The greatest loss ever suffered by the Irish RNLI

On 20th February 1914 the crew of the Helen Blake set out on a rescue mission that would sadly end in tragedy and make history.

Around midday on that fateful day the Norwegian schooner,  the ‘Mexico’ was on the last leg of a 5000 mile journey from South America.  It was battling against winds in a storm recorded as the worst if its time. 

The ‘Mexico’ ran aground on the rocks around the Keeragh Islands in Ballytigue Bay, just off Fethard-on-Sea, County Wexford. 

News of the disaster was relayed to Fethard and the alarm was raised. The lifeboat volunteers set out in an attempt to rescue the stricken Schooner that would end in tragedy and only five of the fourteen men would return to their families.  

Fourteen brave men launched a 35 foot rowing boat and fought their way through 3 miles of wind and rain risking their own lives to save the lives of men that they didn’t even know.  

Nine crew men lost their lives that day.

We are going to honor and commemorate those heroes and fellow villagers by building a replica of their boat that will be a fitting tribute to their selfless bravery.

The following images show the current state of the replica build and the original boat. The replica is being built at Bevel Woodworking School, Fethard-on-Sea.

Helen Blake Replica - Frames and KeelReplica September 2019

Helen Blake Lifeboat


If you would like to help us achieve our goal to honour the heroes of the
Helen Blake,
and be named in the Roll of Honour

Go raibh maith agat
(Thank you)
from all of us in Fethard on Sea

Find Us

Helen Blake Lifeboat
Fethard on Sea
New Ross
Co Wexford

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