High Sheriff praises Redcar RNLI volunteers

Lifeboats News Release

The RNLI volunteers in Redcar have been praised for their work during a visit to the town’s lifeboat station by the High Sheriff of North Yorkshire.

John Furness was sworn in as the High Sheriff of North Yorkshire in March this year, and visited the Redcar lifeboat station in September to meet the volunteer crew and see the lifeboats in action.

Mr Furness said: ‘Following a visit to the Redcar station in early September of this year I was so impressed with the hours and years of voluntary service that is given to this station, and the dedication of the crew in
maintaining and crewing the lifeboat, that I wanted to return and present them with a High Sheriff’s Award.

‘The High Sheriff’s Award is a personal award that is granted “in recognition of great and valuable services to the community”.’

Mr Furness visited the lifeboat station on Wednesday 19 October with his wife Grania, to present the crew with the prestigious High Sheriff’s Award.

On receiving the award Dave Cocks, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Redcar, said: ‘We were please when the High Sheriff asked to visit us in September to see some of the work we do. And when he got back in touch to say he was going to present us with the award we felt extremely honoured.’

Mr Furness said: ‘I have been aware for many years of the wonderful work that the RNLI do in saving the lives of people in the sea and have supported the charity in small ways.

‘It was when I was on holiday in the west of Ireland this summer that, after talking to the crew of the Valentia lifeboat station in Knightstown, I felt that during my year of office as High Sheriff of North Yorkshire I must do something about the RNLI in my home county.’

The office of High Sheriff has been in existence for over 1000 years. The original ‘Shire Reeves’ were royal officials appointed to enforce the kings’ interests in the county. In particular they were responsible for the collection of taxes and to enforce law and order. They judged cases and acted as law enforcement officers. They could to summon the full military force of the county.

From 1300 their powers began to wane. The Exchequer was established to collect taxes. Justices and Assizes were established. But High Sheriffs remained responsible for issuing writs, executing sentences and hangings.
They also had to ensure the comfort and safety of high court judges.In the 19th century police, prisons and crown property were transferred away from the power of the High Sheriff and the surviving powers were codified in Sheriff’s Act 1887.

There are 55 High Sheriffs in England and Wales. It is an annual appointment. They support High Court judges whilst on circuit and support police and other law enforcement agencies.

High Sheriffs also support the emergency services, local authorities, church and faith groups, as well as voluntary organisation within the county.


Notes to editors:

  • Attached images show John Furness, High Sheriff of North Yorkshire with the
    Redcar RNLI crew, and the High Sheriff presenting his award to Dave Cocks,
    Lifeboat Operations Manager, Redcar RNLI. Credit RNLI/Dan Birkbeck
  • Redcar lifeboat station has been operating since 1802
  • Redcar currently operates a B-class lifeboat named Leicester Challenge III,
    paid for by the people of Leicester, and an IB1-class lifeboat named Eileen
    May Loach-Thomas, paid from the legacy of the late Nicolas Thomas of
  • For more news, information and images go to www.redcarlifeboat.org.uk
  • Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/redcarrnli
  • Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/RedcarRNLI

RNLI media contacts:
For more information please contact Dave Cocks, RNLI Lifeboat Operations
Manager on 07894 558 483, Alison Levett, RNLI PR Manager, North, on 01642
754828 or 07786 668912 or at alison_levett@rnli.org.uk. Alternatively,
contact Clare Hopps, RNLI Press Officer, North on 01642 754811 or 07824
518641 or at clare_hopps@rnli.org.uk, or contact RNLI Public Relations on
01202 336789; pressoffice@rnli.org.uk

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.

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Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.