Salcombe RNLI celebrate 150 years of lifesaving
With a thank you, a Royal visit and a Church service, RNLI Salcombe brought to a close a yearlong celebration of 150 years commitment and sacrifice to the town and surrounding coastline.
On Friday, under the cover of a large marquee Salcombe Rugby Football Club opened its doors to allow the Lifeboat Fundraising Crew to say thank you to the local community and families, for their constant support not just in raising funds but with their forbearance for the disruption to everyday life put on hold when the pager goes off.
Saturday, the actual 150th birthday, saw the town and its close neighbour Kingsbridge honoured with a visit from His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent.
On a very bright and sunny morning in Kingsbridge, and after meeting and talking with many local dignitaries His Royal Highness unveiled a sculpture, by sculptor Jim Martin depicting the very first Salcombe lifeboat, the Rescue, which was launched from Dodbrooke Quay in Kingsbridge 150 years ago.
Onboard Salcombe’s all-weather lifeboat, The Baltic Exchange III, HRH Duke of Kent reviewed a fleet of old and new lifeboats with HMS Magpie heading the fleet that also included a rowing gig, Salcombe Yacht Club cadets in safety boats and a number of private launches and yachts.
This was followed by HRH the Duke of Kent unveiling a twin sculpture in Salcombe, again by sculptor Jim Martin, but depicting the current Salcombe Lifeboat The Baltic Exchange III, followed by private meetings with volunteer crew and members of the fundraising crew and supporters.
Holy Trinity Church, Salcombe was full for a Service of Celebration for Salcombe RNLI on Sunday morning, led by Father Daniel French and music from The Britannia Royal Navel College Volunteer Band and the Salcombe Community Gospel Choir.
The Service was followed by a parade through the town to the War memorial for a short service of re-dedication of the memorial to those who perished on the 27 October 1916.
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.