THE new Portrush RNLI inshore lifeboat was officially named David Roulston (Civil Service No. 52) during a ceremony at Portrush lifeboat station on Saturday.
The lifeboat was named in memory of David Roulston, an employee of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board who tragically drowned off the north coast in 2005.
The lifeboat has been funded through a generous contribution from the Civil Service Lifeboat Fund and was officially named by Sir Peter Housden KCB, Chairman of the Lifeboat Fund and Permanent Secretary of the Scottish Government.
In naming the lifeboat Sir Peter said: “The Lifeboat Fund was formed by civil servants who fundraised to buy a lifeboat for the RNLI. We are incredibly proud that since it started back in 1866 the fund has purchased a total of 52 lifeboat and those boats have saved over 4,700 lives.”
A special plaque was also unveiled during the ceremony by Mr Alan Clarke, Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, in memory of colleague David Roulston. Over £25,000 was raised by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board staff and their families and friends for the upkeep and maintenance of the new Portrush Lifeboat.
Speaking at the unveiling, Alan commented: “Tragically in 2005 our dear friend and colleague David Roulston passed away leaving a massive void in the lives of his family, friends and all the staff at NITB.
“After some time and reflection we felt that no act could be more appropriate than to fundraise in memory of David so that we would have a legacy to remember him by. Portrush lifeboat station and community will always hold a special place in our hearts”.
The D class lifeboat is built at a cost of £31,000 and measures five metres. It can carry three crewmembers onboard and is a fast, light weight inflatable that is compact and highly manoeuvrable. This makes it ideal for rescue close to shore in moderate conditions. It can also be righted manually by the lifeboat crew in the event of a capsize.
Robin Cardwell, Portrush Lifeboat Operations Manager was delighted to accept the lifeboat into the care of the station. “It is fitting that we honour both these contributions in the name of our new lifeboat. This lifeboat is the vessel that will carry our volunteer lifeboat crew out to sea to save lives and on it our lifeboat crew will learn and develop their skills through extensive training,” he said.