Queen to visit St Ives RNLI today
PUBLISHED: 10:32 17 May 2013 | UPDATED: 10:40 17 May 2013
Her Majesty The Queen is due to visit the RNLI lifeboat station today - a day which will also mark the official start of a special appeal by the charity.
HM Queen will be accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh and together the royal couple will meet the local RNLI team who uphold the charity’s tradition of saving lives at sea. The occasion coincides with the start of an appeal to raise funds towards the £1 million cost of the launch and recovery vehicle for the new Shannon class all-weather lifeboat that it’s hoped will arrive in the town in late 2014.
The royal visit will include a visit to the St Ives RNLI to meet the volunteer team who run the lifeboat station and their families. First the royal couple will view the current lifeboats, the Mersey class all-weather lifeboat The Princess Royal and the D class inshore lifeboat Colin Bramley Parker before heading inside the building for a private visit. The royal party will then meet the volunteers who run the charity’s shop before unveiling a plaque.
Derek Hall, volunteer RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager at St Ives, says the team are delighted to be welcoming the royal couple: “We’re extremely honoured to welcome Her Majesty The Queen to our lifeboat station, especially as she is the RNLI’s Patron, and to be able to introduce her to the many volunteers who maintain the charity’s lifesaving tradition around the coast of St Ives. It’s a truly wonderful way of thanking the families of our volunteers too for their support and commitment.
“Here at St Ives we are also launching a special appeal ahead of the arrival in late 2014 of a new 25-knot Shannon class all-weather lifeboat for St Ives to replace our current Mersey class lifeboat. We need to raise funds towards the £1million needed to fund the new lifeboat’s purpose built launch and recovery vehicle and this project begins in earnest right now as we head in to the 2013 summer season at St Ives.”
Paul Whiston is the volunteer RNLI Coxswain at St Ives. He said: “To me it’s very fitting that our present Mersey class all-weather lifeboat is The Princess Royal and we will be presenting Her Majesty The Queen with a framed picture of the lifeboat in action at sea. This lifeboat has already given us 22 years of service and we are very proud of her. However, the new Shannon class will offer improved speed and manoeuvrability thanks to updated design techniques and water jet propulsion. We just need to help raise the funds needed now for the launch and recovery vehicle.”
The St Ives RNLI volunteer crew, having received a quote for professional cleaning of the boathouse floors in preparation for the Royal visit, decided to carry out the task themselves on Saturday morning. This effectively saved the charity a four figure sum. Their efforts were supported very generously by local firm Travis Perkins who provided a hot pressure washer at a very reasonable rate. Crew volunteer George Deacon works for the company who have an outlet in St Ives.