The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) last year launched a special initiative offering people the chance to have the named of their loved ones printed on a new, all-weather lifeboat at Wells-next-the-Sea in Norfolk.
Operating in the seas around the UK, the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, the RNLI has more than 440 lifeboats at its disposal, with these kept busy year-round saving lives at sea.
The charity is driven by donations, with one of the latest fundraising projects being focused on print and graphics for the new Launch a Memory lifeboat.
The idea of the initiative is to feature thousands of names on the side of the Shannon class lifeboat, as a way for people to remember and pay tribute to loved ones, making them part of the crew on every voyage.
Operating out of Wells-next-the-Sea in Norfolk, the boat will feature the usual number and letter code commonplace in all RNLI lifeboats, but the design will be adjusted so that each letter and number in the code also includes the names of thousands of people.
Local residents and other RNLI supporters from across the UK and beyond could put the name of a loved one forward to be included on the boat, along with a suggested donation of £50, which would go towards supporting the charity and its operations.
The boat will be housed in a brand-new boathouse, currently under construction and due for completion in time for the lifeboat’s arrival in the summer of 2022.
The honour of being the first name on the decal of the new lifeboat went to Campbell MacCallum, a member of the local Wells community who passed away in 2019 at the age of 78.
“I am so touched that Campbell’s name will be on the Wells lifeboat,” Campbell’s wife Dorothy said. “He had such a close connection with the crew and the station and was proud to be their honorary photographer for over 50 years.
“I remember when the maroons would go off and he would dash out of the door with his camera to photograph a launch. I know his name will be joined by thousands of others whose loved ones want to remember them in this special way.
“The lifeboat will launch many times in its lifetime and bring many people to safety. I couldn’t think of a better way for someone to be remembered.”
Jacob Clarke, senior marketing manager at the RNLI, added: “We’re delighted to be able to invite members of the public to submit names for this special Launch a Memory boat. We hope that it will be a fitting tribute to their loved one and bring comfort knowing that their name is alongside our crews when they receive a call for help.
“Everyone who supports the campaign will receive email updates about the lifeboat, keeping them informed of all major developments on its journey, from construction through to going on service and saving lives at sea.
“We’re expecting our Launch a Memory campaign to be incredibly popular, with so many people wanting to remember a loved one in this unique and special way.”