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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 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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