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Horton and Port Eynon RNLI’s new inshore D class lifeboat named Barbara Jane

Lifeboats News Release

At a special naming ceremony and service of dedication held today (Saturday 18th August 2018), the Horton and Port Eynon RNLI Lifeboat Station officially named its new D class lifeboat, Barbara Jane. The ceremony was held at the Horton and Port Eynon Lifeboat Station.

RNLI/Jon Keighren

The honour of handing over the lifeboat and officially naming her went to the donors Dave and Barbara Smithson. They were accompanied at the ceremony by members of their family and friends.

Dave and Barbara started sailing in the 1980’s and having completed training and qualifications sailed extensively in the South West and over to Brittany. Their experience taught them about the power and changeable nature of the sea. They said that ‘It was only natural that we became regular RNLI supporters in recognition of the valuable service proved by the charity. We are both happy to be able to fund D-824 Barbara Jane and look forward to further visits to her home in Horton and Port Eynon’.

During the ceremony, Commodore Sir Robert Hastie accepted the lifeboat on behalf of the charity, from Dave Smithson, before handing her over into the care of Lawrie Grove, Lifeboat Operations Manager of the Horton and Port Eynon Lifeboat Station.

During his address, Sir Robert praised the efforts of all those who supported the work of the station. Lifeboat Operations Manager Lawrie Grove accepted the lifeboat on behalf of Horton and Port Eynon Station ahead of the Barbara Jane being blessed in a service of dedication led by Reverend Justin Davies. The lifeboat was then officially named by Barbara Smithson.

The D class Barbara Jane replaces the Albert Wordley which served Horton and Port Eynon RNLI for the last 10 years. During that time, the lifeboat launched 254 times assisted 295 people and saved 25 lives.

Originally introduced in 1963, the D class has evolved into a highly capable modern lifeboat. It is the workhorse of the RNLI’s fleet and is ideal for working close inshore, near rocks or in shallow water in moderate conditions. It can be righted by the crew if it capsizes and is also part of the RNLI flood rescue team’s fleet of boats.She comes into her own for searches and rescues in the surf, shallow water and confined locations - often close to cliffs, among rocks and even inside caves.The RNLI established a lifeboat station in Horton and Port Eynon in 1968. This year the Station celebrates its half century.

A crowd of well wishers turned up to see the lifeboat officially named with a bottle of Gower Gold Beer poured over the side of the boat before it launched at the end of the ceremony. The crew were Jon Tarrant, Will Carey and Louise Sullivan. Barbara Smithson specifically wanted to use a Bottle of the local beer to stress the local links. The Mumbles All Weather Lifeboat and the Burry Port Lifeboat came down to Port Eynon bay to welcome the new lifeboat to the RNLI.

The Phoenix Choir of Wales attended and sang at the event.

RNLI/Phil Griffiths

3 RNLI lifeboats exercising in Port Eynon Bay

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