RNLI competition to name new boat

THE children of Skegness are to get a ‘once in a lifetime’ chance to name one of the RNLI’s new state-of-the-art lifeboats.

Nine RNLI stations across the UK have already been confirmed for delivery of new Shannon class vessels - including Skegness - with more announcements to be confirmed in the future.

Now, for the first time in its history, the RNLI has launched a competition for children to name one of the first Shannon class vessels (pictured).

And with the boats expected to last up to 50 years, the charity is promising that the prize really will ‘last a lifetime’.

Chris Eves, Project Manager for the Shannon class lifeboat said: “The new Shannon class lifeboat is our most advanced lifeboat to date.

“Not only will it help RNLI volunteer crews to reach casualties faster, but it will also improve the safety of our volunteers while they are saving lives at sea.

“This is the first time that we have ever offered the naming of a lifeboat as a prize. Traditionally RNLI lifeboats are named by a donor who has kindly given money to the charity, so this competition really is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

“I think the most exciting part of this competition is that the lifeboat could be in service for up to 50 years – this prize is something that will be cherished for a lifetime.”

To enter the competition, children need to be members of Storm Force, the RNLI’s junior membership club, designed for children aged 7 to 11. For an annual membership fee of £7.50 or £10.50, children receive four issues of the club magazine containing rescue stories, news, activities, comic strips, water safety advice and educational articles.

Children also receive a joining pack including an exclusive ‘crew’ bag, pencil tin, stickers, map, colouring poster, postcards and a bumper activity booklet.

As well as naming a Shannon class lifeboat, the winner and their family will be special guests at the lifeboat naming ceremony in 2013. The lifeboat will be put into service as a relief boat and will be used at any lifeboat station throughout the UK and the Republic of Ireland as needed.

Capable of 25 knots, the Shannon class is the RNLI’s most advanced lifeboat and is the first modern generation RNLI all-weather-lifeboat to run on water jets instead of propellers.

This will increase manoeuvrability. It is the smallest and lightest of the charity’s new generation all-weather lifeboats (ALB) and is designed to be launched and recovered from a beach or to lie afloat.

The Shannon class is designed to replace the majority of the charity’s Mersey and some of the remaining Tyne class lifeboats, many of which are over 20-years-old.

The competition closing date is Friday, September 7. Those wishing to join Storm Force and enter the competition need to join no later than this Friday (August 24) either online at www.rnli.org/stormforce or by phone 0300 300 9907.

On joining, members will receive a membership pack along with the competition entry form. The winner will be announced in January.