Jul 20
Byline: The RNLI's latest breed of lifeboat - the Shannon class - joined the stalwart Atlantic 85 on exercise to open Lifeboat Week at Lyme Regis yesterday (July 19th).
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The Shannon named R. and J. Welburn and stationed at neighbouring Exmouth, joined the Lyme Regis boat, Spirit of Loch Fyne for a spectacular welcome display in front of hundreds ashore  on the opening day of Lifeboat Week. The Shannon went through her paces demonstrating her speed and versatility and took part in a 'rescue' exeercise with a 'casualty' being transferred from the Atlantic 85.

Just a little rain before the display did not dampen the opening day, and the rest of the week is packed with events for all the family.

Today (July 20th) the RAF Falcons parachute display team are dropping in  Another favourite is the bath tub race, and the lifeboat crew will be manning a barbecue on the slipway.

On Monday, sand sports and crab fishing will entertain the children.

Events continue on every day, and on Thursday another highlight with the scheduled arrival of the RAF Red Arrows at 6pm.

Jul 19
Byline: Two kayakers owe their lives to the quick response and vigilance of Margate’s RNLI inshore lifeboat crew, and the light from their mobile phone.
Page Content: The alarm was raised last night (Friday 18 July) after members of the public saw two kayakers leave their craft and enter the water around 800m off Palm Bay Cliftonville. Darkness was rapidly setting in and a storm with lightning and a strong offshore wind was passing through the area. A 999 call was made to coastguards at Dover and around the same time, one of the kayakers also contacted the coastguard by mobile phone, saying they were in the water and in need of assistance.

Due to the weather conditions and darkness both the inshore and all-weather RNLI lifeboats from Margate were tasked to assist. The inshore lifeboat arrived on scene just fourteen minutes after receiving the call and the two kayakers, both male adults, were quickly found, clinging to a dry-bag, around three-quarters of a mile offshore. They were spotted thanks to the light from their mobile phone, neither were wearing lifejackets. They were taken on board the lifeboat and quickly returned to the lifeboat station where they were handed into the care of a waiting ambulance crew, both showing signs of possible hypothermia and shock.

Peter Barker, deputy launching authority Margate lifeboat said: “These two men are lucky to be alive. They owe their lives to the quick response of the lifeboat crew and the extraordinarily good fortune of being detected, while in the water, by the light of their mobile phone. We cannot emphasise enough the importance of planning and being prepared for such adventures. Adequate clothing, lifejackets and suitable means of attracting attention are the absolute minimum, they have had a very lucky escape.”

Notes to editors
• Margate lifeboat station has been operating since 1860. To learn more about the lifeboat station go to www.rnli.org.uk/margate

RNLI media contacts
• Peter Barker, RNLI Margate Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer
Tel: 07974 064304, email: tugsrus@btinternet.com
• Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East)
0207 6207426 / 07785 296252 / tim_ash@rnli.org.uk
• James Oxley, RNLI Press Officer (London/East/South East)
0207 6207425 / 07786 668825 / james_oxley@rnli.org.uk
• For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

Jul 18


Byline: Ladies’ man, social networker, non-swimmer. The founder of the RNLI was all of these things, according to a fascinating new biography.
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Author Janet Gleeson was inspired to put pen to paper after seeing Sir William’s letters while volunteering at the RNLI HQ in Poole. She describes him as a complex man, who was dynamic and great with people. He was even brave enough to go out on some of the very first lifeboats, despite never learning to swim.The book was launched this week at the charity’s Lifeboat College.

Janet, who is a successful writer of novels and non-fiction as well as an antiques expert for The Antiques Roadshow, said: 'I was volunteering for the RNLI and was shown Sir William’s letter collection in the archive. I just thought, what an amazing story, and I saw that nobody had properly researched him, despite his incredible life.

