MUMBLES'S lifeboat operations manager told guests how honoured he felt to accept the station's new £2.7 million lifeboat at a ceremony yesterday — which went ahead despite the absence of the guest of honour.
His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent was unable to travel to Swansea due to the foggy weather.
His role was taken by the Lord Lieutenant of West Glamorgan, Mr D Byron Lewis, who declared the station open.
Operations manager Tim Conway said: "It will be a lifesaver."
He said it had been a long wait for the Tamar class boat and the £9.5 million lifeboat station at the end of Mumbles Pier — where the ceremony took place — which was also declared open.
"It was vital that all the avenues were explored first," he said.
Mr Conway described the previous lifeboat station as an iconic building, and added: "I am sure that this new building will be similarly iconic and well-loved."
All-weather lifeboats stationed at Mumbles have launched 493 times since 1985, making 575 rescues and saving 70 lives.
As well as Mumbles, the RNLI is investing in three other lifeboat stations in Wales. The total bill will be £50 million.
Roy Barker IV is the fourth lifeboat to be funded from the legacy of Roy Barker, a farmer's son from Lincolnshire who developed a love of the sea and successful career in business and agriculture.
He moved to Jersey in 1974, where he pursued his passion for sailing and continued to admire the dedication of RNLI crew members and the support of their families.
Also addressing guests yesterday was Gerry Coad, chairman of the Mumbles lifeboat station management group, Stuart Mottershaw, executor of the Roy Barker memorial fund, RNLI trustee Sir Tim Laurence and All Saints Church vicar the Reverend Canon Keith Evans, who led the service of dedication. They thanked the other donors who had contributed to the new Mumbles station and paid tribute to the work of the Mumbles Ladies Lifeboat Guild.
"The coastline will be a safer place for everyone," said Sir Tim.