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Staithes and Runswick RNLI lifeboat blessed at a special ceremony

Lifeboats News Release

On Wednesday afternoon (24 May), exactly 150 years to the day since the first lifeboat arrived at Runswick Bay, Staithes and Runswick current RNLI lifeboat was blessed at a ceremony beside the village’s old lifeboat house.

A crowd of 50 gathered at the Runswick balcony to greet the Pride of Leicester.  Among those present was Margaret Clark of Runswick Bay, whose great-great grandfather Andrew Clark was coxswain of the first lifeboat, Sheffield, in 1866.

Representing the modern lifeboat was its youngest crew member 19-year-old Luke Hutchinson of Staithes, helmsman Phil Williams and Richard Sykes

The blessing of the boat and station was given by the Rev. Harry Nel, a former chaplain of the lifeboat station. Neil Anderson of Runswick Bay, chairman of the station, gave a champagne toast to the crew.

On Sunday, a reception will be held at 5.30pm in Runswick Fishermen’s Institute to mark the anniversary, featuring an exhibition of historic photographs of the lifeboats and crews of Runswick Bay.

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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.

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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland