Mar 31

Official-opening-of-RNLI-Visitor-Centre-Dartmouth

Byline: The RNLI Visitor Centre on Dartmouth’s South Embankment was opened by Sarah Wollaston MP on Thursday 31 March 2016.
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She was introduced by Stephanie Pavie, RNLI Public Engagement manager, who also read out a message from Paul Boissier, Chief Executive of the RNLI.
In the message he said: ‘I am sorry that I cannot be with you today to celebrate this milestone event for the community and the committed RNLI volunteers of Dartmouth. This visitor centre is a leap forward for our retail and visitor experience, enabling us to showcase the brave and courageous work of our lifesavers.
'This centre is the first of its kind for the RNLI and it will inspire and engage current and future RNLI supporters for many years to come. It was the volunteers of Dartmouth, Ed Featherstone, Tracey Lucas and their dedicated team, who first identified the need and they have worked hand in hand with Amanda Woods, our RNLI Visitor Experience manager, to make this happen. Thank you to you all, for everything you have done to make this idea a reality and for everything you do to support this life saving charity – I look forward to experiencing the centre for myself very soon.'
Tracey Lucas, the Dartmouth volunteer Visitor Centre Manager, was presented with a bouquet of flowers by Amanda as a token of thanks for all the hours of work it has taken to get to this day and she in turn thanked her team, without whom none of this could have been achieved.
Sarah Wollaston earlier had a preview visit around the centre before meeting the volunteers and talked to the ‘little crew.' The lifeboat crew's children were watching the proceedings from within the Dart D class inshore lifeboat parked outside.

She expressed a big ‘thank you’ to all the RNLI volunteers, both at the centre and at Dart Lifeboat Station. She had found the visitor centre remarkable and believes that everyone who visits will be safer for the experience.

The proceedings were drawn to a close by Jake Moores, Chairman of the RNLI Dart Lifeboat Management Group, who declared that it had been a great day for the town and the RNLI. The volunteers were looking forward to many years of service, both at the centre and at the lifeboat station. 

Sarah Wollaston then cut the ribbon across the doorway and ushered in the many visitors who had come to take part in the celebration.

The visitor centre in Dartmouth is a pilot for RNLI visitor centres not immediately attached to a lifeboat station. Many lifeboat stations on the coast do not have suitable access for visitors and the new design can be used at locations away from the lifeboat station and also inland.
There is a very successful RNLI shop in the centre but the driving force behind the design is an educational one. The intention is to inform visitors about the various arms of the charity; lifeboats, lifeguards, flood relief and education. Increasingly there will be information on the RNLI’s Community Lifesaving Plan which aims to cut the current 160 coastal deaths in the UK in half by 2024.
There is an RNLI D class inshore lifeboat in the centre. The same design of lifeboat as has been established on the Dart since 2007. Children and adults can dress up and climb aboard, whilst watching films of rescues by the Dart lifeboat on a large screen in front of them. There is also a separate cinema where films of RNLI rescues elsewhere can be seen.


Mar 30

Cut-off-by-the-tide-39-steps-to-safety

Byline: Margate’s RNLI inshore lifeboat has assisted in the rescue of two people trapped by the incoming tide on a ledge of rock at Broadstairs.
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The alarm was raised yesterday (Tuesday 29 March) when coastguards at Dover received a report of two people cut off by the tide on a ledge of rock at the northern end of Stone Bay near Broadstairs in an area known locally as the 39 Steps..
 
Margate’s RNLI inshore lifeboat, along with the local coastguard volunteer coast rescue team were tasked to investigate. When the lifeboat arrived one of the crew swam ashore and confirmed that the two people were uninjured. Evacuating them by sea would however have involved them entering the water and the coastguard team were able to gain access to them from a door which via steps within the cliff itself led to a private garden. The two were therefore able to keep their feet dry and return to the clifftop via the cliff access route.
 
Paul Hodson, Margate lifeboat operations manager said: “Walking along the shoreline is particularly popular with schools on holiday now. There are potential dangers however if people are unaware of the incoming tide so we urge everyone to be aware of their surroundings and in particular look for signs of how far the tide comes in at high water.”
 
