Tributes paid to Lowestoft RNLI Lifeboat Management Committee Chairman

Lifeboats News Release

Tributes have been paid to Michael Barlow, a man with an extensive boating background, who led the lifeboat management team at Lowestoft for a number of years before his recent death.

Michael Barlow at the naming ceremony for Shannon class lifeboat 13-05 'Patsy Knight'

Simon Barlow

Michael Barlow at the naming ceremony for Shannon class lifeboat 13-05 'Patsy Knight'

Michael Barlow passed away on 10 October 2019 aged 80 leaving two children - Simon and Tracey. He was aboard his motor yacht ‘Galmara’ on which he had undertaken a significant refit over the last four years, since he bought it in 2015. He had intended to take it to the Mediterranean to live aboard for the rest of his life, but sadly - before he could realise his dream - he was overwhelmed by the prostate cancer that he had fought for so many years.

Mr. Barlow’s son Simon and daughter Tracey paid tribute to their Father’s passion for boats. Simon said, “Dad had always loved and owned boats. He was also a great supporter of the RNLI and was proud to have been invited to Chair the management committee of his local lifeboat station - a role he held for five years, during which time he oversaw the naming ceremony of the new Lowestoft lifeboat ‘Patsy Knight’.

Dad owned a number of boats ranging from broads cruisers to an old fishing trawler named ‘Omar Khayyám’, which he had begun to convert to live aboard. But then he bought the boat, for which he will doubtless be most remembered - ‘Ocean Pirate’ a powerful motor yacht that he re-entered in the Round Britain Race in 2008 after it had participated in the original race in 1969. He was proud of the fact that Prince Philip had been aboard Ocean Pirate on more than one occasion in the past when visiting Lowestoft and had sent a letter of support which was framed and which accompanied the crew of four on the 1,600 mile journey around the coastline of the United Kingdom. A legacy of Ocean Pirate still lives on in ‘Galmara’ as the engines are now in that boat.”

Lifeboat Operations Manager Paul Carter said, “It was an honour to be part of the crew on the Round Britain race with Mike. When it came to finding a new chairman for the Lifeboat Management Committee he was an obvious choice and fulfilled the role with commitment and enthusiasm. He will be sadly missed.”

Michael Barlow’s funeral service will take place at 12.30pm on 31 October 2019, at St. Margaret’s Church, 147 Hollingsworth Road, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR32 4BW. Attendees at the funeral are asked to “wear something yellow.” The family request that donations instead of flowers be made to Prostate Cancer UK, or the RNLI Lowestoft. Further details are available on the website michael-barlow.muchloved.com

The Ocean Pirate taking part in the Round Britain race in 2008

Courtesy of Simon Barlow

The Ocean Pirate taking part in the Round Britain race in 2008
Michael Barlow at the helm of Ocean Pirate

Courtesy of Simon Barlow

Michael Barlow at the helm of Ocean Pirate
Michael Barlow's motor yacht 'Galmara'

Simon Barlow

Michael Barlow's motor yacht 'Galmara'

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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.

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