RNLI Selsey launch new inshore lifeboat named after former RAF officer

A new inshore lifeboat was launched by RNLI Selsey at a naming ceremony on Saturday (October 27).

The boat, named after former RAF equipment officer John Buckley, arrives in the 50th anniversary year of the station operating D class lifeboats.

Nala, watching events after helping to name the lifeboat. Picture Kate Shemilt ks180533-10

Nala, watching events after helping to name the lifeboat. Picture Kate Shemilt ks180533-10

An RNLI Selsey spokesman said: "The boat will be named the D827 Flt Lt John Buckley RAF.

"John Buckley – known as Jack – spent his life surrounded by ships and, after many years spend as equipment officer with the RAF, dealing with seafarers, developed a profound
admiration for those volunteers on the lifeboat crews who risked all to save those in peril on the sea."

Clive Cockayne, RNLI Selsey lifeboat operations manager, said the new lifeboat will help provide the 'best possible lifesaving service'.

He added: “It’s always a very special day when we receive a new lifeboat at Selsey.

RNLI Selsey new inshore lifeboat naming ceremony. Picture by Kate Shemilt. ks180533-1

RNLI Selsey new inshore lifeboat naming ceremony. Picture by Kate Shemilt. ks180533-1

"Knowing that we can provide the best possible lifesaving service to those around the coast fills us with pride.

"We are so grateful to the trust of Flt. Lt. John Buckley RAF for his bequest, and hope his family is comforted that his memory will live on with each launch from Selsey to rescue those in trouble on the water.”

According to RNLI Selsey, Michael Laurance, a long-time friend of John, handed the lifeboat to the RNLI which was then accepted by council member Mike Sturrock at a service of dedication, led by Father Andy Wilkes, Selsey lifeboat station Chaplin.

The spokesman added: "Al Rymer, Selsey station President, then asked Mariette du Plessis to name the lifeboat.

"After the traditional champagne was poured over the lifeboats bow Colin Pullenger, senior helmsman, delivered a vote of thanks and closed the ceremony.

"The Chichester City Band and the Selsey Community Choir provided the music."

According to RNLI Selsey, there have been 18 ILB shouts in a 'busy year'.

The spokesman added: "The station received a new Shannon class all-weather lifeboat in July 2017 and with the addition of the new D-class, the waters around the Manhood peninsula are in safe hands."