Lytham St Annes RNLI volunteers launch £275,000 appeal
Lytham St Annes RNLI volunteers are sending out their own call for help today (Wednesday 20 July) in support of an appeal to raise £275,000 towards the cost of their next lifeboat.
In 2018, Lytham’s current all-weather Mersey class lifeboat Her Majesty The Queen, will be nearing the end of her operational life and is set to be replaced by the newest member of the RNLI fleet, a Shannon class lifeboat.
The first modern RNLI all-weather lifeboat to be powered by water jets instead of propellers, the Shannon has a top speed of 25 knots, is highly manoeuvrable and well-suited to the shallow conditions of the Fylde coast.
Lytham RNLI Coxswain Gary Bird said: ‘We are very attached to our Mersey and she’s served us well for many years, but everyone at the station is very excited at the prospect of receiving a Shannon. It’s an incredible lifeboat and the advanced technology means we’ll be able to reach people in trouble at sea a lot more quickly than we can at the moment.
‘We know £275,000 is a lot of money to raise but people in Lancashire and across the north west have always been very supportive of the RNLI. I’m confident they will get behind the appeal and help us fund our new lifeboat, which will be saving lives off the Lancashire coast for many years to come.’
The bulk of the funding for the £2M Shannon will come from the legacy of Miss Barbara Anne Cameron Roberts form Winchester, a long-term supporter of the charity who died in 2013. The appeal will help the RNLI meet the shortfall.
The RNLI has a long history of lifesaving on the Fylde coast. Over the last 165 years, lifeboat crew members have been recognised with 12 RNLI awards for gallantry. They include a Silver Medal for Lytham Coxswain Thomas Clarkson for his part in the rescue of 12 people from the German barque Mexico in 1886. But it was also the scene of the worst disaster in RNLI history – with 27 crew members of the St Annes and Southport lifeboats losing their lives during the rescue attempt.
The lifesaving tradition will continue with the state-of-the-art Shannon, which has been designed by in-house RNLI design engineers and is the smallest, most agile all-weather lifeboat in the RNLI fleet.
Digby Moulden, volunteer Chairman of the Lytham RNLI Fundraising Committee, said:
‘We know it’s going to be hard work raising £275,000 towards the cost of our new lifeboat but everyone involved with the RNLI in Lytham St Annes is doing their bit towards the appeal. We are holding our RNLI Open Day at the station on 31 July, when the appeal will be launched to the public and visitors will have the chance to find out more about the Shannon.
‘Other events on the horizon include a golf day in Chester and a sponsored walk but we are hoping members of the public, schools, companies and other organisations across the North West will get behind the appeal and hold their own fundraising events to support the appeal.’
To support the Lytham RNLI Shannon Lifeboat Appeal, call 0300 300 9902, email email@example.com or visit www.rnli.org.uk/lythamstannesappeal
A downloadable video of an RNLI Shannon class lifeboat in action is available here: http://bit.ly/VKqF6u
RNLI picture captions
1. RNLI Shannon class lifeboat in action. Credit RNLI.
RNLI media contacts
For more information, please contact Alison Levett, RNLI Public Relations Manager, on 01287 619340 or 07786 668912 or at firstname.lastname@example.org or Clare Hopps, RNLI Press Officer, North, on 01642 750585 or 07824 518641 or at email@example.com
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.