The Blog from our Correspondent Justin Merrigan

Waterfront alive with French flair

Absolutely wonderful to see the harbour bustling with activity as our neighbours at the National Yacht Club play host to prestigious French yacht race La Solitaire du Figaro. The scene in front of the lifeboat station is impressive to say the least!

The near-50 strong fleet departed the Normandy port of Ouistreham last Sunday on the 470 nautical mile course to Dun Laoghaire. Also joinng the yachts in Dun Laoghaire is the French naval vessel Commoran which has acted as a guardship throughout the event, patrolling the fleet during the passage and offering assistance if and when required.


An exhausted French sailor, Jeremie Beyou (35) from Lorient, won this leg win of the race, despite losing his spinnaker a couple of miles from the finish.  Jeremie -- who won the overall event six years ago -- crossed the line in first place, 65 gruelling hours after leaving Caen.

To mark the stopover of the four-stage single-handed race, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company and the National Yacht Club have combined to host the Festival des Bateaux.  A fireworks display on the East Pier is planned for Friday night (at 10pm) and a market is present on the Carlisle Pier.

The third leg of the race starts at Dun Laoghaire on Sunday at midday and a good turnout is expected to see the yachts off as they head for Les Sables d'Olonne.


LMG Further Strengthened by New Appointment

The news that Mr. Terry Johnson has been appointed chairman of the Lifeboat Management Group (LMG) for the RNLI at Dun Laoghaire is most welcome.  Formerly a deputy chairman of the RNLI, he is an accomplished mariner and has a long-standing commitment to the charitable work of the institution that saves lives at sea.

Terry is no stranger to Dun Laoghaire Harbour and is extremely well known as a Dublin Bay and offshore racing sailor. He is a member of Royal Ocean Racing Club and was the Irish team-manager for the 1987 Admiral’s Cup.  These days he spends his spare time cruising on ‘Nyabo’ and his sons and grandsons are also keen and competitive sailors.

The role of LMG is to co-ordinate the various roles of the RNLI’s work in the area, from fund-raising to sea-safety awareness, publicity and the vital role carried out by the two lifeboats and their volunteer crews that are based at the station.

Welcome Terry!

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Hobart Point to Pinnacle for Dun Laoghaire Lifeboat!

On 21 November your 'Down Under' correspondent will run to a height of 1271m over a distance of 21.4km in aid of the RNLI's Dun Laoghaire Lifeboat!

The view of Hobart and Wrest Point from the Pinnacle of Mt Wellington

Australia's annual Point to Pinnacle is an endurance run, from the tower in the centre of the photo to the top of Hobart's Mt Wellington, Tasmania. Together, let's raise vital funds for the Lifeboat!

Pledges being accepted at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


USCG 44ft Motor Lifeboats and the Waveney

The 44' MLB was designed by the U.S. Coast Guard, with work starting on the prototype (USCG 44300) in April 1961, being completed on the 9 March 1962. A total of 110, 44' MLB's were built for the U.S. Coast Guard, with the last boat (USCG 44409) being completed in 1972. 

Great interest was shown in the 44' MLB at the Ninth International Lifeboat Conference in Scotland in 1963, which eventually resulted in several countries adopting the design with some modifications for their own lifesaving organisations. 

The RNLI acquired the USCG 44328 in 1964, giving her the number 44-001, and built a further 21, naming the class "Waveney" after the river in which the first boats were built.  The first of the production-built Waveney class boats, RNLB John F Kennedy, was stationed at Dun Laoghaire from 1967 until 1989.

The video at this link is well worth a look, displaying the superb seakeeping qualities of the Waveney's American cousin!


Open Day!

To really find out what the RNLI is all about, you should experience lifeboat station life first-hand. 

That is why we host an open day during the Summer, so whether you live by the coast or are just visiting, do come visit us at Dun Laoghaire Lifeboat today, 31st July!

Explore the lifeboats and meet the crew. For the first time, the recently-formed Sea Safety team will also be on hand to offer advice to visitors on how best to prepare for trips afloat and boating activities.

At Dun Laoghaire we have two lifeboats, a Trent class Allweather Life Boat and a D-Class Inshore Life Boat of the new IB1-type. The latter was recently delivered to the 207-year old station and is based in the nearby historic boathouse at the East Pier.  This lifeboat, named ‘Realt Na Mara' , was funded by the genorisity of a family in Dublin.

Come and have a look for yourself, between 11am and 5pm - you won't be disappointed!



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