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Atlantic 85 "Wolseley" - Official Naming Ceremony

Sunderland's new RNLI lifeboat was officially named at a special ceremony last Saturday [8th September] by a representative of the company which funded her.

Sunderland was only the second lifeboat station in the north of England to receive an Atlantic 85 class lifeboat, which is one of the lifesaving charity's most technologically advanced vessels.

The lifeboat, named Wolseley, went on service in May and has already launched 24 times on service, rescuing 46 people. She was funded by Wolseley, the UK's largest distributor of plumbing and heating products and a major supplier of building materials to the construction industry.

The company raised ?125,000 to fund the Atlantic 85 by encouraging its 15,000 UK employees, its customers and suppliers to support the RNLI with a number of fundraising events.

Wolseley director Paul Gordon who named the lifeboat said: "As a long-established British company, Wolseley is delighted to have been able to sponsor a new RNLI lifeboat to be based at Sunderland.

Thanks are due to our staff, customers and suppliers, who have contributed generously to this lifeboat, which will be saving lives for many years to come."

Wolseley UK Managing Director Paul Gordon prepares to hand over the lifeboat

The Atlantic 85 is the first RNLI inshore lifeboat to have radar, which means it can operate more effectively in reduced visibility. It is also faster and bigger than its predecessor, with room for a fourth crew member as well as more space for casualties.

Sunderland RNLI senior helmsman Paul Nicholson said Wolseley has already proved her worth on the North East coast. He added: 'We have already carried out twenty-four rescues in the lifeboat and the increased speed together with the radar and VHF direction-finding equipment have definitely made a difference to our operational effectiveness.

On behalf of everyone at Sunderland lifeboat station I would like to thank Wolseley for their wonderful fundraising efforts which have resulted in the donation of our very special new lifeboat.'

The vote of thanks being proposed by Sunderland Ladies Lifeboat Guild President Charlotte Stewart and volunteer helmsman Martin Andrews

During the naming ceremony, Sunderland RNLI lifeboat Operations Manager Captain Peter Mitchell formally accepted the lifeboat on behalf of Sunderland lifeboat station.

A service of dedication was then performed by the lifeboat station chaplain, Canon Stephen Taylor, and a vote of thanks proposed by Sunderland Ladies Lifeboat Guild President Charlotte Stewart and volunteer helmsman Martin Andrews (above).

Photo Gallery

A big thank you to Adrian Don for providing all of the displayed photographs from the day

Copyright - Adrian Don (www.electricpics.com)

Photo Gallery

Sunderland RNLI Lifeboat Crew during the ceremonyCanon Stephen Taylor during the service of dedicationRNLI Operation's Director Michael Vlasto hands over the lifeboat to the stationRNLI North DDI Adrian Carey describes the lifeboat

Salvation Army brass band during the ceremonyRNLI HQ, Divisional Staff, and station Management with Paul Gordon watched by Sunderland Lifeboat CrewSenior Helmsman Paul Nicholson gives an interview to Tyne Tees TelevisionAtlantic 85 'Wolseley'

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