Fred. Olsen guests fund and name new RNLI lifeboat

Lifeboats News Release

On Tuesday 22 January, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) joined long-standing partners Fred. Olsen at the company’s headquarters in Ipswich, to name a new RNLI lifeboat which has been funded and named by guests from Fred. Olsen cruise ships.

The winners of Fred. Olsen Cruise Line's naming competition - Margaret Manning (Left), Joan Hutchings and Peter Ruck unveil the 'Pride of Fred. Olsen'

Photo: Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

The winners of Fred. Olsen Cruise Line's naming competition - Margaret Whittington (Left), Joan Hutchings and Peter Ruck unveil the 'Pride of Fred. Olsen'

It is the first time that one of the RNLI’s partners has hosted an RNLI naming ceremony at their headquarters.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines and their guests generously donated £170,000 towards the new lifeboat through fundraising onboard Fred. Olsen cruise ships last year, coinciding with Fred. Olsen commemorating their 170th birthday. Last year also saw the RNLI and the cruise line celebrating 50 years as partners.

The new relief lifeboat, an Atlantic 85, capable of up to 35 knots, was built at the RNLI’s inshore lifeboat production facility on the Isle of Wight. The name Pride of Fred. Olsen was chosen for the lifeboat by Fred. Olsen guests Margaret Whittington, Peter Ruck and Joan Hutchings in a competition onboard Fred. Olsen’s cruise ships. Margaret, Peter and Joan were ‘Guests of Honour’ at the naming ceremony.

During the RNLI and Fred. Olsen’s 50 years as partners, the cruise company has generously funded five inshore lifeboats, and in 2011 they funded the fourth - an Atlantic 85: the Spirit of Fred. Olsen based at Kyle of Lochalsh RNLI. However, unlike the Spirit of Fred. Olsen, the new Pride of Fred. Olsen lifeboat won’t be allocated to a specific lifeboat station. Instead, it will be part of the charity’s relief fleet, deployed to different lifeboat stations depending on need – for example, if a station’s lifeboat is away for maintenance.

Catherine Kaye, RNLI Corporate Partnerships Manager said, ‘We’re so grateful for the continued support of Fred. Olsen and their guests. As a charity, the RNLI relies on the generosity of its supporters. Relief lifeboats such as the Pride of Fred. Olsen are vital for us to ensure that we have the right assets at stations when a lifeboat goes away for maintenance. This new lifeboat will help us to continue to save lives at sea and will help us ensure that our lifesavers have the equipment they need to help those in difficulty, as they have done since 1824.’

Mike Rodwell, Managing Director of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: ‘At Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, we are all extremely proud of our long and successful relationship with the RNLI, and we have been ‘saving lives at sea together’ for over 50 years, since 1968.

‘We derive our livelihoods from the sea, so to be able to support a charity that provides such a vital service in our working environment means a lot to us.

‘As we gift Pride of Fred. Olsen to the RNLI, we pay tribute to the tremendous generosity and enthusiasm of our guests towards the RNLI and all that their brave crews do to keep us safe at sea.’

In their time as partners, Fred. Olsen have also funded three mobile training units, three training rooms at the RNLI College in Poole, and the development of a new lifeboat launch carriage, supplying three at Cullercoats, Mudeford and the RNLI headquarters.

Notes to Editors

  • High-resolution image of the event is available to download.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please Jennifer Clough, RNLI Press Officer at [email protected] and 01202 336789.

Fred. Olsen media contacts

Rachael Jackson, Public Relations Manager Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines at [email protected] and 01473 292233

Ellis Barker, Public Relations Executive Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, at E[email protected] and 01473 292237

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 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.

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.