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Chelsea Pensioners greet Chiswick RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

Chiswick RNLI crew return to Chelsea Hospital, 20 years after their first Lifeboat, Chelsea Pensioner, was named there in a traditional RNLI ceremony.

Chiswick Crew with Chelsea Pensioners

RNLI

Chiswick Crew with Chelsea Pensioners

Twelve Chiswick crew, including five from the naming ceremony in 2002, joined Chelsea Pensioners in their striking red coats. They gathered in the magnificent room designed by Christopher Wren, under the watchful eyes of King Charles I, King Charles II and King James II, in Peter Lely’s portraits.

RNLI chief executive Mark Dowie presented the lifeboat’s nameboard to the Governor of the Chelsea Pensioners, General Sir Adrian Bradshaw KCB OBE DL. They both emphasised the long partnership between the RNLI and Chelsea Hospital. Chelsea Pensioners have raised huge sums over many years for the RNLI on Lifeboat Day, at Boat Shows and many other events. General Bradshaw said his thinking was that the nameboard was on loan and one day he expected that there would be another RNLI lifeboat named Chelsea Pensioner, with the help of funds raised by current and future Chelsea Pensioners.

Chiswick RNLI Station Manager Wayne Bellamy thanked the General for his warm words and added ‘Chelsea Pensioner served almost all its service at Chiswick from January 2002 until 2014. During this time it was launched on Service 1,249 times. The many crews on serving on these incidents saved 54 lives and assisted 462 people.' Wayne went on to say 'It is a great privilege to return to this historic location and continue the close relationship between the RNLI and the Chelsea Pensioners'

Chiswick commander Andy Mayo had been at the RNLI garden at Chelsea flower show on VIP day where he spoke about the RNLI to many visitors. He said 'It was an extraordinary experience to go from a night shift on the Thames to greeting many stars of stage and screen, and hearing their kind words.' This is the first RNLI garden at Chelsea and was entirely funded by an anonymous donor. Follow the link to read more:

https://rnli.org/support-us/rhs-chelsea-flower-show/at-the-show

Chiswick RNLI lifeboat station is the second busiest in the UK and Ireland. Since The RNLI search and rescue service on the Thames started in 2002, Chiswick Lifeboat has attended over 3,500 incidents and rescued over 1,750 people. The RNLI is entirely funded by public donations.

RNLI media contacts

  • David Clarke RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer (Chiswick), 07951 210500 [email protected]
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 33678
Naming Ceremony July 2002

RNLI

Naming Ceremony July 2002
Chelsea Pensioner naming Ceremony July 2002

RNLI

Chelsea Pensioner naming Ceremony July 2002
Chiswick RNLI Commander Andy Mayo with Dame Judy Dench at the Chelsea Flower Show

RNLI

Chiswick RNLI Commander Andy Mayo with Dame Judy Dench at the Chelsea Flower Show

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.