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St Davids RNLI receive generous donation from St Davids Gin and Kitchen

Lifeboats News Release

A seaweed spiced rum, developed by local RNLI supporters in honour of a St Davids lifeboat tragedy, has brought a generous donation to the charity.

RNLI/St Davids

Coxswain Will Chant alongside Neil Walsh and Carwyn James of St Davids Gin and Kitchen

St Davids Gin and Kitchen have donated 5% of sales of their first small batch of St Davids Seaweed Spiced Rum to St Davids lifeboat station.

‘The Gem’ Edition Rum is inspired by the remarkable and courageous story of Sidney Mortimer. When the 12 oared sail assisted lifeboat with 15 crew launched to rescue the Democrat during a violent storm on October 13 1910, ‘The Gem’ successfully rescued the three sailors but was smashed against the notorious “The Bitches” reef, lost to the sea along with three of her crew. The survivors clung to the rocks for fourteen hours, eventually drying a box of matches and setting ablaze their oilskins to signal shore.

Sidney Mortimer was a teenage fisherman with a 20 foot fishing boat who selflessly went to the aid of the shipwrecked survivors. With a skeleton crew, he made two trips in adverse weather conditions to bring the surviving 12 RNLI crewmen and three casualties ashore. Sidney would later be awarded the RNLI Silver Medal and would go on to become the RNLI's youngest coxswain at the age of just 18.

Neil Walsh, owner of St Davids Gin and Kitchen, said: ‘It is our pleasure and honour to donate £1000 from the sales of our very first small batch of Rum to St Davids Lifeboat Station. Having been born and raised in St Davids, I know the lives and livelihoods of the community have historically been, and continue to be, intertwined with the unforgiving seas of the Atlantic. The men and women of St Davids lifeboat station provide essential safety for seafarers, voyagers and visitors, and have done so for over 150 years. I wanted to create a premium rum with a connection to the sea and commemorate the lifeboat station. We’re delighted to make this donation to the charity and have also gifted a souvenir tot glass to each of the crew.’

Will Chant, RNLI Coxswain for St Davids RNLI lifeboat, said: ‘On behalf of the station I’d like to thank Neil and his team at St Davids Gin and Kitchen for not only this generous donation but also commemorating one of our stations historic lifeboats ‘The Gem’.

The disaster claimed the life of my great great uncle and two other lifeboat crew. We will all be able to raise a glass to all those who’ve paid the ultimate sacrifice in the line of service.’

Bottles of ‘The Gem’ Edition Rum are available here https://stdavidsdistillery.wales/collections/frontpage/products/st-davids-seaweed-spiced-rum-new-bottle

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Simone Eade, RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07799 804 922 or [email protected] or Claire Elshaw, Regional Media Officer on 7468 353 082 or [email protected] or contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

RNLI online

For more information, please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the RNLI News Centre.

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 over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, 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.

St Davids Gin and Kitchen

The Gem Edition Rum

St Davids Gin and Kitchen

The Gem commemorative tot glass

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.

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