Dart RNLI officially name their new D-class lifeboat
The traditional Naming Ceremony and Service of Dedication for RNLI Dart’s new D class lifeboat took place on Coronation Park, Dartmouth, at 2pm on Sunday 4 August in front of 140 invited guests and supporters, as well as many members of the public.
Mrs Sarah Fuller explained in her speech how she and her husband Roy had decided to donate the funds for a new D class lifeboat, as well as a substantial sum last year to cover the cost of training the lifeboat crew to serve on the D class lifeboat and their equipment.
Her Aunt, Miss Dudley Jane Hunt, had originally set up the Trust and Mr and Mrs Fuller became joint Trustees when she died in 2011. The female family name on Mrs Fuller’s mother’s side of the family was Dudley, hence the name Dudley Jane.
Mr and Mrs Fuller lived in Dartmouth for eight years and were involved in the sailing scene locally, including taking part in the classic sail past in Dartmouth Regatta. Miss Hunt had visited them in Dartmouth several times and, when the decision was made to use the Trust to provide a lifeboat, Dartmouth was the natural choice.
After the National Anthem had been sung Commodore Jake Moores OBE DL RN, Chair of the RNLI Dart Management Group, welcomed the guests and opened the proceedings.
Mrs Sarah Fuller, the Donor, handed the lifeboat into the care of the RNLI. The boat was accepted by Mr Martin Gregory, RNLI Council Member and in turn he handed her into the care of RNLI Dart lifeboat station.
Rob Clements, Deputy Launch Authority, accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the lifeboat crew. In a brief speech he recalled the history of our first D class lifeboat, Spirit of the Dart, which the volunteers had used to save 12 lives and to rescue 644 people. She had been launched on service 375 times and carried out many memorable rescues.
Father Will Hazelwood then led the Service of Dedication which consisted of prayers, a bible reading by Ewen Menzies from the Dart lifeboat crew and traditional nautical hymns. The music was accompanied by the Britannia Royal Naval College Volunteer Band and the Dartmouth Parish Choir led by Chris Helyer. The new lifeboat was then dedicated and blessed by Father Will.
Following the Service the lifeboat was named Dudley Jane by Sarah Fuller with champagne from the Sharpham Estate and accompanied by a five gun salute from the replica of HMS Pickles moored in the harbour.
The memorable event was drawn to a close by Katy Locke, Dart lifeboat crew, who thanked all who had taken part and invited the guests to a Devon cream tea in the lifeboat station.
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.