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Cullercoats RNLI Helmsman’s wedding reception interrupted for rescue

Lifeboats News Release

The wedding reception of Cullercoats RNLI helmsman Ben Bradshaw and his new wife Kim was interrupted on Saturday (17 June) when the volunteer crews’ pagers summoned them to launch their lifeboat.

Ben and Kim Bradshaw

RNLI/Michael Scott

Ben and Kim Bradshaw

Humber Coastguard requested the launch of Cullercoats RNLI lifeboat at 3.23pm, following a call about a broken down boat which had suffered engine failure 2 miles east of St Mary’s Lighthouse.

At the time of the pager alert, the wedding guests were just about to be served their meal and enjoy the speeches from the groom and best man at a nearby hotel. However, adhering to great RNLI values and traditions, 3 crew members immediately made their way from the reception party to the lifeboat station and were ready to launch within minutes.

Once at the stricken boat, which was drifting without power because of mechanical and electric failure, the lifeboat secured a tow rope and brought it back to the marina in the river Tyne. The returning lifeboat could be seen by all the guests from the Grand Hotel in Tynemouth from where the reception was held.

Some 90 minutes later the crew returned to the hotel to a rousing round of applause from the party and back to their roast beef dinner, which had been well earned. The well anticipated speeches by the groom Ben Bradshaw and best man Scott Jones were delayed until the volunteer crew returned, so nothing was missed.

Ben said: ‘We had a wonderful day, but unfortunately the pagers went off right as the guests were about to eat. The three crew who left didn’t hesitate to go and help in rescuing the people on that boat. We waited until they got back for the speeches, so I had another 90 minutes of nerves to wait before I could finally get it over with, but I’m glad they made it back in time to enjoy the rest of the reception.’

RNLI Media Contacts: For more information please telephone Michael Scott, volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07906 632598 or Alison Levett, RNLI Public Relations Manger North 07786 668912 or alison_levett@rnli.org or contact RNLI Public Relations 01202 336789​​​​

Wedding Guests: Crew Adam Wiseman (L) and Grahame Wood

RNLI/Michael Scott

Wedding Guests: Crew Adam Wiseman (L) and Grahame Wood
View from the hotel where wedding reception was held

RNLI/Michael Scott

View from the hotel where wedding reception was held
Wedding Flowers

RNLI/Michael Scott

Wedding Flowers

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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

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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

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