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Generations of RNLI lifesavers on call this Christmas at Llandudno

Lifeboats News Release

The RNLI is launching its annual Christmas fundraising appeal, with a focus on the generations of families and the brave crews who have volunteered their time and commitment 24/7, 365 days a year, to ensure the charity’s lifesaving service has continued for nearly 200 years.


Llandudno Lifeboat crew preparing to go to sea.

On average, RNLI lifeboats launch over 100 times during the Christmas period* every year. Whatever weather winter throws at them, RNLI crews are ready to battle the elements to save lives at sea. These rescues, and others all year round, are only made possible by the RNLI’s generous supporters, helping to fund the essential kit, training and equipment needed by lifeboat crews.

Christmas is a time for family and, for many, a time for sharing stories of times and generations past. For the Heritage family from Llandudno on the North Wales coast, these stories often involve saving lives at sea.

In the Heritage family, Graham is the Lifeboat Station Coxswain while his son Luke, is both the Full-time Station Mechanic, Helm of the Inshore lifeboat and a regular crew member of the all-weather lifeboat, carrying on a family tradition. Grandfather Dennis was also member of the lifeboat crew for many years.

Graham has been recognised for thirty-five years’ exemplary service to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. During those years he has been directly involved in rescuing hundreds of people and saving several dozen lives, undertaking a variety of different roles including that of Coxswain and Helm of the station’s all weather and inshore lifeboats.

Station Mechanic Luke has also gained vast experience with the Llandudno Lifeboat. He is a Helm for the inshore lifeboat, and a navigator and mechanic when serving on the all-weather Shannon Lifeboat. ‘Leading up to Christmas I will do everything I can to ensure that our lifeboats and equipment continue to be maintained to the same high standard, ensuring that each bit of equipment is working efficiently and is readily available for service whenever it is called upon’.

Graham said: ‘There’s no feeling quite like bringing someone home safe to their families – especially at Christmas. But as volunteer lifeboat crew we couldn’t launch without kind donations from the public which fund the kit, training and equipment we need to save others and get home safely to our own families.’

To make a donation to the RNLI’s Christmas Appeal, and enable the charity to continue its lifesaving work, visit: Appeal

For more information, please contact Jonathan Coe, Llandudno Lifeboat Press Officer on 07910 861193. Alternatively contact Claire Fitzpatrick Smith, RNLI Media Officer on 01202 336789 / 07977 728 315


Llandudno inshore lifeboat in stormy seas.


Llandudno all weather lifeboat in stormy seas.

RNLI/Llandudno/Nigel Millard

Graham Heritage, Lifeboat Station Cowswain, Llandudno

RNLI/Llandudno/Nigel Millard

Luke Heritage, Lifeboat Station Mechanic, Llandudno

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.