By Dan Walsh at Fethard-on-Sea
“We have reached the milestone of completing the construction of the hull of the replica Helen Blake and holding an Open Day next Sunday,” Richard Finn, Director of the Helen Blake Community Group at Fethard-on-Sea has told WexfordLocal.com and the hope is that a large number of people will come along to view the progress of this exciting project.
The group are building a replica of the Helen Blake Lifeboat which sank off the Keeragh Islands, off Fethard-on-Sea in 1914 with the loss of nine crewmen. The boat is being constructed by hand using traditional methods to replicate the original.
The focus of the project is to develop community skills in boat building, carpentry and marine tourism. The boat is being built by a team of participants from the Ballycullane Community Employment Scheme, Wexford Local Development TÚS workers and volunteers, under the guidance of master shipwright and craftsman, John Colfer.
The boat is currently in the latter stages of construction, with the boat anticipated to be completed and seaworthy by 2023.