Holidaymakers and locals turn out for the Annual Lifeboat Service
The showery weather kept the numbers down at this year’s 59th Annual Lifeboat Service (Sunday, 11 August) on the quay at Wells, although the showers relented for the service. An estimated 300 people attended; normally there are over a thousand.
A two-minute silence was held before the service began in memory of Jean Court who recently passed away. Jean was a founder member of the Guild, which was started fifty years ago, and had been its Chair for many years.
Jean’s partner, former Coxswain David Cox, instigated The Annual Lifeboat service fifty-nine years ago in 1960. The 93 year old was aboard the lifeboat, and has been to all the lifeboat services since.
The lifeboat chaplain, the Reverend Neil Woodruff, led the service and the Minister of Wells Methodist Church, the Reverend Clifford Shanganya, gave the address from on board the all-weather lifeboat Doris M Mann of Ampthill. In his address he said he had grown to love the sea, even though he had been brought up inland, and had come to respect it. The theme of his sermon was; even when in danger “Don’t panic”, as the disciples did when caught in a storm on The Sea of Galilee and Jesus calmed the sea. He said, “Don’t panic, Jesus is in control”
Coxswain Nicky King read the fishermen’s version of the 23rdPsalm and Deputy Second Coxswain Martin Emerson and Crewmember Jim Heasman read the lessons.
The traditional seafarers’ hymns were accompanied by the Fakenham Town Band and led by the Churches Together choir. The crew of the inshore lifeboat and Guild members took the collection which came to £1135.00 and will go to lifeboat funds. Then the Mersey Class all-weather lifeboat did a circuit of the harboursounding her siren and boats, moored on the quay and in the harbour, responded as the lifeboat returned to the boathouse.
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, in a normal year, 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.