The Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s (RNLI) newest all-weather Shannon class lifeboat lead volunteers through the capital amongst the 155 floats which took part in the traditional procession held on Saturday 14 November.
Volunteer RNLI lifeboat crew from Teddington, Chiswick, Tower and Gravesend paraded through the capital alongside the charity’s lifeguards and fundraisers to raise awareness of the RNLI’s London lifeboats, which operate a 24/7 search and rescue service on the River Thames.
Cub Llewelyn-Davies, Community Fundraising Manager for the RNLI in Central London, said: ‘Despite the wet weather, the procession was a great success and it was fantastic to be part of such a spectacular event in the heart of London, where two of our busiest lifeboat stations – Chiswick and Tower – operate.’
City goers watched in awe as the RNLI’s state of the art Shannon class lifeboat passed through the streets of the City of London during the procession.
Earlier in the day, E class lifeboats from Tower and Chiswick escorted the new Lord Mayor along the River Thames as he travelled downstream towards Mansion House in QRB Gloriana during the river pageant.
RNLI lifeguards from Kent swapped their usual surroundings of sun sand and sea for the day as they marched through London in their iconic red and yellow uniforms while handing out vital safety information to the gathering crowds.
Last year, London lifeboat crews from Teddington, Chiswick and Tower rescued a total of 231 people, which is enough to fill around two-and-a-half of the capital’s iconic double-decker buses – and they saved 27 lives on the River Thames.
Notes to editors
The Shannon class lifeboat, propelled by water jets, is designed to serve the coast and is currently on service at Dungeness, Exmouth, Lowestoft and Ilfracombe.
The RNLI’s E class lifeboat is the fastest in the fleet and is on station at Tower and Chiswick. The boat is specifically designed to meet the demands of the River Thames with its fast running tide, powerful debris and heavy traffic. The E class is kept afloat for quick response.
In 2014, Tower RNLI (located next to Waterloo Bridge) lifeboat crew had their busiest ever year having launched 543 times, rescued 104 people and saved 16 lives on the River Thames.
Chiswick RNLI (the second busiest of the charity’s 237 lifeboat stations) launched 219 times, rescued 116 people and saved 11 lives in 2014.
Teddington RNLI (further west along the River Thames) launched 69 times in 2014 and rescued 11 people.
There are over 220 UK and Channel Island beaches patrolled by over 1,100 RNLI lifeguards.
The Shannon class lifeboat taking part in the parade is a relief boat stationed at the RNLI HQ in Poole, Dorset.
Our national campaign ‘Mayday’ will be launching in London on Tuesday 26 April 2016 and we are looking for volunteers to help us collect all over the capital. If you are interested and want to find out more, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up here for your spot.
RNLI media contacts
• James Oxley, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East)
0207 6207425 / 07786 668825 / email@example.com
• Sophie Coller-Nielsen, RNLI Press Officer (London/East/South East)
0207 6207426 / 07785 296252 / Sophie_collerfirstname.lastname@example.org
• For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789