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Lifeboat Donor's decendants visit Rhyl RNLI station

Lifeboats News Release

Surprise visit by Great-Great neices of Lil and Betty Cunningham.

Charisma (8) and Aurora (6) either side of the donor plaque on Rhyl Lifeboat

RNLI/Paul Frost MBE 07894 105165

Great-great neices of donor of Rhyl's Mersey

Rhyl station was paid a surprise visit by the two girls, Charisma (8) and Aurora(6); relatives of Lil Cunningham (after which Rhyl's Mersey-class lifeboat is named); and Betty Cunningham, who donated the funds to purchase the lifeboat in 1991.
The lifeboat was funded by the sale of War Bonds purchased by Lil, and was donated to the RNLI after her death, to fund a lifeboat at Rhyl. She had served in the Womens' Land Army in Prestatyn during the war years of World war II , and wanted to provide a lifeboat at the nearest station in Wales to Prestatyn.
The two girls, accompanied by their mother, were met by the Station Lifeboat operations manager Darrel Crowther, and were shown over the boat by the crew. They were shown the plaque on the lifeboat commemorating Miss Cunningham's donation, and had their photo taken alongside it.
Rhyl's Mersey-class all-weather lifeboat is now nearly 26 years old, and will soon be replaced by a new Shannon-class lifeboat in the near future.

Picture shows Charisma(L) and Aurora, with the plaque on Rhyl Lifeboat recoding their Great-Great Aunt's donation.

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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