THEY started off using their own vehicles, wearing simple embroidered jumpers in 1989 – but now the Killybegs Coast Guard Unit has the biggest base in Ireland.
In 1989, the Coast Cliff Rescue Service (CCRS) was launched in Killybegs and the crew has swelled in the years since.
In 2009, the new station was designed and money ring-fenced for its development.
Now, the state-of-the-art station is the biggest of the 42 coast guard stations in Ireland by some distance.
Shane McCrudden, the deputy officer in charge of the unit, has spoken of how they deal with those unknown calls in the middle of the night.
“There are a lot of deep breaths from the minute the pager sounds,” he said.
“You don’t make a knee-jerk reaction. There is a lot of thought that goes in. There is planning to be done.”
As well as looking after those people who make the SOS calls, they are always minded for the safety of their own crew.
Shane said: “Our end game in any call-out or any event is that everyone returns to their own home, their own families, their own dinner tables.”
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