Crowds came out in the sunshine to see Fenit RNLI’s new inshore lifeboat officially named Lizzie last weekend The new lifeboat is being named after Liz Fraser, a Southwark born actor, well-known for roles on stage and screen over a career spanning decades. The honour of the lifeboat naming was given to Jan Bolt, the station’s administration officer and wife to the late station mechanic Bob Bolt.
Guests on the day included the RNLI’s new Head of Region for Lifesaving, Anna Classon, in her first visit to the Kerry lifeboat station and RNLI Trustee and Council chairperson Dr. John Killeen,
The ceremony included a Service of Dedication which was presided over by Fr. Francis Nolan and Rvd. Jim Stephens. Musical accompaniment was provided by The Tralee Pipe Band, Oidreacht, managed by Michelle O’Sullivan, Fenit School Choir and Dave Buckley who performed the Lifeboat Anthem ‘Home from the Sea’ to close the ceremony.
The Chairman of the Lifeboat Manager Group and station Medical Advisor Tom McCormack was MC for the ceremony and opened the proceeding paying tribute to the donor and all fundraisers who support the work of the RNLI.
RNLI Trustee and Chairperson of the Irish Council Dr. John Killeen acknowledged the incredible gift by Ms. Frazer. ‘Being charitable was part of her nature. The legacy that she has left behind and which is here today, will go to sea to save lives for many years to come.’
Dr. Killeen also spoke of the work of the men and women who volunteer for Fenit RNLI: ‘When we talk about lifesaving in the RNLI, there are two parts to it. One is the lifeboat, and the other is the volunteers. There is a fantastic history of lifesaving here in Fenit. We value and appreciate the work being done on behalf of the community.’
In accepting the lifeboat into the care of the station, Fenit RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Gerard O’Donnell, said: ‘This is a great and proud day for us. This boat along with the All-Weather lifeboat which we already have, helps provide a great service here to the Tralee Bay and extended areas.’
He concluded by addressing the lifeboat crew of Fenit RNLI, past and present. ‘Over the years you have given of your time consistently, irrespective of weather conditions which at times can be horrendous. Day or night, you have never failed to respond when the pager has been activated. To all our past and present, members of our RNLI station, be proud of the service you provide, be proud of the countless lives you have helped to save and finally on behalf of all users of the sea and inland waters, thank you for being there to help save those who get into difficulty on the water.’
Following the naming of the lifeboat, the Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 115 carried out a training exercise with the new D-class lifeboat, to the delight of the watching crowds.