Workington RNLI’s lifeboat, the Dorothy May White, is three years old this month.

Officially launched on June 24 2017, the state-of-the art vessel replaced the Sir John Fisher, which had served the Cumbrian coast for 25 years.

The £1.2 million Dorothy May White was able to take to the waves thanks to the readers of our sister titles the Times & Star and The Whitehaven News, who contributed to an appeal, which reached £142,000.

The campaign was supported by Sellafield Ltd and The Sir John Fisher Foundation also made a significant contribution.

Named after the woman who left a £1 million legacy for the new boat, the Dorothy May White has been called out numerous times to help vessels and sailors in distress in the Solway Firth and help emergency services search for missing people.

More than 150 people gathered for the naming ceremony of the Dorothy May White at the RNLI station on the Port of Workington.

The lifeboat was blessed by the station’s chaplain the Rev Steve Axtel, minister Alistair Smeaton, of the United Reformed Church and Father Paul Swarbrick, of Our Lady and St Michael’s Church.

Tim Chittenden, Workington RNLI operations manager, said: “Looking back at the first three years of her service, the Dorothy May White has done us proud.

“We are grateful to everyone who held or attended an event to help us bring the Dorothy May White to Workington or just put their hands in their pockets to help.

“Our volunteer lifeboat crew save lives and the RNLI keeps the west coast safe.”

On average, Workington RNLI respond to 20 calls and rescue 24 people a year. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the volunteer crew have been unable to carry out exercises on the Dorothy May White or its inshore lifeboat, the John F Mortimer, although it is hoped as lockdown continues to ease, they will resume later this year.

Mr Chittenden added: “We still continue to be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week for emergencies and over the last four weeks have been called out twice to aid vessels in distress.”

Meanwhile, Workington RNLI fundraisers are urging people not to forget about the organisation.

Normally, members of the fundraising committee are manning stalls at events and holding events to raise vital cash for the charity, but due to the pandemic have been forced to stop their activities.

Catherine Courtney, fundraising chairman, said: “We are limited, like everyone else, as to what we can actually do. People can still save their 5p pieces for us in Betty’s Pots and we have our collecting boats out and about too.

“Our Christmas cards – and other RNLI merchandise – is available online and if anyone would like us to collect any donation – at a safe distance – we would ask them to get in touch and we are happy to come to your door and pick them up.”

Call 01900 826700 to talk to the fundraising committee.