A day of Remembrance for Skegness RNLI
The volunteer crew attended a civil parade and remembrance service on Sunday 12 November.
Many organisations, groups and figures were present for the Skegness Remembrance Service on Sunday 12 November. This included ex-servicemen and women, HM Coastguard Skegness, and NCI Skegness as well as the present and former volunteer crew members of Skegness RNLI Lifeboat Station.
The parade began on Beresford Avenue, walking to St Matthews Church along Lumley Road and Lumley Avenue, with the service taking place at the war memorial. David Sellars, former volunteer Mechanic and Launch Authority at Skegness RNLI laid a wreath on behalf of the station, to pay tribute to those who have died in both world wars and later conflicts.
Brad Johnson, Skegness RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer said: 'It was wonderful witnessing the large turnout at Sunday's Remembrance Service. Reflecting and honouring the sacrifices made by those who have fought for our freedom, and appreciating those who still safeguard us, is of utmost importance.'
The Anne Allen was in service during the time of the Second World War and her crew carried out a great number of search and rescue operations for the crews of crashed aircraft. These downed aircraft included both allied and enemy crews who had come down in the North Sea or The Wash.
It is a testament that the RNLI and its crews focused on saving lives at sea no matter who they were, or what side of the war they were on. These search and rescue operations during the war were often two to three times a week and would search for downed aircrew in some of the worst weather conditions, often with little or no protection from icy seas or bitter winds.
The station's records show that the RNLI Skegness crew went to the aid of a significant amount of aircraft during the war period, however, sometimes upon arrival at the last known position, the crew did not find anything or there were only small patches of oil and wreckage, but no sign of survivors. Station records show that the crew saved over seven airmen during the period and brought ashore the deceased.
However, not all rescues between 1939 and 1945 were the result of enemy action – the wind and the sea continued to take their toll on commercial vessels and the RNLI were there to save fishermen, sailors, and the public in danger, as they always had been.
One example of the heroism of the crew during the time was on 30 September 1940 when the Anne Allen was launched to search for a reported downed aircraft in the sea near Hunstanton. Despite a 50 mile journey in the dead of night, the crew commenced their search. However, the Coxswain at the time found that the lifeboat had ventured into an active minefield in a low tide. Coxswain George Perrin, with expert skill, managed to get the lifeboat out of danger and anchor until the tide rose again. Despite the ordeal, the search continued at dawn, however, no wreckage was ever found.
Records also show that Skegness RNLI Lifeboat Station’s crew went to the aid of aircraft in October 1940, February 1941, October 1941, January 1943, May 1943, June 1943, July 1994, and October 1944. Some of these launches resulted in lives saved, however for numerous outcomes, the crews recovered the bodies of deceased crews or salvaged the wreckage of the downed aircraft. On 21 May 1941, the crews launched to the M.V. Zuiderhaven and rescued an injured person from the vessel, showing how the crews continued to work with vulnerable vessels and their crews during the period.
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
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