Latest progress on your Legacy Lifeboat

On Tuesday 12 April, the completion of the new Shannon and the first ever Legacy Lifeboat was marked in true RNLI tradition. The bell at our All-weather Lifeboat Centre resounded eight times as the lifeboat entered the water for the first time.

The bell-ringing ceremony was recorded and you can now watch the video below.

The lifeboat is now going through a programme of rigorous trials to check its seaworthiness, safety and reliability. 

At the same time, our Engineering Team have been carrying out meticulous assessments of the berth at Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Lifeboat Station, which will be used for both boarding and mooring the lifeboat during certain sea conditions. 

Due to the lighter weight of the Shannon, the assessments have highlighted some safety risks, which will need to be rectified to ensure that the safety of the crew during launch and recovery isn’t compromised.

Although this work will delay the arrival of the Legacy Lifeboat at the station, the station is able to remain on service with its current, and heavier, Trent class all-weather lifeboat. 

Use our online search tool to find your loved one’s name on the side of the Legacy Lifeboat

Photo: RNLI

Find your loved ones name

For the first time, you can now see where your loved one’s name is on the Legacy Lifeboat.

Using our online name search tool, simply type in your loved one’s name to see which letter or number of the lifeboat’s decal their name is in and which side of the lifeboat their name is on.

Please note: The name must be entered exactly as shown in your Legacy Lifeboat letter, unless we agreed changes with you directly. For example, John Smith, John A Smith, John Andrew Smith or John ‘Smithy’ Smith.

If you need help with finding your loved one's name, or you have any other queries, please email us at [email protected].

The All-Weather Lifeboat Centre in Poole, Dorset

Photo: Craig Lee

A chance to see the Legacy Lifeboat

On Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 May 2022*, we’re giving the family and friends of those named on our very first Legacy Lifeboat George and Frances Phelon a chance to view the lifeboat before it leaves for Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Lifeboat Station.

Eventbrite ticket sales have now closed, however – please email the Legacy Lifeboat team at [email protected] for additional ticket availability.

Decal with legacy names on being applied to the Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Shannon class lifeboat George and Francis Phelon 13-44 a the Al-Weather Lifeboat Centre (ALC) in Poole.

Photo: Ashton Milton

Previous build stages

The Shannon class lifeboat is now in the final stage of build – stage 11 – at the All Weather Lifeboat Centre (ALC) in Poole, Dorset.

In this stage, the two halves of the lifeboat (the wheelhouse and the hull) are joined by injecting a resin, which glues the halves together. The join is then over-laminated with glass fibre matting and is treated using heat mats.

Next, all the electrical work onboard is completed and the pipework is connected together. Then, the lifeboat will be powered up to install all the various on-board systems – like the lifeboat’s navigation and RADAR, and even the mechanics of the lifeboat including the engines.

Finally, the names of 10,000 loved ones will be applied to the side of the lifeboat. Loved ones like yours, who generously left a gift in their Will to the RNLI – and will be beside the crew throughout their lifesaving work.

How the Shannon came to the rescue in 2021





*Statistics correct as of 23 November 2021
Legacy Lifeboat Campaign image

RNLI/Nigel Millard

The name of the Legacy Lifeboat

The name of this new lifeboat is George and Frances Phelon (pronounced Feelon). The legacy of Mrs Frances Phelon fully funded the build of this lifeboat and she asked that it be named after herself and her late husband.

We created the idea of a Legacy Lifeboat to honour everyone who has left a gift in their Will. The George and Frances Phelon was specially chosen to be our first Legacy Lifeboat. We’ll be proud to display your loved one’s name alongside the names of these other special members of the RNLI family on the side of the lifeboat.

Shannon Class Lifeboat out at sea

RNLI/Nick Mailer

Leave a dedication

We would love to hear the heart-warming stories about your loved one whose name will be on the side of the Legacy Lifeboat – and celebrate their connection to the RNLI.

To help share your stories and pay tribute to your loved one, we’ve created a web page with our partner MuchLoved. It’s a very special community filled with supporters like you. You can use it to honour the person you miss in the most fitting way for you and your family.

Three RNLI crew members in kit stand in front of a B Class Lifeboat

RNLI/Nick Mailer

Legacies help save lives

The RNLI is dedicated to saving lives at sea but, as an independent charity, relies on the generosity of the public and the commitment of thousands of volunteers. 

Gifts in Wills help to provide the kit and training the protect RNLI volunteer crews at sea, and 6 in every 10 lifeboat launches are only possible due to the extraordinary kindness of supporters leaving a gift to the RNLI in their Will.

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