The Ollie Naismith II is coming to Looe RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

The Naismith family, RNLI volunteer crew and fundraisers at Looe RNLI Lifeboat Station are delighted to announce that the Looe Lifeboat Appeal has raised over £101,000 to bring the station’s new D Class inshore lifeboat Ollie Naismith II to Looe

Stock image - Looe RNLI D Class Ollie Naismith

RNLI/Ian Foster

Stock image - Looe RNLI D Class Ollie Naismith

One year ago, the Looe Lifeboat Appeal was launched to raise funds for a new D Class inshore lifeboat Ollie Naismith II. The charity’s current D Class Ollie Naismith has reached the end of its operational life and its replacement will carry on Ollie’s lifesaving legacy for the next decade or more.

Chair of the Looe RNLI management committee Ann Watson says the fundraising team at Looe were expecting the appeal to continue into the summer months of 2022 and they have been amazed by the incredible support from our local community and followers of Looe RNLI across the UK.

She says: ‘When we launched the appeal last March, during the pandemic, I had a few sleepless nights worrying about how to raise these funds as traditional fundraising activities were on hold due to lockdowns and covid restrictions. However, the appeal captured the imagination of our community and donations started to flow through our JustGiving pages. Our supporters have come up with some incredible fundraising ideas and challenges.

‘Watching the appeal total grow month by month and the appeal far exceeding its target much earlier than expected, I’d like to extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who have given their time and support in so many ways, both financially and dedicating their time and effort. Your generosity allows Ollie’s lifesaving legacy to continue, enabling our dedicated volunteer crew to save lives at sea, secure in the knowledge that the new D Class inshore lifeboat will look after them out on a shout.’

The fundraising team is looking to wind down the appeal during March. There are still several fundraising activities planned for this month and any money raised, together with the money already raised over the £78,000 target, will be ringfenced to Looe RNLI Lifeboat Station and used to fund the ongoing operational costs of the Ollie Naismith II.

Ollie’s mum Maxine Naismith, supported by the staff at the Portbyhan Hotel, organised a recent Valentines fundraiser which raised over £2,500, she would like to personally thank everyone who donated the super auction lots and raffle prizes and everyone who bought raffle tickets or bid so generously.

She said: ‘I am so delighted to hear the appeal has exceeded its target in just a year, this is a tremendous achievement by everyone involved, especially when faced with a period of uncertainty during the pandemic. It will be a wonderful day when the Ollie Naismith II arrives in Looe to take over lifesaving duties from the Ollie Naismith inshore lifeboat.’

Special mentions and thanks go to youngsters Ruby Riley and Finley Mayne who both held sponsored cycle challenges raising over £2,500 each. Steven Gridley and friends walked the Smugglers Way from Looe to Boscastle during the summer, whilst Looe RNLI volunteer Deputy Launch Authority Nick Pope ran the same route from Boscastle to Looe overnight in the winter.

We had a sale of model boats donated by John Wicks. Allan Gafney walked 16.1 miles around Davidstow airfield on stilts. Another highlight was, Victoria Thomas, one of our volunteer crew ran the London marathon, Eden half marathon and the Looe 10 Miler dressed as ‘twinkle’ the Float to Live starfish.

Ollie’s dad, John, who held ‘Ollie’s birthday bash’ at the Globe Inn last November raised over £1,000. He says: ‘The achievements of this fundraising campaign just speak volumes about the generosity of the Looe community and also the commitment of the volunteers that have made it such a success. From a personal perspective the fact that another Looe lifeboat will carry Ollie’s name fills me with pride and tremendous comfort that 12 years after we lost him, Ollie is still in peoples’ hearts. Thank you so much to everyone that has been part of this phenomenal effort.’

Other amazing fundraising events included a virtual dog show, glass making workshops, book sales and Clair Bale was reunited with her lost jewellery, all raising valuable funds. With restricted access to the boathouse, we thank East Looe Town Trust who allowed us to host concerts on the seafront. Over the summer individuals have called into our shop to make donations. Others have very generously donated holidays, bikes, paintings, and other items which have been offered as raffle prizes or auction lots. Local choirs, bands and DJ’s have freely given their time performing at our events.

Emma Webber, one of Looe RNLI’s key supporters, adds: ‘I would like to thank every single person who has donated to this appeal, it was the original Ollie boat that in the first precious golden hour was the major factor in the rescue of our son, Louis, while he fought for his life. This appeal means that other families will be saved, and they too will get to kiss their loved one’s good night.

The new D Class will be built at the RNLI inshore lifeboat centre in Cowes during September 2022, and will arrive in Looe towards the end of the year. Dave Haines, Volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager, adds: ‘The D class lifeboat Ollie Naismith has proved to be a vital asset to the town and the volunteer crew in Looe are looking forward to the arrival of the Ollie Naismith II to continue Ollie’s life saving legacy into the 2030’s.’

ENDS

Notes to editors

Photos:

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

Information

· 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

· 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

· The appeal JustGiving page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/looe-lifeboat-appeal will remain available during March

· 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 [email protected]r.com or [email protected]

or Amy Caldwell, RNLI Regional Media Manager, on 07920 818807 or [email protected]

or Marianne Quinn, RNLI Regional Media Officer, on 07786 668847 or [email protected]

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

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.

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