THE Mayor of Ards and North Down, Deborah Girvan, is accustomed to the stormy waters of local politics but on Sunday morning the alderman proved she also has the sea legs for Lifeboat work.
The Mayor spent more than an hour in the choppy North Channel with the crew of Donaghadee’s Royal National Lifeboat Institution Lifeboat Saxon as the volunteers practiced man overboard drills and a range of other emergency procedures. The Mayor was given a briefing about the work of the RNLI by Deputy Coxswain John Ashwood and took the wheel as the Saxon reached top speed of 25 knots beyond the Copeland Islands.
Mayor Girvan said she was ‘thrilled’ to join the crew for an exercise and was so keen to see them at work that she turned up 40 minutes early at the Lifeboat station. “The borough has 115 miles of coastline and three Lifeboat stations so I feel it is important to support the RNLI’s fundraising efforts.”
The RNLI is one of three charities chosen by the Mayor and will receive support at the end of her year of office. Donaghadee RNLI chairman Alan Couser presented the Mayor with a token of the crew’s appreciation of her support.
Said Alan: “We were delighted to show the Mayor how RNLI volunteers save lives at sea and hope she will become a regular visitor to the station. Not every busy public figure is willing to leave their family on a Sunday morning to be tossed around on a Lifeboat so the Mayor’s support for our fundraising efforts is very welcome.”