A new lifeboat will arrive at the Clifden RNLI station this week, bearing the memories of 10,000 people who have passed.
The Shannon Class all-weather lifeboat is a special one in the Irish fleet as it carries the names of over 10,000 people onboard.
They were put there by members of the public through the ‘Launch a Memory’ fundraising initiative which was run by the search and rescue charity back in 2020.
Through the ‘Launch a Memory’ campaign, people were able to record a loved one’s name on the lifeboat by making a donation to the RNLI and submitting a loved one’s name to be recorded onboard.
The name of each person features within the lifeboat’s letters (RNLI) and numbers of the lifeboat.
The lifeboat is making its journey from the RNLI’s own construction centre in Poole, Dorset to the west coast of Ireland this week.
Commenting on the arrival, Clifden RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager John Brittain said, “We have been working towards this day for a long time.”
“It is an honour for us to carry these 10,000 names onboard our new lifeboat the St Christopher. Every time we launch, they will accompany the lifeboat crew on its lifesaving mission.”
The boat will stop over in Plymouth, Penlee, Ballycotton, Kinsale and Valentia before arriving in Clifden this weekend.
It is due to arrive on Saturday afternoon around 2:30pm, where the boat will be accompanied into the harbour by a local flotilla.
The following day the public are being invited to view the new lifeboat on Clifden beach at low tide from 9.30am until 12.30pm.
John Brittain invited people to come and see the boat this weekend, and if they have a name on it, to see where it is recorded.
“I know there are many incredibly moving stories behind each name and we hope to do them all proud.”