This year the RNLI is celebrating 200 years of lifesaving at sea. It’s a story that began with an appeal asking for help to protect lifeboat volunteers, as they protected people from drowning. It was a radical concept at the time – the idea that like-minded people would unite in their determination to save lives at sea by sending support to people they would never meet. But it worked. The RNLI’s story is one of courage, but thanks to all the supporters, it’s also a story of kindness.

As part of the celebrations, a podcast series called ‘200 voices’ captures the true tales of how lives have been touched by the RNLI and how they played a part. All of the podcasts are worth listening to, but two really special episodes are:

Niamh Fitzpatrick – on 14 March, 2017, Irish Coast Guard helicopter 116 crashed into the sea off County Mayo, resulting in the loss of four crew members. One of those lost was Niamh’s sister, Dara. After losing her sister at sea, NiamhFitzpatrick reveals what the RNLI means to her: Listen to her episode here

Mike Swan – the Lifeboat Operations Manager with Galway RNLI talks about working with local emergency services and agencies to introduce innovative technology, improved communication and an awareness and prevention scheme to improve the response to river rescues in Galway City and to help save more lives: Listen to his episode here

200 years is an amazing milestone and is only possible thanks to the people who have formed the crews and funded the kit and lifeboats to save lives at sea. 

As an emergency service and a charity, we rely on your support.

A huge thank you to the Atlantic Masters Swimming Club members and all the swimmers who are planning to take part in this year’s event in June.

Seán Óg Leydon, volunteer Launch Authority with Galway RNLI