Workington RNLI welcomes its new Shannon class lifeboat

Lifeboats News Release

Workington Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) volunteers welcomed their new state-of-the-art Shannon class lifeboat* today (Wednesday 5 April).

RNLI/Clare Hopps

The crew/volunteers proudly deliver Workington RNLI's new Shannon class lifeboat

The lifesaving vessel arrived at 1:19pm to add a sense of occasion, as her operational boat number is 13.19.

The charity’s new £2M lifeboat has been part-funded by a generous legacy from Mrs. Dorothy May White (the lifeboat will be named Dorothy May White), a substantial donation from The Sir John Fisher Foundation and an RNLI fundraising appeal which launched in June 2016.* The final appeal total will be announced shortly.

Tim Chittenden, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager at Workington, explained: ‘The arrival of our new Shannon Class lifeboat has been much anticipated and today was a truly historic occasion. Our fundraising appeal has received phenomenal support from the local community and businesses and indeed from people far and wide.

‘Thanks must also go to our volunteer fundraising committee and everyone at the charity’s lifeboat station who has worked tirelessly for the appeal. Our new lifesaving vessel has also only been made a reality through various generous donations and of course the vital legacy from Dorothy May, after whom the Shannon is named.

Workington RNLI’s Volunteer Coxswain, John Stobbart added: ‘Naturally we’ll miss our current all-weather lifeboat Sir John Fisher but we’re also excited about receiving our Shannon, whose advanced technology means we’ll be able to reach people a lot more quickly and further off shore.

‘Our volunteer crew can’t wait to start their new chapter of lifesaving with the Shannon and we’ve really enjoyed our recent training ahead of her arrival. The state-of-the-art vessel is 50% faster than our current all-weather lifeboat and this will ensure that those in need are reached even more quickly than before.’

The new Shannon class lifeboat will be named during an official ceremony later in the year.

RNLI Photo caption

The photographs show Workington RNLI’s new Shannon arriving. Credit: RNLI.

RNLI media contacts

For more information, please contact Clare Hopps, RNLI Press Officer North, on 07824 518641 or at or, Peter Inglis, Workington RNLI Volunteer Press Officer on: 07599 688551

Notes to editors

The Shannon class lifeboat:

· The Shannon class lifeboat is the first modern RNLI all-weather lifeboat to be powered by water jets and not propellers.

· Capable of 25 knots the Shannon is 50% faster than the lifeboats it replaces – ensuring that those in need are reached even faster.

· The Shannon is the RNLI’s next generation all-weather lifeboat and is the most agile in the fleet.

Workington RNLI’s Shannon class lifeboat appeal:

· Workington’s current all-weather Tyne class lifeboat Sir John Fisher, is nearing the end of her operational life. She is set to be replaced by the newest member of the RNLI fleet, a Shannon class lifeboat.

· In June 2016, Workington RNLI launched an appeal to raise £150,000 towards the cost of a new state-of-the-art Shannon class lifeboat. The final appeal total will be announced shortly.

· The total cost of Workington RNLI’s Shannon class lifeboat is £2Million. It will be part-funded as follows:

By a generous legacy in excess of £1Million from the late Mrs.Dorothy May White. Dorothy, a long-time supporter of the RNLI, came from Birmingham and died in February 2012. Workington RNLI’s Shannon will be named Dorothy May White in her memory.

A donation of £500,000 from The Sir John Fisher Foundation. The Sir John Fisher Foundation is a charitable trust established in 1980 by Sir John and Lady Maria Fisher. The Foundation's objective is to distribute its income to charitable causes throughout the UK, but with special regard to those based in and working for the benefit of people living in and around Barrow-in-Furness and surrounding area.

From accrued donations from numerous RNLI supporters (the Workington Shannon was also the recipient of an RNLI Summer Appeal mailing).

RNLI/Clare Hopps

Workington RNLI's new Shannon arrives with spectators pictured in the background

RNLI/Clare Hopps

Workington RNLI's new Shannon class lifeboat gets a well-deserved wash down

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 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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.