CAMPAIGNERS fighting to keep the all-weather lifeboat at New Quay say the latest rescue highlights the need for such a boat on the Ceredigion coast.

On Tuesday morning (September 26) New Quay’s all-weather lifeboat rushed to the aid of the 16.5m Cornish fishing boat the Emma Louise, with seven crew on board, which had suffered engine failure 24 miles to the north west.

The New Quay lifeboat was launched at 9.30am and towed the stricken vessel as far Cemaes Head where Fishguard lifeboat took over the tow into Fishguard harbour. New Quay lifeboat finally returned to station at 5.30 p.m.

However, campaigners argue such rescues may not be possible in future. In June, the RNLI announced plans to downgrade New Quay lifeboat station in 2020, replacing the Mersey class all-weather lifeboat with an Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat, citing costs of £8 million to retain all-weather capability.

Campaigners fighting that plan say the RNLI’s decision will leave a gap of nearly 70 miles between all-weather lifeboat stations in an area frequented by fishing vessels, passenger boats and leisure craft. There is a growing sense in the local community that this cannot be allowed to happen and an action group has been set up to fight the decision.

Huw Williams, spokesperson for Ceredigion Lifeboat Campaign said: “There are many boats working off the Ceredigion coast every day, sometimes in bad weather, and data for the last 10 years confirms the need for an all-weather lifeboat.

“The Atlantic 85 is a very capable boat and is very good at what it does but it couldn’t have helped the Emma Louise. That’s why it’s important to retain both inshore and all-weather capability on the Ceredigion coast.”

Since Tuesday’s rescue, campaigners in Ceredigion have received messages of support from the Cornish fishing and seafaring community, backing efforts to save the all-weather lifeboat in New Quay.

Shane Petit, skipper of the Emma Louise said: “I would like to thank New Quay Lifeboat for their response today and a big thanks on behalf of the crew and Rowse Fishing Ltd. Every lifeboat is valuable around our coast.”

Mark and Emma Rowse, co-owners of the stricken vessel and long-time supporters of the RNLI, added: “Thank you New Quay lifeboat, much appreciated. The RNLI need to take a good look at their ‘restructuring.’”

Penlee lifeboat station also sent a message of thanks to their colleagues in west Wales, “Another great tow job ... thanks for looking after one of our Newlyn boats!”

To support the campaign to save New Quay’s all-weather lifeboat, visit and sign the online petition.