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When his pager sounded an RNLI crewman forgot about his wedding

Lifeboats News Release

A volunteer crewman with the RNLI has recalled how he forgot about his wedding because he was so busy searching for a missing person.

Dan Holland was called out during the night on the search, just hours before his wedding, and only managed to grab a little sleep before his big day.

Now, Dan, 38, has thrown his backing behind the RNLI’s annual Mayday fundraising event and he urged the public to remember that the charity’s volunteer crews have to drop everything when their pager sounds.

Dan joined the RNLI at Kessock nine years ago and in 2011 he married Erica at Cawdor Church, Cawdor, Nairn. The couple now have a two-year-old child, Malin, and live in Ullapool.

He and his fellow crew members searched the River Ness for three-and-a-half-hours looking for a missing person until the early hours on 17 June, 2011. It was only when the crew had completed the search and Dan was back on dry land that someone reminded him he was due to get married later that day, so he better get back home to bed!

Returning home as it was getting light, Dan went to bed and rose three hours later for his wedding.

Dan said: ‘When the pager beeped, I didn’t think twice before dashing straight to the lifeboat station. Like all of the RNLI’s volunteer crew members, I know that when the pager beeps you have to stop whatever you’re doing to go and save lives at sea.

‘While we were out searching for the missing person, the fact that I was getting married later that day didn’t even enter my head. In fact, it was only when we returned to the station and one of the guys reminded me that I was getting married in a few hours that I went home again to try and get some sleep!’

Every day is Mayday for the RNLI’s lifeboat crews, who are specially-trained volunteers, on-call 24/7 to save lives at sea. Whatever the weather, day or night, they are ready to drop everything and launch the lifeboats to rescue anyone in danger at sea around the coast. But, as a charity, the lifesaving service they provide is only possible thanks to the generous support of the public.

Many of this year’s Mayday fundraising events in Scotland have a yellow welly theme in a nod to the yellow wellies – an iconic and essential piece of lifesaving kit worn by crews. The money raised could fund anything from crew training and lifeboats, to vital equipment like wellies and lifejackets.

To donate, visit or text Mayday to 70300 to donate £3. To join in on social media, use the hashtag #MaydayEveryday.

Pictures: Dan at Kessock lifeboat station, and Dan and his wife Erica on their wedding day.

RNLI media contacts:

Richard Smith, RNLI Public Relations Manager Scotland on 01738 642956, 07786 668903 or

Henry Weaver, RNLI Press Officer for Scotland, 01738 642946, 07771 943026,

RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789.

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 Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 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