- There have been some interesting developments in recent months. In June, the RNLI issued a very significant statement that it was now postponing the removal of the New Quay All-weather Lifeboat by a year, until the third quarter of 2021 which is also when the next Coast Review is due. The RNLI has also renewed its commitment to maintain ongoing monitoring of ‘shouts’ at New Quay.
- There have been some very significant changes at RNLI Headquarters in Poole. There are a number of new people in post at the top of the organisation, not least of all a new CEO, Mark Dowie. Mr. Dowie took up an invitation extended by the New Quay Lifeboat Operations Manager and on August 5th addressed a very full meeting of crew, fundraisers and other supporters. He was impressed by a lifeboat ‘family’ in very good heart and despite the grave issue hanging over the station, clearly committed still to delivering a life-saving service to the highest standards.
- Given that there are new people in top RNLI posts and the direction of early developments under the new CEO it is just possible that we are entering a new era
Meanwhile, until such time that a more responsive initiative might begin, we continue to address the less than positive legacies of the first two years of the campaign.
- Over the past few months, we have received responses to a number of Freedom of Information requests to the Department for Transport and its relevant agencies; they cast profound doubts on some of the key claims and statements that have been made by the RNL to date.
- We continue our long-running complaint against the Charity Commission. Early in the campaign, we had contacted the Commission with our concerns that the RNLI trustees were not matching the standards of openness and transparency defined in the Charity Commission’s Guidance to Trustees document. The Commission had refused to receive or assess evidence we had assembled on the grounds that the RNLI had declared itself to be beyond reproach and, therefore, the Commission had no jurisdiction! We won’t be letting go of this one any time soon!
- We continue to compile evidence-based data which will be presented to the RNLI, making a powerful case to retain an All-weather Lifeboat in New Quay beyond 2021.
- The RNLI has committed to an ongoing review of the service returns at New Quay. They have also announced that the All-weather Lifeboat will remain on station until after the next Coast Review, scheduled for 2021. We will be campaigning hard to make the case that, unlike the secretive Coast Review process in 2016 that led to the decision to axe the New Quay All-weather Lifeboat, the next promised reviews must be open and based on full and meaningful consultation with stakeholders.
Sea safety is a matter of public concern and those who make key decisions affecting it should be publically accountable.
HELPING TO KEEP US GOING is the great support that continues to stream from the communities we represent as well as from further afield
Committed support spreads far beyond the Ceredigion Coastline. We receive a steady flow of letters and fighting fund donations from far and wide. The furthest so far coming from the Philadelphia Welsh Society.
Also, for the second year running, we have been the focus of a dedicated study undertaken by pupils of Harris Academy St. John’s Wood, London. The connection is via an ex-student of Aberystwyth University and keen kayaker who is now a maths teacher at the school. Supported by the head teacher and other staff, she was keen to explore the data and statistics associated with the New Quay lifeboat issue as a real-life maths project.
Students have studied navigational plotting and have analysed the effects of wind strength and direction on travel times to reach casualties in the New Quay sea area for the All-weather Lifeboats (ALBs) stationed in Barmouth and Fishguard. They have also researched the effects of hypothermia, which gives casualties just 30 minutes’ survival expectation in the chilly waters of the Irish Sea.
The English department have also become involved in the project and students have been developing their skills in informative and persuasive letter writing. Other schools in the Harris Federation Multi-Academy Trust have expressed an interest in rolling out the project during the next academic year.