High street sail: Penarth RNLI lifeboat parade marks 200th anniversary and the ongoing funding drive

Local volunteers for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) are looking forward to another 200 years of the life-saving charity operating in the town

PENARTH RNLI is inviting people to ‘Sing to Save Lives’ at a fundraising concert next month as they aim to help fund another 200 years of the charity.

Volunteers in the town this week joined in with the national celebrations of the lifeboat charity by sailing down Penarth high street in a lifeboat pulled by a tractor.

Despite the bad weather, people came out to add their support and local businesses joined in.

High street shops showed their appreciation for the RNLI, putting up banners and posters in their shop windows.

The Penarth All Saints knitting group made bollard covers to commemorate the 200th anniversary.

Crews in South Wales have saved 2,387 people over the past two centuries. The two Vale of Glamorgan stations have launched collectively 3,558 times and saved 515 lives, but they still want to do more.

“We look forward to a future where nobody drowns,” said Nick White, a Penarth RNLI volunteer.

The celebrations across the country were not just for the volunteers, the RNLI also wanted to underline the importance of the support they receive from the public.

“For a charity to have survived 200 years based on the time and commitment of volunteers, and the sheer generosity of the public donating to fund it, is truly remarkable,” said Mark Dowie, RNLI Chief Executive.  

The charity has weathered storms both literal and otherwise, surviving through two world wars and more recently continuing their work through the pandemic.

Speaking on the day of the anniversary, Jo Partner, RNLI’s Head of Region for Wales, said: “Today is a hugely significant day in our history and an occasion we should all be very proud of.”

Penarth RNLI want to keep this run going for another 200 years, but they are conscious that to do this they will need that connection and funding from the public to remain as strong as it is today.

To help with that the Penarth branch has organised more events to continue the celebrations this year, including a charity golf day on June 20, and a concert on April 27.

  • Find out how to help or donate to the RNLI
  • To learn more about the history of the RNLI click here