Long-serving Llandudno RNLI lifeboat makes a historic final journey through town

Lifeboats News Release

Llandudno’s volunteer crew will lead the station’s all-weather RNLI lifeboat Andy Pearce through town this Saturday (18 November), as they prepare to bid her a final farewell.

The 'Andy Pearce' at speed in Llandudno bay.

Nicholas Leach/RNLI

The 'Andy Pearce' at speed in Llandudno bay.

Departing from the charity’s only remaining town centre boathouse on Lloyd Street; the crew will lead their much-loved lifeboat to the north shore, where she will launch for the last time at 11am.

The departure of the all-weather lifeboat, after giving 27 years of faithful service to Llandudno's volunteer crews, will also bring to an end the 156 years-old practice whereby the town's lifeboats have been taken through the streets to their launch sites.

Among the volunteer crew walking alongside the lifeboat will be the station’s current Coxswain Graham Heritage. Graham is the only current serving crew member to have had the honour of bringing the Andy Pearce to Llandudno more than a quarter of a century ago.

He says:

‘The day will be tinged with pride and sadness. The Andy Pearce has been a trusted lifeboat for a number of years. Up until the end of 2016, she had launched 245 times, rescued 311 people and saved 50 lives. We have been a unique station in the way we taken our lifeboat through town to its launch site. This has brought its own challenges through the years, especially in the busy summer months.

‘We are extremely fortune to now have a modern Shannon class lifeboat, a purpose built modern boathouse at Craig-y-Don and the very best facilities for the volunteer crew. It will be an honour to walk our trusted lifeboat through town and then to sail her away from Llandudno for the very last time.’

Last month, the new RNLI boathouse was opened and in the all-weather Shannon class lifeboat was named William F Yates. The Shannon operates alongside the D-class lifeboat Dr Barbara Saunderson which was also dedicated at the naming ceremony.

The £2.2M Shannon class lifeboat has been funded thanks to a number of donors. The all-weather lifeboat was named by Peter Forster-Dean, executor of the Gladys Yates estate in memory of William Frederick Marple Yates. Both Mr yates and his wife Gladys were both born in Widnes, Lancashire but had great affection for Llandudno.

Captain Marcus Elliott, Llandudno volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager said:

‘The departure of the Andy Pearce marks the end of an era for Llandudno and as it will be the last time an all-weather lifeboat will be towed through the town. We are now fully operational from our new long awaited boathouse on the promenade which will soon be open to public visits. We hope the townspeople will come along and give this fine lifeboat the send-off it deserves.’

Ends

Media Opportunity: Saturday, 18 November 2017

10am The Llandudno RNLI crew will assemble at the Lloyd Street boathouse in preparation to walk their lifeboat through town to her launch site on the north shore. Interview will need to be pre-arranged by calling Danielle Rush on the telephone numbers below. Requests should be received no later than Wednesday, November 15th.

11am There will be a photo opportunity on Llandudno promenade (north shore) as the crew board the lifeboat to take her on her final voyage.

RNLI media contacts

For more information, please contact Danielle Rush, RNLI Regional Media Manager on 01745 585162 or 07786 668829, or Llandudno RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer Alan Sharp on 01492 543315. Alternatively, call the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or email pressoffice@rnli.org.uk.

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 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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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland