Donaghadee Lifeboat

RNLI volunteers brave rough seas after distress signal

DONAGHADEE’S Royal National Lifeboat Institution volunteers spent 90 minutes at sea, braving rough weather, after emergency services received what appeared to be a distress call from a vessel in the North Channel.

On their first ‘Shout’ of 2016 coxswain Philip McNamara and the crew of Saxon conducted a thorough search of the sea area to the north east of the Copeland Islands after a launch request from Belfast Coastguard on Friday evening. (April 29)

The emergency operation was stood down when no vessel could be located.

Donaghadee RNLI operations manager, Peter Irwin, said: “A north wind was blowing against a strong tide and sea conditions were pretty unpleasant for the crew. The Saxon was given a thorough shake-up. But the RNLI will always launch the Lifeboat if there is a chance we can save a life at sea.”

The Saxon’s crew respond to around 30 emergencies every year for the charity that saves lives at sea. Readers can follow the Saxon’s operations as they happen at the Twitter account Donaghadee RNLI or catch up on the details afterwards at the station’s new website

Steady Teddy: Coxswain Philip McNamara and the Lifeboat’s mascot, Saxon, got a thorough shake-up during Friday’s search operation in rough seas east of the Copeland Islands.