Lifeboat naming ceremony finally takes place after three-year delay

The Rhyl branch of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has finally been able to hold the naming ceremony and dedication to the new Shannon Class lifeboat and her launch and recovery system.

The Steve Morgan Foundation contributed £55,000 to the Rhyl Lifeboat Appeal but the traditional naming and dedication ceremony was delayed by nearly three years because of Covid-19.

A significant contribution to the cost came from two privates estates and Anthony Kenneth Heard and Violet Rose Saw have given their names to the lifeboat and launch and recovery.

The Rhyl station is one of the busiest in the UK and last week handled five-calls in just one day.

The Shannon class lifeboat is an all-weather lifeboat, and is designed to operate in the worst of sea conditions.

The Shannon class lifeboat, which is numbered RNLI 13-34, has been dedicated to Anthony Kenneth Heard.

The lifeboat is self-righting, and will automatically turn the right way up in the event of a capsize.

The Steve Morgan Foundation’s director of regional grants, Jane Harris, was one of nearly 300 people to attend the ceremony and had the honour of cutting the cake.

After the national anthems were played, led by the Rhyl Silver Band and the Vale Singers Ladies’ choir, David Simmons, chairman of Rhyl Lifeboat Management group, welcomed guests to Sunday’s ceremony and opened the proceedings.

Kath Lamont then took to the stage to give an insight into the life of Violet Rose Saw and her support of the RNLI with her legacy funding for the purchase of the Shannon Launch and Recovery System (SLARS).

John Heard and Ian Standingford, brother-in-law and partner respectively of donor Beryl Patricia Edith Heard, then gave an insight into her life and support of the RNLI with her legacy funding.

The Shannon class lifeboat, which is numbered RNLI 13-34, has been dedicated to her former husband Anthony Kenneth Heard.

Rhyl RNLI press officer Judith Sharp said: “We took delivery of the lifeboat, launch and recovery in 2019 and the naming and dedication ceremony would normally take place immediately after that.

“Unfortunately Covid meant we couldn’t get everyone together so we were keen to wait until we could celebrate with properly who has helped raise funds.”

Rhyl station was tasked with raising £150,000 towards the cost, which is where the £55,000 grant from the Steve Morgan Foundation came in.

Sharp said: “It was a third of what we needed to raise which is why it made such a difference. We ended up raising £182,000 We’re very grateful and the money has been put to good effect.”

Jane Harris posed for a photo in front of the new lifeboat with Rhyl  Mayor Diane King and her consort Councillor Peter Prendergast, who is also the vice-chair of Rhyl RNLI.

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