Looe RNLI launch appeal to raise funds for new D class lifeboat

Lifeboats News Release

The RNLI is launching an appeal today, Monday 1 March, to raise £78,000 for the new D class inshore lifeboat at Looe. Like the current D class, the new lifeboat, which is due to arrive in 2022, will be named in memory of Ollie Naismith

Over ten years on from the first appeal, Ollie’s family and friends are joining up with the Webber family to support the charity’s fundraising to bring the Ollie Naismith II to Looe.

A D class inshore lifeboat has served Looe since 1992, but next year, the current D Class Ollie Naismith will have reached the end of its operational life and needs to be replaced. The appeal aims to raise the total amount needed to build the lifeboat, deliver it to station, together with all the relevant kit and provide the necessary ongoing crew training.

Launching this appeal during a pandemic means that many traditional fundraising activities are on hold until lockdown restrictions are relaxed, however we will still be marking the launch virtually with the premiere of our appeal video on the RNLI Looe Lifeboat Station facebook page, today, 1 March 2021. The appeal team are planning fundraising events, including concerts in the boathouse, beach activities and open days, details of these will be released when circumstances allow. In the meantime, we are looking to use social media to promote our appeal and would love our followers and supporters to share it with friends and engage with their own socially distanced fundraisers.

People wishing to support the appeal can donate and / or fundraise in a number of ways

· Visit our justgiving page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/looe-lifeboat-appeal.

· Visit our donate page at http://www.looelifeboats.co.uk/donate.html

· Make a direct donation to the appeal by contacting our fundraising team at looernli@rnli.org.uk who can provide on-line banking details or a postal address for your donation

· If you want to hold a fundraising event or activity you can setup your own justgiving page by visiting https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/Looe-Lifeboat-Appeal and clicking on the “Start Fundraising” button

Dave Haines, RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager at Looe, says “The D class lifeboat Ollie Naismith is a vital asset to the town and has proved itself time and time again, launching to shouts in all weather conditions. The D Class is able to go up river into shallow water or get right into the beaches and coves at the foot of the cliffs along our coastline from Pencarrow head, eastwards along Whitsand bay to Rame head. Looe and its surrounding coastline is extremely popular, especially in the summer months, there is our fishing fleet to protect and the many leisure craft that journey past Looe between Fowey and Plymouth. This new D class inshore lifeboat compliments the bigger Atlantic 85, B class lifeboat that the RNLI also base at Looe:

Last summer, 10 June 2020, the Ollie Naismith lifeboat was instrumental in the rescue of Louis Webber when he fell onto rocks at Hannafore. Recalling that evening, Louis’s parents Emma and Mark Webber say, “if it was not for the fast response and care shown to Louis from the Looe RNLI volunteer crew, the outcome for Louis could have been very different. Without the D Class, Louis’s rescue would have been impossible, this was the safest and quickest method, and all other methods could have put Louis at more risk of further injury when he was already fighting for his life. Emma goes on to say, “when the crew told us the Ollie Naismith was reaching the end of its operational life, we are determined to ensure the volunteer crew have a replacement lifeboat to continue their amazing lifesaving service to the community of Looe”.

The Naismith family have a long association with Looe Lifeboat Station. Many of our volunteer and former crew were school friends of Ollie Naismith, keen surfers or musicians. In 2009, the family lost Ollie in a road accident and they spearheaded an appeal to provide a D Class lifeboat which carries the name Ollie Naismith. As Ollie’s dad John Naismith explains “The appeal for the first Ollie Naismith came at the hardest time of my life. It gave me, Ollie's Mum, and his sister Tori something positive to focus on at that dark time. I took huge comfort in the massive support that the appeal generated and from the affection that the crew have for Ollie's lifeboat. That the crew are so keen on the new lifeboat to be named Ollie Naismith II is wonderful."

Between November 2010 and December 2020, the Ollie Naismith lifeboat has launched 184 times, rescued 138 people, and saved six lives. In launching the appeal for the Ollie Naismith II, the volunteer crew and fundraising team at Looe Lifeboat Station, together with the Naismith and Webber families are passionate that the lifesaving legacy of the Ollie Naismith continues well into the 2030’s.

