On Saturday 25th March, the Athlone Branch ran our first ever Memorabillia Day in the new Boathouse in Sean’s Bar. The event was very well attended in spite of the sun splitting the stones outside. Many members brought their memorabilia along, ranging from historic letters about the IWAI to a classic 1920’s outboard engine. The event was very successful and we will run it again as it was an ‘open day’ and we had a number of new members joining the IWAI.
The First Branch meeting of the year was held in The Boat House in Sean’s Bar. It was held after the Memorabilia Day which was well attended. The new committee was introduced to the members and upcoming events calendar was presented, which started with the “work in day” and the laying of two new buoys. A discussion was held regarding the charging at the town marina and how to claim refunds which is appearing to be a challenging. An update on The Shannon Rally was given by Siobhan Bigley. We are planning to hold our next branch meeting at the CIC in June.
RNLI Life Jacket Check
The Lough Ree Community Lifesaving Team with the assistance of John McKenna and George Duffy from the Howth Community Lifesaving Team held a very successful Life Jacket Check Clinic in conjunction with The Athlone IWAI branch memorabilia day in Sean’s Bar, Athlone on the 25th March.
The Team were delighted that not only did branch members avail of this opportunity but also local fishermen and members of other IWAI branches.
The Team checked in total 63 lifejackets and alarmingly found that there was nearly an 80% failure rate. Of the 50 jackets that failed 40 were predominantly due to out of date firing heads. In the event of falling into the water it was deemed that they may or may not deploy and owners were advised to replace firing heads or gas. Another common issue was that gas bottles were not screwed in tight which, naturally, could result in a jacket not properly inflating. Worryingly 10 jackets were deemed to a total failure in that they would never deploy. One owner said “I might as well be wearing a scarf so!”. The 10 total failure included jackets with no gas or no firing head what so ever.