Redcar RNLI pay tribute to former Coxswain David ‘Barney’ Buckworth

Lifeboats News Release

It is with great sadness that Redcar RNLI have learnt that David ‘Barney’ Buckworth passed away earlier this week.

Philip Chisholm/Studio Tristan

Portrait of David 'Barney' Buckworth

He was the former Coxswain of the Redcar lifeboat until his retirement in the mid-1980s. He was also a skipper of the Tees pilot boat.

Barney Buckworth was appointed Coxswain at Redcar RNLI in 1974, having previously been second Coxswain.

He served the Institution with great honour and in 1982 received a letter of commendation from Rear Admiral WJ Graham, the then director of the RNLI. The letter praised his ‘vigilance, speed and efficiency’ during the rescue of four fishermen caught in a force 10 storm off Redcar.

Dave Cocks, a former crew member and now Chairman of Redcar Lifeboat Station, said: 'Barney, as we always called him, was an old-fashioned sailor. He had a background in the merchant navy and knew the sea like the back of his hand. A lot of the senior members of our current team served under Barney. Even very recently, we would meet up with him and his loyal collie dog Jess when he was out and about on his mobility scooter, we would chat about lifeboats. He will be missed by all of us.'

Mike Picknett the Lifeboat Operations Manager at Redcar RNLI said: ‘Barney was not only our Coxswain but remained a great supporter of the RNLI after his retirement. He had a firm but fair style and always led by example. He was great mentor to the crew and always made time to teach people the ropes. He will be remembered with pride by those who sailed with him and sadly missed by his former crew mates and friends at the RNLI Redcar Station.'

RNLI Media contacts

For more information, please contact Andy Watson, Lifeboat Press Officer, Redcar RNLI on 07954 435834 or email [email protected]


Barney Buckworth and Duke of Kent during visit to Redcar Lifeboat Station, July 1981.


Barney Buckworth, 2nd from left.

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

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.