Larne RNLI marks 25th anniversary with open day

Larne RNLI Coxswain Frank Healy, Deputy Launching Authority Roy McMullan, mechanic Derek Rea and Deputy Launching Authority Paul Johnston enjoying the open day.
Larne RNLI Coxswain Frank Healy, Deputy Launching Authority Roy McMullan, mechanic Derek Rea and Deputy Launching Authority Paul Johnston enjoying the open day.

Larne RNLI opened its doors to visitors recently to celebrate the milestone anniversary of 25 years of saving lives at sea.

Since opening in 1994, Larne lifeboat volunteers have launched 514 times, saving 34 lives and rescuing 454 people, answering 21 alerts each year.

Larne RNLI Deputy 2nd Coxswain Chris Dorman and his daughter junior crew Sophia enjoying the fun of the open day.

Larne RNLI Deputy 2nd Coxswain Chris Dorman and his daughter junior crew Sophia enjoying the fun of the open day.

Larne RNLI also celebrated its landmark anniversary with supporters who have made the charity’s work possible in the town.

Visitors had the opportunity to see the inshore lifeboat up close and meet the local crew and were able to watch a video of recent rescue launches and training.

There was also advice on how to enjoy a trip to the beach safely this summer.

Visitors included Mid and East Antrim mayor Cllr. Maureen Morrow who met the crew, learned about volunteering and had the opportunity to try her hand at knot tying.

Isla Kirkpatrick enjoying the bouncy castle at the open day.

Isla Kirkpatrick enjoying the bouncy castle at the open day.

Visitors donated the sum of £772.48 which will go towards the work of Larne RNLI allowing the charity to continue to save lives at sea in the local area.

Also in attendance were two Northern Ireland Ambulance Service paramedics who brought along an ambulance, allowing people to step inside to see the equipment they carry.

Pets as Therapy UK kindly attended with their dogs allowing peoples of all ages to hear about their work and meet the animals.

Everyone enjoyed the barbecue and treats donated by local businesses Asda, Woodland Woodies, Creed, McDowells, Bake, Ann’s Pantry and Upper Crust.

RNLI mascot Stormy Stan and crew member Jack Healy.

RNLI mascot Stormy Stan and crew member Jack Healy.

Larne RNLI also thanked Got U Covered Gazebos for providing some shade for the kids games and face painting while DJ Stephen Snoddy provided music for all to enjoy throughout the day.

Larne Port Ltd provided free parking for visitors and thanks was extended to Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and East Antrim Boat Club for their generous support of the event.

Phil Ford-Hutchinson, Larne RNLI Deputy Launching Authority, said: “We would like to thank everyone who attended, very generously donated and helped make it a very special day.

“We would also like to thank all the local businesses who supported us and helped make our 25th anniversary open day such a success.”

Alison Ford-Hutchinson providing face painting with her daughter Megan Ford-Hutchinson.

Alison Ford-Hutchinson providing face painting with her daughter Megan Ford-Hutchinson.

RNLI volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coast.

The charity operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland.

It is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service.