View as PDF

Celebrating over thirty years of dedicated voluntary service at Silloth RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

Silloth RNLI lifeboat station celebrated on Friday 16 November 2018, one of their most loved and respected volunteers’ service, which surpasses thirty years.

RNLI/Julie Emary

Senior Helm Steve Henderson receives his award from the Mayor of Allerdale John Crouch

Senior Helmsman Steven Henderson was presented with his medal, on this special occasion by the Mayor of Allerdale, John Crouch.

Steve was accepted into the RNLI at Silloth less than a month after his seventeenth birthday and apart from a short break in the 1990’s has been with the RNLI ever since.

Steve has been called out on emergencies countless times and has received many accolades, letters of thanks and awards from the RNLI for the rescues in which he has been involved.

In 2004 Andrew Ashton, the Divisional Inspector of Lifeboats for the RNLI’s North Division, chose Steve to represent the North of England as one of six men selected from around Britain to act as a Guard of Honour for Her Majesty the Queen, when she opened the Lifeboat College at Poole in Dorset.

With experience to call-outs in all weathers, Steve has guided the Silloth RNLI inshore lifeboat to its limits in gale force seas; he has instilled confidence in the crew and safely negotiated the boat through the constantly changing and treacherous Solway Firth, while rescuing people from a huge variety of situations.

Although remaining as the Senior Helm for the RNLI lifeboat, Steve has now also taken on the role of Station Training Assessor - passing on his knowledge and a lifetime of seamanship skills at Silloth, for the young and upcoming crew.

Recently staring in Saving Lives at Sea on BBC 2, when Steve and the crew rescued a member of the public trapped on the roof of her car, when surrounded by sea; the video of which has achieved worldwide coverage. When asked by the television team, what was the most scary thing he has done, he replied ‘being interviewed by you’.

Over fifty people were at the celebration for Steve’s incredible achievement, where the Lifeboat Operations Manager, Eddie Studholme spoke warmly and emotionally of his friend and colleague, before the Mayor made the presentation to Steve. Also there with Steve, was his wife Jen and daughter Erin and son Saul, who have obviously been a huge support to him over the years of his voluntary service in the RNLI.

RNLI/Julie Emary

Silloth RNLI lifeboat crew with John Crouch, Mayor of Allerdale

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

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