'What might have happened only hit me much later': Cork man rescued by RNLI helps launch fundraising campaign

'What might have happened only hit me much later': Cork man rescued by RNLI helps launch fundraising campaign

The RNLI launches its annual Mayday for funds with Peter Connon from Cork who was rescued by lifeboat crew along with four young members of his family when their sailing boats capsized off Youghal on Easter Monday. Pictured with Peter Connon are volunteer lifeboat crew from Youghal Erik Brooks and Liam Keogh who were involved in the rescue.Picture: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

GEARING up for what it expects to be a busy summer, the RNLI has launched its Mayday Mile campaign in a bid to raise much-needed funds.

The charity’s rescue figures for 2020 show that volunteer lifeboat crews at its eight lifeboat stations in Cork launched 88 times and brought 99 people to safety.

Volunteer lifeboat crews are getting ready for what they expect will be a busy few months with people continuing to holiday at home.

Last year, with the country dealing with restrictions put in place to fight the pandemic, lifeboat crews around Ireland were still busy, bringing 1,145 people to safety.

The RNLI’s Mayday campaign begins on Saturday, May 1 and runs throughout the month.

Lifesavers are calling on supporters to join the Mayday Mile and cover the distance for the charity in any way they chose to raise vital funds to help lifeboat crews continue their work.

Cork man Peter Connon, who last Easter Monday was rescued by the RNLI, along with four young members of his family when their two sailing crafts capsized in a squall off the coast, is urging people to sign up online.

“I’ve lived in Youghal all my life and I’m an experienced sailor, as are my family. That day we took every precaution, but the weather turned, and we quickly found ourselves in serious trouble. 

"We didn’t hesitate to raise the alarm and our equipment and knowledge kept us safe until help arrived. I can’t describe the feeling of joy when you see those big orange lifeboats come into view,” Mr Connon said.

“My family are so grateful to Youghal and Ballycotton RNLI and to the paramedics and Coast Guard crews who attended to us that day. What might have happened only hit me much later. “

Mr Connon is undertaking the Mayday Mile fundraiser to thank the RNLI and says that hopefully by sharing his story other people will know that anyone can get into difficulty.

For details see RNLI.org/supportMayday

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