RNLI to delay downgrading of New Quay station until 2021


In 2017 the RNLI announced that its New Quay lifeboat station in Ceredigion would no longer house the all-weather vessel after 2020.

The decision was met with scorn by local residents and RNLI volunteers alike, who questioned the wisdom of leaving a 75-mile stretch of the Welsh coast unprotected by an all-weather lifeboat. It would, instead, only be covered by the smaller, inshore lifeboat.

However the RNLI has now announced that it has delayed these plans. A review of Cardigan Bay in its entirety is due to take place in 2021, a year after New Quay’s all-weather lifeboat - the Mersey-class Frank and Lena Clifford of Stourbridge - was due to be shelved.

The RNLI has decided to delay this downgrading of the New Quay station until after the review, with a spokesman for the charity declaring: “I can confirm that the Mersey will remain on station until 2021. There will be a Coast Review of Cardigan Bay in 2021, so the Mersey is not scheduled to leave until after this review.”

Ben Lake has shown his full support to the campaign since being elected to Parliament to 2017. He made his Prime Minister's Questions debut in March 2018 by raising the RNLI's decision, and since then he has continued to raise the issue in the chamber and with Government Ministers, including securing a meeting with the Maritime Minister recently. Mr Lake has also met with the RNLI to make representations on behalf of constituents and has worked in collaboration with the Ceredigion Lifeboat Campaign over the past two years.

Responding to the announcement, Ben Lake said:

“I very much welcome the RNLI’s decision to extend the service of New Quay’s all-weather lifeboat until 2021, and I am confident that the decision will not only be well-received in Ceredigion, but also further afield.

“At present this is only a one-year extension, but I hope that the decision will allow the 2021 Coast Review to consider and engage with the substance of local concerns, as well as assess the original decision against the the changed conditions along the coast. When considering such important changes, it is always better to delay so as to be sure that the decision reached is the correct one. For their willingness to make sure that the configuration of all-weather lifeboat provision along Cardigan Bay is adequate before proceeding further, the RNLI are to be credited, as are the group of local campaigners in the CLC. They have worked tirelessly since 2017 to ensure that the service they support and hold in such high regard meets the needs of the local community.”

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