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Cardigan RNLI hosts naming ceremony for inshore lifeboat

Lifeboats News Release

Cardigan RNLI held a lifeboat naming ceremony and dedication to their inshore d class lifeboat in front of invited guests, family and friends on Sunday 25 September.


Cardigan RNLI Lifeboat Station operations manager Peter Austin addresses the guests at the lifeboat naming ceremony.

The lifeboat, John Darbyshire, has been on service at the Poppit Sands station since December 2019, but the official naming ceremony was delayed by the pandemic.

John Darbyshire had strong and proud connections to the sea. He served in the Merchant Navy and later in life became a teacher. He taught metalwork but it was at home he was able to pursue his passion for the sea.

He knew the late Fred Dibnah, no doubt through their shared interests in engineering.

John built many things by hand, among them a working scale model of George Stephenson’s ‘Rocket’ locomotive. John hand-made many intricate and beautiful wooden marquetry pictures of boats and sea scenes and also mastered the art of ships in bottles.

John would have been immensely proud today to see his connection to his beloved sea being made and recognised in this way.

His late wife Olive held John close to her heart and ensured this legacy was named after her late husband.

John and Olive’s family would like to thank the RNLI Cardigan crew for keeping John’s legacy safe. They are proud this boat carries his name and that it will continue to save lives at sea.

The naming ceremony opened with the national anthems, with Guy Crofts, chairman of the Cardigan Lifeboat Management Group, welcoming guests.

Pembrokeshire county councillor Mike James, the member for St Dogmaels, then highlighted the important role of the lifeboat station in the local community.

Sara Edwards, Lord-Lieutenant of Dyfed, handed the lifeboat into the care of the RNLI on behalf of the donor family. John Payne, RNLI Lifesaving Operations Director, accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the RNLI and then handed it into the care of Cardigan Lifeboat Station.

Peter Austin, Cardigan Lifeboat Operations Manager, said: ‘This is a very proud day. The naming ceremony has been three years in the making because of Covid

‘Since it’s first service on December 28, 2019, the lifeboat has launched 31 times, including one this morning (a boat stuck on a sand bank in the mouth of the River Teifi) and has aided 22 people.

‘This lifeboat will help to keep people safe and maximise the chances of saving lives at sea.’

He thanked all the volunteer crew and asked them to stand and they were loudly applauded by those attending.

The service of dedication was then led by Station Chaplain, Reverend Elizabeth Rowe with hymns, prayers and a blessing for the lifeboat.

Volunteer crew member Louise Francis named the lifeboat on behalf of the donor family and Simon Mansfield, D-Class helm, delivered a vote of thanks.

The John Darbyshire was then put through its paces by the volunteer crew as the guests watched from the beach.


Volunteer crew at Cardigan RNLI Lifeboat Station stand and are applauded by guests at the lifeboat naming ceremony.


Reverend Elizabeth Rowe blesses the John Darbyshire.


Cardigan RNLI Lifeboat Station volunteer crew member Louise Francis names the lifeboat on behalf of the donor family.


Volunteer crew and guests at the naming ceremony of the John Darbyshire.

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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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.