150 years of saving lives at sea by Falmouth RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews will

Lifeboats News Release

The new book entitled “Falmouth Lifeboat - 150 years of saving lives at sea 1867–2017” will be launched at the Falmouth Bookseller book shop in Church Street, Falmouth on Friday 26 May at 2pm to help mark Falmouth Lifeboat Station’s 150th Anniversary.

RNLI/Simon Culliford

Produced by Simon Culliford, Falmouth RNLI Volunteer Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer and co-written with David Barnicoat, Master Mariner and retired Falmouth pilot, the book celebrates the people and the lifeboats that are part of the history of Falmouth Lifeboat Station. All the station’s RNLI silver and bronze gallantry medal services are described as well as some of the more notable lifeboat launches including the Darlwyne disaster in 1966 and the Ben Asdale incident in 1978. Extensive use of photographs has been made throughout the book.

David said: ‘It is an honour for me to have contributed to this book in the 150th anniversary year. Many of the lifeboatmen mentioned in the book are known to me especially those from the 1950’s and 1960’s. I hope that Simon and I have done the Falmouth Lifeboat Station proud.’

Simon said: ‘Falmouth Lifeboat Station has an interesting and varied history and researching it has been an enjoyable and rewarding experience. I am grateful to David for agreeing to co-write the book with me and like him, I hope that it is seen as fitting tribute to the selfless and dedicated Falmouth RNLI volunteers.’

Profits from the sale of the 208 page book will go to the Falmouth RNLI Appeal, launched in March of this year to raise £100,000 towards the cost of alterations and improvements needed at the station to accommodate a new Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat.

Notes to editors

· Falmouth’s first lifeboat, the City of Gloucester, arrived in the port on 13 April 1867 and since that time, Falmouth lifeboats have launched on service over 2,500 times, saving 440 lives.

· The RNLI has awarded one silver and four bronze gallantry medals to Falmouth lifeboat crew members since the station’s establishment in 1867. The last medal awarded was a bronze medal to Coxswain Mark Pollard for his part in the service to the Galina in November 2005.

· David Barnicoat, a Master Mariner and born in Falmouth, was Falmouth’s longest serving pilot when he retired in 2010 after 35 years of service. During his pilotage career he handled many of the world’s largest ships, tankers, oil rigs, cruise ships and tall ships. At the age of 18 he was in the Falmouth lifeboat crew when the lifeboat was called out to search for bodies after the pleasure boat Darlwyne foundered off Dodman Point in 1966 with the loss of 31 lives. He was awarded the RNLI’s Vellum Service Certificate in 1985 when the lifeboat went to the aid of the trawler St Simeon sinking 26 miles south of Falmouth in a violent easterly storm. David was a Deputy Launching Authority and Assistant Honorary Secretary of the station from 1981–1995. He also writes a weekly shipping page in the Falmouth Packet newspaper which he has done for 30 years.

· Simon Culliford was educated at Falmouth Grammar School, Cornwall Technical College and Ealing School of Photography where he awarded a Diploma in Professional Photography. He worked at Falmouth School of Art and its various name changes - Falmouth College of Art and Design; Falmouth College of Arts and University College Falmouth for 36 years starting as a photographic technician and was Head of Photography Centre at the Tremough campus when he retired in 2011. He started taking photographs for Falmouth RNLI 30 years ago and became the station’s volunteer lifeboat press officer in 2002 and then stepped down to the deputy role in 2008. Simon is also a volunteer boat guide at the station and has also acted as a volunteer RNLI photographer on occasions. He has produced the Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival Programme Book for a number of years.

· Simon and David will be at the book launch with Falmouth RNLI Coxswain Jon Blakeston and a number of crew members.

· The attached photo is of the book’s front cover.

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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