HRH The Duke of Kent meets RNLI volunteers at Penlee lifeboat station
His Royal Highness (HRH) The Duke of Kent met volunteers at Penlee RNLI during a private visit to the station in Newlyn on Monday (11 April). As part of his visit, he spent some time in the newly refurbished visitor centre which is now open to the public.
HRH The Duke of Kent, who is the President of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), was accompanied by the Lord-Lieutenant of Cornwall Edward Bolitho. Both were welcomed by the Penlee Lifeboat Operations Manager David Pascoe and Coxswain Patch Harvey, alongside Dickon Berriman, Area Lifesaving Manager in the South West and Mark Dowie, RNLI Chief Executive.
They were given a tour of the lifeboat station which was officially opened in 2019 and introduced to a congregation of station volunteers including lifeboat crew, fundraisers, RNLI shop and water safety volunteers, and the Lifeboat Press Officer to hear more about their volunteer roles and the commitment they give to the charity that saves lives at sea. RNLI lifeguards who provide safety patrols on nearby beaches were also there to meet The Duke and talk more about their roles out on Cornwall’s beaches.
The Duke spent some time in the station visitor centre which features a carefully curated selection of Penlee’s history, including the tragic events of the 1981 disaster and replicas of medals the eight crew were posthumously awarded.
Before departing, HRH presented Lifeboat Operations Manager David Pascoe with a Certificate of Service and a signed certificate to commemorate his visit during The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Year which David received on behalf of the station.
In return, the station presented The Duke with a signed book on the history of Penlee Lifeboat Station and Coxswain Patch Harvey presented him with a printed copy of the Penlee Book of Remembrance to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Penlee Disaster on 19 December 2021. A copy of the book will be available for visitors to view in the new visitor centre.
Before HRH The Duke of Kent was taken aboard the station’s all-weather lifeboat Ivan Ellen, a group picture was taken, encompassing all the volunteer roles that make up the running of a lifeboat station and keeping the charity afloat in the local community. On behalf of everyone at the station, Janet Madron, Chair of the Penlee Lifeboat Management Group, asked The Duke to pass on their best wishes to our Patron, Her Majesty the Queen in Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee Year.
During The Duke’s time afloat, RNLB Ivan Ellen passed the old boathouse at Mousehole where HRH privately paid tribute to the crew of RNLB Solomon Browne who tragically never returned to the station in December 1981.
David Pascoe, volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager said;
‘It was great to welcome the charity’s President, HRH The Duke of Kent to the station and introduce him to the wide and varied volunteers we have within Penlee RNLI and who all play their part in keeping the station, and charity afloat in the community. We are one big team, one crew and a visit like this brings everyone together.’
HRH The Duke of Kent has been President of the RNLI since 1969 after succeeding both his parents as President of the charity.
The RNLI’s visitor centre in the station in Newlyn Harbour is open to the public Monday to Friday. The station is currently recruiting volunteer Visits Officers to help welcome and inform visitors as they come in. For more info visit the RNLI website rnli.org.uk or follow Penlee RNLI on Facebook
Note to Editors
- Please see the attached images of HRH The Duke of Kent’s visit to Penlee RNLI credit Phil Monckton
RNLI media contacts
For more information please telephone Amy Caldwell, RNLI Regional Media Manager on 07920818807 or [email protected] or RNLI Press Office 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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