 
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:
    Peter_Barker@rnli.org.uk
  • James Oxley, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East)
    0207 6207425 / 07786 668825 /
    james_oxley@rnli.org.uk
  • Sophie Coller-Nielsen, RNLI Press Officer, ( (London/East/South East)
  • 0207 6207426 / 07785 296252 / sophie_coller-nielsen@rnli.org.uk
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

Mar 30

Abersoch-RNLIs-Elissa-flying-the-Welsh-flag-in-new-RNLI-TV-series

Byline: An RNLI volunteer from Abersoch will be flying the flag for Wales when a brand new TV series about the charity hits the screens.
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Elissa Thursfield, 28, will feature in the show called Saving Lives at Sea, which is set to air soon on BBC One and is all about the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s volunteer lifeboat crew.

Filmed over the course of several months the series portrays what life is like for those volunteers who must be ready at any time of day or night to help someone in trouble at sea or on the River Thames.

Elissa has been a volunteer lifeboat crew member with Abersoch RNLI for 10 years and is in training to become a Helm. She is also a member of the RNLI’s Flood Rescue Team and was selected to be involved in the series after her involvement in high profile rescues during the team’s deployment to the Cumbria floods in December caught the attention of producers.

Since then Elissa has been filmed at Abersoch lifeboat station with fellow volunteer crew, in St Asaph with fellow Flood Rescue Team members, at work in Rhyl, at home with fiancé and Abersoch RNLI Senior Helm David Wyn Williams and for an interview at the Rhyl Little Theatre.

Then last week she travelled to Blackpool to meet up with other RNLI volunteers involved in the series for a promotional photoshoot in full lifeboat kit.

Now she said she cannot wait to see the show broadcast.

She said: ‘It’s great to have been involved in this project and I’m really proud that Abersoch station is included. I hope that people who watch it will get a little more understanding about what RNLI volunteers do and why they do it.

‘Of course I am only one part of a team with both the Abersoch lifeboat and the RNLI’s Flood Rescue Team and I am no different from other volunteers – I love my part of the world and I wanted to give something back through volunteering.

‘The whole Abersoch crew and the Welsh members of the Flood Rescue Team are looking forward to watching the series and giving viewers a small insight into what we do.’

Other stations included in the filming across the UK were Blackpool, Torbay, Tower, Oban, Newquay, Eastbourne and Brighton, whose volunteers have over the past year allowed specialist cameras and equipment onto their lifeboats and welcomed film makers into their stations.

The series is a moving, real-life snapshot of the work that over 4,700 RNLI volunteers are prepared to do 24-hours a day at over 230 lifeboat stations around the waters of the UK and Ireland. The audience will follow real-life rescue situations from the perspective of a lifeboat crew member, understand the importance of community and family support to lifeboat volunteers and the poignant reasons behind why people from all walks of life volunteer to put their lives on the line to save others.

The series forms part of a special volunteering season by the BBC called Do Something Great.

Leesa Harwood, RNLI Community Lifesaving and Fundraising Director, said: ‘We’re excited and proud to be involved in the BBC’s Do Something Great season and to have the opportunity to showcase the work of our courageous volunteers on BBC One.

‘Last year alone our courageous lifeboat crews rescued almost 8,000 people and saved 348 lives, while over 20,000 people across the UK and Ireland volunteer their time to raise the funds that enable our crews to continue their lifesaving work.

We hope that lots of people tune in, enjoy the series and learn more about our lifesaving charity.’

Saving Lives at Sea will be shown on BBC One later this spring.

Notes to editors:

The attached pictures show:

- Elissa Thursfield

- Elissa Thursfield (far left) and other RNLI volunteers set to feature in the RNLI series Elissa Thursfield (far left) and other RNLI volunteers set to feature in the RNLI series Saving Lives at Sea on BBC One (credit Nigel Millard)

For more information contact Chris Cousens, RNLI Press Officer Wales, on 07748 265496 / Chris_Cousens@rnli.org.uk or Danielle Rush, RNLI Public Relations Manager Wales, on 07786 668829 / Danielle_Rush@rnli.org.uk.

 


Mar 29

Angle-RNLI-lifeboat-alerted-to-aid-Jet-Ski-and-RIB

Byline: Angle RNLI’s all weather lifeboat completed two call-outs on Good Friday (March 25), launching to a report of a broken down jet ski and then being tasked to assist a RIB with engine failure.
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The Tamar class lifeboat Mark Mason launched just after 5pm to aid the Jet Ski, which had two children on board and had last been seen off Rudders Boatyard, Burton.
 
