Tuesday 23 January 2018

All-female lifeboat crew comes to rescue of sailor

Greg Harkin

IT was once the domain of men. But this all-female RNLI lifeboat crew shows that it's women who now rule the waves.

The trio – Eithne Davis, Andrea Hunter and Yvette Raymond – are among a growing number of the charity's volunteers who respond to emergency calls around the coast of Ireland.

A quarter of the 24 volunteers based at Rosses Point lifeboat station are now women.

So when sailor Peter McVeigh got into difficulty off the Sligo coast last week, it was an all-women crew who went to his rescue.

"When I saw who was coming to help me, I knew I was in safe hands," he said.

IT Sligo student Eithne, full-time mum Andrea and pharmacy technician Yvette managed to get him and his boat safely back to shore.

"I've spent half of my life with people telling me as a woman I can't do certain things and the other half proving them wrong," laughed Eithne.

"There are many more women volunteers with the RNLI now than there were, but once the call goes out there's no gender involved. We're a team and we're in it together."

Andrea and Eithne also bring a bit of extra colour to the crew – they sing in a local Sea Shanty group called Eight Bells (the name for changing the watch aboard a sailing ship).

"It's good craic," said Andrea.

"But we haven't had any record deals just yet. We're open to offers; it might raise a few euro for the RNLI."

Irish Independent

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