,Photo: Fred Olsen Cruise Lines Pictured: The winners of Fred Olsen Cruise Lines’ RNLI lifeboat naming competition – Margaret Whittington (left), Joan Hutchings and Peter Ruck – unveil B-913 Pride of Fred Olsen at the Naming Ceremony and Service of Dedication at Fred. Olsen House, Ipswich on 22nd January 2019.
In 2018 Fred Olsen and the RNLI celebrated their partnership of 50 years. The official Naming Ceremony and Service of Dedication of the fifth RNLI lifeboat took place last week at Fred Olsen Cruise Lines’ Head Office, in Ipswich. This is the first time the RNLI has held the naming ceremony of one of its lifeboats at the premises of a corporate partner.
Last year, Fred Olsen’s guests raised an impressive £170,000 towards the new lifeboat, across its fleet of four ocean ships – Balmoral, Braemar, Boudicca and Black Watch – and river cruise vessel, Brabant. This also coincided with the commemoration of Fred Olsen’s 170th anniversary in shipping.
Based in Poole, Dorset, the new Atlantic 85 Rigid Inflatable Boat (‘RIB’), is capable of speeds of up to 35 Knots. Built at the RNLI’s inshore lifeboat production facility on the Isle of Wight, B-913 Pride of Fred Olsen can carry up to four crew members.
The name Pride of Fred Olsen was chosen for the new lifeboat by Fred Olsen guests. In a competition held across the Fred Olsen fleet at the end of last year Margaret Whittington, Peter Ruck and Joan Hutchings, were proud to be ‘Guests of Honour’ at the Ceremony and officially name the lifeboat.
The event was attended by a variety of VIP guests from Fred Olsen and the RNLI. Amongst them included the Mayor of Ipswich, Councillor Jane Riley; Terry Hunt, Deputy Lieutenant of Suffolk; Rear Admiral Roger Lockwood, Chair of the RNLI Scottish Council; crew members from Harwich, Clacton and Aldeburgh Lifeboat Stations; and senior executives from the two organisations. The Ipswich Hospital Community Choir performed a specially-commissioned song ‘Take Pride’, composed by choir leader, Alex Howell.
Mike Rodwell, Managing Director of Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, said:
“At Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, we are all extremely proud of our long and successful relationship with the RNLI, and we have been ‘saving lives at sea together’ for over 50 years, since 1968. We derive our livelihoods from the sea, so to be able to support a charity that provides such a vital service in our working environment means a lot to us. As we gift Pride of Fred Olsen to the RNLI, we pay tribute to the tremendous generosity and enthusiasm of our guests towards the RNLI and all that their brave crews do to keep us safe at sea.”
Catherine Kaye, RNLI Corporate Partnerships Manager, said:
“We’re so grateful for the continued support of Fred Olsen and their guests. As a charity, the RNLI relies on the generosity of its supporters. Relief lifeboats such as the Pride of Fred Olsen are vital for us to ensure that we have the right assets at stations when a lifeboat goes away for maintenance. This new lifeboat will help us to continue to save lives at sea and will help us ensure that our lifesavers have the equipment they need to help those in difficulty, as they have done since 1824.”
During its long-running links with the RNLI, Fred Olsen guests have funded a total of five lifeboats. The fourth, Spirit of Fred Olsen, is based at Kyle of Lochalsh in the Scottish Highlands, along with three mobile training units, three seminar rooms at The Lifeboat College in Poole, and the development and funding of three lifeboat-launching trolleys, as well as crew member training and crew equipment.
In May 2010, Fred Olsen was presented with an RNLI ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ by Royal Patron H.R.H. Prince Michael of Kent in recognition of its ongoing commitment, as the charity’s longest-standing corporate partner.
The RNLI is a charity that saves lives at sea. For more information visit the RNLI website.