Loch Ness Lifeboat Station boat house opening and lifeboat naming ceremony

Lifeboats News Release

Tomorrow (Saturday 26 May 2018) at 12pm the new RNLI boat house on Loch Ness will be officially opened and the new lifeboat named at a naming ceremony.

The Loch Ness lifeboat crew

Calum Menzies

The Loch Ness lifeboat crew

Boat house funding

The project to build the new station cost £2.7 million and was largely funded by a generous bequest from Mrs Agnes Barr. The Barr family have a history of supporting the RNLI in Scotland and Mrs Barr’s brother was a keen sailor.

Agnes Barr (1919-2017), an Edinburgh resident, had for many years been aware of the operations of the RNLI.

Following her marriage to Robert Barr in 1990 she became a regular contributor to the RNLI which notably covered refits at Fraserburgh and Montrose and pontoon works at Fraserburgh and Oban.

Agnes Barr’s single largest contribution was to Loch Ness Lifeboat Station which she sadly did not live to see completed.

The completion of the new boat house would not have been possible without such generosity from Agnes Barr, as well as contributions from: Mr James McGregor Sinclair, Mr Roy Arthur Burns Hamilton, Lord Shane Gough, The Stafford Trust.

Lifeboat funding

The B class Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Sheila & Dennis Tongue IV was built in-house by the RNLI and cost £214,000. The lifeboat was paid for by Dennis Tongue who left provisions in his Will to purchase four Atlantic class lifeboats, the Loch Ness lifeboat being the last of the four. Dennis Tongue passed away in 2014 and lived in Exeter, Devon.

Dennis and Sheila Tongue developed an interest in the RNLI whilst living in Devon during their retirement, not just for the charity’s role in saving lives at sea but for the value of a lifeboat station in a coastal community. They became regular visitors to the RNLI shop for Christmas cards, tea towels and calendars.

The decision to leave a substantial legacy to the RNLI was partly a ‘thank you’ for the happy years they spent in Exmouth and in recognition of the vital work of the RNLI.

Lifeboat Operations Manager, Joanna Stebbings said ‘We’re very grateful to Mrs Agnes Barr and to Dennis Tongue for their generous donations which will allow our crew to continue to go the aid of anyone who needs us on Loch Ness for many years to come.’

RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager, Stuart Gudgeon said ‘We’re proud to be officially opening this superb facility and naming the new state-of-the-art lifeboat. The volunteers here at Loch Ness Lifeboat Station have had their busiest year to-date last year.’

The new lifeboat station and lifeboat became operational on 3 March 2018 and have so far been called out seven times.

Notes to editor

Sligo Bay - B888 – Sheila & Dennis Tongue – on service November 2015

Looe – B894 – Sheila & Dennis Tongue II – on service August 2016

Staithes &Runswick – B897 – Sheila & Dennis Tongue III – on service February 2017


Loch Ness Lifeboat outside the new lifeboat station (credit RNLI/Henry Weaver)

Pictures of the ceremony will be sent out as soon as they are available

RNLI media contacts

Maeve Ryan, Loch Ness lifeboat volunteer press officer, 07724 123248, maeveryan10@gmail.com

Henry Weaver, RNLI Regional Media Manager for Scotland, 01738 642986, 07771 943026, henry_weaver@rnli.org.uk

Gemma McDonald, RNLI Regional Media Officer for Scotland, 01738 642956, 07826 900639, gemma_mcdonald@rnli.org.uk

RNLI Press Office, 01202 336789

Loch Ness lifeboat

RNLI/Henry Weaver

Loch Ness lifeboat
Jamie MacPherson gives a service of dedication

Calum Menzies

Jamie MacPherson gives a service of dedication

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, in a normal year, 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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.