Father and son to spend Christmas on call with the RNLI

WHEN most of us are settling in to tuck into our turkeys this Christmas afternoon, many Fermanagh families will have someone ‘on call’ and ready to rush to the rescue if the need arises, not least among them our volunteer RNLI crews.

In fact, there will be eight new volunteers carrying lifeboat pagers for the first time this Christmas across the county, including Bellanaleck father and son Brian and John Salmon who are among the new recruits ready to swap their stuffing and sprouts for a the waters of the Erne if need be.

Helping launch the RNLI’s Christmas charity appeal for the year, Brian said it was when his 19-year-old son John became eligible to become a crew member two years ago that the family duo encouraged each other to join.


“I bought my first boat in 1998 and John was then born in 2002,” Brian recalled. “From he was six months he was on the boat, and it wasn’t long after that until he was holding the steering.

“We had that first boat for 18 years and then purchased a cruiser five years ago and it is moored at the local marina. We both have always adored the water and water sports.

“I had thought about joining the lifeboat crew at different times over the years because I was so aware of the work of the RNLI and I really wanted to give something back, but it wasn’t until John reached the eligible age at 17 and we saw a recruitment drive for new crew, that we encouraged each other to get involved. We attended an open night and it just snowballed from there.”

Brian and John picked up their pagers last month, and said they are now “excited but nervous at the same time” for the beeping to begin.

“But we are here and we want to help,” Brian said. “That is why we joined, we want to support what is an invaluable service on Lough Erne.”

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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