Jul 30
Byline: 3 callouts for the Inshore lifeboat, and 1 for the All-weather lifeboat
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The crew of Rhyl's lifeboats thought that the midweek lull would give them some respite from the many callouts they have had in the last week. This, however, was not to be.

The Inshore lifeboat had 3 callouts, and the All-weather lifeboat 1 callout, from  children in difficulty in the water off Prestatyn; to a Jetskier broken down, and finally a windsurfer 1 mile out at Llandulas with a broken sail. Further details can be found on www.rhyl-lifeboat.co.uk/ILBsvce2014.htm  under 30/7/2014. The last callout was the first command for deputy 2nd Coxswain Andrew Wilde, some 7 miles west of the station.

It is hoped that videos of our latest rescues will be available by 31/7/2014. Details also available on our twitter and facebook sites @rhyllifeboat.



Jul 30
Byline: On Saturday 26th July 2014 about 250 small ships, yachts, working boats and clippers sailed up the River Clyde from Greenock to Glasgow as part of the city's Commonwealth Games celebrations.
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They were accompanied by Helensburgh RNLI Lifeboat.  They set off from Greenock and arrived at Pacific Quay to be greeted by crowds along the shoreline.  The flotilla, the largest ever seen on the Clyde, was organised by the Royal Yachting Association, Scotland.

Yacht Deya, from Helensburgh, owned by Mr Chas Batchelor was host to Mrs Althea Hodge, General Secretary of the Anguilla Commonwealth Games Association and her husband Lowell and son Omar(10).  Deya was not going into Princes Dock at the end of the cruise.  She was returning to Rhu so it was necessary for the VIP,s to disembark.  Helensburgh RNLI Lifeboat undertook this task. 
Being VIP,s they were given the exclusive use of a car.  The driver happened to be Mr Lindsay Paterson a Clydesider (Commonwealth Games volunteer host) who's wife Terry, also a  Clydesider, is an active member of the Helensburgh  RNLI fundraising committee.  Chas daughter Amy is an ex crew member of Helensburgh RNLI and Chas sailed to Anguilla in one of his Caribbean trips Search for long enough and you will always find links.

Jul 30
Byline: The Royal National Lifeboat Institution today announced the launch of a pilot scheme that will allow the charity to accept donations in Bitcoin.
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The RNLI is the first major charity in the UK or Ireland to accept Bitcoin, which is a form of digital currency.

Unlike conventional currencies, Bitcoins aren’t printed or minted – they don’t physically exist and are not controlled by a bank or government. Instead they are created and held electronically, allowing users to conduct transactions over the internet. They form part of a growing category of money known as ‘cryptocurrency’.

The RNLI has chosen to receive Bitcoin donations via a dedicated page (RNLI.org/Bitcoin). The charity says that if the scheme is successful it may look at integrating Bitcoin into its standard donation pages.

Leesa Harwood, RNLI Deputy Director of Fundraising and Communications, said: “The RNLI has a history of innovation in fundraising, holding the first street collection in 1891. Bitcoin is an innovative new kind of currency and we believe that accepting Bitcoin will result in donations we may not otherwise receive, as well as connecting us with new types of supporters.”

Leesa added: “From our research into future trends, it looked likely that we would receive digital currency as a donation or as part of a legacy at some point and we wanted to be prepared for that eventuality. So a project team was founded to look at the feasibility of accepting Bitcoin, which has led to the pilot scheme we are launching today.

“We want to lead the way in accepting and benefiting from all forms of digital currency, so we’re running this scheme to allow our supporters to donate Bitcoins through a secure online system. We’ve chosen Bitcoin as it is an established and widely recognised digital currency.

“This is a pilot scheme and we are looking forward to seeing how it will proceed as part of our interest in cryptocurrencies and how they may work in the future. We will of course closely monitor how much money is donated. We already have safeguards in place to monitor donations, however we receive them.”

The number of businesses and organisations that accept Bitcoins is slowly growing and includes Expedia, the travel company; Dell, the computer retailer, and Cumbria University.

Notes to editors:

• Attached is a photograph of Leesa Harwood, RNLI Deputy Director of Fundraising and Communications

• The RNLI has no plans at present to accept Bitcoin in any of our shops, museums, online at RNLIshop.org or in the facilities at the RNLI college.

• The ability to accept Bitcoin is additional to all other existing online donation mechanisms and the RNLI has not budgeted for any specific amount. The RNLI will closely monitor how much money is donated.

• The RNLI looked at the maturity of the ecosystem and providers, price volatility, technical integration and security risks around Bitcoin in making this decision.

