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Three Kessock RNLI Helms, Fit for a King

Lifeboats News Release

Tuesday 4 July 2023 saw 3 Kessock RNLI helms and their partners invited to His Majesty King Charles III garden party at The Palace of Holyroodroodhouse.

The three volunteers n the Gardens of Holyrood

RNLI/Shane Warde

Dougie Munro, Jane Hier and Doug Grant at the Kings Garden Party
In the year where Kessock lifeboat station celebrates 30 years of RNLI presence, and in the run up to the 200th anniversary of the RNLI, the timing couldn’t have been better.

Doug Grant (big Doug), Dougie Munro (wee Doug), and Jane Hier, were all invited to attend the garden party with their partners Barbara, Yvonne and Martin. Around 6000 people were in attendance including His Majesty King Charles III, Queen Camilla and Anne, Princess Royal.

Heavy rain didn’t dampen the spirits of the guests, with Dougie, who has 11 years service, saying: 'Unfortunately we didn’t bring our boat with us today, which would have been useful for a day like this.'

He added: 'We were very privileged to attend the Royal Garden Party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse to represent the RNLI. It was an honour to represent our lifesaving charity and we were lucky enough to get a few minutes to chat His Majesty King Charles III about what we do as a charity, our roles, the boat and equipment we use and a chat about the weather.

'He commented it was particularly wet for the garden party this year, and we joked about how we should have taken our dry suits and the boat. His Majesty King Charles III was very knowledgeable about the voluntary work we do and fondly recalled his visit to RNLI HQ in Poole in 2022 where he visited the boat workshop. He expressed great admiration for all of our volunteers, for the work we do saving lives at sea.'

Jane Hier, who has 6 years of RNLI service, took along her husband Martin, who is a Senior Coastal Operations officer for HM Coastguard, said: 'It was a privilege to be invited to the garden party, even in the rain the atmosphere was fantastic and The Palace of Holyroodhouse was a beautiful venue.

'We were incredibly lucky to be selected by The Company of Royal Archers to meet and speak with the King. We chatted about my upcoming visit to Poole and how grateful he is for the 24/7, 365 day a year operation the RNLI operates.'

Doug Grant, who has 37 years service with the RNLI in various guises, and comes from a family with 114 years of RNLI history said: 'It was an amazing experience talking to His Majesty King Charles III yesterday, and it just shows how much respect there is for the RNLI and their volunteers, and I am incredibly proud to be part of that. This is a day that will stay with Barbara and I for the rest of our lives.'

Area Lifesaving Manager, Yvette Kershaw, commented: 'The 3 volunteer Helms from Kessock RNLI Lifeboat Station were very proud to represent the RNLI at the special invitation of the Lord Lieutenant to the King for Ross and Cromarty, Mrs Joanne Whiteford. Our volunteers give their time 365 days a year to the service of saving lives of sea, so it was a rare opportunity for them to enjoy the occasion, and accompanied by their partners who often sacrifice time with their loved ones.'

Notes to editors

· Kessock lifeboat station has been operating since 1993. To learn more about the lifeboat station go to:

RNLI media contacts

Shane Warde, Lifeboat Press Officer, [email protected]

Natasha Bennett, RNLI Regional Media Officer for Scotland, 07826 900639, [email protected]

Martin Macnamara, RNLI Regional Media Manager for Scotland, 07920 365929, [email protected]

The three helms and their partners in the gardens of Holyrood

RNLI/Shane Warde

Yvonne Munro, Dougie Munro, Doug Grant, Barbara Grant, Jane Hier, Martin Hier

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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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.