Lough Neagh Rescue gets keys to old fisheries patrol boat - the Vigilare

Minister Michelle McIlveen hands the keys to LNR patron, Billy Mullen

Minister Michelle McIlveen hands the keys to LNR patron, Billy Mullen

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A former fisheries patrol boat that spent years protecting local fish stocks has been given a new home with Lough Neagh Rescue (LNR).

DAERA Minister Michelle McIlveen handed the keys to the Vigilare over to the charity this week.

After being replaced, the boat was “no longer of use to the department” and so DAERA opened it up to applications from groups who would use it for the good of the community.

“The rescue service has been an essential part of the community for many years, voluntarily providing assistance to people in trouble on the water and saving many lives,” said Minister McIlveen. “I am delighted that the Vigilare will now form part of that service to help all who use the lough.”

While the boat was a gift, work is required to bring it the up to operational standard.

A spokesperson for LNR said: “Lough Neagh Rescue would like to thank Minister McIlveen and DAERA for the Vigilare. This vessel will help us to continue saving lives on the lough through the further development of our fleet and indeed, volunteers.”