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Double celebration ahead for Aberdyfi RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

Aberdyfi RNLI are preparing for a double celebration this weekend as they hold a service of celebration to name their Atlantic 85 class lifeboat as well as the rededication of the RNLI boathouse.

Aberdyfi Atlantic 85 class lifeboat 'Hugh Miles'

RNLI/Nicholas Leach

Aberdyfi Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat 'Hugh Miles'

The rededication of Aberdyfi boathouse and the naming ceremony and service of dedication for the lifeboat will take place this Saturday, 30 September at 2pm.

The Atlantic 85 lifeboat Hugh Miles arrived in Aberdyfi at the end of November 2016 and was welcomed by a week of winter sunshine as the crew familiarised themselves with the new lifeboat. During this time the inshore lifeboat has launched on service 16 times.

Hugh Miles was the only son of the late Herbert and Joan Miles. Hugh’s pleasure in life was watching lifeboat launches and crew training at various lifeboat stations across South Wales. After Hugh’s death his mother, Joan, kindly left her estate to the RNLI with the request that part of her bequest was to be used to fund a B-class lifeboat to be stationed on the Welsh coast.

An equal part of the day’s celebration will be the rededication of the boathouse after recent modification to the building. The modifications included an extension to the building which has helped provide better training facilities for the volunteers.

The modification for the boathouse was funded by the Derek and Jean Dodd Trust as well as a legacy left to the charity by lifelong RNLI supporter Desmond Nall.

Derek Dodd had a lifelong passion for the sea, even though he grew up in landlocked Wolverhampton, and often holidayed in Borth-y-Gest near Porthmadog as a young boy. When World War 2 broke out he joined the Royal Navy and served on a minesweeper that patrolled the coast of Italy. Before meeting his wife Jean, Derek travelled the world by boat and canoed from the UK to France. Derek and Jean were married for 52 happy years and later settled near Aberdyfi, where Derek would swim and canoe along the coast well into his 80s.

Desmond Nall was also a strong RNLI supporter whose passion for the coast influenced his life, again despite living miles away from the sea. Desmond Nall lived in Cheswick near Solihull and both he and his brother Godfrey volunteered their services on the RNLI’s stand at the Birmingham Boat Show for a number of years. During their lifetimes both Desmond and Godfrey funded two D class inshore lifeboats, the William and Rose Nall (named in memory of their parents) which is based in Blackpool and the Godfrey and Desmond Nall which was stationed at Rhyl RNLI on the north Wales coast.

Looking ahead to the ceremony Dave Williams, Volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager at Aberdyfi said:

‘The crew have been busy getting everything in place ahead of these weekends’ double cerebrations. We look forward to welcoming representatives on behalf of the donors to Aberdyfi so we can thank them in person for allowing us as volunteers to continue the RNLI’s lifesaving work on the coast.’

The £214,000 Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat is one of the fastest in the RNLI fleet, reaching top speeds of 35 knots. Nearly a meter longer than its predecessor the Atlantic 75, the Atlantic 85 has room for more kit and can carry four crew members compared to three on the station’s previous lifeboat.

Notes to editors

Attached are photos of the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Hugh Miles which will be named and officially welcomed into the RNLI fleet this weekend. Credit: RNLI/Nicholas Leach.

RNLI media contact

For more information contact Eleri Roberts, RNLI Media Engagement Officer on 01745 585162 / 07771 941390 or email Eleri_Roberts@rnli.org.uk.

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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