Donate now

Norfolk lifeboat crew to push the boat out for flag day

Lifeboats News Release

Hunstanton's volunteer RNLI crew will be bringing their inshore lifeboat Spirit of West Norfolk to town, as supporters take to the streets to collect funds for the charity that saves lives at sea.

RNLI/Chris Bishop

w members (from left) Lewis Clelland, Leesa Espley, Louise Kyle and David Clelland on board Spirit of West Norfolk
The lifesaving craft will be at The Spinney, near the junction of the High Street and Westgate on Saturday, 26 August, from around 9am.

As part of the station's Flag Day, crew members will be on hand to talk about their life saving work, which would not be possible without the donations and legacies which help more than 230 stations around the coast of the UK and Republic of Ireland to provide a 24/7 search and rescue service, 365 days a year.

Lee Torrice, Senior Lifeboat Helm and Senior Hovercraft Commander at Hunstanton RNLI, said: 'We’re hoping people will come to see our lifeboat, which plays a vital role in keeping people safe around our coastline.

'We’re proud of our vessel and all she’s helped our crew achieve over the years.

'This is only possible because of our supporters both in and around the town and further afield, who give so generously to the charity we’re all part of.

'Your donations on the day will help us to continue saving lives at sea.'

Since Hunstanton's current station opened in 1979, Spirit of West Norfolk and her predecessors have helped save 140 lives and render assistance to more than 600 people who found themselves in difficulty or in danger.

In 2003, she was joined by the hovercraft Hunstanton Flyer, which has since then been launched 248 times, saved 13 lives and assisted a further 150 people.

The crew train constantly to meet the challenges they face ranging from people cut off by the tide, to assisting vessels in difficulty and those aboard them or searching for missing persons.

They are supported by volunteers including launch crew, shore crew and tractor drivers, along with the station's visits team, shore safety team and members of the Hunstanton Lifeboat Guild who run the station's souvenir shop and organise fund raising events for the RNLI.

Flag day is also an opportunity to find out more about how you could join them, by volunteering for the charity which saves lives at sea.

Editor's Notes

Pictures of Spirit of West Norfolk attached. Please credit: RNLI/Chris Bishop.

Crew featured in lead image (from left...) are Lewis Clelland, Leesa Espley, Louise Kyle and David Clelland.

Spirit of West Norfolk will make her way along the main A149 coast road from the station before turning into Westgate.

She'll be towed by the station's powerful tractor unit, which is normally used to launch and recover the vessel from the lifeboat station on Sea Lane.

An alternative launch site has been identified near The Spinney and crew members will be with the lifeboat and ready to launch in the event they need to do so.

Spirit of West Norfolk, which carries a crew of four, is one of the fastest in the RNLI fleet.

Powered by twin 115 horsepower engines, she has a top speed of 35 knots (40mph) and can operate in up to force 7 (near gale-force) winds by day and force 6 at night.

Known as an Atlantic 85 Class, she is equipped with night vision equipment, searchlights and parachute flares, along with medical equipment including oxygen and a full resuscitation kit.

Both the lifeboat and a hovercraft, Hunstanton Flyer, are ready to launch 24/7, 365 days a year from the station on Sea Lane, which is one of the busiest in Norfolk.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please call Chris Bishop, Hunstanton RNLI volunteer Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer on 07584 147219 or Clare Hopps, Regional Media Officer on 07824 518641.

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI is the 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 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.



RNLI/Chris Bishop

Hunstanton RNLI lifeboat Spirit of West Norfolk launches under stormy skies

RNLI/Chris Bishop

Hunstanton RNLI lifeboat Spirit of West Norfolk launches

RNLI/Chris Bishop

Hunstanton RNLI lifeboat launches

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

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.