Llandudno RNLI volunteers prepare to welcome Wales’ first Shannon class lifeboat

Lifeboats Media Invite

After months of hard work and preparation, excitement is building at Llandudno RNLI Lifeboat Station for the arrival of the first ever Shannon class lifeboat to be stationed on the Welsh coast.

Llandudno Shannon class lifeboat

RNLI/Stephen Lowe

Llandudno Shannon class lifeboat

In readiness for the Shannon class lifeboat’s arrival the RNLI volunteers have already travelled down to the charity’s headquarters in Poole, Dorset to take part in a week’s intensive training. The highlight of the week will be the honour of bringing the station’s Shannon class lifeboat William F Yates on the 400 mile journey to her new home.

The new all-weather lifeboat is due to make her big entrance at her final destination, Llandudno, at around midday on Sunday 24 September before being recovered at the new lifeboat station at Craig-y-Don.

Llandudno’s Mersey class all-weather lifeboat and D-class inshore lifeboat will launch shortly after 11am on Sunday to meet the Shannon and escort her around Pen Trwyn to her new home. Weather dependant, a short demonstration will take place within the bay to showcase the new lifeboat’s capabilities to the local community.

Graham Heritage, Coxswain of Llandudno lifeboat said:

‘This is an exciting new chapter for Llandudno RNLI and it’s a great honour for all on board to be chosen and to be given the responsibility of bringing home our brand new all-weather lifeboat. Hopefully the local community will join the RNLI volunteers and supporters in welcoming home Wales’ very first Shannon class lifeboat this Sunday.

‘Welcoming an all-weather lifeboat is always a big occasion for every coastal community. As we’re expecting quite a crowd on the day, we would like to ask our supporters to leave plenty of time to make their way safely over to the new lifeboat station in Craig-y-Don.’

The £2.2M Shannon class lifeboat, which was designed to replace the Mersey and Tyne class lifeboats, is the first modern all-weather lifeboat to be propelled by waterjets instead of traditional propellers, making her the most agile and manoeuvrable all-weather lifeboat yet. Reaching top speeds of 25 knots, the Shannon is nearly 50% faster than the Mersey, giving crews the ability to reach and assist casualties faster when time is of the essence. The new lifeboat will replace the station’s existing Mersey class lifeboat Andy Pearce, which is reaching the end of her operational life.

Event: The arrival of Llandudno’s new all-weather lifeboat; the first Shannon class lifeboat to be stationed in Wales.

Date/Time: Sunday 24 September, 2017. 11am – 2pm

Where: Llandudno RNLI Lifeboat Station, Colwyn Road, Llandudno, LL30 3AA.

Notes to editors

  • Welsh and English language interviews will be available on the day. Interview arrangements can be made by contacting Eleri Roberts on the numbers below.
  • Timetable of events (conditions and weather dependant):
  • 11am the launch of Llandudno’s Mersey and D-class lifeboats

  • 12pm the arrival of the Shannon class lifeboat and short demonstration.

  • 1:15pm – lifeboat crew and RNLI volunteers available for interviews.

RNLI media contacts

For more information contact Eleri Roberts, RNLI Media Engagement Officer (Wales and North West) on 01745 585162 / 07771 941390 or email Eleri_Roberts@rnli.org.uk. Alternatively contact RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or email PressOffice@rnli.org.uk.

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.