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Private event marks triple celebration for Llandudno RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

Llandudno RNLI volunteers have today celebrated the pinnacle of a busy year as the team officially opened the new boathouse and held a service of dedication to name the station’s Shannon and D-class lifeboats

RNLI/Danielle Rush

RNLI coxswain Graham Heritage pours the champagne on the new Shannon

The service officially opened the new RNLI boathouse in Craig-y-Don as well as name the all-weather Shannon class lifeboat William F Yates and D-class lifeboat Dr Barbara Saunderson. As part of the naming and service of dedication both lifeboats were accepted and welcomed into the RNLI’s lifesaving fleet.

Invited guests were welcomed to the private event this afternoon by station Chairman and long-time fundraiser Dr JJ Green. The honour of officially opening the long-awaited boathouse was given to former RNLI Director of Operations Michael Vlasto OBE and Jenny Evans, wife of the late Ray Evans who campaigned tirelessly for years to help secure planning for the new RNLI boathouse on Llandudno’s seafront.

The station’s D-class lifeboat Dr Barbara Saunderson was presented to the charity by the brother of the late Dr Saunderson, Brian Saunderson. Dr Saunderson was a life-long supporter of the RNLI who regularly popped into the station to enjoy a cup of tea and a chat with the lifeboat crew.

The £2.2M Shannon class lifeboat William F Yates has been funded thanks to a number of donors. The all-weather lifeboat was named this afternoon by Peter Forster-Dean, executor of the Gladys Yates estate in memory of William Frederick Marple Yates. Both Mr yates and his wife Gladys were both born in Widnes, Lancashire but had great affection for Llandudno.

Both lifeboats – the William F Yates and the Dr Saunderson – were accepted by the charity by RNLI Operations Director George Rawlinson. The lifeboats and the launch and recovery system were then handed into the care of Captain Marcus Elliot, who accepted the lifesaving equipment on behalf of Llandudno lifeboat station.

Captain Marcus Elliott, Llandudno volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager said:

‘Today was a special and long-awaited day for all involved with Llandudno RNLI. An RNLI naming ceremony and service of dedication is a chance for the charity’s volunteers to thank those whose generous donations have funded the lifeboats which will be saving lives on the coast for years to come.

‘This is an exciting new chapter for Llandudno lifeboat crew and supporters. As operational training and activities has been priority for the crew over recent weeks, the new boathouse will not be open to the public until later in November. We want to make sure that everything is perfect when we open the doors to the public and our supporters. On behalf of Llandudno lifeboat crew I would like to thank the community for their continued support over recent years.’

Since the arrival of the Shannon class lifeboat William F Yates the crew have been busy taking part in intensive training as they familiarise themselves with the new lifeboat and its launch and recovery kit. The all-weather lifeboat and the new boathouse was officially declared operational on Tuesday 10 October.

Notes to editors

Attached are photos taken at Llandudno’s Boathouse Opening and Naming Ceremony and Service of Dedication that was held earlier today. Credit: RNLI

RNLI media contact

For more information contact Danielle Rush, Regional Media Manager on 07786 668829.

RNLI/Danielle Rush

Brian Saunderson is invited to name the lifeboat, with Llandudno RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Marcus Elliott

RNLI/Danielle Rush

RNLI Coxswain Graham Heritage pours champagne over the new lifeboat
The Shannon launches to mark the end of the service of dedication.

RNLI/Danielle Rush

The Shannon launches to mark the end of the service of dedication.

RNLI/Danielle Rush

Michael Vlasto, former RNLI Operations Director and Jenny Evans wife of the late Ray Evans open the boathouse

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 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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

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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