RNLI appeal to public to help raise £200,000 for new lifeboat

Amble RNLI has launched a £200,000 appeal for the cost of a new lifeboat

RNLI RNLI Shannon class lifeboat in action
RNLI Shannon class lifeboat in action

A lifesaving service in Northumberland is seeking the public’s help to raise £200,000 for a new lifeboat.

Amble Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has launched a fundraising drive towards the cost of buying a new, state-of-the-art vessel, in place of an ageing member of its fleet.

The Amble station currently has an all-weather Mersey class lifeboat The Four Boys which by 2017 will be nearing the end of her operational life.

The RNLI is planning to replace the vessel with the newest member of its fleet, a Shannon class lifeboat.

Amble will be one of the first of the charity’s stations in the North of England to receive a Shannon, the first modern RNLI all-weather lifeboat to be powered by water jets instead of propellers and, with a top speed of 25 knots, 50% faster than the vessels she replaces.

The £2m Shannon has been designed by in-house RNLI engineers and is the smallest, most agile all-weather lifeboat in the charity’s fleet.

The RNLI is now appealing for the public’s help in raising £200,000 towards the cost of the vessel.

Amble RNLI coxswain John Connell said: “Our Mersey class lifeboat The Four Boys has served us well and we’ll miss her when she goes, but we’re excited about receiving a Shannon. We’ve already tested one at sea and they’re amazing vessels.

“The advanced technology means we’ll be able to reach people in trouble at sea a lot more quickly than we can at the moment.

“We know £200,000 is a lot of money to raise but the people of Northumberland have always been very supportive of the RNLI and I’m confident they will get behind the appeal and help us fund our new lifeboat, which will be saving lives off the Northumberland coast for many years to come.”

Steve Isaacs, volunteer chairman of the Amble RNLI fundraising committee, added: “We know it’s going to be hard work raising the £200,000 towards the cost of our new lifeboat but everyone involved with the RNLI in Amble is doing their bit towards the appeal.

“We already have lots of fundraising ideas but we really hope people in the area will get involved and come up with their own events to support the appeal.

“It’s the RNLI Flag Day in Morpeth tomorrow, we have a sponsored walk along the coast ending at the lifeboat station on July 19 and Amble Lifeboat Day on August 24 – all raising money for the appeal.

“There are lots more events to come and we’d love to hear from anyone who feels they could contribute in some way towards our fundraising.”

The volunteers who run Amble lifeboat station have a long and proud history of saving lives at sea.

A lifeboat station was first established in the town in 1842 and, since then, Amble RNLI lifeboats have launched 1,105 times, rescuing 742 people.

To support the Amble RNLI Shannon Lifeboat Appeal, phone 0300 300 9902, e-mail gillian_king@rnli.org.uk or visit: http://bit.ly/UP67ZM.

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