Volunteer-RNLI-lifeboat-crew-ready-for-anything-this-Christmas

Byline: Thousands of RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew are on call and ready to save lives at sea throughout the Christmas and New Year holiday.
Page Content:

They may be settling down with their families to a turkey lunch, but all plans will be put on hold if the pagers go off, signalling that someone may be in trouble at sea.

Over the festive period in 2012, RNLI volunteer crews at the 237 lifeboat stations across the UK and Republic of Ireland launched 139 times and rescued 51 people in the period between 23 December and 1 January.

On New Year’s Eve 2012, volunteers from the Port Isaac lifeboat crew raced through rough seas to rescue an angler who had been washed off rocks into the freezing water. In the fading light, the crew managed to get the fisherman on board before entering Boscastle Harbour in extremely difficult conditions. Christopher Key, Boscastle Harbour Master, oversaw the arrival of the lifeboat and said at the time:

‘I have no doubt that the decision to enter Boscastle Harbour with the light fading and nearly gone was extremely difficult and in my opinion the courage and ability demonstrated by the crew was of the highest calibre. I know that the crew selflessly put their own lives at very great risk that night.’

It wasn’t just coastal rescues that took place last Christmas, with the RNLI’s volunteer Flood Rescue Team deployed to the South West in a daring rescue that later saw them awarded with RNLI Bronze Gallantry Medals and the Pride of Britain Emergency Services Award. They were recognised for helping to rescue Vanessa Glover who was left clinging to a branch in fast-flowing flood waters in Umberleigh, Devon on 23 December 2012.

In 2013, RNLI lifeboats and lifeguards were involved in thousands of rescues, with many people celebrating a special Christmas this year thanks to the lifesaving work of the RNLI.

When David was up to his waist in quicksand off the North West coast in July, he didn’t think he’d see tomorrow, let alone Christmas. But thanks to the volunteer RNLI crew from New Brighton who pulled him out in the nick of time, he’s making this Christmas extra special by taking his family out to the US for a special celebration.

He said: ‘I know I wouldn’t be here without the help from the RNLI, so my family and I wanted to do something a bit different this year for Christmas. I’m just glad that there were the right people there to help me and I have nothing but respect for the emergency services especially as those who got me out were volunteers.’

A family from Derbyshire will also be enjoying Christmas this year thanks to the RNLI. When Mike and Jan King’s speedboat was engulfed by a wave in June, it left them, their daughter and friends stranded on a sinking boat. Thanks to the volunteer RNLI crew from Moelfre who were there to rescue them, they are making this a more meaningful Christmas with a special reunion; made all the sweeter by their daughter’s recent engagement.

Jan said: ‘We’d all had not very pleasant thoughts as those waves hit us and without that crew arriving I don’t think we’d be here for Christmas possibly. You don’t know when a wave engulfs you like that, you can be under the water, thrown overboard very, very quickly, but [Moelfre RNLI] were there to rescue us.

‘We’re here for Christmas – thank goodness – and I know all five of us will be getting together and enjoying a very special Christmas. It has brought us all much closer together since it happened.’

For the crew of Tower lifeboat station on the Thames, the busiest lifeboat station anywhere in the RNLI, Christmas day is just like any other day at the office – they’re on duty and ready to help anyone in trouble on the river. But for the past six years, there’s one person who makes it very special for them; Pennie Donaghy, the wife of crew member John. Pennie, sometimes with daughter Carrie and their Jack Russell, gives up a Christmas at home to treat the crew to a Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, feeding up to 12 hungry lifeboat men and women.

Husband John said: ‘We have duties to do, like cleaning the boat. So after breakfast, Pennie starts the dinner and we go out. And when we open the door to come back in and smell the turkey, that is fantastic. The crew wear their drysuits half on at lunch because we launch within 90 seconds when the bell goes, so we have to be ready; Christmas dinner or not!’

RNLI lifeguards will also be putting their turkey dinner on hold this year to spend Christmas patrolling the sands at Sefton and Boscombe beaches. The charity’s lifeguards are offering safety advice to anyone tempted to brave the cold water this winter. RNLI Staff Officer for Lifeguards, Peter Dawes, says:

‘As the water is extremely cold this time of year, we’d suggest anyone planning to go into the water to make sure they are fully prepared with the appropriate clothing and equipment for the conditions.’

 

Notes to editors
• *The festive period was defined as 23 Dec to New Year’s Day.
• For more information on any of these rescue stories, or for details of others, please contact the Press Office on 01202 336789 or PressOffice@rnli.org.uk.
• For more information on Port Isaac rescue: http://rnli.org/NewsCentre/Pages/Dramatic-video-of-Port-Isaac-RNLI-rescuing-a-man-in-rough-seas.aspx  
• For more information on Umberleigh, Devon rescue: http://rnli.org/NewsCentre/Pages/First-RNLI-Gallantry-Medals-awarded-to-Flood-Rescue-Team.aspx 
• For more information on Moelfre rescue: http://rnli.org/NewsCentre/Pages/Christmas-comes-early-for-Moelfre-RNLI-volunteers.aspx
• For more information on Crosby rescue: http://rnli.org/NewsCentre/Pages/Thanks-to-New-Brighton-Hovercraft-Crew-from-Dentist-Extracted-from-Mersey-Mud.aspx
• For more information on Boscombe Lifeguards on duty this Christmas: http://rnli.org/NewsCentre/Pages/RNLI-lifeguards-bring-festive-cheer-to-Boscombe-beach-on-Christmas-patrol.aspx
• Pictures show:
– Boscombe lifeguards on a snowy beach at Christmas. Credit Joanna Quinn.
– Dungeness mersey class lifeboat Pride and Spirit 12-27 being launched by tractor in the snow. Credit Noel Packer.
– Flood Rescue Team stock image of St Asaph floods in 2012. Credit RNLI.
– RNLI 4×4 vehicle towing Seahouses D-class inshore lifeboat along the harbour in the snow. Credit Nigel Millard.
 
RNLI media contacts
The RNLI Press Office will operate a 24/7 on call duty service throughout the Christmas period. Please call the main Press Office number on 01202 336789 or email PressOffice@rnli.org.uk.

RNLI online
For more information on the RNLI please visit www.rnli.org.uk. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI Press Centre www.rnli.org.uk/press

Byline: Thousands of RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew are on call and ready to save lives at sea throughout the Christmas and New Year holiday.
Page Content:

They may be settling down with their families to a turkey lunch, but all plans will be put on hold if the pagers go off, signalling that someone may be in trouble at sea.

Over the festive period in 2012, RNLI volunteer crews at the 237 lifeboat stations across the UK and Republic of Ireland launched 139 times and rescued 51 people in the period between 23 December and 1 January.

On New Year’s Eve 2012, volunteers from the Port Isaac lifeboat crew raced through rough seas to rescue an angler who had been washed off rocks into the freezing water. In the fading light, the crew managed to get the fisherman on board before entering Boscastle Harbour in extremely difficult conditions. Christopher Key, Boscastle Harbour Master, oversaw the arrival of the lifeboat and said at the time:

‘I have no doubt that the decision to enter Boscastle Harbour with the light fading and nearly gone was extremely difficult and in my opinion the courage and ability demonstrated by the crew was of the highest calibre. I know that the crew selflessly put their own lives at very great risk that night.’

It wasn’t just coastal rescues that took place last Christmas, with the RNLI’s volunteer Flood Rescue Team deployed to the South West in a daring rescue that later saw them awarded with RNLI Bronze Gallantry Medals and the Pride of Britain Emergency Services Award. They were recognised for helping to rescue Vanessa Glover who was left clinging to a branch in fast-flowing flood waters in Umberleigh, Devon on 23 December 2012.

In 2013, RNLI lifeboats and lifeguards were involved in thousands of rescues, with many people celebrating a special Christmas this year thanks to the lifesaving work of the RNLI.

When David was up to his waist in quicksand off the North West coast in July, he didn’t think he’d see tomorrow, let alone Christmas. But thanks to the volunteer RNLI crew from New Brighton who pulled him out in the nick of time, he’s making this Christmas extra special by taking his family out to the US for a special celebration.

He said: ‘I know I wouldn’t be here without the help from the RNLI, so my family and I wanted to do something a bit different this year for Christmas. I’m just glad that there were the right people there to help me and I have nothing but respect for the emergency services especially as those who got me out were volunteers.’

