Journal Volume 7 2013

Launch of Greystones lifeboat

The Irish Times, 5 August 1872


The retirement of Greystones, that delightful sanitarium on the coast of the County Wicklow, was enlivened on Saturday by an interesting and festal ceremony. The occasion was the launching of a life-boat, Sarah Tancred, and it drew to the beach a large number of the neighbouring gentry, the summer residents, and the indigenous rustics and fishermen. The midday trains from Bray, Kingstown and Dublin brought also to the spot a large contingent of ladies and gentlemen whom the hospitality of their local friends and the intrinsic charms of the locality detained till a late hour in the evening. The weather was all that could be desired, the country folk dressed in holiday attire, and gay equipages and fair ladies, dressed as for a flower show, made old Greystones look as it had never looked before. The boat is a magnificent specimen of her class, very large, strong enough to brave the buffeting of the roughest seas and to support treble the number of human beings that could by any possibility be packed into her. Her full crew consists of twelve oarsmen, a steersman, and a man at the prow to fire from a rocket apparatus the rescuing rope to a foundering ship. She was decorated on Saturday with a profusion of flags, and was drawn in procession from the railway station to the beach on a stout four-wheeled truck dragged by six horses. Her crew was on board, as hardy a lot of salts as one would wish to see, all of them in red Guernsey shirts and cork jackets. The last circumstance suggested a hope that the spectators were to be entertained by witnessing an upset and an immersion, but these amusements did not form part of the programme. She was launched very easily and quickly, and if always manned as she was manned on Saturday, will, no doubt, do good service for years to come. The cost of building her, and the substantial boat-house in which she lies when not in use, was about £500. This sum was the bequest of a Mr Tancred, who was born and reared within two miles of Delgany, and quitted the neighbourhood in early youth to seek his fortune in more stirring places … Besides its name, which is that of the donor’s deceased wife, the boat bears on it the title of the National Life-boat Institution … The very moderate funds required to maintain the boat in full efficacy, and always ready for its benevolent mission, are to be derived from voluntary contributions, and especially from the contributions of the counties Wicklow and Dublin.


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