#OTD in 1936 – The Daunt Rock Rescue.

The Ballycotton lifeboat ‘Mary Stanford’ returns to its home port in East Cork following probably the most famous sea rescue in Irish maritime history. Ballycotton fisherman Patrick Sliney was Coxswain of the life boat which spent over 60 hours at sea, in a successful attempt to save six men from the lightship that guarded the Daunt Rock. The Royal National Lifeboat Institute website states:

‘A Gold Medal was awarded to Coxswain Patrick Sliney, Silver Medals to Second Coxswain John Lane Walsh and Motor Mechanic Thomas Sliney, and Bronze Medals to Crew Members Michael Coffey Walsh, John Shea Sliney, William Sliney and Thomas Walsh for the service on 11 February when the Daunt Rock lightship broke away from her moorings. The seas were so mountainous that spray was flying over the lantern of the lighthouse 196ft high. The lifeboat was away from the station for 79 hours and at sea for 49 hours; the crew had no food for 25 hours and they only had three hours sleep. The eight crew were rescued after the lifeboat went alongside the vessel more than a dozen times. This was one of the most exhausting and gallant services in the history of the RNLI.’

Image: A postage stamp was issued in 1974 to mark the 150th anniversary of the RNLI. This depiction of the rescue of the crew of the Daunt Lightship by the Ballycotton lifeboat RNLB Mary Stanford was chosen as the image to be represented on that postage stamp – Oil painting by B. F. Gribble

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