Angle's new £2.7m Tamar lifeboat arrived in Pembrokeshire in yesterday morning's glorious spring sunshine.
The arrival of the state of the art lifeboat marks the end of a three-year fundraising effort, launched in 2006 by RNLI supporters both in Pembrokeshire and Birmingham.
A £1.6M donation from the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons, a branch of the Freemasons, meant the 2.7 million total was reached in quick time.
The significant windfall will give the donor the right to name the lifeboat, which will be called Mark Mason, during a dedication ceremony this summer.
Angle is only the second RNLI lifeboat station in Wales to take delivery of a Tamar class lifeboat. Both Tamars are situated in Pembrokeshire; the first was Tenby's Haydn Miller , which arrived at the resort in 2005. The Angle RNLI crew collected their new lifeboat from the RNLI’s headquarters in Poole last Friday. Following a passage through Weymouth, Plymouth, St Mary’s and Padstow, they arrived in Angle this afternoon.
The Tamar is the RNLI’s most technologically advanced lifeboat, designed to reach casualties faster and help the volunteer crew save even more lives at sea. It is bigger and faster than Angle's old Tyne class lifeboat which was built in 1986.
It has more built in safety features protect the crew, including a new seat design that will reduce loadings on crew members’ spines in rough weather.
A new on-board computer known as SIMS (Systems and Information Management System) allows a lot of the lifeboat’s functions to be managed remotely and promotes better task sharing, further improving safety.
Extensive modifications have been carried out to the boathouse and the slipway at Angle to allow a new larger lifeboat to operate.
John Allen-Mirehouse, RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager at Angle said: ‘This is a very exciting day for the volunteer RNLI crew at Angle and a momentous occasion for the station.
"We are extremely proud to be the second of the RNLI’s 31 lifeboat stations in Wales to take delivery of this fantastic boat and seeing her arrive in the distance was quite a moment for everyone. As a charity, the RNLI is eternally grateful to everyone who has given so generously to make this dream a reality.
‘Last year, the Angle all-weather RNLI lifeboat launched 25 times and rescued 21 people. Angle’s crew spent 72 hours at sea during 2008 and many shouts were long towing operations.
"The Tamar class lifeboat is not only faster which will ensure the lifeboat is able to reach casualties quicker, but it is more comfortable and safer.’