PENARTH RNLI has organised a parade through its streets today to celebrate the charity's 200th anniversary of saving lives at sea.

The RNLI was established on Thursday, March 4, 1824, and today, as it celebrates its 200th anniversary, crews and lifeguards in South Wales reveal that they have saved 2,387 lives during its two centuries of lifesaving.

The Penarth RNLI Lifeboat station was established in 1861, since then it has been launched 1,858 times and has saved 200 lives. It currently operates a B-Class lifeboat Maureen Lilian as well as a D-Class Connie Dains.

Jo Partner, RNLI head of region for Wales said: “I am immensely grateful to everyone who is involved with the charity across Wales – our volunteers, supporters and staff.

“Today is a hugely significant day in our history and an occasion we should all be very proud of. I know there are lots of events being planned across Wales to mark this very special day and I hope people enjoy being part of this special piece of history.

“I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all those who play a part in making the RNLI the proud organisation it is today – which is a cause for celebration.”

The Volunteer crew from Penarth lifeboat station will begin the celebrations by visiting local schools with their D-Class lifeboat, hoping to inspire future generations of RNLI volunteers.

At 2.45 pm, as a tribute to past volunteers and to remember the time when horses hauled lifeboats, both lifeboats will be paraded through Penarth town centre.

In the evening from 6.30 pm, Penarth Pier will host a celebratory presentation ceremony for crew with long service awards. There will be an auction of sought-after RNLI memorabilia, followed by a talk to inspire future generations.

The two stations in the Vale of Glamorgan have launched 3,558 times and saved 515 lives.

RNLI chief executive, Mark Dowie, said: “It has been an honour and a privilege to be at the helm of the RNLI for the past five years, and to see the charity reach its bicentenary.

"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.

"It is through the courage and dedication of its incredible people that the RNLI has survived the tests of time, including tragic losses, funding challenges, two World Wars and, more recently, a global pandemic." 

Mr Dowie reflects of the past 200 years of saving lives at sea and hopes to inspire the next generation.

“Today, we mark the bicentenary of the RNLI. We remember the achievements and commitment of all those who have been part of the RNLI family over the past two centuries.

"We celebrate the world-class lifesaving service we provide today, based on our 200 years of learning, expertise and innovation, and we hope to inspire future generations of lifesavers and supporters who will take the RNLI into its next century and beyond.”