Torbay RNLI hosts ceremony for new D class lifeboat as it marks 150 years

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteer team at Torbay RNLI lifeboat station will be holding a formal naming ceremony and service of dedication for their new D class lifeboat Leslie & Mary Daws on Friday 12 August.

The ceremony takes place in Lifeboat Week, which sees a host of events take place to celebrate the town’s lifeboats and its volunteers.

2016 marks Torbay RNLI’s 150th year and a host of special events are taking place throughout 2016 to mark this incredible milestone.

The lifeboat went on service in November 2015 and has already launched 24 times to people in need. A generous donation from Mr Bob Daws has funded the lifeboat, which is named in memory of his parents.

For Torbay RNLI, Leslie & Mary Daws’ adaptability makes her a particularly useful asset to the crew. The lifeboat is highly manoeuvrable and specifically suited to shallow water and confined locations – often working close to cliffs, among rocks or even in caves. It carries up to three crew members and is powered by a 50hp outboard engine.

Volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager Nick O’Brien, says: ‘It is a wonderful occasion to formally name and dedicate a new lifeboat. I speak on behalf of everyone at Torbay RNLI when I say we are extremely grateful to Mr Daws for this wonderful lifeboat which will keep our volunteers safe in the future as they continue to save lives at sea.

‘The naming ceremony is part of an action-packed week of events celebrating Torbay RNLI’s 150th year of lifesaving. It’s an incredible milestone to achieve and we look forward to celebrating it with our supporters.’

As part of the ceremony, the RNLI’s Chairman Charles Hunter-Pease will present Torbay RNLI with a 150th anniversary vellum. He will also present gold awards to a number of fundraisers. The naming ceremony will start at 5pm and run through a set order as follows:

  1. National Anthem
  2. David Ham MBE, Chairman of the Lifeboat Management Group, welcomes guests and opens the proceedings
  3. Mayor Gordon Oliver, representative of the donor, hands over the D class lifeboat Leslie and Mary Daws to the RNLI
  4. Charles Hunter-Pease accepts the lifeboat on behalf of the RNLI, and hands it into the care of Torbay Lifeboat Station
  5. Nick O’Brien, Lifeboat Operations Manager, accepts the lifeboat on behalf of Torbay Lifeboat Station
  6. Superintendent John Anderson, of the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen, leads the Service of Dedication
  7. Charles Hunter-Pease invites Mayor Gordon Oliver to name the lifeboat Leslie and Mary Daws
  8. Charles Hunter-Pease presents a 150th Anniversary Vellum to Torbay Lifeboat Station
  9. Charles Hunter-Pease presents RNLI Gold Badge awards to Maurice Gibbard, Dave Smithson, Barbara Smithson and Shirley Wheeler (Brixham); and Keith Masters and John Shaddick (Paignton)
  10. Nigel Jones, Divisional Operations Manager, gives a Vote of Thanks and closes the proceedings
  11. The lifeboat launches.

Torbay is marking its 150th anniversary this year. The naming ceremony takes place in Lifeboat Week, a week of celebrations around the town to honour the town’s lifeboat station.

After the naming ceremony, at 7pm a service of dedication will take place at the lifeboat station marking the work done by Torbay RNLI volunteers over the past 150 years. Then at dusk a candlelight walk is scheduled to take place along Brixham Breakwater.

On Saturday a family fun day takes place at Brixham Rugby Club followed by a line-up of bands in the evening. Then on Sunday more events take place including a lifejacket clinic, barbecue, duck race and search and rescue demonstration. For more information on the events line-up visit   

Notes to editors

  • You, or a representative, are invited to attend the naming ceremony on Friday 12 August. Please contact Emma (contact below) to let her know you’ll be attending and any filming or interview requirements on the day. 
  • Photos will be available after the event.
  • Unfortunately there is no parking at the lifeboat station
  • For more information on Lifeboat Week visit  

RNLI media contacts

For more information contact Emma Haines, RNLI Public Relations Manager, on 07786 668847 or or Chlӧe Smith, RNLI Press Officer, on 07920 818807 or email

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.