Parade of sail celebrates Weymouth RNLI lifeboat stations 150th anniversary

Lifeboats News Release

Sunday the 28th July. The sun shone in a clear blue sky, the boats came in their hundreds and the people in their thousands to witness the parade of sail to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Weymouth RNLI lifeboat station.

Weymouth lifeboat leading the parade of sail into Weymouth harbour

RNLI/Ken Francis

Weymouth lifeboat Ernest and Mabel

At the strike of 11 o'clock the sound of a cannons roar from the Nothe Fort started the Parade of sail.

The Parade was led by Weymouth's RNLI Severn class all-weather lifeboat 'Ernest and Mabel' and ten other lifeboats both current and historic.

Behind the lifeboats came a fleet of hundreds of craft of all shapes and sizes. From luxury cabin cruisers to the small work boats, from the fast to the slow, from the huge top sail schooner HMS Pickle to the tiny rowing gigs of Weymouth and Portland, from yachts and motor boats of all sizes, they all came to join in the celebrations for Weymouth RNLI lifeboat station.

Every few seconds for an hour and 20 minutes the parade slowly made its way past the cargo stage where the salute of the parade was taken by the Lord Lieutenant of Dorset Angus Campbell and Weymouth Town Mayor Graham Winter.

Former Weymouth lifeboat Frank Spiller Locke came to join in the parade of sail

RNLI/Ken Francis

Former Weymouth lifeboat Frank Spiller Locke
Historic Motor & Sail Top sail Scooner HMS Pickle the famous ship that brought the news back to England of the victory at the battle of Tralfaga came to Weymouth to join in the parade of sail

RNLI/Ken Francis

HMS Pickle taking the salute of the parade
Right to left; LOM Malcolm Wright, Lord Lieutenant of Dorset Angus Canbell, Weymouth Town Mayor Gramham Winter with Mayoress Mary Winter

RNLI/Ken Francis

The group that took the salute of the parade of sail

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 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.

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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.