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RNLI Ballycotton and Galway City's Rapid Rescue Response on Seascapes RNLI Special Tonight

29th March 2024
Galway RNLI lifeboat operations manager Mike Swan
Galway RNLI lifeboat operations manager Mike Swan

How a wise kayaker rescued by east Cork’s Ballycotton lifeboat signed up as a volunteer and Galway city’s cross-agency rapid rescue system are among topics on RTÉ Radio 1’s special Seascapes series tonight.

The final episode of the three-part series marking the RNLI’s bicentenary also hears about a Meath man’s very clear memory of his rescue by the Clogherhead lifeboat almost 63 years ago.

Síle Scanlon had been kayaking with three friends off Ballycotton on the east Cork coast when the weather turned.

Wisely, she and her friends raised the alarm and were rescued by the Ballycotton lifeboat, where her mother, Máire Scanlon, had been deputy mechanic and is now deputy launching authority.

Síle signed up as a volunteer and she spoke to Seascapes about her experience so far – including ditching her high heels to respond to her pager on a graduation night. She also recalls her family’s distinguished links with the RNLI.

 Sile Scanlon of RNLI's Ballycotton station Sile Scanlon of RNLI's Ballycotton station

Also on the programme, Meath man Lar Sheeran is interviewed about his harrowing experience when he was just 18 years old and out sea angling with his cousins John and Vincent off the Louth coast in August 1961.

The trio were caught in bad weather, they had no means of communication, but the alarm was raised and Clogherhead lifeboat tasked when they didn’t arrive back that evening.

One of the more difficult parts of being an RNLI volunteer is searching for a missing person.

Galway RNLI lifeboat operations manager Mike Swan talks about the rapid rescue system developed in the city, located on one of the fastest flowing rivers of its length in Europe and with a canal network.

The Seascapes RNLI special is presented by Lorna Siggins, produced by Brian Lally, and is on RTÉ Radio 1 and the RTE Radio App tonight (March 29) at 10.30pm.

It is also available to listen back to on the RTÉ Player, and the previous two episodes - including RNLI Aran station’s O’Connell family in part one, and an RNLI Red Bay training exercise, along with sea shanties, in part two - can be heard HERE. Team

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