Helm's family double christening makes history at Lyme Regis
History was made at Lyme Regis lifeboat station today (Sunday) when the town’s vicar conducted a christening service for two children of an RNLI volunteer and his wife.
Six months old Lottie and five years old Millie-Rose, whose father Elliott Herbert is a lifeboat helm, were christened by the Rev Jane Skinner during a service in the boathouse with a congregation of some 70 family, friends and lifeboat crew members. It is thought to be the first time a christening service has been held at any of the town’s lifeboat stations since the lifeboat service began in Lyme Regis in 1826.
A ship’s bell, which has hung in the lifeboat station since it opened in 1997, was used as a font during the service.
The bell, from a 100,000 ton oil tanker, was presented to Fred Day, former honorary secretary at the lifeboat station, when he retired from BP. He in turn presented it to the RNLI to mark the opening of the Lyme Regis lifeboat station.
Proud dad Elliott Herbert said: 'Lifeboats and lifeboat people have been such an important part of our lives that Laura and I thought it would be appropriate, and great fun, to hold the christening at the lifeboat station surrounded by many of the people who are vital to the success of the work of the RNLI.'
The Rev Jane Skinner said: 'It was a joy to conduct the service at the lifeboat station, and it was the first time I had used a magnificent ship’s bell as a font.'
God parents to Millie-Rose are Lyme Regis lifeboat helm Murray Saunders, Oliver Mallinson, Operations Manager (Lifeboats) at RNLI headquarters in Poole, and Emma Darke, and God parents to Lottie are William Elwood, helm with the Tower lifeboat in London and crew Assessor/Trainer and Nicola Davis and Gemma Dunford.
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 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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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