A new Shannon class lifeboat will proudly carry the names of thousands of loved ones when it launches on service at Wells-next-the-Sea next year, thanks to the latest fundraising campaign from the RNLI.
The lifesaving charity’s Launch a Memory campaign asks supporters to submit the name of a much-missed loved one, along with a suggested donation of £50. The names received will go on to be printed on the decal of a new Shannon class lifeboat, allowing them to be by the side of the lifeboat crew every time they launch.
The new Launch a Memory lifeboat, carrying thousands of names, will find a home at Wells-next-the-Sea in Norfolk, where RNLI lifeboat crews have been saving lives at sea since 1830. The Shannon class is the RNLI’s newest class of lifeboat and the only all-weather lifeboat to be powered by waterjets, making it the most agile in the fleet. Wells’ new lifeboat will be built at the RNLI’s All-Weather Lifeboat Centre, and the name of each and every person being remembered will be featured within the letters and numbers, or decal, displayed on the vessel’s hull.
The new boat was funded in part through generous donations from the local Wells community and The Lifeboat Fund, with the Wells Shannon the 53rd boat to be funded by the public service charity. It will be housed in a brand new boathouse, currently under construction and due for completion in time for the Shannon’s arrival in the summer of 2022.
The honour of being the first name on the decal of the new lifeboat will go to Campbell MacCallum, a well-known member of the Wells community who passed away in 2019 aged 78. He will be joined by thousands of others, all becoming members of the Launch a Memory community.
Mr MacCallum’s wife, Dorothy, said, ‘I am so touched that Campbell’s name will be on the Wells lifeboat. He had such a close connection with the crew and the station and was proud to be their honorary photographer for over 50 years.
‘I remember when the maroons would go off and he would dash out of the door with his camera to photograph a launch. I know his name will be joined by thousands of others whose loved ones want to remember them in this special way. The lifeboat will launch many times in its lifetime and bring many people to safety. I couldn’t think of a better way for someone to be remembered.’
Jacob Clarke, Senior Marketing Manager at the RNLI, added: ‘We’re delighted to be able to invite members of the public to submit names for this special Launch a Memory boat. We hope that it will be a fitting tribute to their loved one, and bring comfort knowing that their name is alongside our crews when they receive a call for help.
‘Everyone who supports the campaign will receive email updates about the lifeboat, keeping them informed of all major developments on its journey, from construction through to going on service and saving lives at sea. We’re expecting our Launch a Memory campaign to be incredibly popular, with so many people wanting to remember a loved one in this unique and special way’
To find out more about the Launch a Memory campaign, or to commemorate the life of a loved one by adding their name to the boat, please visit RNLI.org/bytheirside