Despite the wet weather, the small community at Union Hall, Co Cork turned out in large numbers on 25 June to witness the naming and dedication of the new Atlantic 85 lifeboat B-924 Christine and Raymond Fielding at the harbour, reports Nicholas Leach.

The new lifeboat was funded through the generous legacy of the late Dr Raymond Fielding who, along with his wife Christine, was a keen sailor.

After Christine passed away in 2012, Raymond decided to fund a lifeboat in her memory. Sadly, he died in 2016 so never got to see his legacy. Having spent many happy days in Union Hall, he requested some of his ashes be scattered at the western end of the pier, near the lifeboat station.

During the ceremony, the lifeboat was formally handed over by Eddie Fitzgerald, representing the donors, and accepted by John Killeen, who in turn passed the boat into the care of Union Hall RNLI.

The service of dedication was led by the Rev Chris Peters and Father Gerard Thornton, after which Bill Deasy, Union Hall RNLI boathouse manager, christened the lifeboat, with champagne being poured over the bow by one of the station’s longest-serving crew members.

The lifeboat station at the fishing village of Union Hall, situated between Courtmacsherry and Baltimore on the southwest coast of Ireland, is a relatively young one, having been founded in 2014 to fill a gap in life-saving coverage between the two all-weather stations.

Since its establishment, Union Hall has been served by a series of second-hand Atlantic 75 lifeboats, with the new Atlantic 85 taking over operational duties on 24 June last year.

The arrival of B-924 ended an era for the RNLI in the country, as the new boat took over from what was the last Atlantic 75 in service in Ireland.

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here


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