New RNLI lifeboat named in memory of teenager who died in crash launched in Looe

Ollie's family were amongst those who attended the unveiling of the new lifeboat in Looe Credit: RNLI / Ian Foster

A new lifeboat named in memory of a teenager who died in a car crash has been launched for the first time in Cornwall.

Ollie Naismith II set sail in Looe Bay on Saturday (19 November), replacing the previous lifeboat which was also named after the 19-year-old.

Ollie, from Looe, died in 2009 in a car crash.

His father John Naismith said: “While it was very emotional to see both lifeboats that have been named in memory of Ollie it has been a day of great pride.

"I would like to thank everyone that had a part in this success, the achievement being even greater given the restrictions that COVID had on any activities when the Looe Lifeboat Appeal was launched. Thank you so much.”

Ollie’s mother, Maxine Naismith, his sister Tori, grandparents and other members of his family watched from the Lifeboat Station, on what would have been his 32nd birthday.

Maxine said: “I am immensely grateful and proud of everyone at Looe RNLI Lifeboat Station for all the effort they made on Saturday to honour the service and farewell ceremony for the D Class Ollie Naismith Lifeboat.

"We also welcomed the Ollie Naismith ll Lifeboat into operational service on Ollie's 32ndbirthday.

The lifeboat will replace its predecessor which was also named after Ollie Credit: RNLI / Ian Foster

"The occasion was so special and unique and was a wonderful event to celebrate the enormous generosity and support our community and visitors gave to enable Looe RNLI to continue saving lives at sea with a much needed new D Class Lifeboat.

"For me, it keeps Ollie at home in Looe. I am so very proud of his legacy and all the wonderful Lifeboat Crew who volunteer their time to keep us safe at sea. Thank you with all my heart.”

Looe’s volunteer crew also welcomed two future crew members, Ruby Riley and Finley Mayne, to see the lifeboats.

Ruby said: “It was so fantastic to see the new boat launch yesterday. I’m so proud to have been able to help raise some money for such an amazing lifeboat that will go on to help so many people who are in need. I hope one day I can be part of the RNLI crew.”

Finley said: “The ceremony for the launch of the new Ollie Naismith was incredible. The amount of support and money raised by people far and wide, like ourselves, was truly amazing.

"To meet all the crew and watch the two D class lifeboats together in the harbour was fantastic and a first for us. Another great day spent with the RNLI lifeboat community.

"Well done and congratulations to all, We look forward to supporting RNLI Looe in our next challenge.”