Barmouth RNLI prepares for official dedication of new lifeboat

Lifeboats News Release

This Saturday (8 June) Barmouth’s £2.2M Shannon class lifeboat will be officially named Ella Larsen, during a ceremony for invited guests. The lifeboat has been privately funded by the The Basil Larsen 1999 Charitable Trust.

Barmouth's Shannon class lifeboat

Dave James

Barmouth's Shannon class lifeboat

RNLI Operations and Safety Director George Rawlinson will hand over the lifeboat into the care of Barmouth Lifeboat Station and Ella Larsen will be officially accepted be Barmouth Lifeboat Operations Manager David Baily.

The Shannon class lifeboat arrived in Barmouth on Sunday 10 March to a warm welcome from hundreds of supporters who lined the beach to greet her. On 10 April, after an extensive and intense period of training, consolidation and assessment, the new RNLI lifeboat was officially placed on service.

RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager Lee Firman said:

‘The team at Barmouth are to be commended for their hard work, commitment and dedication over the last few months. The RNLI is confident we have the right number of competent and safe people able to operate the boat and associated launch and recovery equipment, which is testament to the dedication of the volunteer crew.

‘Propelled by water jets, the Shannon is a very different lifeboat to the Mersey class lifeboat. It is technologically more advanced and can reach speeds of 25 knots, compared to the 17 knot of the Mersey. It will enable us to provide a comprehensive search and rescue service across Cardigan Bay and reach people in trouble quicker than ever before. The naming ceremony will give the community and the crew an opportunity to celebrate this remarkable milestone and the beginning of a new chapter of lifesaving.’

The new lifeboat takes over from the Station’s Mersey class all-weather (ALB) lifeboat the Moira Barrie which has looked after lifesaving in Cardigan Bay for over 26 years since her arrival in 1992. The Mersey class lifeboat left Barmouth on 26 April.

The Shannon class lifeboat is the first modern all-weather lifeboat to be propelled by water jets instead of traditional propellers, making her the most agile and manoeuvrable all-weather lifeboat yet. Reaching top speeds of 25 knots, the Shannon is faster than the Mersey, giving crews the ability to reach those in need even faster. Additionally, the Shannon can turn in her own length or stop almost instantly, making going alongside a vessel to take off casualties a much safer option.

David Baily, RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager for Barmouth says:

‘A dedication service is an important day for any station and one we are very much looking forward to. Weather permitting our ceremony will take place outside the station, so we’re expecting people to come down and catch a glimpse of proceedings.

‘I’m incredibly proud of how the volunteer crew have invested so much of their time to get to grips with this fantastic new lifeboat. The dedication will be a celebration of that achievement. In addition to this, it will give us an opportunity to thank the community for their continued support and give thanks to the charitable trust for making this huge milestone possible. Without the generosity of our supporters, our volunteer crews wouldn’t be able to do what they do, so this day will very much be about showing our gratitude for that support.’

Notes to Editors

Seated guests at the dedication ceremony will be by invitation only. The event will take place outside Barmouth Lifeboat Station, so there will be opportunity for media/spectators to witness the ceremony (weather permitting).

Images will be available following the naming ceremony.

For interviews with RNLI spokespeople, please contact Danielle Rush on the telephone numbers below.

Media Contacts

For more information please Danielle Rush, RNLI Media Relations Manager in Wales on 07786 668829 or contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

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.

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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 by email.