Whilst en route to the scene it was reported to the lifeboat that a nearby RIB had answered the Coastguard’s Pan-Pan broadcast and had gone to the casualty’s aid.
 
When the lifeboat arrived on the scene at 5.25pm, the RIB had the casualty in tow and agreed to continue the tow to Burton.
 
The lifeboat escorted both vessels until being re tasked to assist a RIB, with engine failure, off Dale Fort. There were 8 people on board the RIB.
 
The casualty had deployed her anchor, but was unsure whether it was holding. A nearby work boat was also tasked to assist and arrived on the scene shortly before the lifeboat.
 
The casualty subsequently re-started her engine and recovered the anchor. But, she then started to have intermittent engine problems, so the lifeboat towed her to the slipway at Dale.
 
There, at 6.25pm, the RIB was handed over to Coastguard Rescue Officers and the lifeboat was released to return to her station, where she was rehoused 15 minutes later.
 
Note to editors
 
The picture shows Angle RNLI’s Tamar class all weather lifeboat Mark Mason.
Photo: Nicholas Leach.
 
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

Mar 29

New-TV-series-about-the-RNLI-coming-soon

Byline: A brand new TV series called Saving Lives at Sea is set to air soon on BBC One all about the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s volunteer lifeboat crew.
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A brand new TV series called Saving Lives at Sea is set to air soon on BBC One all about the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s volunteer lifeboat crew. Filmed over the course of several months at seven different lifeboat stations across the UK, the series portrays what life is like for those volunteers who must be ready at any time of day or night to help someone in trouble at sea or on the River Thames.
 
Stations included in the filming are Blackpool, Torbay, Tower, Oban, Newquay, Eastbourne and Brighton, whose volunteers have over the past year allowed specialist cameras and equipment onto their lifeboats and welcomed film makers into their stations.
 
The series is a moving, real-life snapshot of the work that over 4,700 RNLI volunteers are prepared to do 24-hours a day at over 230 lifeboat stations around the waters of the UK and Ireland. The audience will follow real-life rescue situations from the perspective of a lifeboat crew member, understand the importance of community and family support to lifeboat volunteers and the poignant reasons behind why people from all walks of life volunteer to put their lives on the line to save others.
 
Volunteer crew member Elissa Thursfield from Abersoch Lifeboat Station, who features in the series said: ‘It’s great to have been involved in this project and I’m really proud that our station is included. I hope that people who watch it will get a little more understanding about what RNLI volunteers do and why they do it.
 
‘The whole Abersoch crew are looking forward to watching the series and giving viewers a small insight into what we do.’
 
The series forms part of a special volunteering season by the BBC called Do Something Great.
 
Leesa Harwood, Community Lifesaving and Fundraising Director says: ‘We’re excited and proud to be involved in the BBC’s Do Something Great season and to have the opportunity to showcase the work of our courageous volunteers on BBC One.
 
Last year alone our courageous lifeboat crews rescued almost 8,000 people and saved 348 lives, while over 20,000 people across the UK and Ireland volunteer their time to raise the funds that enable our crews to continue their lifesaving work.
 
We hope that lots of people tune in, enjoy the series and learn more about our lifesaving charity.’
 
Saving Lives at Sea will be shown on BBC One later this spring.

Mar 24

Bound-for-London-towed-to-Ramsgate

Byline: Margate’s RNLI all-weather lifeboat has come to the aid of an angling dinghy after it encountered engine problems off North Foreland.
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The 6m angling dinghy, with two persons on board had set out from Dover yesterday morning (Wednesday 23 March) bound for London but encountered machinery problems later in the day while off North Foreland. The occupants contacted coastguards at Dover asking for assistance and Margate’s all-weather lifeboat was tasked to the incident.
 
Another RNLI lifeboat on passage from Ipswich to Eastbourne was close by and stood by the dinghy until the Margate lifeboat arrived and took the casualty vessel in tow to Ramsgate where it was secured alongside, the occupants were none the worse for wear after their ordeal.
 
