‘Gordon & Phil’ – Youghal’s new RNLI inshore lifeboat

Date Published : September 10th, 2016    Published By : admin

A new Atlantic 85 lifeboat for Youghal RNLI is officially named Gordon and Phil during a ceremony at the lifeboat station in the Cork seaside resort today, 10th September.  The lifeboat which went on service in April was funded through a legacy by the late Gwenda Bull, a native of Brighton in East Sussex, England.

Prior to her death at the age of 82 in 2013, Gwenda who lived near Shoreham lifeboat station which she visited regularly said her family had always admired the work of the RNLI.

Miss Bull who previously funded various types of equipment for Shoreham RNLI, kindly funded the purchase of a new inshore lifeboat, to be named Gordon and Phil in memory of her parents.

Miss Bull was happy for the lifeboat to go on station wherever it would be of most benefit around the coast, so her funds were used to purchase the new B class lifeboat at Youghal Lifeboat station.

Miss Bull’s wish to have a lifeboat named in memory of her parents will be granted when eight-year-old local girl Izzy O’Connell, a friend of the lifeboat station, and Albert Muckley, Youghal RNLI Deputy Launching Authority officially name the lifeboat at the station.

Speaking ahead of the ceremony, Fergus Hopkins, Youghal RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘This is a very special occasion in the history of our lifeboat station and we are most grateful to the late Gwenda Bull for her generous legacy which has funded our lifeboat, Gordon and Phil.  Last year Youghal RNLI launched 12 times brining 10 people to safety and we know our new lifeboat will go on to continue that good work. We will be proud custodians of this lifeboat, which will go on to rescue and save many more lives in the years ahead’.

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Youghal RNLI was established in 1857 although Youghal’s first pulling lifeboat was put on service in 1839.

A lifeboat was built for the Harbour Trustees in 1839 by Taylor of Limehouse, the cost of £76 being met by local subscription. A tragedy had occurred Youghal in the previous year, when a hired passage boat carrying 33 people capsized on 18 February 1838, with the resultant loss of 12 lives.

In 1857 a lifeboat house was constructed by the RNLI at Green Hole in Youghal before a new lifeboat house was constructed at the Mall in Youghal in 1876. This boathouse which had been much altered over 125 years for various classes of lifeboat, was demolished in Autumn 2001 to make way for a new station. A new Atlantic 75 boathouse was completed in September 2002 when Patricia Jennings, was placed on service and remained until April when he was replaced by the new Atlantic 85 lifeboat, Gordon and Phil.

During her 13 years in Youghal, Patricia Jennings launched 175 times with its crews saving nine lives and rescuing 233 people.

The new lifeboat, an Atlantic 85 is the latest version of the B class, introduced into the fleet in 2005. She is powered by two 115horsepower engines and has a stronger hull and greater top speed than her predecessor. The added radar allows the crew to operate more effectively in poor visibility and she also has VHF direction-finding equipment.

The vessel also has a manually operated self-righting mechanism which combined with inversion-proofed engines keep the lifeboat operational even after capsize. The lifeboat can also be beached in an emergency without causing damage to its engines or steering gear.

The Atlantic 85 carries a full suite of communication and electronic navigation aids, as well as a searchlight, night-vision equipment and flares for night-time operations.

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