• The RNLI bitcoin page is: http://RNLI.org/bitcoin  

For more information contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789/ pressoffice@rnli.org.uk

Jul 29
Byline: Four vessels have been towed to safety by RNLI Angle’s all weather and inshore lifeboats in a busy five days for the station.
Page Content: On Thursday (24 July) the lifeboat launched at 6.35pm to a report of a 6m fishing vessel broken down and at anchor off Sheep Island, near the entrance to the Milford Haven Waterway. There was one person on board.

The Tamar class lifeboat Peter and Lesley-Jane Nicholson, on relief duty at Angle, reached the casualty in 8 minutes and, after the casualty recovered her anchor, a tow was rigged and a course set for East Angle Bay.

At the entrance to East Angle the casualty was put into an alongside tow and taken to her moorings.

The lifeboat was released to return to her station, where she was rehoused at 7.50pm.

The following day the lifeboat was launched at 9.40pm to go to the aid of a 5.5m sailing boat, which had engine failure east of the Cleddau Bridge.

Once the lifeboat reached the scene, the casualty - with two people on board - was put into an alongside tow and taken to her moorings off Hobbs Point, Pembroke Dock. With the boat safely secured, the lifeboat returned to her station, where she was rehoused at 10.50pm.
On Saturday, at 6.55pm, the lifeboat was alerted to an 8m steel motor vessel which had engine failure about one mile east of St Govan’s Head. There were two people on board.
The lifeboat reached the scene at 7.30pm and transferred a crew member to the casualty to assist with rigging a tow. A course was set for Milford Haven and at the entrance to the Docks the casualty was put into an alongside tow and taken to the Mackerel Stage, where she was safely secured.

After recovering her crew member, the lifeboat returned to her station for rehousing at 9.50pm.

In the fourth call-out in five days for RNLI Angle, the inshore lifeboat was launched at 3.43 pm on Monday to go to the aid of a 3.5m motor boat, which had engine failure in Pennar Gut in the Milford Haven Waterway.

Once the lifeboat was on the scene, a tow was rigged and the casualty vessel, with two people and a dog on board, was taken to the Yacht Club pontoon at Neyland. With the motor boat safely secured, the lifeboat returned to her station after an hour at sea.

Note to editors


RNLI Angle’s relief all weather lifeboat Peter and Lesley-Jane Nicholson.
Photo: RNLI/Angle.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Ted Goddard, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, Angle, on 01437 763675 or Danielle Rush, Public Relations Manager (Wales & the West) on 07786668829 or 01745585162 or by email: danielle_rush@rnli.org.uk or RNLI Public Relations on 01202336789

Jul 29
Byline: The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has opened a box containing a bottle of 100-year-old brandy, a gift left in a Will to the charity which has been kept locked away for 24 years.
Page Content: Kept under lock and key since 1990, no RNLI HQ staff member had ever laid eyes on the bottle, until it was finally opened yesterday.

A generous bequest made by Mrs Mary Sennett who died in 1980, the historic bottle of brandy only made its way to the RNLI when the executor of Mrs Sennett’s estate passed away in 1990. The terms of this generous gift came with the simple stipulation that in 2014, when the brandy turns 100 years old, the bottle is to be sold at auction and the funds shared equally between the RNLI and the World Wildlife Fund UK.

Crew members training at the RNLI College were finally able to carefully unscrew the box and reveal an immaculately preserved bottle of F.Latour & Co Vieille Reserve Cognac from 1914 with an original 1914 seal.

David Baines, specialist wine expert at Charterhouse auctions, was on hand for a live valuation. With the perfect level of liquid, colour, an unbroken seal and unspoiled label, David was able to estimate that the bottle may reach between £500 and £1,000 at auction.

The RNLI hopes to auction the brandy in the autumn, though at this stage it is hard to tell what exact price the charity can expect it to fetch. More research will now be done to determine the exact value of the bottle and book the brandy into auction in the next few months.

Guy Rose, Legacy Income Manager says: ‘At this point it is still hard to know how much the bottle might fetch at auction, but we are really encouraged by David’s valuation and are hoping that potential buyers will be interested and inspired by the story and mystery behind it.

‘Where six out of 10 lifeboat launches are only made possible through gifts in Wills, after taking care of loved ones, any gift left to the RNLI is vital to the future of the charity’s lifesaving service.’

Just £59 pays for a pair of waterproof binoculars to help volunteer crews identify casualties in rough seas, £85 pays for a wetsuit so that a lifeguard may reach a swimmer in trouble and £330 pays for a new lifejacket to keep an inshore lifeboat crew member safe at sea.

