SHE has admired the RNLI since visiting Filey as a child - now a York woman has stunned the charity by buying it a brand new lifeboat.

Sheila Foster's generosity has allowed the charity to buy its first onshore lifeboat with radar, which allows it to operate more effectively in fog.

And the £214,000 Atlantic 85 class lifeboat, called Albatross, has already saved lives on its first call-out, when it rescued two people trapped on a rocky ledge on the Welsh coast as large waves broke around them.

Miss Foster, from Haxby, said she had supported the RNLI all her life and she was very proud to see Albatross in service in Cardigan.

"Ever since I visited Filey and saw their lifeboat when I was five years old, I have had a great admiration and fondness for the RNLI," she said.

"To think that those brave volunteer crews put their own lives at risk in order to save others is truly admirable."

Cliff Griffiths, Cardigan RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, speaking during a naming ceremony and service of dedication for the boat earlier this month, thanked Miss Foster for her generous support in saving lives at sea.

"The Atlantic 85 was called into action only a few weeks after her arrival in Cardigan, taking part in a dramatic rescue off Tresaith which resulted in saving two lives," he said. "Since then, the volunteers have been kept busy responding to service calls and training."

A spokeswoman said the Atlantic 85 was the most technologically advanced inshore lifeboat. "It is the first inshore lifeboat to have radar, which means it can operate more effectively in reduced visibility." she said.

"It is also faster and bigger than its predecessor, with room for four crew members as well as more space for casualties."

Cardigan RNLI volunteers were called out on service 49 times last year, rescuing 32 people and saving seven lives.