Local TD Denis Naughten has welcomed the decision by the RNLI to establish a lifeboat service on Lough Ree stating that it will make this valuable amenity a much safer place for all users.
“I would like to acknowledge the work of the local branch of the IWAI, local sub-aqua clubs, the organising committee and those who supported the public meetings on the topic,” stated Denis Naughten.
“In recent years water sports have become increasingly popular on the lake and there has been significant development of facilities adjoining the lake, such as the Hodson Bay Hotel.
“Furthermore, with large numbers of tourists using the lake, including those using cruisers – a percentage of whom have little experience of waterways – this can lead to difficulties piloting vessels on the lake especially as the weather on the lake can change quickly.
“Lough Ree was the last remaining large lake on the island of Ireland without a life boat service. It is hoped that this service will be in place for the 2012 season and there is no doubt that this announcement will save lives in the future,” added Denis Naughten.
ABOUT THE IWAI
The Inland Waterways Association of Ireland is a voluntary body of inland waterways enthusiasts. It advocates the use, maintenance, protection, restoration and improvement of the inland waterways of Ireland. The association was founded in Athlone in 1954 to campaign for the conservation and development of the waterways and in particular their preservation as working navigations. It has twenty one branches distributed around the island, North and South.
ABOUT THE RNLI
The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 230 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and has more than 150 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 139,000 lives.