In a change to their usual routine, Coleraine Probus club members went to meet their speaker, instead of the other way around.
The man in question was Fred Williams and his work as a volunteer at the Portrush RNLI Station. Fred, who has been involved with the RNLI for many years, told a detailed and fascinating story of the history and work of the lifeboats in Portrush.
The first lifeboats based at Portrush came in 1860. They were sturdy rowing boats and were crewed by brave volunteers - when club members reflected on what the sea conditions could be like on a stormy night off Ramore Head, they certainly had to be “very brave”.
The Lifeboat Station is now the home for the inshore rescue boat. The current sea rescue
lifeboat is moored in the harbour. This is one of the newer Severn Class of self-righting craft that can tackle some of the very worst sea conditions. It takes a crew of six (plus a doctor if required), and at top speed burns about two gallons of diesel every MINUTE and
costs £2 million for every boat.
It costs £500,000 every day to keep the RNLI’s services running throughout the UK and Ireland. Fred explained that 70% of the Institution’s income comes from legacies, bequeathed by
numerous families and institutions. Volunteers, visitors and well wishers manage organise,
run and work hard at projects to raise around 30% of the daily costs.
Vice President Derick Woods and many club members thanked Fred Williams for the fascinating visit to the RNLI station at Portrush