A date has been set for the return of Pwllheli RNLI’s Shannon class lifeboat.

Pwllheli staff and volunteers will travel to the RNLI’s Support Centre in Dorset to collect the lifeboat ready for training to start on Monday, 1 July.

With new crew members and the familiarisation for existing crew needed, an intensive period of training will be required before the lifeboat is officially back in service.

The D-class lifeboat is already back in action on limited service whilst training inshore lifeboat crew also continues.

Earlier this year, the RNLI reluctantly ended volunteering arrangements with all operational crew due to a breakdown in relationships between people at the station.

It was no longer possible to sustain a safe and effective lifesaving service, so the RNLI made the difficult decision to reset operations at the station.

The Shannon was reallocated to the RNLI’s Support Centre in Poole to support operational activity, whilst operations paused in Pwllheli.

Two thirds of the crew reaffirmed their commitment to moving forward and a recruitment drive in the area has been hailed a great success. Volunteer crew members have been regularly attending inshore lifeboat training exercises and conducting on-land exercises in readiness for the lifeboat’s return. Exercise on Shannon class lifeboats in Rhyl and Llandudno has also commenced.

Pwllheli Lifeboat Operations Manager Andy Vowell said: “This really is the most heartening news. The station has not felt the same without the Shannon class lifeboat and the fact she is coming back is the first chapter in our future.

“The response to our recruitment drive speaks volumes about the support we have from the community, for which we are immensely grateful.

“The next few months are going to be incredibly time-consuming and will require a great deal of commitment from our crew, but I know they are 100 per cent ready to getting back to what do best.”

RNLI Regional Lifesaving Lead Ryan Jennings said: “It was imperative that the all-weather lifeboat was used to support operational activity elsewhere whilst not operational at Pwllheli, as we have a duty to ensure our donors' funds are used wisely.

“We realise this has been a challenging time for all at Pwllheli and we would like to thank everyone for the kindness, support, and encouragement during this difficult period.

“We have been incredibly impressed by the commitment and resilience of the crew. They are now more than ready to begin training and the time is right for the return of the Shannon.

“We are thrilled to have a date for the lifeboat’s return, and I know the community of Pwllheli will be heartened to see her back.

“The support we have had from local people has been overwhelming and we are grateful to everyone who has helped us reach this next stage.

“We are confident that by working together we can now provide a sustainable lifeboat station at Pwllheli for many years to come.”

Some volunteer roles are still available. To apply visit www.RNLI.org/VolRoles.