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Tobermory RNLI volunteers mark double birthday celebration at Westminster Abbey

Lifeboats News Release

Three of Tobermory RNLI’s volunteers attended the charity’s bicentenary celebrations at Westminster Abbey on Monday 4 March 2024 to mark two special birthdays.

Tobermory RNLI volunteers Rob and Christine MacDonald at Westminster Abbey

RNLI/Sam Jones

Tobermory RNLI volunteers Rob and Christine MacDonald at Westminster Abbey

Mother and son, Christine and Rob MacDonald represented the station at the thanksgiving service alongside the Duke of Kent and the Archbishop of Canterbury. The latter’s predecessor attended the very first meeting of the RNLI in the London Tavern on 4 March 1824. When Rob joined the crew in 2005, Christine decided to also volunteer at the station. Rob is now a launch authority and Christine continues volunteer in the shop and between them they have given nearly 40 years of service to the charity which saves lives at sea.

But Christine and Rob were not just celebrating the RNLI’s bicentenary on Monday but also another special day as Christine shares her birthday with the RNLI, although she is much, much younger. Christine and Rob were joined by Tobermory RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, Dr Sam Jones, who was also invited to the service through her involvement in the bicentenary planning in Scotland and attended the very first workshop to start to prepare for ‘RNLI 200’ at Tower lifeboat station in September 2018.

Sam said: ‘Christine and Rob are absolute stalwarts of our lifeboat station and they epitomise the volunteer ethos of the RNLI which has sustained the charity through two centuries. I am so glad that they were able to be at what was a very inspiring and poignant service at Westminster Abbey and to celebrate two very special birthdays!’

RNLI media contacts

Sam Jones, Tobermory Lifeboat Press Officer, 07747 601900, [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]

RNLI Press Office, 01202 336789

RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Dr Sam Jones at Westminster Abbey


Tobermory RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Dr Sam Jones at Westminster Abbey

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

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.