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St Davids RNLI prepare to welcome home new £2.7M lifeboat

About the author

Image of Danielle Rush

Danielle Rush
Public Relations Manager at St Asaph.

Start quoteBringing the new lifeboat home to St Davids for the very first time will be an incredibly proud moment for me.End quote

Lifeboats News Release

  • Date:
  • Author: Danielle Rush

Next Monday (15 April) will signal a momentous day for the RNLI in St Davids, as the station’s volunteer crew bring their eagerly awaited new lifeboat home.

The current Tyne class lifeboat Garside will sail out into the bay to welcome home the modern vessel as she arrives in Wales for the first time after setting sail from RNLI Headquarters in Dorset this Friday (12 April).

The volunteer crew have this week travelled to Poole to undertake familiarisation training at the charity’s purpose built RNLI College to get to grips with every aspect of the new lifeboat. The passage home over the weekend will take in Alderney, Falmouth and Kilmore Quay before the final leg across to Pembrokeshire. 

The £2.7M lifeboat is called RNLB Norah Wortley and has been funded by the generous bequest of Mrs Diane Mary Symon. Mrs Symon died in February 2010 and at that time was living in Newton Abbot in Devon.  The lifeboat will be dedicated to a family member at a naming ceremony to be held at a later date.

The charity which saves lives at sea has invested £10.8M in four new Tamar class lifeboats for Porthdinllaen, Moelfre, St Davids and The Mumbles and over £40M on associated shore works. Porthdinllaen was first to receive its new lifeboat in August, followed by Moelfre which sailed into its Anglesey home for the first time last month. Work is currently underway to build a new home for The Mumbles’ new Tamar.

St Davids’ new lifeboat will be kept on a mooring whilst work to construct its new home begins. The plans for a new boathouse have been in development for a number of years. If planning permission is granted at the St Justinians site, building is expected to start in the Autumn.
St Davids RNLI Coxswain Dai John says:

‘Bringing the new lifeboat home to St Davids for the very first time will be an incredibly proud moment for me. This really is a fantastic boat and I have every confidence that she will serve us well and help us to save more lives off the Pembrokeshire coast.

‘For the RNLI crew, safety is paramount and this is a lifeboat which has been very carefully designed to enable volunteers to go to sea in the safest possible way. It is also faster than our current Tyne class lifeboat and has many features that will aid search and rescue. Training to get to grips with this new lifeboat has been quite intensive and will continue now the new lifeboat is on station.’

The Tamar will replace the Tyne class lifeboat Garside which entered service at St Davids in 1988. The Tyne at St Davids has launched 329 times, saved 79 lives and rescued 339 people.

The Tamar features the latest 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 to go on service in Wales went on station at Tenby in 2006, followed by Angle in 2009.

Notes to Editors

Media Opportunity: St Davids’ new Tamar class RNLI lifeboat sails home. Bi-lingual interviews will be available.

Where: St Davids RNLI Lifeboat Station, St Justinian, Pembrokshire.

When: April 15, 2013 at 4.30pm

Media Contacts
For more information please contact Danielle Rush, Public Relations Manager (Wales and the West) on  07786 668829, Press Officer Eleri Roberts on 07771 941390 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