On a visit to Ballycotton last weekend, I was intrigued by the very battered and bruised old lifeboat on display overlooking the lighthouse. This was the Mary Stanford, and it was only when I got home and asked the all knowing ‘ Dr Google’, that I found out the intriguing history of this very hard working little boat with the big heart.
Unusually, this lifeboat was the only lifeboat in Ireland that was awarded a gold medal for gallantry. Often lifeboat crews receive medals for gallantry, but in this case the lifeboat also received a gold medal, for the famous Daunt Lightship rescue in February 1936. The original Mary Stanford was built in 1916, and was stationed in Rye, England, but was lost in a storm in 1928, when it went down with all 17 crew on board.
In 1930, the son of Mary Stanford paid…
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