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Sunday 8 December 2019

'It's the best thing you can do' - husband of tragic coastguard Caitriona Lucas has urged people to volunteer with the service

Bernard Lucas has paid tribute to his wife who was the first volunteer to die in the line of duty

Irish Coast Guard hero Caitriona Lucas
Irish Coast Guard hero Caitriona Lucas
Caitriona Lucas and Inset her husband Bernard
Caitriona Lucas (41) who died tragically in a rescue mission in Kilkee Newsdesk Newsdesk

Brave coastguard Caitriona Lucas has been remembered as a "marvelous, bubbly person" as her husband has urged people to get involved in the voluntary service.

Her husband Bernard Lucas, along with her children Ben and Emma, were in RTE tonight during a special Late Late Show segment dedicated to volunteers in the coastguard and the RNLI.

Mr Lucas, who met his wife when she was just 17, recalled details of their lives together.

“I met Caitriona when she was 17…and that was that from there we were more or less together ever since,” he said.

“We did pretty much everything together.”

Read more: 'It is like there is half of you missing, you can't stand up straight' - Husband of hero coastguard Caitríona Lucas

Caitriona, who had worked as a volunteer with the Doolin Coastguard for over 10 years, died after she was plunged into the rough water alongside two of her colleagues when their boat capsized in September.

She and her husband shared a number of common interests including outdoor pursuits and their roles in the coastguard. They partook in dozens of rescue missions together.

After her tragic death Mr Lucas said he returned to the coastguard within weeks.

“It’s what we did… it’s what we do, It’s what Caitriona did and loved, I suppose I get comfort from it,” he said.

He also appealed for people to think about getting involved in their local unit.

Read more: Coastguard saved more than 400 lives in 2016

“It’s volunteering everybody should try. It’s the best thing you can do. It really is," he said.

"You don’t realise what it means to people to get a person back that has been missing or retrieve a body from the water and give it back to them people and let them have a place and let them have closure., somewhere they can visit people," he said.

Caitriona has been honoured by her colleagues in the coastguard and as Clare Person of the Year, since her tragic death.

A number of people who owe their lives to the efforts of the coastguard also featured on the show.

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