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Dun Laoghaire RNLI volunteer honoured after 20 years of service

Gary Ibbotson 14 Jan 2022

The RNLI has awarded volunteer lifeboat crewmember Rory Bolton with a medal recognising his 20 years service to the charity.

Over the course of two decades Rory has been a volunteer crewmember on both the inshore and all-weather lifeboats based at Dun Laoghaire lifeboat station and been passed out as a mechanic for both lifeboats.

Rory was presented with his medal recently by Dun Laoghaire RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Edward Totterdell and RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager Peter Harty.

Joining the RNLI back in 2001, Rory came onboard after a friend who was already on the lifeboat crew, invited him to come to the station and see if he’d like to join.

Already an outboard engine mechanic, Rory had seen the lifeboat in the harbour but didn’t know how to join the lifeboat crew.

He was welcomed with opened arms and started his lifeboat journey on the smaller inshore lifeboat before moving onto the All-Weather lifeboat as well.

He became a Helm and then the Senior Helm on the inshore lifeboat and has since passed out as a mechanic on both lifeboats and is currently third mechanic on the All- Weather lifeboat.

On the personal life front, Rory also met his wife, Dr. Sarah Brookes, through the lifeboat, as she volunteers as the station’s medical advisor.

Commenting on the honour Rory said: “Dun Laoghaire RNLI is an amazing team to be a part of and the last twenty years have flown.

“We all come from different backgrounds but when we are out on a callout, we work as a team and there is nothing like it.

“Being a volunteer with the RNLI has been a huge part of my life, I met my wife Sarah through it, and we now have two beautiful children, Alice (7) and James (3). Alice already wants to join the lifeboat when she’s old enough. It’s been a wonderful twenty years.”

Reflecting on his most memorable callout Rory remembers a New Year’s Day callout around eight years ago to a kite surfer who had lost the kite and was left in the water.

“Conditions on the day were very challenging and right on the edge of what the inshore lifeboat can launch in.

“We went to Sandymount and there was no way he was able to get in to the shore by himself.

“With waves breaking over the lifeboat and the casualty struggling in the water, we pulled him to safety in the most difficult conditions. I’ll never forget it.”

Dun Laoghaire RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Edward Totterdell added his congratulations to Rory: ‘This recognition, by the RNLI, of twenty years of dedicated service and volunteering by Rory, is one he thoroughly deserves.

“Those two decades have seen countless rescues and launches and he has helped so many people, along with his colleagues on the crew.

“Our grateful thanks to Rory for all his tireless work and for his continued service to the lifeboat crew and hopefully we will have a few more years yet.”

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