Strong winds and heavy rain failed to spoil the fun as Morecambe’s RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew celebrated their 50th Birthday Party and Open Day on 20th August 2016.
The event was held at the Hovercraft Station and those members of the public, including the Mayor and Mayoress, who braved the elements to give their support had the opportunity to meet members of the crew, their colleagues from HM Coastguard and the Maritime Volunteer Service, and get up close and personal with the craft and equipment that they use; before watching a mock rescue.
As well as enjoying traditional games and watching a rain lashed truck-pull competition, young and old alike were entertained by the Virgin Media Circus group and the Bay Radio Roadshow.
Activities and displays included Macadams Rescue, RNLI Sea Safety and Morecambe Sailing Club. There was also a display of over 100 birthday cards made by local children who have visited the lifeboat station in recent months.
One of the day’s highlights was the presentation of a long service award made by Lifeboat Operations Manager Kevin Jackson to volunteer fundraiser Tony Martin; in recognition of his dedication to the Charity for over 30 years.
Senior Hovercraft Commander, Harry Roberts MBE, also received a 30 year service award at a private ceremony later in the day.
A further highlight was the attendance of past lifeboat crew members; most notably founder crew member Keith Willacy, Morecambe’s most decorated lifeboatman, who was able to regale the current generation with memories of when the inshore lifeboat arrived in a bag to be inflated on station, was launched and recovered by hand and personal protective equipment consisted of a lifejacket, sou’wester and waders.
The day’s events came to a natural, and fitting, conclusion when the inshore lifeboat was launched to attend a real call-out; going to the aid of a capsized catamaran near Arnside.
Deputy Launching Authority Colin Midwinter, said ‘The day was a great success in spite of the horrendous weather conditions and we would like to thank all those members of the public who came. We also want to thank all the organisations who supported us; especially Macadams Rescue, Virgin Media, Bay Radio and our local Police Cadets; without whom the day would not have been the success it was.’
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.
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 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.