GAA star Lyndsey working to reduce deaths at sea
The RNLI and the GAA have announced a major partnership aimed at reducing the number of people who lose their lives though drowning in Ireland and Skerries Harps and Dublin star, Lyndsey Davey is proud to be involved.
Three times GAA All-Star, Lyndsey Davey from Skerries, has a very personal reason for getting involved in the campaign. Her great-uncle Michael Hayes was the skipper on the Tit Bonhomme, which sank off Glandore Harbour with the loss of five of the six crew, including Michael.
Lyndsey said: 'The loss of Michael and his crew was a very difficult time for all the families involved. During the days and weeks following the sinking, the whole community of Union Hall really came together.
'The search and rescue efforts were relentless and the support given was incredible. I got involved in this campaign as I wanted to give something back and help create awareness around water safety and drowning. In doing so I hope we can prevent any family the pain of losing a loved one through drowning.'
The RNLI aims to halve coastal drowning by 2024 and the GAA will work with the charity to engage with clubs and communities, particularly on the coast, to provide information and support that could save lives.
The RNLI's drowning prevention campaign 'Respect the Water', will be supported through the GAA's Healthy Clubs initiative and the wider club network.
Many GAA clubs are based in coastal communities with 333 of them in a 10km radius of the 46 RNLI lifeboat stations in Ireland. Their location makes them ideally placed for sharing information and raising awareness of the causes of drowning and how to prevent it.
President of the GAA, Aogán Ó Fearghaíl said, 'In the RNLI the GAA sees an organisation that mirrors its core values of community activity and volunteerism. We welcome the 'Respect the Water' campaign and its efforts to keep people safe all year round.'
RNLI Chief Executive, Paul Boissier, added, 'Drowning devastates communities, but it's often accepted as just part of life by the water. We believe that many of these deaths are preventable and we need to work with other organisations who, like us, want to keep their communities safe. Much like a lifeboat station, a GAA club is at the heart of community life. Sporting communities can play a major role in preventing deaths by drowning.'