Plaid Cymru Member of the Senedd for Mid & West Wales, Cefin Campbell has led tributes in the Senedd to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution - as the charity celebrated 200 years since its foundation.

Formed on March 4, 1824, RNLI volunteers have saved the lives of almost 150,000 people in Great Britain and Ireland.

It currently operates 238 lifeboat stations across Great Britain and Ireland.

It is funded fully from public donations and fundraising, with most of the members of its lifeboat crews unpaid volunteers.

In Wales, RNLI lifeboats have been launched over 47,000 times over the past 200 years – saving around 13,000 lives at sea.

The Mid & West Wales area represented by Cefin Campbell – encompassing Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Gwynedd – includes a total of sixteen RNLI lifeboat stations, including - Tenby.

Speaking in the Senedd, Cefin Campbell paid tribute to the hardworking and selfless work of RNLI volunteers: “Every week, from Tenby to Fishguard, Newquay to Borth, and Aberdyfi to Abersoch, hundreds of volunteers give up their time freely to train to save lives at sea.

“When their pagers go off, even in the middle of the night or the dead of winter, those same volunteers never hesitate in responding to a shout, putting their own comfort and safety on the line to deliver others safely back to shore.

Cefin Campbell MS (right) with RNLI volunteer crew members at Borth lifeboat station, north Ceredigion.
Cefin Campbell MS (right) with RNLI volunteer crew members at Borth lifeboat station, north Ceredigion. (Pic supplied)

“I’d therefore like to use the opportunity presented by this two-hundredth anniversary to record my thanks, for the service given by RNLI volunteers past and present, and my gratitude to the families and communities who support them.”

Tributes to the RNLI were also voiced in Westminster, with Plaid Cymru’s Ben Lake MP a sponsor on a motion celebrating the 200th anniversary.

He said: “I'd like to thank the RNLI for their invaluable work along Wales' coastline all year round. We are lucky to have such incredible crews and lifeboat services here in Ceredigion – and the value and importance of this selfless work cannot be understated.

“I’d like to send out my congratulations to the charity as it reaches this important milestone, and wish them well for the future.”