Popular Launch a Memory lifeboat to carry a further 5,000 names

Lifeboats News Release

A new all-weather RNLI lifeboat to be based at Wells-next-the-Sea in Norfolk, will carry the names of a further 5,000 people, following record take-up of the original 10,000 names.

Mock-up of additional decal


Capacity for an extra 5,000 names will be added to the boat's wheelhouse

The Shannon class lifeboat Duke of Edinburgh, currently being built at the RNLI’s All-Weather Lifeboat Centre, is the third to be part of the charity’s ‘Launch a Memory’ fundraising campaign and the first to be based in England.

Back in June, members of the public were offered the opportunity to commemorate a loved one by making a donation online and submitting the name of someone they wanted to remember. Each name will` be featured within the lifeboat’s letters and numbers, or ‘decal’, ‘RNLI 13-46’, displayed on the vessel’s hull.

In just four months, more than 10,000 people have pledged their loved ones’ names, prompting the RNLI to open up space to take the total to 15,000. A second decal will be placed on the lifeboat’s ‘wheelhouse’ – the cabin which sits at the top of the vessel.

The £2.5m Shannon class is the fastest all-weather lifeboat in the RNLI fleet. It was funded in part through an appeal in the local Wells community, and by the Civil Service charity The Lifeboat Fund. The new boat will be housed in a brand new boathouse, currently under construction next to Beach Road and due for completion in time for the Shannon’s scheduled arrival in late 2022.

Peter Rainsford, Chair of Wells Lifeboat, said: ‘We were so proud to be able to bring ‘Launch A Memory’ to north Norfolk, and we knew it would be popular, but we’ve been blown away by the speed with which these 10,000 names have been pledged. We’re incredibly thankful to all those who have made a donation.

‘RNLI lifeboat crews are busier than ever. The ‘Launch a Memory’ campaign, while a fundraiser for the charity, is also a way for us to say thank you to those people who support the lifeboat service and our volunteer lifeboat crews. It’s humbling to think that when our new Shannon lifeboat arrives, we’ll carry with us the names of 15,000 loved ones every time we launch.’

There are three ways people can get the name of a loved one on the Launch a Memory lifeboat. Donations can be made online at rnli.org/WellsLaunch or by phone on 0300 300 99 90 (Monday to Friday 8am-6pm). There is a suggested donation of £50 with space to commemorate up to 10,000 names on the lifeboat.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Wells Lifeboat Press Officer Justine Sykes on 07710 510516 or email juscsykes@gmail.com, or contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or PressOffice@rnli.org.uk.

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.