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RNLI lifeboat to carry the names of up to 10,000 loved ones

Lifeboats News Release

An RNLI lifeboat, which could be deployed to save lives right around the coasts of the UK, will proudly carry the names of 10,000 loved ones when it launches to save lives at sea, as part of the charity’s latest fundraising campaign.

RNLI Shannon class lifeboat Eric's Legend moving through waves

RNLI

RNLI relief lifeboat Eric's Legend 13-40

The lifesaving charity’s Launch a Memory campaign allows supporters to commemorate a loved one – or celebrate someone still living – by adding their name to the decal of a Shannon class all-weather lifeboat. For the first time, the Launch a Memory lifeboat will not serve just one lifeboat station but could be called into action around the UK, from the north of Scotland to the tip of Land’s End, as part of the RNLI relief fleet.

And in another first, the lifeboat has already been built. The Shannon class Eric’s Legend entered service with the RNLI in 2021 and has already helped 97 people in need whilst providing emergency cover at five different lifeboat stations. Relief lifeboats like Eric’s Legend are vital to the smooth running of the lifesaving service, sent to provide cover at stations whose own boat is in need of routine maintenance or repair, and ensuring that the charity can continue to provide 24 hour service to anyone in trouble at sea.

The lifeboat was funded by a generous donation made by Jean Cass in memory of her late husband, Eric, after he passed away in 2018. It was this generous gift, as well as donations to the RNLI’s Christmas Appeal and a legacy from Mrs Barbara Barrett, that allowed Eric’s Legend to be added to the RNLI’s relief fleet.

Jean said: ‘Eric would be so proud to have the names of so many special people alongside his own. And I’m proud that this lifeboat, which means so much to our family, will now mean so much to many more families.’

Through the RNLI Launch a Memory campaign, members of the public are invited to commemorate a loved one – or celebrate someone still living – by making a suggested donation of £50 and submitting that person’s name via the dedicated Launch a Memory webpage. The names will then be added to the ‘decals’ – the lettering and numbering on either side of Eric’s Legend’s hull – in this case, RNLI 13-40. Those who donate a name to the campaign will also receive a commemorative certificate, as well as email updates about the lifeboat and the vital work it performs.

Lauren Poole, Senior Marketing Manager at the RNLI, added: ‘We’re delighted to be able to invite members of the public to submit names for this special Launch a Memory lifeboat, the first which could be saving lives not just at one lifeboat station, but right around the UK. We hope that it will be a fitting tribute to their loved one, and bring comfort knowing that their name is alongside our crews when they receive a call for help.

‘Everyone who supports the campaign will receive email updates about the lifeboat, keeping them informed of all major developments on its journey. We’re expecting our Launch a Memory campaign to be incredibly popular, with so many people wanting to remember a loved one in this unique and special way’.

This will be the sixth RNLI Launch a Memory boat, with others located at Invergordon, Clifden, Wells and Whitby, and another soon to be on service at Anstruther.

To find out more about the Launch a Memory campaign, or to add the name of a loved one to the boat, please visit RNLI.org/LaunchAMemory.

RNLI/Jean Cass

Jean and Eric Cass

RNLI

RNLI relief lifeboat Eric's Legend 13-40 on night exercise

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.