RNLI Lifeboats, VIPs and Warships
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 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, in a normal year, 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.