Much missed St Agnes RNLI volunteer to be remembered on a lifeboat
Gerald Simmons, who volunteered for almost 50 years at St Agnes RNLI Lifeboat Station, is to have his name included on a new Shannon class lifeboat as part of the charity’s Launch a Memory campaign. The boat will be based at Clifden, on Ireland’s west coast, where it will save lives at sea.
Gerald was a very highly respected member of the Lifeboat Station Team and in the whole community of St Agnes. He served as a Crew member, the Station Honorary Secretary (or Station Operational Manager), and in his later years, as Chairperson of the Lifeboat Station. Gerald retired from volunteering in 2017 and sadly passed away last year.
His family have decided to remember him by supporting the RNLI’s Launch a Memory campaign - which gives people the opportunity to have a lasting, unique and physical way to remember loved ones who loved the sea, while helping to fund the charity’s lifesaving work. Gerald’s name will appear within the letters and numbers (decal) on the side of a brand-new Shannon class lifeboat, alongside thousands of other people.
This Shannon class lifeboat will be based at Clifden Lifeboat Station, on the west coast of Ireland, as of Summer 2021. The call outs for the volunteer crew in Clifden include rescues along the rough and ragged landscape – cliffs and rock rescues, recoveries, shipwrecks from nearby islands and more.
Gavin Forehead, volunteer helm on St Agnes lifeboat, said:
‘Gerald was greatly respected in the community of St Agnes. As chairman of St Agnes RNLI he brought enormous energy and enthusiasm to the role. He always had a massive smile and would create a fantastic atmosphere wherever and whenever he was involved. Gerald's generosity of spirit went way beyond his support of the lifeboat. He was truly a legend.’
Gerald’s daughter Lisa said:
‘His unique fundraising ideas were always inspiring, fun, successful, and occasionally a little shambolic! From Killiow golf days, Lifeboat Day (with and without Camels), Pimms and Pasties, and curry nights, he made sure the events were wonderful and inclusive. In 2000, he was awarded the Silver Badge in recognition of his valuable support of the lifeboat service.
‘Dad’s warmth of character, humility and caring for the community of St Agnes, beyond his contribution to the RNLI, will never be forgotten.
‘God bless, Darling Dad, your memory lives on with the RNLI’s launch a memory initiative at Clifden station and you’ll never be forgotten.’
This is the second Launch a Memory lifeboat, with the first being based in Invergordon, Scotland. That first Launch a Memory lifeboat raised £385,924.66 for the RNLI and 9,559 names were included in the boat’s decal. This second lifeboat has already passed the halfway point of 5000 names submitted, so those wishing to add their loved one’s name are advised to be quick.
Celebrate the life of someone you miss on the side of an RNLI lifeboat: https://rnli.org/launchamemory
Notes to editors
· Please find attached a photo of Gerald Simmons, who volunteered for almost 50 years at St Agnes RNLI Lifeboat.
RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact Marianne Quinn, Regional Media Officer, on Marianne_Quinn@rnli.org.uk or 07786 668847, Amy Caldwell, Regional Media Manager on 07920818807.
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.