Looe RNLI volunteer crews prepare to welcome the Ollie Naismith II

Lifeboats News Release

Following news that the build of D-872, the charity’s latest D Class lifeboat, has been completed, Looe RNLI volunteer crews eagerly wait for the Ollie Naismith II to arrive in Looe and take over lifesaving duties from D-741 Ollie Naismith

D-872 Ollie Naismith II under construction

RNLI Inshore Lifeboat Centre Cowes

D-872 Ollie Naismith II under construction

In March 2021, 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 so this replacement will carry on Ollie’s lifesaving legacy for the next decade or more. Looking to raise £78,000 for the new inshore lifeboat, the appeal closed in March 2022, after raising a magnificent £111,000. The money 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.

The new D Class has been given the operating number D-872 and was built at the RNLI’s inshore lifeboat centre in Cowes during September and October. The new boat is due to arrive in Looe on Wednesday 16 November 2022. Following a couple of days for acceptance and transfer of equipment, our volunteer crew plan to declare the Ollie Naismith II officially on service on Saturday 19 November, which would have been Ollie’s birthday and is also the anniversary of the Ollie Naismith entering service 12 years ago on the same date.

Operational commitments and weather permitting, the volunteer crew will be launching both D Class inshore lifeboats at 12 noon, on Saturday 19 November 2022, giving the Naismith family, everyone who has contributed to the Looe Lifeboat Appeal and our wider community the opportunity to see both D Class lifeboats together on the river and Looe Bay. There are view points along the quayside, Banjo Pier and Pennyland. This is an informal and unique time to see both boats together. Planning for the formal naming and dedication ceremony for the Ollie Naismith II is underway and this event, which will be our opportunity to recognise everyone who has contributed to the appeal, is expected to take place in the spring / early summer next year.

During Saturday afternoon and Sunday 20 November, volunteer guides will open the Albatross boathouse to the public for visitors to see both D Class inshore lifeboats before D-741 Ollie Naismith leaves Looe.

Dave Haines, RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager at Looe, says ‘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 lifesaving legacy into the 2030’s. The Ollie Naismith will be returning to the RNLI’s inshore lifeboat centre in Cowes for a refit before entering the reserve fleet. During her service to Looe the Ollie has launched on service 236 times, assisting 168 persons and saving 8 lives.’


Notes to editors


· D-872 Ollie Naismith II under construction

Photo credit RNLI Inshore lifeboat centre Cowes

· Stock Image - Looe RNLI D Class D-741 Ollie Naismith

Photo credit RNLI / Ian Foster


· This is an informal event allowing the Naismith and Webber families the unique opportunity to see both D Class inshore lifeboats together, photos will be made available after the weekend

· Re-established as an inshore lifeboat station in 1992, Looe RNLI operate two inshore lifeboats

An Atlantic 85 Sheila and Dennis Tongue II and a D Class, currently, the Ollie Naismith

· With over 50 years of service, D class lifeboats has helped to save thousands of lives at sea and continues to be the workhorse of the RNLI fleet today

  • With a top speed of 25 knots, the D class lifeboat can endure 3 hours at sea at this speed on search and rescue missions – a crucial factor when lives at risk.
  • The D Class can access areas inaccessible to the charity’s all-weather lifeboats, such as close to cliffs, rocks and inside caves. As an inflatable inshore lifeboat, the D class is designed to operate close to shore in shallower water.
  • Th D Class is ideal for rescues in fair to moderate conditions and particularly in big surf.
  • Most D class lifeboats are launched from a trolley, with the help of a launch and recovery vehicle such as a tractor. They can also be lowered into the sea using a davit system (a shore-mounted crane)
  • With no wheelhouse on the D class lifeboat, the crew are always exposed to the elements and rely on their protective kit to keep them safe and warm.
  • Many rescues take place at night and can involve being close to dangerous cliffs and manmade structures or searching caves and crevices.
  • In addition to night vision equipment, the D class lifeboat carries a searchlight and parachute illuminating flares to light up the surrounding area, helping to keep crew members safe as well as locate those in need of help.
  • Medical equipment is stowed in the bow pod and includes oxygen and full resuscitation kit, responder bag and multi-purpose ambulance pouch.
  • In the event of a capsize, the D class lifeboat can be righted manually by the crew and her 50hp outboard engine restarted

· 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] or [email protected]

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

or Emily Hazard, RNLI Regional Media Officer, on 07866 064437 or [email protected]


Alternatively you can contact the RNLI Duty Press Officer on 01202 336789
Stock Image - Looe RNLI D Class D-741 Ollie Naismith

RNLI/Ian Foster

Stock Image - Looe RNLI D Class D-741 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.