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Huge Turnout for Staithes RNLI former crewman

Lifeboats News Release

One of the district’s biggest funerals in recent memory was seen on Friday as Staithes said goodbye to former lifeboatman Willie Wright.

More than 400 crowded into St. Hilda’s, Hinderwell including seafaring friends and RNLI colleagues from up and down the North East coast. Other mourners had to be left outside in the churchyard.

The cortege began its journey on Staithes harbour front where a full complement of Staithes and Runswick RNLI provided a guard of honour and moved slowly through the village. It was led by David Porritt, the station’s Launch Operations Manager, carrying the standard of the RNLI.

The coffin, draped in the flag of the RNLI, was carried into St. Hilda's by past and present members of Staithes and Runswick RNLI, where Willie Wright was a crewman for 17 years. It was given a second guard of honour as it entered the church by RNLI members and saluted by a troop of H.M. Coastguard.

In his address, the Rev. Alan Coates, the station chaplain, said the huge attendance showed exactly how deeply Willie’s friends felt about him. 'Once you met Willie you never forgot him. He was a man of many parts with a diversity of interests - though they all had a strong connection with his beloved Staithes . There’ll never be another Willie Wright and we are all the poorer for his passing. Staithes has lost a true son.'

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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.

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