At a special naming ceremony and service of dedication held on Sunday 21 May, volunteers at Newquay RNLI officially named their new Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat, Uncle Johnny.
Invited guests, volunteer crew, fundraisers and their families attended Newquay Lifeboat Station while many members of the public congregated outside to watch the occasion.
Killingback, Lifeboat Management Group Chair, welcomed guests and opened the proceedings.
Wilson Evans, donor of the new Atlantic 85 handed the lifeboat into the care of the RNLI which was accepted by Jamie Chestnutt, RNLI Engineering and Supply Director who then handed it Gareth Horner, Newquay RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager.
Then followed a service of dedication by the Reverend Chris McQuillen Wright, before Gillian Cusack and Gwyneth Rich the daughters of Wilson Evans officially named the lifeboat with Graham Mountford, Hyrdo Tractor Maintainer assisting with the pouring of the champagne on behalf of Newquay Lifeboat Station.
A vote of thanks was delivered by Diane Thain from the fundraising crew, before Gareth Horner officially closed the ceremony.
Tea and refreshments were served in the lifeboat station while volunteer crew members prepared Uncle Johnny for launch.
Newquay RNLI volunteers lifeboat crew put on a spectacular demonstration in Newquay bay with a crowd of delighted onlookers.
Newquay RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, Gareth Horner, said: ‘Newquay RNLI is delighted with the arrival of this new B class lifeboat. The Atlantic 85 is the third generation B class lifeboat to be built, capable of speeds up to 35 knots. Fast, manoeuvrable, agile and versatile, the Atlantic 85 has all the qualities of its predecessors, and more. It is ideally suited to rescues close to the shore. Yet, it can also withstand challenging conditions in the open sea, making it an exemplary search and rescue craft.
Donors, Wilson and Sylvia Evans live on the east coast of Ireland, in the Greystones area, 30kms south of Dublin. This is the same area that Wilson lived on his family farm, Charlesland, with his two brothers.
Charlesland had been passed down from Wilson’s great Uncle Johnny, through two generations.
Wilson’s interest in lifeboats started when he was about 10 years of age when his mother brought him to a fundraising/ promotion exercise on the local lifeboat, over a bank holiday weekend. He has now been a Governor for a number of years.
Wilson said ‘‘I feel privileged to be in a position to be able to support the RNLI.
Originally, we had no particular affinity to Newquay, but when we were given the opportunity to support the Newquay lifeboat we took it, and we already feel part of the community’.
Crew and fundraisers were delighted that Wilson and his family joined them after the ceremony in Newquay Rowing Club.
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.