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RNLI Longhope Lifeboat remember the crew lost on HMS Vanguard

Lifeboats News Release

A poignant moment on the grey cold waters of Scapa Flow

RNLI Longhope lifeboat crewmember paying his last respects at the wreck site of HMS Vanguard

RNLI/Mary Harris

RNLI Longhope lifeboat volunteer crewmember paying his last respects

Today 9 July 2017, RNLI Longhope lifeboat attended a significant commemorative and wreath-laying service over the wreck site of HMS Vanguard.

A hundred years ago, this Dreadnought battleship suddenly sank in Scapa Flow after a series of devastating internal explosions and 845 men tragically lost their lives.

Also in attendance at the service were descendants from the men who died, with Royal Navy vessels HMS Dasher and HMS Pursuer, RN divers from HM Naval Base, survey divers from MV Huskyan, RNLI Stromness lifeboat and various other vessels.

The combined team of divers changed the White Ensign flag that is attached to the wreck, which must have been a highly emotive task, presenting the recovered one to the people of Orkney.

Longhope lifeboat then escorted the naval vessels to Lyness where a service was held at the Royal Naval Cemetery.


The Last Post being played on Royal Naval vessel HMS Dasher

RNLI/Mary Harris

The Last Post being played on HMS Dasher
RNLI Longhope lifeboat escorting naval vessels to Lyness

RNLI/Mary Harris

RNLI Longhope lifeboat escorting naval vessels to Lyness

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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