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Blackpool RNLI lifeboat station take delivery of a new lifeboat

About the author

Image of Esther Lowe

Esther Lowe
Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer at Blackpool.

Start quoteWe are so grateful for the extraordinary generosity of Mr Seed. Every time our new lifeboat is launched, it will be a lasting tribute to his memory and his kindness will help us to continue to help people in difficulty at sea.End quote

Lifeboats News Release

  • Date:
  • Author: Esther Lowe

A new RNLI Atlantic 85 lifeboat, paid for by the generous bequest of a Greater Manchester man, goes into service tomorrow night (Wednesday) at Blackpool.

The £204,000 RNLI lifeboat, called William and Eleanor, replaces Blackpool’s Atlantic 75 lifeboat, Bickerstaffe. The new lifeboat, like so many, around the coast of the UK and the Republic of Ireland was funded by a legacy to the lifesaving charity.  About 60% of the RNLI’s total income comes from legacy donations and the generosity of people like Mr William Seed is crucial as a result. 

Blackpool RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, Keith Horrocks said everyone at the station was delighted with their new lifeboat.

He added: ‘Bickerstaffe has served us extremely well for almost fifteen years but we are looking forward to having the additional capability that the updated Atlantic 85 brings. The crew have already put her through her paces and have been impressed with the extra speed and new kit like radar, which will help them carry out their role more safely and effectively than ever before.

‘We are so grateful for the extraordinary generosity of Mr Seed. Every time our new lifeboat is launched, it will be a lasting tribute to his memory and his kindness will help us to continue to help people in difficulty at sea.’

Mr Seed, who was from Stockport, died in 2009 and left a generous legacy to the RNLI to fund a lifeboat in memory of himself and his sister Eleanor.

Blackpool’s RNLI volunteer crewmembers started training on their new vessel on Monday, familiarising themselves with the new equipment on board. The Atlantic 85 is the first RNLI inshore lifeboat to have radar, which means it can operate more effectively in reduced visibility. It is also faster and bigger than its predecessor, with room for a fourth crew member as well as more space for casualties.

The Atlantic 85 was developed in close consultation with volunteer RNLI crews and a prototype was trialled at lifeboat stations around the coast before the final design went into production. In fact a volunteer crewmember from Blackpool, Colin Lowe, was involved in the trials and development of the new class of lifeboat.

Colin said ‘I was involved in the design process and trials for the Atlantic 85 when the class was being developed, it was a fascinating process because the RNLI invests so much time and effort in making their lifeboats as safe, efficient and effective as they possibly can.  We’re all so excited about the arrival of our new Atlantic 85 because it will give us even more lifesaving capability than our Atlantic 75 Bickerstaffe.’

Media opportunity
When: Thursday 25 April 2013, 10.30am
Where: Blackpool RNLI lifeboat station, Central Promenade, Blackpool, FY1
Opportunity: Film and photograph Blackpool’s new RNLI Atlantic 85 lifeboat in action and interview members of the lifeboat crew.
Contact: To attend or for more information contact Esther Lowe, RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07917 091948; lifeboat station 01253 620424 or email robbyn89@yahoo.com or Paul Parton, RNLI volunteer Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer on 07743 279953

Picture caption

Blackpool RNLI’s new Atlantic 85 lifeboat in action. Credit RNLI/Simon Hoole

For a downloadable video of an RNLI Atlantic 85 in action go to: http://bit.ly/11gOxeh 

Photos and video

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Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland from 237 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 180 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland