Penlee RNLI mark 40 years since the loss of the Solomon Browne

Lifeboats News Release

A flotilla of boats, led by Penlee RNLI assembled off the old Penlee lifeboat station at Penlee Point yesterday (Monday 30 August) to lay wreaths in memory of the 16 lives lost on the 19 December 1981.

Patch Harvey, Coxswain of the Penlee RNLI lifeboat said;

‘It was a real honour to lead the flotilla of old and current lifeboats, and other vessels out from Newlyn Harbour to the old lifeboat station at Penlee Point, and great to see so many out on the water to help us commemorate and mark what is the 40th anniversary of the loss of the Solomon Browne and her crew and those of the coaster the Union Star.

We were joined by our colleagues from Sennen Cove and The Lizard, who were also out that night 40 years ago and five old lifeboats, including two Tyne class and three Watson class lifeboats, the same class of lifeboat as the Solomon Browne. It was quite a sight to see all the lifeboats all together dressed overall with their flags and a very emotional and humbling day.’

Janet Madron, Lifeboat Management Chair and Andrew Munson, Lifeboat Operations Manager lay the wreath together from Penlee’s all weather lifeboat after the names of those lost in 1981 were read from the slipway of the old lifeboat station.

The ceremony took place at the end of the station’s first Open Day since the pandemic. The event was held outside, with visitors able to go aboard the current Penlee all weather lifeboat, see the old lifeboats up close and visit the old Penlee boathouse.

Patch said;

‘We had a steady stream of visitors, and it was really lovely to see people again, to chat, and welcome supporters and our community to the station. The crew and our fundraising volunteers all worked extremely hard on the day and beforehand to pull the event together. Their hard work certainly paid off.

A huge thank you to all the bakers who generously donated cakes and treats and everyone who donated on the day.’

Reverend Yvonne Hobson led the annual blessing of the lifeboats in Newlyn Harbour which brought the day to a close. The Mousehole Male Voice Choir lead the singing.

Notes to Editors

· Please find attached a collection of images which captured the day, credit Phil Monckton

· More information on the Penlee disaster can be found here on the RNLI website

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Phil Monckton

Floatilla of old lifeboats

Phil Monckton

Open Day visitors onboard the current Penlee all weather lifeboat

Phil Monckton

Penlee Open day 30 August 2021

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