Because of the indirect nature of the brandy’s arrival at the RNLI HQ in Poole 24 years ago, very little is known about the kind donor Mary Sennett and even less is known about the history of this antique bottle. A fitting gift, brandy has a long history with the RNLI as it was the standard practice since the very early days of the service until the late 1980’s to issue lifeboats with spirits, including brandy as an aid to help revive or sustain people. Coxswains were given strict instructions to ‘keep an eye’ on the issued bottle!

In the 1881 publication Treatment for Restoring the Apparently Drowned, the RNLI instructs:
‘On the restoration of life, a teaspoonful of warm water should be given; and then, if the power of swallowing be returned, small quantities of wine, warm brandy and water, or coffee should be administered.’ 

Joanna Bellis, Heritage Curatorial Manager at the RNLI says: ‘It certainly is a gift that fits perfectly with the maritime history of the RNLI, especially the most important aspect – saving lives.

‘We can’t say or prove that this bottle of brandy was kept on an RNLI lifeboat all those years ago. But it would be lovely if we could.’

For more information about leaving a gift in a Will contact Nicky_Comber@rnli.org.uk, 01202 663204.

Jul 28


Byline: Volunteer crewmen of the RNLI’s Barrow station today, Monday 28th July 2014, launched their all weather Tamar class lifeboat to go to the assistance of a day fishing boat with a disabled engine
Page Content: The request to launch came from Liverpool Coastguard at 3-44pm following a message from the two man crew of an 18 foot day fishing boat who were unable to start their engine due to a flat battery. The location given was in the Irish Sea to the west of Walney Island, 3.5 miles south west of the lifeboat station. The two man crew were uninjured and wearing lifejackets and they had utilised a sea anchor. High water had been at 1-17pm with a height of 8.6metres.

The Tamar class lifeboat launched at 4-05pm manned by five crew under the command of Deputy Second Coxswain Dave Kell, whilst a Furness Coastguard team kept watch on the disabled vessel from shore.

On arrival at the scene the casualties explained that they were unable to start their engine due to a flat battery, so the vessel was taken under tow back to the lifeboat station. When they neared Piel Island, the Barrow inshore lifeboat ‘Vision of Tamworth’ manned by Kate Lawty, Adam Cleasby and Andy Baxter took over the tow and moored the vessel alongside the station slipway. After examination the engine of the casualty vessel was started with the aid of jump leads and the crew were allowed to continue on their way home to Morecambe.

Both lifeboats were recovered and made ready for the next service by 6-30pm

Jul 28
Byline: Shortly before 5pm on Sunday, 27th July 2014, HM Coastguard requested the launch of Criccieth's RNLI lifeboat to assist a speedboat suffering from engine failure between Penychain Head and Criccieth.
Page Content: ​It was reported that a small privately owned boat was on scene, but unable to assist the casualty vessel.  The station's Atlantic 85 lifeboat, Doris Joan, was promptly launched and found the stricken vessel due west of the Dwyfor estuary.  A tow was established and two persons bought aboard the lifeboat, leaving the other two on-board the casualty vessel.

The lifeboat towed the speedboat to Pwllheli Marina, arriving shortly after 6pm.  The rescued people and speedboat were placed ashore on the launching slipway.

This represented the station's 15th rescue of 2014.  In total, 28 people have been rescued and one life saved, by the station's volunteer lifeboat crew this year.


For further information, please contact Ifer Gwyn 07554445316

Jul 27
Byline: The volunteer crews of both the All-weather lifeboat and Inshore lifeboat have had a varied and busy time this week
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The callouts started on Tuesday 22 July with one for a kitesurfer off Towyn for the inshore boat, and a dayboat with 3 people and a dog towed in by the All-weather boat.

On Wednesday 23rd, there were 2 calls for the inshore boat to swimmers in difficulties and inflatables getting blown out to sea.

On Friday 25th, the inshore boat was again called out to an inflatable and 9 people cut off by the incoming tide. The adults were carrying the children in their arms when the lifeboat arrived to ferry them the 200m back to shore.

On Saturday 26th, the inshore lifeboat was again busy with 3 calls to swimmers in difficulty, persons stuck on rocks, and to personal water craft (Jetskis) getting too close to swimmers.

On Sunday 27th, the inshore lifeboat had 2 calls for missing children and a boat in the harbour with engine trouble, and the all-weather lifeboat was called 8 miles out to transfer an unwell worker from the offshore platforms in the windfarm.

Paul Frost, acting Coxswain says " We have had a very busy time and also have been pleased to see our promenade being utilised to the full with the weekend's Beach Fest. This has been hugely popular for the first time at Rhyl, and has proved what a valuable asset the beach and promenade are to the town. The volunteer crew of Rhyl RNLI were pleased to be a part of the weekend and hope this is the first of many such events. "

Jul 27
Byline: Whitstable’s new Atlantic 85 Lifeboat Lewisco and its launching tractor and carriage have now entered service after two days of crew training and exercises.
Page Content: The new boat, which has been funded through a bequest from a Mrs Lewis who lived in London, is 1-metre longer and slightly wider than her predecessor that allows room for four crew members and more equipment.  The lifeboat is powered by two 115hp 4-stroke engines and has a stronger hull and greater top speed of 35 knots.

