Naming ceremony for Rhyl's Shannon class lifeboat

August 03, 2022 - 131 views

Rhyl's RNLI finally held their lifeboat naming ceremony and dedication to the Shannon Class lifeboat and her Launch and Recovery System in front of invited guests, family and friends last Sunday.

The lifeboat, Anthony Kenneth Heard, has been on service to the North Wales coast at Rhyl since 2019, but the official naming ceremony was delayed by the pandemic.

After the National Anthems, led by The Rhyl Silver Band and The Vale Singers Ladies Choir, David Simmons, Chairman of Rhyl Lifeboat Management group, welcomed guests to the ceremony on behalf of the Rhyl RNLI Lifeboat Station, introduced those taking part in the ceremony and opened the proceedings.

Kath Lamont then took to the stage to give the gathered audience an insight into the life of Violet Rose Saw and her support of the RNLI with her legacy funding the Shannon Launch and Recovery System (SLARS) with her name plate proudly shown.

John Heard and Ian Standingford, Brother in Law and Partner of Beryl Patricia Edith Heard, then gave an insight into her life and support of the RNLI. With her legacy funding the Shannon class lifeboat numbers RNLI 13-34 with her wish for the lifeboat dedication to be to her late former husband, Anthony Kenneth Heard.

Jamie Chestnutt, RNLI Director of Engineering and Supply, accepted the SLARS and the lifeboat into the fleet on behalf of the RNLI and handed them into the care of Rhyl lifeboat station. They were then accepted by Rhyl RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager (LOM), Darrel Crowther, on behalf of the station.

Darrel Crowther, LOM at Rhyl lifeboat station, said: "I am delighted to accept both the Shannon Launch and Recovery System and Shannon class lifeboat into our care. I assure everyone they will be looked after, cared for and utilised effectively to help save lives at sea.’

The service of dedication was then led by Station Chaplain Canon John Glover DL with hymns including ‘Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer’ and prayers and a blessing for the lifeboat and SLARS.

David Simmons then invited John Heard, Ian Standingford and Kath Lamont to officially name the lifeboat and SLARS. To follow tradition, both the lifeboat and SLARS were christened with champagne poured over them by Rhyl RNLI volunteer crew members.

Deputy Launching Authority, Peter Robinson, then delivered a Vote of Thanks before the formal ceremony was closed by David Simmons.

At the end of the ceremony, the team at Rhyl took the opportunity to recognise a volunteer at the station. Catherine Tudor Jones, Community Manager, took to the platform to present a long service award to Peter Dean, Fundraising Chairman, who has reached an amazing 60 years of volunteering for RNLI at Rhyl.

Members of the Rhyl RNLI crew then commenced a demonstration of the Shannon Class Lifeboat and her Launch and Recovery System with a launch into the sea next to the station where she was put through her paces with her speed and manoeuvrability.

Coxswain Martin Jones commanded the boat demonstration at the naming ceremony.

He said: "This naming ceremony has been a long time coming so it was very special to officially launch the boat after the ceremony and show the gathered audience the launch system and some of the capabilities of the boat".

Rhyl RNLI  would like to say a big ‘Thank You’ to every single person who has donated money, no matter how much, to make this new boat and launch system possible.