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RNLI Seahouses lifeboat coxswain retires after 38 years of loyal service

Lifeboats News Release

Members of Seahouses RNLI Lifeboat Station Operations Team met at the Boathouse on Friday 31 March, to say farewell to their full-time Coxswain/Mechanic John Hanvey, who retired after 38 years of loyal service to the charity.

L to R – Ian Clayton, Lifeboat Operations Manager, Mechanic Ian Fisher, Deputy Launch Authority Colin Banks, retiring Cox/Mechanic John Hanvey, Mechanic Neil Calvert and Emergency Coxswain Eric Stanwix

RNLI/Ian Clayton

The attached photograph shows the Station Operations Team bidding him farewell.

John joined the crew at the age of 17, and later was appointed volunteer 2nd mechanic, before becoming the full-time mechanic in 2002. In 2005 he became full-time Coxswain/Mechanic. His pride in keeping the all-weather lifeboat RNLB Grace Darling in immaculate condition, attracted much praise and comment from the many visitors to the station.

His ability to engage with the public, provide tours and talks to school and group visits, made him a tremendous asset to the station. His knowledge of the treacherous areas around the Farne Islands was invaluable, as were his technical skills. His calm and good judgement, made him an ideal man for the job. John will leave a very large gap to fill.

John marks the end of a family connection with the RNLI. John’s father passed away in December 2016, and had served the RNLI for an amazing 65 years, latterly as Chairman of the station management committee up to his death. It is hoped that after a few months break, John may yet return as a volunteer crewman.

RNLI Media contacts

For more information please contact Ian Clayton, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on: 07981 069177.

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

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