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Fleetwood RNLI’s in-shore lifeboat reaches it’s 10th anniversary

Lifeboats News Release

Fleetwood RNLI celebrate the 10th anniversary of its in-shore lifeboat, D-719, Mary Elizabeth Barnes, this November. The lifeboat went into service in November 2009 and was named the following summer.

Mary Elizabeth Barnes D-719 IN ACTION

RNLI/Fleetwood RNLI

Mary Elizabeth Barnes D-719

The lifeboat arrived in Fleetwood following the generous bequest from Mary Preston, who made the donation to honour her family, Barnes and named the lifeboat after her late grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Barnes.

Since D-719 arrived in Fleetwood, it has launched 319 times, rescued 276 people and saved 11 lives.

In-shore rescue boats were placed into service by the life saving charity in 1963, following the rise in leisure activities in and on the in-shore waters of our coast. The first in-shore lifeboat arrived in Fleetwood in 1966 and was on service between Easter and the end of October until 1984. The in-shore lifeboat has been on service all year, ever since.

The most notable rescue by the Fleetwood in-shore lifeboat, took place on 23 March, 1984, when, following a request by Liverpool Coastguard, the in-shore lifeboat, D-298 was launched to rescue a windsurfer, who was in difficulty in force 8 gales, off the shore near Rossall hospital.

The in-shore lifeboat launched with Stephen Musgrave at the helm, alongside crew members Barrie Farmer and David Owen. Despite the very difficult weather conditions, they rescued the windsurfer and brought him back to the lifeboat station.

For this rescue, Stephen was awarded the RNLI Thanks on Vellum, whilst Barrie and David were warded Vellum Service Certificates. All three volunteers were awarded the ‘Ralph Glister Award’ for the most meritorious service in a lifeboat under 10 metres in 1984.

D-719 names Mary Elizabeth Barnes in 2009, surrounded by the volunteer crew from Fleetwood RNLI

RNLI/Fleetwood RNLI

Naming ceremony for D-719 in 2009

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.