February 24, 2024

South West News

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RNLI’s New D class Looe Lifeboat named Ollie Naismith II in naming ceremony last Sunday

Hundreds of people gathered outside Looe Lifeboat Station on Sunday afternoon, 18 June 2023, to watch the official naming ceremony for Looe RNLI’s new D class lifeboat Ollie Naismith II.

The lifeboat has been funded after the Looe Lifeboat appeal raised a magnificent £111,000, and has already taken part in active service, rescuing casualties who had become cut off by the tide along Millendreath beach, close to Black Rock earlier this year.

Invited guests gathered outside the Albatross boathouse, alongside Looe RNLI volunteer crew and their families to watch the occasion.

Maxine Naismith naming the Ollie Naismith II
Credit: RNLI/Ian Foster

Opening the proceedings Ann Watson, outgoing chair of the Looe RNLI Lifeboat Management Group, welcomed guests and handed over to Looe RNLI’s president John Trethewy. John thanked Pelynt Male Choir, accompanied by Gabrielle Lewis, for entertaining our guests as they arrived for the ceremony. John went on to say “Looe Lifeboat Station plays an integral role in the life of our town and the support of all our townsfolk gives great encouragement to our crews and fundraising committee” and this ceremony “provides our station an opportunity to thank the community of Looe and our supporters from further afield for their ongoing support and contributions to the Looe Lifeboat Appeal”.

In an emotional speech, John Naismith talked about Ollie’s love of the sea and said that this lifeboat “is the perfect tribute and with enormous pride it does give me great pleasure to hand over this lifeboat to the RNLI”. The D Class was accepted by Adrian Carey, RNLI Head of region South West, Adrian referred to his long association with Looe Lifeboat Station and said that since the station was re-established in 1992, volunteer crews from Looe had launched over 960 times, assisting over 750 people and saved 65 lives. Adrian went on to say “that this new lifeboat will continue this lifesaving tradition and was very proud to hand the Ollie Naismith II over to Lifeboat Operations Manager Dave Haines and formally into the care of Looe Lifeboat Station”.

Accepting the Ollie Naismith II into the care of Looe Lifeboat Station and crew, David Haines mentioned next year marks his 33 years of service to Looe RNLI and this will be his last naming ceremony, he spoke of his pride with the arrival of this lifeboat “marking the next chapter of lifesaving in Looe”.

The station’s chaplain Reverend Ben Morgan Lundie, accompanied by our former chaplain, Reverend Brian Mc Quillen, conducted a service of blessing. Brian said he was “delighted to be asked back to bless the Ollie Naismith II as he blessed the previous Ollie Naismith lifeboat, Brian blessed the water poured into a lifeboat helmet, and, using the same bunch of dried flowers from the first blessing 12 years ago, he blessed the Ollie Naismith II. Crossing the slipway Brian proceeded to bless our crew.

Dave Haines then invited Ollie’s mother Maxine Naismith to officially name the lifeboat. As Maxine poured champagne over the bow of the D Class she said “I name this lifeboat the Ollie Naismith II, may god bless her and all who serve on her”.

The ceremony was brought to a close with a vote of thanks delivered by Adrian Carey, who then asked our crew to launch the lifeboat for a short demonstration of its capabilities in Looe river

Helmed by Toby Bray and Tom Peat with crew member Amber Palfrey the Ollie Naismith II was launched by tractor driver Eric Candy under the guidance of head launcher David Mitchell. They were assisted by shore crew Jack Spree, Alex Richardson, John Goodsman and Goron Jones with the rest of the Looe volunteer crew watching from the side of the slipway.

After the event, tea and refreshments were served in the lifeboat station.


Header image: Looe RNLI D Class Ollie Naismith II returning to Looe with casualties, April 2023

Image credit: RNLI/Ian Foster


Please consider donating to the RNLI here: Give Money To Charity – The Charity That Saves Lives At Sea – RNLI