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Pwllheli RNLI volunteers receives new lifeboat named in memory of Coxswain

Lifeboats News Release

Volunteers at Pwllheli RNLI have received their new D class lifeboat named after a former Coxswain.

New D-Class near Gimblet Rock Pwllheli

RNLI/Green Photography

D-Class 811 Robert J Wright

The station's new D-Class has arrived on station and doesn’t it look great!

The new D class 811 – Robert J Wright - arrived at the station last week, complete with new engine and all ancillary parts.

It was decided that the new D class would be named after our former Coxswain Robert J Wright, who unfortunately passed away at sea during a lifeboat service in 2015. Since then, the fundraising team have been working tirelessly to fundraise for the lifeboat.

It was originally decided that the station would fundraise the amount of £24,000. After three months, many fundraising events and a generous donation, the target was met. It was then decided that the station would like to go the whole way to fundraise for the complete D class.

With many more fundraising events – the target was met earlier on this year. This means that the D class lifeboat was funded by all the local donations at Pwllheli.

Clive Moore, Coxswain at Pwllheli RNLI, said: 'Whether you attended a fundraising event or contributed in any way, we would like to say a massive thank you to you. Without your generosity, we could not have reached our target – which was to fund the boat entirely from local donations.'

To say a big thank you to everyone that donated and made sure the station reached its target, on 30 July there will be a public “Meet the Boat” at Plas Heli in Pwllheli. Its open to anyone and everyone to come over to Plas Heli to come and have a look at our new boat. The D class will be there from noon until 3pm, so please pop down and say hello.

Clive added: 'It’s always great to see a new boat arrive – even more the new D Class, as it means so much to the crew and local residents of Pwllheli. It’s a rare and appropriate tribute to our former Coxswain Robert Wright. Our new D class lifeboat has arrived on station, funded entirely by local donations. It’s great to know his name Robert J Wright will live on 'in service' for many more years to come.'

The new lifeboat has a top speed of 25 knots, can spend three hours at sea at this speed on search and rescue missions – a crucial factor when lives at risk.

Not only that, she can access areas inaccessible to our Mersey class all-weather lifeboat, such as close to cliffs, rocks and inside caves. As an inflatable inshore lifeboat, the D class is designed to operate close to shore in shallower water. She is ideal for rescues in fair to moderate conditions and particularly in big surf. With no wheelhouse on the D class lifeboat, the crew are exposed to the elements at all times and rely on their protective kit to keep them safe and warm.

Many rescues take place at night and can involve being close to dangerous cliffs and manmade structures, or searching caves and crevices. In addition to night vision equipment, the D class lifeboat carries a searchlight and parachute illuminating flares to light up the surrounding area, helping to keep crew members safe as well as locate those in need of help.

Medical equipment is stowed in the bow pod and includes oxygen and full resuscitation kit, responder bag and multi-purpose ambulance pouch. In the event of a capsize, the D class lifeboat can be righted manually by the crew and her 50hp outboard engine restarted.

With over 50 years’ service, our D class lifeboat has helped the RNLI save thousands of lives at sea and continues to be the workhorse of the RNLI fleet today.

Notes to editors:

For further information, please contact Tomos Moore, Pwllheli RNLI Crew Member & Lifeboat Press Officer on 07552 446447, Adam Daniel, Pwllheli RNLI Crew Member & Lifeboat Press Officer on 07917808208 or Chris Cousens, RNLI Press Officer, Wales and West, on 07748 265496 or 01745 585162 or by email on chris_cousens@rnli.org.uk.



New D-Class near Gimblet Rock Pwllheli

RNLI/Green Photography

D-Class 811 Robert J Wright
D-Class 811 arriving on station

RNLI/Pwllheli RNLI

D-Class 811 Robert J Wright
Plaque Robert J Wright

RNLI/Pwllheli RNLI

D-Class 811 R J Wright

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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