A father and daughter who have volunteered to save lives at sea with Howth RNLI and who will be on standby over Christmas, have asked the public to support the charity’s Christmas appeal.
Tevin Harris has been a deputy launch authority at the station since 2014 while his daughter Jane joined in a month before the first shutdown.
The busy lifeboat station has remained on call throughout the pandemic and the lifeboat crew will be ready to launch the lifeboats, as always, if needed.
With over 1,500 volunteers in a lifeboat across Ireland, every RNLI crew member records to save everyone from drowning – the charity’s mission since 1824. This Christmas, many of their loved ones will be left to answer the call, every time they hope At another family reunion, seeing those in trouble at sea he returned safely.
Returning from six months studying abroad in New Zealand, Jane Harris joined the Lifeboat crew in February 2020 only to have her training halted as the country went into lockdown.
However, she remained involved in doing whatever training she could on land while the experienced lifeboat crew continued to respond to emergencies. Upon resuming training, she has continued her training plan and is now on her way to becoming a full lifeboat volunteer.
Jane was no stranger to the water, she was a sailing and speedboat instructor when she was younger. On her return home to Ireland, she called her father about volunteering with RNLI and had a conversation with the lifeboat crew.
She is currently a lifeboat trainee at Howth ashore and is looking forward to being a lifeboat crew on an all-weather lifeboat as well. She proudly follows in her father Stephen’s footsteps as he was the crew of a lifeboat at Dun Laoghaire from 1985 to 1987.
Speaking about why she volunteered with RNLI Jen, she said, “I’ve been thinking about joining the Lifeboat Crew for a while. I’ve grown around boats and know how important the service RNLI provides to the community.
“The training I receive is intense and it should be.
“It’s a massive commitment that I’m happy to make and of course my dad would love for me to be involved.
“The kit we have and the level of training we receive is very impressive and is funded by generous donations.
“People can see where the money they give is going. There is a big orange boat sitting in the harbor and this is our office. All we have is thanks to the people who support the charity.”
Father Stephen is rightly proud of his daughter, but it is no surprise that they are two out of a total of eight family members who participate in RNLI, with cousins at Dunmore East in County Waterford and Kilkeel in County Down.
Stephen was a lifeboat crew member at Dun Laoghaire RNLI for three years before moving away to Clontarf. Now living in Howth, he was approached to join the station by former Lifeboat Operations Director Robert Guevares and join him as the launch authority’s deputy.
“My daughter is on the crew this year and will soon be out for rescue operations,” Stephen said. “Since I have been a lifeboat volunteer, I have seen RNLI equipment and lifeboat technology evolve and evolve, keeping lifeguards safe and helping them reach victims quickly.”