The RNLI and the GAA have announced a major partnership aimed at reducing the number of people who lose their lives though drowning in Ireland. The RNLI drowning prevention campaign ‘Respect the Water’, will be supported through the GAA’s Healthy Clubs initiative and the wider club network.
Dublin footballer and three times GAA All-Star, Lyndsey Davey from Skerries, has a very personal reason for getting involved in the campaign. Her great uncle Michael Hayes was the skipper on the Tit Bonhomme, which sank off Glandore Harbour in Co Cork, with the loss of five of the six crew, including Michael.
Lyndsey told the County Leader, ‘The loss of Michael and his crew was a very difficult time for all the families involved. During the days and weeks following the sinking, the whole community really came together. The search and rescue efforts were relentless and the support given was incredible. I got involved in this campaign as I wanted to give something back and help create awareness around water safety and drowning. In doing so I hope we can prevent any family from suffering the pain of losing a loved one through drowning. I was also involved in the search for the missing Skerries fishermen Ronan Browne and David Gilsenan who lost their life’s at sea back in 2011.”
Niamh Stephenson from RNLI, told the County Leader, “Lyndsey is a role model for this campaign. She’s such an ambassador and has her own very sad personal experiences. Using the GAA as a part of this campaign is an incredible way of getting the message out there and reduce the amount of accidental drownings around the coast.”