The addition of radar enables the crew to operate more effectively in poor visibility and the lifeboat carries a full suite of communication and electronic navigation aids, including VHF radio, VHF direction finding equipment, an intercom between the crew and an electronic chart.

The manually operated self-righting mechanism combined with two inversion-proofed engines enable the lifeboat to remain operational even after capsize. She is also capable of being beached in an emergency without sustaining damage to engines or steering gear. The lifeboat is named after a pet of the Lewis family.

Helmsman Richard Judge who took the lifeboat to sea on Thursday said “The crew are very impressed with the new boat which has improved performance in all areas”.

“The radar and electronics will help us search more effectively and the improved speed and sea-keeping abilities of the boat will enable us to reach casualties more quickly”

“We are very grateful to the family of Mrs Lewis whose legacy has made the purchase of the boat possible”.

In addition to the new lifeboat, the station has been equipped with an up-rated launching tractor which was previously in service at New Brighton. The machine has been fully overhauled before coming to Whitstable and has impressed all at the station with its abilities.

Helmsman Tony Martin said “The new tractor has so far proved very impressive in the conditions that we operate in, its upgraded specification and ‘mud plugger’ tyres which have much deeper treads which  can handle the soft foreshore conditions more effectively and gives tractor drivers more confidence when performing launching and recovery operations”.

As with all previous Atlantic Class lifeboats at Whitstable, Lewisco and her volunteer crews will provide a maritime search and rescue service for the Kent coast between the Kingsferry Bridge on the Swale, in the west, around the south-eastern side of Sheppey and along the coast through Whitstable and Herne Bay to Reculver in the east and outwards into the Thames Estuary.

Whitstable’s former lifeboat the Atlantic 75 Oxford Town and Gown has now left the town she served for 14-years and will go into the reserve fleet for 6-months before being sold out of RNLI service.

Whitstable Lifeboat Operations Manager Mike Judge said “The members of the Oxford Branch of the RNLI, the Oxford Brooks University and the people of Oxford who raised the funds to equip Whitstable with a lifeboat back in 2000 can be very proud of the service their boat has given at Whitstable. She and her crew were launched ‘on service on 836 occasions, rescued 806 people and has been credited with saving 35 lives”

Whitstable’s new lifeboat answered its first calls on Saturday.

At 2.52pm the lifeboat was launched after two swimmers were reported to be in difficulties off the east quay at Whitstable Harbour. On arrival at the scene the lifeboat crew found that the swimmers were safe and well, having made their own way ashore.

Almost immediately after this call the lifeboat was tasked to join lifeboats from Sheerness and Southend along with an RAF Sea Ling Helicopter based at Wattisham after Thames Coastguard received a 999 call from a member of the public at Sheerness, reporting the sighting of a red flare in the Thames Estuary.

Whitstable Lifeboat searched the area around the Red Sands Towers, the Oaze Deep and the Spile Buoy off Sheppey but nothing was found and after two hours all units were stood down.

Jul 27
Byline: Lifeboat Week in Lyme Regis ended with a splash last night as the volunteer crew lost the tug o' war across the harbour entrance to a coastguard team boosted by the surprise inclusion of two rugby stars.
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Exeter Chiefs' Will Carrick-Smith and Sam Hill added muscle power to the coastguard team, much to the delight of hundreds of spectators who saw the lifeboat crrew take a soaking as they lost their grip on the rope to lose 3-1.

Tug o' war apart, the week was voted a huge success by the organisers Lyme Regis and Charmosuth RNLI Guild.

Chair-elect Irene Roper said:"The weather was very kind to us and, as usual, our visitors and local people have been incredibly generous with their donations to our charity.

"We are still counting, but I am sure we will have a pleasant surprise when we have finished."

Highlights included the RAF Falcons parachute display team, and on Thursday an estimated 20,000 packed the seafront and gardens to watch a spectacular performance by the Red Arrows.

All the old favourites drew praise from visitors...the lifeboat barbecue on the slipway where a thousand hot dogs were sold, the crab fishing contest, swimming challenge, the duck race with 900 ducks and the belly dancers, Eastern Promise and Friends.

Mrs Roper added:"I cannot praise the crew and the guild members enough for their hard work. They worked together as a team, and the result was a hugely successful week."

Work will start soon on next yesr's  week which will run from July 18th to 25th, 2015.