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RNLI Lifeboats, VIPs and Warships

Lifeboats News Release

On Tuesday 31 May, four RNLI Lifeboats attended the solemn but spectacular Commemoration of the Centenary of the Battle of Jutland.

Providing a striking escort for the Longhope vintage lifeboat, the Thomas McCunn, three RNLI lifeboats from Longhope, Stromness and Thurso arrived in convoy and stood by in waters just off Lyness. Moored close by were the daunting Royal Navy frigate HMS Kent and German frigate Schleswig Holstein with other smaller Naval vessels also in attendance. 

This collection of vessels with Scapa Flow, the main wartime anchorage for the British Navy in the background, provided an impressive backdrop to the main ceremony which was taking place on shore at the Lyness naval cemetery on Hoy.

It was rewarding to receive a generous wave from HRH Princess Royal as she passed by the lifeboats on her way to the service.  She is a keen patron of our vintage lifeboat and the lifeboat museum at Brims.

Coxswain of Longhope lifeboat Kevin Kirkpatrick said: 'It was an honour to be part of the representatives of the RNLI at this Commemoration to the brave men who lost their lives at Jutland.'

Remembering the severe number of lives lost in this battle and seeing these naval ships here once again, was an emotional moment indeed. As we steamed back to our various stations I reflected that here are three fine lifeboats and volunteer crews whose aim is to save lives at sea.

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