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Former Whitby RNLI lifeboatman 'Frammy' turns 90

Lifeboats News Release

The oldest remaining crew member of Whitby RNLI who served 24 years on the lifeboat from 1951 to 1975 has just celebrated his 90th birthday.

RNLI/Ceri Oakes

Ronnie Frampton AKA Frammy celebrating his birthday in the Black Horse

84 lives were saved during this period by the volunteer crew at Whitby RNLI.

Ronnie Frampton, known locally as ‘Frammy’ joined the lifeboat aged 23 as a crew member, before going on to be a bowman for over six years, assistant mechanic for two and a half years and 2nd Coxswain for eight months.

When Mr Frampton, a local fisherman, first joined the lifeboat in 1951 it was on the traditional rowing lifeboat Mary Ellen Robson, the last active pulling lifeboat in the country.

The lifeboat was stationed near the West Pier until 1957, the station is now the local RNLI museum, where the rowing boat is still on display next to the RNLI shop.

Richard Dowson, Station Mechanic at Whitby said: ‘Frammy is a real character, the stories he has to tell about being on the lifeboat all those years ago are fascinating. They really make us appreciate the equipment we have today to keep us safe! It’s hard to imagine a crew rowing out in rough seas to a rescue but they did, and many lives were saved due to their bravery. Myself and all the crew would like to wish Frammy a very happy 90th birthday.’

The crew joined Mr Frampton’s friends and family at the football club to celebrate the occasion with a party.

RNLI Media contacts

For more information contact Lifeboat Press Officer Ceri Oakes on 07813359428 or at

RNLI/Ceri Oakes

Ronnie Frampton AKA 'Frammy' (second right) in the Mission to Seafarers after a shout

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 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