Six years after Caitriona Lucas became the first Irish Coast Guard volunteer to die on active service, a documentary is due to air on Clare FM Radio today, September 12, about her life.
“Caitriona was a hero…she should always be remembered,” program director Padraic Flaherty said of the hour-long documentary, which was made with support from Ms Lucas’ family.
Ms Lucas (41), a librarian, mother of two and forward helmsman from Liscannor, Co Clare, had offered to help the nearby Kilkee unit of the Irish Coastguard in the search for a missing man on September 12, 2016 .
She didn’t expect to go to sea, but the unit was one crew short. She died after the rigid inflatable boat Kilkee (Rib) capsized in a shallow surf area. Two other crew members survived.
Two years ago, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) ruled that no criminal charges should be brought in relation to the incident after a report was forwarded to him by the Health and Safety Authority ( HSA).
The unpublished HSA report was one of two separate investigations. The Marine Casualty Investigation Board’s (MCIB) second report proved so controversial that it had to be released in two parts, and responses to the draft were longer than the report itself.
Ms Lucas’ husband Bernard, who was one of many to raise questions about the MCIB report, told Clare FM the new radio documentary was very emotional for him.
However, he said it also saved many positive memories of his late wife.
“There was a laugh in it…and great memories,” he told Clare FM last week.
Saying ‘no’ to any request for help ‘was not an option’ for his late wife, Bernard noted, recalling his commitment to the Irish Coast Guard and the Search and Rescue Dog Association.
He said he hoped people would realize how rewarding it is to give back to the community.
Padraic Flaherty said it was a great privilege to make the documentary and thanked Bernard for providing him with contacts for his family and friends.
Flaherty said he doesn’t think anyone in the county and the country will ever forget September 12, 2016, when Ms Lucas lost her life.
“Caitriona was a hero…she should always be remembered,” Flaherty said.
“Catriona Lucas, Fearless” airs on Clare FM’s Morning Focus show this Monday morning September 12 from 11am.
Listen to the documentary preview on Clare FM here