Wirral community hit £50,000 target to fund new RNLI lifeboat

Lifeboats News Release

West Kirby RNLI have raised £50,000 for their new D class inshore lifeboat with support from the local community, ensuring they can continue to save lives off the Wirral peninsula coast.

West Kirby crew stood with local children

RNLI/David Edwards

Within six months of launching the lifeboat appeal, West Kirby RNLI have reached their goal thanks to the support of Hoylake and West Kirby Fundraising Branch, fellow Wirral lifeboat stations and other RNLI fundraising branches based in the north west.

From planning and organising a range of fundraising activities and events, the local community have rallied around in support of the appeal. Back in May, the lifeboat station organised their first ever duck race at the marine lake raising £3,500. West Kirby RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, Richard Diamond, said:

‘The kindness, support and generosity of our community has been incredible and rather humbling, especially given the impact of the cost of living during this period. Witnessing how our community actively got behind this appeal, from individuals, community groups, businesses and sports clubs to achieve the £50,000 target in just six months has really blown me away.

‘Our local branch team, the Hoylake and New Brighton RNLI teams, as well as many of the north west fundraising branches including City of Manchester, Port of Liverpool, Lymm and District, St Helens and Stockport have all worked together during this appeal.

‘It’s been a wonderful example of how our one crew ethos helps us save lives at sea. Thank you all, it’s greatly appreciated.’

West Kirby’s current lifeboat the Seahorse will be retired in October 2023. Since launching on service in 2012 Seahorse has launched 166 times, saved the lives’ of eight people and aided over 200 people. Now the station has secured the funding for a new lifeboat, the volunteer crew will be able to save many more lives for years to come.

Sophie Wood, RNLI Community Manager for The Wirral area said:

‘Even with the difficult financial climate people have given so generously to the West Kirby Lifeboat Appeal. When it comes to saving lives at sea, every penny really does count, enabling our volunteer crews to always be on standby and ready to respond to anyone who needs their help.’

The appeal will remain open until the end of the year and any additional funds received over the £50,000 will be used to maintain West Kirby RNLI’s operational capability and lifesaving training.

Notes to Notes to Editor:

  • RNLI spokesperson is available for interviews upon request.
  • This Thursday 31 August, best-selling author Ann Cleves, retells the story of her husband's timely rescue by West Kirby lifeboat, as part of her RNLI 200 Voices podcast episode - Anne Cleves: A True Story.
  • You can follow local West Kirby RNLI activity by visiting their Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/rnliwestkirby.

RNLI media contacts

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Claire Fitzpatrick-Smith, RNLI Regional Media Officer, on [email protected] or 07977 728 315. Alternatively you can contact the RNLI Press Office on [email protected] or 01202 336789.

The ducks being set off for the duck race

West Kirby RNLI

The ducks being set off for the race
West Kirby inshore lifeboat and launching vehicle.

RNLI/David Edwards

𝘚𝘦𝘢𝘩𝘰𝘳𝘴𝘦 lifeboat being towed to launch

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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