Ian Lowe, deputy launching authority said: “The weather was fine but visibility was not particularly good and the dinghy was in a busy shipping lane. It was fortuitous that the passing lifeboat was able to stand by until our own lifeboat arrived, they had special treatment with two RNLI lifeboats assisting them out of their predicament.”
 
 
 
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:
    Peter_Barker@rnli.org.uk
  • James Oxley, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East)
    0207 6207425 / 07786 668825 /
    james_oxley@rnli.org.uk
  • Sophie Coller-Nielsen, RNLI Press Officer, ( (London/East/South East)
  • 0207 6207426 / 07785 296252 / sophie_coller-nielsen@rnli.org.uk
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

Mar 22

Rhyl-RNLI-All-weather-lifeboat-launches-to-cruiser-with-engine-problems

Byline: The crew of Rhyl's All-weather lifeboat were alerted at 11.45am on Tuesday 22 April, after Llandudno's inshore lifeboat had been launched to reports of a vessel with an engine fire off Colwyn Bay.
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Llandudno's volunteer crew had launched from the North Shore beach, and were being directed to the casualty by the local volunteer coastguards also from Llandudno. As the lifeboat rounded the Little Orme, it could be seen from the shore that the vessel was actually still making way towards Rhyl, and was now off Abergele. The Coxswain at Rhyl had been at the station, and could see the casualty vessel. He contacted Holyhead Coastguard who were co-ordinating the service, at the same time as the lifeboat crew from Llandudno had suggested the lifeboat from Rhyl was actually nearer the casualty vessel. As a result, the pagers were activated and Rhyl All-weather lifeboat launched about ten minutes later. The vessel was now about two miles west of Rhyl harbour, and smoke could clearly be seen coming from the back. The lifeboat approached the casualty and it was clear that the turbo on one of the engines had blown, causing black oil and soot to completely cover the boat behind the wheelhouse.
The skipper said he was heading for Rhyl harbour to a mooring, but as he set off with the lifeboat following, he took the wrong direction going into the harbour, and was heading for the rocks. A swift intervention by the lifeboat crew successfully managed to avert a crash, and a crewman was transferred to the boat to assist the skipper and his crew get to the pontoons in the harbour.
When the vessel was safely moored in the harbour, the lifeboat and crew returned to station at 1.25pm.

The vessel had been on passage from Salcombe in Devon to Rhyl. Coxswain Martin Jones said " It was lucky the lifeboat was close enough to the vessel to enable the boat to divert and avoid what could have been a much worse outcome".

The pictures taken by Rhyl Press officer Paul Frost MBE show the vessel and it's smoke damage, and heading for the rocks off Rhyl harbour.
The skipper and his crew were given appropriate safety advice from the Rhyl harbour Master.


Mar 22

VIDEO-Teddington-RNLI-evacuate-three-adults-and-baby-stranded-by-high-tide

Byline: Volunteer crew from Teddington RNLI lifeboat station launched in to action after they received reports of three adults and a baby stranded by the high tide on the Thames footpath near Richmond.
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Teddington’s D-Class lifeboat Peter Saw was launched at the request of London Coastguard to reports of three adults and a baby who had become cut off by the high tide on the Thames footpath near Twickenham at 4:30pm on Friday 11 March.
 
Helmsman, James Kavanagh said: ‘We launched immediately and began to search for the stranded walkers as an exceptionally high tide was nearing its highest point, so we needed to reach the group as quickly as possible.
 
‘We spotted the unfortunate group as they stood up to their ankles in rising water on the flooded footpath. They were clearly distressed and shaken with no way of getting out of the water.
 
‘The volunteer crew and I helped the people and baby - along with the pushchair - into the lifeboat and took them to a safe, dry area at Richmond Bridge.’
 
James continued: ‘The walkers were simply caught unaware by the rapidly rising tide around them and before they knew it, they were surrounded by water and unable to escape.
 
‘We often get spring tides (where the tide rises higher than normal) along the Thames up to Teddington Lock which can catch people out. An area which you think may be safe and dry can become immersed in water within a matter of minutes. If you’re walking along the river always check tide times and maximum heights before venturing out. Take a mobile phone with you and dial 999 to ask for the Coastguard if you need help.’
 
