Portrush Lifeboat Teams say Goodbye to a true legend.

Lifeboats News Release

Portrush Lifeboat Teams gathered together on Friday 28th February along with family and friends from other Lifeboat Crews from Ireland and farther afield to say goodbye to one of their own- Anthony Chambers- Mechanic/Coxswain and Lifeboat crew member for over 40 years.

RNLI/Judy Nelson

Portrush Lifeboat crew with Anthony Chambers

Portrush Lifeboat Teams gathered together on Friday 28th February along with family and friends from other Lifeboat Crews from Ireland and farther afield to say goodbye to one of their own- Anthony Chambers- Mechanic/Coxswain and Lifeboat crew member for over 40 years.

The Chambers family have been linked to Portrush Lifeboat Station for generations, Anthony’s father Gilbert and brother, Derek were both mechanics on the Lifeboat before him, and Anthony’s two nephews, Jason and Karl, are following the family tradition of being volunteer crew and an integral part of Portrush Lifeboat Station

But Friday night was all about Anthony, celebrating his career, his retirement, remembering great rescues and the difference he has made to so many people.

Anthony’s most memorable and heroic ‘shout’ was the rescue of two young boys from a cave in August 2009 against a rising tide.

Part of the account of the rescue stated: -

‘Anthony fought against the elements in almost total darkness, being smashed against the cave wall…. rescuing the boys one by one. It took him 30 minutes to complete the difficult and treacherous return swim twice with the rising tide against him’

As a result, Anthony was presented with a bronze medal for gallantry in May 2010 by HRH Prince Michael of Kent at the Barbican in London, and fellow crew members with him on that night were presented with a Letter of Thanks from the RNLI.

This was only one example of his bravery and on Friday night, the Lifeboat Crew, Fundraising Crew and friends gathered in Portrush Yacht Club to celebrate, present gifts and reminisce of rescues gone by.

It was a testament to Anthony’s popularity that Portrush Yacht Club was packed to capacity with ex -crew members, representatives from Lough Swilly, Red Bay, Larne, Ballyglass, Portpatrick and Donaghadee lifeboat Stations

It was a fabulous opportunity for Anthony’s family, his wife Maryna, son Alistair and stepdaughter Louise to meet so many people and hear of his many exploits.

The formal part of the evening was introduced by MC and fellow Lifeboat Crew member Tim Nelson. Volunteer Coxswain Des Austin presented gifts on behalf of the crew and Keith Gilmore Lifeboat Operations Manager presented a Vellum and letter of thanks from Mark Dowie the Chief Executive of the RNLI.

John Martin from the Fundraising team also presented gifts on behalf of the team. Shirley Austin, Des’s wife presented Anthony’s wife Maryna with flowers on behalf of the crew.

Beni McAllister Honorary Secretary of Portrush Yacht Club presented Anthony with a Life membership of the club in recognition of the Lifeboat Stations close link with the club

Anthony took to the floor to thank everyone for the gifts and good wishes. He went on to wish the current crew well and also the new Coxswain/ Mechanic -Dave Robinson who takes over the helm.

With the formalities concluded the night continued with great food provided by Portrush Yacht Club and dancing to Shamie Heaney.


RNLI/Judy Nelson

Volunteer Coxs presenting Anthony with a gift from crew

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.

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