Mixed emotions in Dunmore East as RNLI crew sail Trent class lifeboat for the final time

Date Published : November 7th, 2021    Published By : admin

It was a day of mixed emotions for the crew at Dunmore East RNLI yesterday as they boarded and sailed its Trent class lifeboat ‘The Elizabeth and Ronald’ for the final time out of the fishing harbour in Co. Waterford.

The lifeboat has saved countless lives at sea since it was first brought into Dunmore East in October 1996 by Coxswain/Mechanic, Walter Abrahamsson. Over the past decade, the crew launched more than 150 times and saved 316 peoples lives from troubled waters.

RNLI Dunmore East Crew. Photo: Dunmore Adventure

It’s not the end for Elizabeth and Ronald, however, as she is being brought to New Ross, Co. Wexford where she will get an electronics upgrade and enter the Trent class relief fleet where she will continue to save lives at sea when and where-ever needed.

Trent class RNLI Lifeboat 'Elizabeth and Ronald' leaving Dunmore East harbour for the final time. Photo: Dunmore Adventure

On Sunday 26th September, a new Shannon class RNLI Lifeboat ‘The William and Agnes Wray’ arrived into Dunmore East with a crew of five under Coxswaine/Mechanic Roy Abrahamsson, the son of the late Water Abrahamsson who carried out the same role back in 1996, making the journey into the harbour a significant one.

Since the arrival of the Shannon class, the volunteer lifeboat crew have trained tirelessly, becoming familiar with the new electronic technology and jet propulsion system of the vessel. The €2.4 million all-weather vessel is the first state of the art Shannon class lifeboat to be based in the south-east, and only one of five Shannon class lifeboats in service at one of the RNLI’s 46 stations around Ireland.

A change-over crew on the new Shannon class Lifeboats at stop-offs in Kinsale and Youghal on its journey along the southern coast to Dunmore East.

New Dunmore East RNLI Shannon class lifeboat. Photo: RNLI Neville Murphy

The Irish Coast were informed by the RNLI that the ‘William and Agnes Wray’ is officially on service from 6pm Saturday 6th November, replacing the station’s Trent class lifeboat.

Dunmore East RNLI Coxswain Roy Abrahamsson said ‘This week our crew were put through their paces by RNLI assessors where they demonstrated their ability to operate the new lifeboat effectively and safely. Everyone at the station is now ready and fully trained to operate this new lifeboat.’

‘The Shannon Class lifeboat is the most advanced lifeboat in the RNLI’s fleet, it means we can get to a casualty safer and faster than ever before. I am immensely proud of our volunteer crew who put in a huge effort by giving up their time and being away from their families to complete the training to enable the ‘William and Agnes Wray’ to go on service.’

The Shannon class lifeboat is the first modern all-weather lifeboat to be propelled by waterjets instead of traditional propellers, making it the most agile and maneuverable all-weather lifeboat in the RNLI’s fleet. The naming of the Shannon class of lifeboat follows a tradition of naming lifeboats after rivers but it's the first time an Irish river has been chosen and was done so to reflect the commitment and dedication of Irish lifeboat crew for generations.

Trent class RNLI Lifeboat 'Elizabeth and Ronald'. Photo: RNLI Neville Murphy

Coxswain Abrahamsson continued ‘The Elizabeth and Ronald has served us well here in Dunmore East and she will be dearly missed, she is a fine lifeboat, and I am glad she will continue to save lives and serve the people of Ireland in the relief fleet’.

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