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Support from on high for Margate’s RNLI lifeboat crew

About the author

Image of Peter Barker

Peter Barker
Volunteer lifeboat press officer

Lifeboats News Release

  • Date:
  • Author: Peter Barker

The crew of Margate's RNLI lifeboats have a new supporter watching over them with the appointment of an honorary chaplain.

Not satisfied with just providing a spiritual presence at special occasions however, The Reverend Brian Sharp carries a crew call-out pager to think of and pray for the crew and those in distress when it really matters, and when they face their greatest danger.

The Parish Church of St John the Baptist in Margate has long been part of the RNLI team at Margate and earlier this year, the role carried out by Reverend Brian Sharp the vicar of St John’s was formally recognised with his appointment as honorary chaplain.

Reverend Sharp felt however that his services may perhaps most be needed when the lifeboats were out on a call and as the sound of the maroons is now a thing of the past it was only right that he should have a crew pager to keep in touch. He now turns-out day and night, day job permitting, to ensure that perhaps the ultimate supporter a lifeboat crew can have is represented.

Peter Barker, deputy launching authority Margate lifeboat said: "Brian has always been a friend to the station but this adds a new dimension to his duties. We recently had a call on a Sunday evening and his pager went off while he was 'at work' in the pulpit - he tells us his flock are familiar with the sound of it now, and following the service he attended the station. It was quite a sight to see him in his Cassock and Brian's presence brings a welcome sense of calm to what on occasions can be tense and very human situations".

Notes to editors
• Margate lifeboat station has been operating since 1860. To learn more about the lifeboat station go to www.rnli.org.uk/margate  

RNLI media contacts
• Peter Barker, RNLI Margate Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer
Tel: 07974 064304, email: tugsrus@btinternet.com
• Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East)
0207 6207426 / 07785 296252 / tim_ash@rnli.org.uk
• Philly Byrde, RNLI Press Officer (London/East/South East)
0207 6207425 / 07786 668825 / philly_byrde@rnli.org.uk

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Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland from 237 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 180 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland