Volunteers at St Ives RNLI Lifeboat Station held a joint naming ceremony and service of dedication for their new Shannon class lifeboat Nora Stachura and the launch and recovery system Kenneth George Fulford yesterday (Sunday 15 May).
Hundreds of people gathered along the harbour front in the sunshine as the new all-weather lifeboat was officially handed over to St Ives RNLI.
The Shannon class lifeboat was funded by the legacy of Nora Stachura from Swindon. Derek Price, a friend of Mrs Stachura, attended the ceremony to officially handover the lifeboat to the RNLI.
He said: â€˜I know Nora would have loved to be here to see how her generosity has benefitted the RNLI lifeboat crew in St Ives. It is a pleasure to hand the lifeboat into the care of the RNLI; Nora would have been proud of what she has done.â€™
The launch and recovery system was funded by the legacy of Kenneth George Fulford along with Â£100,000 which was raised within the local community. Mr Fulfordâ€™s sister, Patricia Sinfield, officially handed over the launch and recovery system.
She said: â€˜Iâ€™m delighted to be here to hand over the launch and recovery system. It is a fantastic piece of equipment and I am sure it will be well used.â€™
Simon Sherrard, RNLI council member, accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the charity and handed her in to the care of St Ives RNLI, accepted by Volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager, Derek Hall.
Derek said: â€˜I have to express thanks to the generous donors and the family and friends representing them today. They have given St Ives RNLI the opportunity to save lives at sea more safely and efficiently. It is a privilege to accept the new Shannon class lifeboat and launch and recovery system to St Ives Lifeboat Station.â€™
The service of dedication was conducted by Pastor Kenny Bassett, with crew member Paul LeBas giving a reading. Heyl Town Band provided music for the event.
Once the official ceremony finished, the volunteer crew of St Ives RNLI launched Nora Stachura to demonstrate her capabilities, including quick turns and an emergency stop. The inshore lifeboat Colin Bramley Parker was also launched.
Onlookers got a chance to see the launch and recovery system in action when the lifeboat was brought back on to the slipway and rotated 180Â° ready to be launched again.
Following the ceremony guests enjoyed cream teas in the boathouse, provided by the Hidden Kitchen.
Notes to editors
â€¢ A selection of photos from the ceremony are attached. Credit is in the title.
â€¢ The Shannon is the latest class of all-weather lifeboat to join the RNLI fleet and the first to be propelled by waterjets instead of traditional propellers. Measuring just 13m in length and weighing 18 tonnes, the Shannon is the smallest and lightest of our 25-knot lifeboats â€“ itâ€™s our most agile and manoeuvrable all-weather lifeboat yet.
â€¢ The Shannon class lifeboatâ€™s launch and recovery system acts like a mobile slipway for the vessel, which can be driven directly onto the beach for recovery. It can drive straight into big surf and safely launch the lifeboat in up to 2.4m of water.
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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.
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