CEREDIGION has a new state-of-the-art lifeboat following the arrival of a new vessel in New Quay on Sunday.
New Quay RNLI welcomed the arrival of the £2.5m Shannon class lifeboat Roy Barker V on Sunday with a party quayside and a flotilla of local boats, including Fishguard, Aberystwyth and Cardigan RNLI lifeboats greeting her in the bay.
Five members of the volunteer crew travelled to Poole in Dorset to collect the Shannon and began the long passage home on Wednesday 21 July. They arrived in New Quay at 1.48pm - the hull number of the new lifeboat (13-48).
Roger Couch, RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager at New Quay said: “Seeing our new Shannon class lifeboat sailing into sight is something that will stay with me for a very long time.
“This really does signify the beginning of a new era of lifesaving at New Quay RNLI. The amount of people who had turned out to welcome her home really does speak volumes for the support we have in this community for which we are incredibly grateful.
“It’s been a long passage for the crew on their route back to New Quay but I know they’ll have taken this time to get acquainted with this faster and more capable 25 knot lifeboat. It’s going to be a long and difficult few weeks ensuring all our volunteers are fully trained on our new lifeboat, but it’s a challenge, I know we’ll all relish.”
The community celebrated the historic occasion with a party on the pier, the highlight of which was the new lifeboat entering view. It was an emotional sight for fundraisers who have worked tirelessly to support efforts to raise an appeal to raise over £100,000 to pay for crew training and transportation cost for the Shannon.
After delighting crowds with her presence, the Shannon was recovered onto New Quay beach, watched by crowds of onlookers. Then the Shannon Launch and Recovery System (SLRS) was put into action to safety recover the new lifeboat and introduce her to her new home.
New Quay’s RNLI Coxswain had the important role of bringing the Shannon home. It was a historic moment for Dan Potter, who has been an operational volunteer on three different classes of lifeboat – the Watson class lifeboat – the Mersey and now the Shannon.
He said: “Bringing this lifeboat home to New Quay is one of the greatest honour of my RNLI career. It was a humbling and incredibly emotional experience which will stay with me for a very long time. The passage was challenging and we all learned so much, but the pinnacle just had to be seeing the crowds who had turned out to welcome us home.
“Whilst the Mersey class lifeboat has served us well, this modern faster and more capable will help us to save more lives of the coast of Ceredigion. We are incredibly grateful for all the support we’ve received in making today happen.”