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All-weather lifeboat to join fleet

Published 15/05/2015

An all-weather lifeboat will join the RNLI fleet in Northern Ireland
An all-weather lifeboat will join the RNLI fleet in Northern Ireland

The RNLI is adding another lifeboat to its fleet in north Antrim.

The new all-weather vessel will be based at Red Bay in Cushendall and will cover 100 miles of coastline famed for its strong tidal currents and rough seas.

Paddy McLaughlin from Red Bay RNLI said: "Our volunteer lifeboat crew can face some challenging conditions, which are sometimes on the margin of the capabilities of an inshore lifeboat.

"The provision of an additional all-weather lifeboat on the north Antrim coast means our lifeboat crew can launch in all conditions, day or night."

It is being trialled over the next two years and will operate alongside the Red Bay inshore lifeboat which carried out 27 rescues during high winds between 2008 and 2013.

At present the area is covered by all-weather lifeboats operating out of Portrush, Larne and Campbeltown in Scotland.

Darren Byers, RNLI divisional operations manager said: "Our charity's priority is to save lives at sea and by conducting regular reviews of lifeboat cover around our coastline, we can ensure we provide the best possible search and rescue service."

A lifeboat station was established in Cushendall in 1972 and since then volunteer crews have launched 516 times, brought 489 people to safety and saved 114 lives.

A timescale for the new arrival has yet to be confirmed.

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