Blackpool RNLI lifeboat volunteer to feature in upcoming episode of 200 Voices
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s (RNLI) 200 Voices podcast launched in August 2023 and, in the run-up to the charity’s bicentenary on 4 March 2024, an episode is released every day for 200 days, exploring captivating stories from the charity’s history, through to the current day.
This month Pat Abram from Blackpool RNLI, will be telling listeners about his life and how an incident in 1983 influenced his decision to volunteer at Blackpool RNLI Lifeboat Station as the Shop Manager - and to become an operational Deputy Launching Authority.
The episode entitled ‘Courage and Loss: Pat Abram’ is released on the Thursday 28 December 2023.
RNLI Volunteer Pat knows only too well the devastating power of the sea. His fisherman father from Fleetwood drowned at sea before Pat was born, and on the 5 January 1983, while working as a police officer in Blackpool, Pat and three colleagues went to the rescue of a man struggling in the sea – a courageous act that ended in tragedy.
Four lives including three Blackpool police officers were lost, leaving the local community devastated. Every year they are remembered in a memorial event in the town. Pat shares his deeply moving story of the rescue attempt – during which he too almost lost his life – and his influences to volunteer at Blackpool RNLI.
Blackpool RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, Steve Fitzgerald, said: ‘I was a police officer on duty alongside Pat on that fateful day, and many years later, we both have come together with the same passion for Blackpool RNLI continuing to serve our community.
'Pat was an exceptional public servant and his enthusiasm for his RNLI roles is infectious across the whole Blackpool RNLI volunteer team. It is only right that he was selected for the RNLI 200 voices.
‘200 Voices is the first in a programme of activity planned to mark the RNLI’s bicentenary as we celebrate the world-class lifesaving service we provide today, remember our remarkable history and aim to inspire the future generations of lifesavers and supporters as we move through into the next 200 years.’
The charity has been saving lives at sea since it was founded in 1824 and, in that time, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 144,000 lives. Funded by voluntary donations, and with lifeboats crewed by specially-trained volunteers, the RNLI is a truly unique rescue organisation with a remarkable 200-year story to tell – many highlights of which are shared through the podcast series.
Available across all podcast platforms and the RNLI’s website, listeners can hear from survivors, supporters, volunteers, lifeguards, celebrity ambassadors, historians and many more from across the UK and Ireland – and beyond.
The 200 Voices series also includes celebrity ambassadors such as The Sixth Commandment actor Timothy Spall, Gavin and Stacey actress Ruth Jones, Irish musician Phil Coulter, gold medal Olympian Sir Ben Ainslie and BAFTA-winning actress Joanna Scanlan.
Listen to the RNLI’s 200 Voices daily wherever you get your podcasts or by visiting the RNLI website and launch into a podcast like no other.
To find out more about the RNLI’s bicentenary, visit RNLI.org/200.
Notes to Editor:
· Find out more about the RNLI’s bicentenary at RNLI.org/200.
· Friday 5 January 2024 will see a memorial ceremony at Gynn Square at 1pm. Organised by Blackpool NARPO (National Association of Retired Police Officers) and supported by Chief Officers of Lancashire Police.
For further information, please contact Steve Fitzgerald, Blackpool RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer at [email protected] or on 07308 255949
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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