'What kind of man was he? He was interesting – a man of many facets – not just a goody-goody, he had flaws in his personality which made him more interesting to me. But he was also brave, dynamic – to set up a charity campaign like he did, he needed to have a clear vision. He was also very good with people, a great networker – some very modern traits really. He was a mover and a shaker. The Richard Branson of his day.'

Janet, who lives in Wareham, carried out research at the RNLI HQ in Poole, as well as in London, the Isle of Man and Essex, where Hillary spent his early married life. He was married twice, explains Janet, the second being more successful than the first. 'He had a chequered love life,' she adds, 'he was something of a ladies man!'

The book, which is entitled The Lifeboat Baronet: Launching the RNLI, is an in-depth look at the life of the man responsible for establishing the life-saving charity in 1824. It traces his journey from Regency rake to national hero, following him as he leaves his slave-owning family in Liverpool, mingles with royalty, marries an heiress and, during the Napoleonic Wars, heads the largest volunteer army in Britain.

Financial and marital disaster eventually forced Hillary to seek exile on the Isle of Man, where a harrowing shipwreck inspired his historic campaign to set up a charity to save lives. He also frequently took to the lifeboats himself, braving terrifying storms and saving hundreds of lives, despite never learning to swim.

Janet Gleeson draws on previously unpublished letters – many written by Hillary himself – revealing the RNLI’s development as well as the tribulations of his private life. She became interested in Hillary while volunteering in the Heritage Department at the Poole headquarters of the RNLI. As part of her volunteer work, she was asked to transcribe historical letters, which led her to the story of the remarkable man behind the RNLI.

Notes to editors

• For more information on the book go here: http://www.thehistorypress.co.uk/index.php/the-lifeboat-baronet.html

• For review copies please contact The History Press (01453 883300)

• The book is available to buy online at the RNLI Shop: http://bit.ly/rnlibaronet

• Images of the book cover and Janet with the book at the Lifeboat College in Poole attached.

• Janet has written three novels - The Serpent in the Garden, The Thief Taker and The Grenadillo Box – and non-fiction books The Arcanum: Extraordinary True Story of the Invention of European Porcelain, The Moneymaker, and An Aristocratic Affair: The Remarkable Life of Harriet Spencer.

• She studied English and the History of Art, then joined Sotheby’s in London and later Bonham’s. She used her expertise in antiques when she joined Reed Books in the 1990s to edit and write many of the Millers’ antiques guides

• Currently Janet also assists in her capacity as antiques expert for BBC TV’s Antiques Roadshow programme and contributes regularly to Homes and Antiques Magazine. Janet’s latest project is a novel relating to the Chinese porcelain trade, the research for which necessitated a trip to China earlier this year.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Joanna Quinn, RNLI Public Relations Officer on 01202 336194 or Joanna_quinn@rnli.org.uk.

Jul 17
Byline: The Lizard’s Tamar class all-weather lifeboat Rose launched yesterday morning (16 July) to go to the assistance of a 100 year old sailing vessel Ruth with four people on board which had lost its main mast three miles southwest of Lizard Point.
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The Lizard lifeboat volunteer crew launched just after 9:30am after the Master of Ruth had contacted Falmouth Coastguard requesting assistance when the vessels wooden mast broke sending the rigging and sails overboard. Once on scene it was obvious to the lifeboat crew that the mast was far too big and heavy to get back onboard and there was concern that if the Ruth’s engine was started the rigging may foul her propeller.

Two Lizard lifeboat crew members, Simon Fayers and station Mechanic Dan Atkinson were transferred onto the vessel and they set up a towline. It then took over four hours against the flood tide, to tow the vessel to Falmouth Harbour where she was placed on a mooring.

Dan Atkinson said: ‘Ruth is a lovely old wooden Baltic Trading vessel. Her main mast collapsed and the Master had no other option but to give the Coastguard a call for assistance. We set up a line on board and towed her steadily to Falmouth’.

The lifeboat crew were Coxswain Andrew Putt, Mechanic Dan Atkinson and crew members Johnny Bray, Simon Fayers, Kevin Kinvig and Burnie Nixon.

This was the second call The Lizard lifeboat has had to deal with in three days. On Monday the lifeboat launched to assist a 33ft fishing vessel that had damaged its propeller off Cadgwith with a party of 13 onboard. The vessel was taken in tow to Falmouth Harbour.

To find out more about The Lizard lifeboat station please visit the station website at www.thelizardlifeboat.org.uk

Notes to editors:

The attached photographs show the Ruth undertow entering Falmouth Harbour Please credit The Lizard RNLI lifeboat.

To view and download a video of the incident filmed from The Lizard lifeboat please follow this link

RNLI media contacts

For more information about The Lizard RNLI lifeboat station news please contact either of the station’s volunteer Lifeboat Press Officers: Bernice Putt on 01326 290881 or mobile 07896522176 or email bernice.putt987@btinternet.com or Lyndsay Bray on 01326 290478 or email ashbybray@tiscalli.co.uk 

If you have difficulty in contacting either station Press Officers, please contact Amy Caldwell, RNLI Public Relations Manager on 07920818807 or email Amy_Caldwell@rnli.org.uk or RNLI Press Officer Emma Haines on 07786668847 or email Emma_Haines@rnli.org.uk

Jul 17
Byline: A teenage girl who won a competition to choose the name of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s (RNLI) latest Shannon class lifeboat officially named the lifesaving vessel at a special ceremony at RNLI HQ in Poole, Dorset, today.
Page Content: Rachel Fairhurst, 14, welcomed Storm Rider into the RNLI’s relief fleet in glorious sunshine, in front of an audience of the lifesaving charity’s staff, volunteers and supporters. This is the first time in the charity’s 190 year history that a competition winner has named an RNLI lifeboat.

A competition to name the lifeboat was run through the RNLI’s Storm Force magazine, which goes to the charity’s 12,000 young members. The top five suggested names were shortlisted and RNLI supporters were asked to vote for their favourite, with Rachel’s choice of Storm Rider winning the vote.

Rachel, from Gateshead near Newcastle, said: ‘It was an absolute honour to name the lifeboat. I have huge respect for what the lifeboat crews do. I think it takes an exceptionally selfless person to go out and risk their lives to save others.’

Charles Hunter-Pease, Chairman of the RNLI, led the ceremony, which saw the fourth Shannon class lifeboat join the charity’s fleet – with Shannon class lifeboats entering service at Dungeness and Exmouth lifeboat stations earlier this year, and one Shannon already in the charity’s relief fleet.

Storm Rider was funded through the RNLI’s Summer and Christmas appeals of 2012, where £5M was raised by the charity’s supporters to help fund the first two relief fleet Shannon class lifeboats and their launch and recovery systems. The Shannon class lifeboat Jock and Annie Slater joined the RNLI’s relief fleet last Summer.

Hugh Fogarty, RNLI Head of Operations, said: ‘We are delighted that Rachel has officially welcomed Storm Rider into our fleet. This lifeboat is only here today because of the generosity of our fantastic supporters. I’d like to thank everyone who supported our appeals which helped fund two Shannon class lifeboats and their launch and recovery systems. These lifesaving vessels will help save lives at sea around the coasts of the UK and Ireland for years to come.’

The RNLI’s current Summer appeal is again raising vital money to help fund Shannon class lifeboats. Nine Mersey and Tyne class lifeboats are nearing the end of their 25-year lifespan and need to be replaced over the next 18 months with the faster, more agile Shannon class. To support the appeal, please visit RNLI.org.uk/730lives

The Shannon is the first RNLI all-weather lifeboat to be powered by water jets instead of propellers, making it the most agile all-weather lifeboat in the charity’s fleet. The lifeboat’s water jets also allow the Shannon to reach casualties in harder to reach places and in shallower waters.

Capable of 25 knots, the Shannon is 50 per cent faster than the lifeboats it is replacing. Over 50 Shannon class lifeboats will enter the RNLI’s fleet over the next 10 years, with the charity set to achieve its strategic objective of a 25 knot all-weather lifeboat fleet by 2019.

After 25 years of service, each Shannon will undergo a total refit where the machinery, systems and equipment will be renewed or replaced – creating a new Shannon class lifeboat ready to save lives at sea for a further 25 years.

Jul 16
Byline: A 12m yacht, which suffered steering failure off the south Pembrokeshire coast, was towed to safety by RNLI Angle’s all-weather lifeboat early on Wednesday morning (July 16).
Page Content: The Tamar class relief lifeboat, Peter and Lesley-Jane Nicholson, was launched at 2.55am to a Mayday from the yacht, which had a father and son on board and was believed to be off St Ann’s Head.

A Milford Haven Port Authority pilot boat was also in the area searching for the yacht, as the exact position was unknown.

The lifeboat made a thorough radar search off St Ann’s Head, but nothing was found. So, with Milford Coastguard having limited communications with the casualty, it was requested that the yacht fire off a flare.

The flare was spotted in the vicinity of Linney Head and the lifeboat made best speed towards the area. As she approached the approximate position, the lifeboat asked that another flare be fired.

After the second flare had gone up there was a weak VHF signal from the casualty, leading the lifeboat to use her direction finder to locate them. Eventually, the yacht was found about 1.2 miles south-west of Linney Head.

A lifeboat crew member was transferred to help assist the yacht, and her skipper asked that his son be transferred to the lifeboat, where he was reassured by members of the volunteer crew.

A tow was rigged and at 3.52am a course was set for the Mackerel Stage at Milford Docks. While underway the problem with the steering on the yacht was identified and repaired.

Opposite Milford Docks the tow was released and the casualty made her own way alongside the pontoon and was safely secured. The lifeboat then recovered her crew member and reunited the skipper with his son.

The lifeboat was released to return to her station, where she was rehoused at 5.49am, after nearly 3 hours at sea.

Note to editors

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 16
Byline: At 1945 hours on Tuesday 15th July 2014 Helensburgh RNLI Lifeboat was assisting the police with a search off Bowling when they were diverted to a report of a small day-boat which appeared to be adrift off Helensburgh Pier.
Page Content: A member of the public had called the Coastguard and reported that there was one person onboard who was paddling and making no headway. 
The lifeboat crew located the vessel some 400 metres off Helensburgh Pier; as reported it was adrift with fuel problems.  It was taken in tow by the lifeboat back to Rhu Marina where it was secured alongside.  The lifeboat returned to station and reported ready for service again at 2028 hours.

Jul 15
Byline: At 3.45pm on Tuesday the 15th of July, 2014 volunteer crew members from Criccieth's RNLI lifeboat station were tasked to an incident near Portmeirion, in which a 7 year old boy was stuck on a sandbank.
Page Content: ​The lifeboat crew transported the station's inshore rescue boat, Margaret a Nantw, to a launching site near Minffordd, before making their way downstream towards Portmeirion.  The boy had earlier swam across a channel to a sandbank near the village's hotel, but was unable to return ashore as the ebbing tide was fast flowing.​

Once on-scene, a crew member was placed on the sandbank and led the boy safely towards the lifeboat. He was then transported the short distance back ashore by boat.  The lifeboat was later recovered at Minffordd.

Following the incident, Criccieth's Lifeboat Operations Manager, Peter Williams commented "This young boy was lucky that he was spotted on the sandbank in difficulty.  The water flowing in the channel which separated him from the mainland was around 10 feet deep and very fast flowing. Without our assistance he would have been stuck for sometime and been very cold."


For further information, please contact Ifer Gwyn, Criccieth Lifeboat Press Officer on 07554445316

Jul 15
Byline: Barrow RNLI’s volunteer Deputy Launching Authority, John Falvey, was recently on hand at the Roa Island station to receive a donation of £600, earned by the 6th form pupils of Sandside Special School, Ulverston
Page Content: The six pupils, under the guidance of teacher Liz Kavanagh, had earned the £600 from a scheme run by ‘Giving Nations Local School Enterprise’ which they called ‘The Slate Project’.

This project involved designing patterns, then obtaining second hand roofing slates from generous local contractors, cleaning them up and painting them with the designs. The children turned the slates into memo boards, cheese boards, drinks coasters and a variety of signs, all of which were snapped up by friends, family and local people in Ulverston.

There were four groups in the school, all in competition and the 6th formers won.

The children then had to travel to Penrith where they gave a presentation about the ‘Slate Project’ and it was decided that they should win the regional heat.

Having been to the lifeboat station previously for a guided tour given by John Falvey, they unanimously decided that the £600 they raised should go to the RNLI’s Barrow lifeboat for the benefit of the station and crew.

John said, “This was a tremendous effort by all of the children. The quality of the designs and paintings on the slates was excellent and the variety of uses for the slates that they had thought up was quite innovative. Everyone at the RNLI team in Barrow is delighted to receive such a large amount of money, especially as they had remembered us from a previous educational visit to the station.”

Jul 15
Byline: The south Pembrokeshire village of Angle was among churches and communities from all over the world which came together on Sea Sunday in a campaign to remember seafarers and pray for them, their families and those who support them.
Page Content: As well as raising money to help those who work at sea, the day was celebrated with services, parades and ship blessings.

Angle’s celebration on Sunday (13 July) took the form of a service, led by the Rev Geoffrey Howell, Team Vicar for the Monkton Rectorial Benefice, with the Port Chaplain for The Mission to Seafarers, the Rev Steve Traynar.

It began at the small 15th Century Seamen’s Chapel of St Anthony in the grounds of St Mary’s Church, Angle. Afterwards, the congregation of local residents and visitors made their way to RNLI Angle lifeboat station.

There, the service continued in the crew room, with its spectacular views over the Milford Haven Waterway. The Rev Howell continued the service and provided musical accompaniment for the hymns. Particularly poignant was the singing of the Seafarers’ hymn, ‘Eternal Father, Strong to Save’, during which a collection was taken in aid of The Mission to Seafarers and the RNLI.

The Rev Traynar gave the address, during which he spoke of the work of The Mission to Seafarers’ teams of caring chaplains and volunteers all over the world. They work tirelessly to bring help, hope and a safe haven for sick, lonely exhausted and troubled seafarers of all ranks, nationalities and beliefs in over 260 ports in 71 countries.

He told of his own work as Port Chaplain, visiting oil and gas tankers on the Milford Haven Waterway, bringing vital support and care and assistance to seafarers on board, those injured or who fall sick and are admitted to hospital locally, and of the welcome given to merchant crews from all the world at the charity’s Milford Haven International Seafarers Centre in Robert Street.

RNLI Angle’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, John Allen-Mirehouse, welcomed everyone to the lifeboat station, and spoke of the work of its all-weather and inshore lifeboats, which provide a 24-hour search and rescue service 365 days of the year.

The Angle station, which was founded in 1868, is one of 237 RNLI lifeboat stations around the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. The charity is independent from Government and relies on voluntary contributions and gifts in wills for its income.

After the service, visitors were able to tour the station’s all-weather state-of the-art Tamar class lifeboat, Peter and Lesley-Jane Nicholson. She is on relief duty at Angle, while its own Tamar lifeboat, Mark Mason, is away undergoing modifications.

Note to editors

Sea Sunday: Pictured on board RNLI Angle’s relief all-weather lifeboat are (left to right): David Dillane (Crew Member), Lewis Creese (Coxswain), Simon Taylor (Shore Crew), Rich Bowles (Mechanic), David Jones (Shore Crew), the Rev Steve Traynar (The Mission to Seafarers’ Port Chaplain, Milford Haven), and the Rev Geoffrey Howell (Team Vicar for the Monkton Rectorial Benefice).
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