The West Cork community of Courtmacsherry is set to welcome the latest RNLI lifeboat to be based in Ireland to their village on Sunday.
The state-of-the-art all-weather Shannon class lifeboat is unique in the RNLI's fleet as it has been designed by an Irish engineer and is the first lifeboat class to be called after an Irish river.
Named ‘Val Adnams’, the lifeboat is due to arrive in Courtmacsherry, led by a flotilla of local boats, at exactly 13.45, which is also the operational number of the lifeboat.
The lifeboat is the latest in a long line of search and rescue boats provided by the RNLI to Courtmacsherry over the past 198 years.
It is the eleventh lifeboat to be stationed in Courtmacsherry, the oldest lifeboat station in Ireland alongside Arklow, since the arrival of the first RNLI boat ‘The Plenty’ in 1825.
A significant proportion of the funding for the new lifeboat has been provided through the very generous donation from Val Adnams who grew up in Preston and Weymouth in the UK and now resides in Idaho in the USA.
From a young age, Ms Adnams was an avid sailor and sportsperson who possessed an early interest in the lifeboat service, as she witnessed the callouts of the local Weymouth Lifeboat going to the help of others in distress at sea.
Ms Adnams, a proud lifelong supporter of the RNLI, intends travelling to Courtmacsherry with some of her family in September for the naming ceremony of the lifeboat.
Of note is that the Shannon class was designed by Derry man Peter Eyre who as a child was rescued himself by Lough Swilly RNLI in Donegal.
Members of the Courtmacsherry crew under coxswain Sean O'Farrell departed on Sunday for Poole in southern England where they will continue their extensive training and passage journey home.
“The station has been looking forward to this day for a long time and there is huge excitement for it,” Courtmacsherry voluntary lifeboat operations manager, Brian O’Dwyer said.
“We are incredibly honoured to receive it and we are grateful to our donor Val Adnams and to all those involved at our station down through the years, who have made this day possible.
“We hope to bring many loved ones safely home in this new lifeboat."