Charity releases plans for £150, 000 sculpture

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution has selected a design for a sculpture to pay tribute to the hundreds of volunteer crew members who have lost their lives while saving others at sea over the last 184 years.

The sculpture, by Sam Holland ARBS, will be located at the charity’s Poole headquarters, opposite The Lifeboat College, ‘home of the RNLI’, where future generations of lifesavers and fundraisers will train, and can be inspired by the memorial. It is hoped that the sculpture will be unveiled in the summer of 2009.

The sculpture, of a person in a boat saving another from the water, is said to symbolise “the history, and future, of the RNLI in its most basic and humanitarian form.” Radiating from the boat are flat bands of stainless steel, flush with the ground, providing both the effect of waves and a material onto which the names of those who have lost their lives can be engraved. Relatives and the general public will be able to walk round the sculpture and look at the names of those remembered.

Philip Gilbert from the RNLI says: ‘It is likely that the sculpture and its setting will cost more than £150,000. This is clearly a large sum to find, however, the money given so generously to the RNLI for the provision of our lifesaving services cannot be used for directly this memorial. Therefore the RNLI Heritage Trust, through crews and staff, has been raising money, nearly £80,000 to date. In fact a large proportion of the funds have come from a sponsored cycle ride from Poole to Rome by the RNLI Chief Executive, Andrew Freemantle. ‘We hope that RNLI volunteers, staff and supporters continue to raise the money to allow this worthwhile project to go ahead. Members of the public can visit for more information, and anyone wishing to support the memorial directly can make a donation to the RNLI Poole Headquarters marked Memorial.’