Public urged to 'be there for Baltimore' with fundraising initiative for life-saving service

Public urged to 'be there for Baltimore' with fundraising initiative for life-saving service

Kickstarting ‘Be there for Baltimore’, an initiative to encourage people out and about in West Cork to have a whip-round in support of Baltimore Lifeboat’s efforts to save lives at sea, were: Catherine Maher Thornton (RNLI Baltimore Lifeboat fundraising committee), Annie Baker (Bushe's Bar), John O’Brien (Chair, Fundraising) and Aidan Bushe (Baltimore Lifeboat Coxwain). Picture: Miki Barlok

THE public is being urged to ‘be there for Baltimore’ with a new fundraising initiative in aid of the RNLI Baltimore Lifeboat and their life-saving work.

As Covid-19 restrictions continue to ease, activities ashore and at sea are at their busiest.

With that in mind, the public is being asked to be there for Baltimore Lifeboat, just like the lifeboat has been there for them throughout the challenges of Covid-19.

RNLI Baltimore Lifeboat has been quietly active throughout Covid-19, answering callouts, and remaining on full-alert standby to maintain essential rescue service to islanders of West Cork, the public, and those whose living is derived from the sea.

Aidan Bushe, Coxwain of Baltimore Lifeboat, said people know they can always call on the service 24/7, relying on experienced volunteer crews who know the area intimately and can interact with other rescue services in a timely way, saving lives and keeping people safe as they enjoy water-based activities.

“Our volunteer crews are confident that the ‘Be there for Baltimore’ lifeboat fundraising initiative will appeal to those it serves and help us continue to maintain a relevant local service to rely on with pride,” he said.

Fundraisers Catherine Field and Elaine Haughey pictured at the launch of the ‘Be there for Baltimore’ initiative for RNLI Baltimore Lifeboat. Picture: Miki Barlok 
Fundraisers Catherine Field and Elaine Haughey pictured at the launch of the ‘Be there for Baltimore’ initiative for RNLI Baltimore Lifeboat. Picture: Miki Barlok 

Speaking to The Echo, Mr Bushe said that the voluntary service covers any situation that can arise at sea or on the islands off Baltimore.

“Generally, this time of year a lot of it would be people on holidays on boats and they might just run into difficulty, and we get called out to go out and give assistance."

Recently they assisted a boat that went on fire with three people on board, a serious situation that “can happen to anyone”.

“They got off before we got there but we assisted with putting out the fire, but the boat was destroyed,” said Mr Bushe.

Throughout Covid-19, the service was also available for transfers of anyone in need on the islands.

With fundraising events curtailed through the pandemic, the new initiative is of vital importance and the RNLI Lifeboat is urging those in the area to donate.

“And anybody who is holidaying in the area and uses the waters around Baltimore and Schull, if they see an envelope to donate because they never know when they need it,” added Mr Bushe.

Relying on the generosity of locals and visitors is central to the new fundraising initiative, with people encouraged to complete their celebrations, wherever they are, with a whip-round for the brave volunteer crews.

Partnering with local hostelries in their catchment area, donors will find donor envelopes with pub owners, restauranteurs, and café operators.

The initiative is co-sponsored by Hopkins Marine & CH Marine, and the Lifeboat wishes to also acknowledge the support of Miki Barlok Photography.

Donor envelopes are available at local hostelries in the greater Baltimore catchment area.

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