CEREDIGION’S only all-weather lifeboat based at New Quay has been granted a temporary stay of execution.

The RNLI had intended to replace the Mersey-class all-weather lifeboat with an Atlantic-class inshore boat in 2020, sparking a wave of protest in the local area.

But now it has been confirmed that the service life of the all-weather boat has been extended to 2021, when the RNLI will undertake its next comprehensive five-year coastal review.

Confirming the decision, an RNLI spokesman said: “It would make sense not to bring about any change until the next review is completed.

“We are constantly monitoring the situation but the next comprehensive five year review may show something different.”

The news has been welcomed by Ceredigion Lifeboat Campaign, which was set up to fight the RNLI’s decision and has attracted 30,000 signatures in support.

A spokesperson said: “We welcome the RNLI’s decision to extend the service life of New Quay’s current all-weather lifeboat until after the 2021 Coast Review and we applaud the fact that the RNLI has responded to the concerns of our seafaring community.

“However, we must stress that this is no more than a one-year extension and, at present, it remains the RNLI’s intention to downgrade lifeboat capability when the boat is withdrawn, so our campaign continues.

"The CLC enjoys committed support from our local communities and we have been given a mandate by over 30,000 petition signatories to use all appropriate means in seeking to reverse the RNLI’s decision to remove Ceredigion’s only all-weather lifeboat.

“We remain committed to this objective and we will continue to build a case for the retention of all-weather lifeboat capability beyond 2021.

"It is essential that the 2021 coast review is a meaningful review rather than just a rubber-stamping of the RNLI’s previous decision. Unlike the previous review, it must be open and transparent and include a proper consultation process so that the views of local stakeholders are taken into account.

“It must also include a robust risk assessment, which is based on an appropriate data set, and which takes into account the increasing levels of marine activity off the Ceredigion coast.

“The door is no longer locked but we need the public's help to push the door wide open and demand a thorough and open review in 2021.”