Photo: RNLI/Nathan Williams

Pat Lawton

Assistant Mechanic, Courtmacsherry Harbour RNLI

Referee, Barryroe GAA

'It was 24 May 2007. I was refereeing a match and I had my pager in my pocket. I informed the mentors from the two clubs that if my pager went off I would have to leave. And three-quarters of the way through, it did.

'When I got to the pier I was running to the lifeboat in my referee's uniform. Dan [O'Dwyer - former coxswain] had my lifejacket and my wellies and all my RNLI gear on the boat.

'The call was to two divers who hadn't surfaced off the Old Head of Kinsale but they were OK and we were stood down after about 45 minutes.

'It was the day of the general election so when we got to the pier to refuel, rather than taking off my lifeboat gear and my referee gear, I took off to the polling booth. They were surprised to see me. I gave my vote with 5 minutes to spare.'