Ollie’s mum Maxine, and sister, Tori are delighted the new D Class inshore lifeboat will carry the name Ollie Naismith II, Tori says “My brother Ollie was a person who loved to bring happiness to others and cared deeply about the people around him. To see his legacy shine through on the RNLI D class lifeboat brings me immense pride and I cannot put into words how much it means to have his legacy continued with the Ollie Naismith ll. Just like Ollie, many lifestyles, including my own, revolve around the water, and it is a privilege to know our community is protected by a much needed service. I cannot give enough thanks and praise for all the brave RNLI men and women who put themselves at risk to protect others at sea and keep our community safe. The RNLI is vital to all of us, any support will be gratefully received by my family, the Webber family and all families who have been supported so brilliantly by the RNLI. “

“No one can question the absolutely essential service the RNLI provides this town.” Says Martin Gregory, Mayor of Looe, “What makes it even more amazing is that it is fully staffed by dedicated volunteers and relies entirely on donations for its funding. I am so pleased to hear that Looe is to get a new D class inshore lifeboat, which will enable the volunteers to continue to save lives. I wish them ever success with their fundraising target of £78,000. If you are able, please could you help them to reach their target.


Notes to editors


· 2 x Stock images - Looe RNLI D Class Ollie Naismith
Photo credit RNLI / Ian Foster

· 2 images from the rescue of Louis Webber 10 June 2020
Photo credit RNLI / Polly Stock

· Photo of Ollie Naismith

· Photo of Louis Webber


· Re-established as an inshore lifeboat station in 1992, Looe RNLI currently operate two inshore lifeboats
An Atlantic 85 Sheila and Dennis Tongue II and a D Class Ollie Naismith

· Our appeal video will be available for download from Monday morning at https://rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeboat-stations/looe-lifeboat-station/news-and-media-looe-lifeboat-station

· The D class lifeboat has been the workhorse of the RNLI for over 50 years. It’s small and highly manoeuvrable, making it ideal for rescues close to shore in fair to moderate conditions. It has a single outboard engine and can be righted manually by the three crew following a capsize.

· When RNLI lifeboats retire from service, they will normally be placed into the relief or the training fleet and then have several more years of useful life in them. Occasionally lifeboats get sold out to other lifesaving organisations or they may get placed into the Flood Response Team and or international deployment bracket. Very occasionally the lifeboats get sold out to the public

· Interviews with our key supporters and crew, at a mutually convenient time, can be arranged

· Additional quotes from our key supporters and community are available if required

· For further information on Looe RNLI Lifeboats please visit our website www.looelifeboats.co.uk

· Looe RNLI Facebook page www.facebook.com/LooeRNLI

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Ian Foster, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for Looe Lifeboat Station, on 07902 753228 or looelpo@ianfoster.com or ian_foster@rnli.org.uk

or Amy Caldwell, RNLI Regional Media Manager, on 07920 818807 or amy_caldwell@rnli.org.uk

or Marianne Quinn, RNLI Regional Media Officer, on 07786 668847 or marianne_quinn@rnli.org.uk

Alternatively you can contact the RNLI Duty Press Officer on 01202 336789
Stock image - Looe RNLI D Class Ollie Naismith

RNLI/Ian Foster

Stock image - Looe RNLI D Class Ollie Naismith
Stock image - Looe RNLI D Class Ollie Naismith

RNLI/Ian Foster

Stock image - Looe RNLI D Class Ollie Naismith
Looe RNLI D Class Ollie Naismith launching to the rescue of Louis Webber

RNLI/Polly Stock

Looe RNLI D Class Ollie Naismith launching to the rescue of Louis Webber
Looe RNLI D Class Ollie Naismith launching to the rescue of Louis Webber

RNLI/Polly Stock

Looe RNLI D Class Ollie Naismith launching to the rescue of Louis Webber
Ollie Naismith


Ollie Naismith
Louis Webber


Louis Webber

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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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.