Shane O’Neill tells us about his ambitious lighthouse hopping adventure this summer all in aid of very good cause, the RNLI, the charity that saves lives at sea.
This June I will be cycling around Ireland’s spectacular coastline in aid of the RNLI. I will be traveling from lighthouse to lighthouse, using these beacons as destination points, clocking up in and around 2,500 miles. This ‘lighthouse-hopping’ adventure will be self-sufficient – I’ll be pitching my tent in remote locations, cooking my own food and have given myself a budget of five euro per day.
The RNLI and Irish Lights are an essential part of the protection and preservation of our entire coast. They are both dedicated to safety at sea and our coastal communities are greatly enhanced by their presence. Last year, an average of ten people drowned in our waters every month – this is a shocking statistic.
We need to be more mindful that any body of water poses a threat, not just the obvious-looking rough water of the sea or the fast-flowing river. It might sound like an obvious question but are you familiar with the particular spot you intend swimming at? Are you accompanied by someone who does?
There is a huge amount of traffic around our coast and inland waters between the leisure side of things and marine industries. This presents a massive task for the RNLI and rescue services on a daily basis and have on average around 23 callouts each day. Most of the crew are volunteers – this is amazing when you think about all the other stuff going on in their lives such as family and work commitments.
When that pager bleeps at whatever ungodly time, everything else gets put to the side and they brave the toughest of elements, regardless of who the person is, their age or belief system.
On my cycle, I’d love to hear from anyone about their experiences on the water and coastal life – RNLI volunteers, business owners, locals, fishermen and women, former lighthouse workers. I’ll be updating a blog along the way and hopefully we can buy the crews some new boots!
I will be leaving my house in Sallynoggin, Dublin on 5 or 6 June and making my way to the East Pier Lighthouse on Dun Laoghaire Pier where I will also be able to view my final destination – the West Pier Lighthouse. I reckon it will take close to a month. My wife and three girls are hoping two and a half. I’ll do my best to split the difference.
We wish Shane the best of luck on his journey and will be checking in on his progress. If you want to donate to this great cause visit his Every Day Hero page.