Courtmacsherry Lifeboat - some If you want to know more about Courtmacsherry Lifeboat - look no further!history.

Below is a brief synopsis of the great tradition of Lifeboat and rescue work performed by past and present members of the Courtmacsherry Lifeboat.

For anyone who would like a more detailed history of the Courtmacsherry Lifeboat and the maritime & general history of this beautiful area then you need look no further than "Home from Sea. The history of Courtmacsherry Lifeboat, 1825 - 1995". Written by Mícheál Hurley - longtime member of the Courtmacsherry Lifeboat  - you can order it via this link to It's ISBN is "0-9526007-5-7" for hardback or "0-9526007-0-6" for the soft cover issue.

We are grateful to Mícheál for the use of many images from his book on the website. There are many more of course to be seen in the book.

1825 A station was established and manned by Coastguards.

1840 A Silver Medal was awarded to Coastguard Barnabus Quadling for rescuing four crew from the wrecked sloop John and Ellen.

1842 A Gold Medal was awarded to Coastguard Barnabus Quadling for rescuing the 14 crew from the wrecked brigantine Latona.

1867 The RNLI took over the station and a new boathouse was built on the beach headland.

1887 Silver Medals were awarded to Maria and Josephine Horsford and to William Sullivan for rescuing two women and two men from a sailing boat which had capsized in Courtmacsherry Bay.

1901 A new boathouse and slipway were built at Barry’s Point.

1904  On 1 January the lifeboat Kezia Gwilt rescued 11 crew from the barque Faulconnier stranded on the Seven Heads. 

1915  On the 7-May the famous liner Lusitania is Old postcard of the Lusitania passsing the Old Head of Kinsale.sunk off the Old Head of Kinsale with the loss of 1,198 souls - torpedoed by German submarine U-20. She sank in just 17 minutes. Courtmacsherry lifeboat Keria Gwilt was the first rowed boat to the scene.

1928 The station temporarily closed due to crew shortages.

1929 The station opened again and the lifeboat was placed on moorings in the river.

1930 A Centenary Vellum was presented to the station.

1952 Coxswain Denis Driscoll retired after serving nearly 24 years on the lifeboat, during which time he helped save 50 lives.

1968 A Frenchman who was rescued by the lifeboat on 1 January 1904 sent a donation to the branch in appreciation of the kindness shown to his daughter when she visited Courtmacsherry in 1968. She was shown the site of the wreck of the Faulconnier and met the only surviving member of the crew who took part in the service.

1975 An anniversary Vellum was presented to the station to celebrate 150 years as a lifeboat station.

1979 A special framed certificate was awarded to the Coxswain and crew for display at the station for their services to numerous yachts in difficulties during the Fastnet Race on 14 August.

1981 A Framed Letter of Thanks was awarded to Acting The 47-foot Watson craft was launched at Whitehills in Banffshire in August 1961 by the Duchess of Fife and was called ‘The Helen Wycherley.’Coxswain/Mechanic JB Madden when the lifeboat Helen Wycherley searched for survivors from the capsized fishing boat Blue Whale.


1995 The Waveney class lifeboat was withdrawn and replaced by a Trent class lifeboat.

1998 A new boathouse, providing improved crew facilities, was completed in August.

1999 A Bronze Medal was awarded to Second Coxswain Daniel O'Dwyer and Framed Letters of Thanks were awarded to Assistant Mechanic Colin Bateman and Crew Members Michael Cox, Patrick Lawton, Alan Locke, Brian O'Donovan and Michéal O'Donovan for rescuing three people from the yacht Supertaff in storm force 10 south westerly winds on 24 October 1998. 

2003 A Framed Letter of Thanks was awarded to Coxswain Dan O’Dwyer for saving an injured yachtsman from the yacht Bowden in Force 11 winds and severe seas on 1 December 2002.

Station Honours :

At Courtmacsherry Harbour lifeboat station the following awards have been made:

Framed Letter of Thanks 8
Bronze Medals 1
Silver Medals 4
Gold Medals 1

Past Lifeboats: