Byline: Following the completion of a five month renovation project, the world’s second oldest lifeboat, the 180 year-old Tyne met her modern-day counterpart, Tynemouth RNLI Severn class lifeboat Spirit of Northumberland.
Page Content: The lifeboats came together at the North East Maritime Trust, located on the banks of the river Tyne at South Shields, to celebrate the completion of the restoration, before the Tyne is moved to temporary storage until she is placed back on display at her restored Victorian shelter in early March 2014.

The Tyne was put into service in 1833, replacing the world’s first purpose-designed lifeboat, Original, which had served since 1790. Both lifeboats were operated by the Tyne Lifeboat Institution, an organisation that operated a lifeboat service protecting the dangerous approaches to the River Tyne between 1789 and 1937. The RNLI established a station at Tynemouth in 1862 and their lifeboats supplemented the existing lifeboat services on the Tyne.

Tim West, NEMT Director, and Renovation Project Manager, said: ‘Bringing together for the first time, the world’s second oldest lifeboat and a modern-day lifeboat provides a unique and historic photo opportunity that illustrates the advances in lifeboat design and development from the pioneering days of the world’s first purpose designed rowing lifeboats, that all began here in South Shields, to the modern and fast high tech lifeboats of today.

Just sitting in the Tyne, it struck everyone who participated in this project of the bravery, courage and seamanship skills of the local Pilots who manned this small open boat in atrocious sea conditions when going to the aid of those in distress at the mouth of the river. The renovation of the Tyne will ensure that not only will the exploits of her crews be remembered, but also that an important part of our local and national maritime heritage will have been be preserved.’


Byline: On Wednesday the 8th of January 2014, volunteer crew members, station officials and fundraisers welcomed RNLI Chief Executive, Paul Boissier to Criccieth’s RNLI lifeboat station.
Page Content: Prior to joining the RNLI, Paul Boissier completed a prominent and successful career with the Royal Navy, serving as its Deputy Commander-in-Chief.  During the visit, he was joined by Colin Williams, the RNLI’s Regional Operations Manager and Inspector of Lifeboats.

Mr. Boissier toured the station, learning about the types of rescues undertaken by the station’s Atlantic 85 class lifeboat and the smaller Arancia class inshore rescue boat.  He was eager to learn of how the volunteers were served by the RNLI’s Headquarters in Poole to ensure adequate support was being provided across all its operations.
Following the visit, Criccieth’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, Peter Williams, commented: “It was a pleasure to welcome Paul Boissier to our station.  The crew, fundraisers and station officials enjoyed sharing our experiences with him whilst he expressed a genuine gratitude for all our efforts.”



RNLI media contact

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



Byline: Margate’s RNLI lifeboat has brought a Russian seafarer ashore for medical attention after he was taken ill while on board his ship at anchor off Margate.
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The Russian general cargo ship Lauga, bound for Spain, was at anchor in Margate Roads anchorage when just before 10am this morning (7 January 2014) the master contacted coastguards at Dover reporting that one of his crew had been taken ill.

After a medical link call with doctors ashore it was decided that he should be brought ashore for medical attention and Margate’s RNLI all-weather lifeboat was tasked to assist. Once the lifeboat arrived alongside the ship, the crewman was taken aboard and brought back to the lifeboat station at Margate where he was handed into the care of the South East Coast Ambulance Service and transferred to QEQM hospital in Margate.

Enquiries about his condition should be directed to QEQM hospital.

Notes to editors
• Margate lifeboat station has been operating since 1860. To learn more about the lifeboat station go to

RNLI media contacts
• Peter Barker, RNLI Margate Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer
Tel: 07974 064304, email:
• Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East)
0207 6207426 / 07785 296252 /
• James Oxley, RNLI Press Officer (London/East/South East)
0207 6207425 / 07786 668825 /
• For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789
RNLI online: For more information on the RNLI please visit News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI Press Centre


Byline: 18 members of the south West RNLI Flood Rescue Team were deployed to Dorset overnight to join a multi-agency reaction to rising water levels.
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The group of trained volunteers from the charity were based at Christchurch Fire Station but travelled as far as Wimborne St Giles and north of Chichester to make sure people were safe.

At one stage during the night the water levels near Chichester doubled in the space of just 20 minutes, flowing at high speed.  The RNLI volunteers who make up the south west Flood Rescue Team joined members of other emergency services to ensure the safety of local people. 

Tom Mansell is the Flood Rescue Team Manager in the south west:

‘We were called to make sure people were safe and accounted for in the treacherous conditions. This involved wading through the rising water which was running at speed so our training was vital, but we were able to play our part in providing the community with multi-agency protection. Fortunately everyone was accounted for and we were able to return to our base.’

The south west RNLI Flood Rescue Team, which is sponsored by Toolstation of Bridgwater in Somerset, is made up of volunteers from across the charity. Amongst those who responded last night were volunteers from Looe, Rock and Saltash in Cornwall, Dartmouth in Devon, Lyme Regis, Swanage, Weymouth and the RNLI Headquarters in Poole, Dorset, Portsmouth, Calshot and Lymington in Hampshire. 

At present the team are still at Christchurch fire station.

RNLI notes to editors

The attached picture shows four of the RNLI Flood Rescue Team before they set off from the charity’s support base in Saltash, Cornwall last night. They are from left to right, Tom Mansell, RNLI Flood Team Manager, Chris Tracey from Dart lifeboat station, James Batters from Rock lifeboat station and Dave Jackman from Looe lifeboat station. Please credit RNLI.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Tamsin Thomas, RNLI Public Relations Manager south west, on 07786 668847 or email or the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.


Byline: 211 courageous souls (and a dog) braved sea and air temperatures of 6 degrees to participate in the 2014 new year day swim at Rhu Marina from the pontoon to the RNLI lifeboat slipway.
Page Content: Exceptional high tides meant the distance was more than usual.  Almost £1200 was raised by generous donations (compared to £680 last year).  The RNLI crew were in the water to ensure safety and helped a number to complete the swim.  Our thanks to everyone who supported the day.


Byline: The rescue by Aberystwyth RNLI Lifeboat crew of a man taking photographs near Aberystwyth harbour entrance illustrates the significant danger posed by the stormy conditions.
Page Content:

Volunteer RNLI Lifeboat crewmembers were paged at 10am on Saturday 4th January 2014 to assist police and coastguard teams rescue a man trapped at the entrance to Aberystwyth harbour by large waves breaking across the wooden jetty.

For the past twenty four hours, the coastline and promenade at Aberystwyth has experienced significant damage caused from the strong winds and high tides, resulting in the Environment Agency issuing a severe flood warning and emergency services evacuating residents from properties on the sea front.

Despite repeated warnings to the public to stay away from the coastline, the man had walked to the end of the wooden jetty taking photographs of the huge waves breaking against the jetty and across the road at South Marine Terrace. Such was the ferocity of the breaking waves, the man became trapped on the jetty resulting in several 999 calls by members of the public concerned that the man’s life was in danger.

Police and coastguard teams were unable to reach the man, and the Aberystwyth RNLI 85 Class lifeboat ‘Spirit of Friendship’ was launched to assist, reaching the man from the sheltered lee of the harbour. One volunteer crew member ascended a ladder at the end of the jetty, securing the man in a lifejacket before escorting him back down the ladder to the waiting lifeboat. The man was returned safely to the RNLI boathouse, where police were waiting to provide advice.

A spokesperson for Aberystwyth RNLI Lifeboat said “Whilst the extreme sea conditions are attracting people to the coastline, we repeat our warning to the public stay safe and to keep away from the shore line and dangerous waves. This incident highlights the dangers posed not only to the man taking photos, but also the danger that our volunteer crew members and other emergency services have been placed in rescuing this man.”

RNLI media contacts
For more information please telephone Lynn Rees, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, Aberystwyth, on 07960053170 or by email to or Danielle Rush, RNLI Media Relations Manager (Wales & the West) on 07786668829 or 01745585162 or by email:


Byline: On Friday the 3rd of January 2014, volunteer crew members from Criccieth’s RNLI lifeboat station were called to relocate a container temporarily housing their inshore rescue boat, after stormy seas had moved it 20 feet from its original location.
Page Content: ​The container weighs several tonnes and temporarily houses the station’s smaller Arancia class inshore rescue boat.  It was washed towards the sea by large waves earlier in the day, during a storm which saw widespread damage along the coastline.

The operation required the ​use of a lorry-based crane to move the container to another location away from the sea for the time being, as further storms are predicted.  The inshore rescue boat was checked for any damage before being promptly placed back on service.
For further information, please contact Ifer Gwyn, Lifeboat Press Officer on 07554445316 or


Byline: Volunteer crewman from the Barrow RNLI station tonight launched their all weather lifeboat to rescue a disabled wind farm maintenance boat and her passengers.
Page Content: At 9-35pm tonight, Thursday 2nd January 2014, Liverpool Coastguard requested the assistance of RNLI’s Barrow lifeboat, to attend the area of Lightning Knoll on the approaches to Barrow Channel, where a wind farm maintenance vessel, ‘MV Attender’, with eight persons on board, had suffered a failure of both engines. The disabled vessel was being assisted by another wind farm vessel which had been unable to make progress whilst towing

At the time the wind was from the south east at 25 knots, with a spring tide high water of 9.9 metres expected at 12-11 am. The wind was forecast to increase dramatically to a storm around midnight..

The Tamar class lifeboat ‘Grace Dixon’, was launched at 9-45pm with crew of Jonny Long, Dave Kell, Andy Baxter, Ben Jackson, Paul Wilcock and Mark Harper under the command of Coxswain Shaun Charnley and made good progress against the increasing wind strength and larger waves until she reached the vessel after a 5 mile journey. The crew quickly established a tow on the disabled 130 ton vessel and began the journey to Barrow Docks, hoping to complete the rescue before the full force of the impending storm arrived.

The disabled vessel was successfully moored at Barrow Docks after two hours and the lifeboat returned to station where she was made ready for the next emergency call.

Barrow Lifeboat Operations Manager, Dave Green, said, “The weather forecast was for a severe gale to come in around midnight giving gusty storm force winds and extremely large waves. We needed to get there quickly and recover the disabled vessel and her passengers to safety before the onset of that atrocious weather and we are very pleased we were able to do so.”


Byline: Both Newcastle RNLI’s inshore and all weather lifeboats were launched in rough weather at 9am this morning following reports that a man had entered the sea after his dog and had got into difficulty.
Page Content: However the search was stood down at 10.30am after the coastguard declared it to be a hoax call.

The incident took place approximately one mile north east of Newcastle lifeboat station in county Down.  Both lifeboats had battled bad weather and rough seas to search for the man.

Also on scene were members of the Kilkeel and Newcastle shore based coastguard teams and two helicopters from the Irish Coast Guard and the PSNI.

Commenting on the callout Newcastle RNLI Deputy Launching Authority Captain Joseph Mc Clelland said, ‘There was a heavy breaking surf in the area with a strong south westerly wind blowing force seven and two metre swells. The lifeboats were on scene within minutes and the volunteer lifeboat crew searched in very challenging weather.

‘We have since learned that the call for help was believed by the coastguard to have been a hoax and while we are relieved that no one is hurt we are disappointed that anyone would call out the emergency services on a day like today, knowing it to be a hoax.  They could have put people’s lives at risk and diverted necessary search and rescue assets away from other work.

‘Two of our lifeboat crew are on the RNLI Flood Response Team and were due to travel up to Belfast to be ready to assist in the event of flooding but they stayed in Newcastle to assist in the search.’

The RNLI have two Flood Response teams deployed to Belfast to assist in the event of flooding.


RNLI media contacts
For information please contact Niamh Stephenson RNLI Public Relations Manager on 00 353 1 8900 460 or 00 353 87 1254 124 email or Nuala McAloon RNLI Press Officer Tel: 00 353 87 6483547 email