RNLI couple celebrate 10th wedding anniversary, on a lifeboat
A lifeboat crew couple from Wales have returned to the RNLI College in Poole where they first met, to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary.
On Saturday 4 March Wil and Sian Stockford, who were staying at the RNLI College in Poole, were invited to join a training exercise on a lifeboat in honour of their special day and their commitment to the charity. Wil, who is on the crew at Aberdovey RNLI and a mechanic for the station, said ‘The RNLI has played a huge part in both mine and Sian’s lives; it led to us getting together.’ They revisited Old Harry Rocks, where they did a lot of their training together on the crew course, and got to experience the charity’s newest all-weather lifeboat class: the Shannon.
The RNLI couple first met on a lifeboat crew course in August 2005, which Wil went on when a place came up last minute. Put in the same group, Wil (who was at the time on Barmouth RNLI’s crew) and Sian (who was on the crew at RNLI Borth) quickly found they made a good team. Wil said ‘We supported each other on the course and found we made a good team. Although, we did get a bit competitive with the exams at the end of the course: Sian got 100% and I got 98%, I’ve never lived it down!’
The couple’s connection to the RNLI runs in both their families. Wil’s grandfather was also RNLI lifeboat crew, Wil’s mum is the Lifeboat Press Officer for Barmouth RNLI, and in 1971, Wil’s dad was one of three to receive the first RNLI Silver Medal given to an inshore crew, and Sian and her mum were the first mother and daughter crew on an inshore lifeboat. Wil and Sian have two sons, Arthur (10), and Eric (7) who are both big fans of the RNLI and are members of Storm Force, the charity’s junior membership.
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For more information, please contact Jennifer Clough, RNLI Press Officer, on 01202 336194 or 07393 763780 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland