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RNLI plans to invest £42.5M in Wales are a step closer to reality

About the author

Image of Danielle Rush

Danielle Rush
Public Relations Manager in Wales at St Asaph.

Lifeboats News Release

  • Date:
  • Author: Danielle Rush

The charity which saves lives at sea is investing nearly £10.8M in four new Tamar class lifeboats for Porthdinllaen, Moelfre, St Davids and The Mumbles and approximately £31.7M on associated shore works.

Porthdinllaen was first to receive its new lifeboat John D Spicer in August. Now the remaining three stations are in a jubilant mood after receiving letters confirming their allocation of modern new lifeboats.

The three remaining Welsh stations will see their Tyne class lifeboats being replaced with the faster, technologically advanced Tamar’s over the next two years.  RNLI crews at Porthdinllaen received their new lifeboat on 20 August. The boat is being kept on a mooring whilst work to build their new boathouse gets underway.

The next lifeboat to arrive will be Moelfre’s, which will also be kept on a mooring whilst work to construct its new home begins. The planning application is currently under consideration and if a positive decision is received, work will get underway in the spring of next year.

Moelfre’s lifeboat has been funded by the generous bequest of the late Reginald James Clark, who died in June 2004. Mr Clark, who was a merchant seaman, had been rescued by the RNLI after his ship was torpedoed during the war. Mr Clark originally came from New Zealand and his family have requested that the lifeboat be named RNLB Kiwi in recognition of his origins.

The south Wales lifeboats are expected to arrive once the boathouses have been built, with planning permission already granted for a new lifeboat station at The Mumbles. The current plan is for the completion of the new slipway stations in October next year. This lifeboat has been funded by the Roy Barker Memorial Fund and will be named RNLB Roy Barker IV.

At St Davids, designers are still at the drawing board putting the final touches to plans and if planning permission is granted, building is expected to start in 2013.  This lifeboat is being funded by the generous bequest of Mrs Diane Mary Symon who died in February 2010 and will be named RNLB Norah Wortley.

RNLI Divisional Inspector of lifeboat for Wales Colin Williams says:

‘The Tamar class is the most technologically advanced lifeboat ever produced by the RNLI, we owe it to our volunteer crews to provide them with the very best lifeboats.  Being able to provide these fantastic new lifeboats is thanks to very generous bequests for which we are eternally grateful.  The fact the charity is investing in four Tamars shows our commitment to saving lives at sea off the Welsh coast.’

Mr Williams said the RNLI had faced significant challenges in designing many of these new boathouses:

‘From the listed status of some of our current boathouses’, sites of Special Scientific Interest and extreme tidal conditions – the challenges of designing homes for these new lifeboats has not been easy. The support we’ve had from local councils, various governing bodies and the public should not be underestimated and we thank our supporters for their continued patience as we provide the necessary bases for 21st century lifeboating.’

The Tamar features modern technology to enhance its lifesaving capabilities. Compared to the Tyne class lifeboat, the Tamar is bigger – 16 metres as opposed to 14 – and has a faster response time, with a speed of 25, rather than 17 knots.

The Tamar includes the computerised Systems and Information Management System (SIMS) that enables crew to control many of the lifeboat's functions remotely from the safety of their seats. Other features include advanced ergonomics, that reduce the impact on the crew as the lifeboat crashes through waves, and a powered Y boat stored behind a transom door to allow immediate deployment.

The first Tamar went on station at Tenby in Wales in 2006, followed by Angle in 2009.

Media Contacts
For more information please contact Danielle Rush, Divisional Media Relations Manager (Wales and the West) on 01745 585162 or 07786 668829, email danielle_rush@rnli.org.uk or contact RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789

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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