Donate now

Silloth RNLI commemorate charity's 200th with church service

Lifeboats News Release

On Sunday 3 March 2024, RNLI volunteers and people from the Silloth community gathered at Christ Church for a special service to kick start the 200th celebrations.

Lifeboat and volunteers outside of church

Arran De Mello

Lifeboat outside Christ Church

The service was held to commemorate the charity's lifesaving history and the volunteers who have come before, celebrate today’s volunteers and look ahead to inspire the future generation of volunteers for Silloth Lifeboat Station.

The service was led by the station Chaplin, Mrs Margaret Gate. Margaret read a reading by Sir William Hillary, the founder of the RNLI, and an account of the four local volunteer firemen who sacrificed their lives 67 years ago at Grune Point. There were also readings given by RNLI lifeboat volunteers.

A local wood carving group sculpted a carving of the four men, Joseph Bell, Stanley Graham, John Johnstone and Alexander Ramsey, as a memorial gesture. These men sadly lost there lives when a fire service rescue boat overturned whilst trying to save a someone stranded on Skinburness Marsh in 1956.

It is thought that the sculpture will be placed in the RNLI Station Shop for all those to see.

Once the service finished the volunteer fundraisers provided light refreshments. The people of the community then had the opportunity to chat to the volunteer lifeboat crew and fundraisers.

Chris Clark, Helm at Silloth RNLI said:

'Getting everyone together for this church service was a wonderful way to mark the start of a very special year for the RNLI here in our local community. A chance for us to come together as one crew and commemorate, celebrate and hopefully inspire the next generation.

'The commemoration for those four brave firemen who made the ultimate sacrifice trying to save a life, reminds us of the incredible dedication of our volunteers and fellow people working in search and rescue.

'Thankyou Margaret, the Churches Together Team, the crew, fundraisers and everyone who attended and supported us on the day.'

Media Contacts

For more information please contact Silloth RNLI Volunteer Press Officer, Rebecca Clark at [email protected].

In the absence of the above you can contact Claire Fitzpatrick-Smith, RNLI Regional Communications Manager, on [email protected] or 07977 728 315 or alternatively you can contact the RNLI Press Office on [email protected] or 01202 336789.

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.