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New lifeboat is named at Teddington RNLI Lifeboat Station

Lifeboats News Release

Teddington RNLI Lifeboat station welcomed around 175 guests, friends and family on Saturday (August 2) to celebrate the naming of their new D Class Lifeboat, the 'Alderman Penny Shelton'.

The lifeboat was donated by local resident Hilary Saw in memory of her sister Penny who passed away in 2021. Two other D Class lifeboats, the Olwen and Tom and the Peter Saw, named after Hilary’s parents and her late husband, were also generously donated to Teddington RNLI by Hilary in the past.

The ceremony was opened with the presentation of the lifeboat to Matt Allchurch, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Teddington, as well as 27 members of the volunteer crew.

In line with boating tradition, local singers from the Landmark Singers, Landmark Sound and Man Song community choirs came together to sing the hymn, 'Pull for The Shore' and sea shanty, 'Harbour'. Both of these were specially requested by Hilary and her family.

The boat was welcomed with speeches by outgoing chair Tim Ody and incoming chair Paul Corbin.

Local emergency services were represented by Steve McGhie LFB Twickenham, Jon McLoughlin Metropolitan Police Richmond & Twickenham, Rob Davies Richmond LFB and Simon Edwards Surrey Fire and Rescue. London Ambulance Service was represented by Ian Pullen, Group Manager for Kingston and Richmond, and Associate Director for Ambulance Operations, Becky Owen.

Local Sea Cadets from TS Saumarez (Twickenham), and TS Steadfast (Kingston) welcomed the guests and directed them to their seats.

The boat was blessed and led by Lifeboat Station Chaplain, Rev. Chris Kennedy. It was then ‘wetted’ with champagne and launched by close Saw family friends, Guy & Justin.

The volunteer crew then launched the new lifeboat into the River Thames to highlight her capabilities. The D Class inflatable lifeboat is a highly manoeuvrable lifeboat used in shallow water, confined locations and riverside beaches. As a result, it is ideally suited to help those in need on the River Thames.

The out-going boat, Olwen and Tom is retiring after 12 years, attending 487 incidents. It is credited with assisting 83 people and saving nine lives. It will now be converted to an electric D Class - before being returned to Teddington for trials. Teddington will be the first station to test an electric lifeboat.

Kingston Mayor, Councillor Diane White and Richmond Mayor Councillor Suzette Nicholson attended the ceremony. Diane White said of the occasion ‘I am absolutely delighted to be here today. It is a privilege and a pleasure. I knew Alderman Penny Shelton well, and what an amazing community lady she was. I worked with her in the voluntary sector and today is a very fitting honour to Penny'.

Hilary concluded ‘Yesterday, the Alderman Penny Shelton was officially welcomed into the family of Teddington RNLI. I found the service of dedication, led by the station’s chaplain, the Rev. Chris Kennedy, very moving. And the singing of the Landmark Arts Centre’s Community Choirs under their conductor, Jason was splendid. It was a wonderful celebration, but I know that it was also the product of a great deal of effort on the part of the whole Teddington RNLI team and I would like to thank them all.’

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Gianna Saccomani, RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07798905515 or [email protected], Grace Palmieri, RNLI volunteer Deputy Lifeboat Press Office on 07855 487508 or [email protected], or Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer on 07785 296252 [email protected] or contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.


Volunteer Crew and guests gather round the lifeboat.

Emma Durnford

Volunteer Crew and guests gather round the lifeboat.
Local Choir groups lead the singing

Emma Durnford

Local Choir groups lead the singing
Lifeboat is 'wetted' with champagne by family members

Emma Durnford

Lifeboat is 'wetted' with champagne by family members
New lifeboat is taken through its paces on the River Thames

Emma Durnford

New lifeboat is taken through its paces on the River Thames
Local Emergency Services were represented.

Emma Durnford

Local Emergency Services were represented.

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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