A NEW book providing a collection of first-hand accounts of some of the most dramatic rescues carried out by RNLI lifesavers around Ireland and the UK over the past 20 years, features an incredible feat of bravery by a Cork lifeboat crew.
Told in the words of Castletownbere RNLI Coxswain Dean Hegarty, it provides a first-hand account of the dramatic rescue of a fishing crew in storm force conditions after their vessel lost all power at the harbour entrance of Castletownbere in West Cork.
Six lives were saved that night and the Coxswain is set to receive a medal for gallantry, and the crew and launching authority, letters of thanks from the Institution.
“Within 10 minutes of the original mayday call, we were on the scene,” Mr Hegarty recalls. “What I saw when we arrived, I can’t lie; It almost gave me a heart attack.
“The way the tide was going out and the wind was coming in, it was churning the sea up and creating a big, watery explosion.
“The gales were now peaking at storm force 11. My heart started to race as I watched waves crashing up against the cliffs, with the vessel only 30 or so metres away from the rocky shoreline.”
The book, Surviving The Storms, is now on sale, with royalties from all sales supporting the lifesaving charity.
It features 11 stories of courage and compassion at sea, providing a rare insight into the life-or-death decisions the RNLI have to make when battling the forces of nature and saving lives.
RNLI Chief Executive, Mark Dowie, said: ‘Surviving the Storms is a wonderful account of selflessness and bravery although there is no book big enough to do justice to every RNLI rescue and rescuer. We have hundreds of lifeboat stations and thousands of crew members and lifeguards all dedicated to saving lives.”
Surviving The Storms is published by Harper Collins. Available now.