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Family connection to Dungeness RNLI sparks generous donation to the charity

Lifeboats News Release

On Friday 20 August, Dungeness RNLI station was visited by Claire Hitchcock, an RNLI Face-to-Face volunteer and avid supporter of the RNLI, with a particular affection for Dungeness station.

A man and two woman stand in front of the lifeboat and a woman is handing a cheque to the man

Judith Richardson

Claire handing the cheque to Lifeboat Operations Manager Roger Gillett

Claire visited the station on Friday along with her colleague Olivia Whittle, Senior Face-to-Face Fundraiser, where she was greeted by Lifeboat Operations Manager, Roger Gillett and Coxswain Stuart Adams.

Claire’s connection to the RNLI is a longstanding one, with her mother and aunt being relatives of the Tart family and growing up in the nearby town of Lydd. The Tarts were, and still are, a local Dungeness fishing family who have provided many Coxswains and crew to the station for decades.

One member of Claire’s family, Frank Tart, had created a model of one of Dungeness’ earlier lifeboats, the Charles Cooper Henderson which Claire brought to the station to show the existing crew.

Lifeboat Operations Manager, Roger Gillett, says: ‘It was a pleasure to meet Claire today for her special visit. Dungeness Lifeboat Station has a rich history and the Tart family paid a key part in it. We were particularly grateful that she took the time to bring the model boat for us to admire. We gratefully accept Claire’s donation to our station which will be used to continue our lifesaving work.’

Notes to editors

· Dungeness lifeboat station has been operating since 1826. Information on the Charles Cooper Henderson and much more can be found at

· Dungeness’ Shannon-class lifeboat was the first Shannon lifeboat in the fleet and came to station in 2014.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Sarah Beck, Deputy RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07956 615429 or [email protected] or Paul Dunt, RNLI Regional Media Officer on 07785 296252 or RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789.

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.