Busy Saturday at Whitstable RNLI during Jubilee Weekend.
Members of the Whitstable based Dead Horse Morris & Broomdashers were on hand to brighten up a rather gloomy Saturday morning outside Whitstable RNLI station when they performed a number of dances during their Jubilee tour of the town.
The men's side perform a regional style of Kentish Morris whilst the ladies dance in the Border style.
The group raised £253.00 for the lifeboat during the morning and early afternoon before moving on to pastures new.
Kellie Gray, Chair of the Whitstable fund-raising branch of the RNLI said “We thank Dead Horse Morris for their efforts this year and for all the previous occasions over the decades they have been supporting us. It was perhaps a shame that the weather was not too bright on Saturday and that there were not more people around to enjoy their lively performance, nevertheless well done to them and many thanks for their contribution”.
Several members of the Whitstable lifeboat crew who have completed five years of consecutive service have been presented with a special commemorative Platinum Jubilee medal.
They are among 4,500 Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) volunteers and frontline staff who have been awarded the medal in recognition of the 65,886 lives the charity has saved during Her Majesty’s 70-year reign.
At Whitstable Mike Judge, Dave Parry, Kellie Gray, Alex Quan, Ray Davies, Neil Pepper, Andy Mayo, Vicky Kypta and Craig Sidders received medals at a Jubilee gathering in the boathouse on Saturday along with Ben Crosswell, Andy Williams, Brian Hadler, Mark Sidders and Stuart Enderby who were not present for the event or photograph.
RNLI Chief Executive Mark Dowie said: ‘I am delighted to see so many RNLI volunteers and staff being recognized by this prestigious award alongside other frontline members of the emergency services, prison services and the Armed Forces.
‘The Platinum Jubilee medal follows a long history of awarding medals to mark Royal Jubilee celebrations, and this is the fourth medal under Her Majesty the Queen’s reign.
‘My congratulations and thanks go to all the recipients and our thousands of other volunteers and staff who work tirelessly to deliver our essential lifesaving services in our mission to save every one.’
French visitors pop in to Whitstable RNLI station
The Saturday of the Jubilee weekend saw a visit to lifeboat station by members of the Whitstable Twinning Association and their guests from Whitstable's twin town of Dainville in the Pas-de-Calais department near Arras.
22 French visitors accompanied by their local hosts were shown around the station and the lifeboat by Education & Visits Officer David Hayward together with crew members Ollie Myhill and Steve Moseley.
A brief history of the Station was given - including that it was here not because of the Harbour but was one of 10 "In-shore" Stations established in response to the rapidly increasing popularity of leisure water activities, which continue to make up the bulk of the rescue work here.
It was explained that everyone at this Station was a volunteer and that the crew were on pager-alert for whenever they might be needed. That we never knew when they might actually be needed was underlined by the fact that the boat had been called out at 01.00 for 2 hours very early that same morning - with Ollie as part of the boat crew and having not yet been back to bed!
The charity status of the RNLI was also explained - as both of these important 'characteristics' tend not to be how such rescue services are organised in France. Questions were asked and photos were taken - the visit seemed to generate real interest on the part both of the French and English members of the group and be enjoyed as another part of the rich 'jigsaw' which makes up the town of Whitstable.
Gillian Michael, secretary of the Whitstable Twinning Assoiation said “Our visitors loved it and where really appreciative of the information that David supplied and with the Morris Dancers performing outside thought the whole thing was quintisentially English”.
Whitstable Twinning Association began almost 40 years ago with the aim of helping local people, families, schools and local groups make international friendships. It organizes regular visits to and from Whitstable. It is part of a network of six linked towns in Europe which enjoy meeting and arranging events and activities together in each others towns.
Early hours launch for Whitstable RNLI
A distress call from the single occupant of a trimaran resulted in a call during the early hours of Saturday morning for Whitstable’s volunteer lifeboat crew.
Launching at 01.25am the Atlantic 85 lifeboat Lewisco proceeded to the craft’s reported position as being off Uplees in The Swale just east of the entrance to Faversham Creek however on arrival at the scene there was no vessel visible to the crew and no response from a radio call.
The lifeboats direction finder suggested that the casualty was further west and the lifeboat proceeded further along The Swale but nothing was found.
At 02.05 Dover Coastguard reported that the craft was on a mooring at Queenborough and the lifeboat was released from the incident to return to station arriving back at 02.49.
Later on Saturday morning the Sheerness RNLI all-weather lifeboat ‘Judith Copping Joyce’ which was returning from another call was tasked to check on the craft which was on a mooring on the far side of the harbour close to the Coal Washer jetty off Rushenden where the single person onboard was mistakenly pressing the DSC alert (Digital Security Control) whilst trying to change radio frequency channels.
With some help and instruction from the Sheerness lifeboat crew the problem was solved and the Sheerness lifeboat returned to station.
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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