On the way back to the lifeboat station, the lifeboat crew passed a submerged car which had been flooded due to the high tide after it was parked on a nearby slipway.
 
The crew checked the vehicle to ensure no one was in it and headed back to the lifeboat station once it was confirmed that the car empty.
 
Last year, RNLI London lifeboat crews at Teddington, Chiswick and Tower, rescued 245 people from the River Thames, which is enough to fill almost three of the capital’s double decker buses.
ENDS
 
Media Contacts
  • Manon Jones, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer (Teddington) 07715271667 / manon_jones@rnli.org.uk 
  • Tim Ash RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/South East/East) tim_ash@rnli.org.uk / 0207 6207426 / 07785 296252
  • Sophie Coller-Nielsen, RNLI Press Officer  (London/East/South East) 0207 6207426 / 07785 296252 / sophie_coller-nielsen@rnli.org.uk
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

Mar 17

Margates-RNLI-lifeboat-features-in-local-students-video

Byline: Margate’s RNLI lifeboat crew have helped a local sixth year student with his A-level studies by taking part in a film produced by him about the work of volunteers at the local lifeboat station.
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When 17 year old Will Warrilow, a student at Chatham and Clarendon Grammar School approached the lifeboat station they were happy to help out by providing him with the opportunity to film the crew at work and interview two of the team during one of their regular Sunday morning exercises. Will was able to go afloat with his camera in the all-weather lifeboat with the crew and the results of his work will now form part of his A-level course as he aims for a career in the world of broadcast media.
 
 
Peter Barker, volunteer lifeboat press officer said: “Conditions on the day were fine and the coxswain was happy to let Will accompany them on the exercise. The result is very professional and shows the lifeboat from angles that tell their own story without too much commentary. We wish Will the best of luck with his studies.”
 
The video can be viewed here https://youtu.be/hSRS0EOJB_8
 
 
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:
    Peter_Barker@rnli.org.uk
  • James Oxley, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East)
    0207 6207425 / 07786 668825 /
    james_oxley@rnli.org.uk
  • Sophie Coller-Nielsen, RNLI Press Officer, ( (London/East/South East)
  • 0207 6207426 / 07785 296252 / sophie_coller-nielsen@rnli.org.uk
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

Mar 13

Presentations-at-Rhyl-RNLI-annual-crew-dinner

Byline: The volunteer crew of Rhyl RNLI lifeboat station held their annual dinner at Rhyl Golf Club on Saturday 12 March. After the meal, there were two presentations.
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The volunteer crew and their guests were treated to a lovely meal, ending with a speech from Coxswain Martin Jones, outlining the 2015 events and service figures, and telling of the crew's aspirations for the following 12 months. Guests included Rhyl mayor Cllr Barry Mellor and his wife; and Welsh Assembly member Ann Jones and her husband, together with the RNLI's divisional operations manager, Lee Firman.

As part of the proceedings, there were two presentations.

The first presentation was the David Benjamin Jones award. David was a crew member at Rhyl, but tragically died at 20. The award was started by his mother Sandie to commemorate the crew member or individuals who have been deemed by the crew to have gone the extra mile to promote themselves or the station at Rhyl. The award went this year to Noel and Amanda at the Cob & Pen public house in Rhyl. They have constantly supported the crew in their community efforts and also provided the crew with sandwiches in the pub after the normal Tuesday evening training sessions at the boathouse. They were presented with the shield by Coxswain Martin Jones.

The second was the presentation of a personal framed letter of thanks from the RNLI's Director of Operations George Rawlinson, to Peter Robinson, thanking him for his many years of service to the station, culminating in Peter being the station's Coxswain for nearly 20 years. He has recently retired due to the RNLI's age ruling, but has taken up a shore role of Deputy Launching Authority. He was presented with his letter by Lee Firman.

Martin says" I and my crew are very grateful to both these recipients. Peter for his leadership and training of the crew; and Noel and Amanda for their support. As a charity, we rely strongly on the community support to keep the RNLI afloat".

The attached photos show...

  • The David Benjamin Jones award - L-R Coxswain Martin Jones, Rhyl Mayor Cllr Barry Mellor, and Amanda and Noel of the Cob & Pen public house.
  • Peter Robinson being presented with his Director's letter of thanks by RNLI Divisional Operation Manager Lee Firman.