donation to the RNLI’s Christmas Appeal, and enable the charity to continue its lifesaving work, visit: RNLI.org/WinterAppeal.
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