Falmouth RNLI launch appeal to raise funds towards improvements lifeboat station

Lifeboats News Release

Falmouth RNLI will launch an appeal today (Wednesday 1 March) to raise £100,000 towards the cost of improvements to their station ahead of the arrival of their new Atlantic class inshore lifeboat in 2019.


Falmouth RNLI lifeboat 1867-1887

The community based appeal is launched as the station begins preparations to celebrate their 150th anniversary year. The station was established in 1867 in response to a number of shipwrecks in the Falmouth area. Its first lifeboat was a double ended, 33 foot, 10 oared self-righting pulling and sailing lifeboat built of mahogany. It was funded by the people of Gloucester and so called the City of Gloucester, crewed entirely by volunteers whose brand new lifeboat station was then, a wooden building in Falmouth Docks.

Now, in 2017, the Falmouth RNLI appeal aims to raise £100,000 towards the total cost of alterations and upgrades to the current station based just a quarter of a mile away from the original site, between Falmouth Docks and Pendennis Marina. These improvements are needed to ensure the station is ready to receive the new, faster and bigger Atlantic 85 lifeboat in two year’s time. The new lifeboat will replace the current Atlantic 75 lifeboat Eve Pank when she reaches the end of her operational life and will work alongside the station’s all-weather Severn class lifeboat Richard Cox

Mark Killingback, Chair of the Falmouth RNLI Appeal Committee, says;

‘While the charity is currently investigating the different options available for how the station can be adapted to accommodate the size of the new lifeboat, no final decisions have been made.

‘However as a team of fundraisers we are eager to get the appeal underway, and with a packed calendar of events to celebrate our 150th year, it seems the perfect opportunity to launch the appeal and start to raise the funds needed. It’s fantastic to be able to play a part in Falmouth RNLI’s history and to ensure it is fit for its lifesaving purpose both now and for future generations.’

Falmouth RNLI lifeboat station is one of the busiest in the south west. In 2015, the station’s volunteer RNLI lifeboat crew spent more than 6,000 hours at sea. The two lifeboats launched to emergencies 84 times and rescued over 100 people.

Paul Wickes MBE, Deputy Chair of the Falmouth RNLI Appeal Committee says;

‘The RNLI lifeboats are very much part of the way of life in Falmouth and as a community I know everyone appreciates and respects the hard work and dedication the volunteer crew put into their lifesaving role, which includes weekly training and often missing out on family occasions to respond to the pagers. These are brave people.

‘There is a widely held misconception that the RNLI is the wealthiest charity in the country, this is not the case. It costs the RNLI around £460,000 a day to maintain the resource infrastructure of safe lifeboats, communications and stations. 95% of RNLI people are volunteers just like the fantastic team at Falmouth. The state of the art Atlantic 85 lifeboat will make conditions safer for the crew and ensure more lives are saved for local and visiting mariners, so I know we can rely on Falmouth and the wider Cornish community to help us raise this significant amount towards upgrading their station.

‘This appeal, as with the crew, is all about local people supporting the local community. Let’s all work together as Falmouth always does to beat the target in the RNLI’s 150th year.’

There are a number of local fundraising events already being planned including: the Falmouth Sea Shanty Festival, Castle to Castle Swim, 150th anniversary open day, gala dinner, photo exhibitions, garden parties and the launch of a book celebrating 150 years of Falmouth RNLI.

Anyone interested in attending an event, getting involved, running their own event or activity or to donate can find out more by contacting the team at Falmouth_Appeal@rnli.org.uk or call 07774 436265

RNLI notes to editors
  • Please find attached four photographs, two taken of Falmouth’s RNLI lifeboats and volunteer crew, please credit Simon Culliford

  • And two photographs of Falmouth RNLI’s original lifeboat The City of Gloucester. Please credit Gloucester Achieves and RNLI as referenced in the photo names

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Amy Caldwell, Public Relations Manager, on 07920 818807 or amy_caldwell@rnli.org.uk or Simon Culliford Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07971986978 sculliford@sky.com


Falmouth RNLI's first lifeboat 1867 City of Gloucester

Simon Culliford

Falmouth RNLI's volunteer lifeboat crew 2017

Simon Culliford

Falmouth's inshore and all weather lifeboats in action 2017

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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