Amble RNLI volunteers have made their very own call for help after launching a massive £200,000 fund-raising appeal towards the cost of a new lifeboat.
In 2017, its current all-weather Mersey-class vessel, The Four Boys, will be nearing the end of her operational life and is set to be replaced by the newest member of the RNLI fleet, a £2million state-of-the-art Shannon.
Amble will be one of the first of the charity’s lifeboat stations in the north of England to receive this class of lifeboat, which is the smallest, most agile all-weather lifeboat in the RNLI fleet.
It is also the first modern RNLI all-weather lifeboat to be powered by water jets instead of propellers and, with a top speed of 25 knots; 50 per cent faster than the vessels she replaces. Amble RNLI coxswain John Connell said: “The Four Boys has served us well and we’ll miss her when she goes, but we’re excited about receiving a Shannon.
“We’ve already tested one at sea and they’re amazing vessels.
“The advanced technology means we’ll be able to reach people in trouble at sea a lot more quickly than we can at the moment.
“We know £200,000 is a lot of money to raise, but the people of Northumberland have always been very supportive of the RNLI and I’m confident they will get behind the appeal and help us fund our new lifeboat, which will be saving lives off the Northumberland coast for many years to come.”
The team at Amble is doing its bit for the cause and has lots of fund-raising ideas.
These include a sponsored walk along the coast, ending at the lifeboat station, on July 19, as well as Amble Lifeboat Day on August 24.
Morpeth is also hosting the RNLI Flag Day tomorrow (Friday).
But it is hoped that people in the area will get involved and come up with their own events to support the appeal.
In 2013, Amble RNLI carried out 20 rescue launches and rescued 24 people.
There are 23 volunteer crew members and one full-time mechanic on Amble RNLI lifeboat crew.
A lifeboat station was first established in Amble in 1842 and since then, the town’s RNLI lifeboats have launched 1,105 times, rescuing 742 people.