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Walmer RNLI volunteers attend annual Blessing of the Lifeboats Service

Lifeboats News Release

Volunteers from across Walmer lifeboat station were joined by the congregation of St Saviour's Church in Walmer on Sunday, 3 September, for the annual Blessing of the Lifeboats

Lay minister Paul Henderson blesses the lifeboats

RNLI/Christopher Winslade

Lay minister Paul Henderson blesses the lifeboats

Conducted by lay minister, Paul Henderson, the service included hymns, bible readings, the Lifeboat Prayer read by Lifeboat Chair Roger Blown, a poem, ‘The Walmer Lifeboat’ read by Press Officer Chris Winslade and an interview about her role at the station with volunteer Mady Beardmore.

Following the service, two awards were presented. The first of these was the second annual presentation of the Tony Nash Award, a plaque in memory of our friend and fellow volunteer Tony Nash. The award this year went to former Walmer helm Brad Rebbeck. The plaque is engraved with Churchillian quote ‘Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.’ In January 2022, Brad was awarded his 20-year service award, but due to work commitments sadly stood down earlier this year. A Deal firefighter, he was part of the International Search and Rescue (ISAR) team working with other multinational agencies assisting with the search operation in the wake of the earthquake which hit parts of Turkey and Syria in February. The award was presented to him by Tony’s daughters Kay and Zoe who had travelled to the station that morning. Speaking on receiving the award, Brad said: I have many fond memories of the lifeboat station from my time here and of the friends I made’.

The second award, presented by Chair Roger Blown, was made to former Fundraising Lead Alison Stone, who has also stood down from her role. Her Certificate of Thanks from the RNLI, signed by Chief Executive Mark Dowie, recognises her dedicated service to the Walmer, Deal and District Fundraising Branch.

Notes to editors

Walmer lifeboat station was established in 1856.

It currently operates two inshore lifeboats – a B Class Atlantic 85 Donald McLauchlan and a smaller D Class Duggie Rodbard II.

Crews have received 28 Awards for Gallantry

To find out more about Walmer lifeboat station go to

RNLI media contacts

  • Chris Winslade, Lifeboat Press Officer, Walmer Lifeboat Station on 01304 374475 or 07906 623037 [email protected]
  • Julie Rainey, RNLI Regional Media Manager on 07827 358256 [email protected]
  • Paul Dunt, RNLI Press Officer (London/East/South East) on 07785 296252, [email protected]
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789 or [email protected]

Kay, Brad and Zoe with the Tony Nash Award

RNLI/Christopher Winslade

Kay, Brad and Zoe with the Tony Nash Award
Alison Stone with her award

RNLI/Christopher Winslade

Alison Stone with her award
Interview with new volunteer Mady Beardmore

RNLI/Victoria Jones

Interview with volunteer Mady Beardmore

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.