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Fowey hosts popular RNLI ex lifeboat rally for the 21st year

Lifeboats News Release

Former lifeboats from across the south west are expected in Fowey next weekend, 3 September, for the town’s annual RNLI ex lifeboat rally.

The free event on Saturday 3 September attracts former lifeboats from all around the region that are now privately owned, and gives the public the rare opportunity to hop onboard and have a look around the former lifesaving vessels for themselves. The public also get the chance to meet the owners who lovingly restore the lifeboats to their former glory.

This is the 21st year the popular annual event has been held in Fowey and it’s hoped ex lifeboat crews will be arriving from as far afield as Portishead and Salcombe. Also taking part (weather permitting) will be the former Looe rowing lifeboat Ryder; and the Michael Stevens which was involved in the Dunkirk evacuations.

The lifeboats will be open to the public from 11am to 4pm on Saturday at Berrill’s Yard pontoon, opposite the lifeboat station.

Bob Harris, RNLI crew volunteer and one of the event’s organisers, hopes the weather continues to stay fine as the event is hugely dependent on the weather: ‘The lifeboats will be travelling from afar, so just like every year, the number of lifeboats attending relies heavily upon the weather conditions on the day. In the past we have had to postpone the event due to the challenging conditions. But with the recent sunshine we’re hoping the weather is set to stay, which means many lifeboats will hopefully be able to reach Fowey safely.

‘The rally is a great day out for all ages and provides the rare opportunity to get a closer look at the fantastic range of old lifeboats at the event and celebrate their heritage. The day also gives people a chance to reminisce about all the many lifesaving rescues the vessels have been involved with over the decades.
‘Our thanks to everybody who continues to help us to run this event year after year, including Fowey Harbour Commissioners and Mitchell & Webber who have kindly donated 9,000 litres of fuel for the event.’

As part of the day there will also be a barbecue, sea safety demonstrations and a procession of the former lifeboats down the river at 4.30pm. The National Coastwatch Institution and HM Coastguard will also be present.

Entry is free but donations are welcome to help towards the continuing work of the RNLI, the charity that saves lives at sea.

Notes to editors
Please see attached a picture taken at a previous ex lifeboat rally of RNLI lifeboats old and new alongside the pontoon in Fowey. Please credit RNLI/Paul Richards.

RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact Emma Haines, RNLI Press Relations Manager, on 07786 668847 or or Chloe Smith, RNLI Press Officer on 07920 818807 or

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 Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 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.

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