RNLI launches £150k St David's boathouse appeal
The RNLI has launched a £150,000 community fundraising drive towards its new St David's lifeboat station.
A £9.5m replacement is under construction next to the charity's current boathouse and slipway in the Pembrokeshire town.
The building is needed to house the £2.5m new lifeboat delivered last year.
Welsh rugby great Gerald Davies and former Wales international footballer Ian Walsh lent their weight to the fundraising launch on Monday.'Halfway house'
Coxswain Dai John said the fundraising aimed to help the community into "taking ownership" of the new building which is expected to provide a 100-year base for the volunteer lifeboat crew.
End Quote Dai John, coxswain St David's RNLI lifeboat
We've had the boat and now we're looking to complete the shore work so the boat has a station to live in”
The current boathouse and slipway is a 100 years old, while the original boathouse behind it is 140 years old, he said.
The new Tamar-class lifeboat is too large for the current boathouse and has to be on a mooring nearby.
Mr John said: "There are issues with our building. The sea takes its toll and some of the concrete underneath is getting blown.
"The facilities which lifeboat crews needed 100 years ago are different from what we need nowadays and there's no prospect of being able to adapt the old building, we haven't go the space to do it.
"We've ended up with a halfway house. We've had the boat and now we're looking to complete the shore work so the boat has a station to live in."
Mr John said he expected the new station to be completed by early autumn in 2015.
The lifeboat station has two full-time staff and 28 crew volunteers.Slipways
The work is part of £54m the charity is investing on slipway boathouses around the Welsh coastline.
Crews have already moved in to a new boathouse at Mumbles in Swansea.
Work is nearly complete on a new lifeboat station at Porthdinllaen in Gwynedd and work has started at Moelfre on Anglesey.