A family from Derbyshire will also be enjoying Christmas this year thanks to the RNLI. When Mike and Jan King’s speedboat was engulfed by a wave in June, it left them, their daughter and friends stranded on a sinking boat. Thanks to the volunteer RNLI crew from Moelfre who were there to rescue them, they are making this a more meaningful Christmas with a special reunion; made all the sweeter by their daughter’s recent engagement.

Jan said: ‘We’d all had not very pleasant thoughts as those waves hit us and without that crew arriving I don’t think we’d be here for Christmas possibly. You don’t know when a wave engulfs you like that, you can be under the water, thrown overboard very, very quickly, but [Moelfre RNLI] were there to rescue us.

‘We’re here for Christmas – thank goodness – and I know all five of us will be getting together and enjoying a very special Christmas. It has brought us all much closer together since it happened.’

For the crew of Tower lifeboat station on the Thames, the busiest lifeboat station anywhere in the RNLI, Christmas day is just like any other day at the office – they’re on duty and ready to help anyone in trouble on the river. But for the past six years, there’s one person who makes it very special for them; Pennie Donaghy, the wife of crew member John. Pennie, sometimes with daughter Carrie and their Jack Russell, gives up a Christmas at home to treat the crew to a Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, feeding up to 12 hungry lifeboat men and women.

Husband John said: ‘We have duties to do, like cleaning the boat. So after breakfast, Pennie starts the dinner and we go out. And when we open the door to come back in and smell the turkey, that is fantastic. The crew wear their drysuits half on at lunch because we launch within 90 seconds when the bell goes, so we have to be ready; Christmas dinner or not!’

RNLI lifeguards will also be putting their turkey dinner on hold this year to spend Christmas patrolling the sands at Sefton and Boscombe beaches. The charity’s lifeguards are offering safety advice to anyone tempted to brave the cold water this winter. RNLI Staff Officer for Lifeguards, Peter Dawes, says:

‘As the water is extremely cold this time of year, we’d suggest anyone planning to go into the water to make sure they are fully prepared with the appropriate clothing and equipment for the conditions.’

 

Notes to editors
• *The festive period was defined as 23 Dec to New Year’s Day.
• For more information on any of these rescue stories, or for details of others, please contact the Press Office on 01202 336789 or PressOffice@rnli.org.uk.
• For more information on Port Isaac rescue: http://rnli.org/NewsCentre/Pages/Dramatic-video-of-Port-Isaac-RNLI-rescuing-a-man-in-rough-seas.aspx  
• For more information on Umberleigh, Devon rescue: http://rnli.org/NewsCentre/Pages/First-RNLI-Gallantry-Medals-awarded-to-Flood-Rescue-Team.aspx 
• For more information on Moelfre rescue: http://rnli.org/NewsCentre/Pages/Christmas-comes-early-for-Moelfre-RNLI-volunteers.aspx
• For more information on Crosby rescue: http://rnli.org/NewsCentre/Pages/Thanks-to-New-Brighton-Hovercraft-Crew-from-Dentist-Extracted-from-Mersey-Mud.aspx
• For more information on Boscombe Lifeguards on duty this Christmas: http://rnli.org/NewsCentre/Pages/RNLI-lifeguards-bring-festive-cheer-to-Boscombe-beach-on-Christmas-patrol.aspx
• Pictures show:
- Boscombe lifeguards on a snowy beach at Christmas. Credit Joanna Quinn.
- Dungeness mersey class lifeboat Pride and Spirit 12-27 being launched by tractor in the snow. Credit Noel Packer.
- Flood Rescue Team stock image of St Asaph floods in 2012. Credit RNLI.
- RNLI 4x4 vehicle towing Seahouses D-class inshore lifeboat along the harbour in the snow. Credit Nigel Millard.
 
RNLI media contacts
The RNLI Press Office will operate a 24/7 on call duty service throughout the Christmas period. Please call the main Press Office number on 01202 336789 or email PressOffice@rnli.org.uk.

RNLI online
For more information on the RNLI please visit www.rnli.org.uk. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI Press Centre www.rnli.org.uk/press