The Scattering of the Ashes of Michael Keat at RNLI Rye Harbour

Lifeboats News Release

On Sunday morning October 17th the crew from RNLI Rye Harbour carried out the moving task of scattering Michael’s ashes.

RNLI/KT Bruce

RNLI Rye Harbour's Atlantic 85 heads to see with Michael's ashes

Debbie Peters had been Michael’s carer for over twelve years and knew him well. Michael was a merchant seaman with a career spanning many years as a senior crew member on various ships including time in the Gaza Strait. Debbie, knowing his love of the sea since a child, organised to have his ashes scattered off the beach by Rye Harbour lifeboat crew, fitting in view of the fact that in his will he left money to the RNLI.

The coast has a tranquillity like no other place. It is a source of pleasure and freedom in many people’s lives including Michael and his late wife, Rowena. The scattering of the ashes was a touching and moving ceremony, the peace and closeness of nature providing a perfect setting for saying goodbye. The most obvious symbolic meaning of this scattering is letting go.

Debbie commented afterwards, ‘It was a beautiful send-off for Michael. He loved the sea and would have been touched by the poignancy of the day. I cannot thank the crew of volunteers at Rye Harbour enough for the way they carried out the service with such caring and professionalism.’

RNLI/family archives

Michael Keat in uniform

RNLI/Iain Cebunka

Scattering of Michael's ashes at Rye Harbour

RNLI/Iain Cebunka

Leaving the station to carry out the service of scattering ashes at Rye Harbour

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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