Ramsey’s new Shannon class RNLI lifeboat is officially named
With Ramsey Bay as a backdrop, the lifeboat was named Ann and James Ritchie 2 during the ceremony on Saturday 2 July 2022.
Gordon introduced Captain Michael Brew, Branch President of the Ramsey Lifeboat, handed the Shannon class lifeboat Ann and James Ritchie 2 into the care of the RNLI on behalf of the Gough Ritchie Trust.
The Gough-Ritchie’s, and following Mrs Ann Ritchie’s death in 1990, the Gough Ritche Trust have funded six lifeboats – five on the Isle of Man and one in Oban. 13-42 RNLB Ann and James Ritchie 2 is the third lifeboat at Ramsey to be funded by the Gough-Ritchie’s. James (Jim) Gough-Ritchie was an Isle of Man Resident whose family business was the Heron and Brearly Group of Companies which today includes Okell's Brewery.
Jamie Chestnutt, RNLI Engineering and Supply Director, accepted the lifeboat into the fleet on behalf of the RNLI. He expressed his pride in the dedication and sacrifice of Ramsey’s volunteers, commenting that the RNLI and its volunteers could not fulfil their mission of saving lives at sea without the generosity of donors such as the Gough Ritchie Trust.
Jamie then handed the lifeboat into the care of Ramsey Lifeboat station, with Lifeboat Operations Manager Kevin Christian accepting the lifeboat .
Kevin, who has been a volunteer with Ramsey Lifeboat for 43 years, explained that in his role as Lifeboat Operations Manager it is his responsibility to authorise the launch of the lifeboat and that the arrival of the Shannon class Ann and James Ritchie 2 means that Ramsey RNLI now had the latest and finest rescue equipment available. Kevin added that the it was sad to say farewell to the Mersey class lifeboats, including the Ann and James Ritchie which had served Ramsey well for the past 31 years but all at the station are now looking forward to writing a new chapter in stations history with the arrival of the Shannon class lifeboat.
A service of dedication and blessing of the Ann and James Ritchie 2 was led by Canon David Greenwood and Father Brian O’Mahony. Sir Lawrence New, Ramsey Lifeboat Branch Patron, gave a reading.
Gordon Dickens then invited Lieutenant Governor, Sir John Lorimer, to formally name Ann and James Ritchie 2 and complete the ceremony by pouring a bottle of Okell's MPA over the bow – a fitting tribute to the benefactor.
Chris Gaskin, RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager, gave a vote of thanks.
Gordon Dickens thanked colleagues in the RNLI, Ramsey’s dedicated volunteers and all the supporters who helped to make the day a glorious celebration. Presentations were made to Lady Lorimer by one of the branches youngest fundraisers 13 year old Millie Bridson and by Kevin Christian to Theresa Shammon the Branch Administration Officer.
The Ann and James Ritchie 2, under the command of Coxswain Mark Kenyon with a volunteer crew, was then launched from the Shannon Launch and Recovery System for a demonstration of its operational capabilities. Guests and members of the public watching from the promenade were treated to an awesome display of the Shannon class lifeboat’s speed and capabilities.
Sir John and Lady Lorimer were then welcomed on board the Ann and James Ritchie 2 and taken out into Ramsey Bay to experience first-hand the capabilities of the £2.2 million Shannon.
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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