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Corrib Mask Search and Rescue mark coming of age with brand new boat

Corrib Mask Search and Rescue celebrated its 21st birthday by taking delivery of a new, modern boat for life-saving operations on two Galway and Mayo lakes.

Costing about €30,000, the new search and rescue boat was funded through CLÁR, the Government’s community development scheme and through local donations and fundraising.

It will replace a D-Class, inflatable boat that has been there since the group was founded.

“It’s a long overdue upgrade,” said Robert Wilkes, secretary of Corrib and Mask Search and Rescue.

The voluntary organisation with current membership of about 22 volunteers have two bases – in Lisloughrey, for the Corrib, and at Tourmakeady for Mask.

The group is part of the Clonbur branch of the Irish Red Cross. It gets some grants from the Irish Coast Guard and local authorities, but most funding is raised through donations and fundraising initiatives to cover day-to-day operation costs.

“We get a substantial amount of calls on the two lakes over a year,” Mr Wilkes  are a declared resource of the Coast Guard. If someone makes a 999 or 112 call, we are tasked by the Coast Guard to go out and perform whatever duties are needed. We do life-saving; if someone has an issue with their boat and needs to be towed, we do that; and we also unfortunately do a lot of search and recovery activities where someone may be lost and we have to go out and recover,” he said.

The new boat is called a Pioneer Multi and has up-to-date technology, including a drop-down front so the front of the boat can be dropped into the water.

This makes it easier to get someone out of the water and gets rid of the need to carry someone over the side of the boat. It also means it is wheelchair accessible, and better for people with limited mobility.

It is made from hard plastic, unlike the previous inflatable one, and so is more robust.

The boat, which was launched at an event recently and has already seen action on the water.

Pictured: Past and present Members of Corrib Mask Search & Rescue at the launch of their two new boats at Lisloughrey Pier (back – from left) Neil O’Maher, Vincent Heneghan , Tim Clesham, Johnny Kenny, Mary Egan, Paddy Joe Joyce, Adrian Birch, Neil Winters, Pat Egan, Aidan McAllen, Kevin Kerrigan , Mike Gibbons , Kevin Coyne, Mark Gibbons and Colm McDonald, with (front) Robert Wilkes, Maeve McAllen, Sean Burke, Damien O’Malley, Des Joyce, Alan Daly and Shane Rogan. Photos: Trish Fode.


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