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Lifeboat named in memory of local Merchant Navy Officer

Lifeboats News Release

A lasting legacy was left to a Merchant Navy Officer and RNLI supporter this weekend (Saturday 30 April) when Fishguard RNLI officially names its new inshore lifeboat.

The event was a proud day for the station’s volunteers as their new D-class lifeboat was named Edward Arthur Richardson.

The lifeboat, which first arrived on station back in December, was funded by a legacy from Elizabeth Hughena Richardson, who died in September 2010, leaving money from her estate to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) to provide a lifeboat in her husband’s name.

Mr and Mrs Richardson were well known Fishguard residents and Arthur, who died some 20 years before his wife, was a Radio Officer in the Merchant Navy who served in the Falklands during his service.

The lifeboat, which has already launched six times on service, was named by Peter Cross, representing Mrs Richardson, and was accepted on behalf of the institution by James Grazebrook, RNLI Council Member.

The D-class lifeboat is built at a cost of £48,000 and has been the workhorse of the charity for nearly 50 years.  It is inflatable, robust and highly manoeuvrable, capable of operating much closer to the shore than the all-weather lifeboats. It is especially suited to surf, shallow water and confined locations, often close to cliffs, among rocks or caves.  It measures five-metres in length and can carry three crew members on board. It has an endurance of three hours at sea, at its maximum speed of 25 knots.

Captain David Williams, Fishguard RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, said:

‘Arthur was finishing his career as a Radio Officer in the Merchant Navy just as I was starting out on mine as a Deck Cadet. We would often chat about life at sea and it’s fantastic that his legacy will help our volunteers save lives at sea for years to come.

‘Every naming ceremony for a new lifeboat is a special occasion and today we are honouring Hughena Richardson and her generous life-saving gift to the Institution in memory of her husband.
‘We couldn’t operate our lifeboat without the dedication of our volunteers.  The crew in Fishguard provide an outstanding service to their community. There is nothing greater that a person could offer and they deserve nothing less than the best in lifeboats, equipment and training that the RNLI offers.’

Fishguard RNLI has a proud and distinguished record in the RNLI, receiving 28 Medals for Gallantry - one Gold, 18 Silver and nine Bronze.

In 2015 Fishguard RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crew launched 32 times on service, rescued 23 people and saved three lives.

Notes to editors:

The attached pictures should all be credited RNLI/Rick Mabey. They show:

- Some of Fishguard RNLI's volunteer lifeboat crew with Peter Cross, donor representative (centre with champagne), Reverend Captain David Mortimer, James Grazebrook (RNLI Council Member) and David Williams (Fishguard RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager).

- The volunteer crew recovering the new lifeboat after going to sea for the naming ceremony

- The new inshore lifeboat crewed by Helm Rhodri Morgan, Stephen Done and Ian Davies

- Crowds enjoying the sunshine for Fishguard RNLI's naming ceremony

For more information please telephone Chris Cousens, RNLI Press Officer on 07748 265496 / 01745 585162 or Eleri Roberts, RNLI Press Officer on 07771 941390.

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland