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Cullercoats RNLI lifeboat responds to 'Mayday' call during crew Halloween party

Lifeboats News Release

Cullercoats RNLI lifeboat was requested to launch at 11.20pm on Saturday (28 October) following a 'Mayday' call near Cullercoats Bay.

The Cullercoats RNLI lifeboat crew dashed from their Halloween party to answer the rescue call.


The Cullercoats RNLI lifeboat crew dashed from their Halloween party to answer the rescue call.

With a crew of four, the lifeboat launched quickly and began a search of the Cullercoats area. Due to the lack of moonlight and reduced visibility, Humber Coastguard also requested the help of Tynemouth Lifeboat, to provide assistance and extra lighting. Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade also searched from the shore.

After the initial search, the search area was expanded and both lifeboats covered the sea between St Mary’s Island and King Edward’s Bay. At 12.55am, all units were stood down with the area covered and nothing found. If anyone has any further information on this incident, please contact Humber Coastguard.

The pagers had sounded when the Cullercoats RNLI volunteer crew were attending a Halloween party, meaning an assortment of supervillains and monsters ran through Cullercoats to the lifeboat station. If you saw zombies, Dennis the Menace and the Mad Hatter sprinting passed your house, you were not dreaming. Headless Helmsman Ben Bradshaw said: ‘It was the scariest bunch of people I’ve ever seen turn up for a shout.’ The crew are used to running out of events. Back in June, Ben’s wedding was interrupted during the speeches when a ‘shout’ occurred.

All of the crew members at Cullercoats are volunteers, as are 95% of the wider RNLI charity. Each crew member carries a pager, which alerts them to a ‘shout,’ and is willing to respond at any hour of the day or night with the sole purpose of saving lives at sea.

Media contacts:

For more information, please contact Anna Heslop, of Cullercoats RNLI, on

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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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