May 2008

Shouts, updates or news items from this month are shown below in descending date order.

29 Jan 19:29 - Vessel Aground

Called to Rathlin to assist vessel in trouble

18 Feb 03:43 - Search for missing person

Missing person on rocks at Portstewart

18 Feb 22:38 - Medical Evacuation

Medical Evacuation of sick child off Rathlin Island to Ballycastle

25 May 14:00 - Drifting Inflatable

ILB lifeboat called out to rescue person on inflatable drifting off shore at West Strand.

Raft Race 2008 Results

The weather was there, the crowds were there and the atmosphere was most definitely there! At the ASDA PORTRUSH CHARITY RAFT RACE in aid of the RNLI.

The new Portrush Lifeboat ‘The William Gordon Burr’ was shown off on her first PR exercise with 2nd Deputy Coxswain Des Austin at the helm, whilst the other 2nd deputy Cox Mark Mitchell did the commentary from the South Pier explaining about her history.

The craic amongst the rafters on the beach was great and when the Field Gun went off the race was on! However, nobody was going to beat those boys from the Hawthorne Inn! They were on a roll - all that practising on the River Bann had paid off.

All in all it was a super day.

PositionTeam NameRaft Number
1Hawthorne inn33
2Brian Matchett & Sons Fabrication72
3Portstewart AMS3
4Turd De France51
5Sure and Steadfast39
6White Lightning 138
7Catch Me If You Can79
8C R Morrow.com71
9Wind Power30
10Pulse 225


PositionTeam NameRaft Number
1st OverallHawthorne Inn Portglenone33
Best Dressed TeamThe Black Albatross (NHS Richard Henry Belfast)54
Best Named RaftBoom or Bust (Armstrong & Gordon Estate Agent)4
Most SponsorshipCroaking Crusher (Northstone Quarry)63
Most Heroic FailureMotor Floater9

Junior Raft race

1stJenny Mairs & Sophie McCoy
2nd (JOINT)Erin Smith & Daniel Smith
Simon King & Mathew Bertenshaw

Winner Children’s Fancy Dress

Catherine Minford as Elizabeth from Pirates of the Caribbean (also the best dressed lady on the day!)

Raft Race 2008

Thank you to everyone who made RR08 one of the BEST EVER! We all had a super day and hope you had too! The sun shone and the craic was mighty. You were fantastic competitors!
A BIG Thank you to ASDA who again sponsored us, we couldn’t have done it without you
Also to Coleraine Borough Council Big thanks!
But mainly thanks to all you MAD rafters - you never cease to amaze us!

Raft Race 2008 Programme

YES! It's Raft Race time again and I have it on good authority (WELL Rose Neill on BBC News) that the weather is going to be good. We seem to have a lot of entries this year so it is shaping up to be a really good weekend.

Remember we will take entries tomorrow right up to 3pm if you have the entry fee. This money all goes to the RNLI and helps to train our volunteer crews and to keep our two Lifeboats operational.

We are very pleased this year to unveil our new Lifeboat 'The William Gordon Burr' who will be carrying out her first public relations duty tomorrow with the crew.

On Sunday after the Church Service in the beautifully restored Town Hall in Portrush (everyone welcome), there is the first ever Beach Volleyball Competition organised by Brian Moore of Club Soi... Northern Ireland v The Rest of the World. Portrush Lifeboat Crew might even be persuaded to try their hand at this!

The History Book From Laura to Katie written by our Station historian Hugh McGrattan will be on sale in the lifeboat shop and this really is a beautiful informative book for anybody to have in their collection.

So Come to Portrush this Bank Holiday Weekend and enjoy the atmosphere of Raft Race 2008!

Download the Programme of Events here. Any queries call the RR08 Hotline 07969814605, our e-mail us at the station

RNLI Fundraising Art Sale

On the evening of Friday 23rd May from 5 to 9pm and throughout Raft Race day on Saturday 24th May, long mountain will be holding a sale of Irish art to raise funds for the RNLI.

The sale will be held in the Portrush Town Hall and will have a very interesting and varied range of approximately 100 pieces of artwork available. Artists will include Edith McClelland, Terence Butcher, Charles Conlon, Amanda Millar, Markey Robinson, Derek McAfee, David Wight, Ruth Irvine, Colin Gibson, Michelle Carlin, J P Rooney, J McKendry, Sam McClarnon and others.

All purchases will be available for collection between 4 and 6pm on Saturday 24th at the Portrush Town Hall.

Some of the artwork that will be available at the sale can be previewed by visiting

For more information call Alastair on 07737065577 or email

There will also be charcoal prints on offer of the famous picture of the Lifeboat leaving Portrush Harbour in the Storm

The William Gordon Burr

Portrush Lifeboat crew are pleased to announce that our new Lifeboat has been confirmed. The William Gordon Burr was confirmed on Monday night at the crew meeting as our new permanent replacement for 'The Katie Hannan'.

The William Gordon Burr has been in Portrush before as relief for Katie so the crew are not unfamiliar with her.
The boat has been on 62 services and saved 6 lives, so the record is good. The crew and team at the Station are delighted to have a permanent lifeboat and have already completed their first service from Portrush with newly appointed second Deputy Coxswain Desmond Austin at the helm.
The crew are indebted to Mrs Norah Burr from Yorkshire who left the legacy to the RNLI in memory of her son.

More Pictures here.

A History of Portrush Lifeboat Station

Hugh McGrattan, archivist and historian for Portrush Lifeboat Station has written a book detailing the long history of the history of Portrush Lifeboat Station. In his book Hugh covers the lifeboats, talks about crew and characters and some of the more notable services that have taken place. The pictures contained in the book themselves tell a story, and were a surprise to many who gathered at the Lifeboat House for the official launch.

The book was officially launched by Paul Clarke from UTV on 1st May with crew members, family, friends and supporters of the Lifeboats in attendance.

The evening was a great success and Hugh spent the evening signing books and chatting with people who had contributed one way or another to the book.

The book itself is comprehensive in that it finishes with the Grounding of 'The Katie Hannan' on Rathlin Island in January 2008. On the front of the book is a beautiful painting of the lifeboat by Hugh's friend Dr Desmond Millar.

The book is now on sale in the Lifeboat Shop at a cost of £15 (all proceeds going towards the RNLI).

Belfast Marathon

Well done to our marathon Teams and two individual runners who took part in the Belfast Marathon on 5th May. The weather was beautiful and we had a great day. Thanks to David Boyd of Roadside garages who once again sponsored the Team Bus.
And for those of you who are dying to know YES! Anthony DID RUN!!
You can still sponsor the teams at www.justgiving/portrushlifeboats
We'll let you know how much we raised when all monies are in.

If you want to run for us in the Dublin Marathon, please let us know!