Bude RNLI volunteer crew along with the D-class inshore lifeboat George Bird and the RNLI Rescue Water Craft (RWC) attended the annual Blessing of the Sea service, in front of the old lifeboat house at Bude sea lock, on Sunday 14th July.
Alongside the Bude RNLI volunteers stood the Coastguard Rescue team, the two organisations often working closely together when assisting casualties.
A large crowd gathered, in the lovely summer weather, for the traditional service to give thanks and acknowledge the importance of the sea. Thanks were given to the RNLI lifeboat volunteers and fundraisers, the Coastguard Rescue team and RNLI beach lifeguards for their role in protecting and helping everyone who uses the sea and coastline, whether that be for work or pleasure. Thanks and prayers were also given for all the organisations and individuals who are working hard to protect and repair the damage to our oceans.
Bude Town Band and St Michael's church choir led the congregation in hymns and songs of worship. A member of the Coastguard Rescue team gave a reading, followed by a reading from volunteer lifeboat crew member James Lewis Bale. Revd Barnes of St Michael's church then gave a short sermon. Revd Barnes blessed the sea, the lifeboat volunteers, coast guard rescue team as well as the wider congregation before moving on to bless the RNLI charity inshore lifeboat
George Bird and the RNLI Rescue Water Craft (RWC).
In a fitting end to the service the crowd watched as the D class inshore lifeboat,
George Bird, and the Rescue Water Craft left the lock gates and continued out to sea where a flare was released from the RNLI charity lifeboat.
Bude volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager, Chris Wilson said: 'On behalf of all the RNLI lifeboat volunteers at Bude I'd like to thank Reverend Barnes along with the choir and congregation of St Michael's church for organising the Blessing of the Sea service. As the summer holidays are approaching, and the number of people using the sea increases, the service is a reminder of not only the power of the sea but the dedication of the RNLI volunteers who are on call 24 hours a day, every day of the year. To echo the words of Father Barnes we hope that everyone who comes to our coastline, whether they are locals or holidaymakers, has a safe, enjoyable time and respects the water.'
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.
Learn more about the RNLI
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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries
Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.