Peter Connon with Erik Brooks and Liam Keogh, volunteer lifeboat crew from Youghal, who were involved in the rescue of Peter and his family encouraging the public to take part in its Mayday Mile fundraiser. Photo: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Peter grateful to the RNLI

Just shy of 100 people were rescued by the RNLI in Cork last year, new figures have shown.

The news came the charity launched its Mayday Mile fundraiser which will begin on Saturday 1 May, and run for the month.

Corkman Peter Connon, who last Easter Monday was rescued by the RNLI, is urging people to sign up online to do the RNLI’s Mayday Mile which will raise funds for the lifeboat charity.

Peter, a keen sailor, was out sailing with four young members of his family when they encountered a squall that resulted in one of their craft capsizing. In trying to aid the group, the second craft also capsized and with the weather worsening they were unable to right the vessels.

Their mobile phones were rendered useless, but they managed to set off a personal locator beacon and kept calm until help arrived. The group had attended sailing courses and knew what to do in an emergency. Their equipment and quick thinking kept them safe until the RNLI lifeboat crew were able to rescue them.

Peter said: “I’ve lived in Youghal all my life and I’m an experienced sailor, as are my family. That day we took every precaution, but the weather turned, and we quickly found ourselves in serious trouble. We didn’t hesitate to raise the alarm and our equipment and knowledge kept us safe until help arrived.

“I can’t describe the feeling of joy when you see those big orange lifeboats come into view. I’m a big man but we were scooped into that lifeboat like we weighed nothing. They were so professional and reassured us that we had done everything right.”

Peter added: “My family are so grateful to Youghal and Ballycotton RNLI and to the paramedics and coast guard crews who attended to us that day. What might have happened only hit me much later. I’m doing the Mayday Mile fundraiser to thank the RNLI and hopefully by sharing my story other people will know that anyone can get into difficulty and it’s important to have a means of calling for help.”

The RNLI operates lifeboat stations in Youghal, Ballycotton, Crosshaven, Kinsale, Courtmacsherry, Union Hall, Baltimore and Castletownbere

To sign up for the Mayday Mile, or to make a donation in support of the RNLI’s lifesavers, visit RNLI.org/supportMayday.

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